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Leisure Battery issues

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    Leisure Battery issues

    In the past with coachbuilts that we have had, I have added a second leisure battery in parallel to the first one to increase capacity. Properly fused and i am aware that the capacity of both should be the same otherwise the larger will only get charged up to the caapcity of the smaller.

    Bought a 2007 Dimension last year and love the freedom and versatility it gives.

    I was led to believe that the supplying dealer put a new leisure battery in as I had pointed out seeing it on the show area that the LB Zig panel reading was absolute minimum. The LB still doesn't seem to want to retain a good level for long periods without being charged or driven. The vehicle battery stays right up all the time. Whether I leave the Zig controlpanel switched on or not (normally don't in case anything should be left on accidentally) it doesn't seem to make much difference.

    I have been monitoring the LB voltage for the past few days and following a 24 hour period on charge the LB has dropped from 12.75 just after switching the charger off down to 11.92 over about 3 days. My old spare 12v leisure battery in the garage still reads over 13.5 and hasn't been used or charged for some considerable time.

    Is the apparent discharge rate reasonable? If not how can I check what drains it? Equally if it's really not that bad can I fit another 85Ah LB in parallel, fused etc again to increase the capacity? The circuitry seems a little different to our previous coachbuilts but perhaps it's just because I can see the location of the relays etc more than in the past.


    It doesn't sound that far off charged, according to my info, although it sounds like something is switched on somewhere. If you look at the info below, it's going from almost 100% charged to more or less flat within 3 days, so something isn't right. I hope Ant will be along shortly with all the info but here's what I have....

    As a battery will always hold some residual charge from the charger, it will take about 8 hours to settle. Then you could use a voltometer or hydrometer to check. Have you checked it has ionised water in, some have to be topeed up occasionally.

    Values and status are below

    100% 1.265 12.7
    75% 1.225 12.4
    50% 1.190 12.2
    25% 1.155 12.0
    Discharged 1.120 11.9


      Hi JandLandMonty.
      It sounds to me like your battery is just not holding a charge and if it was a new one will carry at least a two yr warranty, I would take it back to your dealer and get another one fitted, let them claim on the battery warranty. With everything off in the van ( check the light in the cooker) the battery should not have any drain on it and happily sit at around 12.9 volts for ages. My stock batteries come part charged to 12.3 volts and stay at that level until I fit them which could be a couple of months or more.


        Leisure Battery issues

        Thanks for your responses. I had previously e-mailed Romahome on the IOW and coincidentally had an e-mail reply today. They say -

        As your email say yes there is a link between your 2nd battery and your vehicle battery under the lift up floor at the front of the van there is a 30 amp fuse which should just be off the main clamp.The relay you mention is the split charge relay check that the connections are not loose as they might have worked loose.if you switch the zig unit on to 2nd battery and start your engine you should see the needle rise to about 13.5 volts if not then there is a charging fault .Also check the fuses that are directly off the 2nd battery they are in line in a black casing as adding another battery the wiring will have to be uprated as the amp will be to high if it was me i would put a larger battery in like a 110 amp this will give you more amp hour

        This leaves me somewhat confused for the circuitry is designed I believe that when the engine is running, the Zig control panel will not provide any reading or power other than iff switched to the Car/Engine battery. I had always understood this was deliberate.

        Interestingly, I have temporarily replaced the 85 Ah LB with my own 110 Ah along the lines suggested by Freeborn and guess what? My 110 Ah LB falls from its no load rating of 13+ volts to about 12.6 and the 85Ah battery removed reads as 13+

        That appears to indicate to me that even with everything switched OFF at the control panel, there is still a current draw somewhere and maybe the battery isn't quite so bad but is 'in use'.

        As supplied it has a Sat Nav system built in with DVD player etc and interestingly without me pressing any buttons, when I reconnected the LB the Sat Nav/radio/player came on by itself. That would seemingly indicate that it is routed through the LB rather than the engine battery.

        Thanks in particular for the tip about the oven light. Whilst it wasn't left on, I did notice that it will work without anything switched on at the Zig panel so presumably must be routed direct.

        My thinking is to see what happens to my 110 Ah LB over a few days and if it drops then the task is to find out what uses the power. It may be a time consuming way of doing it but I'm thinking that I will disconnect all the positive leads from the LB terminal and then connect them one by one over a period of time to see which appears to then affect the reading more?

        Am I on the right track?



          Sorry, I can't comment on the Romahome wiring, as it's quite a while since I had one - but it does seem that you have a permanent discharge from your LB.

          You obviously have a multimeter, and know how to use it - if it has, say, a 10A current range, try disconnecting the positive lead from the LB, and put the ammeter in line - red to LB positive, black to removed lead. This should, hopefully, show how much current is being consumed.

          Try removing fuses to each connected circuit - or disconnect wires - and see if the current drops. Hopefully, you will discover which circuit is robbing the power, and if necessary, a switch could be wired in that circuit, so you could switch it off when not in use.

          Alternatively, look for one of those key-operated battery isolating switches which you connect between the battery and the feed wire, so that when not in use, you can switch the whole lot off. They aren't dear to buy - try Halfords or similar car factors.



            I would suspect the DVD, I have had trouble with them in the past taking a 1.2 amp draw even when it appeared to be off. I would find the feed wire for it and switch it.


              If it is the radio/CD that came with the base vehicle causing the problem a mod may have been done. When the engine is off and the keys out the radio will still work for a few minutes then cut out to stop battery drain. I have seen a magazine article on how to swing the feed onto the leisure battery so the radio can be used when parked up. They didn't use a switch which would have been the smart thing to do.
              Derek Our Berlingo camping car


                Lateral thinking: I suppose it is not just a question of changing the input source on the radio to tuner, rather than dvd, before switching the radio off?


                  Leisure Battery Issues - Update

                  Many thanks for the ideas and help.

                  Spot on about the DVD/Sat Nav as once having identified which lead was causing the drain, removing it from the battery connection meant the Radio etc didn't work! Hey presto.

                  It seems that all I've really got to do now is physically locate it somewhere near where it would be convenient to fit an isolating switch.


                    Battery Drain

                    Had a similar problem with car battery.
                    Disconnected the Ground lead, put the ammeter in series with the break. 70 milliamp drain.
                    Disconnected the fuses 1 by 1. The leaky circuit was the one that contained the radio. Actually the fault was something to do with the radio memory. Never know for sure... its in the bin. I had fitted an isolating switch by then. Seems a good idea if the van is going to stand for a while.


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