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Recently purhased a 2109 Laser 675 and I am delighted with it, but....I have a fault that others may have experienced.

When I switch on all of the lights in the lounge area I start to hear a fan within the power supply unit constantly stopping and starting.

If I switch on all caravan lights the fan then runs constantly,

Contacted the dealer and they sent a technician out who determined the fan was faulty and replaced it with a new one.

The techician informed me that the fan is to keep the battery charger cool.

This appeared to have fixed the fault but noticed this weekend that the stopping / starting issue has returned.

I am sure all Coachman's are fitted with the same power supply unit,

Does anyone know if this is a common fault?

Has anyone experienced the same issue?

 

Gary

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It' s not a fault, it is how it works.

As the charger gets warmer the fan comes in to cool it, as the temp of the charger drops, the fan stops and so on.

So, the longer you are using the 12v supply, which is taken from the battery and the charger recharges the battery, the more likely to have intermittent fan operation.

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Brecon

 

Thanks for your reply.

I can appreciate that what you are saying is correct, but this fan issue starts immediately I switch on the lights and the stopping and starting of the fan is every couple of seconds.  The technician told me that the fan was there to keep the charger cool, but it's strange that this cycling happens when I turn the lights on and off.

 

Gary

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It is well known that Coachman and other makers use the BCA power distribution system which has the battery charger situated within a small space in the top of the PDU and has very little circulating air, if any , to keep it cool, and the addition of the fan was supposed to stop the  frequent failure of the charger.

But it has its downside too, as you have found.

 

There are a number of solutions but each costs money, which you shouldn't have to pay out for in the first place, but would solve your problem.

First is to  replace the fitted charger with  a Sargent XP300 (I think that's the right number) power supply and fit it outside the PDU , Sargent do supply a fly lead to marry up with the BCA wiring.

 

Another possibility is to drill a number of large holes in the PDU case where the charger sits to allow more air flow, BUT if you do this it creates problems with warranty.

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Brecon

 

Thanks very much for your response, the information that you have provided is very useful (and interesting).

Will be getting back in touch with the dealer to see if I can get this issue sorted.

Off to Cornwall for a couple of weeks, hopefully it won't cause us any problems until I get chance to Talk to the dealer.

Sounds like this problem is not specific to my caravan (or other Coachman models) and is a bit of a design fault!!

 

Gary

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Sounds dodgy to me.  I think the fan in these units is either on or off with the control circuit on the board, so you probably need a replacement board which basically means a replacement charger/power supply unit rather than just a new fan.

 

I read on here that these units fail often.  With a solar panel on the roof, I couldn't see the point on the 12V charger/power supply being powered up and throwing out heat all the time.  I fitted a switch to isolate it and have only turned it on only once in about 3 years!  If we go on EHU, 230V just powers the 230V appliances, the BCA charger/power supply stays off with the 12V circuits being powered by the solar PV and battery only.

2014 Coachman Pastiche 520/4 | 2013 Freelander 2 HSE

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On 17/06/2019 at 22:57, Brecon said:

It is well known that Coachman and other makers use the BCA power distribution system which has the battery charger situated within a small space in the top of the PDU and has very little circulating air, if any , to keep it cool, and the addition of the fan was supposed to stop the  frequent failure of the charger.

But it has its downside too, as you have found.

 

There are a number of solutions but each costs money, which you shouldn't have to pay out for in the first place, but would solve your problem.

First is to  replace the fitted charger with  a Sargent XP300 (I think that's the right number) power supply and fit it outside the PDU , Sargent do supply a fly lead to marry up with the BCA wiring.

 

Another possibility is to drill a number of large holes in the PDU case where the charger sits to allow more air flow, BUT if you do this it creates problems with warranty.

 

We have had 3 Baileys and have never heard the fan running yet!

 

Having said that there is a relatively simple solution. The power box where the SMPS (switched mode power supply) lives does already have grilles in the case. The fan input is in the left end of the unit and there is a grille in the side of the power box  top left matching it. By the same token there is a grille on the top right edge of the power box for exit ventilation.

 

The solution? Get a couple of very small 12V computer fans. Fit them over the grilles - the direction of air flow and fan rotation will be embossed in the outside of the fan case - so that the side fan blows in and the top fan pulls the air out. Wire the fans in series so they run slower and thus less noisy, and connect them to a 12V supply through a switch. If necessary a small resistor can also be wired in series to make them run even slower; the object of the exercise is to move air rather than force cool the power supply. Caravan manufacturers are notorious for fitting the power box where there is little or no natural ventilation, so even a small amount of air movement will have considerable beneficial effect.

 

The same solution can be used to improve fridge efficiency. Unlike articles on this forum which show two fans fitted on the top grille, rather have one blowing in at the bottom and one pulling out at the top and again with the fans in series. As above the object of the exercise is to achieve some air movement however small rather than relying upon natural convection to do it.

 

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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I replaced the charging unit on a BCA in a 23006 series 5 Bailey Ranger early in the New Year. There was no sign of a fan in the unit.

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On 17/06/2019 at 20:52, GaryRobbo said:

Brecon

 

Thanks for your reply.

I can appreciate that what you are saying is correct, but this fan issue starts immediately I switch on the lights and the stopping and starting of the fan is every couple of seconds.  The technician told me that the fan was there to keep the charger cool, but it's strange that this cycling happens when I turn the lights on and off.

 

Gary

I believe the fan is controlled by the amount of load being used and this is the reason why the fans comes on and off with the lights, more load=more heat.

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The fan is clearly cycling on and off far too frequently.  This suggests a fault in the temperature control circuit rather than the fan itself.  It might be worth trying or identify the temperature sensor and try cleaning or repositioning it but it should be fixed under your warranty.

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  • 3 months later...

Have just seen your post regarding the power supply unit (PSU). We have a 2019 model Laser 665 with the PSU mounted in the front offside bed box. We get occasional issues where the lights and power cut out for 5 seconds or so and then restart. Once it starts, the frequency of interruption increases until we have to shut the power off. I have also noticed that the PSU fan is either off, on constantly when the lights are on or makes a surging noise. We have to turn off all power for about an hour to get the electrics back to normal. We are thinking it may be a heat problem. The bed box contains the hot water boiler and a pre-heat water unit, plus the Alde pump etc. I am beginning to wonder if there is indeed a design issue. Dealer cannot replicate fault.

Gary, have you or your dealer found a solution yet?

Dave

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Dave

Still trying to get this problems sorted.

Up to now have had the battery charger replaced and the leisure battery replaced but I am still having problems with the battery charger fan cycling on and off.

Last time I took the caravan back to the dealer for investigations they took some power draw readings to supply to BCA (The PDU manufacturer).

I am still waiting for feedback from the dealer as to the outcome of these investigations.

Apparently BCA tried to claim that this cycling on and off is normal. Don't accept this at all.

Will be contacting the dealer this week for an update - will let you know the outcome.

 

Not had any problems with lights and power cutting off - does this only happen when you are on electric hook up?

 

Gary

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Gary, It's a concerning fault because the dealer cannot replicate it. BCA approached by dealer, but no response.Have noticed that it seems to occur after/during a heavy rain shower. The odd thing is that we cannot see any water ingress anywhere. We are always on mains hook up. I can isolate the fault by pushing the charger/fridge to the off position. Because the charger has not failed and the rain seems to be a factor, I am wondering if rain enters the huge fridge/freezer vents outside and shorts out something. Clutching at straws really and not sure what my consumer rights would be if the dealer is unable to come up with a solution. Don't want a caravan with a power supply which is temperamental. Never experienced anything like it on any caravan we have had. Spoiling what is a great van.

Dave

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On 30/09/2019 at 15:06, DaveT21 said:

Have just seen your post regarding the power supply unit (PSU). We have a 2019 model Laser 665 with the PSU mounted in the front offside bed box. We get occasional issues where the lights and power cut out for 5 seconds or so and then restart. Once it starts, the frequency of interruption increases until we have to shut the power off. I have also noticed that the PSU fan is either off, on constantly when the lights are on or makes a surging noise. We have to turn off all power for about an hour to get the electrics back to normal. We are thinking it may be a heat problem. The bed box contains the hot water boiler and a pre-heat water unit, plus the Alde pump etc. I am beginning to wonder if there is indeed a design issue. Dealer cannot replicate fault.

Gary, have you or your dealer found a solution yet?

Dave

Dave

You say that the lights and the power cut out - what do you mean by the power cuts out ? - to What ?

Have you got the solar panel fitted to your Coachman (ours was standard on our VIP but may have been an optional extra on your Laser) - only thinking aloud as you say it only happened when it is raining and of course if you have a solar panel it will be  fitted on the roof and could have a fault on it.

On our VIP I have never heard the charger fan operate at all and wonder if one is fitted at all as in previous ones I have heard the fan cut in from time to time when a heavy electrical load is on it - however with all the lighting in the caravan now being LED's that is not an issue now.

As respects water ingress via the external fridge vents I doubt this as there is quite an up stand on each louvre part and I have checked mine after washing, i.e. accidentally blasting the caravan side with a hose and found no water has got through the vents.

Alan

After more than 35 years caravanning changed to motorhome for 5 years and loved it but now back in the fold of caravanning but still miss our motorhome.

Kia Sorento KX3 Auto - sold our 2018 Coachman VIP and now await our 2021 Coachman Laser Xcel 575 Special Edition

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On 17/06/2019 at 22:57, Brecon said:

It is well known that Coachman and other makers use the BCA power distribution system which has the battery charger situated within a small space in the top of the PDU and has very little circulating air, if any , to keep it cool, and the addition of the fan was supposed to stop the  frequent failure of the charger.

But it has its downside too, as you have found.

 

There are a number of solutions but each costs money, which you shouldn't have to pay out for in the first place, but would solve your problem.

First is to  replace the fitted charger with  a Sargent XP300 (I think that's the right number) power supply and fit it outside the PDU , Sargent do supply a fly lead to marry up with the BCA wiring.

 

Another possibility is to drill a number of large holes in the PDU case where the charger sits to allow more air flow, BUT if you do this it creates problems with warranty.

 

Changing the PSU will also affect the warranty.

 

I'm not familiar with the Coachman layout, but Bailey tend to fit the power box in tight corners with little room for air circulation.

The solution a friend of mine came up with will cost a few quid but cures the problem. Get a couple of small (1½" or 2") 12V computer fans. Fit one over the grille on the upper side of the power box, and the other over the grille on the top edge. The direction of air flow is usually embossed on the fan casing - the side fan should bow in and the top fan should suck out.

Wire the fans in series, i.e. black on one fan to red on the other, then apply 12V across the remaining red and black wires. The fans will both run but more slowly and quieter than if at full speed. If they are still too noisy  then a  headlamp bulb wired in series will cause enough voltage drop that the fans still run and move air but even more slowly. Hopefull there should be enough air movement that the internal fan does not need to run.

 

 

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Hi Alan,

We don't have a solar panel fitted, but I understand your train of thought. I am pretty sure that it is only the 12V items that cut out. Typically for us that's the Television, internal lights and the Alde heating control panel, pump etc. However, we now have a new development..................when the control panel above the door is operated to on/off, the internal lights and Alde panel flash momentarily. I think this indicates a fault in the control panel. Never really liked membrane type switches, but just my bias. As the awning light above the door is also faulty, which backs onto the control panel, I suspect I may have inadvertently located the fault area. Strip down of this area for the dealer I think! .............Woodentop, thanks for the tip regarding the computer fans. This may have to be a last resort as I feel there may be a design issue with the temperature regulation side of the PSU. If this is the case, I expect the dealer to manage this with BCA. PSUs mounted in caravans is not new technology, so I expect a fix.

Dave

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  • 1 month later...

So here we are again! the new BCA charger has been fitted under warranty and has lasted a whole 5 days before exhibiting the same signs of failure as the original unit in the caravan when new. 12V power drops in and out thus all the lights, and TV, heating etc fail on such a frequent basis that you have to isolate the charger / fridge circuits. I can't even to begin to describe how angry I am that the caravan has been back twice (96 mile round trip) for the same issue. Christmas eve is such a great time to discover that the power supply has failed again!!!!!

Sure enough, the fan keeps running on the charger and the system now has had enough and is cutting in and out. So, looks like we are packing up our awning etc and going home on Christmas day!!!  this really looks like a design fault when the bunk that the charger is installed in contains the hot water boiler and some new trick pre-heater . Guessing that the bunk over heats and the consequences are not good for the charger. Never known such a fault in 30 years of caravanning. Losing faith in the ability of British caravan company  designers to deliver robust solutions.

Perhaps it sounds emotive, but i consider 34K is a reasonable spend to ensure that our van is somewhere near reliable. Perhaps I am just naive. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 24/12/2019 at 19:25, DaveT21 said:

So here we are again! the new BCA charger has been fitted under warranty and has lasted a whole 5 days before exhibiting the same signs of failure as the original unit in the caravan when new. 12V power drops in and out thus all the lights, and TV, heating etc fail on such a frequent basis that you have to isolate the charger / fridge circuits. I can't even to begin to describe how angry I am that the caravan has been back twice (96 mile round trip) for the same issue. Christmas eve is such a great time to discover that the power supply has failed again!!!!!

Sure enough, the fan keeps running on the charger and the system now has had enough and is cutting in and out. So, looks like we are packing up our awning etc and going home on Christmas day!!!  this really looks like a design fault when the bunk that the charger is installed in contains the hot water boiler and some new trick pre-heater . Guessing that the bunk over heats and the consequences are not good for the charger. Never known such a fault in 30 years of caravanning. Losing faith in the ability of British caravan company  designers to deliver robust solutions.

Perhaps it sounds emotive, but i consider 34K is a reasonable spend to ensure that our van is somewhere near reliable. Perhaps I am just naive. 

I think that you will find that there is a short in the 12v system, maybe water getting in but definitely a problem that needs resolving. Disconnect the solar panel if you have one , then if its not that the fridge 12v supply.  

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If the fan is running so often (as I said in an earlier post, in three Baileys we have never had the fan run at all!) it does tend to suggest that the PSU is getting too hot - especially as it happens to more than one unit as here. This would suggest there is something drawing too much current and as the lights draw little it does beg the question of whether there is either a wiring fault or a stuck relay that means the fridge is drawing power from the caravan supply which it should never do?

 

I would use a voltmeter to see if there is 12V on pins 9 and 10 of the cable: 12V on 9 is correct, but 12V on 10 is not. Pin 13 should be the -ve for 9, and pin 11 is -ve for pin 10 - these negatives are separate.

Also, if you feel/are competent to check it, open the power box, switch on the mains supply and wait a few minutes to see if the power supply case gets warm. If it does and switching on the lights makes the fan start and warm air is coming out of the BCA case then <definitely> something is drawing too much current. From there finding the problem is just a case of elimination. If this does happen I would find the habitation reply in the power box and pull it out (they are car-type plug-in relays) and see if that cures the problem.

 

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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