Motor Battery Issues

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Ridgeway, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Is it more common for a main battery (not leisure) to drain on a Motorhome vs a regular car ? I know on the rare occasions when we have left one of our cars for a few months without use then we never had any issues with them but whenever we leave the MH the main battery always drains after about 8-10wks and perhaps faster in these colder months. I come to the conclusion that either A) the battery is knackered but it's a 2yr old MH so shouldn't be, B) that the alternator isn't charging the battery, but then it would never get charged or C) that there is a small drain on the battery some where.......

    The MH has an aftermarket radio fitted and it's the only thing I can see that could be draining the battery. It is installed in such a way that you can use it even without the keys in (not good) although I always check several times to make sure that I have switched it off.

    Any ideas ?
     
  2. aba

    aba

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,793
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    yorkshire
    this is a problem with more modern motorhomes as the electrical system is constantly monitoring its self and the remote central locking receiver is always looking for the button press so it can unlock.

    also alarm systems / trackers etc. are all using small amounts of power and a few milliamps drain over a long period will flatten any battery.
     
  3. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Wondering then if it would be best to manually lock the doors and then disconnect the battery terminal ?
     
  4. GlobeStar

    GlobeStar Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Woodhall Spa
    I fitted a 3 position switch from maplins in my last van so that I could then select where the supply to the radio came from it could be either permanent or from the ignition circuit.
    My current battery is older than the van registration due to the van sitting at the converters for a long time before conversion. You might find yours is the same so the battery could be a couple of years older than you thought. But as previous reiews it will drain due to the alarms etc.
    I have been looking at an optimate 6 battery charging system which will look after the vans battery better than the built in charger and plan to use it a couple of times a year on either of the liesure or cab battery.
    I hope this link works.

    http://www.intobikes.co.uk/promotions/tecmate-optimate-6-ampmatic-battery-charger--optimiser

    Tim
     
  5. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Gives me an idea, perhaps the solution is to fit a switch on the battery cable itself. Then I can disconnect it at the flick of a switch.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,455
    Likes Received:
    16,885
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    radio memory may use 10ma per hour or maybe more for an aftermarket unit so over 10 weeks will be nearly 15amps at least
    add to that any alarm/immobiliser etc using the same parasitic current and maybe 35% of your battery capacity is gone.
    with an older battery this could have a serious effect on available power
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,345
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    Location:
    Suffolk
    just remember that if you dis-connect the battery you will have no alarm (if fitted)----the insurance Co. would not be impressed with that:Sad:
    We leave a little solar panel on the dash board of the car when we leave it---has worked OK so-far:thumb:
    With our truck and de-mountable camper we fitted a solar panel on the roof----I leave truck and camper batteries linked together (via a switch) so they both stay charged without need for a battery charger when parked for long periods---I do isolate the gas alarms in the camper because they draw quite a lot of power, ----the gas is turned off when camper is not being used.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    No issue with the alarm as we don't have one......

    Gas alarms are battery powered so no electrical draw there either.
     
  9. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    990
    Location:
    sweden
    You can buy a ctek battery passive charger, they look after your battery,s well, i have one for my motor cycle because of the alarm drain over long periods, a very good Buy :thumb:
     
  10. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    This seems like a good idea:thumb:

    Had a quick look at the website but just trying to workout if it needs a 240v supply whilst it taking care of you battery ?
     
  11. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    990
    Location:
    sweden
    Yes it does, a great piece of kit though,can save you a great deal in the long run,
     
  12. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Just noticed they do a DC version, maybe I could connect a solar panel in as a feed.
     
  13. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    990
    Location:
    sweden
    you might find in the winter problems, not enoth day light or sun though
     
  14. aba

    aba

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,793
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    yorkshire
    our 80 watt solar panel has had some good days over this winter and would have kept the battery in a workable state.

    it has regularly been showing +1.5A and even now today overcast and slight drizzle it is putting out 0.6A which would keep the drain at a minimum but i wouldn't go any smaller than 80 watt.
     
  15. Viennese

    Viennese Funster

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    2,521
    Location:
    Oxford
    You're lucky!

    My van battery drains in about 2-3 weeks - and similar ones do also!
     
  16. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Will look into that. We do get good daylight here, not sure what rain and clouds are TBH:Wink:
     
  17. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Lausanne
    Decided to bring the MH around to the house today so I could charge up the battery. Took the Landrover round and the jump leads to fire it up and it worked first time. Suddenly noticed that as the engine started up that the lights came on..... Yep last time it had been parked up at the farm someone had left the lights on:Doh: OK the good news is that it wasn't me as I'd lent it to a friend for a week and he had driven it back there and obviously he forgot to switch the lights off although I should have checked it but I remember it was throwing it down when he came back.

    It's on charge now and hopefully by tomorrow it will be fully charged. Also I've bought a small solar panel as below:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-Automotive-RSP240-Solar-Maintainer/dp/B003M9FRH2"]Ring Automotive RSP240 12V 2.4W Solar Maintainer - Upto 100Ah: Amazon.co.uk: Car & Motorbike[/ame]


    I'll install it tomorrow and hopefully this will be enough to keep the battery in good shape.
     
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,455
    Likes Received:
    16,885
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    in a perfect world that panel will produce 200milliamps (1/5th of an amp) of power, in the real world it will be nearer to 120ma (1/8th of an amp) on a good day.

    fine for charging your mobil phone etc but no good for a 90 or 100amp battery

    your batteries self discharge rate (all batteries discharge even when disconnected) may be more than the panel can produce so the battery will still go flat.
    because the sun is weak at this time of year you really need a 40 or 50watt panel to make the most of what sun we currently have.
     
Loading...

Share This Page