Leaving MH on EHU

Jan 10, 2013
4,771
4,130
Near Uttoxeter and Crete
Funster No
24,227
MH
Frankia i740 Plus
Exp
Still trucking and learning
We will be away for approx 3 months (not in the MH). The MH is parked on our drive and we could leave it on EHU for the whole 3 months, however we're wondering if this is a good idea or not. Any advice would be appreciated - pros and cons.
Thanks.
 
Jun 30, 2013
4,608
6,547
Cotes d'armor, France
Funster No
26,730
MH
Burstner Harmony TI 736 G
Exp
Since 1987
I don't see any reason why not , we leave ours plugged in all the time we aren't using it.
I suppose the main thing to consider is the battery charging. Ours has a smart charger and is ok if permanently connected. We also have the heating on low when it's cold.
If you aren't sure about the safety of it being "live" on its own, I suppose for peace of mind it's best to not have it connected and make sure it's fully winterised if you are doing it shortly
Allan
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Personally, I wouldn't.. not for three months with no one there.. if something goes wrong who will deal with it.. ?

I would disconnect the batteries and store in the shed or garage.. fully charge them and they will last three months ..

Also check with your insurance .. are you covered when you are not at home ?
 

irnbru

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 27, 2013
9,436
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Glasgow
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Coachbuilt
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4 yrs
You could maybe ask a neighbour to plug it in for several hrs one day a week.
 

Steve

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May 8, 2013
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also remember that some mh will have auto drain on the hot water system so if it gets below 7/8c it will open
 
OP
The Dudess
Jan 10, 2013
4,771
4,130
Near Uttoxeter and Crete
Funster No
24,227
MH
Frankia i740 Plus
Exp
Still trucking and learning
We leave ours for months at a time plugged in with a timer 12 on 12 off no problems in six years
That's good to know. I've just ordered a DIGITAL timer from Amazon as we often have short power cuts here so it will maintain it's settings.
 
Dec 21, 2011
3,367
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London
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IH PVC
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Since 2012
We have a intelligent charger and the motorhome is left on EHU on the drive 24/7. Once all the batteries are fully charged its just takes a tiny amount of current.

Probably just enough to run the alarm system.

Three years now and no problems. (y)
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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I'm sure many of you leave them plugged in for weeks or even months at a time with NO problems..

but are any of you willing to guarantee 100% that the Dude's won't develop a fault that may cause a fire, even on a timer .. ?

Granted, it's a small risk .. but I'd rest much easier KNOWING it couldn't catch fire .. I've seen plenty electric kit that's ran for years with no problems decide to give up the ghost and go on fire..

It's all a matter of risk assessment..

Your assessment.. your risk
 
Jun 30, 2013
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Cotes d'armor, France
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Burstner Harmony TI 736 G
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Since 1987
Electrical stuff is a lot safer nowadays, assuming your van has an electrical safety certificate or a recent hab test, there should be no problems, although I agree it would be a good idea to get someone to look in now and again.
A lot of people still unplug everything at home when they go away.......except the fridge. We all trust the fridge don't we?
Allan
 
Jan 3, 2008
2,581
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Suffolk
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20
I am happy leaving mine plugged in, the system has MCB's and fuses to protect it. For a fire to develop a wire in a component, for example the battery charger would need to be getting very hot indeed before which a fuse would blow.
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Hmm.. if all these safety devices are so good, I wonder why so many camper vans go on fire .. ?
Google camper van fires..

anyway.. each to their own.. it's good to see that there is so much faith in modern electrical kit.. in my not inconsiderable experience modern stuff is built to cost not quality.. and not nearly as good as it were 30 or more years ago.. it has built in redundancy..

as an example.. yesterday I bought a battery charger and a soldering iron from Aldi ..

the charger works.. the soldering iron doesn't, cold as ice .. so it will cost me more in petrol to get an exchange than it cost in the first place.. .. so much for buying cheap.. you get cheap, not good .. :rolleyes:
 

wanderer

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Apr 14, 2008
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I've seen plenty electric kit that's ran for years with no problems decide to give up the ghost and go on fire..
Strange i have not seen one piece of electrical kit catch fire i am sure it happens but not plenty . Surely its the same risks wherever you plug in probably more so on a campsite as you are working more appliances
 

JeanLuc

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Nov 17, 2008
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As ScotJimland says - "each to their own". One winter, I left ours plugged in, but not anymore. I offer the following two thoughts:
1. If you have a continental van equipped with an Elektrobloc then A&N who service and repair them in the UK recommend that you do not leave it plugged in for a very long time as this can lead to failure.
2. Even if everything else is fine, should you have a cell in a battery fail whilst the charger is connected, it is likely to gas. This happened to me with the original Exide gels. The van was plugged in on the drive and the CO alarm started going bonkers - they are sensitive to other gases too. The van was filled with foul-smelling Hydrogen Sulphide. Not a risk I would want to run if the van was unattended. Your batteries may be new and in perfect condition - but there is still a possibility of failure at some stage.
 

dabhand

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Feb 19, 2014
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I would never argue with the guys who are posting very valid responses to your query, their knowledge has been invaluable to me. What I would say is perhaps the question might get a different answer from them if you were to say.... I'm leaving my van for three months how can I make sure the batteries etc stay in prime condition, is it a good idea to use a timer set for on/off every 24 hours etc if you get my drift.

From my own point of view, my van has been on permanent EHU for 12 years when not in use. I should point out that I have had two new electroblocs, damaged through my own stupidity and nothing to do with being on EHU, and have just replaced the original batteries which were 14 years old. These may well have been damaged by constant EHU but is a cost I can live with after 14 years. I have my van undercover so the Solar panels have little or no effect, whether or not this would make a difference I don't know. All other comments re fire,insurance,gassing etc are valid and as scotjimland says it is a matter of risk assessment.

So guys, what it the perfect/preferred solution when not using your van?
 
Jan 28, 2013
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With all due respect.. Using Google results isn't a good way to prove something (try typing aliens land and see how many hits you get)
I've never seen a modern motorhome catch fire...
I don't believe there's any evidence that leaving a modern motorhome on EHU is dangerous in any way.
We certainly wouldn't be able to leave our heating on low in colder weather if we didn't..
Its a choice thing to isn't it.
 

Bobby22

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Dec 15, 2013
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Ask yourself why you would want to keep it on EHU......if its to keep the batteries charged....is there an altrnative way? If there is then that might give you the peace of mind your looking for.

Personally, if it was only to keep my batteries in shape, I would ask my family to monitor them and hook up once a fortnight at most.

Bear in mind some motorhomes can disconnect all power with the "red tag" on the ignition and on the switch on their sargent unit.
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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With all due respect.. Using Google results isn't a good way to prove something (try typing aliens land and see how many hits you get)
with all due respect I didn't use Google to prove anything..

I have given my view which is based on sound electrical knowledge with nigh on 40 years experience as a maintenance electrician, and with 25 years + motorhome experience

The facts are.. despite fuses, MCBs and thermal links, Electrical equipment can and does go on fire. Batteries can develop faults, overcharge and explode, it may never happen to you or anyone you know but it does happen.. my advice still stands..
 
Jan 28, 2013
3,223
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Weardale, Co Durham
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Houses have electrical fires too.. But we don't switch them off at the mains when we go out do we.
My point is.. Its rare..And people have a choice. And that's also a fact. (and you did use Google)

:notworthy:
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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The simple answer is yes you can.
yes, you can, .. but doesn't address the OP's question "is a good idea or not and what are the pros and cons" .

The pros are, it keeps the battery topped up..
the cons are, there is a risk of a fault developing and causing a fire..

the risk is low,but the consequences are grave which for the purposes of a risk assessment, action should be taken to reduce or eliminate the fire risk.

my advice was eliminate the fire risk by removing the batteries and storing fully charged ..

Leaving any kit, be it a motorhome or whatever, plugged in and working unatended for three months when there are other options in my opinion is foolish..
 
Feb 9, 2008
2,880
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Since 2008 after caravanning for 20 years
Ours will be going on EHU for the winter with a thermostatically controlled convector heater to keep her warm and dry. Done this for 6 years now without a problem. If you are worried about a fire starting what do you do when you are living in the van?

Rgds
Bill
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Ours will be going on EHU for the winter with a thermostatically controlled convector heater to keep her warm and dry. Done this for 6 years now without a problem. If you are worried about a fire starting what do you do when you are living in the van?

Rgds
Bill
No one is 'worried' Bill about living in the van with the EHU on.. .. the OP asked for advice.. he is leaving his van untended for three months..

When we are in living the van we are in a position to do something should a fault develop... How many on this forum have smelled hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg smell) from an over gassing battery ? I know I have .. on several occasions.. If you are not there to switch it off, it will continue to gas and may catch fire.. your choice.. your risk..

Also.. please check with your insurer about running a portable convector heater unattended.. Brian ( hilldweller) checked with his and they did not cover damage caused by portable heaters.. your choice and your risk..
 
Oct 29, 2008
3,344
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The Schaudt chargers are not designed to be left on long term. I was told this from Schaudts Udo Lang
 
Feb 9, 2008
2,880
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SW Scotland
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1,453
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LP Coachbuilt
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Since 2008 after caravanning for 20 years
Convector heater fully covered on my policy though fan heater is not.

Rgds
Bill
 
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