Draining vehicle battery

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by spsmith45, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. spsmith45

    spsmith45 Read Only Funster

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    We have a 2011 Swift Bolero 600EK Compact. Since we have owned the motorhome we have had an issue with a draining cab battery. The battery has been tested by the RAC and is fine. Brownhills also tested it and measured a minimal drain.

    And yet.. after about a week, maybe two, there is not enough charge to start the van.

    Nothing is left on apart from the Toad Alarm which Brownhills said is draining a very tiny amount 0.05 amps, I believe. (It has a red light on the dashboard.) basically Brownhills said there was no problem.

    So, I have jump started the van from my car. OK, but a bit of a faff. I have bought a connector to allow me to hook up the van from my home socket.

    When plugged in I was able to start the van this morning, but I got a high pitched whine from the control panel, so I switched off.

    So, my questions are: will my vehicle battery charge as well as the leisure battery when I am hooked up. Secondly, is it OK to start the engine when just having hooked up on a low cab battery? Lastly, if there is almost no measurable drain on the battery, why does it seem to be draining?

    Thanks in advance for any wisdom.

    Worth getting an optimiser?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  2. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi the alarms are notorious for flat battery in 2 to 3 weeks.
    Once on hook up you may be able to choose wether engine or habitation battery is charged or buy a gizmo like battery master to divert charge to engine battery once the leisure battery is full
    Terry
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I've seen that written many times. 3 weeks and you are dead sort of thing. All down to the FIAT electronics it seems.

    Do a search here for Battery Master. That, and other similar products, top up
    your starter battery from your leisure battery.
     
  4. ramsthom

    ramsthom Funster

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    Most Swift motorhomes when on EHU charge the cab and leisure battery. Check the settings in the power control unit. Its nomally set on Smart charging which switches between cab and leisure batteries automatically. Alternatively the control panel normally above the habitation door can be used to manually to select which battery to charge by selecting cab or leisure.
    Hope this helps.:Smile:
     
  5. injebreck99

    injebreck99 Funster

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    I have exactly the same model M/H, I keep it on hookup all the time when at home, both batteries are always fully charged, and I have never had a drained battery,( no alarm fitted), ever, even after weeks of not using it. I would see if you can disconnect the alarm and see if the condition reoccurs.
     
  6. spsmith45

    spsmith45 Read Only Funster

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    Thank you for the replies so far. Looks like I need to keep it hooked up as far as possible. It's still odd that the battery drains despite measurements suggesting the contrary!

    I'm not sure how useful the Toad alarm is and may get that disconnected at some point.
     
  7. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    The whine is not a problem, it is an alarm to let you know you are still hooked-up to the mains.
     
  8. ubuntu1

    ubuntu1 Read Only Funster

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    cab battery

    Its a very common problem. There are ways around it and if you are handy you can do the work yourself, if not get an engineer to fit a battery to battery charger.
     
  9. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    It also depends on what test is being carried out on the battery. I have two Sealey brand battery testers, one cost 45 quid the other cost closer to three hundred! The 45 quid job will identify a totally buggered battery every time but frequently identifies sick batteries as ok if they've just been charged (possibly just been given a long run) whereas the more expensive one correctly identifies them as fubar. I've just replaced the starter battery on our camper because it would struggle to start after a week of standing (camper is based on 96 Iveco Daily so minimal electronics and no alarm fitted). Local pub landlords car has been playing up recently, tested this morning and it gave 35% current capacity, this is a 9 month old Banner Starting Bull.

    One of the biggest killers of lead acid batteries is being left in a discharged state for long periods, this frequently occurs at dealerships where stock vans can lay around for up to 12 months or longer.

    D.
     
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