MH in storage. Leisure battery flat - does it matter?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by wingman, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    Hi All,
    My MH is laid up for the winter a short distance from home. It is covered with a four-ply cover; all very nice, but it obscures the solar panel and hence, no charge going to the batteries.

    I check the Mo-Ho every few days and when I switched the 'master' on yesterday, the meter on the panel showed zero! The electric step worked, but that's about all. No Hab' lights, nuffink! Don't know what's draining the leisure battery, there's nothing on to drain it?

    I ran the engine up for 10 mins or so and the hab batt' came up to 12v on the panel.

    Anyway; excuse my naïvety, but does it matter? I read on other posts that if the batt shows zero, it's mullah'd. Will it really do any damage to leave it flat? Won't be using the van until Jan/Feb.

    • Can't charge the battery on hookup - coz it's not at home
    • Don't want to give the van a run because it's an effort to cover/re-cover
    • Should I just take the battery off and bring it indoors to trickle-charge it?
    • Will it be damaged if I do nothing?
    PS. Ideally, I would like to 'let' a transparent panel into the cover so that the solar could top up the charge. Problem with that is, I ain't got an industrial sewing machine AND it would (perhaps) affect the cover's resale value if I sold it.

    Any comments welcomed.
    James
     
  2. Flamenca

    Flamenca Funster Life Member

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    I would remove the battery, take it home and charge it. It might well still be OK but IMHO it will die if left for the winter in the MH without trickle charging.
     
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  3. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    YES it will ruin the battery allowing it to go flat and stay that way. below 11v is bad for the battery, below 10v is normally fatal
     
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  4. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    a company that makes or repairs lorry curtainsides and tarpaulins is the best place to have the cover altered. do a google search for tarpaulin repairs in your home town
     
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  5. Delboyarapaho

    Delboyarapaho Funster

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    Its common problem. I had the same with my vehicle battery as it would only last 2 weeks before it dies on me. I would charge it fully then disconnect the negative terminal from the leisure battery and see if that preserves the charge. you can reconnect in a couple of weeks and if it is still fully charged that may do the trick. It worked for me on the vehicle battery.

    Let me know how you get on
     
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  6. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    If you leave the battery flat and in situ ,the plates will suphate and render it useless. It needs to be charged roughly once a month or left on a automatic charger.
     
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  7. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    I feel I should know the answer as I am sure it has been mentioned in the past, but what Motorhome do you have James ?
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    If the battery is flat and has been for a while it really won't matter..... It won't hold a full charge when you do charge it.
    If storage is secure and for the winter I would fit a new battery in the spring when you next use it.
     
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  9. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Funster

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    For what its worth, I would never put a cover over my Moho.
    A/. no solar
    B/. no natural air circulation
    C/.Will increase the cold and damp due to lack of natural sunlight.
    but thats my view(n)
    I take mine out every week or so for a short run in the depths of winter just to keep everything ticking over HTH'S
     
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  10. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Don't forget to check your insurance cover, as if you remove the batteries or let them go flat any alarm will not work.
     
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  11. Clickem

    Clickem Funster

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    In storage my leisure battery is quickly discharged by the reversing camera. Take it home and keep it charged
     
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  12. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    I would also say remove the cover and sell it, let the sun get to the solar panel and fresh air to the van. You could also then take it for a trip out as a treat.
     
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  13. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Keep any battery charged will extend it's life. In your case you might be lucky and with a good 3/4 stage charger it might recover. Please keep your batteries topped up.
     
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  14. bubble63

    bubble63 Funster

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    Disagree entirely except the solar bit

    If you take it for a run get the exhaust very hot, don't just fill it full of condensation on a short run, it will sit with water in and rot
     
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  15. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Funster

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    Good for you:)
     
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  16. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    Thanks all for your replies. @TheBig1 Thanks for your suggestion regarding getting a solar access panel cut into the cover by tarpaulin company.

    @Jaws its a 2014 Majestic 155 from the Marquis stable (updated Autoquest in other words!) . It is a brilliant MH with no probs.

    I know there's always a debate about covers. Must admit I don't find that it makes my MH damp. Although breathable, I do roll it back from time to time to let fresh air and sunlight in. However, I don't remove it completely. I try not to be a 'fair weather' Motorhomer, but the vagaries of where I park mean that I can't always get the MH out to give it a run. It's such a convenient place and it's FREE but as its a shared place, I have to swallow the fact that I'm blocked in sometimes. At least no one can nick it!

    Hope that explains a few things? It's not that I'm lazy :xshout:

    Looks like I'm gonna have to get the spanners out then, hump the battery home and source a tarp' company to make a transparent 'hole' for next year.

    One more question; with the leisure battery removed, does that affect the links to the vehicle battery?
     
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  17. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    only if you start the engine with no battery in place as the positive terminal will go live and if not insulated short to earth. or if you connect a mains cable the charger will go live too
     
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  18. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Good point...
     
  19. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Cover ends pf live terminal so if it does in advertantly touch something or you start the van , there isn't a problem.
     
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  20. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    UPDATE: You did ask!

    Funsters being knowledgeable, I have followed your advice!

    I unzipped and rolled up the side of the cover today and used some clamps to keep it up whilst busying myself with the external battery locker. (Had to roll the cover up, otherwise it would be like one of those army assault course obstacles where you have to crawl under a cammo' net :D)

    Whipped the battery out (hernia in the process) and put enough tape on the exposed cables to put the van over-weight! It deffo won't short out if I do start the van - it will just take me an hour to get the tape off again!

    Anyway, it's in my garage now and on charge. I put a meter across it before charging and it showed 10v. One volt below the dreaded 11v where Funsters advise chucking it and buying another.

    And finally......
    1. Once I'd taped up, tidied up and re-covered the van, I realised that the electric step was down. Prat!
    2. I'm wondering if not putting any distilled water in the battery for fourteen months has made a difference? (I thought the batt' was maintainance free! (n)
     
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