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Abbey Electrics Problem


gidders

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I have just returned from a week away in my 2005 Abbey GTS Vogue. I am in the habit of leaving the battery charger on all the time whenever I use the van hooked up to mains power. When I happened to switch the battery charger off one day this past week I lost the 240volt power to the Fridge, and other services on the circuit eg lights. - the picture on the TV disappeared and was replaced by speckles so there is some power getting to the telly. Fuses were checked and in addition when I tested the battery condition via the indicator switch it showed no charge yet fully charged when the charger is switched on. As the existing battery was 6 years old I purchased a new one and the problem is still there. I reverted to keeping the charger on and the mains and battery powered services worked as previously.

 

The van is due its first service in June and I spoke to the dealer who could not advise what the problem could be and the telephone conversation was left on the basis that the fault will be investigated and rectified in June under the warranty. I am not 'electrically' minded and was wondering if anyone can throw any light on the problem which may have been there since I took delivery of the new van last year and is it safe to use the van as I am concerned that there could be a short somewhere.

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Sounds as though you may have accidentally had your switches set to run everything off your battery (having said that, I'm not sure if its possible to run the fridge off the caravan battery on 12V, or just from the car), and consequently run the battery flat due to the charger not being able to "keep up with the discharge". Then, when the charger was switched off, there was insufficient life in the battery other than to give the TV a fizzle.

Have to point out that I'm no "expert", but I've spent the last hour pondering over this!!!!!

I would start by looking for a mains switch somewhere, followed by checking the trip switches.

Hope you manage to get this sorted soon-I'm sure once we get this particular w/e over us and everyone gets back onto the forum, someone will be able to spot the problem fairly quickly.

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I never know what position to put the switch -- for the charger mains thing. ..

 

car

blank

caravan

 

OK when towing it goes to car

when parked up and plugged in it goes to Caravan

 

 

But what about the middle position???

Volvo S60 D5 (now sold 😥) new Vauxall soon
Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again
48 Year Member of The Caravan Club

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I THINK the middle position enables the charger to supply 12V to all the DC outlets without charging the battery.

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Sounds like you are somehow switching off 12v supplies. The TV picture will disappear if you switch off 12v supplies to the Status aerial, although the dots on screen indicate the TV still has 240v power. You should not lose 240v power to the fridge though - is it that just the internal light goes out? - this is normally fed from 12v.

 

Brian

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The 'car'/'van' switch is in the van position when I am on site .

 

What I could not understand was when I switched off the ' battery charge' switch which I normally set to the on position and leave alone, the 240 volt light on the fridge went out, there was no power to run the water pump, flush the loo - the mains lights worked whereas the ones off the battery went out. This was after having bought a replacement battery when I noticed the problem as I assumed the previous one was done given it was 6 years old. Somehow it seems to me the new battery is being discharged even although the 'battery charge ' switch is on and I do not understand how it seems to be affecting the 240 volt circuit given the light goes out on the fridge.

Not easy to explain and all so confusing and like Eddie I am no electrical expert. Maybe one of the experts will see this thread when they get back on the forum after the Easter break.

 

The van is on a seasonal pitch so it is not easy to check through again what happens when I activate the battery switch

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My latest brainwave; I think

(1) Your fridge is connected up to your battery charger switch - cos that switch operates the fridge!

(2) Your battery charger is not connected to the battery - cos your battery ran flat!

(3) Your Car/Van switch is either in the "mid" position, or it's wired up wrongly - cos in the "mid" position, the mains provides the 12V. via the charger, to the DC outlets, and when the supply is cut, you loose the 12V system! (The charger might well be switching on OK, but in my opinion, it's not actually charging your battery).

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Gidders,

Your last post has convinced me that you actually switching of all the 12v supply in the caravan. There is no 240v light in the fridge. This is a 12v light irrespective of what the fridge selector switch is set to. The fridge does not connect to the caravan battery for cooling power- only the light. The only source of fridge 12v cooling power is when you are connected to your car.

I suggest that you switch off and disconnect your external 240v supply on your lead. You should then find all your 12v services are functioning normally in the caravan - assuming you have not switched them off!. The battery voltmeter should read 12v with no lights or services on. Now reconnect your 240v supply cable and switch on and you should find that the battery voltmeter now reads about 13. 8v if the charger is working. If there is a switch on the charger itself you can try switching it off and the voltmeter should drop back to 12v. Not all chargers have a switch - mine does not have one - and it may not be possible to switch it off. There is no problem in leaving the charger running.

 

I think you will find that you don't really have a problem other than understanding what all the switches actually do

 

Brian

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Hi Chaps

 

Many thanks for your thoughts.

 

Will be back at the van at the weekend and will print off the thread and try the suggestions. I understand the light issue with the fridge and the fact that it runs off 12v - I now think the battery is not charging or discharging itself for some reason when I have the charger on and the car/van switch set in the van position. Will let you know how I get on in due course. Ian G

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Guest mr_sheens

i believe your problem to be a blown battery fuse. this will give all the sytemyou have described. when charger on all 12v running. charger off no 12v even though battery connected. this would also explain why your battery was flat, its never been charged by the charger because of the blown battery fuse.

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Mr Sheens

 

Many thanks for response. I had a look at the battery fuse which was in the bed locker beside the battery box and it looked OK. I will change it when I go back to the van at the weekend. Can you remind me what size the fuse is - I think it is somewhere between 20/25 amp - so that I can buy replacements. Thanks

 

Ian G

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Guest mr_sheens

not sure what size exactly in your caravan but size should be in the handbook. but be aware there could be 2 fuses. one in the distribution panel with the other fuses, and make sure the fuse is in the holder properly. ive found some which look like there in but they have infact missed the 2 recievers.

 

the other, if you have it fitted, is usually on the back side of the battery box on the inside of the caravan. if one is fitted just follow the wires to find it. i know other manufacturers have done this before and caught many people out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Folks

 

Back from a few days at the van. As suggested I had another look at the fuse in the bed locker next to the battery box. Found that one of the leads into the fuse holder had come adrift . So simple to fix and annoyed that I did not see it the first time. A word of warning to others. The fuse holder lies in the floor locker and there is little slack in the cables and consequently it is easy to knock one of the leads out which is what I have obvously done putting away the bedding. I have well and truly taped the fuse holder and short lengths of wire to the van floor so it should not happen again. Thanks again for your suggestions

 

Ian G

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