Keeping your car battery charged when you are away for several weeks. (2 Viewers)

Feb 16, 2020
227
334
Taunton
Funster No
68,783
MH
A class
Exp
Newbie
Hi all, I was wondering what other members do when they are away for several weeks at a time to keep their car battery charged?

Having retired 18 months ago after one of our early trips when we arrived home our car battery was flat! This year we have had a couple of trips of 6 weeks away, my son popped over and ran my car for 15 minutes to keep the battery healthy. The car is left on our drive so easy access but I don’t feel I can ask him every time.

There must be a better way, what do all you intrepid travellers do? Thanks
 
Feb 19, 2020
1,458
1,620
North Ayrshire
Funster No
68,864
MH
Adria Matrix 670SC
Exp
Newbie
Do you have solar? A dual output solar controller can be connected to the engine battery or fit a Battery Master ( other makes are available)
 
Jul 6, 2009
1,842
2,294
Funster No
7,383
We have a small 10 watt panel which we have on our garage roof, this with a long lead reaches directly on to our Audi Estate which has the battery in the boot. This has worked well for nearly 7 years, and as we were away for up to 6 months at a. Time the car always started no problem. Though our car does shut down various accessories to save power.
 

Langtoftlad

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 12, 2011
8,918
152,469
Langtoft, South Lincs
Funster No
16,024
MH
WildAx Aurora FB [PVC]
Exp
Since 2015
I used a small solar panel plugged into the obd socket and that kept it topped up, just don’t leave the car open with the keys and the house key on the front seat for 10 weeks like I did….😎
I have one - it seems to work
AA Solar Charger

I got an OBD one as in my car [as many others] the 12v socket isn't live when the ignition is off.


it's 1p cheaper now than when I bought mine, 7 years ago - inflation pah :LOL:
 
May 14, 2021
1,760
2,825
East Yorkshire, UK
Funster No
81,218
MH
ADRIA Twin 640SLB
Exp
Since 2012
A long time ago now we used to have a purely pleasure drive sports car and I had to keep the battery charged because of the draw from the alarm system when not being used. The charger was suitable for long time charging for the likes of what I was using it for, motorcycles and lawn tractors etc. HERE is the blurb on their website.

So when away now I use the AccuMate charger I bought specifically for that job and make sure I attach the leads as recommended in my car’s manual. I have never had a problem over the past 10 years. I have long, extendable leads, so could keep them inside the engine bay if necessary but I have mine in the garage.

4658C49F-DB0B-440C-98BE-B3AE675DF71B.jpeg

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Feb 18, 2017
4,207
8,142
Greenwich, London, UK
Funster No
47,382
MH
Hymer MLT 570
Exp
1986
Not battery problem. Car started first time after 3 months

The problem we have found with leaving a modern diesel car sitting around for 3 months during the height of summer is the AdBlu crystallises.

Luckily all fixed under warranty, but it involved a new AdBlu tank, new filter and new AdBlu plumbing as well as three visits to the dealers and the car off the road for 3 weeks awaiting parts.

I found out from the dealers that they had 4 other cars in their car park at the same time as mine all with the same problem.
Apparently Citroen could not make the spares fast enough, but were faster than Peugeot and Vauxhall who use the same parts and had cars waiting weeks and weeks.

When we go away next year I'll be leaving the car with a friend to drive it around every week or two.
 

JockandRita

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 2, 2007
11,533
151,259
Lincs/Cambs border
Funster No
49
MH
N+B Flair 8000i
Exp
Since May 05 (Ex Tuggers).
The last twice we've been away for months at a time, I connected an Aldi/Lidl multi-stage Smart Charger to our old Pug 206's battery.
It has a cold weather trickle charge setting, which seems to do the job fine.
1667822416795.png


We come back to a car ready to start and move off the driveway. I just print off an A4 label "CHARGING IN PROGRESS" which I lay on the driver's seat, to remind me to disconnect the charger when I come home. ;)

Cheers,

Jock. :)
 

TerryL

LIFE MEMBER
Mar 5, 2010
6,226
8,255
North East
Funster No
10,511
MH
Low Profile
Exp
2009
I just hookup my normal battery charger which is powered through a timer switch for one hour a day. Not happy with leaving something connected all the time TBH. Battery charger is on the drivers seat along with the cover so I, or anyone else, don't forget.
 
OP
OP
Rodders1234
Feb 16, 2020
227
334
Taunton
Funster No
68,783
MH
A class
Exp
Newbie
I used a small solar panel plugged into the obd socket and that kept it topped up, just don’t leave the car open with the keys and the house key on the front seat for 10 weeks like I did….😎
Thanks but silly question but is is the obd socket?
 
Apr 11, 2015
5,495
56,387
hull
Funster No
35,812
MH
Laika Ecovip 300
Exp
since 1988 with breaks until 2009
We leave my old car parked up while we go away for up to 11 weeks, it has always started when we got back as has Johns which has been garaged. He did buy me a little solar panel to help, but knicked that as his bike battery is not so reliable.
 
Apr 27, 2008
11,862
14,121
Eastbourne East Sussex
Funster No
2,327
MH
Hymer low profile
Exp
Since 1972
I used to use a little 10w solar panel. My current vehicle is practically unique in having a lithium battery with zero self discharge. It has to run the alarm etc but if it really goes flat it can be started from the main traction battery with a dashboard button, though you do need to fiddle about with the emergency key to get in.
 
Nov 5, 2013
3,158
98,957
Shropshire
Funster No
28,900
MH
Carthago chic e-line
Exp
Since 2013
Just Google 'dashboard solar panel' plenty available,running it for 15mins is probably the worst thing you could be doing.

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cmcardle75

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 8, 2012
2,666
3,446
Reading
Funster No
21,386
MH
Riot Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2012
Hi all, I was wondering what other members do when they are away for several weeks at a time to keep their car battery charged?

Having retired 18 months ago after one of our early trips when we arrived home our car battery was flat! This year we have had a couple of trips of 6 weeks away, my son popped over and ran my car for 15 minutes to keep the battery healthy. The car is left on our drive so easy access but I don’t feel I can ask him every time.

There must be a better way, what do all you intrepid travellers do? Thanks

Note that 15 minutes of idling won't put much back into the battery. You're much better off with a maintenance charger (or little solar panel). You can also disconnect totally, but modern cars sometimes throw a wobbly and spew badly designed ECU units all over the drive (figuratively speaking).
 
May 31, 2015
11,837
45,247
Cornwall
Funster No
36,638
MH
Ducato PVC
Exp
Getting Better
I have one - it seems to work
AA Solar Charger

I got an OBD one as in my car [as many others] the 12v socket isn't live when the ignition is off.


it's 1p cheaper now than when I bought mine, 7 years ago - inflation pah :LOL:

That’s the one…👍🏼

Thanks but silly question but is is the obd socket?
On board diagnostic’s socket, usually under the dash by the fuses..
 
Jan 22, 2019
730
3,542
Bucks
Funster No
58,167
MH
Adria PVC
Exp
Rented a few times...now an owner.
CTek make the best battery conditioners out there ... if you have access to power on the drive, this is all you need. Just make sure you choose the right one if you have an AGM starter battery (with stop/start) 👍

https://www.ctek.com/uk/
 

Shrimp

Funster
May 27, 2015
4,020
34,134
Bedfordshire, UK
Funster No
36,573
MH
Hymer B584
Exp
Long time
Our little 107 sits in the garage at MiLs quite content and still starts up fine.

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Nov 13, 2012
441
438
Somerset
Funster No
23,678
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
since 2000
I disconnected battery only takes 2 mins to do, reconnected on return no problems didn’t even Need to reset clock.
 
Aug 22, 2007
2,541
33,481
essex
Funster No
145
MH
2017 sunlight t69s euro6
Exp
since 1999
our little kia just gets left to fend for its self we left it for 9 weeks from march and it started fine when we returned
 
Aug 26, 2008
4,790
25,482
B&NES
Funster No
3,823
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
since 2007
With ours the 12v battery gets charged by the HV battery. The recommendation is not to leave it undriven for more than 3 months.

[NB - This might not be foolproof according to the forum members who have experienced flat 12v batteries after a few weeks. Cars with keyless entry may refuse to unlock etc. ]
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,148
152,966
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Our car is 10 years old still on the original battery always starts first turn after 6 - 7 weeks away.

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