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Power problems.....trip imminent..please help

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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:31 pm

Hi guys,

We have a 2004 peugeot boxer nuevo, and the leisure battery is not holding charge and when I connect to the mains it doesn't charge it or even have enough to keep the lights on,etc. 

On our last trip when connected to the mains the water pump, lights and clicker on the hob stopped working on the morning we were leaving, thought I would look at when we got home. But halfway home we stopped to feed our daughter along the way and everything was working fine again.....so stupidly I assumed it was an issue with the mains hook up and never thought about there being problems with the camper. 

So fast forward a week and we are preparing to go away on a last minute trip from Saturday and thought I would do my usual checks and have noticed the below with regards the power. 

Checked the battery check gauge after it has sat for a week which was down to 1/4 which has never happened before while sitting, plugged it into the mains and it hasn't changed anything. I disconnected this and started the xamper which quickly brought the charge back up again, bit once switched off the battery drained again quickly even while plugged into the mains. 
The battery is meant to be new....although i don't trust that, but could there be something else I could check? 

Thanks
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:45 pm

Is the battery charger switched on?

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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:51 pm

Now I am new to campervan world, but thus far the only thing we have been shown to do is on the panel outside the habitation cupboard, flick the switch to hab so the leisure battery is being used for lights, heater etc and then this also charges it when driving and plugged in. 
We have used the camper for about 6 weeks now and have done it the same way with no problems until now....unless I am missing something?
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:02 pm

Charging when driving is independent of the control panel which is disabled when engine is running. Which Power Supply Unit do you have?

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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:08 pm

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Thats the control panel we have. I know when driving it is independent and can charge but until now I have had the far left switch on hab when we plug into mains power and this has given us power for days no problem.
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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:39 pm

I have checked the battery with a multi meter and got the below results.

Hook up plugged in - 10.6 volts
Hook up unplugged - 10.6
Camper engine turned on - 12.55 volts

Would this mean the battery is dud?

Does the mains hook up charge the leisure battery for it to the power the fridge, etc or does it charge the battery and then power the fridge etc directly?
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Post by IanH on Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:18 pm

Do you have another battery charger? Mains powered.
If so, then disconnect the LB and connect the spare charger.
Wait, at least one hour, then disconnect it. Wait another half hour then measure the LB voltage. If it has significantly improved, say to 12v + then reconnect charger and leave on overnight. Meanwhile the electrical system needs some investigation.
Leave the LB disconnected but power up the vehicle EHU. Measure the disconnected LB cables (take great care to keep them well apart) Offload the voltage should be 13v +. If not then the fault lies somewhere in the vehicle charging system. If OK, then the fault may well be the battery.
Do you have a local auto electrician you could either take it to or get him come to you, probably your best bet?
Try all of the above, but it seems, re reading your post, that something is dragging the battery down, all I can suggest is to switch off everything you can (such as the fridge) and constantly re check the LB volts, this would indicate which load is dragging the battery volts down, but, an auto electrician may be your better bet, I suspect.
Hope you get some results for your trip away.
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Post by Roopert on Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:21 pm

It's very difficult to diagnose electrical problems remotely, but if you are taking the battery readings directly from the leisure battery terminals, it suggests that:

1. Your battery is dead flat
2.  Your mains charger does not seem to be functioning
3. Your split charge appears to be functioning.

So in your situation I would be looking to find out why the charger appears to be providing no output.

Be warned - if the above is correct then there will be quite a large current flowing into the leisure battery while the engine is running (because it's flat), which could be on the limit of the fuse(s) on the split charge circuit.

If you have a 3-way fridge, the mains charger should never power the fridge. The fridge 12V element should only work when the engine is running, powered by the alternator.
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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:27 pm

Thanks IanH, I wouldnt have any spares so best bet as you say may be taking it to an auto electrician.
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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:30 pm

Roopert yes that makes sense, and the only time we have had the fridge on the mains is when plugged into the EHU, but when driving this is off and we have the 12v switch on.

As for the battery charger, this may be the problem so I have removed it mayne see about a replacement for it in the morning. If I can source this I can get a battery as well and fit both back in and see if that solves it? Would that sound about right? I cannot find any fuses near it to see if they have blown, the only ones were three at the leisure battery itself, one looked a bit melted but not blown so have replaced that and will keep an eye on it.
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Post by bikeralw on Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:50 pm

Have you checked all the MCB's on the mains consumer unit in the wardrobe are in the ON position?
If your van is the same as mine, there's a large plastic plug in the wardrobe floor, under this is an on/off switch on the charger itself, check this is on. There is also a fuse inside the charger unit casing, but if you've got access to the charger you can check it's output with a multi meter.
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Post by Jimmer84 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:57 pm

I have removed the charger unit and there are no fuses on this unit, but I have a local campervan servicing outfit who can replace it tomorrow for me, only thing I've been now thinking is the type of battery I need. Its currently got a Hankook DC24MF battery. Would it be a string enough type of battery or would it be worth upgrading?
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Post by Richard G on Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:40 pm

I bought a new Leisure Battery 6 months ago, its now Cream Crackered so bought another, its swelled up, result of overcharging! (the old one)   fault with the EC328.
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Post by Roopert on Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:30 am

Jimmer84 wrote:Its currently got a Hankook DC24MF battery. Would it be a string enough type of battery or would it be worth upgrading?

I definitely wouldn't throw that out until you've had a chance to charge it properly and see how it holds up. It's a "deep cycle" battery so as long as you haven't left it flat for very long it will probably recover Ok. Most of my previous vans have just had relatively cheap batteries and I've never had major problems with them.
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Post by Molly3 on Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:33 am

I would also recommend charging the battery with a stand alone charger just to find out if the battery will take a charge . it dose sound your on board charger is not working .could be anything from a hook up cable fault to duff charger .
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Post by frederic on Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:42 am

On a different note where is Dromore?
The only one I know of is near Gatehouse!
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Post by bikeralw on Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:02 pm

Jimmer84 wrote:I have removed the charger unit and there are no fuses on this unit, 
If it's the original unit that was fitted to the Nuevo of that era, it will have an internal fuse. I had occasion to remove mine a few weeks ago to improve access to something else, and I spied a small fuse through the cooling vents. The charger would need taking apart to get to it.
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Post by Jimmer84 on Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:25 am

Thanks everyone for your help and replies on this. I managed to find a great local guy who had a new charger and he managed to squeeze us in and fit it and check everything.



The battery is actually OK but I have bought another and will bring it with us and can change it when we need to. Just glad to have it sorted before our trip.....heading to the wicklow mountains and east coast of ireland now for a few days of mountain biking and relaxing!

Fredric.....dromore is in co. Down northern ireland.
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