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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anybody help us please to resolve a vehicle battery drain problem we have on our 2007 model AutoTrail Tracker EKS SE - Fiat Ducato 130 Multijet.

The vehicle has a Sargent EC100 LED control panel and a EC325 PSU. Plus a Sigma S34 alarm and Phantom Proactive Tracker. It also has the AutoTrail standard items - reversing camera, radio/DVD player, Freeview etc.

During the past three months the vehicle battery drain has got progressively worse and if left standing the battery will not start the the engine after two weeks. This is after it has been fully charged. We had previously been able to confidently leave it four to five weeks. Following a chat with the Motorhome dealer we booked the vehicle into a Fiat Professional dealer last week to have the vehicle battery stress tested. The end result was that the battery passed with flying colours (I have the printout), likewise the chassis/engine electricals, alternator etc. But the conversion electrics were found to be drawing 0.5A to 0.7A permanently. Note - I have checked and rechecked every switch, light, conversion and cab electrical item etc in the Motorhome and nothing has been left on. We are thinking about fitting a solar panel but I consider the drain to be excessive at present for it to be of any use.

The vehicle is booked into the Motorhome dealer next week for further tests. However can anyone help with the following please:

What current drain should we reasonably expect on the vehicle battery when it is not in use? (We are fully aware that Motorhomes are notorious for draining batteries quickly)

Does anybody know the current drain specification for Sigma S34 Alarm when it is armed?

Any comments, tips or hints would be greatly appreciated please.
 

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Hi
Welcome to MHF.com.
Do you turn the switch off next to the Sargent ecu box for the reversing camera and TV sound system. That will draw a fair amount of current in standby.
 

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Just about to mention the rear view camera.......that I fitted on mine needs to be disconnected when left for a length of time.

The leds can be seen glowing faintly at night - this drains the battery over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks DJP & Twinky - we have already eliminated the camera and the switches next to the PSU - all off. I will ask the dealer to double check the actual camera power feed though. The vehicle is still under warranty so I don't want to meddle too much myself at this point.

.....WUFBER
 

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DJP said:
Hi
Welcome to MHF.com.
Do you turn the switch off next to the Sargent ecu box for the reversing camera and TV sound system. That will draw a fair amount of current in standby.
Agree with this.. The battery on our Apache 700 always drained fast until I turned off the switches near the Main unit...
 

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Ditto re turning off ALL switches in the entertainment cupboard and removing radio as that has a light on when engine off.

We also have a solar panel and battery master which do a very good job of keeping our leisure batteries and vehicle battery topped up.

We can leave ours for several weeks and it will start first time. (not usually left for this length of time ).
 

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If you need to identify what's drawing the power have you got a multimeter? If so set it to DC amps and connect the meter in series with the battery. You will then see the current being drawn.
The next step is to remove one by one all the fuses until the current drawn is nothing. This will enable you to identify the circuit concerened.
All you need to do then is isolate the relevent bit of kit when you're parked up.

Bob
 

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Hi WUFBER, as has already mentioned there are a number of devices that are "on" even when the vehicle is is switched off. As Bob has suggested and think you may have already identified by removing the fuses one at a time it should be possible to identify the source of the drain, but if, as some devices are connected permanatly to the vehicle battery, the alarm and immobiliser this is very difficult to fault find.
If you have acess to a multimeter and we can help by talking you through some checks then please either call us (01482 678981) or send us a PM with your contact details and we will call you back.

Best regards

Ian Sargent
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Following Bob's advice I did some testing this morning with a multimeter. I also reset the EC100 Control panel by removing the vehicle and leisure battery fuses in the EC325 (as directed in the fault table in system document on the Sargent web site). As a result the current draw is now a constant 110 - 120mA, once things have settled down.

When the vehicle is locked and alarmed after the initial surge, as all the systems settle down, the drain reduces to 110mA. So it appears that the fault has cleared itself.

I have tried to replicate it by operating all the various 12v systems in the vehicle but it now appears to be much better.

From talking to people off-line I understand that an X250 Motorhome with a Sigma alarm will normally draw about 100mA. additionally the Phantom takes 12 - 18mA. Therefore 120mA seems about right.

Thanks to Dave at Sargent for calling me back and advising me what to do if the problem reoccurs.

…..Will (Wufber)
 
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