Leisure Battery flat

REC

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Not used the van for a month or so, battery showed 12.8 when we parked up for the evening at 19.30 after a three hour drive. However, it now shows 10! Eberspacher has not come on and I am assuming our battery is too low? Not very good at all this tech stuff but should we have charged it up before we left home? We have a 160watt solar panel but I suppose that would not get much charge at this time of year. Stupidly I assumed that the drive would charge it up. Can someone clarify how we should do this in future....have turned the fridge off, not using any lights ( lucky we had a battery lantern) and taken chill off with gas ring. Can hook it up tomorrow and going home again Sunday.
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Markd

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Hook it up for a day or two before you go. I usually pre chill the fridge-freezer as well. Although dropping from 12.8 to 10 in a few hours may suggest that the battery is on the way out. Unfortunately probably the only way you'll really find out is by pre-charging and then parking up - if it collapses again you'll know you should have changed it! This time of year you'll not get a lot of help from solar which is probably why it wasn't on top form before you set off.
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Nesting Zombie

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Hi ya, Check any Relay or in line fuse you may have from Main to leisure side of things. A DECENT or LONG drive ‘should’ have topped your leisure Battery up nicely depending on your charging system of course!.
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REC

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Thanks both, Markd, it is a brand new battery...or was before yesterday! We did have an issue with the leisure electrics not working in the van the other day but after the fuse was taken out to check it, it all worked again. Our converter was away in Scotland (!Typical!) but he did say that he had had what he thinks was a bad batch of fuses with hairline cracks as two other people had issues where the electrics failed and the fuse was faulty. As ours all worked again we thought ours was ok but sounds like it might not be? Especially if the drive should have charged it. I was not sure if we should have charged it up first as well. Had not linked the two issues. Will get fuse changed today. Blooming cold last night without heating...got ice on inside of the windows this morning!
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Nabsim

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It should not have gone flat if not being used, not unless you have something taking power, not for short lay ups anyway. When you initially stop charging the voltage will shower higher than it is as it has to ‘settle down’. if it was getting charge from running then your battery may be damaged but check fuses as said. If you have a multi meter check across terminals before running engine and with engine running. Should be over 14v when engine running but how much will depend on charging system
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Markd

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Are you saying that the battery was literally brand new and only installed a couple of days ago? If so it is possible that it wasn't fully charged but even so the 3 hour drive should have topped it up. So it does sound as if the main alternator charge circuit may not be functioning properly. Hopefully it will just be a fuse as the converter suggests. The solar panel should keep a battery topped up even at this time of year provided there's no significant drain. Presumably you haven't had problems in the past so this again points at the alternator circuit.
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Markd

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Good point - is it a compressor fridge? Even at this time of year a compressor fridge will take a significant chunk out of a battery every day. In the summer 160w solar would probably cope without needing to run the engine. Still sounds like main charging issue as it didn't function as you expected following your usual(?) regime. Hopefully the new fuse will sort it - definitely check voltage at battery with engine running after to confirm problem sorted. 🤞
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REC

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12 volt fridge, battery less than a year old and has been fine. With sun on solar panel, shows 14 on leisure battery. But obviously needs good charge now and fuse replacement asap. Hopefully haven't ruined the battery!
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Markd

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If you can leave fridge off until you get the new fuse that will help battery to recover a bit with solar - whilst it lasts!
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Nabsim

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12 volt fridge, battery less than a year old and has been fine. With sun on solar panel, shows 14 on leisure battery. But obviously needs good charge now and fuse replacement asap. Hopefully haven't ruined the battery! My Waco compressor fridge can use 45amps in a 24 hour period although I would expect it to be less in cold weather like now. I can see when it kicks on it draws 4.5amps but then on and off with thermostat. The voltage while harvesting solar or engine running is the charge voltage not the battery voltage. I hate to say it but from my experience with a compressor fridge and a single battery you could easily kill a battery in 12 months. Multiple battery’s share the load and are recharged more quickly. if you are going to be using the fridge late autumn, winter, early spring in the UK you will need to look at your system again. That is something for when you are back home though rather than now. If you can leave fridge off then it will help massively. If you have a...
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Tony Lee

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Last thing you want to run is a heater if your battery is that low. Unless you have a meter and can verify that solar and alternator are doing what they are supposed to, you and we are just guessing. No way would a compressor fridge result in a flat battery if indeed the alternator is providing what it should be. Have you checked the battery compartment for a wire dangling in thin air. And checked the fuses in the interconnect circuit between house and chassis And YES, Chuck that suspect fuse out and get a new one (or pinch one out of the chassis fuse panel
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Nesting Zombie

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A multimeter is by far the best investment you will ever buy,they can be had from about £3 up to about £10 for keeping in the van. Absolutely 👍 It’s honestly a cheap bit of kit that has many uses, makes life so much easier & once an understanding of it’s many functions is obtained HRS of fun bordering OBSESSION can be had watching the 00.1’V’ Or ‘A’ difference in Connections 👍. I’ve not needed a TV since I’ve had a Multimeter 😊 Seriously though it IS a fantastic & useful bit of kit,,, I’ve got TWO -
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delicagirl

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i dont use my fridge although it does work. I think folks forget that a fridge is a highly insulated box even before putting electricity through it. i went through france with no fridge but i used it to store fresh foods in and a carton of milk lasted me 2 days even in temperatures of high '30's ... has having a fridge become a bit of a habit ?
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REC

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Absolutely 👍 It’s honestly a cheap bit of kit that has many uses, makes life so much easier & once an understanding of it’s many functions is obtained HRS of fun bordering OBSESSION can be had watching the 00.1’V’ Or ‘A’ difference in Connections 👍. I’ve not needed a TV since I’ve had a Multimeter 😊 Seriously though it IS a fantastic & useful bit of kit,,, I’ve got TWO - Well that made me laugh! Actually got a multimeter in back of the van but have never really understood what I was doing with it! I am sure we have got all sorts of gadgets which could help us but being Stoopid , don't know what to do with them ! We had a warm night last night, didn't use the heater or fridge and the lights were ok. The converter chap is having it back on Weds and is going to try and educate me regarding fuses, multimeter mppt controller...it seems to take me a while to get to grips with all this stuff! Our fridge is an isotherm webasto.....have had no problems with keeping everything charged to...
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harrow

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Well that made me laugh! Actually got a multimeter in back of the van but have never really understood what I was doing with it! Maybe when you at home give Youtube videos a try :)
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Nesting Zombie

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Well REC, I think it’s not a case of being ‘Stupid’ it’s just learning something that you don’t know. & you’re going the right way about getting educated in that, So well done you,,, BTW When you know, let ME know will ya please & I will spare you come ‘Z’ day nudge nudge wink wink - Oh Blinking hell there goes an eye !
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Nabsim

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i dont use my fridge although it does work. I think folks forget that a fridge is a highly insulated box even before putting electricity through it. i went through france with no fridge but i used it to store fresh foods in and a carton of milk lasted me 2 days even in temperatures of high '30's ... has having a fridge become a bit of a habit ? It’s the freezer I have fridge turned on for. I don’t take milk so apart from keeping veg a bit longer it could be turned off apart from the fish and meat. Also got 14 frozen chicken thighs in it at the moment for the dogs
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