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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Yet more Electrics



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 13th 03, 11:46 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
klyne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default Yet more Electrics

Sorry guys but I need help on my caravan electrics. My caravan is a 1998
Sterling Europa but despite the year it seems wired to the old standard,
i.e. 7 wires in the 12S socket not 5 as per the new standard (I hope my
understanding is correct there). I have just changes both car sockets and
the 12S on the van as they were all getting a bit battered through use. Just
tested everything and all seems OK except I don't seem to have any
supplementary supply to the caravan 12 volt lighting circuit, this is not
really a problem for me unless it points to a problem elsewhere.

Last year I fitted a Reich Move Control which has shown up a problem with
the van electrics in so far as after a long journey there is not enough
power left in the battery (new last year) so it seems that I have a drain on
the battery whilst travelling. The only thing on the Reich I did not fit was
the isolation switch, although I find it difficult to believe that even
without the switch it would drain the battery.

I am a little confused as to which position I should have the battery switch
on the ECM Control. There are three positions, van which takes 12 volt power
from the battery whilst on site and is charged by the built in charger, a
middle position which the book says provides 12 volt power from the
transformer rather than the battery also the battery does not seem to charge
in this position and the third position takes power from the car. This final
position would seem to be the logical one to leave it in whilst towing as
when connected to the car there seems to be some power going into the
battery looking at the battery condition/volts indicator on the ECM unit.
However the instruction book says that whilst travelling you should leave
the switch in the middle position, is this the reason for the battery
running down?

Sorry to have gone on at length.

David - Milton Keynes


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 13th 03, 01:21 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
David Halley
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Posts: 24
Default Yet more Electrics

snippity snippity snip

Hi,

Your van should be wired to the 'old' system, Swift group adopted the new
system for 1999 model year vans.

Your ECM switch should be in the middle position for towing and the van
position when on site.

Your problem can occur when the supply to the relay in your car fails. If
it is a dual relay then the fridge is connected to your caravan battery via
the car. This would result in your caravan battery losing power while
travelling.

The van has a habitation relay which stops all the internal electrics
working when the fridge is supplied. It doesn't care where the fridge is
supplied from so it will still operate as above.

The 'car' position on your ecm is for supplying from the car, as in, no
mains and no battery, you could use the car, but this should only operate
with the ignition off.

Hope this helps

Cheers

David
www.halleycaravans.com


  #3 (permalink)  
Old July 13th 03, 08:46 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
klyne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default Yet more Electrics


"Roger M" wrote in message
...
David, it may seem too simple for words, but..... I notice my charger has
its OWN on/off switch, so check yours!

Why do they make 'van electric's so complex?

Incidentally, my 'van ('99 Swift Corniche) seems to require the switch to

be
in central position when on site as well as when towing.


Roger

If only it was that simple! It looks as if I need a replacement relay in
the car. At least I know where it is now having spent sometime delving under
trim.

David - Milton Keynes


  #4 (permalink)  
Old July 13th 03, 10:53 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Tony Maris
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Posts: 161
Default Yet more Electrics

Hello David,

Your relay in the car sounds like a Smartcom (orange wrapper) or a Chargecom
(blue wrapper). If you have difficulty sourcing them, I have both (no
Scotchlocks required!).

Regards

--
Tony M
Towbars & Trailers
Chesterfield
Specialists in Towing Equipment
NTTA Council Member
http://www.towitall.co.uk
QSA accredited for Towbars and Trailers



"klyne" wrote in message
...

David

Thanks very much, good to have an expert view and for clearing up the

point
about which version of electrics I have. I have just fitted the isolation
switch to the Reich wiring so if there was problem there that should have
sorted that. I had a look in the car at the relay, it was called something
...COM, not so easy to get at to have a quick look. You seem to suggest

the
problem could be with the relay? It looks a fairly simple job to change

but
not quite sure where buy. The local Caravan dealer does sell them but they
seem to be the type where you scotchlock the wires together rather than

have
proper terminals.

Thanks again

David - Milton Keynes




  #5 (permalink)  
Old July 14th 03, 12:11 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Doc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 115
Default Yet more Electrics


"klyne" pondered his electrics problem:
snip
I have just changes both car sockets and
the 12S on the van as they were all getting a bit battered through use.

Just
tested everything and all seems OK except I don't seem to have any
supplementary supply to the caravan 12 volt lighting circuit, this is not
really a problem for me unless it points to a problem elsewhere.

---****----
Hi David,

These Caravan electrics can be a big nuisance, especially with a 'van close
to the '98/'99 change-over time.
Also the wiring on the car may (or not) be different post '99. It's for
this reason that I completely dispensed with the systems provided by Mardon
and Swift in my previous 'vans!

I bow to David Halley's experience concerning the Swift wiring and how the
EMC unit is (or should) be wired, and switched. However, judging from my
previous 'van I wouldn't guarantee it's correct or fail-safe!

It sounds as though your 'van battery was not receiving any charge potential
whilst towing and/or even perhaps discharging through something; maybe the
frig.??? {I have inadvertantly left the Reich switched on whilst towing ,
with no problems, so I wouldn't think that is a problem}

David H. suggests that with a failed dual relay in the car, the frig. will
connect to the 'van battery. This should NOT happen with a properly
designed system, i.e. it's not fail safe. To paraphrase David H. the "the
frig. 'should care' that it is ONLY supplied by the car battery." Naff
electrics design!

If you have pre-'99 wiring in the car, then with the engine running, you
should have ~14.2V on both pin 2 (battery charging) and pin 6 (frig.) and 0V
with the engine off. If so, then the car's relay(s) is/are OK.

You reckoned that after re-wiring the sockets etc. all was OK except for the
'van lighting. This runs off pin 4 and is permanently live, (12.8V, with no
engine running). David H. reckons that there is a 'habitation relay' which
disconnects 'van electrics when the frig. is supplied by the car's
alternator potential (engine running). This is a good idea, and its what my
'auto change-over circuitry' does, and which I've incorporated in all
my'vans. You can see the circuit diag. on my webshots site
http://community.webshots.com/user/docl .

It's configured for the 13 pin plug used on Hobbys, but will work (and has
worked) on UK 'vans with 12S plugs. (I actually use a 12S+12N - 13 pin
adapter). It's operation is described there, and I've never used the
in-built switches etc. on makers' control units.

If the car relay feeding alternator potential to pins 2 and 6 is OK, then
you may have come across some incompatibility in the switching on the EMC
control unit. Now why am I not surprised?? I have no idea how these units
are supposed to be wired up. I'm afraid it's a matter of connecting a
multimeter into various places and observing the readings in different
situations. And then..........who knows? Just post again, I guess!

Best of Luck, ;-)

Cheers, Doc.


  #7 (permalink)  
Old July 15th 03, 07:36 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Doc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 115
Default Yet more Electrics


"Paul Cohen" commented:
(Doc) wrote:

If you have pre-'99 wiring in the car, then with the engine running, you
should have ~14.2V on both pin 2 (battery charging) and pin 6 (frig.)
and 0V
with the engine off.


Can I just add to that that it's important to do that check either some
minutes after switching off, or put the car's light's on. Otherwise, if
one's a bit quick of the mark with the multimeter, the car battery's float
charge may still be holding the relay closed for a short time.

I've been caught out like this before.

----****----
Quite right , Paul. Thanks for the reminder.

On my car, there is also a delay (~1min) before the 14.2V alternator
potential appears on pins 2 and 6!
So let the engine run for a minute or so before checking these potentials as
well, and when the engine is switched off, do as Paul suggests, to make the
relay drop out.

The relays I use for my auto change-over circuit, also 'hold on' for a while
after switching off the engine and disconnecting the 13 pin plug, before
they eventually drop out. However I think these may just be slightly
'sticky' relays (cheapo Maplin ones)!

Cheers, Doc.


  #9 (permalink)  
Old July 15th 03, 07:52 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mike Williams
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 56
Default Yet more Electrics

"Doc" wrote in message
...

If you have pre-'99 wiring in the car, then with the engine running, you
should have ~14.2V on both pin 2 (battery charging) and pin 6 (frig.) and

0V
with the engine off. If so, then the car's relay(s) is/are OK.


Also, when you're looking for charging problems you should take your initial
voltage measurements (under running conditions) *directly across the battery
terminals* of the battery you suspect is not being charged. Then if that
voltage is not correct you should work back from there until you find the
cause of the problem. Also, as well as checking voltage you should check the
current into or out of the battery (and at other points, depending on what
you are looking for) under various operating conditions. If you're serious
about fixing your own electrical problems then do yourself a favour and buy
a digital multimeter and a good quality clamp meter (don't get one of the
cheaper clamp meters that will not let you measure DC current). Armed with
these two tools and a bit of commonsense you will be able to fix just about
anything.

Mike



  #10 (permalink)  
Old July 15th 03, 10:23 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mike Williams
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 56
Default Yet more Electrics

"Mike John" wrote in message
...
When changing the relay check the fuse supplying the +12v side.
Frequently these are wired with a single fuse before the split relay,
if that fuse goes then when the relay is energised it effectively connects
van battery to fridge via the 12S connections. Far better (IMO) is 2
separate fuses AFTER the relay (one to fridge circuit, one to charge
circuit) then if the fuse blows it only affects one circuit to the van
and avoids the problem. Maybe Tony could coment on his preferred
fusing layout?


Actually, as you have already said, it's quite likely that a blown fuse is
the cause of the problem if the system is wired in such a way that a single
fuse supplies the "car battery" side of both the split charge and fridge
relays. It would be best for the OP to check this fuse *before* he considers
buying and fitting a new relay.

Regarding your comments about the fuses, I agree with you that it would be
best to fit two separate fuses. They don't have to be fitted after the relay
though, as you have suggested. They will be just as effective at curing the
problem even if fitted before the relay. I'm a great believer in having
*all* fuses fitted as close to as possible to the battery terminal that
supplies them, for safety reasons. The important thing is that there should
be two separate fused leads supplying two separate relay contacts.

Mike




 



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