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About Woodentop

  • Rank
    Over 1000 posts

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  • Gender
  • Location
    North Yorks
  • Towcar
    VW Passat Executive TDi 150 CR Estate
  • Caravan
    Bailey Unicorn Seville S4

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  1. Find your Tracker* and you will see it is accompanied by a 12V 7Ah battery which will likely be bulging. Replace the battery and all will be well. If you remove the Tracker you will also loose the local siren alarm, but that will still work even if you don't have a Tracker contract. Such batteries can easily be found on line but get a good brand such as Yuasa or Panasonic, or failing that they are the same batteries as used in mobility scooters although you may pay a bit more through that source. *PM me if you need guidance.
  2. With respect to the OP, if you have two children of that age it suggests that you probably passed your driving test after 1/1/97. If so you are limited to towing a gross train weight (i.e. sum of gross weight of towing vehicle plus MTPLM of the caravan) of 3500Kg unless you take or have passed the necessary additional driving test to upgrade your licence from group B to group B+E. Look here DVLA to check what your licence permits. The MTPLM of the caravan (if it is new) will be found on a plate/label inside the gas locker*: the gross weight of the towing vehicle will be on a label often near the bottom of the front of the nearside B pillar (between front and back doors) or in some cases on the wide edge of a side door below the lock. The gross weight of the towing vehicle is the upper (larger) weight of the top two, the maximum weight of the vehicle is the lower (smaller weight); subtract the smaller from the larger and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can tow. (The weights marked 1 and 2 are the maximum axle load for front and rear respectively.) *Before anyone jumps in, the MTPLM shown on the label near the caravan door may be lower than that shown on the label in the gas locker. This is to entice buyers with lighter tow vehicles to consider the van. However from a legal standpoint it is the one in the gas locker that matters. If there is a reasonable difference between the two - say 50Kg or more - it may be worth considering having the MTPLM upgraded as such a mass increase can be very useful, assuming of course the towing vehicle can manage it. Some manufacturers such as Bailey will charge you about £66 for the honour of supplying a new door label and updating their and the (CRiS) registration records even if the upgrade is ordered at the same time as the caravan. Other manufacturers (Swift?) will supply it f.o.c if it is contained in the order. MTPLM = Maximum Technically Permissible Load Mass, also known as MAM - Maximum Allowed Mass or GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight. MRO which you might find is Mass (in) Running Order - effectively the weight of the caravan with supplied fittings ex factory. This is supposed to include such as an EHU cable, jack and handle if supplied, spare wheel and carrier if supplied, gas bottle, water in the tank/heating system and some water in the toilet cistern. It does NOT include the battery (dealer fitted), motor movers, and solar panel even if the latter is factory fitted and is part of the design. Some manufacturers exclude all liquids (other than that contained in a wet heating system) from the MRO. If in doubt ask the dealer to put it in writing. Good luck.
  3. Woodentop

    Should I leave electric on?

    The Bailey document contradicts itself. In the end of the first section it is stated that the power supply (charger) cannot overcharge the battery. A bit further down it states that the battery should not be left of charge when the caravan is not in use. If the charger (so called) cannot overcharge the battery why the need to stop it charging? Anyway, the power supply is a fixed voltage switched mode unit not a charger per se. Connecting the power supply directly across the battery in this instance is known as float charging and in industry is probably the commonest form of maintaining back-up supplies. In over 40 years in the communications and broadcast industries I have never seen such systems cause any form of damage.
  4. Woodentop

    Battery and Fridge

    There is a possibly easier way. Plug the caravan into the car without the engine running. If your caravan has ATC you will hear the brakes cycle and the LED on the hitch will light. If not, go into the van and see if the 12V lighting works. If the lights work now start the car engine and see if the lights are still lit. If they are not lit then there's a good chance you have fridge wiring; if they are still lit then you may not have fridge wiring and some digging is required. If you want to check the car socket the pin numbering is usually embossed on the inside of the socket lid. Finally, don't forget that the fridge running on 12V is only designed to keep an already cold fridge cold whilst towing. You will need to run it on gas or mains for at least 12 hours before you leave home to make sure the fridge is cold. The more cold foodstuffs you can put into it the colder the fridge will stay.
  5. Wow! a 66.6m long caravan - how the heck to do you tow that??? For the record Swift are not the only ones with low noseweight problems. We got a Bailey U4 Seville last January and after we loaded it up we had a noseweight of 10Kg! Took everything out and the noseweight (as MRO plus mover in front of the wheels and battery just behind the axle) was 31Kg. It does not help that the cooker and gas locker are right at the back. The only way we could get more weight on the hitch was putting some of the payload in crates as far forward as possible - Bailey in their wisdom no long fit front lockers - and carry a 3.9Kg Propane instead of a 6Kg. Bailey of course don't want to know about it - they will no longer quote a MRO noseweight and just advise that we should load the caravan to get 100Kg on the hitch or whatever the tug will take if less. We have managed to get the noseweight to around 53Kg and it seems to tow stably enough - having a Passat TDi estate with all that heavy engine up front does help. We got our 76Kg son to stand as far forward as he could inside the van and that only put the noseweight up to 77Kg!
  6. Woodentop

    DAB with Status aerial.

    One reason that many manufacturers supply JVC radios (apart from the flashing and colourful lights) is that they don't forget the station memories when power is removed. Everything else goes by the board but singularly not the program memories. ISTR Sony are the same. In days of old Philips used non-volatile memory so the set would remember everything setting-wise when powered down. In terms of multi-connectors, the caravan should have the standard ISO connectors (usually black for the power etc and brown for the speakers. You can buy an interface cable to make the caravan connect to your radio from Halfords.
  7. Woodentop

    Build up of limescale in my toilet cassette

    Denture cleaner - such as Steradent or equivalent - is amazingly good at shifting limescale - after all that is what plaque is. In a home WC pan 3-4 tablets dropped in the bowl (even better if some hot water has been put in it first to warm the existing water) and left overnight (or overday) and it will all be gone next time you look.
  8. Woodentop

    No EHU or 240v

    Unlikely that a 1992 caravan will have an RCD - which is what you are talking about.
  9. Woodentop

    DAB with Status aerial.

    If you look on the Screwfix page and enlarge the picture you will note it has 5-2400MHz written on the bottom of the label. This is the same unit fitted in my U4 Seville and it does the job perfectly. Look at the two items in the hyperlinks that were in my post and you will see the F-SMB cable that will do the job. This is what I fitted and again it works perfectly. When I first got the van the DAB would not work. Being a suitably qualified former radcoms and broadcast engineer I took the radio out and found that Bailey had wired everything in (thick) RG59 cable which does not bend too easily on a small radius. On the end of the cable was a BNC plug to SMB adapter and the pressure of the radio pushing the cable against the caravan wall had caused the SMB to become disconnected. Replacing the cable with the one in my hyperlink removed the pressure point. I would love to know what a V7 unit is? If we are talking amps then a VP5 is exactly the same as the VP3 that I recommended except it has a signal strength indicator. One final point: if you choose to go down the separate aerial route DO NOT get the Vision Plus Radio Antenna (or the identical Ring product) as they only cover the LW/MW/FM bands - they will not work at DAB frequencies.
  10. Woodentop

    Trying to figure out why RCD tripped

    RCDs - especially the cheap and nasty Chinese things - can trip mechanically without electrical intervention. If it does it repeatedly consider replacing the RCD with a better made product. On our last van (Bailey Peg 462) I had exactly that issue and found that a Schneider was the perfect fit albeit with a bit of rewiring.
  11. Woodentop

    DAB with Status aerial.

    DAB works very well - except that you must remember:- 1 That DAB uses vertically polarised signals so if your aerial is horizontal for TV you may suffer; 2 That DAB may not necessarily transmitted from the same site that you are using for TV. If the TV is a vertical relay then no problem, but horizontal is. Having said that horizontal usually implies a main station which will almost transmit DAB as well. Per the splitter, item 99105 at £3.69 from Screwfix will do the job. Yes, being passive it is slightly more lossy but the difference can be ignored. You can use the existing cable from the amp to the radio to use as the post-splitting radio aerial cable. You will need this item DAb pigtail to connect the splitter outlet to the radio DAB connection and this piece of cable input cable to connect the output of the aerial amp to the input of the splitter - the splitter should be located behind the radio. I have assumed the radio is adjacent to the aerial amp. Another possibly easier way: if the aerial amp has a spare outlet, just use the DAB pigtail to connect directly to the radio DAB aerial connection. You may of course have to source a slightly longer pigtail. Finally note that if your aerial amp is a Vision Plus VP3 (or VP5) the signals exiting each outlet connector are identical - containing TV, DAB, and FM. However the outlet marked for radio is not amplified whereas those marked for TV are amplified. This can be of use in low signal areas.
  12. Woodentop

    Updating a built in Satnav?

    That's the nice bit about buying VW. If it has the Discover infotainment system (how I hate title!) you can download the latest maps f.o.c.. You dump it onto the SD card carrying the original maps (make a copy first of course) and it should come up with the latest maps. However.... I was warned by one supplier that there is or were problems with V9 which VW were attempting to resolve.
  13. Woodentop


    If the IET (formerly IEE) Regs apply to caravans etc for electricity, surely the Gas Regulations would cover the gas fitment in caravans?
  14. Call Powrtouch (now part of Truma) to come abd fix it if in warranty. If out of warranty call their Tech Support people who are amazingly helpful and really know what they are talking about.
  15. Woodentop

    Halogen to led problem

    At least two contributors here have lost their money. If the bulb was polarity sensitive the socket would have to be of a type that does not permit incorrect insertion - not just two identical pins! There will be a tiny bridge rectifier inside the bulb so that whichever way round the bulb is fitted (i. e. either pin can be either polarity) the supply within the bulb will be the correct way round. These bulbs are also designed to be used in light fittings fed by 12Va. c. - such as desk or bedside lights - so by definition they cannot be polarity conscious.