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Battery advice


J9DWY
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Hi all

I bought a van 2/3 weeks ago, battery is fairly new, under a year old. I may just be being fussy nut when I turn certain lights on in the van the whole lot flicker. I'm in the process of converting all the halogen bulbs to LED. I looked at the battery properly last night and its not very big and 80Ah. is this the cause? I don't know a lot about battery's. I can live with the flicker but I would look into upgrading it soon if I can just chuck a bigger battery on. I've also noticed when I bleep the alarm on the awning light comes on for 30 seconds when the van is plugged into mains electric but doesn't even light up when the van is left on battery only. The manual says if it lights up for 5 seconds or less than 30 seconds this could indicate a low battery. battery shows 13v on in van indicator when master is switched on. Thank you for any help.

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If you have the van plugged in to the mains and then check the battery level, it’s just telling you that the onboard charger is working. I’ve never seen any battery register 13v on the van’s voltmeter when not connected to the mains. Leave the mains disconnected, let the battery settle for an hour or so, then check the voltage at the terminals using a proper meter. 


it’s possible that something is draining the battery - could be the alarm’s own battery is flat, so the alarm is taking power from the van battery, or could just be that something is switched on - fridge, radio etc?

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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2 minutes ago, Glen and Les said:

If you have the van plugged in to the mains and then check the battery level, it’s just telling you that the onboard charger is working. I’ve never seen any battery register 13v on the van’s voltmeter when not connected to the mains. Leave the mains disconnected, let the battery settle for an hour or so, then check the voltage at the terminals using a proper meter. 


it’s possible that something is draining the battery - could be the alarm’s own battery is flat, so the alarm is taking power from the van battery, or could just be that something is switched on - fridge, radio etc?

The alarm has its own battery? makes sense I suppose, ill have to locate the alarm and see what I can find. 

when the van is stood alone the voltage is around 12 which I assume is ok. I wont know if the battery is draining until I put in storage (waiting on a space which is coming available soon) Ill have to invest in a multi meter.

 

I think I need to get the van serviced and they can go through everything maybe.  

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If the 12v correct then I think it is flat.

Regards, David
Peugeot 308 GT Premium, 1.5 diesel 2021

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23 minutes ago, J9DWY said:

when the van is stood alone the voltage is around 12 which I assume is ok.

 

No!   For quite a few hours after the charger is switched off, the battery should be 12.6volts - providing there's nothing taking power.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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Hi 

Battery woes are common , as the previous posters say the battery off load voltage  should be  about 12.6 to 12.9 ( temperature dependent). A off load battery voltage of about 10.3V indicates that one of the six cells ( 2.1V per cell) has 'sulphated' which  is caused by letting a battery go flat over a long period. and is usually terminal for the battery.

The battery at 80Ahr is OK  and may be the biggest that will fit in the compartment. If you can fit a bigger one then fine, but make sure its a leisure type as these are designed for relatively low  drain currents ( no starter motors to run) and to resist the dreaded sulphation when stored for long periods,  i.e.  low internal self-discharge current.

My advice is that unless you have solar panels backing up the battery whilst its in storage ( particularly during the winter months) then the battery should be removed from the van  and kept in a frost free place and keep it charged.

Also  just quickly pull out and refit the the 12V spade fuses, they do oxidise  and removing them and refitting them cleans off the oxide layer, the oxide layer is resistive, which when current is drawn the output voltage will drop.

Another sign the fuses are resistive is that they may warm up when current is drawn through for a long periods particularly the 20A charger fuse when the mains charger is trying to charge a flat or duff.

hope this helps you figure out what's wrong.

 

 

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10 hours ago, IAN2880 said:

Hi 

Battery woes are common , as the previous posters say the battery off load voltage  should be  about 12.6 to 12.9 ( temperature dependent). A off load battery voltage of about 10.3V indicates that one of the six cells ( 2.1V per cell) has 'sulphated' which  is caused by letting a battery go flat over a long period. and is usually terminal for the battery.

The battery at 80Ahr is OK  and may be the biggest that will fit in the compartment. If you can fit a bigger one then fine, but make sure its a leisure type as these are designed for relatively low  drain currents ( no starter motors to run) and to resist the dreaded sulphation when stored for long periods,  i.e.  low internal self-discharge current.

My advice is that unless you have solar panels backing up the battery whilst its in storage ( particularly during the winter months) then the battery should be removed from the van  and kept in a frost free place and keep it charged.

Also  just quickly pull out and refit the the 12V spade fuses, they do oxidise  and removing them and refitting them cleans off the oxide layer, the oxide layer is resistive, which when current is drawn the output voltage will drop.

Another sign the fuses are resistive is that they may warm up when current is drawn through for a long periods particularly the 20A charger fuse when the mains charger is trying to charge a flat or duff.

hope this helps you figure out what's wrong.

 

 

Hi Ian, thanks for the advise. I want to keep the battery on during storage for the alarm, as it’s declared on insurance I don’t want any voids. That said I could keep this 80ah if it passes the test for winter storage and keep my new one in a safe place under solar trickle charge. I do plan to install a solar panel if the van does us well for its first year with us and we want to keep it. 
the battery that was fitted. By previous owner is about 70% fulfilling the space so I could easily fit a bigger battery no issue . 
I’ll get this battery tested and go from there 

thanks 

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This seems very cheap. What’s peoples thoughts? Am I missing something? There are a few on eBay 130A £70-90 which would retail in shops over £100 easy

EEE28C4E-DA9B-47BC-8C56-0AF961D41DF5.jpeg

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It's hard to say if it's any good or not... I suspect that a lot of these brands come out of the same factory in China the only difference being the labels!

 

What I can add to the conversation is that I just bought a new AGM Stop Start battery for my Sorento from Tayna batteries and it cost £114 versus similar at Halfords nearly £200. 

 

Because we were leaving for Spain next day I paid extra for next day delivery before 1:00am arrived spot on, nicely packaged. They were very helpful sorting out which battery I required.

 

They have a 110ah leisure battery here

 

https://www.tayna.co.uk/leisure-batteries/caravan/

 

You pays your money and takes your choice I think!!!!

 

Interestingly I came across Tayna on another post here when someone was comparing a Europarts snap 50% off sale and batteries were still cheaper at Tayna.

 

The one you found though is a whopping 130Ah. Do check it fits ok and if it does, I think I'd probably take the small gamble and go for it....

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Compare with the Caravantalk favourite, the Yuasa L36-EFB.

 

The headline on that battery is 130Ah. But at the same discharge rate as the Yuasa battery (C20), the capacity is tge same - 100Ah.

There are one or two 130Ah batteries on eBay. Low profile like the one shown.

There is one for the same price which has 1000 CCA (a function of the ability to cold crank a car engine) which us better than the Yuasa.

With discounts, these are £20 cheaper so may be worth a punt. The 4 year warranty may not be worth the pixels on the screen.....

Tempted myself as my new van has a low profile box that my existing Yuasa won't fit.

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Yuasa is a good brand. I’ll look that c20 battery up that’s recommended on here. Thanks mate 

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Our friends at Tayna have a similar 130Ah battery (Solarflex) for 50p cheaper on eBay!

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What is EFB technology peeps? 

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2 minutes ago, J9DWY said:

What is EFB technology peeps? 

It's a special type of battery for cars with Stop/Start.

Regards, David
Peugeot 308 GT Premium, 1.5 diesel 2021

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Oh ok, not relevant for a caravan then?

i wondered why the power line was £20/30 cheaper and the tech is different. 
not sure what 4 year warranty means on a battery? I’m sure there is lot of criteria  to meet? 
might just go for power line 

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Our Buc came with a 105 amp Yuasa leisure grade a or whatever battery as standard. It is AGM. I can vouch for it-in this cold weather it moved our 1800kg twin axle Buc well over 50 yards into a tricky spot at Eye Kettleby-I really didn't want to back it into, Then operated the EP levelling  3 times-first time to put on the wheel locks then twice as it was a bit slopey and the jacks wanted a block of wood first time round! Very impressed! 

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My caravan doesn’t have movers, quite useless on a twin axles from my experience cause you can’t pivot them so I won’t bother ever fitting any. 
I read the AGM is a good technology I just don’t have the headspace atm to understand it all lol I just need simple terms. Since owning the van I spend my life on the internet looking for new bits, awnings 

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We have twin movers. It whips round like a good un on loose surface. Wouldn't do it on tamac though.

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18 hours ago, J9DWY said:

I read the AGM is a good technology I just don’t have the headspace atm to understand it all lol I just need simple terms. Since owning the van I spend my life on the internet looking for new bits, awnings 

EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery) and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) are both more advanced battery technologies over standard wet-flooded batteries. AGM more so than EFB.

They provide a greater lifespan due to improved charge cycle capability which is particularly useful if you have a mover. Both CAN be used as leisure batteries in caravans PROVIDED your charger is suitable. An EFB battery will usually be ok but an AGM battery generally requires a higher voltage output (typically 14.6-14.8v) from your charger to be successfully charged. Many caravan chargers do not charge at this voltage producing typically only 14.3v. If this is the case an AGM battery may NOT charge properly and will likely result in early failure of the battery.

Be sure your charger is up to the job before investing in a AGM battery.

 

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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1 hour ago, KnausCol said:

EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery) and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) are both more advanced battery technologies over standard wet-flooded batteries. AGM more so than EFB.

They provide a greater lifespan due to improved charge cycle capability which is particularly useful if you have a mover. Both CAN be used as leisure batteries in caravans PROVIDED your charger is suitable. An EFB battery will usually be ok but an AGM battery generally requires a higher voltage output (typically 14.6-14.8v) from your charger to be successfully charged. Many caravan chargers do not charge at this voltage producing typically only 14.3v. If this is the case an AGM battery may NOT charge properly and will likely result in early failure of the battery.

Be sure your charger is up to the job before investing in a AGM battery.

 

Thanks for that info. ill just get a standard wet battery when I decide to buy one.

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All I can say is you normally get what you pay for. The battery may be a bargain but only time will tell.  Personally I have a well known branded one.

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After much thought - and I take on board Wildwood's (and others) comment on getting what you pay for - I decided to take a chance on the little known, cheapo branded battery.

So the Probat 130Ah low profile from eBay. Delivered for £62.36 thanks to eBay's 20% off voucher.

The 3 year Warranty covers very little:

The warranty does not cover the following:
•    Sulphation
•    Wear and Tear
•    Deep or Over Cycling
•    Overcharging
•    Physical Damage
•    Incorrect Application

 

But time will tell.

My current (no pun intended) Yuasa is 6 years old and is acceptable (but too big for the new van!)

If the Probat lasts 3 years or so, then its done its job. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have had a Probat 130Ah off ebay for nearly 4 years now with no problems whatsoever. I take it out over the winter and put on trickle charge occasionally. It powers the van and mover no problem.

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