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Replacement Caravan Charger


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Hi,

 

We have a 1999 Fleetwood Colchester with a blown battery charger, everything else works and all the 12v electrics are fine until the battery runs out!

 

The power unit is a BCA Power Centre II which I have opened up and located the charger unit itself (see attached photo).

 

My question is can this be replaced by a unit similar to that in the eBay link below? We have a cubby under the wardrobe where the BCA unit is located so could wire this in quite easily with the unit hidden away and the front back on the Power Centre.

 

http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/12V-10A-Connect-and-Forget-Leisure-Battery-Charger-Caravan-Motorhome-Boat-/171386310024?hash=item27e76b8d88:g:kvQAAOSw7I5Tw762#rwid

 

Seems much cheaper and potentially much better than replacing with a 'like for like' unit such as a Powerpart charger.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

post-86973-0-90356700-1503393871_thumb.jpg

 

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Apologies, despite using a lot of forums in the past I have been a bit dim and have posted in the wrong section. Will repost in the electrics section and this can be deleted by the mods if so wished.

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Hi,

 

We have a 1999 Fleetwood Colchester with a blown battery charger, everything else works and all the 12v electrics are fine until the battery runs out!

 

The power unit is a BCA Power Centre II which I have opened up and located the charger unit itself (see attached photo).

 

My question is can this be replaced by a unit similar to that in the eBay link below? We have a cubby under the wardrobe where the BCA unit is located so could wire this in quite easily with the unit hidden away and the front back on the Power Centre.

 

http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/12V-10A-Connect-and-Forget-Leisure-Battery-Charger-Caravan-Motorhome-Boat-/171386310024?hash=item27e76b8d88:g:kvQAAOSw7I5Tw762#rwid

 

Seems much cheaper and potentially much better than replacing with a 'like for like' unit such as a Powerpart charger.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

attachicon.gif20170820_145030 1. jpg

 

Hi Martin

I would not go for that ebay charger, 1, its only a charger 2, and only 10 Amps

You need a PSU with at least 20 amps

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Hello Martin, Our charger went two days into our holiday. On arrival home I contacted our mobile caravan engineer and he replaced our charger with a Volta Intelligent 3 Stage Leisure Battery Charger. 18 amp output. Hope this helps.

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I would check the unit first. It should have a kettle mains connector and a two-pin outlet (red and black wires.) Power up and check the output volts with a voltmeter - should be around 13. 5V or so. If it is then find a car headlight bulb and flash it across the 12V connection and see if it lights. If it does there is nothing wrong with the PSU.

 

If there is no output, REMOVE THE MAINS and take the top off. You will find a 20mm glass fuse somewhere near the mains inlet connection and possibly another at the outlet end. Remove the fuses and check them for continuity. If they have failed the current rating will be engraved on one end cap or it might be printed on the circuit board. The inlet will probably be 3. 15A or 5A, the output would probably be 15A or 20A. If there is a T after the current rating this indicates what is known as a slow-blow or delay fuse and should be replaced with the same type (Maplins.)

 

VERY IMPORTANT: if you do remove the inlet fuse use some insulated pliers to pull it out as, depending upon the circuit configuration it could be connected to a charged capacitor with anything up to 400V on it and that will certainly make your eyes light up - if not close them for ever!

 

The marking shows 1214 ticked which would mean a (nominal) 12V output with 14A capability - you will need something of <at least> that current capability if it is stuffed.

 

Note this unit is just a switched mode power supply that float charges the battery and supplies enough current to meet most of the caravan needs: it is NOT a specific controlled battery charger.

Edited by Woodentop
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Will check the outputs tonight. There is no kettle lead and the cable goes directly into the box so unfortunately that easy fix isn't going to work for me, did see that on a few sites and was hoping for something simple!

 

Understood in respect of the PSU element of the charger, been doing a bit more digging and looked at the Volta unit but have also seen a lot of good reviews of the Rovert chargers. Anyone here got any experience with them?

 

http://www. 12voltplanet. co. uk/rovert-automatic-multi-stage-leisure-battery-charger-12v-20a. html

 

Have to say many thanks for quick responses so far, these forums are invaluable!

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Another alternative is to contact Sargent and see if they can offer one of their PSU's that's compatible to your duff one.

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Do you need that much 12v? My van doesnt have a 12v charger, or if it does it's well hidden and broken. But I have a 120w solar panel which keeps the 12v circuit between 12. 4v and 13. 7v depending on cloud cover. Might be cheaper and give you some more flexibility to where you camp?

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Have considered a solar powered solution. The main draw on the battery is the mover but obviously that is only in short bursts either end of the holiday, other than that there is the toilet/water pump and lighting.

 

Obviously the other advantage is as you mention that we can use it if we are on a site with no hook up. We have been to two events this weekend that we are considering camping at next year that have no power.

 

I did disconnect the PSU this weekend but didn't have a multimeter to hand, however I connected my car battery charger to the connectors and this worked perfectly getting the battery back to full and maintaining the charge so this is definitely the problem.

 

Do you have a regulator for your solar panel?

 

Thanks in advance,

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"BCA Power Centre"

I have no faith in them.

This caravan is on second one.

Previous caravan think had 3 or maybe 4.

 

​If you decided to get same BCA one search out prices they vary a great deal, PowerPart is a name they use at my caravan dealers.

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Try Apuljack engineering

 

www. apuljackengineering. co. uk

 

I contacted them about upgrading my unit in the van a few years ago

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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

I have "repaired" a number of this type of charger - although fan cooled, the rectifier diodes heatsink is too small and they overheat. Also, on some versions the HV rectifiers are (in my opinion) underated and seem prone to blow, taking out various other components. I found the easiest and cheapest (time wise / repair cost) fix was to remove  the existing PSU from the outer case and replace it with a 12V, 20A switching power supply - one that you can adjust to give 13. 8V.  This, as has been mentioned is not a charger but will power 12V equipment in the caravan & maintain battery voltage.

While on the subject of power supplies, there is one make (Nordelettronica) which though well made, has (in all the ones I have repaired) a common fault.   In this, the HV side of the LV transformer goes open circuit, luckily replacement transformers are available. These units are supplied as "stand alone" or incorporated into the mains / 12V distribution unit. Older versions have a (silly) design fault - the output fuse is inside the case, so you have to dismantle the unit (not easy !) to replace it. Later versions have external access to the fuse.

Cheers,

Lloyd

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On 15/11/2017 at 17:34, towcheck said:

I found the easiest and cheapest (time wise / repair cost) fix was to remove  the existing PSU from the outer case and replace it with a 12V, 20A switching power supply - one that you can adjust to give 13. 8V.  This, as has been mentioned is not a charger but will power 12V equipment in the caravan & maintain battery voltage.

This is the solution I used as well, saved a fortune. Also wired it through a relay so if the mains electric goes out  it automatically switches over to the battery. The other upside seems to be, as the charger I use is much better quality than the original caravan one, the battery appears to be lasting much better.

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