Leisure battery

1LUCIPARR replied on 31/03/2021 13:39

Posted on 31/03/2021 13:39

Hi, we are sort of 'newbies', having just bought our 2nd used caravan, after a 6 year break.

The leisure battery, despite fairly recently being towed, seems dead.  When unplugged from home hook up, lights don't work. Motor mover doesn't work.  

Any tips on how to go about checking it?  Any recommendations/tips on purchasing a new one?

Thanks!

peedee replied on 31/03/2021 13:49

Posted on 31/03/2021 13:49

Check the voltage across the battery terminals. It should be about 12.8 volts after you disconnect the hook up. I would also check the voltage across the same terminals while on hook up. You should see over 14 volts, if not the battery is not being charged which might be your problem.

If you do need a new battery, what kind you go for and sizing will depend on how you intend to use your van. Will you be on EHU all the time or spend a lot of your time off hook up?

peedee

DSB replied on 02/04/2021 20:14

Posted on 02/04/2021 20:14

....just an extra thought: when you purchase a battery, don't forget to check the size of the battery compartment.  From my experience, batteries come in different dimensions and so do battery compartments.  In most cases you will be OK  but its always worth checking.

David

TonyBurton replied on 08/04/2021 20:03

Posted on 08/04/2021 20:03

The lights don't work? Some lights are 12v and run off the battery. Some are 240 v and only run when on EHU. Are you switching on the right lights? If the battery is old and dying the 12 v lights should still work for a while after unplugging the EHU. If they don't I would suspect another fault. Have you checked all the fuses and the master 12v switch? There will be a master switch that disconnects all the 12v supply. It stops the battery from draining when the van is out of use. If you have a modern car it may not charge whilst towing. It would be worth connecting the battery to a battery charger for a few hours.  You can buy a multi meter very cheaply from Ebay to check voltages. I'd check these things before you spend £100 for a new battery. The mover should have an isolating switch near the EHU plug in point. The mover will not work whilst the plug is still in. Some times they are a change over switch that can isolate the internal 12v whilst the mover is working. All the other fuses and isolating switches will be under a bunk or an a wardrobe somewhere. The other thing to check is to see if the battery terminals are clean and tight and making good contact.

EmilysDad replied on 08/04/2021 21:26

Posted on 08/04/2021 20:03 by TonyBurton

The lights don't work? Some lights are 12v and run off the battery. Some are 240 v and only run when on EHU. Are you switching on the right lights? If the battery is old and dying the 12 v lights should still work for a while after unplugging the EHU. If they don't I would suspect another fault. Have you checked all the fuses and the master 12v switch? There will be a master switch that disconnects all the 12v supply. It stops the battery from draining when the van is out of use. If you have a modern car it may not charge whilst towing. It would be worth connecting the battery to a battery charger for a few hours.  You can buy a multi meter very cheaply from Ebay to check voltages. I'd check these things before you spend £100 for a new battery. The mover should have an isolating switch near the EHU plug in point. The mover will not work whilst the plug is still in. Some times they are a change over switch that can isolate the internal 12v whilst the mover is working. All the other fuses and isolating switches will be under a bunk or an a wardrobe somewhere. The other thing to check is to see if the battery terminals are clean and tight and making good contact.

Posted on 08/04/2021 21:26

not all movers have an isolator where you suggest ... some caravans (ie mine) have factory aerial sockets there & a 12 volt socket 😉

ACFlesher replied on 14/04/2021 15:39

Posted on 14/04/2021 15:39

i was interested to see the Club Offer for members of a 10% discount on Lifos Batteries from BBL Batteries - so I had a look at the website.  The smaller battery (120 Ahr) was priced at £699 and the larger at £999.  I have to say that I was shocked at these prices; even with 10% off they are prohibitive in my view.  Such prices for some caravaners would represent a significant part of a caravan purchase price.  Or maybe I'm just a mean (tight) older man. 

LLM replied on 14/04/2021 15:45

Posted on 14/04/2021 15:39 by ACFlesher

i was interested to see the Club Offer for members of a 10% discount on Lifos Batteries from BBL Batteries - so I had a look at the website.  The smaller battery (120 Ahr) was priced at £699 and the larger at £999.  I have to say that I was shocked at these prices; even with 10% off they are prohibitive in my view.  Such prices for some caravaners would represent a significant part of a caravan purchase price.  Or maybe I'm just a mean (tight) older man. 

Posted on 14/04/2021 15:45

Are Lithium batteries suitable for use in a caravan?  I suspect they are not.  

cyberyacht replied on 15/04/2021 14:47

Posted on 15/04/2021 14:47

I've got a 120Ah KS Energy Lithium in my motorhome. The big advantage, certainly for caravaners with minuscule payloads is the weight saving. Mine tips the scales at 14Kg., about half the weight of an equivalent Lead Acid battery. 

Lifos batteries are 68Ah and 105Ah sizes priced at around £700 and £1000 respectively. My 120Ah KS Energy one was £700 so quite a bit cheaper. It has a built in BMS that prevents charging at sub zero temperatures and bluetooth so that you can monitor voltage, current in/out and state of charge.

LLM replied on 15/04/2021 15:14

Posted on 15/04/2021 14:47 by cyberyacht

I've got a 120Ah KS Energy Lithium in my motorhome. The big advantage, certainly for caravaners with minuscule payloads is the weight saving. Mine tips the scales at 14Kg., about half the weight of an equivalent Lead Acid battery. 

Lifos batteries are 68Ah and 105Ah sizes priced at around £700 and £1000 respectively. My 120Ah KS Energy one was £700 so quite a bit cheaper. It has a built in BMS that prevents charging at sub zero temperatures and bluetooth so that you can monitor voltage, current in/out and state of charge.

Posted on 15/04/2021 15:14

Presumable you have the necessary other electronics to enable your alternator to safely charge the Li battery (possibly a B2B) and for your onboard charger and SP to do the same.  

My concern with a caravan would be that the car to van wiring and control systems would not be able to cope.  The alternator could be wrecked and it may require a change of van EHU / charger to suit the Li battery profile plus a suitable SP controller, assuming the van has an SP.  

cyberyacht replied on 17/04/2021 08:51

Posted on 17/04/2021 08:51

No B2B fitted. My Euro 5 engine alternator puts about 22Amps into the battery. On my on-board charger there is a gel setting which is suitable for Lithium but I have switched it off as the solar is sufficient to keep the battery charged. 

Merve Gaskin is the man to ask about caravan specific setups as he has been off main hookup for a few years.