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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:21 pm 
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Elddis Odyssey 524 2002 caravan new to us summer this year, new 75 Ah battery fitted, old caravan given back the old 88 Ah battery and I put it on charge using a 3.8A stage charger, it took nearly 3 days to reach the 80% charged stage and never did report fully charged.

On returning home first holiday in the summer after using motor mover to get caravan into drive I plugged in caravan so it would recharge battery.

However when we came to get caravan out, the battery was fully discharged, so the old 88 Ah was fitted, it got caravan out of drive, then at camp site is positioned the caravan and on leaving site also worked to move caravan small distance, the volt meter while on site was showing 13.5 volt, so I had assumed my father-in-law must have unplugged the caravan at some point for other battery to become discharged.

However when we came to get it back in the drive, the motor mover failed, volts showed 10.8 so got the 75 Ah battery to get the caravan back in drive, so removed both batteries and took them home to charge. Now comes the odd bit, within 2 hours the 88 Ah battery was reporting 80% charged, so after around 4 hours put the 75 Ah battery to charge, well not flat so around 2 hours that also showed 80% charged and after another 5 hours showed fully charged nothing odd about 75 Ah battery, but if discharged the 88 Ah battery should have taken a few days to charge, it did last time, 88/3.8 = 23 hours so should have taken at least that long.

So put the 88 Ah battery back on charge, within minutes it had again dropped into the 80% to 100% stage of the charging, so 0.8 amp charge rate charger using 14 watt of power. Some thing wrong, but what?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:03 am 
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Apart from finding it very difficult to decipher your description.....

sounds like the 88Ahr battery has a dud cell and the 'new' 75Ahr battery either needs a few hard cycles or is also dodgy - quite common these days, even from new.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:44 am 
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May be your right, the 88 Ah is acting odd, yesterday charging at fixed current of 0.8 amp showed 14.3 volt at 14.4 charger drops into final stage at 0.1 amp charge, over night and voltage has dropped to 14.1 volt! using an energy monitor which logs what is used, so know it has not dropped into final stage charger has used 15W from 11:19 yesterday to 10:19 today without any change.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:47 am 
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It can only be the charger, the battery, the wiring, or the mover unit.
Assuming the charger is OK, then that leaves the other three.
Do you know what the unit is pulling under load?
We don't know how much use you're giving it before it's flattened the battery.
But unless it's an awful lot of "moving" you're doing, then it sounds like the battery.
There's talk online of these movers pulling 80 amps to "get things moving"
Dropping once the caravan is moving.
Even if the current drain was 120 amps, it should work for more than a few minutes with a full battery surely?
Have you talked to the mover unit manufacturer?



For this message the author Dave54 has received gratitude : ericmark
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:33 am 
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I think likely two unrelated faults.
1) The 88 Ah battery.
2) A father-in-law.
I suspect my father-in-law unplugged the caravan to mow his lawn and forgot to plug it back in, all isolators were left switched on so charger could recharge the battery, so with caravan unplugged it drained the battery, looking at the recharge time it looks as if the 75 Ah battery was completely drained.

When the 88 Ah battery failed however the time taken to recharge was too short to be simply discharged, I think battery is faulty, however if it has enough power to get caravan off the road should we return with a discharged battery then really that is good enough.

So the question is should I leave the 88 Ah battery on charge with a voltage of between 14.1 and 14.3 or should I allow it to stand, or should I use a 0.5A battery charger just to keep it charged?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:42 pm 
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If it is a 'maintenance' charger (i.e. intelligent) then leave the battery on charge however all batteries like to be cycled so actually USING it would be a good idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:03 pm 
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kellys_eye wrote:
If it is a 'maintenance' charger (i.e. intelligent) then leave the battery on charge however all batteries like to be cycled so actually USING it would be a good idea.

I agree. Just reading Eric's post. I was going to suggest that the battery was put on a load of some sort occasionally to run it down to 50% capacity or similar. I know leisure batteries are supposedly more forgiving than car batteries, but lead acid batteries don't like sitting there.
Be interesting to see how long the battery would give on a known load to drop it to 50%


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:22 am 
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I am sure I have seen a hydrometer some where, I will have to hunt it out, but still not to level indicator and added nearly a pint of water, plus not even some cells needed more than others so would seem battery is well past its best. But will do as a stand by should the new 75Ah one become discharged again.

The 88 Ah is not a leisure battery so should not really deep cycle it.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:54 am 
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ericmark wrote:
..... added nearly a pint of water,....

tell me you didn't use 'tap water'.......

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:40 pm 
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Water was rain water out of plastic drum, but no way am I buying water to top up what is likely a duff battery in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:13 pm 
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Rainwater is supposedly better than tap water.
I usually use the ice that forms in the freezer.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:22 pm 
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ericmark wrote:
Water was rain water out of plastic drum, but no way am I buying water to top up what is likely a duff battery in the first place.

In a 'suspect/duff' battery using distilled water is not going to break the bank nor would you notice much difference. But in a new battery it would be wise to keep it topped up with the proper de-ionised stuff which is infinitely purer. The impurities in rainwater/tap water or even distilled water are greater than in de-ionised water and impurities spoil the chemical process in a battery resulting in poor performance and a shorter operating life.

Even in 'dud' batteries you could re-use the old acid before disposing of it - providing you haven't already ruined it by using tap water.....

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:48 pm 
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I remember well having a de-ionising unit arrive on the Falklands, it had a supply and you ran ordinary tap water through it and it had little lights to tell you if the stuff inside was still working.

Within 6 months we were getting loads of failed batteries, so I built a still, it was quite simple a boiler with a pipe connected to lid, with a length of polythene pipe wound around some steel to ensure it had a fall all the way into a carboy once the steam was condensed of course nothing metal. I used 110 volt instead of 240 volt so it would take a couple of days to make a couple of gallons, but once we used proper distilled water not deionised the battery problem slowly went, and batteries started to last as they should.

I would say the so called deionised water was really just filtered, and this is a problem when buying water, you have no idea what you are buying most of the time.

There was an auto electrician in Wrexham who had some one out to test the tap water, the tests showed in that area the tap water was fine for topping up batteries, so the boss saw this as a way to make money, the Milk people bought distilled water from him, so he started refilling the carboy from the tap, however a milk float battery will last around 7 years, and their batteries were failing after 2 years so since they were so expensive Exide was brought in to test everything and find why they were failing.

It seems although on the day tested the tap water was OK, Wrexham county gets it's water from the Liverpool supply and they switch where it comes from, so the quality varies day to day, and he had used a batch with extra chlorine in it, the court case bankrupted the auto electrician.

However had the water not been sold to a Milk float firm he would have likely got away with it. In high lime areas clearly no way can you use tap water, you only have to look inside the kettle to see what the water is like, and where there is peat in the water, aluminium is used to remove the peat, it's not the peat which is a problem, it is the chemicals used to remove peat.

But as far as deionised water v distilled for a battery distilled every time, don't trust deionised.


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