battery

Hello people
We only use our caravan two/three times a year and in between trips battery goes flat, is this ok or should i be doing some thing else??
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Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 08:14

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 08:14
Kaid,

you should have all the load disconnected from the Battery and it hooked up to a multi stage AC charger during the storage period. This will maintain your battery. Allowing it to drain flat several times may well have caused long term damage to the battery.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - shane c5 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:00

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:00
My Kombi sits in the shed for most of the year. All I do is disconnect the battery and leave it sit. So far haven't ever had to charge it. Just reconnect and start her up. There is always a battery drain somewhere if the terminals are connected to the car. When touring at work I can be gone for 35 days. I use the isolate connection in my 4by to isolate the battery so I don't have a drama when I am tired and ready to go have a drink at the end of the tour. Again no problems.
shane
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Reply By: Racey - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:43

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:43
Kaid, assuming your van already has a charger, just plug in the power and it should take care of itself. I don't bother disconnecting anything and the last batteries were replaced after 7 years.

Cheers
Racey
AnswerID: 475182

Reply By: Hilux fan - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:24

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:24
Keeping it plugged in to a charger will use quite a bit of power. Even if the battery isn't drawing much charge, the transformer in the charger still sucks power and just chuffs it out as heat. If you have the van in a suitable location, get a small solar panel charger and connect it to the battery. I do the same with my old Hilux which has been retired to farm ute status and sometimes doesn't get used for a few weeks. I also do the same for some small batteries used for camping lights and spotlights. Sunlight power is free after all.
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Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 16:41

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 16:41
I have just put a meter on my van whilst it is in storage and the calculations were,
The charger uses 182.5 Kw per year to maintain the battery which at 30 cents per kw hour works out to be $54.75 or roughly $1.00 per week to keep the battery on float and to my mind that is not much to always have a battery at float whilst the van is in storage.
What do others think.


I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 16:51

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 16:51
A 10w panel can do pretty well for the trickle, particularly if you aren't close to a charge point. I saw a Ditchwitch last week that had a panel on the roof expressly for that issue.Kimberley Karavans have one on the multibox on the front to keep the batteries refreshed and have done for a few years.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 23:17

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 23:17
I must be tight or in a different economic subgroup... but $54 to keep a battery charged.... wow! I reckon that's way too much.
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Follow Up By: Member - shane c5 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 23:27

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 23:27
It is free to disconnect the negative terminal!
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 07:18

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 07:18
Of course it is free guys, but if the battery is tucked away somewhere and you have to disconnect it is easy to keep it powered.

We have a low usage tractor here with a switch in the line. It is used every summer. Yes, the battery is hidden away under the a/c condensor. One turn of the switch and it's away. It beats telling employees to ferret away inside and reconnect or disconnect.

Sounds like Shane and Royce have never had to employ people. We can drive past and see if the switch is on or off or it may need a new battery. Employers minds have to cover for employees often.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 07:29

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 07:29
So John... You also wouldn't pay $54 per annum to keep a battery charged. You instead sensibly have an isolation switch.
I'm not sure what that has to do with my employees and whether I have ever had them or not, or whether my mind is exercised by covering for them. Hmmm
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 08:59

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 08:59
I plead guilty to keeping the KK battery charged and I know not, what it cost Royce. LOL I had two 80 watt solar panels set to do the job there if the charger wasn't plugged in, I always knew the fridge was going then. I plead guilty too as there are more solar panels and a battery charger for the Bushtracker, and I don't know what the cost as the power is a backup.

The point about the employees was that you could never be sure they had done the connect or disconnect, and as an employer, you don't have the time often, to do it yourself as the battery is often buried somewhere difficult to get at. Hence the good use you can make of a permanent solar panel. Good to have a guarantee your battery starts your plant especially for remote starts like a generator.
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Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 09:07

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 09:07
You missed my point...
The $54 per year would be if the van was allways in storage so deduct the actual days or weeks off the $54 that you use the van as it is designed.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:09

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:09
Okay... I'm confused.... but that's normal.

I'd have a solar panel keeping the battery charged up.

I'd also have an isolator switch, to make sure no unknown drain was on the battery.

I'd have my vassels and henchmen check regularly to make sure all is as it should be... and then check up on them to make sure they have done their job.

I'd buy a cheap $54 battery as a backup for when the first one was found to be flat.

If my plant was not used for most of the year I'd consider using a contractor instead of owning it.

And I'm just having a bit of fun, so don't take the bait.

I'd never bother with owning a caravan!

Cheers Royce
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 15:00

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 15:00
Not taking bait Royce, just that our contractors don't like hiring out a tractor to have effluent sprayed out over it for three months a year. We do as a principle of management use them and pay many tens of thousands to a three of four contractors annually, for silage, hay, spraying, fertilizer spreading and pond clearing the most recent.

The said battery isolated tractor has a WDV of less than $1000, but the value it still gives us as an irrigation anchor is great. The PTO and linkage still work, as does the power steering and the clutch operating all gears.

Like your source of $54 batteries suitable for tractors please ;-)) Yeh, I know it was a camper

Royce, are you still working as a science educator?
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 18:33

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 18:33
Something is still active and draining your battery. This should not happen.

My camper has an isolation switch for the fridge and another for the 12 volt accessories such as water pump, lights, etc. and therefore nothing is draining the batteries whilst in storage. As my camper batteries are of the AGM style, they maintain their charge over long periods.

Perhaps every couple of months or so I connect a small CTEK (7 amp) smart charger to apply a maintenance charge to the battery bank. If I happen to neglect this from time to time there is no great problem as AGM batteries do not self discharge very much at all. I simply do it to maintain the batteries for a prolonged service life.

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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