Leisure battery whilst in storage (1 Viewer)

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Jul 8, 2018
19
1
Staffordshire
Funster No
54,818
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
Since Jul 2018
Hi Everyone,

Apologies if this question has been asked many times, I have tried searching but to no avail!

We bought an AS Broadway earlier this year and so just trying to learn all of the things we should (and shouldn't!!) be doing, so I would really appreciate any help and tips that can be bestowed on us please.

I cleaned the vehicle a few weeks ago and emptied all of the water tanks and heaters etc., so hopefully taken care of that side of things, but I want some advice regarding the leisure battery if possible.

Our van is stored on a CaSSOA site, so I try to pop up every few weeks to start the engine and move it a few feet to stop flat spots on tyres etc. but also to check the vehicle battery is still operating etc. Last weekend I went up to fit some vent covers that I had bought and noticed that the step didn't come out (as it hadn't on a previous occasion), but central locking still operated, so I guessed the leisure battery was low. However, I also notice that the control panel was also off/blank so confirmed the leisure battery was definitely too low/dead? The vehicle battery still was ok so I was able to move the van back as I had planned. The van had been stood for a couple of weeks at this stage and it was particularly cold that day.

Unfortunately as I had no tools with me, or 100% sure what I should be doing
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and it was getting dark, I couldn't do much about the leisure battery at the time.

My initial thought is to remove the leisure battery and bring it home to try and see if it will be possible for it to be charged, but my main questions are:

  • Is this the right thing to do, whilst it is in storage over winter?
  • Can I still drive the van to keep the vehicle battery in good condition, as well as trying to avoid flat spots on the tyres - if so:
  • what position should I have the 'charger' switch (as it states I have to switch it off when disconnecting) but if left off surely it wouldn't charge the vehicle battery? I have Sargent EC 500 systems with a small solar panel fitted on the roof but wondered if it is best to leave this off and use my AA solar dashboard charger for the vehicle battery instead?
  • I assume it would be ok just to cover the leisure battery leads to prevent them shorting out or something?


Apologies for the 1000 and 1 questions here, but as I say, this is my first year, so trying to get things right and hopefully avoid too many costly mistakes. I appreciate, that my leisure battery may well be beyond repair (though I never give up hope!!) but as this is a 5 year old van, if this is the original battery (which I'm unsure of) then, it may well be that I need a new battery anyway, regardless of anything I have done?

Any help or comments will be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Regards

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Allanm

Free Member
Jun 30, 2013
5,431
9,192
Cotes d'armor, France
Funster No
26,730
MH
Burstner Harmony TI 736 G
Exp
Since 1987
We had a Broadway, but we never left it in storage, it was used all year round. You should be able to take the leisure battery out and charge it at home without any problems. I don’t know which model or layout you have, mine was a Broadway FB (2013) the leisure battery was under one of the side sofas. I just turned the Sargent panel off, took out the fuse in the 12v lead from the battery to Sargent charger and removed the battery.
As you suggest, cover the loose battery leads and you should be ok to start and move the van.
You probably have a small 30 watt panel on the roof which really won’t be man enough to keep the battery charged in the winter.
For further advice, you could contact Autosleeper ( they were always very helpful to me) or join the Autosleeper owners club, they are a knowledgeable and friendly lot.
 
OP
OP
Dor On Tour
Jul 8, 2018
19
1
Staffordshire
Funster No
54,818
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
Since Jul 2018
Hi Allanm,
Ours is an EL Duo but is more a 2012 (albeit a 2013 plate!) with the cupboard in between the 2 sofas (with a really handy pull out table!) Yes our battery is in the same position so easy enough to get to.
We're members of the AS club and posed the same question on their forum (edging our bets!!:sneaky:) I've had one reply so far suggesting I try switching the PSU off which he said will then just allow the solar panel to (try!) and charge the leisure battery and the use my AA solar panel to charge the vehicle one via the EOBD port, which works quite well when I have used it for my car.
As I say, I have certain reservations as to how healthy/old the leisure battery might be anyway so may be won't have much joy on the charging front, but I will see what happens tomorrow when I go and take her out for a spin and put her on EHU. Then it might be case of removing it and using one of those stage chargers at home if it will charge up.
 

Geo

Trader - Funster
Jul 29, 2007
11,757
14,566
Mansfield,Notts
Funster No
35
MH
Autotrail Tracker FB
Exp
45 +years with breaks
All batteries should be in a fully charged state before relying on Solar to keep it/them alive
same with small dash board solar, works best on a fully charged vehicle battery too
But still needs monitoring as 0.5/to 1 amp may not be enough from a winter sun with some parasitic drains in excess of that
 
Jul 12, 2013
3,904
5,316
The City of Henlow
Funster No
26,906
MH
Adria Supreme
Exp
Since 1980
Just two or three thoughts. A larger solar panel that could just help the leisure battery(ies) topped up. Fit a Battery Master from Van Bitz, if the van does not already have one or the equivalent built in and finally, take out the leisure battery sooner rather than later. Batteries do not thrive well once they have been heavily discharged and get it fully charged or put through a battery refresher before being fully recharged.

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pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
43,521
51,053
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
Definately take the hab battery home, the solar isn't going to keep it charged or it wouldn't be flat now.
Place the battery cable ends in plastic bags to insulate them when you run the engine.
Put it on charge at home for a couple of days then maybe a few hours every couple of weeks to keep it charged.
The cab battery appears to be doing OK as it is with your routine but every time you start it you take a little more reserve out and a few minutes running won't be long enough to put it back in.
Eventually it won't start so may be worth buying some jump leads for emergencies or while it does still start take it for an hours drive to charge the battery.
 
OP
OP
Dor On Tour
Jul 8, 2018
19
1
Staffordshire
Funster No
54,818
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
Since Jul 2018
Hi All,

Thanks for all your suggestions; they are all most welcome.

Yes, it is my intention to run the van for some miles every few weeks; the storage site is about 4 miles away but there’s a nice run I can take her to give her a better charge etc.

Rosalan I’ll look into the battery master as we are looking at getting the Strikeback alarm fitted next year so could do both at the same time. I am also contemplating a larger solar panel but I’ll do things in moderation first!!

Thanks again everyone.
 
Oct 1, 2017
936
1,553
Funster No
50,777
I had the same problems as you although a different vehicle, it became a pain removing the batteries as storage was 1/2 hr away, went for the solar option pestering the life out of the technical minded on here, after lots of research fitted two 100w panels with mppt controller, one of my batteries decided to cook itself the day we were going on holiday, I was sure it was something I had done, turned out it was just bad luck and the battery was past its sell by date, bought two new ones and everything been fine since, plenty of people on here with good advice, pics in my gallery of the install to give you ideas if required, happy m/ homing
Cheers
Mark
 

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