Wild camping in winter

Go down

Wild camping in winter

Post by psfairford on Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:00 pm

Hi,
Leading up to New Year we planned to stay near relatives in our Fairford on a lay-by in Yorkshire, which meant running off the battery and gas for a few days.
However, after the first night, the battery was too low to last another one.
I think the leisure battery was probably draining too quickly with the heater fan on (although only on Eco setting). We had to keep the heater going as there was snow about.
We had to move to a site where we could hook-up for the remainder of our stay.
Can anyone think of any other reason for the battery draining, or do you think the fan was enough?
Thanks.
psfairford
psfairford
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 4
Joined : 2017-11-27
Location : Loughton
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by -mojo- on Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:05 pm

On the face of it, that does seem poor in terms of battery life.

However, there are factors we don't know. Firstly, was the battery fully charged before you got to site? The split charge circuit that A/S use to charge the leisure battery while the engine is running is fairly limited (typically they use a relatively thin gauge wire over a fairly long distance) which means that it can take a long, long time to recharge a part-discharged battery just by driving.

Then there is the question of what state the battery is in. It's well known that, for example, vans that have sat at a dealers for a while may have leisure batteries that are in very poor condition - prospective customers may leave 12V appliances turned on, and dealers often don't bother to recharge the batteries on their stock regularly.

And then there is the question of what ~total~ load you were placing on the batteries. We've had an example recently of someone leaving the (optional) tank heaters on when off EHU, and that will kill the leisure batteries pretty quickly. The control panel on your van should give an indication of the total current being taken from the leisure battery (though in many cases you will need to recalibrate this to get an accurate reading).
-mojo-
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 4566
Joined : 2012-08-04
Member Age : 19
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:13 pm

I can't think of anything to add to Mojos post.

_________________
Peter #1
Peter Brown
Peter Brown
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5058
Joined : 2012-11-10
Member Age : 66
Location : Staffs
Auto-Sleeper : Malvern
Vehicle Year : 2011

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by psfairford on Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:51 pm

Thanks mojo,
Could be a good point on the state of the battery. The motorhome had been standing a while before this run - I hoped 200+ miles would have been enough to charge up, but you may be right.
I will also need to read up on the control panel as I am not sure what the displays are telling me!
psfairford
psfairford
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 4
Joined : 2017-11-27
Location : Loughton
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by chrisk on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:08 pm

My idea of wild camping any part of the year is EHU on a nice site
chrisk
chrisk
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 556
Joined : 2017-06-03
Member Age : 69
Location : kent
Auto-Sleeper : Berkshire
Vehicle Year : 2009

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by psfairford on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:16 pm

As was mine before trying this trip!
psfairford
psfairford
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 4
Joined : 2017-11-27
Location : Loughton
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by RayP on Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:22 pm

I wild camp frequently in my Trophy and agree EHU is best, but although I have once run out of propane on a freezing night in Welsh Mountains (don't try it) I have never run out of leisure battery.

A few tips on battery care:

Mine was in low state of charge but not bad condition when I got it. In this condition they are very slow to fully charge and I ended up leaving it on the hookup charger for about three days. After that it was OK but not perfect.
After a few partial discharges and recharges I think it is as good as new.

I give it an extra charge with an external charger occasionally which takes it up to  14.4 volts instead of 13.8 but I don't think that pushes much more into it.

With the battery now in good condition, it recharges fairly quickly to say 80% when driving, but it does take a long time to get it really full, say a four-hour drive.

The heater only takes a couple of amps, so 8 hours continuous use is maybe a quarter of the battery capacity, but on a sensible temperature this reduces by half.  If I turn the thermostat to minimum, it keeps the Trophy at 7C which is OK for while in sleeping bag, and consumes very little gas or battery. That is, with toilet door closed and with the cab separated of with a fairly thick curtain.

Of course lights etc take a fair bit more, so I use tehm as economically as possible.

I guess half an hour drive each day will keep the battery up enough for a week, when I usually get back to hook up and so on,,,

When not in daily use I charge on hookup for a few hours and/or by driving 20+ miles each week, and so far so good.

Hope this helps
RayP
RayP
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 3
Joined : 2018-09-14
Location : North Devon
Auto-Sleeper : Trophy
Vehicle Year : 1994

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum