Motorhome – Leisure Battery

Bought a Motorhome a couple of years ago, an Autosleeper based on a Peugeot 230L van and really love it. However, it being a RETRO one, i.e. 20 years old, there are some interesting challenges! During my rather short motorhoming experiance I have gone through the following:

  • 2 X wheel bearings (One involving flames and melting!)
  • Failed main battery
  • Broken external light
  • Water in the fuel filter
  • Broken curtain rails, sticking locks, squeaky hinges, cracked plastics (the usual for an older van)
  • Broken electric hookup
  • Dodgy tyre pressures

Apart from that, it has been plain sailing… Well, to be honest it sounds bad, but most of this is just what you should expect for a 20-year-old van. All good fun through really, and it has forced us to drive a bit slower on the motorway, making trips that much more relaxing. If you drive at 60 mph, it is amazing how much more relaxed everything is!

Just recently, I got hold of a video projector and bought a screen. I Set up a mini cinema inside the van and that worked really well. All cosy and nice. We were not on hookup, so using the leisure battery, hooked up to a laptop power-supply that can take a 12v power input. Everything worked a treat for about half the film, but the power rating printed on the projector was a little optimistic! It was drawing much more current that the 2A printed as the cable from the socket into the power block was getting hot and the adaptor itself started to buzz… Hmmm, not happy with that, so the film ended early, and I let it all cool down. So, what had that done to the battery?

Sadly, things were not great on that score. The Ziq battery indicator was way into the red. With everything disconnected and switched off, the battery state did recover enough for lights later on but they were certainly dimmer, 12v halogen are hungry.

I dont know how old the battery is, a Platinum Leisure 685L 72AH unit, but likely 5 years. It was about time for it to be replaced anyway. Time to dig it out of the van and order a replacement. It is under the driver’s seat and not that difficult to remove.

Urgh, looks a bit nasty in there.

Dont like the look of the nagative terminal:

Bodged with electrical tape? Come on!

Got to replace that as I dont like the look of it at all. Cleaning up the tag and sorting the tape:

Amazing what a bit of heat shrink can do… Now to blast it with heat!

Ordered a new battery… With the ‘correct’ part number:

Nice new 70AH battery

Ah! Well that doesnt fit! Well it ‘fits’ but there are no side lugs on the battery, only on the front and back! So much for the model number… Right, I have an idea. Going to remove the rust and prime/spray the metal brackets. Then grab some large Velcro straps that I had from a recent mattress delivery (the stars have aligned!)

Well that could work! Lets offer up the battery and give it a try:

New battery strap in place!

Happy with the outcome but the battery terminals are much higher than before. Previosly there was a flap that sites over them when connected, a nice feature. These are higher and exposed. Well it is ‘ok’ but I am not happy with having exposed terminals like this. Quick search on eBay found some battery tag covers, making sure they were the correct +/- Left/Right handed 90′ type:

All done!

There! Nice and neat. Battery is secure without being pinched. Terminals look much nicer and the tags are cleaned up. Also tided up the tray that holds the battery by rubbing it down and spraying over the small rust spots.

Ready for action… Ready for the next motorhome/van challenge!

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