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All 3 Batteries Flat

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All 3 Batteries Flat Empty All 3 Batteries Flat

Post by Norris Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:24 am

Hi all. 2019 Corinium Duo bought new and in storage.2 leisure,1engine battery.Everything was working fine,solar kept batteries charged and tracker working.Had 1st sevice early December2020.Since then the remote tracker app told me the battery charge was to low.All 3 batteries were flat.Took off the leisure batteries and charged at home,they are holding the charge.Switched off Sargent EC700 and trip fuse.Took van for a 25 mile ride and the battery charged,the engine battery still goes flat.1)Why would all 3 batteries go flat? 2)Why is engine battery going flat? 3)What could be using battery power if all things are off?
Any thoughts and/or help would be appreciated. confused3
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Post by Paramedic Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:46 am

If you search for, engine battery, flat battery, it should reveal all problems relating to your request. Quite simply, van kept in storage over winter, (assume) 80w solar panel will not be enough to charge all batteries and the tracker will hasten the negative drain. There will be more specific answers to your question. Welcome to this most friendly and informative forum.  wave

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Post by Paramedic Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:58 am

You've likely to have viewed 'Vehicle battery dead - Lockdown strategy? Some useful information.

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Post by glyne lock Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:28 pm

if you need help message me direct and I will help
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Post by Peter Brown Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:51 pm

Norris wrote:Hi all. 2019 Corinium Duo bought new and in storage.2 leisure,1engine battery.Everything was working fine,solar kept batteries charged and tracker working.Had 1st sevice early December2020.Since then the remote tracker app told me the battery charge was to low.All 3 batteries were flat.Took off the leisure batteries and charged at home,they are holding the charge.Switched off Sargent EC700 and trip fuse.Took van for a 25 mile ride and the battery charged,the engine battery still goes flat.1)Why would all 3 batteries go flat? 2)Why is engine battery going flat? 3)What could be using battery power if all things are off?
Any thoughts and/or help would be appreciated. confused3

This is perfectly normal for vans of your era in store in winter. In a nutshell, disconnect all batteries as you put it in store. As said previously there is loads on this on the forum going back over the last six winters.
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Post by bolero boy Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:10 pm

...'of that era'....suggests some old fashioned vintage van with antique electrics, surely you can be talking about a (roughly) 18 month old Motorhome of Excellence....we're only just into 2021.
Surely it's not too much to expect that a modern van could keep a set of batteries fully charged (and functional) via a solar panel.
Yes, sun is low (although we have some really bright stuff here today an my panel is steaming....) and AS could have stretched to 100w panels to give 25% more power to their notoriously 'hungry' vans?
Again, I can turn off my control panel (hab electrics) yet the solar system continues to do what it does when the CP is on (supply the vehicle and two hab batteries)..but, when turned off, the 'clever' Sargent system decides for the customer which battery gets charged and which does not.. Of course this might not be the one the customer thinks is the right one...depending on PSU model...
I suggest the OP read some of the earlier threads re solar and, if he wants to maintain batteries 'actively' in the van (and end up with a system that actually works well as an off grid aid rather than an in storage pain, rather than just 'switch off') he makes the changes recommended to bypass the Sargent PSU.
Good luck.

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Post by marconi Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:41 pm

Norris wrote:Hi all. 2019 Corinium Duo bought new and in storage.2 leisure,1engine battery.Everything was working fine,solar kept batteries charged and tracker working.Had 1st sevice early December2020.Since then the remote tracker app told me the battery charge was to low.All 3 batteries were flat.Took off the leisure batteries and charged at home,they are holding the charge.Switched off Sargent EC700 and trip fuse.Took van for a 25 mile ride and the battery charged,the engine battery still goes flat.1)Why would all 3 batteries go flat? 2)Why is engine battery going flat? 3)What could be using battery power if all things are off?
Any thoughts and/or help would be appreciated. confused3

Yet another one, so sad to hear this on 2019 models.

Your questions.

1) You say 'switched off the Sargent EC700' does this mean it was on during storage, was it switched to 'Smart' charging, the Solar set up, as suppled, can't cope with the demands in normal times.

2) Perhaps the Vehicle Battery going flat has wrecked it. Maybe get it tested or charge it at home and observe it off load before you start looking for faults causing drain.

3) 'All things off' but the EC700 on spells disaster it needs to be shut down. The Vehicle battery has continuous drain too, in storage it needs the Red Button operated.

It will still need to be regularly checked IMHO.
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Post by bolero boy Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:03 pm

...but turning off cab batteries prevents those items causing the small drain to stop working...alarm, immobiliser, possibly tracker.. which may have a consequence...insurance, conscience etc
...and if that solar 'system' can't even keep batteries charged when there's no real drain, how will it perform in true life off-grid conditions?
Surely, it would be better (even if it required some professional help) to make the tiny modification to fit a decent MPPT dual output controller and link the outputs directly to to cab and leisure batteries.
Should be easy to fit as a 'restore to original' set up should this be required, (say) for future sale.

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Post by marconi Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:37 pm

bolero boy wrote:...but turning off cab batteries prevents those items causing the small drain to stop working...alarm, immobiliser, possibly tracker.. which may have a consequence...insurance, conscience etc
...and if that solar 'system' can't even keep batteries charged when there's no real drain, how will it perform in true life off-grid conditions?
Surely, it would be better (even if it required some professional help) to make the tiny modification to fit a decent MPPT dual output controller and link the outputs directly to to cab and leisure batteries.
Should be easy to fit as a 'restore to original' set up should this be required, (say) for future sale.
I haven't tried the Red Button because I don't need to but I don't think its a total shut down but a minimal current consumption situation ie essentials are running still, there may have been misinformation I don't know for sure. 
Fitting an alarm to a supply that can be turned off would be rather stupid I think when there is no need to do so, although it has been done by companies. An alarm company I spoke to had never heard of the Red Button and when I explained it he said B***** ridiculous and didn't get back to me, he didn't want the work and I didn't really want an alarm.  

I didn't mention the Dual Controller but yes that goes without saying, (my fingers are wearing out, I have typed enough on that subject smile! ) the OP has been pointed to the threads.

I have done my mods 'restore to original' no real need though I think.


Last edited by marconi on Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Peter Brown Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:12 pm

I can't find it but, I think in the last year, someone posted on the forum a picture of the device that isolates the battery with a circuit diagram embossed on it. I can't remember in detail but I think putting the key into the red position started a process that ended with the negative terminal being physically disconnected from the vehicle but with a connection from the chassis to a coil in the unit. When the ignition key was moved out of the red a positive connection is made to the other end of the coil and a solenoid switch then reconnects the battery negative.
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Post by marconi Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:23 pm

Peter Brown wrote:I can't find it but, I think in the last year, someone posted on the forum a picture of the device that isolates the battery with a circuit diagram embossed on it.  I can't remember in detail but I think putting the key into the red position started a process that ended with the negative terminal being physically disconnected from the vehicle but with a connection from the chassis to a coil in the unit.  When the ignition key was moved out of the red a positive connection is made to the other end of the coil and a solenoid switch then reconnects the battery negative.
Yes I know the Relay here is mine.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It costs about £100. I am not going to discuss anything else I may or may not know about it, (Security).

One Peugeot Boxer Handbook that doesn't have a Red Button says this.

If your vehicle is fitted with a tachograph or
an alarm, disconnection of the negative (-)
terminal of the battery (located under the
floor on the left-hand side, in the cab) is
recommended if the vehicle is not to be used
for a period of more than 5 days


Last edited by marconi on Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:01 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : more added)
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Post by bolero boy Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:39 pm

My 'restore to original' point was that some users are a bit apprehensive when it comes to changes that might (be seen to) affect any warranty. 
It may be that AS are not interested in any electrical issues if they came across a non-factory fit solar arrangement.
Personally, I think that's avoiding the issue and a bit of a cop out.
My own install could have been routed through the CBE Distribution unit which controls the mains charger split but, despite (perhaps?) being totally familiar with them, main dealers just take the factory fit pre-wiring (roof to controller space) and then take that output directly to the batteries. Whether a factory for solar system would be wired via the DS300 I don't know.
I also have no idea whether a CBE DU (or indeed, the control panel) needs to be 'on' to do this work but I do know that the outcome seems to be that a simple, stand alone install works as efficiently as it can, although some monitoring may be lost via the CP. this may be an issue for some AS owners as the Harmony (lovely name) system is partly designed to deliver a plethora of user info...but at what cost?
At the end of the day, various other monitoring methods can be employed from shunts to Bluetooth links to solar controllers should this be desired.
As IanH regularly tells us....keep it simple. The issue is that many users don't realise how complicated some system manufacturers have made things.

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Post by HairyFool Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:03 pm

bolero boy wrote:...'of that era'....suggests some old fashioned vintage van with antique electrics, surely you can be talking about a (roughly) 18 month old Motorhome of Excellence....we're only just into 2021.
Completely the opposite

A "vintage van" lacks all the smart electronics of a modern vehicle. Turn off the ignition, old fashioned relays drop, no drain on the battery... end of!

Ignoring the Cr**py Sargent system initially, modern vehicles have to think for about 25-45 minutes after taking out the key before they go into low drain mode and note!! I did not say turn off!

There are various reasons why they do this but it is by design. The net result is that a modern vehicle left for some weeks will have a flat battery but an old one will be fine for months.
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Post by rventhusiast Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:51 pm

Our Bourton is fitted with the standard 80w solar panel which, in summer, is sufficient to maintain two 110ah lithium Han batteries and a 90ah AGM engine battery without hookup. My lithium system uses the Victron Connect app for monitoring/setting the system and batteries. Although the solar panel is connected direct to the system via a Victron MPPT controller I can readily see that here in North Yorkshire for pretty much most of the day, there is hardly any charge being generated. In fact, over the last three days the highest input has been 3watts - not enough to keep the basic systems alive.

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Post by bolero boy Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:49 pm

HairyFool wrote:
bolero boy wrote:...'of that era'....suggests some old fashioned vintage van with antique electrics, surely you can be talking about a (roughly) 18 month old Motorhome of Excellence....we're only just into 2021.
Completely the opposite

A "vintage van" lacks all the smart electronics of a modern vehicle. Turn off the ignition, old fashioned relays drop, no drain on the battery... end of!

Ignoring the Cr**py Sargent system initially, modern vehicles have to think for about 25-45 minutes after taking out the key before they go into low drain mode and note!! I did not say turn off!

There are various reasons why they do this but it is by design. The net result is that a modern vehicle left for some weeks will have a flat battery but an old one will be fine for months.
Sorry, I was referring (a tad sarcastically) to the way that modern vans 'should' be able to factor in all the new facilities they are managing otherwise they aren't fit for purpose. What is the purpose of a 'Harmony' style interface if the complexity (and power implications) render it less of the 'wonder kit' that it purports to be?
I totally agree, simple is far better, at so many levels.👍

@RVE....according to Google, In winter, you will probably produce far less energy – A 100W panel will only produce around 80Wh on an average winter day-
So, if that were produced over 6 hrs...(10am-4pm)...that's 12.5 watts continuous. For an 80w panel this would become 10 watts.
So, your 3watts is very low and far, far below a typical (southern) day, although perfectly possible in long grey (northern) weeks. 
By contrast, even in a week of dullish weather here in the south, my batteries have been fully charged all the time....in fact couple of decent sunny days this week would mean I reckon I have a bit of surplus, if you'd like some:up!:

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Post by HairyFool Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:08 pm

I was told that they delay shutting down because a fairly common scenario where a driver would switch of the car but start it up again within a few minutes (go to a paper shop, open the garage etc.). By not closing down the car would start up again quickly. 

Having had a few of this type of vehicle and I can safely say I could detect absolutely no difference whether the startup was within 5 minutes or 5 hours.

I would love to modernise the HAB electronics of my venerable Amethyst but from what I have seen available I think perhaps not. hugegrins
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Post by IanH Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:38 pm

If its not broken...................don't fix it!!! up!
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