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Old 03-11-2019, 05:21 PM   #1
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2018 Sprinter Battery Drain

HI All,
I have a couple of questions regarding overall battery and battery drain i'm experiencing on my 2018 Sprinter.

1. First thing is that my battery doesn't seem to be holding a charge. I've noticed it during use when my battery monitor is starts to show about 12.4V even very shortly after driving it a long distance and once parked. I tested this over the weekend. I charged it on a battery tender overnight and the next day when I checked - first thing, the battery tender was still lit red meaning it wasn't fully charged. I then disconnected it the battery tender and checked the voltage with a meter and it was showing 12.7V. I then disconnected the chassis battery disconnect so taht there would be no load on the battery. I just checked the voltage today after a couple of days and the battery is showing 12.4V. This doesn't seem normal to me. With No load i'm assuming it should be around 12.6?

2. Second is how quickly the battery gets drained without the Battery disconect disconnected. Mine is getting drained down to 11.9V in 6 days which is also why i think my battery is bad. Owners on the Revel FB page are saying you shouldn't expect more than two weeks of sitting before the battery gets drained. Is this everyone else's experience? Seems quite bit short period even on a modern vehicle, which revel owners are claiming is the reason. I'm not buying it tho', because my sprinter doesn't have any crazier electronic on it any more than my 2010 audi which can sit for a couple of months and still start up.

Any suggestions or inputs appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:42 AM   #2
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Sounds about right on my 2016 2500, but it wouldn't hurt to get the battery checked. Temperature can also make the SOC fluctuate greatly.

Since there's lots of draw on the starter battery, I permanently installed a trickle charger in the van which fires up when connected to shore power. I also installed a Blue Sea battery connector to combine my aux battery with the starter battery in case I need a jump.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:27 AM   #3
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rean1mator,

I agree with JFlo above. If you look over on my build thread, starting on Post 617, you will see that I did something similar to JFlo, only mine is a temporary installation. If you read on in the thread you will learn more about differences in SMB builds and the equipment commonly used. I am still thinking about what I will ultimately do to address the situation on a permanent basis, I will document that decision in the thread

SMB Texas and Fresno approach the house battery charging system differently, but in neither case do they provide for engine battery charging. I do not know what Indiana does. (This information is for the Sprinter, I am not as familiar with the other vans but assume they are similar)

I think the engine battery suffers on two counts:
1. The parasitic draw from all of the electronics and systems provides a constant drain
2. The amount of time these vans sit around during the build process means that the engines are seldom run and when they are they are seldom, if ever, run long enough to fully charge the battery

The result is a weakened battery when we finally take delivery of the van, plus the lack of a built-in engine battery charging system in a vehicle that often isn't a daily driver means that the battery often gets cycled up and down, something not good for it.


JFlo,

What model Blue Sea battery connector did you install?
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
JFlo,

What model Blue Sea battery connector did you install?
Fitz,

It's the Blue Sea Systems 300 Amp m-Series on-off Battery Switch. Here's an Amazon link and pic. I installed it on the front side of the Driver's pedestal and contected it to both sides of the OEM battery isolator. Could probably have done the same thing with a simple switch and relay, but didn't think of that until afterwards.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00445KFZ2..._Uk-HCb69YXXED

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Old 03-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #5
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Thanks Jflo, My van does come with a button connect house to chassis battery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFlo View Post
Sounds about right on my 2016 2500, but it wouldn't hurt to get the battery checked. Temperature can also make the SOC fluctuate greatly.

Since there's lots of draw on the starter battery, I permanently installed a trickle charger in the van which fires up when connected to shore power. I also installed a Blue Sea battery connector to combine my aux battery with the starter battery in case I need a jump.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:33 AM   #6
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I've thought about installing a CTEK so the solar panels are also charging the chassis battery. But apparently you lose the house/chassis batter connect option if you do.

So I guess my main question is: With the battery dropping down to 12.4V(12.38 V this morning) within 1.5 days with the chassis battery disconnected so that there is no load after a night of charging... Do I need to replace my battery, especially since it's a brand new vehicle just recently purchased 1.5 months ago. I'm told by other revel owners that MBZ will replace it under warranty.

I'm also considering just getting a better deep cycle dual purpose battery myself and just eat the costs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
rean1mator,

I agree with JFlo above. If you look over on my build thread, starting on Post 617, you will see that I did something similar to JFlo, only mine is a temporary installation. If you read on in the thread you will learn more about differences in SMB builds and the equipment commonly used. I am still thinking about what I will ultimately do to address the situation on a permanent basis, I will document that decision in the thread

SMB Texas and Fresno approach the house battery charging system differently, but in neither case do they provide for engine battery charging. I do not know what Indiana does. (This information is for the Sprinter, I am not as familiar with the other vans but assume they are similar)

I think the engine battery suffers on two counts:
1. The parasitic draw from all of the electronics and systems provides a constant drain
2. The amount of time these vans sit around during the build process means that the engines are seldom run and when they are they are seldom, if ever, run long enough to fully charge the battery

The result is a weakened battery when we finally take delivery of the van, plus the lack of a built-in engine battery charging system in a vehicle that often isn't a daily driver means that the battery often gets cycled up and down, something not good for it.


JFlo,

What model Blue Sea battery connector did you install?
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rean1mator View Post
Thanks Jflo, My van does come with a button connect house to chassis battery.
If your van comes with a button to connect house to chassis, than connect and charge house and starting battery at same time. Also you, can connect and solar can charge house and starting at same time as long as battery technology is compatable.

You really need to bring your starter to a full charge, and try the disconnect thing again. Charging all night on trickle charger is an undetermined value. When you remove the charger you will also encounter surface charge, if you measure right away, which will give you a higher value than normal. You might not be as far off as you think.

To remove surface charge , try one of the three methods below
1. Allow the battery to sit for six hours with no load or charger connected
2. Apply a 25 amp load for three minutes and wait five minutes
3. With a battery load tester, apply a 150 amp load for 10-15 seconds


greg

reference 12 volt side of life
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:23 AM   #8
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Unfortunately my chassis/house battery connect is a momentary button as long as it's held in place and not a switch that will leave it connected. Only used for starting purposes

I borrowed my neighbors charger yesterday and charged it up and left it over night. will check the voltage later.

Edit: same result: my battery voltage is 12.38V after leaving over night after full charge and with no load on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77 View Post
If your van comes with a button to connect house to chassis, than connect and charge house and starting battery at same time. Also you, can connect and solar can charge house and starting at same time as long as battery technology is compatable.

You really need to bring your starter to a full charge, and try the disconnect thing again. Charging all night on trickle charger is an undetermined value. When you remove the charger you will also encounter surface charge, if you measure right away, which will give you a higher value than normal. You might not be as far off as you think.

To remove surface charge , try one of the three methods below
1. Allow the battery to sit for six hours with no load or charger connected
2. Apply a 25 amp load for three minutes and wait five minutes
3. With a battery load tester, apply a 150 amp load for 10-15 seconds


greg

reference 12 volt side of life
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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I've encountered the same problem. I have a 2016 Sprinter. I don't know much about electronics so can't follow a lot of this information. I did get a Zamp 20W Trickle charger. That's not enough. The person from Zamp told me I needed to identify my battery drain and get a bigger trickle charger. But I don't know how to measure the drain. But, if I don't drive my van the battery gets very low or goes dead. I need a solution
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:59 PM   #10
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sprinter owner's seem to be resigned to the fact that the sprinter battery drains so fast, claiming it's a modern vehicle with lots of electronics that draw on the chassis battery. I do't really see much fancy electronics in the Sprinter compared to my 2010 Audi A4 which often sits 2 months and starts up fine after sitting that long.

Sprinter owners say 2 weeks? I think that's garbage if you ask me. just doesnt make sense

Also I had my rv dealer measure the load on chassis battery and they said it was .2 amps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dford415 View Post
I've encountered the same problem. I have a 2016 Sprinter. I don't know much about electronics so can't follow a lot of this information. I did get a Zamp 20W Trickle charger. That's not enough. The person from Zamp told me I needed to identify my battery drain and get a bigger trickle charger. But I don't know how to measure the drain. But, if I don't drive my van the battery gets very low or goes dead. I need a solution
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