#1

Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:55 am
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

My Triton sits in a storage area on a farm. there is no power on site and I need to keep the battery topped up as it runs a tracker for insurance purposes. I have two questions that I am looking for answers for and I would be very grateful for anyone's input to help me solve these issues - I have googled them and got many suggestions...

1. What voltage is it safe to let a leisure battery drop to? Mine is currently sat on 12.47 volts after 90 days storage (I did have to empty the flush tank, which dropped it a bit)

2. Is there any reliable way to charge a leisure battery without mains power and without removing the battery from the caravan (a bit of a pain)? I have had suggestions of solar panel (will it get stolen?). Can I hook up to my car electrics and run that for a while (perhaps will take too long?). A generator would maybe worked (if only I owned one...). I have spare car batteries that are fully charged - hooking them up in parallel might work? Or via a short lead into the 13 pin connector? I know that 2 batteries connected in parallel will only balance their charges (so no full top up, but would help a very low battery).

Hope you experts out there may have a suggestion or two...

Simon


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#2

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:23 pm
by Steve and Debbie | 1.080 Posts

My thought is that a solar panel to trickle charge in storage may not need the same setup needed for camping. Just a thought and these are cheap.

https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product-gr...r-chargers-2021

Steve


Puck 120 GT - Nissan Pulsar 1.5DCi
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#3

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:25 pm
by cabbie37 | 646 Posts

depending on the actual arrangements of your storage, could you put a solar panel in the front window inside the van? That's an approach a pal of mine takes...


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#4

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:41 pm
by Pepé Le Pew | 2.726 Posts

Quote: Simboc2004 wrote in post #1
My Triton sits in a storage area on a farm. there is no power on site and I need to keep the battery topped up as it runs a tracker for insurance purposes.
Is having the tracker a condition of the insurance or a way of reducing the premium?

If it's the latter, how much extra would it cost not to have the tracker?

Set in the context of these vans being very rarely stolen (mostly because you can't run a shonky tarmac business from one), I reckon I'd be weighing up the minimal risk of it being nicked against the faff - and additional cost - of keeping a battery charged to power your tracker.

.



Last edited Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:44 pm | Scroll up

#5

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:59 pm
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

I didn't put that my Triton is stored under a cover, therefore i can't put the solar panel in the window. I might ask the farmer if I can fix a solar panel to the wall of the barn it's next to - this also, incidentally, shades my van from the sun, which won't help the solar panel.

I like the info that I get from the tracker, so am reluctant to stop using that


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#6

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Fri Dec 09, 2022 11:24 am
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

Well, I have bought the top rated Photonik solar charger from Steve's link above to Auto Express - and it was only £32.99 delivered direct from Photonik, so rather a bargain, I think. I will now come up with a way to attach it to the van - securely!

As it lives under a cover (and so I can't do a roof or window installation), I am thinking about adapting a wheel clamp to fit on the bathroom side of the van, which will put it near-ish to the battery. I will attach that to a pole to get it above roof level because the south is on the opposite side of the van. Yes, i could just store it nose in, however it's next to a big twin axle, so I'd need to get it up into the sun anyway...


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#7

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Fri Dec 09, 2022 1:23 pm
by eribaMotters | 5.352 Posts

Could you rig up a washing line pole onto the jockey wheel to get the height and orientation you need on the panel, and then put the feed to the battery through your 13 or 7 pin car hook up cable?

Colin


Forum Moderator. aka Oscar - Audi A3 1.5 petrol _ ex 430, 552, camplet trailer tent, 310, now a nice white 2017 430.
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#8

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Wed Dec 14, 2022 9:21 pm
by monoboard | 353 Posts

My understanding is 12.6/7 volts is full charge, 12.4 half charged & 12.2 volts flat and and start to sulphate. The more time a battery spends flat th3 you will struggle to have it full of charged and shorten its life. But also you dont want to over charge either.


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#9

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sat Dec 17, 2022 10:38 am
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

Excellent info, thanks Monoboard. My battery is currently at 12.4V (it tells me via the tracker app), so I need to get it charged up soon. I'll probably do an initial 30 mins plugged into the car to see what effect that has. I have now bought a 10amp solar panel, a 5W solar control box (to avoid overcharging - you program it remotely to the level of charge you want to put in) and a wheel clamp for the battery side wheel to weld a vertical pipe on to to get some height on the panel. That should make a reasonably secure installation, I hope...


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#10

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sat Dec 17, 2022 12:18 pm
by Steamdrivenandy | 1.017 Posts

Get another member of the family to be a watchman on the van whilst you take the battery home and charge it. Or vice versa. Use the time to clean/tidy/ polish/fettle/read a book/cook a bacon sarnie/quaff tea or coffee.


I had nothing to do on this hot afternoon
But to settle down and write you a line


Skoda Karoq 1.5 Petrol DSG and a 420. A Bailey Phoenix + 420, with oven, microwave, shower cubicle, solar panel, ATC and external gas point.
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#11

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sun Dec 18, 2022 6:41 pm
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

Now it's warming up a lot I might well do that!


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#12

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Sun Feb 26, 2023 7:56 pm
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

Finally got my homemade solar panel installed and working - hope this will keep my battery topped up during storage.

The mast stands up well and sits nicely above the roof - I have added some ratchet straps to keep it upright at all times.

Have also considered a higher powered portable panel for summer travelling and have built in a system that will allow for that too. I will probably upgrade to an MPPT controller to enable this, as they are much more efficient. I'll also buy an inverter to allow some mains powered "stuff" to run.

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Poppy, our 2005 Eriba 430GT, leading our Volvo V70 astray...


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Last edited Mon Feb 27, 2023 11:07 am | Scroll up

#13

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Mon Feb 27, 2023 11:12 am
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

System working really well so far - I left the 'van (after final commissioning of the solar system) at 4pm yesterday and my tracker app was then reading 12.37V. At 11am this patchy sunny morning it had increased to 12.74V.

An excellent start.


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#14

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Mon Feb 27, 2023 1:56 pm
by Simboc2004 | 683 Posts

And up to 12.95 volts by 2pm


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#15

RE: Charging a battery whilst in storage

in Improving your pride and joy and how to fix things Wed Apr 05, 2023 4:10 pm
by Jason Carter (deleted)
avatar

have you upgraded this since?

Be interested what parts you are going to use next; I have the same worry as you.

Jason


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