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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 13-11-2019, 16:57 Thread Starter
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Battery drain issue - help would be appreciated

I have a drain on my engine battery on our Laika Kreos 4009 motorhome. The battery is in good condition in fact only a few months old. I suspect the alarm system is wired to the battery along with the Phantom tracker which is installed, I also have full air suspension which is permanently live and occasionally can kick in with the ignition off; so all those will be playing a part. When not in use I have the van on a storage compound with no electricity provided. My habitation batteries 110ah x 2 are wired to a solar panel which seems to keep them in good shape, I have no idea if 5% or 10% of the solar output flows into the engine battery if any as I purchased the van secondhand and additions were fitted by Southdowns and Rosmia for the air suspension. Unfortunately Iím not technical however the engine battery appears to drain at .1 volt per 24 hours, its measuring this on the info provided by Phantom on their app i.e. in five days the voltage in the battery has fallen from 12.7v to 12.2v.
Iíve been starting up the engine or taking the van for a run when it has been getting worryingly low. Ultimately next year I plan to have another solar panel permanently roof mounted to sort this out but to resolve in the interim Iím quite happy to purchase a suitcase solar panel which would cost between £75.00 - £135.00 ish dependant on output, this I would prop up in the front windscreen with the blinds open (obviously) but what output do I need to get 100w, 75w, 60w, 40w? Iíve no idea.
Any help would be appreciated as to what I should buy now or any another idea to resolve this at best cost.
Apologies for the length of the post.
Thank you
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 13-11-2019, 19:20
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What age is your MH and what electrical control panel does it have??

Most control units divert some of the current from the panel to the starter battery ONCE the leisure battery is fully charged. It MIGHT be worth seeing what happens if you disconnect the leisure batteries so that everything coming out of the solar panel is fed into the starter battery.

At this time of year the output from any size of solar panel will be minimal. I have home solar panels. In the summer they generate nearly 30Kwh, lately itís been less than 2Kwh so ANY solar panel on your MH is going to produce a similarly very low amount.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 16-11-2019, 18:18 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mrplodd View Post
What age is your MH and what electrical control panel does it have??

Most control units divert some of the current from the panel to the starter battery ONCE the leisure battery is fully charged. It MIGHT be worth seeing what happens if you disconnect the leisure batteries so that everything coming out of the solar panel is fed into the starter battery.

At this time of year the output from any size of solar panel will be minimal. I have home solar panels. In the summer they generate nearly 30Kwh, lately itís been less than 2Kwh so ANY solar panel on your MH is going to produce a similarly very low amount.

Andy
Many thanks Mr Plod!
I will have a look at that. Incidentally what size are your home solar panels that generate 30w in summer?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 16-11-2019, 18:56
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Many thanks Mr Plod!
I will have a look at that. Incidentally what size are your home solar panels that generate 30w in summer?
I have a 15 panel array and they generate a lot more than 30W!! At mid day at the height of the summer they can churn out around 3.5 kilo watts (thatís enough to power 3.5 single bar electric fires!)

At the height of the summer under ideal conditions (no cloud!) they generate nearly 30 Kilo watt HOURS of electricity a day.

Over a 12 month period the solar panels pretty much pay for ALL of my energy use (gas and electric)

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 16-11-2019, 19:27
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Sadly the later the van the more parasitic loads drag the batteries down. Not sure the age of your van but two weeks off grid and you will be lucky to start.
The only sure way without mains power to store the van is to disconnect or isolate the engine battery.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 16-11-2019, 22:51
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I have an 80w Solar panel, two 110ah Leisure batteries and a CBE CSB2 12v/4amp battery charger connected between the Leisure batteries and the Starter battery.

When the Leisure batteries are full from the Solar panel the excess power goes to the Starter battery and keeps it in good shape.

I never have it on hook up at any time and don't (or rarely) use EHU when we go abroad for a month or more.

I also have a couple of LED indicators to show the state of the batteries (see pics)

The CBE CSB2 cost around £20 - £25 and is easy to fit and connect - a electrician should take no more than half an hour to fit it.

My Banner batteries lasted around six years with this set up and with this simple set up have never has problems at any time of year.
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File Type: jpg CSB2 12V (600 x 407).jpg (56.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg LED BBB.jpg (32.5 KB, 4 views)
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