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Battery Booster Packs

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Post by Windsurf1 Tue May 31, 2022 8:45 pm

Hi, I've been advised that starting a Motor Home with a flat battery with a booster pack can damage the vehicles electrics (Computers) Vehicle is a 2010  Mercedes Sprinter.
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Post by Roopert Tue May 31, 2022 9:30 pm

Agreed - it is best avoided, if possible. There are some situations where it just isn't avoidable (e.g. dead battery on the side of a fast road, which should be very rare), but it's better to remove, recharge and replace if you can, or recharge in situ. If you have to recharge with an industrial fast-charger it's best to disconnect the battery from the vehicle electrics as well, as they can apply much higher than normal charging voltage.

Some parts seem to be more vulnerable than others - on a VW T5 it's the ABS brake controller - and that no doubt varies from make to make.
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Post by Tinwheeler Tue May 31, 2022 9:35 pm

Dealers do it all the time to the vehicles sat on their forecourts. They can’t keep every one of them connected to smart chargers.
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Post by Roopert Tue May 31, 2022 9:43 pm

Tinwheeler wrote:Dealers do it all the time to the vehicles sat on their forecourts. They can’t keep every one of them connected to smart chargers.
Probably true, and the chances of causing a failure are probably very low indeed - but the parts are so ridiculously expensive if you do cause one to fail that it is worth avoiding. On a T5, the ABS controller is roughly a £2000 part, and that's before it's been fitted and coded...
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Post by Tinwheeler Tue May 31, 2022 9:50 pm

Roopert wrote:
Tinwheeler wrote:Dealers do it all the time to the vehicles sat on their forecourts. They can’t keep every one of them connected to smart chargers.
Probably true, and the chances of causing a failure are probably very low indeed - but the parts are so ridiculously expensive if you do cause one to fail that it is worth avoiding. On a T5, the ABS controller is roughly a £2000 part, and that's before it's been fitted and coded...
I don’t expect it to be a problem if used only as a last resort as most of us would but regular use might be a different matter.
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Post by Windsurf1 Tue May 31, 2022 10:20 pm

Thanks for the replies. Agree a cranking output of these units is high and as pointed out car electrical components are eye watering expensive.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN Tue May 31, 2022 10:32 pm

Are the jump starting points under the bonnet provided for just this purpose??

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Post by Tinwheeler Tue May 31, 2022 10:35 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:Are the jump starting points under the bonnet provided for just this purpose??
Indeed they are.
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Post by Windsurf1 Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:14 am

Yes, I think most Merc Sprinters have a positive battery connection under the bonnet. I've used it once to charge up the vehicle battery using a smart charger. There was a warning light on the dash but a little reset procedure extinguished the light eventually. Probably illuminated when the battery was low. Thinking about it now the battery was possibly drained leaving the fridge door open with the selection left on battery?
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Post by Tinwheeler Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:28 am

I can't speak for the Merc but our Peugeot handbook advised against battery charging via the under bonnet connectors.    shrugg
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Post by IanH Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:36 am

Thinking laterally.....

None of this would be necessary with 80+w solar on roof.
Both batteries more or less guaranteed full 365 days / yr!!!
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Post by Windsurf1 Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:34 am

Agreed Ian. Fortunately or unfortunately which ever way you view it. Yes I have a solar panel fitted but my M/H is kept under a large car port at home. However periodical driving out does keep the batteries up. However as I stated earlier I think maybe leaving the fridge open and selected to battery position may have caused the vehicle battery drain? Further invest. Cheers J C.
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Post by inspiredron Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:53 pm

Unless your fridge is a 12v compressor type it will not work on 12V unless the engine is running. I would expect your van to have a Domestic or Thetford 3 way fridge rendering 12v usage impossible unless engine is running.


Last edited by inspiredron on Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos)

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Post by Tinwheeler Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:15 pm

The fridge control panel and interior light are usually a permanent live feed from the leisure battery to cope with running on gas off grid so would not drain the vehicle battery. The fridge motor runs as per Ron's description.
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Post by Windsurf1 Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:29 pm

Thanks all for confirmation of the fridges power supply. Vehicle battery seems to behaving now.
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Post by Molly3 Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:03 am

I was told not to jump start a modern vehicle with the doner vehicle engine running, as the engine starts it is hit with the output of 2 alternators,
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Post by PLOUGHLIN Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:08 am

Molly3 wrote:I was told not to jump start a modern vehicle  with the doner vehicle engine running, as the engine starts it is hit with the output of 2 alternators,

MB instructions include "run the donor vehicle's engine at idling speed", which has been my understanding for all vehicles.

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