Leisure battery

Feb 27, 2011
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I know that these have featured in this forum - here is my tale and my take on the subject!
On arrival at our campsite near Pevensey Bay on Friday, we experienced the mover going on strike when we made to move the van on to the pitch. So. Wound the rollers off again, and as I had only moved the car a couple of inches away, no problem to hitch up again and go through the expert move of reversing into place.

Connected the hook-up, and after about an hour, the mover contoller beeped and still said 'No'. Very soon, upon checking the battery by hand (I stupidly had left my multimeter at home) I found to my horror that it was extremely hot, in fact I couldn't keep my hand anywhere on it. Orders from 'er indoors were to 'please remove that item from the caravan asap'. I removed it, and even 3/4 hr later I could only just put my hand on it. We sorted out all the other procedures of arrival, and settled down for the evening without a battery in circuit, but of course with the controller providing power OK for the telly aerial booster and taps and some lights etc. The following morning off to Halfords we went and took advantage of a 30% reduction on a nice 115AH battery and fitted it; on returning home of course encountered no issues moving and connecting the van and resiting it in the drive.

I feel that I had awarded the battery the kiss of death a few weeks back when I bragged to a friend that the battery was well over 7 years old. My memory also recalls that the last time we moved the van, just over a week ago, to clean the drive, I couldn't get the wheels straight up on to the tyre savers, normally no problem. I then had to wriggle it up one wheel at a time. THAT should have made me check further. (hindsight a wonderful thing)

Fortunately our power unit in the caravan (2005 Sterling Eccles Topaz) is an NE143-CWS which, according to Swift, is maintenance-friendly and can be left connected. I will, however, check the battery more regularly, and thank my lucky stars that, according to my multimeter, the charger has not suffered any damage like some others I have read about.

Whew, what fun.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks sounds as if you had an interesting time. Glad all turned out well. Our van has a three stage charger but call me conservative but I don’t leave the van in charge for extended periods. I tend to connect it up about 24 hours before a trip or in winter once a month. On previous vans I used a CTEK charger which can be left on battery float for extended periods. But that was when the van was in store and I used to remove the battery and connect it up at home.
 
Feb 27, 2011
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otherclive said:
Thanks sounds as if you had an interesting time. Glad all turned out well. Our van has a three stage charger but call me conservative but I don’t leave the van in charge for extended periods. I tend to connect it up about 24 hours before a trip or in winter once a month. On previous vans I used a CTEK charger which can be left on battery float for extended periods. But that was when the van was in store and I used to remove the battery and connect it up at home.

Cheers Clive, it was entertaining if only for the colourful language... Like you, I tend not to leave the hook-up on at home for long periods, just for a day or so prior to going away. I do check the battery between trips - amazingly, it didn't show any signs of voltage drop below 12.5. We usually manage 4 trips per year off-winter, and during winter off comes the battery for trickle.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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On my Retirement, 4 years ago next June , big tour around France seeing Friends (yes WoosiesI have some) 6 weeks the last week using the motor mover onto pitches, arrived home at 2 AM so not to annoy the neighbors decided to MM the caravan onto the driive. NOTHING. Next morning checked the battery, discovered it was a Wet cell one , not a gel cell. Boiled dry. Oh well. Another Woosie remembership hickup.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
On my Retirement, 4 years ago next June , big tour around France seeing Friends (yes WoosiesI have some) 6 weeks the last week using the motor mover onto pitches, arrived home at 2 AM so not to annoy the neighbors decided to MM the caravan onto the driive. NOTHING. Next morning checked the battery, discovered it was a Wet cell one , not a gel cell. Boiled dry. Oh well. Another Woosie remembership hickup.

That’s interesting. So are you saying that because you were using the motor mover in the final week that this led to the battery going dry. The vast majority of caravans use wet cell batteries and have done for aeons and it’s the first time I’ve heard of this. Could the charging circuit be at fault or did you rule this out.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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otherclive said:
EH52ARH said:
On my Retirement, 4 years ago next June , big tour around France seeing Friends (yes WoosiesI have some) 6 weeks the last week using the motor mover onto pitches, arrived home at 2 AM so not to annoy the neighbors decided to MM the caravan onto the driive. NOTHING. Next morning checked the battery, discovered it was a Wet cell one , not a gel cell. Boiled dry. Oh well. Another Woosie remembership hickup.
n

That’s interesting. So are you saying that because you were using the motor mover in the final week that this led to the battery going dry. The vast majority of caravans use wet cell batteries and have done for aeons and it’s the first time I’ve heard of this. Could the charging circuit be at fault or did you rule this out.

No OC, totally my fault, I thought the battery was a dry /gel battery, but my service was due in 9 months, never thought about checking the battery. Just make sure what type of battery you have , a wet cell needs to be checked every month for levels.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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OC, most batteries, now are I believe Gel cell. For most folk, fit and forget, but wet cells have to be monitored for acid levels, my fault totally.
 
Feb 27, 2011
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EH52ARH said:
OC, most batteries, now are I believe Gel cell. For most folk, fit and forget, but wet cells have to be monitored for acid levels, my fault totally.

Good point. My nice (Halfords lol) new one is wet cell. Happily, aike my old one, it has the indicator which also includes B facility for letting one know if the level(s) become low. There is sufficient room above the battery for me to get my small inspection mirror in there to check for Green (all OK) Black (needs charge or White (level/s low). I did look after the levels of the redundant one, even though it was a nuisance removing the battery each time, and sadly this ulltimately didn't stop the demise.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Petemate said:
EH52ARH said:
OC, most batteries, now are I believe Gel cell. For most folk, fit and forget, but wet cells have to be monitored for acid levels, my fault totally.

Good point. My nice (Halfords lol) new one is wet cell. Happily, aike my old one, it has the indicator which also includes B facility for letting one know if the level(s) become low. There is sufficient room above the battery for me to get my small inspection mirror in there to check for Green (all OK) Black (needs charge or White (level/s low). I did look after the levels of the redundant one, even though it was a nuisance removing the battery each time, and sadly this ulltimately didn't stop the demise.

Unlike my cars' which get a looking over and checks each week, (not just battery) the caravan battery (wet cell) is very tight in its battery box with its cables somewhat squeezed especially with mover cables in there too. It's not that easy to inspect and it would be nice if the makers could give just a bit more space. so unfortunately it only gets checked about every couple off months or before long holiday. But I do ensure that it is kept charged by periodically hooking it up.
 

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