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Charging the leisure batteries when garaged.

N

nick100

Messages
14
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
With massive apologies if this is all over the forum somewhere, I promise I have spent 20 minutes trying to find a definitive answer to this question before posting.
I have a 2018 Ocean, from new. Sadly I didn't realise that I needed to keep the leisure batteries charged for the first winter, and now they are shot, so I have just replaced them with 2 new batteries, and the cube fuses checked.
The VW manual states that the leisure batteries need charging periodically via the EHU. However, I dont know if this is advice regarding a minimum amount of charge for the benefit of folk who need to run a cable out to their vehicle, or whether I can simply park the van up in my garage, connect the EHU and leave it like that for months on end with no detriment to the leisure batteries from overcharging. Does the EHU charge like a trickle charger, and do the leisure batteries "like" being fully charged all the time, or do they benefit from being run down a bit? ( I now know they dont like running to zero !)
I also have a solar panel setup installed via a Victron Connect smart charger, but of course this will not trickle charge my batteries whilst it is in the garage over winter, but at the same time the electrics within that unit will drain the leisure batteries faster than if it were not connected.
I have contacted the main dealers who supplied the van, and they dont seem to know the answer to my question, just referring me to the manual and the 1 day per month guidance.
So the question I have is this: Can I just plug in the EHU when I get home, and leave it there all the time, and expect it to keep my leisure batteries in perfect condition?
Many thanks ,
Nick
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
19,754
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
With massive apologies if this is all over the forum somewhere, I promise I have spent 20 minutes trying to find a definitive answer to this question before posting.
I have a 2018 Ocean, from new. Sadly I didn't realise that I needed to keep the leisure batteries charged for the first winter, and now they are shot, so I have just replaced them with 2 new batteries, and the cube fuses checked.
The VW manual states that the leisure batteries need charging periodically via the EHU. However, I dont know if this is advice regarding a minimum amount of charge for the benefit of folk who need to run a cable out to their vehicle, or whether I can simply park the van up in my garage, connect the EHU and leave it like that for months on end with no detriment to the leisure batteries from overcharging. Does the EHU charge like a trickle charger, and do the leisure batteries "like" being fully charged all the time, or do they benefit from being run down a bit? ( I now know they dont like running to zero !)
I also have a solar panel setup installed via a Victron Connect smart charger, but of course this will not trickle charge my batteries whilst it is in the garage over winter, but at the same time the electrics within that unit will drain the leisure batteries faster than if it were not connected.
I have contacted the main dealers who supplied the van, and they dont seem to know the answer to my question, just referring me to the manual and the 1 day per month guidance.
So the question I have is this: Can I just plug in the EHU when I get home, and leave it there all the time, and expect it to keep my leisure batteries in perfect condition?
Many thanks ,
Nick
Yes you can.
What would be better still is to use a timer to switch the mains on weekly or monthly to top up the Leisure Batteries. Saves a little on the electricity bill.:thumb

However, you should check that the Engine Battery also gets a top up.

I‘m not sure if it is the T6 or later that definitely charges the Engine battery on EHU.

A voltmeter on the engine battery while connected to EHU would confirm this.
 
N

nick100

Messages
14
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Yes you can.
What would be better still is to use a timer to switch the mains on weekly or monthly to top up the Leisure Batteries. Saves a little on the electricity bill.:thumb

However, you should check that the Engine Battery also gets a top up.

I‘m not sure if it is the T6 or later that definitely charges the Engine battery on EHU.

A voltmeter on the engine battery while connected to EHU would confirm this.
Thanks WelshGas. The dealership were able to confirm that there would be a top up to the engine battery too.
 
Calimili

Calimili

Messages
1,016
Location
Lake Starnberg / Frankfurt
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
Yes , you can live it plugged in all the time, all batteries will be kept charged, reducing the charging cycles and prolonging their life
 
Roger Donoghue

Roger Donoghue

VIP Trade Partner
Messages
369
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Definitely leave the EHU connected. Lead acid batteries love to be constantly trickle charged to compensate for their natural tendency to slowly lose voltager over time. Your EHU charger will step down to a float/maintenance charge when the batteries are full and then feed in a very low current to keep them equalised and topped up.

If you have a solar charger and are garaging your van for long periods, you'd do well to pull the solar fuse, shutting down the battery to Victron connection, then reconnect when you want to get the van out again. The MPT units have avery low standby current, but it is still a drain, when a vehicle is in complete darkness.
 
Wildcamper

Wildcamper

Messages
641
Location
T6 High top LWB 150 DSG: Gloucestershire
Vehicle
Please Select
When we get home from a trip I plug the van into an ECU I have installed outside and also have a spur to the vehicle battery (smart charger) and then just leave it until we go off again. Never have to worry about draining any of the batteries.
 
N

nick100

Messages
14
Location
Devon
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Definitely leave the EHU connected. Lead acid batteries love to be constantly trickle charged to compensate for their natural tendency to slowly lose voltager over time. Your EHU charger will step down to a float/maintenance charge when the batteries are full and then feed in a very low current to keep them equalised and topped up.

If you have a solar charger and are garaging your van for long periods, you'd do well to pull the solar fuse, shutting down the battery to Victron connection, then reconnect when you want to get the van out again. The MPT units have avery low standby current, but it is still a drain, when a vehicle is in complete darkness.
Thank you Roger. The panels you installed are working like a dream still!
 
Ozzy Pete

Ozzy Pete

Messages
511
Location
Carmarthen
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
If your vehicle was less than 3 years old the batteries could have been replaced under warranty. That’s what happened with ours and absolutely no questions asked regarding charging. Obviously if over 3 years and it’s just one of the things about the California you don’t repeat.
 
B

BrendanJ

Messages
98
Location
Cheshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
As an additional question on charging, how many miles driving is required to top up charge on both engine and leisure batteries. Might be alternative to leaving permanently connected to EHU
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
19,754
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
As an additional question on charging, how many miles driving is required to top up charge on both engine and leisure batteries. Might be alternative to leaving permanently connected to EHU
There is no definitive answer. There are so many variables.
As a rule of thumb, if driving, if the Control Panel shows a voltage of 14.4v then the engine battery is charged and the Leisure Batteries are on maximal charge. When the Control Panel voltage drops to 13.4v then they are on Float Charge. If you then stop the engine and wait for about 1hr and the Control Panel shows 12.7+ v then the Leisure Batteries are fully charged, according to the vehicle, But only to 80% true capacity because of the Smart Technology relating to regenerative Braking etc.
Fitting a DC to DC charger in place of the Split Charge relay can overcome this.
The % charge shown on the Control Panel can be misleading but the voltage is accurate.
 
Calimili

Calimili

Messages
1,016
Location
Lake Starnberg / Frankfurt
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
As an additional question on charging, how many miles driving is required to top up charge on both engine and leisure batteries. Might be alternative to leaving permanently connected to EHU
it depends also on the level of charge of the batteries. Which also depends on their age.
How much current can 2/3 75Ah AGM batteries receive in a defined period of time? that is also a limiting factor, you can't feed them all the charge at once even if you had the capability.
For reference, I did try to drive for 1,5 hour every two weeks, it wasn't enough to keep them top shape.
 
Ozzy Pete

Ozzy Pete

Messages
511
Location
Carmarthen
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
With massive apologies if this is all over the forum somewhere, I promise I have spent 20 minutes trying to find a definitive answer to this question before posting.
I have a 2018 Ocean, from new. Sadly I didn't realise that I needed to keep the leisure batteries charged for the first winter, and now they are shot, so I have just replaced them with 2 new batteries, and the cube fuses checked.
The VW manual states that the leisure batteries need charging periodically via the EHU. However, I dont know if this is advice regarding a minimum amount of charge for the benefit of folk who need to run a cable out to their vehicle, or whether I can simply park the van up in my garage, connect the EHU and leave it like that for months on end with no detriment to the leisure batteries from overcharging. Does the EHU charge like a trickle charger, and do the leisure batteries "like" being fully charged all the time, or do they benefit from being run down a bit? ( I now know they dont like running to zero !)
I also have a solar panel setup installed via a Victron Connect smart charger, but of course this will not trickle charge my batteries whilst it is in the garage over winter, but at the same time the electrics within that unit will drain the leisure batteries faster than if it were not connected.
I have contacted the main dealers who supplied the van, and they dont seem to know the answer to my question, just referring me to the manual and the 1 day per month guidance.
So the question I have is this: Can I just plug in the EHU when I get home, and leave it there all the time, and expect it to keep my leisure batteries in perfect condition?
Many thanks ,
Nick
Hi Nick. Just wondering is your garage not connected to or near your house making it difficult to top up the batteries every month? Have you made absolutely sure that everything is switched off that drains the leisure batteries, like the centre control panel. Even the smallest discharge and the batteries will run down in no time. I left 2 dash cams and control panel on and within no time the batteries were down to 40%...With nothing connected and after 4 weeks they are still 90%.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
19,754
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi Nick. Just wondering is your garage not connected to or near your house making it difficult to top up the batteries every month? Have you made absolutely sure that everything is switched off that drains the leisure batteries, like the centre control panel. Even the smallest discharge and the batteries will run down in no time. I left 2 dash cams and control panel on and within no time the batteries were down to 40%...With nothing connected and after 4 weeks they are still 90%.
If you repeat the exercise with the Control Panel Only left on you'll get the same result.
The Control panel shows a current drain of upto 0.2amps while the screen is ON and 0.0amps when the screen goes into standby mode and is OFF.
2 Dash cams have significant power drain.
 
Ozzy Pete

Ozzy Pete

Messages
511
Location
Carmarthen
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
If you repeat the exercise with the Control Panel Only left on you'll get the same result.
The Control panel shows a current drain of upto 0.2amps while the screen is ON and 0.0amps when the screen goes into standby mode and is OFF.
2 Dash cams have significant power drain.
So the moral of the story is TURN EVERYTHING OFF.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
19,754
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Except tha
So the moral of the story is TURN EVERYTHING OFF.
Except that the Control Panel TURNS ITSELF OFF after about 30 seconds of inactivity.
 

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