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Fran88

Setting up your Avondale 556-6

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Thank you for accepting me onto this forum at caravan talk. I have just bought an Avondale Dart 556-6 after looking at second hand caravans accross the the north west ans it seems like a nice dry well looked after example and whilst it's not a modern palace I it seems sound and we are ready for our first caravan holiday. The only thing is I don't remember any of the great advice, instructions and tips the previous owner kindly gave me and the manual although very detailed does not seem to have an idiots guide as to how to set up the caravan.  

 

For or example I attach it to the mains but it's still running off the battery and I see the tap I hidden under the seats but is there a sequence to connecting the water. . It's not plain English in the hand book or maybe I am just dim. Can any members please point me to any info or sites that provide more information for the beginner? Many thanks Fran

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For the water, make sure all taps are closed including the tap under the seat, its usually one with a yellow handle and should be laid flat (its often left in the upright position to drain water from the system).

Once the aquaroll etc is in position and the pump fitted, open the hot tap furthest from the pump, it will take a while before the water gets through as it has to fill the water heater first, once on full flow close it and open the other hot tap until that's through then close that and open the cold taps.

 

When the mains is connected it will charge the battery as well as running the 12v items in the caravan, things like 12v lights and water pump.

 

Oh and welcome to caravans :)

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Many thanks Paul.  Could you also please tell me how to switch from battery to mains as I connect mains and it still runs from battery - unless I have a dodgy extension cable. Fran.

 

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42 minutes ago, Fran88 said:

 please tell me how to switch from battery to mains

 

If your Avondale is similar to mine, you don't have to switch from battery to mains.    Just plug in the mains cable and the onboard charger will start charging the caravan battery.    You should have a little voltmeter on the Zig unit in one of the overhead lockers.    Once the mains is connected the voltmeter should be reading 13 volts.    Also on the Zig unit will be two switches - one for the electric part of the fire, the other for the water heater.    Your water pump and all the lights other than the two fixed to the overhead lockers will work from your battery.

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Thanks Jaydug I am just starting my caravan adventure - upgrading from canvas as will not have kids to hold ropes etc around for much longer. .  Also starting to need a bit more comfort. . But keen to work out the basics and do's and don'ts now rather than on site. . Can't wait! 

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I have a 556-6  (2004)  and agree with Jaydug except for reference to the zig unit in the overhead locker. Mine does not have that and there is no voltmeter either just a couple of switches behind a small door fitted under the OS front bench seat. The one nearest the front  of the van  (green led)  turns on the 12v (whether or not mains is connected) and the rearmost one turns on the pump (red led).  Breakers for various items (fridge, heater etc) are below the switches.   Lights and  the heater fan always run off 12v. so don't leave the heater fan switched on after using the heater on gas unless you want a flat battery.   Don't ask how I know.

 

The only stupid question is the one you do not ask.   Always  happy to help as I've got to know my van pretty well over the past 4 years.

Edited by swaggy

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Hi all 

 

I bought our 2004 556/6 this time last year complete with contents! and we managed to get away in it 5 times before Coronavirus came along and spoiled things this year! we love it but there are pitfalls

 

tbe outside aluminium sides are made from 2 pieces per side,  I fully recommend sealing the join by slightly lifting the lip gently  with a flathead and getting a silicone gun in under there 

 

lines of damp  started in several places  just after we bought it and has made small sections of my interior wall panels spongy I can live with that but to make these last longer it’s a good idea to protect the van in this way 

 

also the kitchen drawer never stays shut in transit and ours smashed  once, I fixed it  and have bought a  plastic turnbuckle and spacer from eBay to hold it in place 

 

the cupboard panels are flimsy as hell as it’s a lightweight van well worth a bit of glue and A few small pins on each To reinforce them, I used a bit of finishing tape too to hold in place 

 

ours has had the mushroom vents replaced too as they go brittle in the elements, please check them as the roof doesn’t have much pitch on it so run off isn’t great you don’t want leaks in the bathroom one or one above the bunks 

 

We also have a squeak develop behind the wall next to the NS arch it’s annoying as I can’t fix it and it is particularly loud when standing by the arch/fridge

 

mind the seal in the bulkhead outdoor cupboard at front of the  van make sure it’s doing it’s job. I found ours out of alignment once and it was full of water!

 

just some hints and tips I found 

 

I want to chop ours in and get a newer coachman/bailey  but the wife loves it so one must stick with what we have got! 

 

 

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