Liesure battery

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by normanandsue, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Hi,
    I am a first timer; I own a 1998 Autosleeper Ravenna and live in the north of Scotland. The last 6 weeks we have been snowed in and my "Roma" has sat out in temperatures that would make an eskimo shiver. This morning snow all gone I turned the engine over to check all was well. After a little growl the engine purred into life and we set off for a 20 mile drive. Half way through the drive we stopped and tried the electrics in the van.................. A BIG FAT NOTHING. :Sad:
    The fridge worked nicely whilst the engine was running as it should. But when I turned the master switch on there was no power, the liesure battery was flat. Despite the engine running still no electrics worked and the power meter still registered zero. :Sad:
    I appreciate the battery is flat but as the master switch was OFF I am puzzled as to why the battery, that was working fine six weeks before, should suddenly go flat.
    Has anyone any ideas?

    Norman
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Hi and welcome to the fun....

    batteries have an internal resistance and will self discharge over time.

    if the battery is quite old the discharge rate may high enough to flatten it in 6 weeks.

    it could be the battery is beyond recovery due to being so flat, around 10v usually indicates a defuct battery and recovery is very unlikely.

    try charging it with a normal mains charger.

    edit....just reread your post and if the engine was running when you tried the 12v stuff it wont work.
    usually the 12v equipment is isolated(except the fridge) when the engines running.
     
  3. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Thanks pappajohn! At first the engine was switched off but I thought maybe there was enough charge coming through the engine to make the lights work.
    I bought the van in July 2009 and the leisure battery was not new then so I don't know how old the battery is, but it is likely to have some age. I will try re charging it and see what happens but I don't want to buy a new battery only to find the fault was with the van rather than just an old battery.

    Norman
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if the battery is old and on its last legs then it may well need replacing.

    a totally flat battery will freeze as readily as normal water so the cold snap may have been its death.
     
  5. Wyaye wires

    Wyaye wires

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    Hi and welcome to Motorhome Fun

    We lost our leisure battery in the cold snap December 2009 to February 2010 - the MH was new but because of the extreme cold and the fact that we could not even get into the storage yard to start up the engine it died on us. As Pappajohn says if its old it probably has seen its useful life.

    We have now got a solar panel fitted and it keeps the leisure battery topped up even on a grey day.

    Kind regards

    Kath & Howie
     
  6. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Six weeks you did well my 5ver used to kill 2 batteries off in 2 weeks when i thought i had switched everything off, turned out one of the gas alarms ran on 12v so while there was life in the batteries it worked till they were drained, Ash kindly fitted an isolation switch for me when he fitted our solar panel (so it could be turned off when van in storage) and havent had a problem since. Put 2 new batteries on last year and they have remained good and charged even through this cold snap.
     
  7. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Leisure Battery

    Thanks everyone, I get the message - the battery has died - :Sad: but I now wonder in my ignorance whether in future it might be an idea to disconnect the battery in the winter? I am not aware of anything that is running when the master switch has been turned off.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Norman
     
  8. Squire

    Squire Read Only Funster

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    Before condemning the battery I would check the fuses.
     
  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    A solar panel is great for keeping your batteries topped up, unfortunately I know to my cost that they don't work with 6 inches of snow on them :cry:
     
  10. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    My second panel is vertical against the inside of the windscreen, unaffected by snow, hee hee.
     
  11. Mixter

    Mixter Read Only Funster

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    If possible, its worth hooking it up on a timer during the severe cold, as it will flatten the best of batteries after not very long.

    Ive just found this out with my starter battery. It was new in the spring, and its a good one to boot. I was aware of a 'fix' (found on here, and the 'other' place), whereby the leisure and starter batteries are hooked together through a fused cable, so that the hook-up keeps both topped up. I didnt get around to the job because i reasoned with myself that it doesnt get that cold for that long, and, i could always nip in and run the engine now and then. Not so. I tried the starter last week after about weeks standing - and nothing. Well, it turned over, but was never going to fire, there wasnt enough in it.
    So, ive done the fix - a fiver and half an hours work - far better done in warmer times. Now the starter battery is kept happy and healthy along with its 'mate' further down the van.
     
  12. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Leisure Battery

    Thanks everyone for your advice.
    You will be pleased to know the battery is not Dead:BigGrin: What I know now but did not know then, though most of you more expereinced motorhomers know, you can't use your 12v circuit in the habitation area whilst the engine is running. I tried the lights and everything without turning on the engine and it all works fine.[​IMG]
    Thought I would share my embarrasment with any other first timers who might make the same mistake.
    Happy New Year to all.
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You can if you buy a continental van. It's a daft Brit regulation, and not a legal one, that has caught you out.
     
  14. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    That might not have worked either !
     

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  15. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    ha ha my van is pointed South so the sun is always on it, snow invariably comes from the North east, back windows smothered, front clear.
     
  16. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    Or if you accidentally turn the radio on to disc , instead of off.:Doh:
    Like Ralph did.
    With the snow on the solar panel the trickle wasn't enough . 1 totally dead battery .
     
  17. marymary

    marymary

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    looking at getting a trickle charger solar panel but what size - power I mean.....
     
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    just to keep a fully charged battery topped up when not in use (depending on alarms etc being on)....36 watts in summer...80 watts in winter.
    theoreticaly, a 36w will give 3amps in full summer sun, in reality it may be 2 to 2.5amps....in winter, a few hundred milliamps...not enough to keep charged for more than a few days.


    to charge the batteries when in use....the biggest you can afford.

    i have a 170watt panel on the roof and 4 x 120amp batteries.
    just about keeps them charged during summer.
     
  19. Squire

    Squire Read Only Funster

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    I had mine 'fixed' to avoid this. A very simple operation that involved moving a couple of 12v relay connections I understand. I find it more convenient now although the downside is that when I'm by myself I have to remember to switch off the interior lights before moving off . I guess that the 'convenience' is really for my passengers!
     
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