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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:00 am

Alert triggered on app. Arrived to find both batteries completely flat. Newbie to Moho...so what do we do.....leave until lock down lifted or get RAC out and charge up and get batteries replaces asap? Had left ECU on for alarm and app alerts but solar panel not sufficiently charging. However app says both batteries at 11.5v each and says same on control panel. Any help and as ice on what to do. Appreciated
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Post by bolero boy Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:11 am

Any EHU where the van is....if so, get it hooked up and the batteries may come back.
Others will help with how to set the Sargent to best manage the solar set up.
You could bring the batteries home and charge them.
You could isolate the cab battery and/or the hab battery but you will lose the (really useful?) app status reporting....no use if all it can tell you is the batteries always die.
Also, no use in replacing batteries if they will go flat again...
Can you (rac) bring the van home to charge up, can it be kept there with hook up.
My solar system (and some AS owners on this forum) have solar set ups that don't use the Sargent PSU and these are then able to keep cab and hab batteries fully charged even with 100w panel and poor watery winter skies.
Mine are fully charged every day....cab at 12.7/8 and hab (AGMs) at 12.9/13.0

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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:15 am

I think best option is bring batteries home I suspect. Thanks Chris for.your help. Appreciated
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Post by melcragg Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:33 am

I am just about to put my van into storage for the first time following a house move. Removing the battery looks fiddly as its a Pug Boxer and it's under the pasenger footwell.

Have any of you used one of these new Lithium jump start batteries? I was thinking they are lighter and hold their charge for longer so I could keep in in the van just in case.

Thanks all
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Post by Peter Brown Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:47 am

If you can't mange some sort of charging regime when the van is in storage and want to avoid the cost of replacing them when you want to use the van then you should disconnect the batteries. If they were reasonably well charge at the time of disconnection they will survive happily for several months just left in situ.

Just pull the battery fuse on the leisure battery and lift the -ve terminal from the starter battery.
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Post by glyne lock Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:48 am

if your going to put a camper in storage with the ec500 or ec700 you need to carry out the solar charge controller mod .if you read the post ec700 explains the reason after many test done by members here .if you don't up grade with this modification it will just cost you in having to replace the batteries from being damaged by draining them to low in voltage .if as in your case you could not keep the batteries charged up in the summer clearly shows you will have problems in the winter with less sun and hours of light.if you have the tracker in use you will not be able to remove the batteries
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Post by bolero boy Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:54 am

This is the perennial issue with having a van away from home/EHU.. How to keep batteries charged yet have them do their job of maintaining trackers/immobilisers/alarms when, often, there is no EHU available.
There are a few approaches...
Reduce power demand...turn off all draining services...isolate batteries
Increase power supply...install effective solar system that can combat resource hungry ECxxx PSUs etc.
Periodic 'maintenance'...apply EHU charge at home, take vehicle for long drives...

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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:13 pm

ok - situation as it stands at the moment 
 - the panel and app say both batteries are at 11.5v for leisure and 11.9 for vehicle;  
 - the solar charge is 0.5v. 
 - Central locking is working and the rear step goes in and out as it should. Habitation  lights come on and off. 
-  The vehicle battery is completely dead it seems; the lights on the dashboard screen dont even come on; there is absolutely nothing when you turn the key.
 - Everything is switched off e.g. radio, lights, truma panel etc. 
The EC700 unit has the black switch left on; so app, alarm and panel are working. 

I am not confident enough as a newbie to remove the leisure battery - I found it but it has a huge number of other bits and pieces also attached to it. I'm still searching for the vehicle battery

At this point in time - I need some advice on what to specifically do NOW
1. leave it as it is until end of lock down and then get RAC to come and jump start it?
2. switch off the black ECU button and leave the batteries as they are until after lockdown is lifted and then get RAC out?
3. get RAC out now to jump start and take it to my dealer to sort out?
4. take out the vehicle battery and bring it home and try and charge it up - if I do this option - should I expect to find anything else wired into that one which will cause me problems during its removal?  
5. any other option for sorting now?????

There is no EHU at the storage site; he is not very keen to keep opening the site to allow vehicles to go off site - and I have nowhere to bring it home to as it would have to be parked on the pavement in a narrow road which also has buses go through. 

Clearly the 80w solar panel is insufficient and it looks as it some modification will have to be done or over winter we next time just isolate both batteries - but I suspect that is beyond my capabilities or knowledge. 

My immediate issue is what i do now...and as a newbie I have no idea - so advice on my next immediate moves would be really helpful -  thank you all - your advice is appreciated.  wave confused3
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Post by Cymro Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:26 pm

My instinct - sharing your intimidation at the bank of connections to the leisure battery, and similar plus awkwardness of the vehicle battery - is your option 3. A dealer should be familiar with the drain problem, and how to overcome it by modification.

That said, it would be just within my limited competence to check the voltage of the vehicle battery (given the panel says 11.9v) if you have a suitable meter. Can be done via the jump leads access terminals in the engine bay, or at the battery. But that won't get you to the dealer. So go for 3.

It's a newish van for goodness sake!

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Post by Peter Brown Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:32 pm

The video below is dire but it does show where the starter battery is and how to disconnect it, you must always disconnect the negative first to prevent a metal spanner shorting the positive to chassis.

In answer to your question, as both your batteries are now discharged to some extent then remove them, take them home, charge them and keep them at home till you can freely access the van and consider all the other advice given.

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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:48 pm

Pete that is a really helpful video and makes me feel better about getting the vehicle battery out - thanks. now for a dumb question - where the hell is the leisure battery? Is it under the passenger seat? I cant remember being shown it on handover and there is nothing about its location in the handbook. I'm feeling so stupid at the moment
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Post by Peter Brown Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:58 pm

Handbook page 9-43 shows leisure battery under offside bench seat. It may be boxed in.
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Post by mikethebike Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:02 pm

From what i have read so far i would get local help. This could be a neighbour or another motorhome owner at your storage.
Those batteries need charging.ASAP.
Can you get to your storage with a car and jump start M/H?
Or Item 3.

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Post by bolero boy Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:07 pm

Is the dealer open and available to help?
If you have room at home, even parking outside your house, why not get the RAC to jump start it, bring it home and hook up for a couple of days.
Hopefully this might rescue the batteries.
You could then get it back to storage and turn off (shut down) the hab systems and disconnect the cab battery as Peter describes, lifting the cab floor section is easy with a 2p piece and then remove the -ve lead.
Yes, it's a new van, but poorly sized and implemented electrics 'solutions' will conspire to fail against long periods of inattention and a constant drain, even a small one. Then have a look at the AS solar 'bypass PSU' suggestions on here, this will set you up for next winter and, hopefully, make use of solar to visit places other than full fat campsites.
Good luck.

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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:19 pm

thanks Bolero boy  my other thought was to actually take out the vehicle battery and bring it home and charge it. and then either switch off the whole ec unit and shut everything down 
or switch it over to just charging the leisure battery

we cant get it off site and cant get it home - no room for bus and motorhome - so it isnt an option. 
what do you think?
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Post by Peter Brown Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:24 pm

You have said much earlier in the thread that having the vehicle at home is not an option, but bringing the starter battery home, charging it and keeping there till needed is your best option.

You do need to find and disconnect (remove battery fuse is easiest way - it should be right next to the battery) the leisure battery as there are some permanent feeds from it that bypass the Sargent system.
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Post by bolero boy Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:43 pm

Yes, you could pull the fuse as Peter says....for convenience, we have  one of these (factory fitted) in our van for leisure battery isolation.
...about a fiver on the net...

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Post by glyne lock Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:08 pm

the only thing to do at present is to buy a set of jump leads go and connect to the jump start points under the bonnet with your car turn on the car side lights run the car for aprox 15 mins to put some charge back in the vehicle battery to be able to start it and charge it up .then turn off the black button on the control as per the book for putting a van in storage .then you will be able to start and charge up the leisure when the voltage drops you well never keep it charged by leaving the ec700 turned on . as I said already you need to carry out the solar charge mod or this will be an on going problem for yourself .it would be great if you could just remove the battery so easy as people say but is not something for just any person to take on
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Post by bolero boy Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:48 pm

Glyn, will turning off the 'black button' (shutting down the PSU?) just isolate the habitation batteries. Won't the cab battery still fall away with the alarm/immobiliser/tracker depleting it?
....or are you saying that the cab battery should be disconnected or that the OP returns regularly to repeat the procedure?

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Post by glyne lock Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:08 pm

All I can say it will help as you will now not have such a high drain from the ec700 and if you can start a vehicle can run the vehicle to charge up the leisure if he is not using the tracker could remove the fuse but his problem will not go away when put in long term storage
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Post by marconi Fri Jan 29, 2021 4:44 pm

The Broadway should have the Red Battery Isolation Button on the Ignition Switch, this can be used when the Vehicle is in storage. Together with the Black Isolation Button on the EC700 out. The consumption will be minimum then for both batteries, the Tracker and any alarm system will still operate.

The immediate action required is to Jump Start the engine with a Car or carry a suitable Battery to the Broadway to start it and leave it to run as long as possible as glyne says. I wouldn't entertain removing the Vehicle Battery its a huge thing, I don't know what the ECU would think to that either.

How about then Hiring a good quality 240 Volt Petrol Generator, plugged into the EHU and spending a day with the van with the EC700 on Smart Charge.

I also recommend a good read of the Harmony Manual.
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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:27 pm

Marconi - thanks - i read the harmony manual several times - where as a beginner I think I made the mistake was in wanting the LOCATE app facility - and the handbook is clear - the system needs to be active. I interpreted this as meaning the EC700 button has to be in. 

If i use the vehicle battery isolate red button - then from today - it would seem that the central locking wont work. Certainly when the battery was removed, the vehicle central locking refused to function - I could lock the driver's door but not the passenger one - which seems pretty useless to me. 

At the moment, as a beginner to all this - its pretty confusing. As for a generator - ideal if you know what you are doing - not so good when you read the harmony manual - which has some very specific instructions for what type of generator to use. Again, not particularly helpful if you are new to all of this. 


Thank you everyone for your help - appreciated. steep learning curve today but thanks to encouragement of some of you at least I found out how to take out and put back in the vehicle battery. And I discovered the boxed in leisure battery as well - which was well hidden to one side of the combi boiler. So all good learning. 

Glyne - I'm off to investigate this EC700 solar mod you are talking about - I may have questions  hugegrins up!
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Post by glyne lock Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:05 pm

that's what the forum is for to get help from others. so any help just ask .I have not had anyone say that the mod has not worked for them and at a cost of a new vehicle battery and will extend both  your batteries life is worth doing as lots have now done on this forum when using the epever DuoRacer or votronic mppt controller .
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Post by Caraman Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:27 pm

You must turn off the EC700.  It doesn't matter that some of the AS Monitor functionality will stop.  Your tracker receives its external supply from the leisure battery which is unaffected by turning off the EC700.  It only needs 9V.  If you remove the leisure battery or remove its 20A in line fuse it will force your tracker to use its internal non rechargeable battery which isn't the end of the world but its not ideal.  Either way, you will still be able to see snapshots of your motorhome's location and leisure battery voltage to the nearest volt by pressing the Locate button on AS Monitor and the tracking centre phone and police recovery service will still work if the motorhome is stolen.  If you turn the EC700 off, all the solar charge will be directed to the vehicle battery which should help it.  If you use the red isolation button on the ignition no solar charge will reach the vehicle battery but the battery drain will be less.  The central locking continues to work for 7 minutes after using the red isolation button but it will trigger your vehicle alarm if it is armed.  It is possible to lock your vehicle without using the key fob and therefore arming the vehicle alarm.  Its not the end of the world if you vehicle alarm isn't armed.  I suspect no one would hear it going off in a storage compound.


Last edited by Caraman on Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by marconi Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:43 pm

Plymouthwelshboy wrote:Marconi - thanks - i read the harmony manual several times - where as a beginner I think I made the mistake was in wanting the LOCATE app facility - and the handbook is clear - the system needs to be active. I interpreted this as meaning the EC700 button has to be in. 

If i use the vehicle battery isolate red button - then from today - it would seem that the central locking wont work. Certainly when the battery was removed, the vehicle central locking refused to function - I could lock the driver's door but not the passenger one - which seems pretty useless to me. 

At the moment, as a beginner to all this - its pretty confusing. As for a generator - ideal if you know what you are doing - not so good when you read the harmony manual - which has some very specific instructions for what type of generator to use. Again, not particularly helpful if you are new to all of this. 


Thank you everyone for your help - appreciated. steep learning curve today but thanks to encouragement of some of you at least I found out how to take out and put back in the vehicle battery. And I discovered the boxed in leisure battery as well - which was well hidden to one side of the combi boiler. So all good learning. 

Glyne - I'm off to investigate this EC700 solar mod you are talking about - I may have questions  hugegrins up!

When you have a charged Vehicle Battery then the Central locking will work and the Red Button allows you time to leave the Vehicle before it Isolates the battery, then you can re enter with the key. The insecurity if the Battery is removed is another good reason for not doing it.

Well the Generator was a general How About idea to solve this regularly occurring problem with Motorhomes in storage.

You sure won't regret investigating bypassing the EC700 Sargent Solar Controller with an efficient set up for the future use and storage but you must still shut down the EC700 its too hungry, you won't loose Locate and Tracking. The instructions are a bit unclear on Remote Battery Levels, I still get Leisure Battery levels but no Vehicle Battery. You won't get Battery Alerts but who want's those when they are too late anyway.
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