VEHICLE BATTTERY

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VEHICLE BATTTERY Empty VEHICLE BATTTERY

Post by tikiti on Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:39 am

I own an Auto Sleeper "Worcester" model. Recently I replaced the vehicle battery because the old one was not holding its charge. Now the new battery is  also loosing charge over a 4 day period when camping. It drops to 12.2v from a full battery of 12.8v. Does anyone else experience this issue and any ideas as to where to look for a leakage.? When parked up, everything is off.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

Not sure, but may have sent a similar message to another part of this forum????
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Post by daisy mae on Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:26 am

,Your alarm could be one reason plus other things that are going in the background,

Someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly.

Are you sure your alarm is off, and then there`s the radio, always something on somewhere.

Good luck
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Post by -mojo- on Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:37 pm

It's quite hard to know what the "typical" use of a vehicle battery is while parked up camping - on modern vans there will be one or more control modules that will "wake up" every time something happens - for example if you open one of the doors, and this may consume significant power for a while, as they may stay "awake" for some time (15 minutes on my van).

However, a drop from 12.8 to 12.2V on a new battery in four days does look a bit high, assuming you're not using the cab lighting, cigar lighter socket and radio much.

Sometimes the problem can be caused by changes made by previous owners - the most common problem seems to be where the original cab radio has been replaced with an aftermarket one, as it is very easy to transpose the power supply wires and end up with a permanent drain on the vehicle battery.

Otherwise it's possible that there is a fault. The only way to know for sure is to have the battery drain tested to see if it is within the normally expected range when all of the engine and other management systems have shut down.
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:44 pm

Have you recently started to use a new sat nav or some other plug in 12v accessory and are leaving it plugged in to a socket that is live all the time?

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Post by tikiti on Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:44 pm

Thankyou to those who replied. We are the original owners, so no modified radio. We do not use the cab light, nor keep anything charging whilst stationery. One question regarding the radio.  We know that the power supply does not go through the ignition switch, as we can turn the radio on at anytime. So, could that be a source of leakage? Also, what about the TV ariel and step into the habitation area.?  Does that take power from the vehicle battery whilst ariel is up and step out and even each time both retract  when the engine is started up.
Thanks for all the helpful info.
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Post by shuttle on Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:56 pm

I had the same problem,took it to an auto-electrician .He checked it over and told me it was the leisure battery(which was 11 years old) draining the vehicle battery to keep its charge up .He fitted a new leisure one and it hasn't been a problem since .Could be worth looking into .
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Post by tikiti on Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:10 pm

Thankyou David. Our leisure battery  is also brand new and is on a solar panel which tends to keep the leisure battery higher than the vehicle.
We should be able to connect the 2 batteries, but this feature on the panel does not seem to work. Any ideas on that?
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Post by -mojo- on Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:27 pm

tikiti wrote:
We should be able to connect the 2 batteries, but this feature on the panel does not seem to work. Any ideas on that?

You don't (in this thread) say what year your van is, but recent Worcesters seem to have a Sargent EC500 power control system installed. If when on EHU you do not get both batteries charged simultaneously (to be more accurate, the control unit will charge whichever battery needs it) then there would seem to be a fault somewhere. The solar panel should also be charging both batteries, not just the leisure battery, if you have an EC500.
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Post by tikiti on Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:19 am

Mojo - Our Worcester is 2011 exported to NZ. Our system is EC 325. What is EHU you refer to?  Both our batteries are relatively new. We don't have a Nav. system and seldom use the cab radio when parked up. We use a portable radio to save the vehicle battery. At the moment, we are doing some tests ourselves to check what seems to be using power, such as ariel up or step down.  Could opening the cab doors and even leaving them open for a short while, use up power? We feel we should be able to park up for more than 4 days without needing to re-charge the vehicle battery. Our leisure battery is never a problem. We use solar to charge it. Our next step is to email Marquis for some help. They may be able to suggest something.
Thanks.
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Post by -mojo- on Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:10 am

tikiti wrote:Our system is EC 325. What is EHU you refer to?

Ah Ok - I only looked at the 2013 model, which has the higher-spec EC500.

EHU - Electric hookup.

Yes - leaving doors open uses a small amount of power but it should be insignificant unless left open for hours on end.

If you have an EC325 and you are on EHU, you should be able to switch between batteries with (obviously) the battery select button on the control panel. Whichever battery is selected is the one that is also charged by the mains-powered charger.

If the solar panel is connected via the EC325 (it should be!) then the solar panel output should be "shared" between leisure and vehicle battery. If in strong sunlight you are not seeing any charging (i.e. rise in voltage) of the vehicle battery then something is likely to be faulty. If the solar panel has been connected via a separate solar controller rather than the one in the EC325, it should not be!
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Post by tikiti on Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:40 am

Mojo - thanks for that info. EHU - now I get it, but here in NZ we can freedom camp almost everywhere - Conservation Sites/Regional Parks as well as many sites along the road. This will be why we could not switch between batteries as we were not on  mains power over the weekend.
Will do the exercise connected to 240v.  Our solar panel is connected through a separate solar controller switch which is  directly connected to the leisure battery only. This was done here in NZ. Should the solar panel power run through the same controller as the mains supply.?
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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:24 am

With the Sargent EC325 you should not connect anything direct to the leisure battery as the when the charger is on the voltage can be up to 18v. The solar panel should be connected via the regulator in the Sargent unit that has the additional benefit of charging both the vehicle and leisure batteries from the panel.

It has been said but for clarity when either on or off hook up the top right of the four buttons to the left of the controller will connect the habitation electrics to the vehicle battery and take the leisure battery out of use. This is a fail safe to keep you going if you fully discharge the leisure battery and also has the benefit that in this switch position the vehicle battery will be charged (instead of the leisure battery) when on hook up.

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Post by roli on Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:00 am

Can we go back to mojo's point on battery selection at the control panel. Are you switched over to the habitation battery and not the vehicle battery ?

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Post by -mojo- on Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:17 am

roli wrote:Are you switched over to the habitation battery and not the vehicle battery ?

Definitely a point worth checking - are you aware that, even when not on electric hookup, if the vehicle battery voltage is being displayed on the Sargent control panel (i.e. the vehicle battery is the one selected on the panel) then all of your power use will be coming from the vehicle battery? As Peter says, while in this state, the leisure battery will be sitting there doing nothing.

And, as stated a few times now - with an EC325 you should not be using an external solar controller. The built-in one is almost certainly better than the external one you have, and the EC325 works in a way that is likely to damage an external controller - though if you've got away with it for 3 years you can probably assume that it won't damage yours now. The only exception here is if you have a panel with a power output greater than 120W, which is the power limit of the solar controller built into the EC325.

If you are working with the cut-down instructions in the A-S manual and aren't aware of the original, the full Sargent user manual for the EC325 is here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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