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2012 coachman amara 450/2. How do I locate (and possibly replace) the battery charger


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  • WispMan changed the title to 2012 coachman amara 450/2. How do I locate (and possibly replace) the battery charger

Could you tell us why you need to know? Perhaps our members can be of help if you have a problem. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Most likely Sargent. It should be inside the rh locker and behind the control unit. There may be a plastic vent cover.  Remove the screws and then you should see the charger unit underneath. Just gently slide it up and out and unplug the plug-in connectors.  The refit is the reverse.

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Thanks for your replies to my enquiry.  I suspect that my BCA charger may be faulty for the following reason.  Having charged a brand new 100 Ah  battery of the caravan,  achieving a steady voltage of 13.0,  I reconnected to the caravan electrics and used the motormover for about five minutes to re-site the van on my drive.  The multimeter then indicated a battery voltage of 12.44.  After leaving the van on ehu for 24 hours this had fallen to 12.38.  With the charger I would have expected some improvement in the battery voltage.  I would be grateful for any test which would definitively establish whether or not the charger should be replaced

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What is the reading (using a multi meter on the battery terminals) when the caravan is connected to EHU (and if appropriate) the charger is switched on? It should be in excess of 13v, possibly as high as 14+ 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Would expect it to be a BCA unit so will be inside the fuse and breaker unit.  They tend to over heat and fail in caravans I've had.

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On my 2007 coachman Amara 380/2 the battery charger  is under the RH seat at  the front - screwed to the rear of  battery enclosure , there is a battery fuse marked Van Batt see photo(  3rd from top).  it connects the battery to the 12V system, but there is no fuse from the charger itself - very strange- as on my trailer tent there was a battery fuse and one from the charger, both 20A.

If your wiring is similar, this may be the same layout as yours, but check for differences i.e. an extra inline fuse from the charger,  or even built into the charger .

On a friends Bailey caravan  there was a  20A charger fuse in the fuse box - and this had  oxidised contacts which stopped  charger from maintaining  the battery voltage.

Removing the fuse and refitting  it did clean the contacts and the charger sprung into life. 

I recommended that he replace the fuse  at some stage as once contacts start to oxidise they loose the protective plating.

 BE careful when removing the fuse as  it was actually hot  and on another caravan I looked at  the 20A battery fuse body  had slowly melted due to bad contacts. (contacts become resistive when oxidised and drop voltage when taking current which leads to them heating up).

  IF you remove the battery  fuse  and test the 12v  system voltage it  should indicate if the charger is producing any voltage, nominally it should be 13.8 to 14.2 ( float and cyclic voltage respectively).

I have repaired a Sargent charger  before, but I  had to replace most of the power semiconductors.

It may be more cost effective to contact Sargent electronics  ( https://sargentltd.co.uk/ ) and ask about a repair/replacement once you have got the model number. 

Fuse board -009-small.jpg

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I found in the past that Sargent offer exceptionally good customer service indeed! They answer the telephone and they always try and help you sort an issue out rather than just “Send it back and we will have a look” 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Thanks for the advice and suggestions: following the tests  suggested it is clear that my charger needs replacing.  My intention is to replace it with a BCA three stage charger (PS 306-6A-BC).  This has the same dimensions as the presently installed BCA charger (PS 276-1-BCSM) and has apparently been used in Pastiche vans.  I am assming that it can safely be installewd in my Amara caravan using the same connections as before.

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When I had to replace mine (BCA) I found that identical units are available on eBay. However, as I was away st the time, I had no address to receive such. Luckily, Forest of Dean Caravans was a couple of miles away and they had an identical unit in stock for slightly more £. They ain't cheap, expect to pay upwards of £115.

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Original BCA in dealers marketed as PowerPart. 

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3 hours ago, David 38 said:

Original BCA in dealers marketed as PowerPart. 

Funnily enough, that’s the one I bought, didn’t realise it was actually BCA. Cost me £125.

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I have now discovered,  on advice from Kenmore Caravans,  that the single stage and three stage BCA chargers are not interchangeable and that it is necessary to replace the initially installed charger  must be replaced with the same model.

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53 minutes ago, George Morrison said:

I have now discovered,  on advice from Kenmore Caravans,  that the single stage and three stage BCA chargers are not interchangeable and that it is necessary to replace the initially installed charger  must be replaced with the same model.

I can’t get my head around that notion, after all you can  connect to a stand alone charger quite satisfactorily, but perhaps one of our electronics experts will explain. As the 3 stage chargers are generally more expensive, strikes me as a ruse to squeeze more money out of you. Admittedly you might need to adapt the housing and/or connections  to fit.

Edited by MalH
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:goodpost:

 

:Plus1:

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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1 hour ago, George Morrison said:

I have now discovered,  on advice from Kenmore Caravans,  that the single stage and three stage BCA chargers are not interchangeable and that it is necessary to replace the initially installed charger  must be replaced with the same model.

Maybe it’s a different mounting arrangement, but surely no technical reason not to have the better three stage unit

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3 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Maybe it’s a different mounting arrangement, but surely no technical reason not to have the better three stage unit

On another thread a while ago, someone advised that the 3 phase units allow a current draw of only 4 amps as opposed to 20 amps from a single phase. But now almost all 12 volt lighting etc is LED, I would surmise that to be sufficient. I think it’s also possible that the 3 phase units are more susceptible to damage from voltage fluctuations, such as from some generators.

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I would be inclined to seek advice from BCA, or the caravan manufacturers rather than relying on a dealership as their “knowledge base” is unlikely to be as comprehensive in such technical matters as the actual makers of the charger units. I could be wrong, but I would want the information from the organ grinder out of preference ;)

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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