Battery problem

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Wendy & Peter, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Wendy & Peter

    Wendy & Peter

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    Hi, we only joined the group in the summer after we bought our first ever Motorhome, it's an Autocruise Ducato, we have had a few weeks of fabulous travels in it and look forward to many more.

    I love taking a peek at the advice and chatter between you all, with this in mind could I ask a question about a problem we are having with our battery.

    Due to commitments We have had very little use of it in the last two months, we went to take it out for a run last week and found the battery was as flat as a pancake.

    The RAC managed to start it up for us but suggested if we aren't able to use it for a period of time to either, disconnect the negative or buy a battery charger, if so what's the best battery charger to buy?
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    If the battery has been flat for any length of time it is beyond help.
    Anything much below 12v is doing it no good at all, and below 10v even for a few days is beyond help

    It will show a charge but will not hold that charge and could be flat in less than an hour.

    Bite the bullet, buy a new battery and follow the RAC advice if it will be left for a week or two at most.

    Better still, if its in secure storage, remove the battery and take it home to put on a trickle charger.

    If its at home a modern charger will take care of it.

    Aldi and Lidl both have suitable chargers from time to time.
     
  3. Wendy & Peter

    Wendy & Peter

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    Thanks for the quick reply, yes we will follow that advice and buy a charger, sounds much cheaper than buying a new battery.
     
  4. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    There is an alternative, take it out for a drive at least once a fortnight (y) It would be good for the vehicle too
     
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  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    You will most probably still need a new battery if it was completely flat.

    Try charging it then leave the interior light on....if its still good it should last maybe 24 to 36 hours depending on the battery amp/hour rating.....but i doubt it will see anywhere near that time.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    My last habitation batteries were put on charge for a couple of days and a volt meter showed 12.6volts an hour after charging.......batteries off the vehicle all night.......only 7volts showing 15 hours later.

    Batteries do not like being left discharged and will die.
     
  7. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    If the van is at home ,Can't you just connect your hook up as your van probably has a built in charger? That would keep your batteries up to scratch.
     
  8. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Do you keep it at home? If you do you could just plug it into the mains, your on board charger will keep it sorted

    If in storage then as above, drive it more often (but at least 15 miles or so or you will use more power starting than you put back in), disconnecting battery terminals on some MH's is not easy, but might be best option, better than calling RAC for sure (y)
     
  9. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    you need to turn off your interior light :D:D never had any car of mine survive more than a coupe of hours with that left on :)
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Agreed, if the van has the ability to charge the engine battery.
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Standard 10 watt interior light should last almost as long as the batteries a/h rating
    10w is less than one amp and allowing for 50% discharge should run for 35hrs on a 70ah starter battery..
     
  12. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Good point.
    @Wendy & Peter Do you have a name & model number for the 12v control system? Anything in the van's documentation to say if the starter battery is charged when on EHU?

    Some do - some don't, but a Battery Master will sort the problem if yours doesn't.
     
  13. Wendy & Peter

    Wendy & Peter

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    Hi thanks for all the advice,
    We store the Van in a secure compound as we don't have parking space at home, but it's not too far from where we live.
    Unfortunately we don't have any access to mains supply where it's stored.

    We will checkout all the advice you've given and hopefully find the one to help us.
    We do plan to take it out more in the future.
    Many thanks. Peter & Wendy
     
  14. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Taking it for a run does really help the whole vehicle, engine, gearbox, brakes and of course batteries. Use all the lights, indicators etc to make sure there ok for when you want to use it properly. There are chargers on sale that are designed to be connected all the time but not much use for a really quick charge or a start boost.
    Good luck.
     
  15. etap

    etap

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    If the secure compound is outside then buy a solar panel which will keep your engine and leisure battery up to scratch, of course ensure your present battery is ok first as has been suggested.
    Our solar panels work wonderfully well.
     
  16. etap

    etap

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    Sorry we only have one not plural as stated.
     
  17. Gary217

    Gary217 Funster

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    A bit different to a motorhome but I have an old tractor (as well as a campervan...so I am not totally lost and on the wrong forum) but I keep the battery on the tractor topped up with a solar panel, just a simple panel that is connected with two crocodile clips and a regulator to prevent overcharging if we were to ever get a sunny day. It seems to keep the tractor topped up when I don't use it much during the winter
    Now, I really don't know if this would work for a heavier modern Diesel engine so please do some research first but it might help you prevent your battery running down when it's not being used.
    I got my panel and wiring and regulator from willgen and he was very helpful.
    As others have said, in my opinion there is no substitute for regular runs in the van though.
     
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