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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 12:48 Thread Starter
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Base vehicle battery problem

Hello all
I have a base vehicle battery problem! It's an N&B Arto 66F from 2014. Of course it's stuck on the drive at the moment, haven't been out for a while, only out shopping a couple of weeks ago and actually camping in February. I went in this morning, doing a spring clean for when I can eventually get out & about, tried to start up and nothing! Various alarm lights showing, and 10.3v on the panel. Leisure batteries are OK. After 20 mins or so the voltage had come up a bit, tried again, and zilch. I've also got a message from the tracker service to say that my engine battery is low!! The tracker and alarm run off the base vehicle battery.
Firstly I thought the system charges up the engine battery as well as leisure when hooked up? I leave it on hook up so I can use the fridge and can be ready to roll easily. Is that true, or is it just a trickle charge? Secondly, is the battery shot? 😕 I've had the van nearly 3 years, suspect it's still the original.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 13:21
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I’d be inclined to remove it from the vehicle and charge it using a stand alone charger (tell the tracker company first). I would then put it back in and monitor it to see if it is holding its charge.

But - I’m not an electrical expert.

I too would have expected the on board charger to have maintained both batteries.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 14:44
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If the voltage on the battery came back up a bit then hopefully it won't be the van's battery charger and that presumably indicates that the van's charger is charging the cab battery? I would have thought that you've either got something that's drawing current that you don't realise is "on" or the battery needs replacing - probably the latter. To go that low in a couple of weeks shouldn't happen although if your shopping trip was only a short one with the lights on etc etc then there may well have been a net drain on the battery.

Ideally remove or disconnect it and the re-charge it on a stand alone charger as John says. The van's charger probably only provides a float charge so is unlikely to be able to fully charge the battery anyway. If you can re-charge it and don't have a battery tester then you could take it to a local garage and get them to test it.

Having said all of that, I'd probably simply buy a new battery anyway as 6 years is a reasonable age for a battery. If you do buy a new one, then check it daily I would suggest to make sure it isn't losing charge as if is then there is another problem with something either drawing current or the charger not working properly.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 15:21
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My 2000 Hobby on board charger only charged the house batteries and the previous owner had fitted a C-Tec charger under the passenger seat to feed/charge the chassis battery as and when plugged in or when the inverter livened up the mains outlets.
I think that was quite common around that year Mike.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 16:30
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If it's on a Fiat Ducato base you may have problems (once you've got it recharged) with airbag, seatbelt, etc warning lights showing and mileometer flashing.
If so the airbag control unit will need reflashed \ restored (or replaced if you're really unlucky).
It's a fairly common problem resulting from a low vehicle battery warning on Ducato based motorhomes. Had this problem a month or so ago on the day I was taking ours (2013) for it's MOT!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 18:18
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I fitted a BatteryMaster to ours along with solar panels in order to reduce the need for EHU over winter, it has worked superbly (bear in mind we are in the SW France so more sun, but it used to work in n D Von just as well. The BatteryMaster is really easy to fit although other versions may be cheaper.

Beware the vehicle alarm system is a fairly heavy drain and will flatten battery in 2 - 3 weeks. I think a new battery is probably due - I got ours from Tayna Batteries, superb price and service, delivery the following day in the UK, 47 hours to here.....

https://www.tayna.co.uk
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2020, 19:35
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6cuears seems to be about the lifespan of a leisure battery. I'm on my 2nd replacement in 11 years. Last time though there was a failure of the gadget that balances the charge between main and leisure batteries. Of course not all vehicles have the same setup. Just for info. Nice to see you back bognormike.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 09:00 Thread Starter
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good morning all, and thanks for the help. I've checked the manual & have interpreted the signs on the control panel (!) and there's a graphic that shows 2 batteries with a link - showing charge goes across from the charging circuit to the vehicle battery. This is confirmed by the vehicle battery voltage going up when plugged in to the mains ( no help yesterday when I unhooked because the sun was beaming down providing a charge as well!). Looking at the various comments and write-ups elsewhere everything points to a dead cell in the battery. My job today is searching for a replacement! 😕

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 10:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bognormike View Post
My job today is searching for a replacement! 😕
I replaced my cab battery last summer - bought the new one online from Tayna Batteries and I was pleased with their price and speed of delivery.

For some unknown reason I chose the hottest day of the year to replace the old battery and probably lost half a stone in weight! Mine is situated under the floor in front of and between the front seats which necessitated positioning myself at such angles that resulted in not only cramp but excessive perspiration!

Good luck!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 11:11 Thread Starter
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Hi Peter, yes I've just ordered from Tayna. Hopefully will be with me tomorrow or Wednesday. The van battery is under the floor on the passenger side, seems ok to get in & out. LHD would be more difficult to juggle things around. There's so many connections to the batters these days with side connectors bolted on to the post clamps. I remember my old Ford Pop had one cable to the "works" and one to earth.............
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