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AlwynMike

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Everything posted by AlwynMike

  1. There is plenty of evidence on here of people doing this or similar - and that's from those who admit it!! And I am one of them. I can't recall anyone damaging the chassis. From your description, the van was hardly moving, if at all. The chassis is built to take decent loading and a singular 18 inch drop isn't huge. The breakaway cable has done it's job. It is immaterial where it broke - that is what it is designed to do - and it worked. On the lighter side, nobody who has dropped a van off the hitch has ever done it twice! So you will be more watchful, careful or whatever the next time, and the next time etc. Don't worry about it, just get it fixed and enjoy.
  2. It is only 2 Ah. And 12 volts. The bike is 103kgs, and the only way to get it into my car is by dropping the wheelchair ramp........ it's a 250cc KTM.
  3. Took my new (secondhand) bike battery out last week to waterproof all the electrical connections prior to a winter riding through swollen rivers. I was literally stunned at how light the battery was! I knew Lithium was light, but this was amazing. Shame it's only 2 AmpHour.
  4. Assuming your boat battery isn't wired to the permanent 12v car feed,, there is really no need for the Habitation relay IMO, as the boat effectively has no habitation connection. Do you have a 12v fridge? Of course, you are discussing a non standard wiring configuration which some people would not be happy with.....
  5. Don't say that! Clutches create dust too. As for the brakes.......
  6. Much neater than the supermarket/takeaway bag hanging from a hook. Yes, you get more gash in a Tesco bag, but then you have to squeeze past it every time you go in and out. Just like SWMBO, small but useful.
  7. Don't be concerned about fuel consumption. It will be a minor issue unless you are doing lots of towing. Just accept it for what it is - and it will change with your driving style, traffic, weather etc. My (petrol) car averages around 40mpg solo. I tell my wife it does around 15mpg with the van on the back - but I may get less at times.
  8. I had this issue with my 4 series BMW. With the Alko stabiliser, hitched up there was "reasonable" clearance, albeit less than Alko's clearance figure. But hitching up at much more than a few degrees out of parallel was impossible without hitting the bumper. After a couple of trips out I got fed up and bought a BPW / Westfalia hitch. No more problems! BPW is a straight swap and it's a quick job.
  9. This is a WAG, but... Check your plug and associated wiring. Pin 13 to earth and pin 9 +ve feed to battery. The charging sense voltage - effectively the fridge supply - has its own earth connection. The road lighting has its own earth too. So the road lights work. The awning light going out as the car engine runs indicates that the fridge circuit is good as the habitation relay operates. Neither proves the "permanent" 12 volt feed and associated earth is good - and it's this that operates the ATC.
  10. You need to remove all the side light and marker light bulbs first, otherwise you will be reading the resistance of the bulbs. Your test has shown a continuity from the power side to the earth side, probably via the relevant bulbs, but it may be that there is a short circuit from the power side to the actual caravan chassis which is blowing your fuses.
  11. Evans Halshaw do a similar on line valuation. in my experience, they offer more than WBAC, but they, like WBAC will find niggling things to knock down the price. I've sold 2 cars with them, the difference in valuation to payment was a couple of hundred pounds.
  12. When the lights are working with the van unhitched, the earth return path is through the 7 core cable. When you hitch up, there is another earth path through the hitch. It looks like this alternate earth path is a better connection than through the wire - indicating at best, that there is a poor earth connection between the cable and chassis earth. There is obviously a short circuit somewhere too, that only shows itself when a proper earth connection is made. Poor earth connections on automotive lights can result in some weird results, as there are many different paths the current can take.
  13. Is this a new issue with an existing outfit, or is it a new car or caravan? I'm assuming this fault happened before the plug change and you have wired it as per the colour code. If it's an existing caravan, I would remove the rear light and marker bulbs and then check with a multimeter the continuity to earth - check both the wire earth and the van chassis. It should, of course be infinity. Check for a good connection (only a couple of ohms, preferably zero) between the earth return wire on the plug and the van chassis. It may be that the earth wire has broken, or almost broken (melted??) and you have a short circuit somewhere that is apparent when hitched up as the van gets a better earth connection. Check for water ingress to you light units. Do you have a high level marker light on the side? I've always considered these to be poorly made in my experience.
  14. On heavily brake dust stained wheels I use Poorboys Wheel cleaner. It's not perfect but will fetch most if not all stains off. It is easier and better to do with the wheel off the car - you can do it wheel by wheel so you don't need to get all four off at once! Beware, it is quite nasty stuff - it will make your eyes water when you use it, and keep it away from paintwork etc. There is stuff called "Purple Rain" which gets good reviews but I've never used it, and it may be biassed towards those people who clean wheels often.
  15. If your strips are like ones I have looked at, they are a series of sets of LED's. Each set (of 3?) Has its own power supply chip, hence being capable of being cut to length. You may well see markings to this effect on the backing. If you have a set of 3 that are unreliable, I would suspect this chip, but the only method of repair is to replace.
  16. Pedant alert!! It was my understanding that the fridge supply did not also supply charging for the van battery. It does operate a relay that allows the permanent (pin 9) to supply charging current when the car alternator voltage rises above a certain point.
  17. Assuming you're not still under warranty, probably the easiest, cheapest fix would be to replace the strip. Converting to gas would involve installing gas lines etc which would disrupt your decor 😀 12v LED strips are widely available for almost pennies at your favourite auction site, Chinese reseller or the slightly more traditional Farnell's and RS.
  18. Short term insurance is quite reasonable in my experience. There are a few firms out there that will cater to you. I've done it a few times and found that Aviva is by far the cheapest. Just a single for and a couple of clicks and you're covered. I think you have to trawl the Aviva site though, it's not obvious and Google didn't bring it to the forefront the last time I used it. Excellent for temporary cover for offspring home from uni wanting to use Dad's car!!
  19. Hmm mm. Saw this earlier and was going to post but I thought someone with more up to date tech savvy might help. I could be spouting rubbish - it wouldn't be the first time! So, my immediate thought was that as you switch off the pump (or it gets switched by the pressure sensor), the pump will still turn for a (very) small period under its own inertia and the flow of water. This means that the motor on the pump is now acting like a dynamo, and producing a voltage. I would suggest that if there is a poor earth somewhere (good luck with finding that one 😊) the voltage spike produced may be enough to fire the LED into action. Rather than a resistor across the pump, I would suggest a reverse bias diode across the pump terminals will swiftly damp any ringing caused by pump overrun. To reiterate, I could be talking rubbish. Little knowledge is dangerous!
  20. Depending on buying power and production schedules, you may find higher rated XL tyres to be cheaper too.
  21. The Winterhoff - now BPW - hitch is a straight swap too. Just remember the dowel in the rearmost hole. The BPW one has the required bit win the box hen purchased new, along with a selection of sleeves, spacers and rubbers that will reside forever on a shelf in the garage!
  22. You may need to question the towbar fitter you spoke to. You can have a battery connection to the van permanently live. This on its own will not charge your battery, but it will provide power to the ATC. You need a fridge connection fitted to allow the van battery to be charged - irrespective of whether you have the fridge on or not. The fridge connection needs more hardware so is a little more involved to fit (read this as "more expensive") The permanent live is simpler. My (non Ford) OEM wiring just has the permanent live, so I make do without either fridge or battery charging, but the ATC works. You need to assess your usage and budget before taking the next step!
  23. I'm looking at buying a KTM that has a Lithium battery and I'm concerned about its low temperature performance. I can cope with putting on the Lidl charger prior to my riding day - assuming that the Lidl charger won't fry the battery. Most of my riding is in the winter, so sub zero morning starts are frequent. I may just buy a lead acid replacement if the Lithium one is problematic - it's only a small one so £20 isn't going to break the bank!
  24. As I live on a very steep hill, with a single track road, bounded by stone walls and no footway, blocking the road is the only way for me. I have to drive uphill and reverse in to the drive - downhill is not an option due to sharp bends and buildings. I can just about reverse in, although usually it takes a few goes, so I tend to stop and run the van into the drive on the mover (drive is uphill from the road ), leaving the car on the road. Most people are OK and not having seen a caravan motor move are often quietly amused. Those that get shirty tend to have to wait a little longer..... Going out of the drive, it's physically impossible for me to drive my current outfit onto the road because of the aforementioned stone walls. I push the van out onto the road, downhill, then run the van down the road, downhill, on the brake, as it is quite steep, to my car which is further down where the road is wider. My road is a bit of a rat run through town, so is well used. The more timid drivers don't use it because it's narrow and there are few passing spots. But it's amazing how many people can't reverse solo. Rarely a month goes by without me having to help push a car off the bank just up the road.
  25. Stop the van at an angle to the pitch Chock the "uphill" wheel. Put ramp next to "downhill" wheel Release the brake Swivel the van on to the ramp to level it. Apply brake but note that you'll need a good tug on the brake to overcome the reverse mechanism if you've put the ramp in front of the wheel. Swivelling the van is a lot easier than tugging or pushing.
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