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barcelona71

Unicorn Barcelona Charger Unit

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good morning all,

I have my U2 Barcelona on a seasonal pitch and upon arrival at the weekend discovered I had no power. further inspection led me to the problem that was a flat battery hence no power to the control panel (this does seem a bad design, that with no power coming from the battery you cant manage to get any heating, water or electrics).fortunately a neighbour loaned me his battery and hey presto I had power, more digging around provided me with the answer to the flat battery, the battery charger had burnt out. question to you all out there is has anyone had problems with there charger unit and the reason I ask is this is our second unit inside 3 months. any info will be much appreciated. I will be contacting bailey to ask the same question and will post my findings

 

thanks in advance Martin

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I think it would be a good idea to monitor the current being drawn from the charger, it could be excessive current has caused the unit to fail.

 

I know in theory that shouldn't happen, but these units run hot under normal use.

Part of the problem is the charger is fitted in an enclosed area at the top off the PDU usually.

 

Fitting it externally with full air flow round it is the best option for long life.

 

Or it could just be a faulty batch of chargers it happens?

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Good point about the battery. Two chargers burning out is one to many. A faulty battery could be the root cause. Get it checked. Also make sure the replacement is not compromised by restricting the airflow as above. Not a fault that has cropped up on here a lot.

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A good web site to look at is A&N caravanservices. co. uk and click on battery technology very interesting especially for those caravanners who have motor movers.

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My charger failed on the Orion after weeks of a TCP smell after only 10 months. It went up with lots of smoke so luckily we were in the van.

 

New one has been fine so far.

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thanks for the posts guys and bmwbrooks that is a great link and I will probably call in there on the way to the caravan as I pass it and get some more advice from them to

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a quick update on the charger unit, I have spoken to bailey who in turn got BCA to contact me who are responsible for the chargers, they have hinted that the second charger may have been faulty and are sending one of there engineers to fit a new one and to check the circuit board. I will let you know the outcome

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just to let you all know, BCA came out to caravan and swopped the unit, while speaking to the very helpful Tony from BCA I learnt that there was around a six week period that an inferior part was used in these charger units causing them to malfunction. Iam a happy caravaner again and looking forward to the new season, well-done Bailey and well-done BCA :)

and more importantly thank you the caravan community

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Second charger in three years on 2012 Barcelona, both failures happened when switched on after standing in storage for a couple of months. Both started smoking when switched on initially. Showed an electrician friend the first failed charger which I had kept, he then had a look in the caravan of the charger location. He could see the components on the top edge of the charger were burnt next to the alloy heat sink, he also noted that there is a vent directly below the charger in the caravan floor and suggested it was a probable design fault were cold damp air was coming up through the vent into the charger causing the alloy heat sink to condensate and drip onto the components on the top of the charger, with the inevitable failure when switched on. Hope this helps.

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As a retired electrician I have a different view.

its essential that these units get air flow, that's why its deliberatly fitted over a vent.
Its the location of the charger that's at fault, its only inside the PDU because its quicker to fit on production, its would perform better if the PSU was fitted externally with air flow all around the unit.

I had my 2004 Senator fitted this way and it was still original at 7 years old.
My present one will be 5 years next April, and all I've done with this one is drill two 50mm holes in the back of the PDU to allow the charger more air flow.

The charger cooling fan only cuts in at 8 to 12 amps, so is normally not running.

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You will read in these forums that BCA units used are unreliable and this as been reported for years.

My 2003 Bailey had one and was replaced by me 3 times.

My present Coachman has one and it as been changed once.

Replacements made by BCA for retail are PowerLine, (Or is it PowerPart?) my caravan dealer carries good stocks, yes a good line to sell.

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Unreliable?

 

Nobody actually posts normally unless they have a fault, I would have thought that if these units are unreliable then Bailey would stop fitting them?

 

I've only ever had one charger fail, it was so long ago I can't remember which caravan it was or how old it was.

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I would have thought that if these units are unreliable then Bailey would stop fitting them?

 

 

 

Could well be they are the cheapest Bailey can buy and that is why they continue.

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Doesn't work out cheap if Bailey has to pay labour charges to the dealer changing the units.

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Doesn't work out cheap if Bailey has to pay labour charges to the dealer changing the units.

Think you would be paying if over 12 months.

Only got one of mine free because within 12 month old.

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I forgot about the varying warranty for different items, I can see where you're coming from now.

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Air flow for cooling was not an issue in both my charger failures, it was the initial switching on after standing in storage for a couple of months.

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If a charger unit fails, does it take the 230V system out too? Just arrived on site, hooked up and kettle on. Water almost at the boil and power went off.

 

Reset the tripped bollard but no 230V in the caravan. Happily, 12V still functional and Alde & fridge are on gas for tonight.

 

Any thoughts welcome & thanks.

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You need to identify what's at fault, turn all your circuit breakers off, make sure your 230 supply is reset at the bollard, and that 230 is available at the bollard, if so reset the rcd in the van s out have 230 as far as the switch panel.

 

Turn on each circuit one at a time to see what trips the rcd/bollard, could be your charger, could be your kettle, water heater etc - this way you can narrow it down.

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If a charger unit fails, does it take the 230V system out too? Just arrived on site, hooked up and kettle on. Water almost at the boil and power went off.

 

Reset the tripped bollard but no 230V in the caravan. Happily, 12V still functional and Alde & fridge are on gas for tonight.

 

Any thoughts welcome & thanks.

 

My charger failed on the van a couple of weeks ago and it did not affect the 230v system. Because the charger was faulty it did not charge the battery so it eventually went flat and the 12v system in the van stopped working. We could still use the kettle and 230v fan heater and telly etc.

 

HTH.

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Thanks all. .. In the light of day I connected to another bollard and hey presto, all is well again. one thing I have discovered is tha all four mounting points on the CU / Charger unit have broken away and the whole thing is loose.

 

I will have a thin steel band made to clamp the whole thing to it's backboard to hold it fast. It will obscure the Bailey brand name but no vent slots so should work.

 

Fingers crossed then, we are up and running fo the time being. Important as we are living in our van whilst we search for our new house / home in the Peak District.

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Where do you find the battery charger on a 2011 model

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