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mordred1973

Battery Goes Flat In 5 Weeks

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we seem to have an issue, in storage (alarm off) the batter drops from 12. 7v (so fully charged) to 12v (so basically flat) within 5 weeks, and this is with a 40W solar panel attached.

 

No one can find an issue, its a brand new battery that loses no charge when not connected.

 

Could it possibly be that the back-up battery in the alarm is probably of no use now its 6 years old and that is draining the main battery? (I have read the alarm/tracker battery is charged from the main caravan battery?)

 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

 

Chris

 

 

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There has to be some parasitic drain somewhere. I found out last week that I have the same problem when I collected it from storage to take it in for a service. I will be investigating this afternoon.

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we seem to have an issue, in storage (alarm off) the batter drops from 12. 7v (so fully charged) to 12v (so basically flat) within 5 weeks, and this is with a 40W solar panel attached.

 

No one can find an issue, its a brand new battery that loses no charge when not connected.

 

Could it possibly be that the back-up battery in the alarm is probably of no use now its 6 years old and that is draining the main battery? (I have read the alarm/tracker battery is charged from the main caravan battery?)

 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

 

Chris

 

 

Discharge when left in the caravan

Here is a check list if the battery is losing voltage when the van is parked up at home ( No hook up ) or in storage

This list is compiled mainly for Bailey vans but could still apply to other manufactures

These are the things which could drain your battery on your caravan which are not isolated by the 12v master switch.

1. radio/stereo not switched off ( remove Radio ace) or holding the pre programed stations ( pemrinant live needs to be isolated )

2. status aerial not switched off

3. ultraheat fan not switched off

On low speed you can not hear the fan running it uses 3 amp

4. fridge 12v light on

5) Isolate the motor mover and remove the key

6) Inverters if they are not wired through a 12 volt isolation switch

7) A faulty on board battery charger ( back feed from the battery to the charger)

8) Alarm system

8) Faulty alarm / tracker ie tracker looking for a signal in a poor reception area

9) faulty solar panel or controller if permanently installed

10) later vans have a permanent Live to the toilet for road side comfort break

11) internal fridge light

12 ) motor mover isolation switch

Bailey caravan owners take note of this

just check as well that the battery fuse has not blown, because when you were on electric hook up you wouldn’t have been charging the battery but the 12 volt system ill still operate . There is an extra fuse just inside, the van at the back of the battery box often tucked under the plastic / abs box

 

 

To Trace the discharge get a Maplins Digital ammeter (large fuse size ) about £13 remove each fuse one a time, plug in the ammeter and take a reading

 

Dave

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It may have been my post that you read about the alarm stand by battery being flat/faulty causing drain of the main battery. That was on the Swift challenger that lives in our woods. And yes it was exactly that. Briefly the standby battery was flat, (the van has never been on EHU since day one. The main battery is never left in the van. As soon as it was connected the electronics in the alarm tried to charge the back up battery from the main battery, which it was not designed to do and was flattening it in 2 days. We identified the alarm as the fault by current drain analysis and then got that explanation from sergeant alarms. Who said they never envisaged that people would not be on EHU year after year and that to fully charge the stand by battery took 14 days on EHU. I've no knowledge of the truth of this just what they said. We disconnected the alarm as their is no one to hear it anyway. Problem sorted.

 

Now I've no idea if that is what will happen with the system that Bailey fitted, but the above advice re testing the drain on the battery is good. I was told by the tracker company with our Mark 1 Valencia that the tracker/alarm battery needed changing at 5 years. Could only be done by their engineer and the price they quoted was substantial. The van did not remain so it never came up.

 

Without solar it would flatten the battery on the Valencia about every 4 weeks. (12. 3v) When we put a 40 w solar up it needed a boost charge about once in Dec Jan Feb. Never for the other 9 months.

Edited by Alan Stanley

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There has to be some parasitic drain somewhere. I found out last week that I have the same problem when I collected it from storage to take it in for a service. I will be investigating this afternoon.

I found that I had not used the system shutdown button, probably a major part of the problem!

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As said check the mover is isolated by switching switch off . Fridges can have a permanent feed even when the master switch is off and the light will stay lit if the door is left open while in storage this catches many owners so make sure it is turned off at the fridge .

 

My battery will sit in storage for near 6 months over winter and still hold voltage .

 

 

5 weeks is a drain somewhere.

 

 

Dave

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Mine was Doing much the same as OP. 4 month old battery showing charged and we have an 80watt solar panel. Any load put on the Battery and it was gone. Duff battery. This was also causing Alde heating to show a fault.

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Battery is fine, new and also checked. All of the items mentioned by carabiker are switched off too. So looking like it is the 6 year old tracker battery killing it.

 

Will try to get dealer to disconnect it when it goes in for next service. .....(looking at the comments of £199 to get tracker to replace the battery)

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A nominal 12V lead-acid battery is considered flat at 1. 8Vpc or 10. 8V. 12V is nowhere near flat.

 

I have mailed you off group re Tracker.

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I have always understood that at 12V, a leisure battery is 75% discharged.

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On our Pursuit, the Truma combi boiler is always on no matter what the state of the master switch. Its a great way of ending up with a flat battery. The only solutions are to fit an isolating switch or disconnect the battery.

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When we bought our Pegasus 514 we had battery draining issues, which was down to the tracker/alarm and also leaving the master switch on and thus the meter lamp. Having realised this we switched the master off and fitted a 6W solar panel and everything was fine. ..................until we noticed that although the regulator showed that the solar panel was working it didn't appear to be charging the battery. After disconnecting the battery from the regulator for about a minute and reconnecting it, the level of the battery showed the panel to be charging the 110Ah battery. We checked several times in the week and it appeared, touch wood, that all was ok. If it happens again we'll swap out the regulator. (We need a regulator as we also use a 28W solar panel).

Edited by Bogeyman

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During the winter our battery lives in the garage at home, connected to a smart charger.

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Steamdrivenandy, on 15 Apr 2016 - 10:48 PM, said:

During the winter our battery lives in the garage at home, connected to a smart charger.

 

Which is great if your insurance policy allows you to store your 'van with no active alarm set.

 

Other wise you would need to swap for another.

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we seem to have an issue, in storage (alarm off) the batter drops from 12. 7v (so fully charged) to 12v (so basically flat) within 5 weeks, and this is with a 40W solar panel attached.

 

No one can find an issue, its a brand new battery that loses no charge when not connected.

 

Could it possibly be that the back-up battery in the alarm is probably of no use now its 6 years old and that is draining the main battery? (I have read the alarm/tracker battery is charged from the main caravan battery?)

 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

 

Chris

 

 

 

The Tracker battery is charged from the caravan battery (From memory if your battery caravan drops below 12. 6V, the Tracker calls on its back up battery for power and eventually depletes it. Tracker replaced my Tracker battery and sent it back to the factory to test the condition of it for data on the longevity of their batteries.

 

Like others have said, turn the master switch off and don't forget to isolate your mover if fitted at its switch. Leaving your mover isolation switch in the on position will drain your battery. It may also be worth checking your Solar panel components.

Edited by Silverback

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Don't pay loads to replace the alarm battery - it is easy to do yourself. The process is near enough described in the Swift handbook, so is no great secret. Locate the alarm box. You will need to remove its cover. On my current Swift this is retained with a large bolt; on my old van, the case was pop rivetted together, so had to be drilled out.

 

With cover removed, there may be an on/off switch - if so, switch off. Now remove the battery. This might be plugged straight into the alarm circuit board, or there may be loose leads with spade terminals to the battery. Read off the make and all details from the battery casing to order an online replacement.

 

This exercise is just like having the standby battery replaced in your house alarm, or that in your car tracker or caravan tracker box-they all have a typical life of 5-7 years. They are intended to be kept fully charged - if they are allowed to go flat, some do not fully recover, leading to a reduced life

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currently seems to have rectified itself :unsure:

 

took leisure batter home, charged it on a proper battery charger for 2 days til it said 100%, put it back in and 40W solar panel on and 4 weeks later its on 13v which is showing as higher than when it came off the battery charger.

 

Slightly confused, but wonder if with the leisure battery fully charged (which never happens with caravan charger) it appears to have recharged the tracker/alarm battery and now seems to be behaving normally. Will get brave and switch and switch the alarm on this week and see what happens to the battery. Will also have to see if the issue reoccurs once the caravan has been away and the battery thus only charged from the internal caravan charger.

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currently seems to have rectified itself :unsure:

 

took leisure batter home, charged it on a proper battery charger for 2 days til it said 100%, put it back in and 40W solar panel on and 4 weeks later its on 13v which is showing as higher than when it came off the battery charger.

 

Slightly confused, but wonder if with the leisure battery fully charged (which never happens with caravan charger) it appears to have recharged the tracker/alarm battery and now seems to be behaving normally. Will get brave and switch and switch the alarm on this week and see what happens to the battery. Will also have to see if the issue reoccurs once the caravan has been away and the battery thus only charged from the internal caravan charger.

The days are getting longer and the sun is getting higher, the panel will be putting out more charge and seems to now be keeping pace with the drainage. This is to be expected at this time of year.

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The days are getting longer and the sun is getting higher, the panel will be putting out more charge and seems to now be keeping pace with the drainage. This is to be expected at this time of year.

guess so, certain in ;last week it appears to have been sunny, not sure about over easter as I was overseas for 3 weeks. I guess that still means I need to get someone to look at it as I am not quite sure what I am unbolting, since it all appears to be bolted to the wall behind a panel. Maybe wait til June and ask the Bailey dealer if they'll sort it when its serviced.

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currently seems to have rectified itself :unsure:

 

took leisure batter home, charged it on a proper battery charger for 2 days til it said 100%, put it back in and 40W solar panel on and 4 weeks later its on 13v which is showing as higher than when it came off the battery charger.

 

Slightly confused, but wonder if with the leisure battery fully charged (which never happens with caravan charger) it appears to have recharged the tracker/alarm battery and now seems to be behaving normally. Will get brave and switch and switch the alarm on this week and see what happens to the battery. Will also have to see if the issue reoccurs once the caravan has been away and the battery thus only charged from the internal caravan charger.

 

It could have been something simple like a lose terminal and by removing and refitting the battery you could have sorted it.

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well, having tracked down the back up battery for the alarm, found that Maplins did one at £39. 99, then discovered Screwfix also did Yuasa battery for £19. 03

 

All replaced, main leisure battery is on Solar panel at the moment and was immediately showing at 13. 1v with panel attached, since we will see in a couple of weeks if replacing the alarm back up battery has solved it (it was 6 years old so guess it wasn't too lively)

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Did you check out toolstation, i do most of my buying there even though screwfix is close by.

 

SF is now owned by the same owner of BQ, since then prices have noticeably risen.

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Got quick release terminals fitted to battery. Flick off the negative when we leave. Battery usually at about 12. 6 when we return even after weeks. Doesn't take long to get back up to 12. 8 with the solar panel connected. Our alarm was draining battery so we got that disconnected. Got an armed guard farmer next door :D

Mike

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Hi xtrail. ...I admit I didn't check Toolstation, mostly because until I read your post I'd never heard of them lol (and you're right it was £4 cheaper)

Edited by mordred1973

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On a previous 'van we had a Dometic fridge, and the operating switch appeared to have three positions, 12v gas and mains. In any of those positions it operated a relay that had a significant drain and it turned out there's an unmarked, fourth 'off' position which is only obvious when you read the manual.

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