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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 2 days ago #465334

  • Tabiti04
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Hello Everyone

I have just purchased a Swift Archway Denford 2 berth caravan ... lovely. Lots of adventures planned.

I don't know anything about charging a caravan whilst it's sitting on my drive. Can anyone advise, please? I plan to use sites that have electric hook ups but would also like to keep the battery in good condition.

Thanks so much!
Hazel.
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 2 days ago #465335

  • Thingy
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There are a number of things here, but really two ways of charging the battery. You can either buy an adapter that converts your electric hookup cable to a three pin plug, available just about anywhere that does caravan stuff or see here
www.amazon.co.uk/Sunnflair-Continental-H...daptor/dp/B002ATLK4Y
or you can remove the battery and use a battery charger.

If the caravan already has a battery, check the obvious, it should be Leisure battery, and if it has been allowed to go flat, and been that way for some time, I would really think about replacing it. Similarly, if unsure of the battery and/or you plan to use a motor mover, invest in a new one.

The caravan has a built in charger that will charge the battery whilst connected to site mains, or the domestic supply, but you really do need to be aware of the dangers of not taking good care of a leaisure battery. Following from a recent conversation on here, if the battery, which given the caravans age I assume is, a wet/flooded Lead acid battery, read up (google) on the information in respect of venting the battery. This may already have been done, but check anyway.
Shogun 3.2 SG3 (197) tugging Stirling Continental 530
(Im a caravanner - if it aint broke -it will be tomorrow.)
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465337

  • otherclive
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You need to know what type of battery charger is fitted to your caravan. If you post details or a picture then we can tell you. What caravan is it? Later models (2010 onwards) of some makes had three stage chargers which are more suitable to giving battery a good charge. Others had two stage chargers. I just connect mine up to the house mains via an external 240v socket and an adaptor cable. I leave it on for no longer than 24 hours. When in store I remove the battery and use CTEK charger which can be left on continuously without damage to the battery.

When everything is shut off check that your radio isn't still on. Quite a number of people have commented that even when they think everything is off the radio sat in its cupboard is still on standby.
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465339

  • CustardAvenger
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I have 2 EHU cables - The one that came with the caravan is used when touring as it is lighter. It's wiped and re-packed into it's bag after a trip. I then have a another generic 25m EHU cable (purchased from a local accessory shop) which is heavier gauge and is connected to a 3-pin adapter (see Thingy's post) in my garage. The cable is routed out from under the garage door, and round to the caravan on the drive. I have also purchased an RCD as extra protection, should the exposed cable be cut accidentally.

With 2 cables I can keep the battery topped up and then pre-chill the fridge before a trip, then sling the cable into the garage before we leave without having to re-pack.
Paul
Volvo XC60 D4 AWD & Swift Sprite Major 4SB
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465340

  • Thingy
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What I have at home.

Initially, I had a spur fitted with its own RCD and a caravan site bollard type socket. It wasnt really successful, so I had the sparky fit a mini consumer unit by the meter, and isolation switch, and replaced the exterior socket with a weathermaster IP 65 rated twin socket, and with a similar second cable, replaced the end with a three pin plug. Now I have the best of both worlds. A twin exterior socket for power tools and of course the hookup just plugs straight in. Whole lot cost less than £100 inc labour.
Shogun 3.2 SG3 (197) tugging Stirling Continental 530
(Im a caravanner - if it aint broke -it will be tomorrow.)
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465342

  • Dodger524
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Tabiti04 wrote:
Hello Everyone

I have just purchased a Swift Archway Denford 2 berth caravan ... lovely. Lots of adventures planned.

I don't know anything about charging a caravan whilst it's sitting on my drive. Can anyone advise, please? I plan to use sites that have electric hook ups but would also like to keep the battery in good condition.

Thanks so much!
Hazel.

Sounds like you have brought yourself a lovely van, and welcome to this forum.

Since you plan to only use your caravan on electric hook ups, the condition of your battery is not too important simple because you will not be using it, but rather always drawing power from the site supply.

With regard to your existing battery, a dealer or battery shop should be able to test it and give you an idea of it's condition.

If you need to replace it then the smallest and cheapest leisure battery will suffice, because it won't be doing very much. If it's in reasonable condition then it should hold its charge for a month or so of non-use. Any longer than that and it will need to be either removed for charging or connected to the mains in some way as others have described.

Some of us use solar panels to keep our batteries charged, which is worth considering, but you probably have enough to contend with without worrying about that yet.

Enjoy your caravanning.
Regards Dave
Volvo XC70 D5 auto towing a 2012 Lunar Clubman SB wandering.me.uk/
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465353

  • Raywood
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We have kept the caravan in the drive. All you need is a convertor cable that has a three pin plug one end and a caravan plug the other and put the caravan on charge say once a month or if the caravan gives a voltage reading when the voltage starts to drop.
Not sure if you have the older twin plugs or the newer single thirteen pin plug on the caravan as you do not give the age, so check this before buying the cable.
Ray
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465356

  • EH52ARH
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Raywood wrote:
We have kept the caravan in the drive. All you need is a convertor cable that has a three pin plug one end and a caravan plug the other and put the caravan on charge say once a month or if the caravan gives a voltage reading when the voltage starts to drop.
Not sure if you have the older twin plugs or the newer single thirteen pin plug on the caravan as you do not give the age, so check this before buying the cable.

Raywood , not sure where your going with the 12 s or N plugs as the mains will plug into the caravan 230 volt connector , to charge the battery . The Denfords are circa 2000,
Hutch
Sir Were-Rabbit
Sante Fe 2014, tugging a Coachman 560 VIP. 2013.
Rural Milton Keynes
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 1 day ago #465402

  • Tabiti04
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This is great information, thank you for all your replies.

I have a conversion cable (as described) and will plug the caravan in regularly to the mains at home. I hadn't thought of what CustardAvenger suggested and can do the exact same thing with regard to the cable. So, it is OK to keep it plugged in all the time without damaging the battery? I've read that it shouldn't be 'overcharged'.

I believe the battery is in good condition but will also get it checked following this advice. My lovely van also has a motor mower so the battery is important from that viewpoint.

Thanks again.
Last Edit: 1 week 1 day ago by Tabiti04. Reason: Forgot to put the reference in.
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New to forum ... Hello! 1 week 23 hours ago #465409

  • ProfJohnL
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Tabiti04 wrote:
... So, it is OK to keep it plugged in all the time without damaging the battery? I've read that it shouldn't be 'overcharged'.

I believe the battery is in good condition but will also get it checked following this advice. My lovely van also has a motor mower so the battery is important from that viewpoint.

Thanks again.

Hello Tahiti,
Depending on when the caravan was made, the manufacturers fitted different 12V power supplies, and some can damage a battery if left on continuos charge for weeks at a time. Some of the most recent caravans are fitted with three stage chargers/power supplies and these should be fine, but if your not sure, consider getting and using a dedicated multistage charger such as those from Ctek.

Aldi and Lidl sometimes sell multistage chargers which seem to work quite well but they're not as comprehensive as the Ctek models.

One concern with long term storage, is if there is a power cut, do you need to manually reset the charger. Ctek units I have used remember their last settings, so they'll automatically continue charging when power is restored, but all the models I've used from Aldi and Lidl ( and I've used several different versions over the years,) either turn off and required a full manual reset, or the last version of the Aldi model, will restart but at it's motorbike battery setting. If it's only maintaing the battery it will probably be enough, but if it was trying to recharge the battery from flat it would take a long time.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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