Battery Pack

steamydave's - Task: 2nd Battery
Write up for their project Tin Tent 2Status: 100% Complete

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Task Write-up: 

I wanted a leisure battery, but I already had a Halfords all-in-one battery/air pump/torch/240v unit. So I decided to use that unit as my leisure battery.

The unit can be charged via the mains and a 12v transformer, or trickle-charged by a connecting lead to the van main battery via the cigarette lighter socket. So as I drive along, I can re-charge it, or when I hook up to the mains it gets charged.

I have attached a picture of the wiring for the van. The camper electrics are completely separate from the van (other than the link wire), so are connected via 2 core wiring – it does not use the van body as earth.

Basically the lights and the water pump go through a small fuse box to the battery.

There are several “modes” of use – as follows...

Normal: (non camping) conditions – the switch from the van’s battery is off, any campervan lights etc are directly from the battery pack. (connecting wire unplugged)
Topping-up: To trickle charge the battery pack, main van switch on, connecting wire connected.
Mains connection: Van switch off or connecting cable disconnected – battery pack is re-charged – lights & pump can be used lightly so as not to blow the charging circuit.

The cool box draws a lot of current, so is normally only used when the engine is running. It can be used off the leisure battery, but it wouldn’t last very long. The cool box can be unplugged or switched off in normal conditions.

Because the van battery connection has a switch built into the plug going into the cigarette lighter, it is easy to isolate the cool box from the dash when the engine is not running.

In theory, with the connecting wire connected, the ignition on accessories and the master switch on, the battery pack would trickle charge the main van battery, but would blow fuses if the van battery was flat and the engine was cranked!

The whole lot plugs unto the battery pack, so it can still be removed and used for its other uses asuch as an air compressor etc.

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