Wild camping in winter

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Wild camping in winter

Post by psfairford on Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 13:00

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.
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Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by -mojo- on Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 14:05

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).
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Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by Peter Brown on Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 16:13

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

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Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by psfairford on Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 16:51

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!
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Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by chrisk on Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 17:08

My idea of wild camping any part of the year is EHU on a nice site
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Re: Wild camping in winter

Post by psfairford on Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 17:16

As was mine before trying this trip!
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