Camper battery probably b*ggered!

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Minxy Girl, May 2, 2016.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We've noticed that the cab battery doesn't seem to be holding a charge for long - it's never got as high charge wise as the leisure ones and at Peterborough, despite having been on hook up for a while beforehand and then having a nice long journey down, it soon dropped much quicker than in our previous PVC even though we didn't have the radio on much and nothing else uses it when we're pitched. It keeps doing it so is going in to the garage tomorrow for a check and hopefully replacement as we don't want to go on our 6 week holiday next week with a 'dud' battery and get stuck at the top of a mountain! :eek:

    Anyone else had any problems with the cab battery?
     
  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Not a problem as such but I've also noticed that the voltage never gets as high as the leisure batteries.

    I've always put this down to there being some permanent draws on the cab battery - the radio memory live, the alarm, and the non starter spring to mind.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    no big issue up a mountain.. .. just let the handbrake off.. ;)
     
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  4. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Could work out expensive new CAT & DPF probably required after a bump start.:LOL: & if it don't start no brakes.:LOL:
    Don't even get a starting handle these days.:)
     
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  5. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    Not going to swear to this, but is your engine battery a different type to the hab battery ? I know my hab battery charger has two settings for the different types of battery (can't remember which it is) but it may be that your hab battery is meant to be a higher voltage then your engine battery.

    Does the engine turn over nice and fast for a decent length of time from cold ? If so I'd suggest the battery is OK.
     
  6. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Update - took the van in this morning and left it with them as we were going out at lunch with some friends so we said we'd collect it tomorrow afternoon all being well - hubby rang them around 4.30 pm and they confirmed that the battery is well and truly stuffed! At least it decided to play-up more whilst we were at Peterborough which is why we decided to have it looked at so now we'll have a nice new one for our long trip and won't worry about running out of juice! (y)

    I did ask on another thread not that long back about how well the solar panel would keep it topped-up via the Schaudt LR1218 regulator as the panel was producing a very good charge and kept the leisure batteries well topped up, but not much seemed to be going into the cab battery. It appeared that this may have been 'normal' as the cab battery always gets a lower charge as the leisure ones take precedence, but it now makes me wonder if the faulty cab battery was the issue all along - it will be good to test it out! :)
     
  7. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Yes the cab battery is a starter battery (meant to produce short high power spurts) rather than leisure (able to give a regular output for long periods of time) but the voltage is the same, ie 12v, the difference is usually the amperage. Some charges can be altered to account for gel, wet, AGM etc battery types but that's a different thing.
     
  8. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    How old is the vehicle battery Minxy ?
    We all seem to think they last for ever, but realistically anything over 5 years should be counted as a bounus..
    Yes, I know some last a lot longer but ( for instance ) I would never have a battery over 5 years old on one of my bikes..
    Apart from anything else, as they start to fade the alternator is forced to work harder ,,
     
  9. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Jaws - the camper isn't even a year old, registered in May 2015, even allowing for it being used as a demonstrator it's not even 2 years yet from when the base vehicle was made so it should have a lot of life left in it.

    I have had a battery fail on me prematurely though, a leisure one less than 2 years old, where one of the cells just went 'poff' - apparently there'd been a bad batch so it wasn't a problem getting it replaced FOC under warranty ... by heck it didn't half stink though!!! :D
     
  10. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Strewth mate.. thats rough.. Is it possible to see the battery without too much mucking around ?
    Might be worth checking the date on it.. But surely it will be under warranty anyways ?

    Yessss.. rotten eggs and all that !! When I worked with fork trucks, if I walked in to a charging bay that stunk I would walk ( run !! ) straight back out..
    Get the guvnor to switch off all the electric before venturing back !!

    Had a fairly good mate get killed when a battery tank on a Bagnell blew its self to pieces, so smelly batteries tend to put the the fear of dying firmly in my head !
     
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  11. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I have gone the whole hog with my Set up @Minxy Girl
    I have one of Eddies Battery Masters and also a small 12W solar panel on my dash.

    The battery master is great when on hookup as the charger hits 14.5V and passes almost 14 volts to the cab battery.
    Off hookup I am sure that the battery master will pass around 13.2V (not tested it yet) which is enough for a normal van.

    However I have a fault with my van at the moment and it takes a lot of cranking to start it, hence the 12W solar panel on the Dash for when I am off hookup.

    The combination has made a world of difference to the point where I am considering selling my CTEK MX5.0 Charger.

    PS: You can buy the Battery Master from Jim's shop. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
     
  12. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    My MH only charges the cab battery via the alternator when driving, not when on EHU.

    I've made my own detachable split relay charger for less than £20 using bits bought on eBay. In storage I connect it from the leisure battery to the cab battery using cables and croc clips. The solar panel then charges the leisure battery first and the cab battery second. Neither can drain the other due to the relay. It works for most of the year, but in Jan and Feb I make sure the MH is driven around a bit or brought home for a top up via the EHU. The split relay works on EHU too.

    The cab battery gets about 14.2v from the alternator, but tends to settle around 12v the rest of the time. I use a cigarette socket LED voltmeter to keep tabs on it. The control panel in my MH habitation area is very simple, but the cab battery will usually start the engine if only two of the four indicator lights are lit.
     
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