Ozzie's dead.........again

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by D&G, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. D&G

    D&G Funster

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    Hi All,

    So I went out on saturday to check on Ozzie as we had friends coming down for the Bridgwater carnival and some were going to be staying in Ozzie on the drive overnight. When I went to go and open him up the doors would not unlock.
    For the 2nd time since we got him in May the cab battery has gone to 0.0v in 2 weeks. Nothing has been switched on, no panel, no fascia for the radio, so thats my first issue, what is causing the battery to lose all power, secondly, we are looking to have a solar panel fitted for this very reason in Jan or feb next year, so my question is, should i re-charge the battery and keep it topped up till jan-feb or should I leave it at 0.0v and charge just before we are due to use it, will it do the battery any harm/damage leaving it flat ??

    Many thanks
    Dave.
     
  2. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    Think the battery is probably goosed and you will need a new one.

    Personally I would replace it at the same time the solar panel was put on making sure the solar panel also recharges the cab battery, others will probably disagree. This assumes you won't be using it on the road until then.
     
  3. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    only real way to stop power drain
    if your not concerned about an alarm disconnect the battery
    i think a face off radio
    still drains a battery

    or a failing battery depending on age/condition
     
  4. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    My son bought a rather posh stereo that did it all.. Got it from China for about £140 ..
    Even with the front off it would drain a battery in about 4 weeks.
     
  5. D&G

    D&G Funster

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    Thanks for the replies guys, is there some equipment that can test what is draining the power ??

    We are looking to get a solar panel that charges both Cab and leisure batteries and we have no plans to go out between now and jan-feb.

    When we went to test drive Ozzie he had a flat battery :(

    Dave.
     
  6. barsteward

    barsteward Funster

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    I think the first thing to do is get the battery checked, eliminate one thing at a time.
     
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  7. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I assume Ozzie is the van on your avatar. Cant make out what it is.
    Anyway.. Does it have a Sargent power supply ??
    My Autotrail has a Sargent EC500 unit, there is a constant drain of around 0.2amps all the time even with everything off.
    Sargent say this is normal, so long term parking will eventually kill the battery.

    A solar panel is well worth it BUT as that battery has been flattened twice it may be worth getting it tested first.
     
  8. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    If you leave it unused is it dead every time? You say it's happened twice since May. How many times have you left it for say two weeks and it's fine?
    The reason I ask is I'm wondering if you have left anything on that switches off with the ignition but may "leak" power? Wipers, lights if they go off with ignition, do you leave the handbrake off and put in reverse ( rev lights) do you see what I mean?
    As has been said a proper check on the battery condition would be good. Anything from three years on and it might be foobard. (n)
     
  9. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    @D&G Hi Dave.
    What a nuisance eh?

    Well, if your battery (as you put it) really is 0:0 volts, then it's buggered I'm afraid. In fact, even if the voltage drops to well above a zero value, it's still U/S. (There are other forum posts regarding battery degradation that will give you the exact figures).

    From what you describe, you will need a new battery and to keep that trickle-charged until you can sort out the solar installation.

    A solar panel is a good investment, as long as the system also includes a gizmo for charging both your hab battery AND the cab battery. Get get a decent controller unit with the system too; the type that harvests and makes best use of light in dull-ish conditions.

    The value-added advantage of solar is that you have the option of staying off hook-up for longer when touring. At least the van should start!!

    That's the non-techie answer to your woes. There will be others along that will give you a more technical viewpoint.

    James
     
  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    If the battery was flat when you went for a test drive then why didn't you insist on a new one when you bought the van? A batter that has gone that flat is more than likely stuffed - if you got it from a dealer I'd be going back to them to get it replaced FOC as they obviously knew it had been flattened!
     
  11. D&G

    D&G Funster

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    I've just emailed the dealer to see what they say.

    And yes, it is the van in the avatar, It's a Fiat Suntor 580PR, i'm not sure what power supply it has, i'm at work at the moment so can't go and have a look.
     
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  12. namwaldog

    namwaldog Funster

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    Sounds like the same sort of problem we had when we bought ours last year. I went through all the diagnostics you are considering but couldn't make things better.

    Got to the stage we were dreading going out to the van in case it wouldn't start.

    Started making reasons not to go to the van. Wouldn't buy a new battery 'just in case ' it was something else.

    Got ourselves in a right tiswas having to jump start it for days out, darent put the radio on when we were out. Had to think ahead how we would start it again etc etc.

    Went to our local dealers , new battery fitted in 10 minutes £90. Never looked back since.

    Kept the old battery: charged it up to 'full' & next day flat as a pancake. Tried this three times same result.

    Weighed it in and got £20 back.
     
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  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Can that possibly be right ? 200mA. That is absurd for a modern control panel. But should that not come from the leisure battery ?

    Usual culprits are FIAT alarm, stereo and reversing camera.
     
  14. D&G

    D&G Funster

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    The dealership have agreed to take Ozzie back in next fri and check out the draw and replace the battery if necessary under warranty, happy days. Thanks for all your comments, i have a few other things to check now and make a note of, and then get the solar panel fitted so we can wild camping if we want to.

    Many Thanks
    Dave.
     
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  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Being stood a couple of weeks at 0v the battery may not even charge never mind recover.

    IF something is draining it that quick your alarm will be useless anyway so disconnect the battery or just remove the battery when in storage and keep it on trickle charge at home.
     
  16. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Same as the Autotrail but only when the panel is switched on
    Switched off it is down to about 5mA .. and that I believe is being drawn by the LED in the EM50 box.. But yes, that is taken from the leisure battery
     
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  17. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    parasitic current drain is often hard to trace and inevitable with the way motorhomes are wired. any battery allowed to drop below 10v is damaged, often beyond recharging. if the van is kept on hookup on your drive, consider fitting a battery master or similar. then the on board charger will keep both batteries charged up without any user action. otherwise you have to remember to switch between which batteries to charge weekly on many vans
     
  18. stephen harwood

    stephen harwood Funster

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    Hi dave only live down road, had all my battery master solar panel etc done at vanbitz at taunton eddie is a funster and gives members discounts, you get what is on can hope this helps regards steve, ps we have gone away to get away from carnival
     
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  19. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    That's good news.

    Once you have it back, especially if they do fit a new battery, I would check the voltage every couple of days until you are sure there is no longer any problem. If it drops below 12v you still have a problem & it needs to be recharged immediately. The last thing you want is for a new battery to be ruined by being discharged too far. A battery in a reasonable state of charge should read 12.5v or more.
     
  20. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Best way to look for "parasitic" Drain Is to Measure the Current flow between the battery and EARTH (safest).

    Pete
     
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