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California beach leisure battery

J

john rensten

Messages
9
Location
Wareham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Hi Everyone, I know there's lots of threads but couldn't see what I'm after. So, i have a 2018 t6 beach and I want to use it over winter in the uk...I'm trying to find out more about the leisure battery. Firstly, the camping I do doesnt allow me to be plugged in/hooked up anywhere. What I'd like to do is basically run the heater for a period of time with the engine off but all I'm finding is that a. the lights stay on even though they are switched to off, which will obviously drain the main battery (?) and also, the heater doesnt warm up unless the engine is running...the scenario i'd hoped for would be that i'd pull up, run the heater on the leisure battery, overnight if needed, the heater would work as expected and that in the morning the main battery would be fine and a drive around would top the leisure battery up. Am I way off here? does the leisure battery need charging up by me hooking it up to the mains and in fact my leisure battery is flat (no warning lights visible) and does the heater actually do its job with the engine not running? many thanks in advance, john
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Cowbridge
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi Everyone, I know there's lots of threads but couldn't see what I'm after. So, i have a 2018 t6 beach and I want to use it over winter in the uk...I'm trying to find out more about the leisure battery. Firstly, the camping I do doesnt allow me to be plugged in/hooked up anywhere. What I'd like to do is basically run the heater for a period of time with the engine off but all I'm finding is that a. the lights stay on even though they are switched to off, which will obviously drain the main battery (?) and also, the heater doesnt warm up unless the engine is running...the scenario i'd hoped for would be that i'd pull up, run the heater on the leisure battery, overnight if needed, the heater would work as expected and that in the morning the main battery would be fine and a drive around would top the leisure battery up. Am I way off here? does the leisure battery need charging up by me hooking it up to the mains and in fact my leisure battery is flat (no warning lights visible) and does the heater actually do its job with the engine not running? many thanks in advance, john
It seems you have a problem.
the Diesel Parking Heater should run quit happily using the Leisure Battery only.
1. Is this the factory fitted Parking Heater?
2. Is the Leisure Battery charged. If below 11.5v then the Heater will automatically switch off.

I would suggest charging the Leisure Battery on mains for 24 hrs and then try the Heater.
Also get a cheat plug in Voltmeter to plug into one of the 12v sockets in the rear to see what the Leisure Battery voltage is doing.

 
hirsty

hirsty

Two Seat Beach DSG
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1,055
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Hi and welcome.

The heater should happily blow hot air overnight without the engine running. As above, there's something not right otherwise & it could be something you're doing / not doing (which could also be in the manual) or a fault somewhere with the van, from a blown fuse upwards.

The leisure battery - single in a Beach, under the n/s passenger seat, should be charging up whilst the engine is running and it's also 'best practice' to charge it via the hook-up cable for 24-hours per month if possible, though I've not done mine that often & it still works okay after 4-years. How about your rear interior lights? - can they be switched on with the engine off? Good idea to buy a cheap cigar socket voltage tester too.

The good news is that if it's a 2018 then you are still in Warranty, so I'd call your Dealer & ask them to look at it for you.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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Messages
396
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
I'm finding is that a. the lights stay on even though they are switched to off, which will obviously drain the main battery (?)
Do you mean the DRL? When you switch off the ignition, they will stay on until you take the key out. Then you can put it back in and they will stay off until you turn the key.
 
J

john rensten

Messages
9
Location
Wareham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Thats great info thanks...yes the heater is factory fitted and i'll need to get the voltage metre to answer the other question. May I also ask..
1. the leisure battery charges from both running the engine and from a mains cable?
2. if there's any reason the head lights come on when I half turn the ignition to turn on the heater...is this normal for these vans? This wasnt what happened with my t5. I will visit the main dealer and ask them too but it seems strange.
3. I need to get a mains hook up cable and will charge as suggested. Once done should I expect the rear heater to be able to run for a period of hours without problems?
many thanks john
 
J

john rensten

Messages
9
Location
Wareham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Hi and welcome.

The heater should happily blow hot air overnight without the engine running. As above, there's something not right otherwise & it could be something you're doing / not doing (which could also be in the manual) or a fault somewhere with the van, from a blown fuse upwards.

The leisure battery - single in a Beach, under the n/s passenger seat, should be charging up whilst the engine is running and it's also 'best practice' to charge it via the hook-up cable for 24-hours per month if possible, though I've not done mine that often & it still works okay after 4-years. How about your rear interior lights? - can they be switched on with the engine off? Good idea to buy a cheap cigar socket voltage tester too.

The good news is that if it's a 2018 then you are still in Warranty, so I'd call your Dealer & ask them to look at it for you.
thats great info and answers a few of my other questions...many thanks john
 
hirsty

hirsty

Two Seat Beach DSG
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1,055
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UK
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T6 Beach 150
1. yes. though I understand the alternator only charges it to c.75/80% to prevent over-charging.

2. @clarinetbcn answered above - they are Daytime Running Lights not headlights. you don't need the ignition on at all (or even key in van) to run the leisure heater, completely independent.

3. yes. there are many threads about fridge running time in Beaches etc - the heater doesn't use much battery power or diesel once it's warmed-up & will happily run overnight and probably for several days as it's "stop / start" once the interior reaches set temp.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
VIP Member
Messages
396
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Thats great info thanks...yes the heater is factory fitted and i'll need to get the voltage metre to answer the other question. May I also ask..
1. the leisure battery charges from both running the engine and from a mains cable?
2. if there's any reason the head lights come on when I half turn the ignition to turn on the heater...is this normal for these vans? This wasnt what happened with my t5. I will visit the main dealer and ask them too but it seems strange.
3. I need to get a mains hook up cable and will charge as suggested. Once done should I expect the rear heater to be able to run for a period of hours without problems?
many thanks john
1. Yes
2. You should be able to turn on the heater without the key in the ignition.
3. It should run at least through a couple of nights without starting the van.
 
hirsty

hirsty

Two Seat Beach DSG
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Messages
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Location
UK
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
the scenario i'd hoped for would be that i'd pull up, run the heater on the leisure battery, overnight if needed, the heater would work as expected and that in the morning the main battery would be fine and a drive around would top the leisure battery up.
That is how it's intended to work, yes.
  • Best to think of the van as two halves - everything 'normal car' in the front runs off the main vehicle battery (car radio / engine ignition / headlights etc), whilst everything 'camper van' behind the front seats runs separately off the leisure battery. No-one is seemingly ever 100% on their individual 12v cigar sockets, but it's a reasonable general rule.

  • If you go camping without hook-up & leave all of the rear interior lights on, use 12v sockets and run the heater then eventually the leisure battery will be flat, but your main 'car battery' will still start the engine etc to drive the van ...

  • Best-practice not to leave anything plugged in anywhere unless you are using it - phone chargers, voltage testers etc etc.

PS: The three-pin 240V socket is only ever live on hook-up cable, you can't plug in a kettle in a lay-by ...
 
hirsty

hirsty

Two Seat Beach DSG
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1,055
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UK
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T6 Beach 150
I am beginning to wonder if you have a parking heater installed. Do you have heater outlets on the lower B pillar behind the right front seat?
Hmmm. There should also be a control panel for the leisure heater too ...
 
J

john rensten

Messages
9
Location
Wareham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
1. yes. though I understand the alternator only charges it to c.75/80% to prevent over-charging.

2. @clarinetbcn answered above - they are Daytime Running Lights not headlights. you don't need the ignition on at all (or even key in van) to run the leisure heater, completely independent.

3. yes. there are many threads about fridge running time in Beaches etc - the heater doesn't use much battery power or diesel once it's warmed-up & will happily run overnight and probably for several days as it's "stop / start" once the interior reaches set temp.
great stuff..thanks..off to the main dealer to dump all this in their lap, cheers john
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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Messages
5,443
Location
Royal Borough of Greenwich
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
The beach has a factory fitted heater and the option of a factory fitted parking heater.

The factory fitted heater will work with the ignition on and will quickly drain your engine battery (also the daytime running lights will be on).

The optional factory fitted parking heater is powered by diesel, and takes a small amount of power from your leisure battery to start up. There will be a strong whiff of diesel as it starts up. The parking heater will start up and run without the ignition on (and with the daytime running lights off). It is controlled by a simple control panel near the rear view mirror. To see how it works, consult pages 254 to 262 of the Multivan manual, NOT the California Supplement which gives details of the parking heater for the Ocean.

It is not easy to understand the manual, and it is not easy to follow with seemingly contradictory advice, for example, in one place it suggests that the start up power is supplied by the "vehicle" battery, and in another place by the "auxiliary" battery. It is not helped by the fact that operation of the control panel is slightly different if the ignition is off, if the ignition is on, or if the vehicle is in motion. Even after nearly three years of regular parking heater use, I still find its operation baffling at times. I managed to drive 100 miles on Sunday with the parking heater on and unable to turn it off - I'm still confused as to why. Perhaps the remote fob, locked away in the glove compartment, had the heat button constantly depressed: if this was the case the display should have been showing that the parking heater was on - but it wasn't. It was displaying the current time.
 
MattBW

MattBW

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5,604
Location
Bedworth, United Kingdom
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T5 Beach
If you have the parking heater you should have the heater console near the roof which most beachs' have something like this:

1574764074764.png

There also may be a remote. If you don't have that you may just have the coolant heater (helps the van warm up on cold days) which can have a remote for use for upto 30 minutes but as its engine battery its designed for use on cold mornings rather than as a full time heater.
 
SimonB

SimonB

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1,252
Location
Bristol
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T6 Ocean 150
Only a thought with post #5 , on the headlamp switch turn it fully anticlockwise, that turns off the autoheadlamp feature. If it is on, whenever the ignition is on the headlamps are too.
They also come on with some models as you lock or unlock the Cali with the key fob. VW call it a get you home feature so you can see your way to the van, it also illuminates the campsite which can be embarrassing sometimes.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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Messages
396
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Vehicle
T5 Beach
If you have the parking heater you should have the heater console near the roof which most beachs' have something like this:

View attachment 52986

There also may be a remote. If you don't have that you may just have the coolant heater (helps the van warm up on cold days) which can have a remote for use for upto 30 minutes but as its engine battery its designed for use on cold mornings rather than as a full time heater.
If you have the console near the rear view mirror and the heater outlet at the bottom of the B pillar, you have a parking heater. If you have the console but no B pillar outlet, you have the factory programable upgrade to the coolant heater, for preheating the engine and cabin on cold mornings, which, due to high battery usage (it runs pumps and dash fans), is not apt for and was not designed to be run for long periods with the motor off. The factory coolant heater upgrade ran off the leisure battery until 2017, from 2018 on it runs off the engine battery.

If you have no console, you only have the standard heater, runs off dash controls, and if it’s climatronic, will have a “REST” button, which allows you to use residual engine heat to heat the cabin for about 1/2 hour after turning off the engine.
 
J

john rensten

Messages
9
Location
Wareham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
thanks everyone, such a lot of useful info..please excuse the low light photos but they will hopefully clear this up...the rear heater control as you can see is underneath the main heater and not on a consul above, the vent is located just inside rear sliding door...I'm assuming with all the feedback that I have had that either its just a rear heater and was never meant to run independently (or off the leisure battery which definitely exists, i've checked) or that basically I need to get the mains cable, charge for 24 hours, see if the rear heater then works as suggested without the keys in (or at all) and if not i'll head back to the dealer... many thanks john

IMG_4120.jpg

IMG_4121.jpg
 
J

john rensten

Messages
9
Location
Wareham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
I am beginning to wonder if you have a parking heater installed. Do you have heater outlets on the lower B pillar behind the right front seat?
thanks for you info...see images posted below..or above, i'm not sure, thanks john
 

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