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leisure battery



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 27th 03, 04:07 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
ken
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Posts: 136
Default leisure battery

Hi, Just returned from a xmas rally which was great but the leisure battery
lasted only 3 days wild camping. Is this okay or should it have lasted
longer? Also there was no way to switch over to use the engine battery. I
thought most motorhomes had this. The vehicle is a Benimar Europe and we
have only had it a few weeks.

Ken


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 27th 03, 04:56 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
3A Web Hosting
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Posts: 6
Default leisure battery

Hi Ken

Hi, Just returned from a xmas rally which was great but the leisure battery
lasted only 3 days wild camping. Is this okay or should it have lasted


That's a bit like saying 'how long is a bit of string'. It depends on
what Ah rating the battery is, what you had running off it and for how
long. Without knowing these variables it's impossible to say. If, for
example, you were running one 20W light for 3 hours for 3 nights then
the battery should last much longer. If you were running a TV plus 3
lights plus water pump plus radio and assorted other 12V devices then it
would be lucky to last 3 nights

longer? Also there was no way to switch over to use the engine battery. I
thought most motorhomes had this. The vehicle is a Benimar Europe and we
have only had it a few weeks.


Mine doesn't allow me to switch over. If it did I would disable it.
Imagine what would have happened if, when the leisure battery had run
down, you had switched over and carried on regardless. What happens when
you come to start the engine? That's the whole point of having a leisure
battery - you still have a battery to start the engine when you need to
move on.

--
Colin

3A Web Hosting Team
http://www.3awebhosting.co.uk
  #3 (permalink)  
Old December 27th 03, 06:41 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
ken
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Posts: 136
Default leisure battery

Thanks for the reply 3A. The leisure battery is a 90ah. We ran it mainly at
night using all lights (about 11 halogen), water pump and fan on the space
heater. Water heater was gas. I suppose going on your reply then, it lasted
okay?

Ken


  #4 (permalink)  
Old December 27th 03, 06:49 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Bob Douglas
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Posts: 275
Default leisure battery

"ken" wrote in message
...
Hi, Just returned from a xmas rally which was great but the leisure

battery
lasted only 3 days wild camping. Is this okay or should it have lasted
longer? Also there was no way to switch over to use the engine battery. I
thought most motorhomes had this. The vehicle is a Benimar Europe and we
have only had it a few weeks.

Ken


Ken,

there is no way to switch to the vehicle battery on the Europe, though the
battery charger does charge both the 'leisure' and the vehicle battery when
on mains.

I ordered my Europe with the second domestic battery, and in fact both
'leisure' batteries vehicle batteries (no great issue in my opinion, but
varying views on whether these are better or worse than true leisure
batteries - they are generally cheaper to replace!).

The big thing to be careful of on Benimars is which sets of lighting you
use. The flourescents are both low wattage, and we use these almost
exclusively if not on hook-up. The halogen lights, however, are 10 watts
each, and its easy with the set up installed (with three or four lights per
switch) to draw a significant number of amps (for a good few hours at this
time of year!).

The Benimar charger also puts a significant voltage into the 'leisure'
battery at initial charge, and this can mean its sensible to ensure it's
regularly topped up with distilled water. Removing the seat to do so,
however, is not the easiest of jobs!.

Bob

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old December 27th 03, 07:12 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
3A Web Hosting
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Posts: 6
Default leisure battery

Hi Ken

Thanks for the reply 3A. The leisure battery is a 90ah. We ran it mainly at
night using all lights (about 11 halogen), water pump and fan on the space
heater. Water heater was gas. I suppose going on your reply then, it lasted
okay?


I would assume that the water pump is only being used very
intermittently so I'll disregard that. I've no idea on the rating of the
heater fan either so I'll just go by the lights. Assuming the lights are
all 10W, that's a total drain of (at 13v) 8.46Amp ([11 lights*10W]/13V).
If a battery could supply it's rated current for the full term (which it
can't) then it would totally flatten the battery in just over 10 hours
[8.46A * 10hours = 84.6Ah]. The battery would have given up well before
that though.

--
Colin

3A Web Hosting Team
http://www.3awebhosting.co.uk
  #6 (permalink)  
Old December 28th 03, 07:14 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Knut Grøneng
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Posts: 20
Default leisure battery


The Benimar charger also puts a significant voltage into the 'leisure'
battery at initial charge, and this can mean its sensible to ensure it's
regularly topped up with distilled water. Removing the seat to do so,
however, is not the easiest of jobs!.

Here we also have the reason for using ordinary car battery, as the leisuse
ones are optimized for a low charging and can be destroyed with a high Amp
rate.

The plus side of the leisure batteries are that you may drain them much
longer than the car batteries.

On many European motorhomes the charging from mains are just as much as
leisur can handle,
but the charging when you are driving can blow a drained leisure battery.

Knut


  #7 (permalink)  
Old December 28th 03, 10:37 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Bob Douglas
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Posts: 275
Default leisure battery

"ken" wrote in message
...
Thanks for the reply 3A. The leisure battery is a 90ah. We ran it mainly

at
night using all lights (about 11 halogen), water pump and fan on the space
heater. Water heater was gas. I suppose going on your reply then, it

lasted
okay?

Ken


Ken,

as per my previous, you seem to have confirmed the issue is the use of the
halogen lights. (since they are 10 watt bulbs).

If you used the lights for any length of time,then you've done Ok from your
battery.

Use of the other two 'flourescents' instead (they're actually energy saving
bulbs) will allow your battery to last much longer. I think they're either 7
or 11 watts each - I'll have to check.

The level of lighting using these is sustainable (but not as warm or
attractive for a long evening in!).

The solar panel also does a decent catch-up job during the day if you give
it a chance (but not under prevailing weather conditions!)

Bob
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old December 28th 03, 12:12 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
ken
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 136
Default leisure battery

Many thanks for your replies again. As regards the solar panel, it is really
cold here to-day but very sunny. Would these conditions still charge the
battery? Also what can I expect from the solar panel in general? The
handbook doesn't explain it too much.

Ken


  #9 (permalink)  
Old December 28th 03, 02:53 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
3A Web Hosting
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Posts: 6
Default leisure battery

Hi Ken

Many thanks for your replies again. As regards the solar panel, it is really
cold here to-day but very sunny. Would these conditions still charge the


It will but at a very much reduced level.

battery? Also what can I expect from the solar panel in general? The
handbook doesn't explain it too much.


Any idea what the wattage of the panel is? Unless it's a very large
panel and moved so that it's surface is at 90 degrees to the suns rays a
solar panel should only really be thought of as a basic trickle charger
for keeping the battery toped up when the 'van isn't being used.

--
Colin

3A Web Hosting Team
http://www.3awebhosting.co.uk
  #10 (permalink)  
Old December 28th 03, 08:32 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Bob Douglas
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 275
Default leisure battery

"ken" wrote in message
...
Many thanks for your replies again. As regards the solar panel, it is

really
cold here to-day but very sunny. Would these conditions still charge the
battery? Also what can I expect from the solar panel in general? The
handbook doesn't explain it too much.

Ken


Ken,

the solar on the Europe is around 50W rating, but this is generally subject
to loss, even in best conditions, before hitting the batteries. So the
theoretical 4 amp or so charging capability is in reality something below
this.

The electrical control panel over the door gives a reading at any point of
the current being passed to the batteries. If it is charging, the display
will usually click on with a decimal n.nn reading displayed. If it is not
charging, no display.

Maximum I've seen in good conditions in summer is around 3 amps.(which with
some hours of sunshine can keep batteries fully topped up for extended
summer stays).

In winter sun, it can still provide a decent charge, but the issue is
generally getting the angle right (since it is permanently fixed to the
roof, and the sun is usually too low to give much effect).

Bob
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