All batteries flat - I’m on my own

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Post by Librangoat on Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:52 pm

Just worked out how to create a new topic - at least I hope I have as a kind person suggested I start a new thread. I piggy-backed on heater blanket - posted at 9.27 and 9.42 this evening. Also piggy-backed on another topic battery voltage readings. Please can any night owls give advice? I’m feeling concerned about my first ever van that’s 3 weeks old and worried about best strategies and why all batteries are flat including 2nd Leisure battery. I had a warning this morning, but thought it was the same problem again that Marquis had resolved on Tuesday. Then everything continued to work and and it appeared to be a dispkay fault. My mistake for making that assumption again when it all appeared to be the same issue this morning. Then this evening it became clear more it affected as boiler stopped working and everything shut down. Luckily I had Christmas lights so have unpacked those again so have some light. Not up to repeating all of issues here againso I would really appreciate anyone looking at my posts in the two other topics. Thanks.
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Post by KMRTOPAZ on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:02 am

Are you connected to EHU (electric hook-up) ?
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Post by Librangoat on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:31 am

No access to hook-up. Sitting here in thick jumper and jacket.
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Post by -mojo- on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:51 am

It sounds like it could be a combination of several factors.

From your previous threads it looks as though you have no charge going into the batteries while the engine is running. The most likely cause there is a blown fuse - though why it blew in the first place will need investigating.

And it seems you have used the tank heaters while off EHU. These are very power-hungry, and are really only intended for use when on mains hookup - they may explain why the batteries are fully discharged.

Probably the only thing to be done tonight is to sit tight and wait until tomorrow when you can get your vehicle recovery company to charge the van battery and/or jump start you. If both leisure batteries are flat, I strongly recommend that you remove the fuse in the split charge circuit, if it is not already blown. If you don't do this it probably will blow anyway, because two flat batteries will take more current from the alternator than that circuit is designed to supply.

From what you say you're down south at the moment, so there doesn't seem any great risk of anything freezing solid tonight, fortunately.
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Post by KMRTOPAZ on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:58 am

Sorry, but the bad news is you have probably flattened all you batteries through not having EHU.  But that should not have flattened the vehicle battery. If you can start the engine it will recharge the hab batteries.  If you can't start the engine you will need AA/RAC assistance.
Best of luck, and I'm afraid it has to be Good night from me.  Keith
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Post by Librangoat on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:21 am

Thanks for your response Keith :)
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Post by -mojo- on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:49 am

From the current forecast, it shouldn't go below around 2 degrees anywhere south of the Midlands, so no real risk of frost damage tonight.

The main electrical control unit is also designed to cut off the supply from the leisure batteries before their voltage gets too low, so they should recover Ok. The same may not be true of the vehicle battery though - if it's too low to start the engine then it must be in a poor state - but hopefully your recovery company will get that fixed tomorrow. While they are there, it would be good if you could persuade them to check all of the fuses on the Sargent control panel - especially fuses 6 and 7.
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Post by ChrisP28 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:07 am

WOW What a bitch of a way to start a new year and van, my thoughts go with you.
You don't say where you are, if you give a general location maybe someone on this site could recommend a local firm to help. I have experience of Marquis after sales service relating to electrical charging problems and it wasn't one I'd recommend to a friend. I found that talking to the technical department at Sargent Electrical who make most of the charging systems fitted to modern Autosleeper conversions a much more pleasurable and successful experience the technical department phone number is 01482 678981.
Best of luck.  up!
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Post by RML on Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:24 am

Librangoat wrote:Just worked out how to create a new topic - at least I hope I have as a kind person suggested I start a new thread. I piggy-backed on heater blanket - posted at 9.27 and 9.42 this evening. Also piggy-backed on another topic battery voltage readings. Please can any night owls give advice? I’m feeling concerned about my first ever van that’s 3 weeks old and worried about best strategies and why all batteries are flat including 2nd Leisure battery. I had a warning this morning, but thought it was the same problem again that Marquis had resolved on Tuesday. Then everything continued to work and and it appeared to be a dispkay fault. My mistake for making that assumption again when it all appeared to be the same issue this morning. Then this evening it became clear more it affected as boiler stopped working and everything shut down. Luckily I had Christmas lights so have unpacked those again so have some light. Not up to repeating all of issues here againso I would really appreciate anyone looking at my posts in the two other topics. Thanks.

See my last post where you first raised this issue.
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Post by bolero boy on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:41 am

ok, first things first, call AA, get you started.
get AA guy to check that split charger is charging vehicle and leisure batreries (simple voltmeter test), if ok then your drain may be that the heater blankets did it for you....if not ok, AA guy might just check (and replace) any battery in line fuses, chat nicely to him...
once up and running, get to any campsite and get hooked up. also get a cheap 1kw/2kw fan heater and a voltmeter in town somewhere, and get yourself and the van warm, have a looong hot shower, too...

now when on hook up, check vehicle and leisure batteries for a raised charge of 14v+, to convince yourself that they are both charging....the leisure battery definitely should, if not, need to speak to dealer, in my view the vehicle battery should too, but it may not.
if not, i would visit a decent auto electrician and get a Battery Master fitted which moves charge from the leisure battery to the cab battery to avoid flat situation.
later, down the line, you need to also be confident that the solar panel will charge both cab and leisure batteries when you are wild camping (otherwise, whats the point of it) so more checks with voltmeter to verify this....
so, back to basics, get warm, get a fan heater to stay warm, test both batteries with engine running, test both batteries with hook up 
on, test both batteries with solar providing charge.
good luck...

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Post by Jaytee on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:52 am

Take Mojos advice as he knows what he is at. The standard electrical set up will work perfectly once any faults are sorted so don't  go modifying anything until you are certain that the standard system doesn't work for you. Good luck getting sorted.

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Post by bolero boy on Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:29 am

Jaytee wrote:Take Mojos advice as he knows what he is at. The standard electrical set up will work perfectly once any faults are sorted so don't  go modifying anything until you are certain that the standard system doesn't work for you. Good luck getting sorted.
from reading the multitude of posts on here, the 'std electrical set up' is anything but perfect....
post after post of batteries not being charged, excuse after excuse as to why both batteries arent being charged properly from the alternator, ehu and solar...
this is a basic requirement of any decent 'std set up' yet the repeated theme on this forum is that this basic requirements not being met.
the std system (on many vans) doesnt charge the cab battery from solar (nor from ehu on some) nor is the sargent system capable of handling the larger panels favoured by many off gridders
anyone using their van for wild camping is far more reliant on battery charging than someone who is always on enu, so its imperative to have all systems working....
i outlined some simple tests to establish if the charging process is working correctly from all three sources (engine, ehu, solar) if it isnt, the OP needs to resolve any issues, but first he needs to know where the failures are.
i dont know any posters on here, nor their expertise (and i am not an electrical expert by any means) nor whose advice one should follow but i know plenty about what owners should expected from their expensive 'quality' motorhomes (for one, a charging system that performs without thinking about it) 
time and time again there are threads here bemoaning flat batteries (cab and leisure) yet these issues are easy to resolve and simple solutions for solar charging (of all batteries) have been mooted many times..
this is 2018 and putting up with flat batteries should not be a recurring theme....it aint rocket science.
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Post by RML on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:16 am

bolero boy wrote:
Jaytee wrote:Take Mojos advice as he knows what he is at. The standard electrical set up will work perfectly once any faults are sorted so don't  go modifying anything until you are certain that the standard system doesn't work for you. Good luck getting sorted.
from reading the multitude of posts on here, the 'std electrical set up' is anything but perfect....
post after post of batteries not being charged, excuse after excuse as to why both batteries arent being charged properly from the alternator, ehu and solar...
this is a basic requirement of any decent 'std set up' yet the repeated theme on this forum is that this basic requirements not being met.
the std system (on many vans) doesnt charge the cab battery from solar (nor from ehu on some) nor is the sargent system capable of handling the larger panels favoured by many off gridders
anyone using their van for wild camping is far more reliant on battery charging than someone who is always on enu, so its imperative to have all systems working....
i outlined some simple tests to establish if the charging process is working correctly from all three sources (engine, ehu, solar) if it isnt, the OP needs to resolve any issues, but first he needs to know where the failures are.
i dont know any posters on here, nor their expertise (and i am not an electrical expert by any means) nor whose advice one should follow but i know plenty about what owners should expected from their expensive 'quality' motorhomes (for one, a charging system that performs without thinking about it) 
time and time again there are threads here bemoaning flat batteries (cab and leisure) yet these issues are easy to resolve and simple solutions for solar charging (of all batteries) have been mooted many times..
this is 2018 and putting up with flat batteries should not be a recurring theme....it aint rocket science.


I wholeheartedly agree with this. 
This van is new(?) so it should work straight out of the box with no further expenditure on items like a BM.
However the solar will struggle in the winter in Scotland. 
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Post by Librangoat on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:31 am

Brand new in 13th December 2017!
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Post by AutoSleepy_Don on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:39 am

Librangoat wrote:Brand new in 13th December 2017!
Hurray, you made it through the night and your still alive  hugegrins

asof_welcome2

I wonder if your an experienced motorhomer or is this your first?


Last edited by AutoSleepyDon on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by AutoSleepy_Don on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:40 am

Jaytee wrote:The standard electrical set up will work perfectly once any faults are sorted so don't  go modifying anything until you are certain that the standard system doesn't work for you.
I agree with the above sentiment in so far as you shouldn't rush to make changes until your sure you fully understand the current system. However, I don't think the standard installation is perfect, the main problem being that it does not protect the vehicle battery from over discharge sufficiently well (I only found this out today after 4 months of ownership).
Also I don't think solar will provide much help in UK winter.


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Post by Librangoat on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:21 pm

ChrisP28 I’m in Castle Acre Norfolk. AADue soon
Gradually reading through posts for info to write down for AA and Marquis Ipswich
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Post by Librangoat on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:23 pm

Thanks for Sargent number Chris :)
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:48 pm

Librangoat wrote:ChrisP28 I’m in Castle Acre Norfolk. AADue soon
Gradually reading through posts for info to write down for AA and Marquis Ipswich
Once AA have got you started, go to the CMHC site at Sandringham and spend a day on EHU to recharge your batteries fully. Just checked and they have vacancies currently, and open to non-members, only a couple of miles from where you are.

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Post by bolero boy on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:55 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:
Librangoat wrote:ChrisP28 I’m in Castle Acre Norfolk. AADue soon
Gradually reading through posts for info to write down for AA and Marquis Ipswich
Once AA have got you started, go to the CMHC site at Sandringham and spend a day on EHU to recharge your batteries fully. Just checked and they have vacancies currently, and open to non-members, only a couple of miles from where you are.
sorry, i thought you said you were going to AS on Monday....do you mean today...or next week?
either way, before you leave AS, I would be wanting the technician to demonstrate (with a multimeter) that the vehicle battery is being charged when your hooked up, that the solar panel charges both batteries as does the alternator...

this needs to be fully resolved to your (not the 'technician's) satisfaction, ensure he shows you all batteries being charged from all (three) sources.

i dont mean to labour the point but it is so easy for them to fob you off...and its a pain in the * Inappropriate Word * to have to come back....
good luck.
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:59 pm

I'm guessing that Auto-Sleeper have now sold about 4000 - 5000 vans with this electrical installation.

The fact that the way several people use or store their van or that some new owners take a while to understand how to operate the system does not make the system a bad system and for someone who does not even own one to keep saying they are bad is extremely unhelpful to the few who need help.

Mojo is giving sound advice, unlike some others who have posted in this thread.

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:00 pm

Which advice is unsound, Peter, for future reference?

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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:11 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:Which advice is unsound, Peter, for future reference?

Not yours Peter

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Post by AutoSleepy_Don on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:15 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:Which advice is unsound, Peter, for future reference?
Let's start speculating   hugegrins
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Post by RML on Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:32 pm

Peter Brown wrote:
PLOUGHLIN wrote:Which advice is unsound, Peter, for future reference?

Not yours Peter

Must be mine then..
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