The simplest way to charge a leisure battery from mains hook up is by connecting a charger to the battery so it can be powered from the mains. This can either be achieved by just using a battery charger connected into an extension lead from your house or you could also be on a campsite and be connected to the electric hook up, you can then plug your battery charger into the 240v sockets in your van.
Whatever method you choose you will need either a dedicated battery charger or an inverter that also includes a battery charger to perform this function.
How long does it take to charge a leisure battery?
This depends on the size of the battery, how flat it is and the charger you are using, a simple example is a 100AH battery that is nearly flat being charged by a 20A battery charger, this will put 20 amps of charge into the battery per hour so it’s going to take about 5 hours to charge it fully.
How to charge leisure battery from mains hook up
Other ways to charge your leisure battery are by using a DC-DC charger so using the alternator in your van, or via solar.
Can you charge a leisure battery from mains at home?
Yes, if you connect your leisure battery to a battery charger connected to your mains you can use a 240v outlet to charge your battery.
How to charge leisure battery from alternator
To charge your leisure battery from your alternator you first need to know if you have a smart alternator and then you need to purchase a DC-DC charger or a split charge relay.
Battery Charging times
The time to charge your leisure batter will vary depending on how big your leisure batter or leisure batteries are and also the size of your battery charger, a simple calculation is that a 100AH battery being charged by a 10A charger will take 10 hours to charge from flat.
How to check if my leisure battery is charging?
Depending on how your leisure battery is getting charged there are a few ways to check if it’s actually charging. If you are charging the battery from a mains hook up the battery charger will usually have a meter indicating the amount of charge going into the battery in amps. If the battery is charging this needle will be showing how many amps are going in there may also be a charging light. On my battery charger the light is orange whilst charging and green when fully charged.
What is a leisure battery?
A leisure battery is a second battery that is in a campervan, motorhome or caravan that is used to power 12V and with the use of an inverter 240v appliances. The main purpose of a leisure battery is to not drain the vehicles battery by powering things like lights and a fridge in your campervan.
Whilst you could connect all your 12v appliances to your main vehicle battery, if you drain that battery you will not be able to start your vehicle!
So, by using a leisure battery you can power all the devices you need from a separate power source, you then charge your leisure battery either from the alternator, solar panels or a battery charger connected to the mains, or a mix of all three!
It all depends how long you are going off grid for, some people just charge their leisure battery from the mains before they go away for a few days, whilst others use Solar Panels to keep their leisure batteries topped up.
How long does it take to charge a 100AH battery from the mains?
A 100AH battery being charged from a 10A charger will take 10 hours to fully charge, if you are using a 20A charger it will only take 5 hours.
Will a 100W Solar Panel charge a leisure battery?
A 100W solar panel will typically produce from 3-5 amps in bright sunshine, so if you want to charge a 100AH battery from solar it is going to take at least 24 hours to fully charge. So, you can increase the amount of Solar Panels so if you had 200W of solar panels it would only take about 12 hours to fully charge in bright sunlight. Needless to say that you cannot rely on Solar alone to keep your leisure batteries charged in the winter months and you might need to take a few visits to a campsite or return home to charge your leisure batteries fully from the mains or just go for a drive and use the alternator.