Vehicle battery discharging

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by DiggerJon, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

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    I have a 2011 Tribute T620 fitted with a Cobra alarm which I keep parked on my drive and plugged into the mains. I was under the impression that the Sergeant control box charged both the leisure battery and then the vehicle battery, but if I leave it parked for about three weeks, the vehicle battery is discharged to the point where the engine will not turn over. Is this normal?
    I am horribly non technical with electrical things; would solar panel help and are they worth the money?
     
  2. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    Not all motorhomes will charge the vehicle battery, it seems odd but that's just how it's been. More recently motorhomes have started to include the engine battery as part of the charge circuit.

    It possible to fit various devices which will keep the engine battery topped up. Check to see if it can be added to your existing controller, if you have solar there may be a second battery output which puts excess into the second (engine) battery, or some sort of split-charge relay/battery master will do the trick too.
     
  3. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    No I don't think this is normal.

    On many vans the mains charger does also charge the cab battery, but it sounds as if the CI does not - maybe others could confirm this.

    But even so the battery should not go flat in 3 weeks. We frequently leave ours parked for 5/6 weeks without being plugged in and it has never failed to start.

    So either the battery is faulty

    Or the alternator is not charging it correctly when you drive it (or perhaps you are not driving it far enough??)

    or there is some drain on the battery when parked (eg interior cab lights???)

    If the CI does not charge the cab battery when on mains, I am sure it could be rewired to do so, but you might need to get someone who knows his way round electrics to do this.
     
  4. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    There is probably a menu setting for this in the psu, give Sargent a call -

    Sargent Electrical Services Ltd.
    Unit 39, Tokenspire Business Park
    Beverley
    East Yorkshire
    HU17 0TB
    United Kingdom
    Phone 01482 881655 Fax 01482 678987 E-mail support@sargentltd.co.uk

    They are generally very helpful.

    I note on their website that they are closing for 3 weeks holiday from 29th July.

    Brian
     
  5. steevie

    steevie Funster

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    even a smaller type solar panel would keep all your batteries charged fully when stood, but as said, you must be wired correctly. Most smart controllers keep the engine battery topped first, then onto the house batteries, so that you can always start the engine to power up the others. You dont say if you have mains power to it when stood, as it needs power from somewhere to work anyway. You do need to establish the engine battery is good tho first thing. And also make sure there is only the anti theft device using power aswell.
     
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  6. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    My Land Rover Discovery is left parked for 5-6 weeks at a time when I am away and these vehicles are notorious for running down their batteries when not used because of the high level of electronic stuff.

    I bought a cheap 10w solar panel (about a foot square) which attaches by magnets to the roof and keeps it all charged up. It connects by a 12S plug to the grey towing socket on the back (permanently live) and thus requires no modification to the vehicle.
     
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  7. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    my van has a sargent charger, and to charge the cab battery i have to select it from the control panel as the power source. i then switch it over each week so both keep charged

    you could fit a battery master, which fits between the 2 batteries and that allows both to be charged from the same source. only 3 wires to connect so very simple
     
  8. ramsthom

    ramsthom Funster

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    It could be your Sargeant control unit is set to leisure battery charging instead of smart charging. In the smart charging position it charges leisure and cab batteries in rotation. If i remember correctly on the sergeant panel press and hold the set button to enter the main menu. then scroll the menu using the set button to smart charging. Press the select button to set the smart charging to ON. Hope this of some help.
     
  9. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

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    Thanks for all help

    Thank you everybody with so much information. Now I have to act on it; in the meantime, I have a trickle charger hard at work under the bonnet!
     
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