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jo6100

Is my charger faulty?

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Hi there, looking for some advice.  

We have just returned from a couple of days away. We had a problem going in that the motor mover wouldn’t work so we couldn’t get off the drive. Our battery was reading 11.8 so we tried a spare which was reading as over 13 v to no avail. The Powrtouch advice line talked us through and it became apparent the 2nd battery was discharged but the 80 watt solar panel was giving a high reading on a sunny day.  The voltmeter dropped like a stone trying to run the mover. Fine, new 105 amp battery fitted and we went off.

 

Next day all fine, then today I noticed the fridge wasn't working on mains even though the TV was on. The RCD for the charger and fridge had  tripped so I turned this back on and checked the fridge fuse which looked fine ( visually). Then the site bollard had tripped ( a warning on the little control panel told us this). Reset this and everything worked but the voltmeter in the caravan on EHU was reading just over12.5 so we worried that the battery wasn’t being charged and the motor mover wouldn’t work therefore we came home a day early. 

At home the voltmeter was still reading 12.5 having used the mover at the site and back here when we got home and now it’s unchanged even though it’s been on electric for a couple of hours. I’m sure it’s usually closer to 14 when plugged in. 

 

Does this sound like the charger isn’t working? Does the 240v  still work if the charger is faulty?

 

We are not very technically minded as you will guess but my son is an electrician so I can ask him to check stuff. 

We have a 2014 Coachman Vision Festival ( Glossops special). The solar panel was factory fitted.  The charger is  a BCA 20A charger with a sticker saying “Vision PDU only”. The 20 amp fuse looked ok visually..

 

Thankyou in advance for any advice, 

 

jo 

Edited by jo6100
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7 minutes ago, jo6100 said:

Does the 240v  still work if the charger is faulty?

It does.

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With a battery connected,

turn off all 12V items,

switch on charger (when connected to mains of course).

Voltmeter in van should read AT LEAST 13V, preferably more like 13.8V.

If it doesn't it sounds like its not charging properly.

The voltmeter will drop when something is being used, the higher the load drawn the lower the reading. But after a while once the load is switched off, the volts should go back up, but this may take a few hours.

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Thank you for your replies. My son is going to come over so I will show him what you have said. 

 

Jo

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Further to the above, today the voltmeter  is up to 13.5. I took it off electric on Saturday. However, the RCD for the charger/ fridge has clicked off again but resets without a problem ( the fridge is switched off). We tried to see if the kettle plug had fallen off but it looks like I’d have to dismantle half the caravan to get to it- the casings we did take off didn’t reveal it. 

 

So- does the solar charge the battery directly ie even if the charger is dead? 

Any ideas why the RCD might trip? 

 

I think I'm going to have to get an caravan specialist  out to sort it but a heads up would be useful .

 

thanks in advance for any advice, 

 

jo

 

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If a fuse blows, you can't tell by looking at it.  Get yourself a cheap multimeter and you can use it to check fuses.  You can also check voltages which will help forum members to guide you.  BCA chargers don't have a solar input.  Your solar must be connected to the battery (via its solar regulator).

Edited by kelper

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23 minutes ago, jo6100 said:

Further to the above, today the voltmeter  is up to 13.5. I took it off electric on Saturday. However, the RCD for the charger/ fridge has clicked off again but resets without a problem ( the fridge is switched off). We tried to see if the kettle plug had fallen off but it looks like I’d have to dismantle half the caravan to get to it- the casings we did take off didn’t reveal it. 

 

So- does the solar charge the battery directly ie even if the charger is dead? 

Any ideas why the RCD might trip? 

 

I think I'm going to have to get an caravan specialist  out to sort it but a heads up would be useful .

 

thanks in advance for any advice, 

 

jo

 

Yes the solar panel does charge the battery even if the mains charger is dead, that's why you cant really check your battery voltages unless you disconnect the battery.

 

The RCD usually trips because there's a current leak to earth which can be caused by faulty insulation, a fauly in the charger or more commonly a corroded or short circuited hot water heating element

 

I suggest you get someone who knows whats what to have a proper look at it because random guesses from the forum aren't really going to help you all that much without giving really detailed fault finding processes

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Thank you. I’ve contacted an engineer 

jo

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