Zig, Split Charge, Leisure, Understanding it all

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by PaddyD, May 18, 2015.

  1. Ok, I have a Zig CF9 unit. I have a Durite split charge system. I have a 240v hook up. A leisure battery. A starter battery.

    In any of this is there a way to charge the starter battery when hooked up on a campsite with 240v? I get that the Durite system will charge the starter, then leisure when driving from the alternator, but I'm concerned in case I get a flat battery somewhere on our trip.

    The Zig control panel has switches from 'caravan battery' to 'car battery', mains On/Off and Touring On/Off.

    Where does a Ctek charger come into all of this?

    Much obliged.
  2. There's probably something in the Zig unit that'll do this for you, but I use a CTEK charger to do it.

    I plug a CTEK charger into one of the 240v sockets, and attach that to the leisure battery.

    Then when the 240v is turned on, it charges the leisure battery :)
    PaddyD likes this.
  3. Why didn't I think of that? Can I do that with the starter?
  4. I can't see why not.

    CTEK might do a splitter, or you might need two CTEKS, or you might just need to swap the leads over depending what you want to charge.

    I bought a CTEK MXS 5.0, but apparently the MXS 7.0 is the dogs danglies.
    PaddyD likes this.
  5. The unit's normally have a charging button ,mine does even though its only a trickle charge so I have a CTEK charger as well that I use for both the leisure battery and starter ,you get a lead you can permamently attach as well to one of the batteries as well as a crocodile clip one, both you just click the charger lead into, I daisy chain another hook up lead from the inside of the van out one of the windows and into the engine bay and shut the lid :thumbsup:
    You can just unplug the lead to stop charging from inside overnight if your worried :thumbsup:
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  6. I'm not too worried about the leisure battery charging as apparently that's what the Zig should be doing when hooked up and also we'll be driving often.
    Just concerned about a flat starter in the the Moroccan desert, so the Ctek is the one to get and if hooked up, I can just plug it in and connect to the starter to top it up or condition the battery. Sounds simple?
  7. Yeh, that'll do the job.

    Although where are you going to find a mains socket in the Moroccan desert? ;)
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  8. I would get the better one as I nearly fully drained my starter battery due to the stereo and the 5.0 version would not get any charge in as it was too drained :thumbsup:
    theBusmonkey and PaddyD like this.
  9. :D I'll plug in before I set off!
  10. Well that's what got me worried. Just had a radio installed and after a few hours starter battery has died, so the Ctek 7. Ouch, pricey! Maybe I need solar panels too.
  11. Yeah I now carry a halfords battery charger as well ,was really cheap and can wire up the same :)
    PaddyD likes this.
  12. You can probably do a quick bit of re-wiring to get the stereo to run off of the leisure battery.
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  13. @PaddyD , wire all your accessories onto a fuse board that is driven from the leisure battery. That way the only drain on the starter comes from....starting!
    Lighting, radio, heating, fridge, accessories..everything from the leisure. You'll have no issues then:thumbsup:
    PaddyD likes this.

  14. Lots of sunshine in the Moroccan desert - why not have a solar panel trickle charger - I have one on the dash charging through the cig socket.
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  15. Oh and @Lord Congi is right, the 5 will struggle if you have heavy loads on the batteries. I have the 10 amp Ctek and it comes with a modular set of leads that can be clipped across to the starter to keep it nice and floaty when you're hooked up. Works well....
    PaddyD likes this.
  16. Right
    - Wire radio into leisure battery instead
    - Ctek 7 just in case

    Thank you all. @theBusmonkey your bus has ruined me.
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  17. Me too! You guys will have a blast. Keep the pics coming in a steady stream and keep safe.
    PaddyD likes this.
  18. remind me @theBusmonkey do you have a solar panel and if so which one? I've got my Durite VSR in now and running cables, so just thinking ahead.
  19. We do Pickles. I got them from the US, but they are a bit more available over here now. They were bankrupt stock so it's not really relevant as I don't think they are available any more I'm afraid.

    The spec. is what was important to me. There are two panels, each capable of outputting 90w theoretical. Connection was made in parallel thus doubling the output in watts but keeping the voltage at 20 or whatever they were rated at. Therefore the 180w rated max is good for, in reality, around 10 amps per hour for as many hours of direct sun you can get. Let's say 10am to 6pm peak at 10 amps is around 70 to 80 amps per day. Sounds like a lot but the fridge runs 24 hours at an average of 2+ so thats 50 odd. Plus lights, pump,tunes etc & it all adds up when not travelling. We modified our camping when stopping over on free/wild sites for longer than 4 days as you soon get into a negative pickle if you don't match supply to demand.

    So, cables were the standard 4mm solar stuff as the runs were no longer than 2m from the roof to the controller to the battery. MC4 connectors work a treat and ours are tucked under the rear of the pop roof. I drilled through the steel roof, grommeted, and ran the two cables down inside the bus to the charge controller which sits on the back of the rear upright cupboards on our LHD Westy-a-like.

    This was taken on a not so sunny day in the Italian mountain town of L'Aquila. If you look closely on the 2nd shot you can see the fixings for the MC4 connectors in the centre of the back edge of the pop top along from the "80 km" sticker. The third shows the position of the charge controller, as close to the panels and battery as practical with the two feeds coming into the roof. Hope that helps a bit...
    amy l'aquila.jpg fixing.jpg roof controller.jpg
  20. I'll certainly try!
    Well I've just gone out to the van and guess what? Lights are back to full brightness and radio turned on. I switched the Zig to 'on site' this morning (I have a hookup on my drive) and it seems that has charged the battery. Who knew? I'll still have the radio moved to the leisure.
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