Yet another leisure battery question

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Mags52, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    So, after loads of discussion and watching our leisure batteries getting less and less able to keep their charge we bought new batteries at Caravanas Cruz near Alicante. They gave us excellent service, checked the solar controller and advised us that the batteries were dead. Refitted new ones and checked everything again. We've only had this van for 4 months so we don't know what abuse they'd suffered in the past.
    New batteries installed and on mains hook up since yesterday I thought I should see how they're holding their charge this evening now that it's dark so unplugged from the mains and left a few lights on for an hour. They started at 12.7 and dropped in the hour to 12.3
    Is this normal? I'm wondering if we have something that we don't know about that's drawing power.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks
    Mags
     
  2. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    It depends on what you mean by "a few lights" but I would not expect to see as low as 12.3, are your lights LED.

    Martin
     
  3. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    No they're not LED. At least as far as I know. We left the outside light, two small strip lights and a couple of tiny cupboard lights on (the latter two was a mistake!). There must be something drawing power but can't think what it is. The van is going back to the dealer for a couple of fixes under warranty when we get back to the UK so maybe we should get them to look at it. We're just concerned that these batteries won't make it - they were expensive!
     
  4. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    When you turn everything off for the night just sneak back and have a look after everything has been shut down for 10 minutes and see what they are reading.

    Martin
     
  5. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    It` all the Fault of Mr "Ohm". He was the one who decided that Resistance (ohms) was a product of Amps / Volts OR that current (amps) equalled Volts X resistance Etc:

    So a 21Watt lamp will consume (because Watts is the product of Volts X Amps) 21 /12 or Approx 1.75 Amps. IF you have a battery of (say) 100Ah that will Theoretically provide 1amp for 100 hrs (it won`t for several reasons, likely less that 1/3rd of that). So your lamp(s) will last give or take 30hrs per lamp, and for every lamp that will further reduce the Time factor. (2 = 15hrs etc). What you are experiencing is not that unusual IMHO?.

    Pete
     
  6. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    We have 2 x 100 Ah batteries. But I'm just a bit paranoid that the problem is somewhere else and that our expensive new batteries don't fix the it. We're heading north from Spain tomorrow and once we get to France will be on Aires - that will test them properly, especially as it's getting colder and we'll need to run the blown air heating.
     
  7. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    We have two 135ah no solar and have lasted five days in a rally field. LED's all round and don't leave the blow part of the heating on, just the gas part and we haven't had any problems.
     
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  8. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Whatever the situation is with your batteries if you intend to spend time off hook up it would be worth investing in a few LED's.

    Put them back on the hook up and then pull your hook up lead tomorrow night when you go to bed and as long as you have nothing running overnight and assuming no solar, check the volts in the morning, I would expect to see close to 12.7.

    Martin
     
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  9. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    How do you turn the blowers off?
     
  10. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Ours is a Truma and has the gas control on the top left, see image, and turns gas on, fires the starter and sets the temp. On the right is the fan speed switch and at night we leave it off and the van is kept warm, when first of us get up in the morning just turn blower on for more heat down the other end of van. image.jpg
     
  11. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Another massive vote for LED lights as soon as you can and until you can use lights really sparingly

    Our MH is a 08 model fitted with loads of early 'mood' lighting, in the form of rope lights, fluorescent strips and in the bathroom masses of small halogens that we cant seem to swap, we also have a controller that allows me to see Amps being used.

    I have gone round turning on individual lights to check, the bathroom draws 5.4A :eek::eek:, some of the strip lights over 3A, but where we have changed to LED's they barely register any consumption, around 0.1A for 4 lit together

    Have also heard that blown air is another killer

    Don't let it spoil your trip, if you are stuck you can always run your engine for a while to top the batteries up, not the most efficient or neighbour friendly option, but quite effective, but you might also prove that it is your charger causing the problem, if they stay charged longer after a drive that might be a clue (y)
     
  12. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    When you do replace your bulbs for LED's spend a little extra on the ones below because it seems the 12v ones can blow according to reports on Fun. Ours are 8-30v and in the lounge I have put warm white and in the kitchen and bathroom cool white and boy can you tell the difference! As David says the saving in power is monstrous. image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  13. mustaphapint

    mustaphapint Funster

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    Surely at 12.7 volts they cannot have been fully charged when disconnected from the EHU.
     
  14. Delboyarapaho

    Delboyarapaho Funster

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    I have an autotrail and my batteries are pretty much knackered but I wont change them until next season. However I looked at the control panel today and the meter told me I had 100%AH but the leisure battery only indicated 11volts. I guess I assumed the meter showing 100% capacity was good news but clearly it is a meaningless indicator because the batteries have no life in them. Can anyone rationalise these two factors and explain what each meter is telling me?
     
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  15. davanne

    davanne Funster

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    @Mags52 has an AutotrailAutotrail Miami so it won't have the fire type heating it will be the heating that works from the boiler.
     
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  16. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    12.7 volts is pretty much what a lead acid battery will settle at once it is taken off charge a gel battery will show slightly higher voltage.

    Martin
     
  17. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    And the answer is... Autotrail !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I was really worried about mine and in the end got a decent meter on them and checked the buggers ( the batteries )
    Since then I have checked maybe half a dozen other Autotrails.. all with pretty much identical results.. The Sargent panel reads .35v lower than they ( the batteries ) actually are
     
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  18. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Wait at least 1/2 an hour before measuring. The Battery has to "settle". What you need to see with a full charge on a disconnected "Wet" battery. is about 12.6 ish volts, That`s your start Point.

    Pete
     
  19. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    If you feel capable, get your led's from ebay, caravan supply shops seem to charge way over the odds for them.
    Changed all mine for ones encapsulated in clear silicon, it was as easy as changing a light bulb in the house. We have one fluorescent tube in the hab area that will be a pain to change and it consumes more power on it's own than all the rest put together.
     
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  20. Mags52

    Mags52 Funster

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    As soon as we're back in the UK I'll get on to the search for LEDs. Our van has a load of strip lights. I thought they were low consumers. Oh dear.
     
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