LEISURE BATTERY replacement

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Loopy from Oz, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    hi, we are newbies but think our leisure battery is so flat it is not recharging. We drove around France for 3 months no problem but have now been in Spain 6 weeks. We are house sitting & so van is only "driven" once a week for approx 1 hour & every other day we were clicking over the engine- for approx half hour. We have had our GAS fridge running the whole time & only had the water pump on. All other electrics turned off.
    We now have the battery not recharging - even after a 2 hour drive yesterday. According to the service book if the leisure battery charges/ works when engine running but not when engine turns off you need to see a "professional".... We are south of Valencia and need to know if anyone can RECOMMEND a reliable & decent priced van dealer/ battery place.... As far south as Benidorm...?? Or any other suggestions...?? We have a RIMOR Bluesky 2013. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. flatpackchicken

    flatpackchicken Funster Life Member

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    Can't help got local places but a couple of things here. Why are you not plugged into the house to keep batteries charged up ????
    Your batterys are complete had it, try never to let your batterys go less than 50% charge as this will eventually kill it
    You may need a solar panel to keep batters topped up when sitting for a long time. Sounds to me that you have let the batters go flat to many times also the fridge on all the time and nothing going back in may help drain the battery. Suggest solar panel about 100w plus gauge to see how much charge coming down and obviously new batteries. Maybe go to a local tyre dealer or motirhome depot. Good luck regards Garry Flatpackchicken
     
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  3. flatpackchicken

    flatpackchicken Funster Life Member

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    This is the nearest place I can find to you at mo ok better than nothing maybe
    Für die Region / For the region
    46400 Valencia
    Telephone: 0034 (0)
    609611825
    www.recaravan.es
    Hope this helps
    Regards Garry Flatpackchicken
     
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  4. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Agree with above. However 100 W solar panel likely to be too small. Get the most you can fit.
    A 2013 motorhome will have modern electrics including it's own charging system when on hook up. This is the main way to keep your batteries charged. The engine will be good for charging your cab battery but probably no good for keeping your leisure battery charged unless you have a B2B charger fitted. Have you read your operating manuals in detail, everything you need to know and should know is in there? I suspect your leisure battery is goosed. Allowed to be fully or almost discharged before being topped up again and probably not being fully charged as well. If you just buy a new battery and continue as before you will end up in the same position again.
    In the resources section you will find some downloads about leisure batteries which will improve your knowledge on how to maintain them and also the NCC leisure battery scheme whereby batteries are independently tested and classified
    Best of luck and safe travels.
     
  5. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    Thanks heaps for the info & reference links. I prob should of mentioned the "house sit" is a rustic off grid finca without its own elect hence the need to have the MH fridge running. We don't have a numerical battery gauge or solar & wont be installing solar as we are selling the van in the next few months....so we are in a bit of a catch 22 at the moment... I will read up the battery info so we can try to keep a new battery charged as best we can. Can't be in Spain & not have a COLD BEER!!
     
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  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    In that case go into a supermarket or wherever and buy the cheapest car battery the same size. A starter battery will be good enough for your needs and much cheaper.
     
  7. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    Sounds like a great idea! & cheaper! Thank you. Will that charge up when driving - same as the cab battery..?? Possibly a dumb question I know! We do have a generator that pumps the water well & we can hook elect up to that but only for about half an hour a day.... It didn't seem worth worrying about as it's easier to click the car over for the same time. Thanks again.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Assuming the charging circuits are working yes, an ordinary lead acid battery is a battery, simples.

    Don't knock that half hour, it's better than nothing.
     
  9. flatpackchicken

    flatpackchicken Funster Life Member

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    I would of thought that cheap battery and turnover engine for half an hour at a time should do the trick as you need both engine and habitation batterys kept topped up but would not hurt to additional hook up to gennie whenever it is on (every little helps) :) to help top up the hab battery. Best of luck.
    Regards Garry Flatpackchicken
     
  10. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    Thanks guys... This MH forum is so bloody great for advice. Cheers
     
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  11. flatpackchicken

    flatpackchicken Funster Life Member

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    That's what you pays your subs for :) hope you will tell all your countrymen on return to OZ about us and everyone you meet who you think may benefit from MHF.
    Regards Garry Flatpackchicken
     
  12. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Yes! Connect to the electrical supply and let your on board charger do its stuff. Make sure the charger is on and leisure batteries selected as you may end up just charging the cab battery. The likely hood is I fear, that your leisure battery is dead and no amount of charging will recover it. I am also of the opinion that just replacing the battery in itself will be a very, very short term fix without a regular hook up. You have already established running the engine is insufficiant. Of course this is dependant on how much battery power you will be drawing on an hourly basis. Either way, best of luck and may I suggest you let the new owner know about the battery situation when you sell so as not to tarnish the image of motorhome user's, unless of course your a dealer which sadly seems to be the norm these days.
     
  13. autorouter

    autorouter Funster

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    I suggest you get a cheap multimeter, and keep an eye on the voltage of the batteries. I know voltage won't give you the whole story, but it's a lot better than nothing.

    Battery Voltage should be 12.0 to 13.4 when not being charged and nothing drawing power from it.

    If it's below 12.0 it needs charging ASAP.

    When charging it should be 13.8 to 14.8. If it's very flat and you just started charging, it might be lower than 13.8 for a while.

    A 12V battery can never produce more than 13.6 volts unaided. You can use this fact to check if the charging circuit is definitely working. If it's more than 13.6v, it's definitely charging.
     
  14. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    great idea for the meter - will use one & do the plug in to the gennie also.
     
  15. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    Turn off the Van 12 volt electrics, even the pump, when not in use as the pump draws more power than you can afford in your present circumstances!
     
  16. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    Ah you've got a genny! Why not plug the van into that or is that at full stretch doing the house?
     
  17. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    The gennie just gets put on for about half hour - 40mins to pump the well water. Don't really want to be running it for more than an hr/ day as it chews the petrol.... & yeah all other electrics off in the van & fridge is on gas... But I have a feeling it's starter clicker needs the battery as even with a full gas bottle it won't stay / turn on gas mode. ... Heading out to buy a new battery. It's a 12 v / 105 AH ... Guessing that's a normal..??
     
  18. Wagoneer

    Wagoneer Funster

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    MHF ? I thought this forum is MHFun - not to be confused with the Dark Side !!!
     
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  19. autorouter

    autorouter Funster

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    The key point is not to take out more energy than you put in, averaged over 24 hours.
    Mains charger, I guess, is 20 amps max. In half an hour it will put in 10 amp-hours.
    Engine alternator, I guess, is 30amps at idle speed, In half an hour that's 15 amp-hours.

    I don't know how much the fridge control board takes in 24 hours but it's probably less than 12 amp-hours, I guess. So If you only use the fridge you should be OK. Keep an eye on the voltage, and make sure it doesn't get down to 12.0 volts.

    These numbers are guesswork, and assuming everything is 100% efficient; in reality you need to allow a margin of error. Problem with the gennie is, if the mains charger probably only does 20A, the wattage used is only 12 x 20 = 240 watts, a fraction of the gennie capacity I imagine. It's not very efficient on petrol consumption.
     
  20. Loopy from Oz

    Loopy from Oz Funster

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    UPDATES- so we have a BRAND NEW "fully charged" battery on Monday & I have a meter. It was great the first day - husband took for a 2 hour drive & battery read 13. All electrics off- fridge on manual gas operation & we have plugged into gennie for 2 - half hour lots. The battery dropped to 12.7 & this morning 12.5.
    PROBLEM is- when the CAR engine is not running the light/ electrics panel display INSTANTLY drops down to Red battery level... Even though I manually checked battery and it read 12.7..?? (According the the manual this should = full charge and all 4 battery light levels lit -which DOES happen when the engine is on)
    After approx 3 hours the control panel was DEAD- no power AT ALL in Hab -& again I checked the battery with meter & it was 12.5! The chap who helped put in the battery suggested there may be a problem with the B2B charger or the current getting to the control board...? He checked the alternator ampage & said the car battery is def sending out charge. After re- reading the manual I pulled off the control panel & all connections/ wires look attached.... It mentions a FUSE next to Hab battery..?? Could this be the cause..? It seems odd that the electrics work with car running... I'm just after some tips as we will take the van to a MH repair place but don't want them to tell me I need expensive new parts if it's just a €10 fuse that I need .... ; ). Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
     
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