Leisure Batt Isolator Needed?? (1 Viewer)

Spotto

Free Member
Nov 14, 2011
18
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Autocruise Startrail
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since 2010
Hi folks,

Autocruise Startrail 2009. No alarm, normal Ducato central locking. 150w Solar panel. Epever regulator. Battery 1 yr old.

Member since 2011 but never posted until now so, here goes.

I’ve read a thread on isolating the leisure battery (via the negative side actually....) but can’t find any advice or thoughts on the pros and cons of actually having an isolator fitted in the first place. I was thinking that it might be useful to isolate it over the winter while the van is in winter storage as it does seem to lose a bit of voltage, as do so many. So, any thoughts from those far more experienced in these matters than I? Has anyone fitted one? Is it a simple job? Any issues to consider? Is it a worthwhile exercise? Isolators are the norm in the marine world and seem sensible.

In storage, the van is under cover so the solar panel will not deliver much if any charge.

The main Sargent control panel does seem to turn off the habitation lights if the battery gets low but I’m not clear whether this is the same as isolating the battery.

Thanks in advance for any of your sage thoughts and experiences.

S
 

pappajohn

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Aug 26, 2007
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An isolator will help conserve battery power at the expense of disabling any tracker etc connected to it.
You could do the same by removing the earth cable from the battery.
The battery will still self discharge but at a much slower rate.
 
Last edited:

two

Aug 4, 2011
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A belated welcome!

I fitted an isolator to my hab battery. It's the best way to be sure that there is no accidental drain and you never know what 'hidden' circuits may exist beyond control of the control panel.
 
Apr 27, 2016
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I think you need to be careful when switching the isolator back on, depending on what kind of solar controller you have. Some controllers need you to connect the battery first, so it can recognise the battery voltage. Not a huge problem, but you need to be aware.
 
May 7, 2016
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I have an isolator on my leisure battery. However my alarm and tracker are connected to the engine battery and it is this one that can become depleted when it is left in storage.

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Spotto

Spotto

Free Member
Nov 14, 2011
18
23
Gloucestershire
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Autocruise Startrail
Exp
since 2010
I think you need to be careful when switching the isolator back on, depending on what kind of solar controller you have. Some controllers need you to connect the battery first, so it can recognise the battery voltage. Not a huge problem, but you need to be aware.

That’s very interesting, thanks..... you say it isn’t a huge problem.... so how do you circumvent it? Do you somehow disconnect the panel first (a second isolator,.???) then switch the battery isolator then reconnect the panel? That would seem a bit of a faff unless I’m missing something, of course....... and I probably am!o_O

Many thanks to everyone else above for their other interesting responses so far too.

S
 
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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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That’s interesting..... you say it isn’t a huge problem.... so how do you circumvent it? Do you somehow isolate the panel first then turn on the isolator then reconnect the panel? That would seem a bit of a faff unless I’m missing something, of course....... and I probably am!

Many thanks to everyone else above for their other interesting responses so far too.

S
Fit a fuse or switch inline with the solar panel and reconnect solar after switching the battery on.

How do you keep your engine battery charged when in storage?
 

hilldweller

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Dec 5, 2008
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That would seem a bit of a faff
S

You seem to faff easily. It's only one wire to unplug/unscrew/switch, if you are unlucky the consequences are a cooked leisure battery.

The battery will self discharge anyway so you do need to keep an eye on it even if switched off.
 
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Spotto

Spotto

Free Member
Nov 14, 2011
18
23
Gloucestershire
Funster No
18,897
MH
Autocruise Startrail
Exp
since 2010
You seem to faff easily. It's only one wire to unplug/unscrew/switch, if you are unlucky the consequences are a cooked leisure battery.

The battery will self discharge anyway so you do need to keep an eye on it even if switched off.

How dare you sir, I can faff with the best of ‘em !!(y):D

Sounds like I might as well just do that though, remove the panel fuse and then the battery fuse when parking up for the winter. Doing the reverse when taking the van out in a few months’ time. Isolators do seem more elegant though. Or I could go for two isolators rather than fiddling (faffing!) with a screwdriver and wires.

Ho hum. Many thanks
 

hilldweller

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Ho hum. Many thanks

No possibility of a few hours hook up ? Best of all worlds, keep both batteries in fine condition or even find if one is in trouble.

Worse, modern vehicle electronics seem to deplete the engine battery in a month.

Our Sargent has an on/off switch which I would switch off if the van wasn't parked in the drive hooked up.

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