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Natsprat

Battery power not working only mains

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Hi need some advice please ...so my sister and brother in law have bought there first van it's an abi award tristar 1990.

So the battery they had was flat so we took our own caravan battery to try and nothing? We then plugged in the mains hook up and everything worked! Lights ...spotlights... water pump etc ...now in our caravan our lights or pump etc will not work of hook up only battery so is this caravan just different lol I thought all 12v just ran of battery? And the battery is not powering anything and we know it's charged and works as it's ours? Is there something with the wires going on? We are not sure though any advice would be great thanks 

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Check the cable from the battery to the power/fuse box - there is often a buried fuse in the cable to protect the cable in the event of a short on the working side of the caravan.

 

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In most vans the 12v equipment will run off either the battery or the charger unit, although in many, running it off just the charger will not do the charger any good and you get issues like the lights dimming when you run the pump.

Woodentop has it spot on about the hidden fuse.

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When you say charger unit do you mean the battery charger? Our caravan is old and straight forward so not used to all these wires lol and they are real newbies ....I shall also check the cable thanks

We  took of the socket and put a house plug on to the hook up cable to test the electrics and that's then what powered all the van there is no power anywhere else that's why I was surprised when all the 12v lights and pump worked with 240v ?

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18 minutes ago, Natsprat said:

When you say charger unit do you mean the battery charger? Our caravan is old and straight forward so not used to all these wires lol and they are real newbies ....I shall also check the cable thanks

We  took of the socket and put a house plug on to the hook up cable to test the electrics and that's then what powered all the van there is no power anywhere else that's why I was surprised when all the 12v lights and pump worked with 240v ?

UK caravans tend to have a battery charger, which will also power the 12V equipment, but not necessarily all at once, that's when the battery is needed.

European vans often have a 12v Power Supply Unit which will happily run all the 12v equipment but is not necessarily adequately controlled to be used as a battery charger.

 

If the battery is dead in a UK van the lights etc. will run off the charger but maybe some flickering.

If the charger is not working everything else will work until the battery goes flat.

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Does it make any difference that the battery wasn't actually connected at the time? But everything was working from 240v? Our caravan is really straight forward not evern a battery charger in it so all this is new to me only had our van for just nearly 2 years just baffled as to how it was working through mains with no battery power at all as ours doesn't my dad also has an abi caravan and only runs of battery lights pump etc 

Thanks for the advice guys we are going up again today to have another look 

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A van of 1990 vintage will probably only have a couple of 240v lights. Everything else will be 12 volts. For this, you need either the battery connected or the mains supply which will be converted to 12 volts for charging the battery and supplying power to the water pump and (unless its been heavily modified) most of the inside lights.

The battery charger/power supply is working, as you get 12 volts when mains power is on.

Check the battery cables for a fuse or poor connection.

Does the power supply panel have a switched marked Car/Caravan? Make sure its on the Caravan side.

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50 minutes ago, Natsprat said:

Does it make any difference that the battery wasn't actually connected at the time? But everything was working from 240v? Our caravan is really straight forward not evern a battery charger in it so all this is new to me only had our van for just nearly 2 years just baffled as to how it was working through mains with no battery power at all as ours doesn't my dad also has an abi caravan and only runs of battery lights pump etc 

Thanks for the advice guys we are going up again today to have another look 

If the 12v stuff works on ehu without a battery connected you do have a charger unit, even if you can't find it! 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all your advice. ...turns out the battery wires had burnt out in the front locker and a few wires amongst about 30 others under the front seat had all been messed with! Everything is now working  😊

Edited by Natsprat
Typing error

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