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Full Marks for Stupidity .


lazydaze
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Travelled  fifty miles today to collect my caravan following its 4th service, all was well no problems and no sign of the dreaded damp , felt chuffed hitch up and headed home, about  2 miles from home a warning flashed up informing me of no indicators this was odd because we checked these were working when hitching up .

Arrived home tried the indicators and not working, then the penny dropped  the 13 pin cable is over long and I generally lay this over the top of the fairing to take up the slack and then  connect to the car  ,I had forgotten to do this and for 50 miles the cable had been dragging on the road wearing the outer sheathing away and cutting through  3 wires 

which obviously control the indicators and other functions not yet apparent.

I have cut back the sheathing to expose all 13 wires 10 are okay 3 are cut through, looking at the route of the cable it appears to be in one  length front to back of caravan ,this complicates a repair, my thoughts are to site a jointing box in the gas locker then renew the section from this to the car, any thoughts or solutions would be very appreciated 

Surely I not the only caravaner to ruin the hitch cable owing to a senior moment .:wub: 

 

 

 

 

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Is there not a fuse box on the front bulkhead inside the caravan where the cable enters and connects to? If so the repair/replacement would be easier, and shorter.

 

In any case, jointing inside the caravan would be preferable to inside the gas locker for safety, far less chance of damage and relative dryness.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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My error after collecting our van following a service ,  jockey wheel not fully raised, solid tyre grooves worn away...luckily it is a sprung AL-KO jockey wheel so not damaged... as my cables are long and hung down, I use a short bungy strap formed in a loop around the hitch handle to support the cable. Also use another bungy strap to prevent jockey wheel dropping down...

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On my old avondale van i bought a prewired 13 pin socket from ebay and fitted a waterproof  encosure with a couple of glands i the nearside locker. Enclosure and glands from any electrical supplier or again ebay.  Im,e a sparky by the way but it,s not complicated.

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1 hour ago, Legal Eagle said:

Is there not a fuse box on the front bulkhead inside the caravan where the cable enters and connects to? If so the repair/replacement would be easier, and shorter.

 

In any case, jointing inside the caravan would be preferable to inside the gas locker for safety, far less chance of damage and relative dryness.

Point taken on the internal joint box , re the bulkhead fuse box on initial inspection the full 13 wire loom runs under the caravan the loom reduces in wires when branching off  some wiring enters the van under the consumer unit ,but it  continues on under the van  to the rear lights all the wires are loose sheathed , further inspection tomorrow.

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2 minutes ago, lazydaze said:

Point taken on the internal joint box , re the bulkhead fuse box on initial inspection the full 13 wire loom runs under the caravan the loom reduces in wires when branching off  some wiring enters the van under the consumer unit ,but it  continues on under the van  to the rear lights all the wires are loose sheathed , further inspection tomorrow.

The wires entering under the consumer unit no doubt relate to battery charging and fridge. However, I am surprised that there are no fuses to protect the road light circuits at least.

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My Lunar is the same. A brief diversion into the under seat locker and the cable goes rearward. No road lighting fuses. I suspect the front marker lights are fed from the rear too (commoner up with the orange side markers), but I haven't looked too closely.

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I am not at all sure that this is the correct thing to do but I have always put a couple of twists in the cable to the plug and this holds it up with a "pigtail" effect.

Can't remember who advised me to do this but it somehow feels wrong,

but it is not really long enough to go over the hitch

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Had to do this repair on  a previous van but the 13 way cable terminated under the front bench seat where all the electrics were so it was quite an easy job - the hard part was getting all the cables into the 13 pin plug - there's not a lot of room in there and if doing the job again I would look for a pre-wired plug on a length of cable.

 

On my current van (2020 Coachman) the cable is quite long so I have a couple of cable ties around the electric cable and the breakaway cable and so that hold the electric cable off the ground - I worked on the theory that if the hitch comes away and the brakes are applied, the electrics will be damaged anyway and it's a useful reminder to make sure they are both correctly fitted.

.

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You could remove the outer where the break is, cut the unsheathed cables, put some heat shrink sleeving on the wires, solder them together using a bit of other cable if extension is needed, slide the sleeving over the joint and heat it with a hot air gun or dryer. When all is good and working wrap the cable from about an inch or so in front of the repair to about the same distance behind with self-amalgamating tape, not forgetting to stretch it about 50% in the process.

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Another here who fastens the cables together over the top with cable ties, with enough play to allow movement when manoeuvring, after spotting a tendency to drag.

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I have a cable tie on the cable and simply loop it over the stabiliser handle once all hitched up

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A length of shock cord tied to the cable and looped over the AL-KO hitch handle does it for me.  It is strong enough to keep it off the road but stretchy enough to allow for full articulation when cornering/pitching.

 

About time someone came up with an aftermarket widget to address this problem, something along the lines of  a retractable dog lead but designed to accommodate the 13 core cable but one that continually tensions the cable a bit. 

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

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Thanks for replies and suggestions , will look in more detail at the wiring inside the van and decide how to proceed,  I will keep you posted .:Thankyou:

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5 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

About time someone came up with an aftermarket widget to address this problem, something along the lines of  a retractable dog lead but designed to accommodate the 13 core cable but one that continually tensions the cable a bit. 

OEM spring coiled cable might be better.

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I had a similar problem a while ago. My solution was to cut the existing cable short and wire it into an in-line socket (like this one), attach a 13 pin plug to each end of a new bit of cable and plug the 2 bits of cable together tucked up under the A-frame cover,  held in place by zip-ties. Been like that for a few years now with no problems. Wiring up is tedious but isn't too difficult with a decent diagram.

John M

2017 Skoda Superb Estate 2. 0 Tdi 190; 2014 Swift Challenger 530SE + Powrtouch Evolution

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If it’s only a couple of the wires you could join the broken cables with Heat Shrink Crimp Butt Connectors  (Red, Blue, & Yellow are available) these are often long enough to bridge the gap the damage has left, then self-amalgamating I’ve the top.

 

or I have snipped the cable, used the but connectors as above and added a new piece of 13 core cable, once done and self-amalgamating tape applied tuck the repair in the u-channel under the A-Frame cover, most people would never know it’s been done.

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11 hours ago, robertB said:

I am not at all sure that this is the correct thing to do but I have always put a couple of twists in the cable to the plug and this holds it up with a "pigtail" effect.......

 

Did it on our last model which had a long cable.

 

After 11 years nothing detrimental, would do it on our current model if its cable was longer and required it.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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Hi all,  just to update on my findings today re the 13 pin cable run , firstly when looking under the caravan yesterday due to the number of cable in close proximity I thought it ran front to back of the caravan branching of to various outlets , this is garbage and I apologise , in fact it was as Legal Eagle assumed and goes from the 13 pin plug at the car straight back to the consumer unit under  O/S the front bench it connects  to a 12 pin plug /connector on the   pc board ? I have carefully looked at the plug to see if it would easily pull out of the board but it will not move , what I need to find out is this a removable item  if so is it easy to remove the wiring from this plug  ,plan 1 is to buy a new 13 pin plug with about five metres of cable attached and reconnect to the pc board . (subject to easy disconnection )

Plan 2  to leave this alone in case I damage the board then to purchase a new 13 pin plug already attached to 3 metres of new cable feed this under the front bench and then cut the existing cable to suit and rejoin in a jointing box away from all the other cables .

I will try to upload a photo of the pc board and plug perhaps you can then advise me ease of removal .

Thank you.

image.jpeg.a3b9f34cf668c25b3b89d59479e051f9.jpeg

image.jpeg.13ab6fa118eaabcfbf27644a47a2eb36.jpeg

 

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53 minutes ago, lazydaze said:

Hi all,  just to update on my findings today re the 13 pin cable run , firstly when looking under the caravan yesterday due to the number of cable in close proximity I thought it ran front to back of the caravan branching of to various outlets , this is garbage and I apologise , in fact it was as Legal Eagle assumed and goes from the 13 pin plug at the car straight back to the consumer unit under  O/S the front bench it connects  to a 12 pin plug /connector on the   pc board ? I have carefully looked at the plug to see if it would easily pull out of the board but it will not move , what I need to find out is this a removable item  if so is it easy to remove the wiring from this plug  ,plan 1 is to buy a new 13 pin plug with about five metres of cable attached and reconnect to the pc board . (subject to easy disconnection )

Plan 2  to leave this alone in case I damage the board then to purchase a new 13 pin plug already attached to 3 metres of new cable feed this under the front bench and then cut the existing cable to suit and rejoin in a jointing box away from all the other cables .

I will try to upload a photo of the pc board and plug perhaps you can then advise me ease of removal .

Thank you.

image.jpeg.a3b9f34cf668c25b3b89d59479e051f9.jpeg

image.jpeg.13ab6fa118eaabcfbf27644a47a2eb36.jpeg

 

Go for option 2 cut the wires to the PCB where there is room to work and then use a decent junction box to connect it all up, that way you can make good connections and check every now and then that screws are tight etc. Unless you ring the PCB or can manufacture and see if you can get the plug and 13 core pre wired it you'll still have to re wire the 13 pin.

 

If you don't fancy that, I'd first try what others said. Solder and heatshrink the damaged wires and  then tape or even bigger heat shrink the main rub. Try and work out what the other wires are as they would focus my mind, if it was a heavy draw like fridge I might just redo the lot.

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Decided to repair the cable  using  29 Amp wire with crimp connectors and heat shrink covering and amalgamating tape , the 3 wires affected were Fridge / Permanent Live/  Earth. the caravan is being sited on a seasonal pitch next March and will not be used until then , so only need the road lights /indicators to work to travel there. 

once on site I have the option to  renew as stated in option 2 this does mean drilling 2 holes through the floor  which i need to think about,  ie warranty issues so for now Iam taking  the easy route. 

Photo re the damaged cable !

7A9A0622-57E6-4DFC-99E0-79304B0928A6.jpeg

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When I made the same error, I was lucky as there was an excess of cable further back up the A frame, before it disappeared into the floor/ bed locker, so I managed to 'adjust' the excess forwards, and cut the damage off.

 

Resulting cable was 'just' long enough to accommodate full lock in each direction, but it was still OK 4 yrs later!

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Made the self same mistake about 8 years ago.  Made the same repairs as you're proposing and they're still going strong.

All wrapped up snug with gaffa tape.

Edited by Mr Grumpy
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48 minutes ago, Mr Grumpy said:

Made the self same mistake about 8 years ago.  Made the same repairs as you're proposing and they're still going strong.

All wrapped up snug with gaffa tape.

Good to know:Thankyou:

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If you haven't cut the conductors, then you can get a crimp connector that will join the wires in one - rather than a bullet/socket arrangement. Being in one connection will remove a failure point at the bullet/socket joint. A small possibility perhaps, but I wouldn't tempt fate! Also, a single connector will leave the joined cables a similar length to the undamaged ones for ease of waterproofing.

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