Well that was embarrassing ...

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Bart, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    So after 2 weeks away in our 1st trip out in our new Motorhome "Wendy" it all went great ...yes Untill it came to getting of the ferry at home in Ireland.
    Went to start the Mh after the 2 hrs crossing and ... .......
    ...........
    .........
    Yip cab battery flat as a pancake...so they had to get their jump start chargers out to get us going ..
    Through out our 15000 mile journey we hardly would of used the cab battery much . And before the ferry we had driven 2 hrs to get to cairnryan.
    OK so I left the side lights on on the Mh for the 2 hrs crossing . Along with the radio on mute . And the fridge on battery ( but doesn't the latter use the hab batteries ) ?
    The hab batteries are fine they are 3 x new 130 ah batteries charged by a sterling b2b charger .. 120 ah and that worked great for us ..2 weeks and not hooked up once .. atm I have far to much hab battery power as they hardly dropped at all in voltage.. but I need that xtra for when I install an inverter.
    ANYWAY back to the dead cab battery .. at home now once I stopped the Mh and went to the hab control panel ..after a few mins it said 9.9v
    Could the side lights being on for 2 hrs along with the radio muted and fridge if applicable drain my cab battery to that level ?
    Now I'm home and it's on the ehu using the mh charger to charge the battery
    PS not once during our holiday did I switch the charger at the control panel so that it charged cab battery .. as tbh I never thought about it once.
     
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  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    No, not if it's a conventional setup. It will be connected to the vehicle battery and is only supposed to be used on 12v when the engine is running i.e. when you're travelling.

    If it's a manual one you need to remember to switch it away from 12v when you aren't moving and if it's an automatic one it won't choose that setting unless the engine is running anyway.

    It would have been fine on the ferry with no power, just like any other fridge as long as you don't open the door it should be good for 24 hours.

    You might get it back but don't be too surprised if that is permanently banjaxed.
     
  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Our fridge is fed from the habitation batteries but not all are like this, yours being a British van may well use the cab battery.

    If it's an AES fridge but you switched it to 12 volts operation it would most likely ignore the fact that the engine is not running and then flatten the cab battery.

    Martin
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Nowt to do with your fridge or sidelights.....you have a faulty alternator which is staying active with the engine off.
    Sidelights should draw less than 2amps/hour and at most the fridge will draw 10amps/hour but only if the relay has stuck closed drawing power from the cab battery.
    20a from the battery is not enough to stop it cranking the engine.

    If the alternator is remaining active it, in effect, becomes a motor....trying to turn the engine which it cant possibly do.. ..and will rapidly drain the battery.
     
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  5. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    How could I test this , and what's the chances it's anything to do with installing a sterling b2b charger
     
  6. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    We update . Last night I left the cab battery on to charge . Got in this morning and ..meh ... i just heard a few relay type clicks. So I went to take the cab battery out . And try the old leisure battery that came with the mh in the cab.
    It was then when I took of the earth lead that I seen it all corroded inside , so I got the good old Dremil out and cleaned off all the corrosion and reconnected it back up.
    Tried to start the Mh and worked fine . Stopped it turned on everything lights ,wipers , blower etc , left it for a few mins then went to start it.. and away it went fine.
    So I have continued to charge it today for about 6 hrs .. will let it settle down tonight . Then tomorrow will try the same again. Except this time I'll take multimeter readings while under load and off load..
    What voltage should I be getting after it sitting all night then putting it under load.
     
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  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Something like 12.6 or 12.7 volts for a fully charged healthy battery after resting.

    I wouldn't worry about the voltage while cranking, too many variables I think - if it's turning the engine it is probably fine. If it can hold its charge of course.
     
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  8. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    I also think I'll make sure i have a set of jump leads that reach from my hab batteries to my cab battery so if something similar ever happens again at least I'll be able to jump myself from my had batteries ( 3 × 130 ah batteries )
     
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  9. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Thanks :)
     
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  10. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Well i went out this morning and before i did anything i checked the cab battery with the voltmeter , it said it was 12.4 v , i then turned on all the lights , fan on full , wipers , etc and 30 secs later checked the battery and it read 11.6 v while everything was running , i then started the MH and it turned over fast with no signs of struggle.
    So all looks ok , i'll re check the cab voltage in a few days / weeks and make sure its holding the charge ok.
    I now also have a set of jump leads in the MH that reach from my Habitation Battery bank to my Cab Battery, i take it this is perfectly ok to jump start the MH this way should i ever need to ?
     
  11. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    You should only "jump" the cab battery through the under bonnet terminals provided by the manufacturer. Connecting directly to the cab battery is frowned upon as it has a danger of upsetting, or even seriously damaging, the engine electronics. I presume that is what they did on the ferry?

    Hope your "jump" leads are long enough......
     
  12. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Yip ,, i never knew suck a jumping point existed , mine is a 2007 fiat ducatto chassis , does it have them ?
     
  13. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    15000 miles in 2 weeks! That's some trip.
     
  14. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    lol well spotted @Riverbankannie , obv a Typo ,, should of read 1500 miles :) @ 15000 miles i would of never stopped and would need a holiday ^^
     
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  15. Tykatem

    Tykatem Funster

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    Yes, under the bonnet. Check your manual

    Pete
     
  16. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    Thanks after much much searching of the Manual i finally found the section.
    However i have only found the Positive connection at the fuse box and am unsure where they mean for the negative to go ,, do they just mean on a bolt in that area so it connects to the Chassis > ??
    see the images here :
    http://www.manualslib.com/manual/803246/Fiat-Ducato.html?term=jump&page=141#manual

    With mine being jump started at the battery , what damage should i be looking for to see if i anything got damaged , the motor home has hardly done any miles since jump starting.
     
  17. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    A note for consideration having been where you were

    We bought a long set of leads that would definitely reach from hab to cab, covered the where to connect under the bonnet bit, then had a flat cab batt (third inside a year o_O) got leads out, there is no way I can connect to the top of the leisure batteries without removing it (not easy in my case)

    so still had to call out a breakdown service, then when home changed cab batt, not had an issue since

    good luck with your problem
     
  18. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    i'm still wondering where they mean to connect the negative jump lead to . as that are just has a bolt same as the other side.
     
  19. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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  20. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    they look alright 4.5 mtrs , decent length as well
     
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