Can I use an external charger while he battery is connected to the caravan (internal charger has died)?

May 24, 2024
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We are going on holiday tomorrow and the internal charger (Nord NE_143RM) has given up the ghost, the switch light comes on but there's no charge going to the battery, so I plan to keep the battery charged up with an external 6amp smart charger. I've been taking the battery out to charge it because I'm chicken it could do some damage to 'something ' if I attach the external charger to the battery while it's connected to the caravan.

Is this necessary or can I just attach the external charger while the battery is in use in the caravan and leave it ticking away?
 
Feb 23, 2024
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Personally, I would do just that, leave it on charge whilst connected, but as many would be quick to point out I'm no expert just a 'give it a go, fail forward fast type person' with a decent amount of success.

So yeh someone may say something totally different but I suspect a lot are away this weekend, something I never do as the prices and traffic are crazy so I'll wait until next weekend.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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We are going on holiday tomorrow and the internal charger (Nord NE_143RM) has given up the ghost, the switch light comes on but there's no charge going to the battery, so I plan to keep the battery charged up with an external 6amp smart charger. I've been taking the battery out to charge it because I'm chicken it could do some damage to 'something ' if I attach the external charger to the battery while it's connected to the caravan.

Is this necessary or can I just attach the external charger while the battery is in use in the caravan and leave it ticking away?
Are you sure the SMPS has failed or has its supply or outlet fuse blown?
 
Jan 20, 2023
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Yes, we had to do this a few years back on a 2016 Swift when the charger failed while we were away, I bought one from a local Halfords and just connected it up to charge the battery while we were in the caravan (and it wasn't raining!).
 
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Oct 19, 2023
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The only problem you might get is the smart charger throwing a wobbler and going into fault when there is a heavy drain from the battery (water pump kicking in etc.). As it's only 6A I'd be tempted to keep the charger inside the caravan and connect it to a 12v socket if you can, that way you can keep an eye on it and you won't have to run cables outside.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Provided the battery is reasonably well charged, and the old charger is switched off, using a smart charger whilst the battery is still connected should not cause any problems. If for any reason it does cause a problem, the original charger may have an output fuse, if its accessible remove the fuse.
 
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Aug 12, 2023
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Don't see any reason can't use aftermarket charger with battery still connected to caravan. That is how solar chargers are connected and I've not had any issues with mine.

I'd power it from one of caravans internal 240V outlets. Don't add or shorten charger's 12V battery wires. Charger is calibrated to work with voltage drop across these wires. Connect charger wires straight to battery terminals via fuse if you like but keep additional wire used short. May have to drill extra hole in battery compartment, seal it with silicone.

Removing fuse will allow you to isolate charger from battery if storing caravan unpowered for weeks. When charger is turned off the battery maybe draining into charger.
 
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Dec 27, 2022
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My Victrons are connected to the battery, the PSU in the van is also connected to the battery. PSU input is unplugged they all work well together.
So I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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