engine battery flat

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Daviedubs, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    hi all we have just returned from our first trip in our first ever motorhome (2 nights) when we went to leave it would not start and there fore had to get a jump start. What type of solar panel does anyone recommend to trickle charge? Wattage etc?
    Thanks in advance
    Dave
     
  2. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    First thing is to get your new to you battery checked out. Ours unfortunately stands for weeks due to work getting in the way but fires up every time without any charge whatsoever ;)
     
  3. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    As above and depends what else you are running on the engine battery i.e. alarm, radio etc. if the battery is ok then solar will keep a "good" battery topped up, I have mine on 40Watts but might go to 80 next year. :)
     
  4. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    How long was your vehicle left @davibubb ?

    I thought that I had a short somewhere and it turned out to be the radio that was turning itself on and draining the battery.
     
  5. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Before spending on solar check why your battery went flat as 2 days is no time at all. When we're due to go away we always put the MH on mains for a couple of days beforehand to ensure the batteries are full - we do have a solar panel too but obviously if the weather hasn't been great then the input might not have kept them fully charged.

    Does the battery go flat so quickly at home?
     
  6. mick noe

    mick noe Funster

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    to early to be thinking about solar, something has drained your battery or your battery is shot See if it runs down when you are at home that quickly and if so get it checked(y).....OH nearly forgot hope you enjoyed your first trip away:):)
     
  7. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    ............ likewise my battery on my last van went flat due to radio left on in the background ... I didn't know it had a faulty switch .. And then due to a faulty hazard warning light switch.
     
  8. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    Only bought MH two weeks ago...... It hadn't been used in a while.....the kids had radio on abut over the 2 days...(even though I told them not to!!!! Lol)
     
  9. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    Battery has been charged and checked and all seems ok!....... Somebody suggested using a 7w solar just to keep it trickle charging while not in use. Is this a reasonable option or a waste of time?
     
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  10. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Did you leave your fridge on 12 volt after you arrived where ever you went?
    It happened to me, combo of Fridge and Radio, only took 2 days and this on a brand new battery
     
  11. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    No the fridge doesn't work on 12v at the moment......but that's another story!!!!
     
  12. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    Don't waste your money.
     
  13. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Why are car radios so power hungry?
    Had an old portable stereo that would work fine for a week on a couple of D cells but a car stereo will flatten a 12v battery in a few hours, in fact I think the TV uses less.
    I quite like the radio, is there a less power hungry alternative available?
     
  14. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    @daveansan - so a 7w won't keep it topped up during the weeks it's not in use?
     
  15. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    If you're thinking of going solar don't mess about and get something worthwhile - 80w minimum but more if you've got room.

    You don't tell us what M/H you've got or what existing battery setup so advice is going to be general but you need to think of a couple of things first then make a plan. There are several threads running on the forum on this subject but you should think about if you are going to be using electrical hookups all the time or spend time "off-grid". If the former your onboard charger ought to be sufficient but if the latter I would suggest a second leisure battery if you've got room to fit it first, then a solar panel. That solved all our electrical needs (although we don't have kids with their various gadgets needing charging!) and we are able to last for a long time without hookup. You should also invest in a battery master - keeps the engine battery charged from the leisure battery (on a basic van you use the solar to charge the leisure battery, there are other methods on more sophisticated setups).

    A 7w solar panel - I presume you mean one of those briefcase type things - WILL keep an already fully charged engine battery topped up whilst the van is not in use provided it can get plenty of sun but in my opinion is no good for anything else. I speak from experience.

    More info would help give more specific advice - or get along to one of the "meets" where you can learn everything you need to know (and lots you don't:ROFLMAO:)!

    Happy motorhoming!

    :welc:
     
  16. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    Dave, as Terry says above if you are going down the solar route get a proper one.
    I have a 140W solar and on a bad day in the winter it might only put out 0.5 amp but saying that it manages to keep my engine and auxiliary batteries topped up from the leisure batteries using two battery master type devices while the motorhome is in storage.
     
  17. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    The motorhome is Ducato based ci Carioca.....at the moment was just looking for the easiest cheapest way to keep the engine battery topped up in between use ( may only get one more weekend in it this year) next year when I get more time and the motorhome will be used more frequently I will be looking at fitting a decent size panel to keep the batteries topped!!!
     
  18. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    those small 7w panels are as much use as a chocolate teapot. more a gimmick or toy useful for recharging AA batteries for a torch
     
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  19. Delboyarapaho

    Delboyarapaho Funster

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    I had the same problem and had a battery master fitted to divert power from leisure batteries to vehicle batt. (plenty of threads on here about that). I would be amazed if you vehicle batt maintains charge for many weeks without substantial solar panels >80w but even then you need a battery master otherwise the panel will only charge the leisure batts. The only way I prevented my battery dying in less than two weeks was to disconnect the negative battery lead when I left the vehicle but the catch was then the alarm wasn't connected either:)
     
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  20. Daviedubs

    Daviedubs

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    Cheers delboy....... This looks like the best root to me
     
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