Reply To: Leisure Battery System & General Electrics

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#116373
Darren
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Hi
Hi

Sounds like you’ve done some good research and good a good handle on the situation.

2 leisure batteries sounds like a good idea.
The alternator system is designed to charge the engine battery slowly, and tentatively, in that it will never over-charge it.
This isn’t ideal for charging leisure batteries, but does work, especially if you don’t use the leisure batteries a lot between drives. It works fine for most people.

A battery to battery charger will charge the leisure batteries more quickly. But this is only worth it if you won’t drive the vehicle much between camping usage. If you will drive the vehicle more then 3 hours between camping trips you probably don’t need the battery to battery charger, a split charge relay from the engine battery will probably be fine. If you are fitting a mains charger you can always top-up the batteries when at home/on hookup.

Use 10mm cable between the batteries. Use an inline megafuse between the batteries also.

In answer to your questions

1. Yes. Most are fairly easy to fit. Take your time with it.
2. This is the best one that I know of, much better quality than others: http://www.iem-services.co.uk/showdetails.asp?id=1170
3. A cheap one will be fine.
4. Yes, perfect setup. Connect the 2 leisure batteries together. Then run the fusebox to one of the leisure batteries.
5. The best option is to wire the mains battery charger to one of the leisure batteries. When the charger is on it will provide 14.4 volts to the batteries, and also all of the appliances via the fuse box. This is the best method, and exactly what the engine would be doing if running. 14.4 volts is standard for a charging 12 volt system. No need to switch between anything.
6. Almost none. The engine needs to be revving/driving to charge. 3+ hours is probably enough to mostly charge the batteries.

I have used this setup (3 x leisure batteries) for 4 years now. Even lived in the van for a year.

Hope this helps, ask any more questions you have.