Understanding your battery – Phantom Ltd

Understanding your battery

 The leisure battery in your caravan or motor home does the same job as that in your car, but in a slightly different way. Your car battery needs to provide a large burst of power to get the engine started and this is then followed by long periods of charging. A leisure battery spends long periods of time doing nothing providing low levels of current and this is interspersed with periods of activity when you are using your van and require electricity.
Keeping it charged Whereas your car battery is charged by the engine your leisure battery needs a separate charger that is wedded to it. Typically, this will be located near your mains and 12V fuse boxes and should need little care during its lifetime. Although called a charger, the device fitted to most caravans and motor homes is in reality more like a transformer. It converts mains 240V AC to 12V DC and gives out a constant charge of approx. 14V to keep the battery topped up. That works well if your battery is partly discharged and regularly used, but not for a battery that has lost all its charge, or one that is worked hard and drained regularly. If a low-charged or flat battery is given the steady charge from your transformer/charger it will never reach full charge and could be irrevocably damaged. Staged charger Caravan manufacturers will fit as standard the cheapest charger that will do the job. The dealer then fits the battery. But with batteries costing over £100 its worth spending a few pounds more to get a decent charger and help preserve your battery life. The best option is a staged charger. This device senses the state of charge of the battery and supplies the best voltage for its condition. There are many models available from a two-stage charger through to complex multi-stage chargers that use state-of-the-art circuitry to ensure optimum performance of the charger and battery. Phantoms Pro3 Tracking System offers a portal to its customers where you can check your battery power from a smart phone ipad or computer remotely so you can see how ho or low your charge is.