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Hi. Just got our first van and we're not sure how the leisure battery works. This is what I think. 1. It is charged while the van is moving. 2. When we stop and park up we just connect any 12v item to the battery. 3. We can hook up and use both electricity and the battery at the same time. 4. If we park it up over winter does the battery discharge and will it work once we start using the van again. I know these points are very basic but what we can find on line goes into to many technical explanations. Many thanks to those of you who reply and help us out.
 

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I can answer your questions as if they were asked of my van which is a 1994 T4 converted by German company calleed Dehler.

My leisure battery is connected to the alternator by way of a split charge system so, like yours, it charges when the engine is running. It also charges when connected to the mains electricity via the electrical hook-up. I think it is the nature of all batteries to discharge over time even if there's no load. Provided it's not too old and doesn't discharge too much it should charge ok when you start it up after winter. I've just fitted a 80 watt solar panel on the roof which keeps it topped up nicely and should do so even during winter.
 

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Hi. Just got our first van and we're not sure how the leisure battery works. This is what I think. 1. It is charged while the van is moving. 2. When we stop and park up we just connect any 12v item to the battery. 3. We can hook up and use both electricity and the battery at the same time. 4. If we park it up over winter does the battery discharge and will it work once we start using the van again. I know these points are very basic but what we can find on line goes into to many technical explanations. Many thanks to those of you who reply and help us out.
You are pretty much in the right direction but a bit will depend on the setup.
In answer to your questions....
1- It will charge when on the move but only if you have a split charge system. Most do but my first van didn't
2- Pretty much yes but beware some items will drain it fairly quickly, potentially damaging it if you go to far. A volt/amp meter of some kind is a great help here.
3- This is usually the case
4- As long as there is no load on it you should be ok but it is advised to give it a regular charge with something like a 3 stage charger (you may well already have something within your setup) to keep it in good condition.

If you could get some pictures of the electrical components on here someone will tell you exactly what you have
 
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