leisure battery warning light flashing - what should we do, step by step?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Lindan, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Lindan

    Lindan Funster

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    Hi all knowledgable Motorhomers,
    We are first timers and have a 1996 imported (2007) A cass Hymer b644 sitting outside. We have only spent 2 nights in it, ever, so are real newbies. Firstly, its an import so all the built-in stuff is in German, and this isn't in the manual. So our first tester night away was on hook up. All fine. Before the journey there, we didn't kill the leisure battery and the warning light started flashing. We noticed it at the half way point and turned it off and before we arrived it stopped flashing. We only noticed it was flashing again once we arrived at our second night's booked no EHU site. Then drove it for about 40 miles, still flashing, and now reads about 10. This didn''t change all the way home and is still the same. We still had power in the led lights, water pump etc but we didn't know how long that would last. At home we plugged it back in and the light stopped flashing, but as soon as it is unplugged the flashing started again.

    We know nothing about anything and can barely change a tyre, so don't know where to turn. We intend to go off for 12 months so need Aires and wild camping often, possibly holing up in Morocco in Winter. We think the battery is at the end of its life but don't actually know how to replace it. It has been like this now for a couple of weeks. The battery has a vent but we can't see the label and don't know what type it is.
    Should we try to remove it now? Is it dangerous? It is in the cab accessible under the floor and from outside. We tried to book a habitation service, but are in South East London and many mobile servicers a) won't come near and b) are booked up for months. We have no driveway and can't keep it plugged in across the pavement!
    Is there anywhere we can drive to near-ish South or West London to get them to test and replace it while we wait prior to our habitation service in 6 weeks time? If its not dangerous should we wait till then?
    If we have to remove it ourselves, what do we need to 'disconnect' first? Can't seem to find any actual instructions anywhere about this. If it needs to be isolated from the starter battery first, can we get a normal mechanic to do this or is it so simple we can attempt it? Some people say remove the positive first and others the negative. Should we remove any fuses from the 'Schaudt Electroblok' or from the fusebox that looks like our house fusebox in the Hymer's garage. Blimey. And this is only one of our 5 questions we have!
    Hope you can understand this. Any advice appreciated. We think we might get solar panels for our trip, but what does anybody think? But forst - changing the battery!
    Thanks all. battery top.jpg
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    You battery has had it and needs replacing asap.

    If you have a solar panel then disconnect it at the solar regulator then disconnect the POSITIVE battery wire first.
    Replace the POSITIVE wire first then the solar panel wiring.
     
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  3. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Is it a brand new van if so its under warranty?
     
  4. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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  5. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    As @pappajohn says battery shot just though if it was new you may have cause to claim on warranty but sounds like you don't
     
  6. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    Hi and welcome ..
    You have lost me on the flashing leisure battery light... but I'm not familiar with your van and it's set up... but there will be those on here that are...
    There are a lot of points but general comment would be it sounds like you could benefit from installing two leisure batteries and a solar panel..
    Changing the battery over yourself shouldn't be difficult if you are prepared to have a go..
    This forum is a mine of friendly information and help..

    Sounds like you would benefit from joining.. and not restricting yourself to 5 questions...
    Ta andy...
     
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  7. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I possibly share your same level of ability when it comes to my MH, for peace of mind get it changed by someone who knows how to do it, however easy some on here will make it sound

    Get a price first, not sure if they do them but Halfords I don't think charge to fit, but may not be the cheapest (y)
     
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  8. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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  9. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Your Hymer may have been fitted with Gel batteries originally, you now have standard wet/flooded cell batteries if the Elecktroblock charger has been left on the Gel setting it will have cooked the wet cells you need to check this.

    If it has the Gel setting it will have a switch something like this:
    upload_2016-4-24_21-57-57.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
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  10. Lindan

    Lindan Funster

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    Gosh - thanks everybody! This is so cool to have such a great load of contributions. and really helpful.
    We don't have any space for a second battery, unless 2 smaller ones fit in the same hole as this one is in, and we don't have a solar panel yet, so if we take this battery out, (we haven't actually got any spanners yet) what do we swith 'off' before disconnecting, and what do we disconnect first or does it not matter? Will certainly look into the gell setting - I had read that these Hymers were designed to take a gell battery. Guy we bught it off had it for 4 years and never changed it.
    Will it do the van any harm to leave the battery in and connected till we can wok it out?
    Or is it ok to simply get it out and leave nothing in the space till the new one arrives? feel like we have a mountain of knowledge to climb, and we aren't even in the foothills yet!
    When we go we want to be posting on blogs so will need to be charging computers almost daily, hence the possible solar panel addition.
    Thanks for now.
     
  11. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Hymers normally have a 50 amp and a 2 amp fuse mounted close to the battery best to pull these before disconnecting. Better to leave the battery in situ until you have a new one.
     
  12. Lindan

    Lindan Funster

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    Thanks Lenny.
    Will do, and we have a guy coming in about 5 weeks who says he can install a new batt with the solar panels - we (more me than he) are just worried about the risk of one of those gas explosions we don't want.
    And Stealaway,
    Would you measure the space before buying two? The ones you reccommend look and sound great, but dont seem the same shape as what we have now. Perhaps one larger one that fills the well? Will measure tomorrow. No space under the seats - is has something elecrtical there.
    Who knew batteries were so much more complicated than weight?!! Haha!
     
  13. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Ignor my eairler advice brain wasn't in gear it would be best to disconnect the battery as if leaving it for 5 weeks if it is shot and you drive the van or connect it to the mains the battery may gas off giving off dangerous fumes.
     
  14. Lindan

    Lindan Funster

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    Thanks, Lenny
    Your suggestions are much appreciated.
    Have you any advice on disconnecting it? There is a photo in the original post. Is there a special order of taking the things off? pos first for example, or should it not matter if we pull the fuses first?

    And should we then remove it ir is it safe in situ, in your opinion?
    Many thanks for being so helpful and vigilant!
     
  15. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    With a car you always disconnect Neg first with a Motorhome as no exposed metal chassis nearby it doesn't matter.

    Have you checked the charger settings?
     
  16. Lindan

    Lindan Funster

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    One more thing - here is an image of the electroblok. The 50 amp fuse is clear enough, but the 2 amp one is eluding us. Can anyone see it or know where it is? If we can't find it, can we just close the 50 amp fuse and disconnect the batter safely that way?

    Again, thanks
     

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  17. Lindan

    Lindan Funster

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    Ok, now subscribed!
    No Lenny, there was nothing that indicated any gel switch that I could see. I have to go to do some work now - look forward to hearing any more suggestions.
     
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    In my post yesterday I made an almost unforgivable error.

    Instead of POSITIVE the text should read NEGATIVE.....making sure the lead cannot come into contact with the battery post once removed.
     
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  19. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    I can not find the full onfo on your Elektroblock but I .athink an that it should only be used with a Gel battery @JeanLuc may be able to confirm this.
     
  20. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I have had a look at the EBL104-3 manual from the Schaudt website. It is the only EBL104 manual available in the downloads section and is only available in German (perhaps this model was not fitted to export vehicles). I can glean from it that both Gel and Lead-Acid batteries are suitable although there appears not to be any reference to changing a selector switch. This is confirmed by looking at the circuit diagram which shows no switch (whereas on the diagram for my later EBL99 there is switch shown). The EBL104 manual indicates that the charging programme is a WoU type whereas the EBL99 and later models, have a iUoU programme. I think the EBL104 charging programme therefore does not have the option for a long or short stage 2 charge - hence the lack of a selector switch for Lead-Acid or Lead-Gel. The maximum charging voltage is 14.4v and the float is 13.8v. When the battery voltage dips below 13.2v, the cycle is repeated.

    The 50 amp fuse that Lenny has referred to is not on the EBL, it is located next to the habitation battery. The 2 amp one should be next to it. However, the EBL104 diagram shows 30 amp fuses in the battery lines where the EBL99 diagram shows 50 amp so perhaps they should have a lower rating.

    Sorry of this reply looks a bit technical to the original poster but it may help others to help you.
     
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