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Help with Leisure Battery Charge

Robin Brooke

Robin Brooke

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Hi,

So we took our new cali (Stan) out for his first trip last weekend to the Gower in south Wales (great climbing for us).

Used the fridge on the outward journey and over the weekend, plus the lights in the evening etc and saw the leisure battery charge reading on the control panel come down to 80% after couple of days.

We then drove back to London (a good four hour drive), turned off the fridge, and have since done one long journey 4 hours and a number of shorter run-about's not using any leisure battery power as far as we are aware (i.e. no fridge, heater etc).

The leisure battery charge still reads 80%.

Hmmm.

So am I wrong to expect the leisure batteries to re-charge themselves during long drives?

It's not easy for me to plug into the mains at home as we park on street.

I can see the G on the control panel when the engine is on.

How long would you expect it to take to re-charge from 80%?

Any suggestions or classic things I'm doing wrong.

California SE (2015) 180 Bluemotion DSG. Reflex Silver. Called Stanley after one of our climbing idols to symbolize adventure :)

thanks in advance,
 
GrannyJen

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The leisure batteries also charge other things.

Are you charging anything? Phones, laptops, I Pads?

Have you anything plugged into the inverter?

did you turn off the CCU?

The fridge burns calories in this heat 35c in France) ... I know you say you turned your off, are you sure? Best is to turn off completely the whole CCU ....

Are you a fan of Sean Leary?
 
GrannyJen

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I see you state the leisure battery charge at 80 percent ... it rarely, briefly, for about 5 minutes reads at 100 percent then drops to 90 percent just because to tell you it is 100 percent it needs to use energy!!

It should stabilise at 80 percent,

with everything off stay that way for a long time.
 
ToulonTom

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80% to full should take a very short drive - half an hour or less for me.
Would love to offer some advice but scratching my head with that one...
 
Neilgbj

Neilgbj

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We have had our Cali for a few months, the 80 - 100% thing does seem to be a bit variable......we are just living with it and seeing how it goes.......the leisure batteries have survived quite a few days without any sort of charge.... I'm sure. It will be fine.....:)
 
Robin Brooke

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Hi Jen. Sean 'Stanley' Leary = yes. sad news last year...

No nothing else charging i.e. like mobile phones. No to inverter. CCU is off except for the odd 30 second one to look at battery charge. When you say turn off the whole CCU - how do you do that?

Maybe I should just chill as 80% is fine. Guess the issue is if it starts to go down further and not re-charge as we drive...
 
ToulonTom

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Just wanted to mention that when I left my van on the drive for 4 months (I was away with work) the batteries were still at 50% when I got back and charged straight up after the first drive out, so they are pretty remarkable bits of kit. Like you say, maybe just see how you go, but I would be annoyed if they never reached (an indicated) 100%, even after a long drive.
 
K

KP01

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Try charging it from the mains to see if you get back to 100 per cent.
 
K

KP01

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I had an issue when a fuse blew between the two leisure batteries impacting on the power available.
 
Robin Brooke

Robin Brooke

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Thanks all.

My conclusion - following most of what you said! is...

Stan is charging the leisure batteries from his alternator.

He rarely shows 100%, if so only for very short periods then 90%.

Unless I fully shut down his CCU then more likely to move to 80%, if I shut down the CCU then will stay at 90% until I properly draw power (fridge, heater, lights, charging devices etc).

My lesson learnt - shut down the CCU when pottering around town.
 
Paulro

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But if you turn off the CCU doesn't the fridge turn off too?
I've just had a week on the Ile de re and had to book into a site to charge the leisure batteries that were flashing at zero.
They still coped with the roof and I think the fridge seemed to be off and then in the night came back on.
In the past ive had 3 days usage from the batteries without charging but perhaps ive not looked at the reading so much?
 
SimplyDubs

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The alternator is great at the "bulk charging" phase of the charge cycle but this only takes a battery to 80% of full charge...

It's less good at the "absorption phase" which takes it from 80% to around 95% (but not all the way) the absorption phase typically takes between 8 and 10 hours with a leisure battery and as such you're very, very unlikely to ever achieve this without the van being on hookup.

The battery won't stay at any level due to natural internal losses and as such it's always worth getting it on charge over night from time to time to ensure the health of the batteries. (Personally I consider this essential)

Don't worry too much about the drop to 90%, what's been described is perfectly normal and sometimes we all obsess about that top level of charge when in fact it makes little difference to the overall duration when in use... equally, any load will change this as it's a voltage measure which is only a proxy from the state of charge and not a direct measure of the remaining capacity.

Only worry if you get significant drops in a very short period (e.g. a couple of hours with little load)

My lesson learnt - shut down the CCU when pottering around town.

On this point, I wouldn't worry overly about the draw from the CCU and there's a lot to be said for never turning it off... Many electronic failures occur on startup/switch on or off.
 
ceegee

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I can confirm that my new batteries went from 90% on fitting to 100% on the drive home :thumb

2 days later they are at 85% and the vehicle hasn't been moved.

I can't believe that it should be necessary to turn the CCU off to maintain the batteries in good useable condition (assuming the batteries are operating okay) - I never turn my CCU off unless the camper is being put away with a view to it not being used for a few weeks.
 
jts46

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I can confirm that my new batteries went from 90% on fitting to 100% on the drive home :thumb

2 days later they are at 85% and the vehicle hasn't been moved.

I can't believe that it should be necessary to turn the CCU off to maintain the batteries in good useable condition (assuming the batteries are operating okay) - I never turn my CCU off unless the camper is being put away with a view to it not being used for a few weeks.

Agree with above. The roof is operated by the engine battery???

John
 
WelshGas

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The Roof mechanism is powered by the Engine/Starter battery, not the Leisure Battery.
 
andyinluton

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I keep reading about turning the CCU off, but mine appears to be off all the time unless you i am actually changing a setting or Ive just started the engine - in which case it stays on for perhaps 30 seconds then the display goes off. Or is there a setting somewhere that keeps it on by default? or is mine just sleeping and there is a setting to turn it fully off?

Or have I missed the point completely?
 
SimplyDubs

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I can confirm that my new batteries went from 90% on fitting to 100% on the drive home :thumb

2 days later they are at 85% and the vehicle hasn't been moved.

That sounds about right if they've not been fully charged on hook up or alternative smart charger.
 
WelshGas

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Bottom L hand button switches the Control Panel On or Off.
If On and you press one of the top buttons or the knob then the Display comes on. The Display switches Off after about 30 secs of inactivity.
If the Control Panel is Off then pressing one of the top buttons or the knob does nothing.
The Control Panel has to be On for the Parking Heater or Fridge to work.
 
WelshGas

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Another difference. Haven't switched mine off yet.Screen is blank until one of the top buttons or Knob is pressed. 2014 MY.
 
GrannyJen

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Hi Jen. Sean 'Stanley' Leary = yes. sad news last year...

.

Off topic but in my day a great free climbing hero of mine was Tom Patey, Doctor Tom, a surgeon from Ellon who went to work as a GP in Ullapool.

I loved everything about that man, still cry when I think of the accident that killed him. This year, on my Winter jaunt around the Scottish coast, I stopped overnight at Cruden bay near Aberdeen and the following morning went to Ellon Church to pop some flowers down for him. Cried my eyes out for the rest of the day .....
 
andyinluton

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Another difference. Haven't switched mine off yet.Screen is blank until one of the top buttons or Knob is pressed. 2014 MY.

Same here - I hadn't realised there was a difference between "off" and the screen switching itself off, and having played around with it for a few minutes I'm not sure if there is, The light on the bottom left button does not change colour or anything, the only easy way to tell would be to see if the load on the battery changes & the only way to see that is to have the screen on.....
 
WelshGas

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I think it loads software when On. The light on the L bottom is just to show the button position and that power is available.
 

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