Batteries not holding charge

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Barney23, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Barney23

    Barney23 Funster

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    Hello, probably a straight forward answer & please bear in mind I am new to this.
    I have our Autotrail on hook up with a oil filled rad left on, noticed last week that vehicle & leisure batteries (two) were reading "fair" put both on a charger, went to "good" but now reading "fair" once again.
    What, if anything am i doing wrong.
    Many Thanks
     
  2. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Did you leave the charger on once they got to good?
     
  3. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Turn the rad off and see if the batteries charge, unplug from EHU and check every week for a couple of weeks. If they lose charge either there is something drawing power or the are goosed. How old are they do you know?
     
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  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Cold weather and older batteries don't mix.

    If possible leave the batteries on charge all the time.
    If it's a modern charger it won't harm then.
    You May need a separate charger, if the oboard only does leisure battery, for the engine battery plugged into a habitation socket and the lead fed out the drivers door.....the door seal should have enough flexibility to not cause damage.
     
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  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    batteries do self discharge due to internal resistance and this is exacerbated in cold weather. Some things like radio and alarm still consume power. Keep Batteries on trickle charge or isolate them.
     
  6. Barney23

    Barney23 Funster

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    I left charger on overnight so unsure at what stage they got to good.
     
  7. Barney23

    Barney23 Funster

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    Will try that, thanks, Van is a year old.
     
  8. Barney23

    Barney23 Funster

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    Alarm always on, will try to keep on trickle charge, thanks.
     
  9. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Ok, so vans a year old. Batts should be fine, alarms on but running on which battery, start or leisure? Overnight charge on a big battery may not be enough?
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    It's surprising just how much equipment will continue to draw power with the ignition off....Not just radio memory and alarm.

    Up to an hour after switching off and removing the key I still hear solinoids and sensors etc turning off in my car
     
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  11. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Your right, Angela's C4 makes all sorts of funny noises. I'm glad someone else's does the same, spoooooooooooooky. :LOL:
     
  12. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I see you have an Autotrail.
    Depending on what year it is and the model of Sargent power supply fitted.
    Newer vans do have a continual drain, my 2012 was drawing 0.3amps even with everything turned off.
    Lots of posts have been made on the subject re Autotrail batteries going flat.

    WHOOPS.. Just read back and seen it's a year old.. So this could be the issue..
    Do you have solar panel fitted ???
     
  13. Barney23

    Barney23 Funster

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    Unsure which battery alarm runs off, will leave on charger longer tomorrow, thanks.
     
  14. Barney23

    Barney23 Funster

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    Its an AT Apache, yes, have a solar panel fitted.
     
  15. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    On the EC500 power supply if you turn off the black shutdown switch then the solar only charges the Leisure battery.
    If you leave the switch turned on then it will charge both the leisure and engine battery,
    HOWEVER... You need to make sure the control panel is set to "smart" and that's for both EHU and solar...
    BUT... I am finding that with just my 80w solar panel it's struggling to keep the batteries up if let off EHU or not run for a time.. Usually I would be using the van but due to health it's been sat a lot longer than it would normaly be.
    I now tend to plug in for a few days on charge then leave it off for a while..

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/resources/autotrail-ec500-power-supply-manual.98/
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  16. MHVirgins

    MHVirgins

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    Really interesting thread this, we have a Sargent EC325 and when away we tend to stay on sites and have been known to not move the van for 10 days or more.
    I usually watch the control panel closely as in the past was warned that using the radio/cd player for long periods can flatten the vehicle battery. Does anyone know for certain that the radio is coming off the vehicle battery.......because I'm not too sure that it does. One night the radio was accidentally left on overnight, it had been turned down and we didn't realise it. But the van started without any problem the following morning (thankfully!)

    It was also suggested, that the infra red on the reversing camera can be a drain on the battery. However, to date I haven't had any evidence to suggest otherwise.

    We were on site for two weeks earlier last year on EHU and used the radio and had the alarm on each night and it still started. The battery is only a year old, but if I see it getting down to 11.7 on the control panel I put the trickle charge on.

    I am always open to suggestions and advice from those with more knowledge(y)

    Bill
     
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  17. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    It takes much longer to recharge batteries than you might imagine. Assuming your two leisure batteries are each in the range 80-110 Ah and have been discharged to something approaching 50%, it will probably take a minimum of 24 hours on EHU to recharge them properly. If the batteries are Gel a opposed to wet lead-acid, they will take even longer to recharge. As 'pappajohn' says - if you have the option, plug in and leave it hooked up.

    p.s. I just noticed your original post says you "put both on a charger". Do you mean you are using an additional charger to the unit fitted in the motorhome? If so, why is this necessary.
     
  18. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Even my pair of brand new 130aH batteries only read fair on my Autotrail in the cold weather after a couple of hours off hook up, and I have 300w of solar panel up on the roof too
     
  19. Jazzbow

    Jazzbow Read Only Funster

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    We're having the same issues as OP. We recently fitted a 100w solar panel but it's not keeping the battery at full with nothing on, it's just sitting in the driveway.
    I was going to get the engineer back, but thought I'd try a new battery first. Put it in the van, charged for two days,( even though it was 12.9 when I bought it) then I put on a light for 15 mins to remove any load ( as previously noted on this forum) and it measured 12.7! Is this all to do with cold weather? We havent had the chance to see if the panel is working in wafrm weather.
     
  20. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    It is a combination of things probably
    The cold weather, slightly inaccurate meter and in all honesty it is rare a battery will sit at much more that 12.4 if left to its own devices
    At this time of year solar panels do not do very much as the angle the sun is at ( even though it might be bright ) reduces their effectiveness quite dramatically
     
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