charging up caravan battery

Jul 5, 2005
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Recently bought 1st van 1990 ABI award transtar. there is a built in charger, spring connectors on the battery, also a cable with two crocodile clips tucked away in the battery compartment. there is also a 3 way switch on the main panel (car/caravan/off). when mains connected and switch to off all fine, but without mains can get adequate power when connected to car but when switched to caravan i have low power fading quickly. i have been connected to mains for a week on site and driven 700 miles connected to car. how do i configure switches/ battery connections to charge battery either from mains or car when travelling.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi,

It sounds like your battery has had it, there is a possibility that the battery has discharged fully at some time and this you do not do with a leiusure battery as when you try to recharge them they only come up to 50% to 60% of their original charge power. Also are you using a car battery charger to charge up your battery as they are not suitable for this task. You can use these very occassionaly to bring them up to full charge if in good condition, but you really need a leisure battery charger to keep them in peak performance, e.g once the season has finished and the battery is at full power this type of charger keeps the battery in best condition only delivering between 1.2 and and 1.8amp trickle charge.

Rob
 
Jul 5, 2005
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Hi,

It sounds like your battery has had it, there is a possibility that the battery has discharged fully at some time and this you do not do with a leiusure battery as when you try to recharge them they only come up to 50% to 60% of their original charge power. Also are you using a car battery charger to charge up your battery as they are not suitable for this task. You can use these very occassionaly to bring them up to full charge if in good condition, but you really need a leisure battery charger to keep them in peak performance, e.g once the season has finished and the battery is at full power this type of charger keeps the battery in best condition only delivering between 1.2 and and 1.8amp trickle charge.

Rob
thanks. looks like new ones best bet. any tips on switches or what the croc clips are likely to be for?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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thanks. looks like new ones best bet. any tips on switches or what the croc clips are likely to be for?
Hi,Stephen,

apart from your standard battery connecters I have not got the faintist idia. All I can suggest is to find out if the positive croc clip is live once you have connected your battery? If not it may be a retro fit by the previous owner for some external power source. Any way you need to trace back the cables and see where they go and what they are doing and are they of any use to you! If not disconnect and get rid of them. Also if they have a in line fuse,just disconnect that instead.

Rob
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Stephen.

Just a add on. When towing switch the caravan switch to Car.This should!! charge the battery and power the fridge if fitted. Switch to caravan when mains is plugged in. Off islates all 12v areas(Your fridge(if fitted) can be powered by mains or gas normally. but not by 12v as the power consumption by a fridge is too great.

Rob
 
Jul 5, 2005
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Hi Stephen.

Just a add on. When towing switch the caravan switch to Car.This should!! charge the battery and power the fridge if fitted. Switch to caravan when mains is plugged in. Off islates all 12v areas(Your fridge(if fitted) can be powered by mains or gas normally. but not by 12v as the power consumption by a fridge is too great.

Rob
thanks again that makes sense. the only thing i am now uncertain about is the wire and croc clips in the battery compartment. it appears this is to allow some sort of temporary connection to the battery but not sure what for? cannot connect these witout removing the spring caps on the battery.
 
May 20, 2005
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I suspect that the crocodile clips may have been to connect a solar panel I would need to see them to be sure. If the battery is as old as you say it needs to be replaced and from the way you described how it faded quickly it is shot.

Your battery charger built into the caravan is all you need to use as there are specialy made to keep the battery charged with out over charging, leaving it on charge all the time will keep the battery in the best condition.

A normal car battery charger is ok to use provided you dont allow it to over charge the battery. The battery chargers in caravans are designed in such away that once the battery is nearly fully charged they reduce (pulsate ) the power to the battery so it does not Boil.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you remove your battery during the winter or when the vans not in use, a good charger at a resonable price is the Halfords Automatic charger at
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Stephen.

Just a add on. When towing switch the caravan switch to Car.This should!! charge the battery and power the fridge if fitted. Switch to caravan when mains is plugged in. Off islates all 12v areas(Your fridge(if fitted) can be powered by mains or gas normally. but not by 12v as the power consumption by a fridge is too great.

Rob
Hi Rob

Iam sory matey but some of the information you give is incocerct.

ECM

The car/caravn changeover switch is provided on this mudule and should only be used the folling way.

CARAVAN

when in this position dc power is available from the caravan battery to power all 12v circuits,it must also be in this postion when using mains as it will charge up battery.

Central position

When in this position with charger switch on power is provided to al dc circuits. With charger OFF all dc circuits are isolated.

NOTE:.. the switch should be in this position when van is beeing towed.

CAR Position.

NOTE:.. First conect towing vehicle via 12s socket the switch is placed in this position ONLY if the van battery should become completly discharged. Power is supplied from car battery it will power lights and pump only.

Warning:..

This is only a short term use as it will discharge car battery very Quickly.

There is no off switch.

I hope this has cleared up a very big misunderstanding of how to use the ECM as many people I have met do not know how.

No offence to Rob

Jim M
 

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