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Hi all,

 

New member, first question. We’re away at the moment (yes it’s February and there’s a storm coming, I know!).

 

On moving my Bailey Ranger off the drive, my motor mover kept cutting out. It’s done this before when the leisure battery died. I thought it odd because the van had been hooked up to the house for 2 days to top the battery up before travel. When not hooked up I leave a 80 Wp solar panel unfolded and connected inside the van which keeps it topped up during the summer but which struggles in the winter I think.

 

Anyway, we got on the road. When we got to the site and hooked up, the voltmeter was showing just over 13v. It’s crept down a bit with the lights on to 13. I think an hour on the road connected to the car probably put some juice back in.

 

I’m  wondering if my charger has died or the ‘kettle plug’ has come out. I’m almost sure it always used to be nearly 14v on hookup!

 

All the other 12v equipment is working fine for now though. Lights, pump etc. When I get home I can put a voltmeter across the battery terminals with the battery out and the van hooked up to measure the voltage. But I’m sitting here wondering, and just thought I’d ask.

 

Any thought appreciated. 
Thanks

Trevor

 

 

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Common problem with movers is flat batteries in the remote. If you have a Powrtouch then if the batteries are low all of the LEDs round the outside of the buttons will light if you press a button rather than just the one you are pressing.

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Just now, Woodentop said:

Common problem with movers is flat batteries in the remote. If you have a Powrtouch then if the batteries are low all of the LEDs round the outside of the buttons will light if you press a button rather than just the one you are pressing.

Thanks, but I replaced the handset battery with a new one. No difference. That lead me on to suspect that the leisure battery wasn’t tip top. The battery should be fundamentally ok. It was new last summer and worked fine when we last used the van in September.

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It could be either the battery failing or not getting charge from the charger. You need another voltage reading tomorrow after overnight on charge.

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On hook up the battery charge rate will show 13.8v, if your actual battery voltage is reading around 12.7 after being on charge then that is very good.

 

If the above conditions are true then you should not concern yourself, it benefits batteries if they are put on a smart charger regularly, on board caravan chargers are seldom of the type to provide optimum battery charging maintenance.

 

The issue of the motor mover cutting may not be related to the battery, perhaps time will come to investigate other causes.

 

In the meantime, have a great comfortable time during the coming storm; I enjoy being in the caravan at such times :).

Edited by Sea&Sand

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99 times out of 100 when the mover keeps cutting out , it is a leisure battery problem, which may be a faulty battery or the battery not being charged for some reason.

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44 minutes ago, Sea&Sand said:

On hook up the battery charge rate will show 13.8v, if your actual battery voltage is reading around 12.7 after being on charge then that is very good.

 

If the above conditions are true then you should not concern yourself, it benefits batteries if they are put on a smart charger regularly, on board caravan chargers are seldom of the type to provide optimum battery charging maintenance.

 

The issue of the motor mover cutting may not be related to the battery, perhaps time will come to investigate other causes.

 

In the meantime, have a great comfortable time during the coming storm; I enjoy being in the caravan at such times :).

Thank you. This is helpful because we are currently on a hookup, but the caravan voltmeter is only showing 13v. I think it should be 13.8v if the onboard charger were working. That’s what makes me think it isn’t. 

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

It could be either the battery failing or not getting charge from the charger. You need another voltage reading tomorrow after overnight on charge.

I’ll have a look in the morning. On hookup now, but caravan voltmeter only reading 13v, not 13.8v. Hence my suspicion of the charger....

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18 minutes ago, Trevor73 said:

I’ll have a look in the morning. On hookup now, but caravan voltmeter only reading 13v, not 13.8v. Hence my suspicion of the charger....

Either it's failing to charge properly or it's charging at its max current into a nearly flat battery.

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13 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Either it's failing to charge properly or it's charging at its max current into a nearly flat battery.

Yes, could be. When get the van home I’ll hook it up for a week. Probably going to head home leaving the van on site tomorrow. I’m not towing in 60 mph gusts!!!

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This morning:

13.25v on hookup with no draw other than fridge

12.75v disconnected.

Any other thoughts? 

 

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Voltage on hookup still a bit low, but clearly higher than the battery on its own.

I suggest giving it another 24 hours or so to see where it eventually stabilises.

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1 hour ago, Trevor73 said:

This morning:

13.25v on hookup with no draw other than fridge

12.75v disconnected.

Any other thoughts? 

 

 

If your van charger is a smart one, once fully charged it will provide a maintenance charge of around 13.5 v

 

12.75v  disconnected just off charge is about right, in may drop slightly over the next few days as the surface charge dissipates, leave it disconnected and monitor it for a week or so.

 

Measuring open circuit voltage, nothing connected, can be misleading, there can be internal faults in a battery which only present themselves when a load is applied, a good battery straight off charge like yours is now should operate your mover without any problems, have you tried it again ?

 

Other thoughts:

As I mentioned an internal fault in the battery, should show up if you monitor the battery whilst trying to use the mover, there will be a volt drop, but not a massive one.

 

Next a high resistance connection at the battery terminals, at the isolator switch both external and internal, the connections  at the relays that supply power to the motors and finally the motor + & -- connections.

 

Final one, a partially seized motor, or the tyre to  motor shaft partially seized.

 

A quick check to isolate many of these would be to try again with your fully charged battery, if the fault is still there, borrow another known good battery, if the fault clears, get your battery tested, if the fault doesn't clear then it's a check through all the other items.

 

The fault could still be the fob, does your mover have a tether lead that can be plugged into the mover control unit to enable the use of the mover if the fob is lost or broken, one of my sons caravans has one .

 

 

 

Edited by Silversurf

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Thanks for all the feedback. I left the van on site this afternoon and travelled home. Will pick it up when the wind dies down!!

 

it may be that the battery is still not fully topped up, will give it a couple more days on the charger when I get it home.

 

The mover motors work fine when not on the wheels, so no seizure evident (unless the bearings are shot and it excessively increases the load when the rollers are engaged. Also, they ran continuously, so the cutting out is only associated with high load.

 

No tether lead on my handset. I don’t think all of them had it. I’m assuming mine was fitted when the van was new in 2006. I’ve checked this with Powrtouch in the past.

 

then it’ll come down to replacing either / both charger and battery. I’ll drop- test the battery before moving on. I have to admit to buying the Halfords battery because I have a trade card. Maybe I should have spent more on a better one!

 

 

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So, I judged a gap in the wind this evening and got the van home. It was at 12.7v on the van meter when I picked it up (not hooked up). 40 mins on the road on the way home getting a good charge from the alternator. The motor mover ran no problem for 3 or 4 mins, manoeuvring on the drive - and then stopped! Meter then showed 12.5v and is now sitting at 12.75v on hookup. I’ll see where it settles out after a few days.

 

So the battery can clearly take a charge. Likelihood is that I’ll replace the charger with  a CTEK first. At least if I do that I’ll know it’s good. And it won’t write-off another battery if I have to replace that too!

 

Cheers all!

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