Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

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mariner
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Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

Hi all. So van is due back from the bodyshop in a few weeks and I'm trying to get my head around the electrical set up I want. Current set up is as follows with leisure battery behind passenger seat:
external 240v to zig and 240v socket
zig to leisure battery, lights and water pump
12v fridge to leisure battery
vsr from starter to leisure battery
amp to leisure battery

New set up will involve a solar panel with a larger leisure battery situated in the units just behind driver's seat. The solar panel will also go to the leisure battery which makes five connectors on the terminals  :shock: 

Couple of questions about this:
Five connectors on the terminals seems too many, how do I remedy this? (electrical knowledge is limited!) Do I need a fuse panel which will take the five positive/negative connectors and then have the fuse panel connect to the leisure battery?
The zig unit is the original one and prone to over-heating when hooked up to 240v to charge the leisure battery. Is there an alternative charging/distributing unit or set up? New zigs are £200+ so would like to avoid that! 

Cheers for any advice.
1985 Super Viking with Subaru EJ22 (formerly 1.9 petrol DG)
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Mocki
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by Mocki »

The solar panel should go to the solar controller which should go directly to the battery , not via any control panel 
there should be a inline fuse in each down lead from the solar panel before the controller and a fuse in the positive between the controller and the battery .

As for the zig , I wouldn’t bother with it , I would buy a intelligent battery charger that wont boil your leisure battery, and hard wire it to the leisure battery  and a control switching panel for your lights and pump ….. just my opinion ….. 
Steve
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mariner
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

Cheers Mocki. Yep, agreed on the solar panel and have vitron controller to sit between the solar panel and leisure battery. Thanks for the heads up on the inline fuses for it. 10amp big enough? It's a 120w semi-flex panel.

Also agree on the battery charger and think I'll go for the ctek mxs 3.8, unless someone has a recommendation.

Was going to get myself a new distribution unit but I guess the zig unit is fine for this and will retain some of the original look (as well as save me some cash).

Have a CRX50 Dometic 12v fridge that killed my last leisure battery. It's supposed to have an automatic cut off if the battery it is drawing from drops below 10v but this didn't seem to happen last summer! Someone on here suggested adding an inline cut off switch and setting it to 10v but I can't find the old post or a switch like that online if anyone has any ideas.

Looking forward to having the leisure battery out from the battery box and the vsr, inline fuses etc mounted properly rather than just stuffed under the passenger seat!

Cheers.
1985 Super Viking with Subaru EJ22 (formerly 1.9 petrol DG)
1981 air-cooled 2.0 high top

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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by AngeloEvs »

Just a few posts down you will see one titled ‘zig CF8 - Installing a battery guard’ which may help you regards protecting your leisure battery.
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mariner
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

Thanks Angelo, had missed that one. Have decided to stick with the zig as a distribution unit and get a separate battery charger.
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by keynsham1 »

I don't have a camper battery charger. I did have a few but they all failed quickly. I hardly ever camp where there is a 240v hookup so there is generally little point. I do have a small car battery charger in the van though so I can charge the battery if I need to by just plugging it into a 240v socket in the van when I have a hook-up available! 

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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by Mocki »

I don’t think a VSR and a solar panel are a very clever combination, unless you want to waste half your solar capabilities charging your starter battery when the leisure batty reaches the switch on voltage . Unless they have improved them , they can’t tell which battery is at the switch on voltage and back feed 
Steve
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mariner
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

Thanks Mocki, hadn't considered this. Anyone out there using a VSR and solar panel in the same set up?
1985 Super Viking with Subaru EJ22 (formerly 1.9 petrol DG)
1981 air-cooled 2.0 high top

mariner
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

So, provisionally have decided on the following set up and would appreciate any more feedback anyone can give.

Starter battery connected to leisure battery via 140amp sensitive relay with inline fuse
120watt semi-flex solar panel to Victron smartsolar controller >> controller to leisure battery with inline fuse
Dometic CRX50 12v fridge direct to leisure battery with inline fuse
Amp for additional speakers to leisure battery with inline fuse
External 240v hook up to C-tek battery charger >> battery charger to leisure battery (for use when hooked up)
External 240v to internal 240v socket for when hooked up
Zig CF8 unit to leisure battery >> Zig to lights, water pump and usb charger

Going to go for Halfords class A deep cycle leisure battery (£145). Bit pricey but been recommended by a neighbour who has fitted it in their van and it has good reviews.

Appreciate there are lots of different views and ways of doing this but as a novice would just like to check I'm not making any serious errors or oversights and hopefully this might be useful to others fitting out there van. Point taken about VSR  solar panel Mocki, assuming the starter would only pull from the solar once the leisure is fully charged, if at all? Cheers.
 
1985 Super Viking with Subaru EJ22 (formerly 1.9 petrol DG)
1981 air-cooled 2.0 high top

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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by Mocki »

Don’t fall into the split charge trap ! It’s a myth that the split charge only charges one battery after the other is full, both the Voltage Sensing Relay and the alternator triggered relay both just join the batteries together as soon as the alternator starts charging . 

the battery with the most charge will drop to equal the battery with the lowest charge once they are joined together if the amount of charge coming in is lower than the amount of charge in the most charged battery , for example on a dull wet day when the solar panel cannot produce enough charge , but does raise the voltage enough to trigger the relay . 
Steve
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mariner
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

Any idea what this might be? Wired into the zig on the upper row at 7&8.
ImageImageImage

Earthing point of some description?
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1981 air-cooled 2.0 high top

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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by Oldiebut goodie »

Looks like an old caravan 12v socket. But wouldn't trust it without checking what exactly it is connected to at the Zig.
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mariner
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Re: Alternative to zig unit and number of connectors on leisure battery

Post by mariner »

Thanks. Having googled that I'd say that's exactly what it is. Could be useful with a 150w converter I guess, although may buy a new one now this one has gone manky after being left in a shed! Cheers Oldie.
1985 Super Viking with Subaru EJ22 (formerly 1.9 petrol DG)
1981 air-cooled 2.0 high top

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