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Battery Problem, I Think, Help Required


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Hi all . .... I think I have found another problem related to my dealers problems . .....

 

Overland had my van locked in their workshop from Friday 20th December until I collected it on Monday 6th January. On checking it over 2 lights had been left on as had the heater fan . ... battery was nearly dead. When I got it home I connected it to the mains for 2½ hours and then managed to turn the van on the lane. Re-connected it over-night, then moved it across the lawn to it's hardstanding. Now it's been connected to the mains since Tuesday lunchtime, I've just been in the van and the volt meter is only show a charge of 12. 6 volts . .....

 

Now I have read when on EHU the meter should read 13. 6 volts . .... do I have a problem with the battery . ... is it knackered . ...????

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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Hi all . .... I think I have found another problem related to my dealers problems . .....

 

Overland had my van locked in their workshop from Friday 20th December until I collected it on Monday 6th January. On checking it over 2 lights had been left on as had the heater fan . ... battery was nearly dead. When I got it home I connected it to the mains for 2½ hours and then managed to turn the van on the lane. Re-connected it over-night, then moved it across the lawn to it's hardstanding. Now it's been connected to the mains since Tuesday lunchtime, I've just been in the van and the volt meter is only show a charge of 12. 6 volts . .....

 

Now I have read when on EHU the meter should read 13. 6 volts . .... do I have a problem with the battery . ... is it knackered . ...????

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Is the charger still switched on? If this is battery voltage (without charger) then you should wait around 24hours from taking it off charge and then measure the voltage, 12. 6 would be fine at this point.

 

If the charger is switched on when you took this measurement then disconnect the battery and measure the charger output separately from the battery. This will tell you if the charger is working and if the battery is still low.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Is the charger still switched on? If this is battery voltage (without charger) then you should wait around 24hours from taking it off charge and then measure the voltage, 12. 6 would be fine at this point.

 

 

Hi dreadly . .... how do I tell tht the ncharger is working or not . ...??

 

It's connected to EHU, so I assume that it must be . ....

 

. ... but I've just popped out the van . .... I pulled thefuse for the charger, OK, put it back . .... meter is now showing 13 volts . ...???

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

P. S. .... I don't have a multi-meter . ... so no way of check the battery . ...

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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Hi dreadly . .... how do I tell tht the ncharger is working or not . ...??

 

It's connected to EHU, so I assume that it must be . ....

 

. ... but I've just popped out the van . .... I pulled thefuse for the charger, OK, put it back . .... meter is now showing 13 volts . ...???

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

P. S. .... I don't have a multi-meter . ... so no way of check the battery . ...

Ahh, ok, the picture becomes clearer :). The voltmeter in caravans can be very inaccurate. You NEED to get yourself a cheap multimeter from eBay or Maplins. These can be got for under a fiver and will give you the accuracy you require.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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You NEED to get yourself a cheap multimeter from eBay or Maplins. These can be got for under a fiver and will give you the accuracy you require.

 

dreadly . ... can you, please, recommend one off of e-bay . ... there seem so many to choose from . .... I'd like to get a use-ful one.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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dreadly . ... can you, please, recommend one off of e-bay . ... there seem so many to choose from . .... I'd like to get a use-ful one.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

I would. ... Trouble is that this site can be a little dangerous sometimes. If I recommend one, somebody will come along within minutes and tell me how bad it is and what a terrible choice it is :lol:

 

Multi meters vary a lot on specification, I think for what you want you probably do not need something that is auto-ranging.

 

Are you after cheap or reliable and expensive :)

 

I personally prefer Fluke meters, but they are fairly top-end but if you are after something fairly cheap and durable, suitable for caravan/car and other general household use then I would get something like this --> http://www. ebay. co. uk/sch/i. html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=draper+multimeter&_nkwusc=drapeer+multimeter&_rdc=1

It's not by any means the cheapest but it is very durable and flexible. You can also add extra leads like this (http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/DRAPER-43061-EXPERT-3MM-AUTOMOTIVE-FUSE-ADAPTOR-TEST-LEADS-/290920577073?pt=UK_Hand_Tools_Equipment&hash=item43bc37b831) to allow you to measure current through fuse terminals (Very handy)...

 

A bottom end Fluke meter like this may be a better buy though :- http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/VC99-6999-auto-range-multimeter-tester-Amp-C-Tcompared-FLUKE-analog-bar-UK-ship-/121074199075?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item1c3095aa23

Edited by dreadly

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Pierre,

Buy item 701/5063 Multimeter from Argos. Take it home, do the test take it back within 30 days as unsuitable. Or keep it, this meter is more than adequate for your needs . Not wishing to be rude but reading your posts your knowledge of battery and electricity appears limited.

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Pierre,

Buy item 701/5063 Multimeter from Argos. Take it home, do the test take it back within 30 days as unsuitable. Or keep it, this meter is more than adequate for your needs . Not wishing to be rude but reading your posts your knowledge of battery and electricity appears limited.

Good idea. .. Although, I tried to get nearly 40 items from Argos after Christmas and every single one was out of stock. .. not a multimeter though.

Anyway. . All I am saying is that if you go that route, check for stock before driving there.

 

However, that product number is wrong - You need item 701/5603

Edited by dreadly

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Pierre,

Buy item 701/5063 Multimeter from Argos. Take it home, do the test take it back within 30 days as unsuitable. Or keep it, this meter is more than adequate for your needs .

 

 

Thanks Bill . ..... but is that not like . .... getting your first suit from Burton . ... for a court appearance . ... only to get your mum to take it back . .... when you get sent down . .......

 

Pete

Not wishing to be rude but reading your posts your knowledge of battery and electricity appears limited.

 

Bill . ... thanks for stating the blooming obvious . ......

 

. .... if I'd known the answer . ... I wouldn't have asked the question . ....

 

Now would I . ....

 

Pete

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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Pierre,

Buy item 701/5063 Multimeter from Argos. Take it home, do the test take it back within 30 days as unsuitable.

Technically reasonably sound advice but morally I think it is appalling.

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Happens all the time. However it was meant as a light hearted reply to Peter who took exception to it! I thought I did apologise in my post!!

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You don't need a multimeter to test whether your charger is working. With the EHU and charger on, check the caravan voltmeter, note what it says, it should be around 13. 8V (assuming you don't have a multi-stage charger). Now trip the MCB for the charger, use something DC powered like the water pump for a minute or so, then check the voltmeter again. It should be around:

  • 100% charged: around 12. 8V
  • 50% charged: around 12. 1V
  • 0% charged: around 10. 5V

If with the charger on you're getting the same voltage, then your charger is not working.

 

The most important thing is that with the charger on, the voltage reads a couple or so volts higher than when it's off - this is the only way your battery will charge. Better still if you can ask somebody else to switch it on whilst you look at the voltmeter - you should see it 'kick' and show a higher reading.

 

Fluke are the dogs knackers but for something to keep in a draw in the 'van, a £5 piece from Argos/Homes/B&Q will be fine. The most useful functions I find are DC voltage and current and continuity check.

 

Edit: typo

Edited by tictag
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You don't need a multimeter to test whether your charger is working. With the EHU and charger on, check the caravan voltmeter, note what it says, it should be around 13. 8V (assuming you don't have a multi-stage charger). Now trip the MCB for the charger, use something DC powered like the water pump for a minute or so, then check the voltmeter again. It should be around:

  • 100% charged: around 12. 8V
  • 50% charged: around 12. 1V
  • 0% charged: around 10. 5V

If with the charger on you're getting the same voltage, then your charger is not working.

 

The most important thing is that with the charger on, the voltage reads a couple or so volts higher than when it's off - this is the only way your battery will charge. Better still if you can ask somebody else to switch it on whilst you look at the voltmeter - you should see it 'kick' and show a higher reading.

 

Fluke are the dogs knackers but for something to keep in a draw in the 'van, a £5 piece from Argos/Homes/B&Q will be fine. The most useful functions I find are DC voltage and current and continuity check.

 

Edit: typo

If he doesn't know if the charger is working properly or the battery is ok, how does he know that the onboard voltmeter is in anyway accurate?

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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When I was a lad I had to save hard to buy my first AVO Multiminor cost £10 second hand in 1965 but today multimeters are so cheap really no problem. But even without a multimeter simply unplugging and plugging mains power back in you should see the needle change reading forget what reading as long as higher with mains plugged in then it is charging.

 

Time to charge will depend on both battery and charger but if you consider a fully discharged battery to charge a 110Ah battery with 40% loses needs 154Ah so at 5A that's 30. 8 hours but most chargers will drop off the charge rate as the battery is charged so likely it will take a week to get near to fully charged.

 

The battery would have been likely sulphated to start with so watching volt meter likely it started at 13. 4 volts as the battery would not accept charge but as the battery started to come up then the voltmeter would drop as it accepted the power offered to it. I would give it a couple of weeks before worrying as long as it is charging that's all that matters.

 

Battery volts can be misleading when a AC ripple is involved. I have measured a battery charger at 12. 2 volts and battery at 12. 8 volts then connect together and measured 13. 2 volts this is all down to the fact that RMS 12. 2 = peak 17 volt which means it still charges. So I repeat don't worry about what the volts are just see they rise when power is plugged in.

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When I was a lad I had to save hard to buy my first AVO Multiminor cost £10 second hand in 1965 but today multimeters are so cheap really no problem. But even without a multimeter simply unplugging and plugging mains power back in you should see the needle change reading forget what reading as long as higher with mains plugged in then it is charging.

 

Time to charge will depend on both battery and charger but if you consider a fully discharged battery to charge a 110Ah battery with 40% loses needs 154Ah so at 5A that's 30. 8 hours but most chargers will drop off the charge rate as the battery is charged so likely it will take a week to get near to fully charged.

 

The battery would have been likely sulphated to start with so watching volt meter likely it started at 13. 4 volts as the battery would not accept charge but as the battery started to come up then the voltmeter would drop as it accepted the power offered to it. I would give it a couple of weeks before worrying as long as it is charging that's all that matters.

 

Battery volts can be misleading when a AC ripple is involved. I have measured a battery charger at 12. 2 volts and battery at 12. 8 volts then connect together and measured 13. 2 volts this is all down to the fact that RMS 12. 2 = peak 17 volt which means it still charges. So I repeat don't worry about what the volts are just see they rise when power is plugged in.

I was playing with my dads old avo8 - it's a weird piece of kit. It has battery's in it I have never seen, it has a reverse switch and a reset switch :) it's pretty cool and together with HV inputs, quoting voltages I could only dream of getting my hands on :D.

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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If he doesn't know if the charger is working properly or the battery is ok, how does he know that the onboard voltmeter is in anyway accurate?

As ericmark says, if you're just trying to find out whether or not the on-board charger is working, it does not matter how accurate the voltmeter is, only that the voltage increases when the charger is brought online. Could be 1V increasing to 3V or 1,000,000V increasing to 1,000,002V, so long as the charger is outputting more than the open circuit terminal voltage of battery.

 

I used an AVO in the Army. Hated it. .bloody parallax error malarkey! Aside from the nostalgic aspects, a digital, multi-function auto-ranging device is practically a thousand times better than anything AVO did. That's not to say that nostalgia is bad thing - I miss my womble very much, but I wouldn't buy an AVO these days if I wanted to fault-find on an electrical circuit.

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I also have an AVO mark 8 and think I may have a mark 7 as well somewhere near the same just different FSD. The mirror was to stop parallax problems but really needed a suppressed zero and for auto motive use I made my own suppressed zero meter with 10 volt zener and 6 volt meter. Today I use a digital clamp on meter except for DC amps for which I use a cheap Durite hold on type not accurate but good enough. The caravan has a suppressed zero volt meter but I would prefer LED as you don't notice if under or over volts with a meter but red LED attracts ones attention.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all you battery experts . .... a quick up-date . ...

 

I bought my-self a digital multi-meter . ....

 

I took the EHU off and left the battery for 3 weeks, with everything switched off . .... the battery dropped to 12. 2 volts . .....

I have re-conented the EHU, and after 48 hours the battery is back upto 13. 25 volts . ....

 

. ... should it be high after this time . ....

. ... do I need to disconennect the battery and put it on my Lidl smart charger . ...

 

Comments welcome . ....

 

Ta

 

Pete

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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I would certainly recommend 4 or 5 days on your Lidl smart charger if they are anything like my CTEK

 

It will do the battery a great deal of good and from your readings it looks as if the battery hasn't been too badly damaged.

 

5 days on the Lidl charger, 3 days not connected to anything and then re-measure the voltage. Anything above 12. 6v would be OK

Edited by SteveMilner

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I would certainly recommend 4 or 5 days on your Lidl smart charger if they are anything like my CTEK

 

It will do the battery a great deal of good and from your readings it looks as if the battery hasn't been too badly damaged.

 

5 days on the Lidl charger, 3 days not connected to anything and then re-measure the voltage. Anything above 12. 6v would be OK

 

Steve . ... thanks for that . ... just been out and disconnected the battery from the van . ..... phew, they weight a ton . .. don't they!!

 

. ... and it's now sitting in my workshop, on the car mode . ...

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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  • 5 months later...

Hi all . ..... well, after 7 months . ..... the battery has died . .....

 

Over the week-end we were on, the very nice THS at Dalkieth Country Park to take in some of the Fringe, and after

less than 24 hours off grid . ..... the battery was flat . .....

 

So now looking for a new one . .... any-one have views on Banner batteries . ... or other suggestions . ....

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Mine : Land Rover Defender 90, big, black and shiney.
Polly's : Land Rover Discovery Sport, HSE in Scotia Grey . .......
Towing : A 2011 Coachman Pastiche 545, on the driveway . ....... and now a CT Ninja, too.

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Personally I think Banner are the dogs Doo-daa's of leisure batteries but very expensive. You do get what you pay for though.

 

See this interesting write up on general battery quality ---> http://www. caravanclub. co. uk/media/6552072/technical. pdf

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Also have a look at this article, which also recommends Banner. Guess which brand I bought.

 

http://www. mycaravan. org. uk/Battery. html

 

Edit: The Banner I bought (95751) had the battery poles the opposite way round to my previous battery, but fortunately the battery leads and mover leads were long enough to swap over - just something to check. The advantage of a low profile battery is that there is plenty of room above to remove quick release clamps without having to slide the battery out of the locker.

Edited by onewheelonmywagon

Land Rover is now back towing.

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Pierre,

Buy item 701/5063 Multimeter from Argos. Take it home, do the test take it back within 30 days as unsuitable. Or keep it, this meter is more than adequate for your needs . Not wishing to be rude but reading your posts your knowledge of battery and electricity appears limited.

Nice bit of fraud.

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