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In this section we share and discuss various technical advise that help fellow campers in general or regarding specific questions.

Battery & Charger

replies: 11
views: 465
05 Feb, 2021 @ 07:50:10 am
Elleebee
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Morning all.

I have a Jurgens Palma. For the last couple of years I have disconnected the 105Amp battery from the built-charger and connected it to a smart charger while the van is not in use. Because of covid this has been about 18 months now. I have however still kept the van connected to the 220v supply to run the charger. Yesterday I read on an English site that if the built-in charger runs without the resistance of the battery it will damage the charger.

 

Does anyone know if this information is correct?

 

Please answer in English if you know as my Afrikaans is not good enough to understand technical stuff.

 

Thanks

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05 Feb, 2021 @ 08:54:02 am
Nico
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Morning. I cannot understand the reason for keeping the charger on the 220V supply. You do charge your battery separately by way of a smart charger (good for you!) but why the rest? Unless you wanted to keep your refrigerator and/or lights on? If that is the case I will hazard a guess in saying that, since you do use the charger (for running the said appliances) there should be no harm. 

It may not be a similar situation, but, in my workshop I use a car radio to keep me company. This is connected to a charger to supply the required 12 Volts (considering it is a car radio). When I am not in the garage - sometimes, due to camping holidays for quite some long periods - the charger cannot "dispose" of the charge (due to the radio not being switched on) but still stays connected. This has been my set-up for the last 40 odd years (!!), and the charger (little as it is) has never failed.

 

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05 Feb, 2021 @ 08:57:44 am
Elleebee
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Morning. I cannot understand the reason for keeping the charger on the 220V supply. You do charge your battery separately by way of a smart charger (good for you!) but why the rest? Unless you wanted to keep your refrigerator and/or lights on? If that is the case I will hazard a guess in saying that, since you do use the charger (for running the said appliances) there should be no harm. 

It may not be a similar situation, but, in my workshop I use a car radio to keep me company. This is connected to a charger to supply the required 12 Volts (considering it is a car radio). When I am not in the garage - sometimes, due to camping holidays for quite some long periods - the charger cannot "dispose" of the charge (due to the radio not being switched on) but still stays connected. This has been my set-up for the last 40 odd years (!!), and the charger (little as it is) has never failed.

 

the reason is the 105 battery is too big and heavy for me to get out from under the bunk( I am 68 years old) so the smart charger is plugged into one of the caravan's 220v plugs.

 

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05 Feb, 2021 @ 09:02:23 am
Nico
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I still reckon that the build-in charger will suffer no harm, using my garage charger as above as reference. 

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05 Feb, 2021 @ 09:03:57 am
Elleebee
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I still reckon that the build-in charger will suffer no harm, using my garage charger as above as reference. 

i tend to agree but every comment on the english FB site said the charger would be damaged without the battery resistance.

 

thanks 

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06 Feb, 2021 @ 17:37:30 pm
Danie-SLK
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As Nico indicated the power supply type of charger fitted will not be damaged. Do as you do to ensure the battery stays fully charged. Even the standard charger will not over charge unless faulty. 

One lesson here. Social media causes every other guy to be very clever behind a keyboard. Never a loss for those writing comments  if it turns out bad advice. 

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08 Feb, 2021 @ 12:37:46 pm
mulderpm
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In my opinion it won’t be damaged without a load (the battery in this case). I would however (and this what I have done) run a separate extension lead through the window and leave the caravan off 220v. This way the electronics in the caravan are off and this is safer and gives them a longer life.

Also your caravan charger can only float the battery which is ~80% charged from flat. With a smart charger you can fully charge the battery to 14.2-14.8v. A smart charger will automatically boost charge your battery when it needs it.

Groete,
Paul
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10 May, 2021 @ 14:01:30 pm
mulderpm
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I have just spoken to my old friend Leon Le Grange. He is also an Electronic Engineer and Masters Diploma Technologist, who use to work for Telkom with me. The return of camping after the COVID-19 ban gave him lots of Apollo & Hercules charger repair work. Campers did not keep their caravan batteries maintained and then simply, after 18 months, switched on the mains and the built in charger. Some batteries had failed (short circuit cells) and burnt out the charger in the process. $$$$$

1) Regarding whether you need to disconnect the battery when parked for a long time, YES!!. There are static/parasitic currents that will drain the battery completely within a month, irreversibly damaging it.

2) Regarding keep the battery on float charge (13.9V), YES!!. Fully charging it (~14.4V) once a month is also a good idea.

3) Regarding whether you must disconnect the battery from the Apollo 10/20 or Hercules when you charge it with an external intelligent charger, NO!!. (if you did (1) above then this is irrelevant.) The Field Effect Transistor in the output of the built in charger can take a reverse voltage of ~110V. It turns off when the external volts exceeds 13.9V.

To simplify the external charging, leave the mains connected to the caravan and therefore the Apollo DB board. Then you can plug your charger into a spare 220V socket on the box. On the Apollo remove the charger 4A screw in glass fuse so that the built in Apollo charger is off. If you want to isolate the 12V caravan battery from the caravan you can remove the 20A blade (car) Battery fuse.

I hope this helps you save lots.

 

Groete,
Paul
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10 May, 2021 @ 17:46:00 pm
Swanie
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Baie Leersaam

Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.
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10 May, 2021 @ 18:37:49 pm
mulderpm
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Dankie Swanie.

Sorry, I stated 110V max input voltage (wrong FET), the Vdss (Voltage drain-to-source) Breakdown voltage of the Apollo charger output MOSFET, IRFZ44n is 55 volts. So you can connect up to about 55V to the output of the Apollo 10/20 before there could be any possibility of any damage. Like a switch that is open up to a maximum break down voltage of 55 Volts across it. That is if the gate voltage, Vgs, is kept at zero, which is done by a 6.8V zener diode when the battery voltage is above 13.9V. So, the FET is open (off) above 13.9V (with a voltage divider)..When the battery is being float charged the output FET toggles on/off keeping the battery at 13.9V. The input to the FET is at a constant 13.9V.

Just if you would have liked to know the reasoning behind point three above. :):):)

Groete,
Paul
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09 May, 2022 @ 08:05:30 am
mulderpm
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Net ń bietjie terugvoer oor my ondervinding met CTEK. Ek het ń CTEK MXS 5. Na 10 jaar pak hy toe tot my verbasing op. Hy wys net “error” en laai nie. Ek koop toe ń nuwe een en vat die stukkende een na ODW en hulle stuur hom na CTEK vir reparasie. CTEK stuur vir my ń nuwe een.

Groete,
Paul
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09 May, 2022 @ 09:29:01 am
Hennie Botha
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Net ń bietjie terugvoer oor my ondervinding met CTEK. Ek het ń CTEK MXS 5. Na 10 jaar pak hy toe tot my verbasing op. Hy wys net “error” en laai nie. Ek koop toe ń nuwe een en vat die stukkende een na ODW en hulle stuur hom na CTEK vir reparasie. CTEK stuur vir my ń nuwe een.

Dit is nou 'n gelukkie.

Sê dankie vir wat jy in die lewe het.
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