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David350

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Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Nantwich
  • Interests
    Camping, caravanning, mountain walking, cooking & DIY projects.
  • Towcar / Toad
    Mercedes E220d AMG Estate
  • Caravan / Motorhome / Static (Make and model)
    Bailey Unicorn 4 Vigo Black Edition 2020
  • Year of manufacture (Caravan / Motorhome / Static)
    2020

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  1. OK, so I've popped up to the storage yard this morning to do some jobs and state of play is as follows. Readings taken at 8:20am (very dull/overcast) - Caravan display 13.7v. Truma control panel (incoming from solar) 19v on multimeter. Truma control panel (to battery) 13.8v on miltimeter. Reading from Automotive Current Tester on the Truma Solar Control main fuse was 0.76A. So by my calculation it's producing 10.4 Watts (ie 13.7v x 0.76A). I'm hoping this is reasonable for a cloudy day early morning? Hopefully the cleaning of the solar panel, refitting the loose main fuse & changing the incorrect battery setting on the Truma controller will all have helped. I'll keep an eye on it & take some readings on sunnier days, but hopefully the issue is now resolved. Thanks for all the help & advice.
  2. Well (I think) I’ve sorted it thanks to the help from fellow forum members. I bought an automotive current tester (thanks John for suggestion) and headed off to the storage yard today. Still reading 13.3v on the caravan voltage panel so a bit disheartened. Thanks to forum member ‘Lost in the wilderness’ I found a couple of fuses in the wiring loom in a the locker near the motor mover control box. There was a 15A fuse which I checked with the automotive tester & all ok (the radio came on when I flicked the 12v switch, don’t know why) but still reading 13.3v at the voltage panel. I then tried the other 20A fuse with the tester, switched the 12v supply on and the voltage display started reading 14.5v. Took the 20A fuse out and the voltage display dropped again to 13.3v. Both the 15A & 20A fuses had not blown. So it’s definitely something to do with the 20A fuse in the wiring loom (presumably the fuse between the Truma Solar Control panel and the leisure battery?) - probably like ‘Lost in the wilderness’ suggested, his fuse was loose and maybe mine was as well. So taking out the 20A fuse to use in the automotive current tester & reinserting it might have solved the problem. Both fuses were exposed in the locker area, so probably prone to being knocked by all the kit that gets chucked in there - surprised that Bailey/dealer didn’t fit fuse holders in some sort of protective case to avoid this happening. So fingers crossed it’s sorted, but will get dealership to check this when in for a service. Thanks to everyone who gave me advice.
  3. Well I've ordered a current tester so will pop back up to the storage yard later this week when it arrives & do some further tests. If nothing else, at least I will have some stats to show the dealer when the van goes in for it's service in September. Hopefully the reading will be heading in the right direction. Very much appreciate all the advice you guys have provided.
  4. Well I popped up to the storage yard today and gave the solar panel a good clean (it was dusty but would't say it was filthy). Weather was very sunny and it was 2pm. The caravan voltage meter was reading 13.3v. I checked the Truma Solar Battery Charger Unit with my multimeter - it showed 20.4v coming from the solar panel connections and 13.3v on the outgoing leisure battery connections. Main fuse on the Truma Control Panel seemed ok. I then checked the leisure battery terminals with the multimeter - 13.4v. I checked the 'battery type' setting on the Truma control panel - the dealer had set this to "Gel" (which was incorrect as they fitted a wet/flooded battery) so I changed it to "Liquid Electrolyte". Not sure if this incorrect setting makes any difference? I've looked at he Truma Solar Control manual and it refers to voltages of 13.3v on the Bulk Phase, 13.8v on the Float Phase, 14.6v on Absorption Phase and 14.8v on the Equalisation Phase. So at the moment I seem to be maxing out at 13.3v. Still a bit confused whether things are working as they should do - will check the readings over the next few days. Not getting the 13.8v to 14.4v readings that some of you get so still not sure if control panel or battery are working properly. There is a lot more to batteries/solar than I first expected.
  5. JTQ - that's most helpful. Were would we be withouth technical anoraks
  6. Thanks for your help JTQ. Couple of questions - is the solar controller fuse location likely to be amongst the row of other 12v fuses or by itself (solar installed by Bailey at newbuild stage). Also, when I do get a reading on the Current Tester will this be amps or volts, and how do I correlate this in my mind as to whether the solar charger is working properly or not (ie what would be a good reading & what would be a poor reading)? Understanding what figures represent will be really helpful.
  7. Thanks to everybody for posting on this question - some excellent advice & Iots of great learning points. As a relative novice, without the years of experience of fellow forum members, knowing what to expect from a solar panel charging system is challenging. So we went off grid for 4 nights last week during a heatwave & my recollection of the voltage on the caravan display was between 11.8v up to 12.8v (probably averaging low 12v's). I definitely do not recall any volatge readings in the 13's of 14v's. We placed very little demand on the leisure battery, maybe a couple of hours of 12v Avtex TV in the early evening, charging ipads/Mifi, & of course the Whale water pump. We hardly used the 12v lights apart from at bedtime. From what I can glean from these helpful posts, during sunny July weather I should be expecting voltage readings in the 13v & 14v region, so if I'm languishhing in the 12v's then there is likely an issue with the solar system/battery? Given that the van is only 10 months old I have decided to refer this to my Bailey dealer at it's first service in September & have it investigated as a warranty issue. In the meantime I'm going to pop up to the storage yard & thoroughly clean the solar panel, do some basic checks (ie solar control panel fuse, loose connections, multimeter across the terminals etc). I will then do some regular voltage readings whilst it is in storage (noting the weather conditions) & present the info to the sevice dept at the dealership. At least then they can properly investigate/advise on the issue. With the shoddy build quality of our Bailey Unicorn 4 Vigo it wouldn't surprise me if they forgot to connect the solar to the battery during the assembly last September. Again, many thanks to all those who took the time and trouble to post on this thread.
  8. Caravan & battery brand new last September. Used on 8 trips of which 3 off grid. Current reading 12.8v so at least it’s going up. Will dig out the multimeter when I get home.
  9. Hello, we have a Bailey Unicorn IV and have started to use it on CL/CS sites without EHU. We are therefore reliant on the leisure battery & our 100W solar panel connected to a Truma Solar Dual Battery Charger for all our electrical needs. I do understand the green light system on the Truma Solar Charger display (ie solid green light charging, green light flashes battery fully charged etc), We also have a CBE display panel fitted to the wall with switches for the 12v system, lights, water pump etc and there is an LCD screen which is presently reading 12.6V. What I don’t really understand is what the CBE panel reading represents. (there is virtually no info in my manual). When is the reading too low & what should it ideally be at the beginning of the (& at the end of the day). I have just turned on my Avtex 12v TV & the reading has dropped from 12.6v to 12.3 v. I suppose what I want to know is how do I know when I need to start conserving electricity in after dusk etc? What does the reading represent. Wouldn’t it be simpler if the CBE panel showed the battery as a % (or am I missing something)? Are there any better displays which are more user friendly for off grid caravanning? Any help gratefully appreciated. Thanks
  10. I have various warranty claims on my Bailey which my dealer is unable to attend to due the parts being unavailable. Apparently this is due to either Covid, Brexit, Panama Canal blockage etc. I have also heard that one of my warranty parts has been sitting in their dispatch department for a while but hasn’t been sent out because they are too busy (presumably looking after new customers rather than their existing ones). It’s a very frustrating time for everybody.
  11. Yes, I do have an iPhone which is also connected to the MiFi network & location services do work on it. I suspected the issue would be something technical like dynamic IP addresses (an area I really don’t understand). Not sure what you mean about using the iPhone as a location provider within iPad settings.
  12. I recently bought a Huawei E5577 MiFi and using it with an unlimited data BT SIM card. Very very pleased with it, getting great download speeds & able to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime etc with no issues. I have, however, hit a brick wall with using my iPad & particularly ‘Location Services”. We are away at the moment & my iPad is accessing internet via the MiFi. Thought I would plan a day out using the iPad & opened up TripAdvisor - no joy with location services, it couldn’t tell where I am . Ok, so thought I would have a look on Google Maps and same issue, it couldn’t locate me. I’ve gone through all my iPad settings & (as far as I can tell) all the location/privacy settings etc are enabled. Now I know this is a ‘first world problem’ & I can just look at the map anyway & I do know where I am in the ‘real world’, but I just wondered if any members had any experience of their MiFi not allowing iPads to locate themselves whilst away. When I am at home & connected to the BT Homehub then all my apps such as Trip Advisor, Googlemaps etc work perfectly. Any advice will be gratefully received? Thanks for your help.
  13. Phoned an alternative supplier this afternoon & they would charge £200 for a new window (they are salvage company but also buy up brand new ones from other sources) and they also said that it was a very simple job for me to refit a new window. Problem is they don’t have the exact model in stock but hopefully will get one in at some point in the future. I think I will try a temporary repair with some acrylic glue & fingers crossed I can buy a sensibly priced one at some point & fit it myself. Will be more careful walking around the caravan in future, particularly when the weather is warm. I really cannot get my head around how the caravanning industry can justify exorbitant parts costs & be ok with such long delivery times. Funny how this never cropped up at the NEC when I ordered the van.
  14. Sounds like good idea. Will google a few later see if they are able to help.
  15. I was cleaning the windows on my 2020 Bailey Unicorn Vigo at the storage yard & had them all open. Whilst walking around the side of the van I managed to 'headbut' the open kitchen window & cracked my head open - a sticking plaster & a couple of paracetamol later all was well. Unfortunately not so with the kitchen window. I had managed to snap off the top left corner (a small traingular piece approx 2cm x 2cm) of the window. Luckily it is outside of the window seal area, so doesn't affect the seal of the window but it doesn't look very nice. (Sorry, forgot to take a photo as had blood pouring down my head & no plans to go back to the storage yard for a few days). I thought I would try some Superglue to reattach the broken corner piece, but it wasn't having any of it. It then struck me that these windows are acrylic/polyplastic so probably need a special (no doubt very expensive if caravan related) glue? When I got home I made some enquiries (ie supplying dealer) about a replacement window & was absolutely staggered - I was quoted £650 for the window plus 1/2 hour labour & it wasn't even in stock & would take over a month to order in. I am relatively new to caravanning (started Sep 2020) & this is the first repair that I've had to think about. I mean, does anyone actually pay £650 for an 80cm x 40cm piece of plastic? So I would really like to try and glue the corner piece back on - any suggestions for an appropriate glue that would do the job? And are there alternative markets for caravan windows which charge a sensible price? Just working out how to tell the missus that I've damaged the new van - maybe if I can do a good repair job then she may never need to know. I really do enjoy caravanning, but this aspect of it not so much.
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