Liesure battery problem

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by wanderer999, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. wanderer999

    wanderer999

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    Some help on batteries and leisure charging please……………

    My wife and I are new to motorhoming we have an Autocruise Valentine that we bought in February of this year so as newbies please excuse us our lack of knowledge in vehicle electrics.

    Since our purchase we have toured UK, France, Italy and Greece on two occasions with no problem.

    We have wild camped and been on “official” sites and have had no problem until this month.
    When we were camped up on battery power, after an hour the light dimmed, stayed like that for some minutes then came up bright again.
    The battery indicator showed the battery in the red when light was dim, and then into the yellow when it was bright. This was after a days travelling with the battery being charged by the vehicle.

    Some days later when we came to use mains hookup we had the mains switch to OFF with the cable plugged in, the battery indicator needle PULSED, we switched on the mains and the needle went to Green.
    When the battery had had twenty four hours of charge the needle just nudged the green area.
    No electrical items were switched on whilst the mains charge took place.

    We do not have TV or other electrical items in use when we wild camp and the only thing on is the one light and the very occasional use of the water pump.

    So …do we have a duff battery…..is there a problem with the inverter or the system as a whole….. or is this just normal.

    Thanks in advance for responses
    Wander 999
     
  2. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Possibly a bad connection somewhere, check the earth strap.

    Peter
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    distance fault finding is a best a guess, you really need to have it looked at or do some more investigating yourself .. start off by looking at the battery ,,

    Possible faults ..

    Duff battery , check voltage, should be at least 12v , check electrolyte level.

    Bad / corroded battery terminals , clean up and coat with petroleum jelly

    Check voltage at battery terminals 'on charge' , should be at least 13.0v , if not suspect charger or blown fuse.

    hth

    jim
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    best guess is a failing battery.

    it appears not to be charging properly with either engine or mains charger.


    if you have access to a voltmeter/multimeter check the battery voltage (at the battery terminals) off mains charge and again on charge.
    the on charge voltage will be higher than off charge, if theres no difference the chargers probably had it.

    charge for 24hrs, then turn off charger for an hour or so then check the battery voltage against this chart.

    anything less than approx 12.5v indicates a failing battery.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Respect for your touring ! That puts a lot of us to shame.

    First I'd look at the acid level - provided you can pull the tops off.

    Then wriggling every thick wire and fuse I could find roughly connected with the leisure battery. Look for any signs of corrosion. Also carefully feel for heat when it's charging or discharging, a bad joint will warm up.
     
  6. wanderer999

    wanderer999

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    Thanks for the replies ......so far things seem OK, All connections are good, clean and jelled up.
    Apart from one red continental fuse fitted to the negative side of the main battery that had blown, [ not sure what that does ]
    The leisure battery has a green light showing and the levels are OK, so will get a test done on that on Monday.
    Cheers
    Wanderer 999
     
  7. vicdicdoc

    vicdicdoc Read Only Funster

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    Although slightly off subject, some 'Blade' fuses which are made in China can be suspect . . . I'd replace them with [if you can find] better quality ones
     
  8. david.h.gto

    david.h.gto Read Only Funster

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    Leisure Battery connection

    I would welcome advice!
    I have a recently acquired Rapido 941M (Aclass 2002) on a Sprinter automatic chassis. The electrics were a bit of a mystery, everything seemed to work, but there was some pretty cack-handed amateur wiring (now all the old unconnected wires are out & decent terminals fitted where taped connections had been made !). The second leisure battery was connected to the original with little better than speaker wires so I intend to rewire in parallel using heavy duty cables. Should I need any additional fuses on the second battery? i.e. a 20amp on the positive terminal?
    In addition to the normal charging systems the vehicle has a small solar panel (output not known ) with what seems to be a single leisure battery control unit (up to 15 amp)whose manufacturer says "consider" a different unit for twin batteries !
    Advice welcome
    David
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi david,
    yes....i put a fuse in both ends the pos connection between batteries.
    reason for 2 fuses being if the pos wire should short to earth then the fuse will blow BUT if only one fuse is in circuit then the pos from the second battery will still be live.
    i use 30amp blade fuses.

    it doesnt matter how many batteries are linked to the solar controller it will be ok as long as the panel output is lower than the controller. ie: a 120w panel needs at least a 10amp controller(120w divided by 12v = 10amps) regardless of battery capacity.

    i have 3 X 110ah batteries connected to a 10amp controller from a 120w panel, the actual panel output is nearer to 7amps in the uk.
     
  10. david.h.gto

    david.h.gto Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for that info...I regard electricity as a bit of magic. Mechanical things are easier to understand!
    As the cables connecting the batteries will be substantial how do I put a fuse in the line?
    David
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i use 50amp cable which isnt all that heavy but as the batteries are all close together the volt drop isnt that critical.
    when you consider the wire feeding the whole van, from the leisure batteries is maybe only 30amp cable i figured 50amp linking wire was adequate.

    i used normal crimp type spade connectors on the end of the wires.
    connectors with a yellow sleeve are big enough for 50amp wire and just push straight onto the fuse blades then wrap a bit of insulation tape around them.

    you can buy large, enclosed fuse carriers, which are better from a safety aspect, from your local car audio specialists.....boy racers use them for the 200+watt amplifiers and boomboxs.

    you should seal the fuse somehow, hence the insulation tape, as if the battery starts to gas and a fuse blows it can set fire to the gas.
    BOOM!!!!!
     
  12. david.h.gto

    david.h.gto Read Only Funster

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    Thanks again ! I'll try that. French electrics are "interesting", mind you I had a house in Germany when in the Army where all the wiring was aluminium!
    D
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Oh it is magic and a bit scary, here's a guy with a big MH that got his wiring a bit wrong.
     

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