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About NeilM73

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    Over 10 posts

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  • Towcar
    Vauxhall Zafira Exclusiv 1.6
  • Caravan
    Fleetwood Garland 165/4
  1. Thanks matelodave. I have a multimeter. I'll check the voltage at the battery terminals. I was under the impression that the voltage to the battery was constant, but cut out once the battery was fully charged. I did wiggle the input and output wires around a bit, but it didn't make any difference. I can't remember the name of the distribution unit, but it's definitely not Nordelletronica. I'll have a look at the manual when I next go to the caravan.
  2. Hi everyone. Following a recent post :- http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/114833-do-i-really-need-my-leisure-battery/ and two overheating batteries, I decided to disconnect and remove the leisure battery altogether during our last trip. Before we left, I tested every 12v powered appliance without the battery, insulated the battery connections and everything seemed to work ok. The manual for the power unit states that the 12v transformer CAN be used without a battery. When we got to the site and hooked everything up, I noticed that none of the 12v appliances were working, although the 240v supply was ok. I checked all of the wiring and fuses and couldn't find anything wrong. I knocked the 12v transformer box when I was replacing a panel and the 12v supply started working again. It worked for a while, until we used the water pump and then everything went off again. Again, a knock on the box and everything started working. Everything seemed to work fine for a few days, but occasionally, turning a 12v appliance on would cause the power to drop out for a minute or so, before coming back on, even without me touching the transformer. I don't want to replace the leisure battery, as I think the transformer is giving it too much charge, causing it to overheat, damaging the battery beyond use. I'm not too sure where to go from here, as I can't determine if the transformer isn't working properly due to not having the leisure battery connected or if it's just a problem with the transformer itself. My first thought was to go out and buy a new transformer, but they seem quite pricey, especially if the fault with my current transformer can be rectified. Anybody any ideas? Thanks. Neil.
  3. Thanks for all of your replies. I didn't expect so many replies and different results, and I'm quite surprised at some of the mpg figures when driving solo. My MPG for the journey was worked out manually and without a trip computer. I reset my trip mileage before departing the petrol station at Looe and noted the mileage when I refuelled, just after dropping the caravan off at the storage site, so the mileage covered was towing the caravan and not solo. I must admit, the fuel tank was almost empty when I refuelled and I must have been driving on fumes for the last few miles! Thanks again for all of the replies and I've promised I'll never moan to the wife again about how much caravanning costs us in petrol.
  4. Hi! I've just done a journey from Looe in Cornwall to Liverpool, towing my 4 berth caravan (weighing about 1000 Kg) with a 1. 6 petrol towcar. The car usually averages around 40 mpg when solo, but I managed 30 mpg during this journey, which was mainly A roads and motorways. I was just curious to know if that mpg was good, bad or expected. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Neil.
  5. Cheers for all of the replies. I've attached a couple of pictures to this post. The battery looks like it can be topped up by removing those caps with a screwdriver. I'll probably try this first before replacing the battery. Also, the picture of the Zig unit implies that the 12v caravan electrics can be powered from the car battery. Again, I'll have to try this out. The caravan / Zig unit manuals don't mention anything about the leisure battery needing to be present, but not too sure if I should run the electrics without it. Thanks. Neil.
  6. Hi! Over the last couple of years I've noticed the reduction of charge left in my leisure battery by means of a red LED on the Zig unit. Once disconnected from an electrical hook up, the LED shows red straight away. On our last trip, I noticed the leisure battery was really hot when I was unplugging the electrical hook up cable. I understand it is not normal and dangerous for the leisure battery to become this hot. I was considering replacing the battery, but thought how much do we actually use it? We always book sites with an EHU and should there be a power cut, the fridge and water heater will run on gas and we could connect the van to the car's electrical socket for lighting. We don't have a motor mover and the tracker that the previous owners used is still connected, but we haven't renewed the subscription. If I disconnected the leisure battery, would this have any undesired effects on any of the other workings of the electrical system? Thanks in advance. Neil.
  7. Hi! I've just purchased a new 42mm jockey wheel from our local caravan and camping store. It is fairly basic, came with a clamp and only cost £20. It looks identical to the one I'm replacing, but when I showed it to my father in law he told me that it was for a trailer and not a caravan. I didn't realise there were different jockey wheels for trailers and caravans. Could anybody shed a bit more light on this for me, please? Thanks. Neil.
  8. Hi! Apart from being a diesel and having a good towing capacity, what is more important when looking for a towcar? Would it be engine size, power output, turbo or torque? I know it's probably a mixture of all four, but which is the most important? Cheers. Neil.
  9. We'll be buying our first caravan in a couple of weeks and will be towing it with a 13 plate 1. 6 Zafira. The caravan weighs 897kg unladen and the Zafira is allowed to tow 1000kg. I've been told that the Zafira will never be able to tow a caravan of that weight, but I'm willing to try it if my V5 document states that it can legally tow anything upto 1000kg. I'll only be allowed to carefully load the caravan with 103kg of extra weight, which will take it upto 1000kg, but due to the Zafira's large boot space, I'll load as much as I can into the car. I'm a class one HGV driver and I'm used to travelling at low speeds and having to change down a few gears when climbing hills, so this really isn't an issue for me. Cheers. Neil.
  10. Thanks for all the replies (humorous and serious). As a few of your replies suggest, I am unable to change my car as I only purchased it as a brand new 13 plate in March. I've looked into the weight of the caravan further and it seems that the caravan weighs 893kg unladen and is allowed 257kg (C. A. P.) of load, equalling the 1150kg maximum weight allowed (M. P. T. W.). This would only allow me 107kg of load to take it upto the 1000kg that my car is allowed to tow. I'm not too sure what all the extras, gas bottles, battery, awning, luggage, etc. would actually weigh, but I'm guessing this would be way over the car's 1000kg towing limit. As the owner has offered me the caravan free of charge, I might take it off their hands and trade it in for something lighter. Anybody want to buy a Fleetwood Garland 165/4? Only joking! But seriously, if anybody has any suggestions for a light 4 berth caravan then please let me know. Thanks again for all of your help. Neil.
  11. Hello. I'm new to this site, but I've been on quite a few caravanning trips with family members and I have a general idea of what's involved. I've been offered a Garland 165/4 caravan off a relative who's had enough of camping and have no use for their caravan anymore. I'd love to take the caravan off their hands and put it to good use with my family. The only problem I'm having is wondering if my car is suitable to tow the caravan. I've gathered all of the information that I think is relevant, but can't figure out if my Zafira will be up to the job. Here is the information that I have :- Car Make And Model ---------------------------- Vauxhall Zafira Exclusiv 1. 6 petrol Zafira V5C Document Information --------------------------------------------- Maximum permissable mass = 2090 Mass in service = 1505 Technical permissible maximum towable mass of the trailer (braked) = 1000kg Technical permissible maximum towable mass of the trailer (unbraked) = 750kg Vauxhall Zafira Owner's Manual ------------------------------------------- Permissible gross vehicle weight rating = 2090kg Permissible gross train weight = 3100kg Maximum persmissible front axle load = 0990kg Maximum persmissible rear axle load = 1115kg Garland 165/4 Plate Information ------------------------------------------- M. T. P. W. = 1150kgs C. A. P. = 257kgs Looking at what is stated on the V5C document I'm guessing that my car is only capable of towing anything upto 1000kgs and the caravan is 1150kgs, exceeding the V5C figures by 150kg. Am I reading these figures correctly, or is there something that I'm not taking into account? If I am able to tow this caravan then the car would probably have six occupants consisting of 4 adults and two children. I also drive a 44 tonne HGV for my daily job, so my licence has a C+E entitlement. It would be such a shame to let this offer pass and I'm hoping that an expert caravanner will be able to shed some light on this subject for me. Many thanks. Neil.
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