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keithk1981

Water Pump And Lights Not Working

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Hi all. Am only new to this forum so forgive me if this question has already been ask. I am new to the caravan seen so am not of any great knowledge of there workings. I recently purchased a trophy 450/5 go touring towing van ( not sure the year but think early 90 ). I can't seem to be able to get the lights or water pump to work . I have it hooked up to 240 mains at the minute and the sockets seem to be the only thing working. There a switch under the seat for 12 volts I have this turned on and still no lights or water pump . Any one any idea and to what the problem may be???? Thanks in advance for any help

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Have you checked the battery? is there one?

You will need a multimeter to measure the voltage at the battery terminals with no power connected, then again with power connected.

If the battery is any good it should read around 12. 6v with no power supplied to the van and 13. 8v when you connect up the power lead.

Make sure any circuit breakers are ON (which is UP)

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Thanks guys. I have a battery in place but whether its working or not I don't yet know. I need to get a multi metre tomorrow. Do I need a battery in place for my lights etc to work even when hooked up to mains power. Does the battery charge itself also when hooked up to mains. Sorry guys if these question sound silly but I am just a clueless beginner

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if you don't have any 12v then your charger may be faulty it may be worth checking its output

how do I check its out put and is it nessesary to have the battery connected even when using 240 volt mains?? Edited by keithk1981

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The battery needs to be attached all the time. When mains is connected, called EHU, then the mains will (through the charger), charge up your battery.

If you need a new battery (not a car battery), then do come back to the forum for advice, measuring the battery box so you know the size criteria for it.

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ideally it is best to check the charger directly at the charger itself but may not be very accessible, if you disconnect your battery and plug in your 240V supply (making sure battery terminals don't touch) and use your multi meter across the terminals it should read about 13. 6V if it is working correctly, you cannot test a battery with a multi meter as you may only be testing the surface charge.

 

for this you need to first check the level in each cell and that the plates don't look all broken up then you have to use a drop test with draws out anything between 50A to 200A from the battery depending on the model, see how it reacts and more importantly how it recovers

 

 

you need to use a battery all the time as this aids the charger when you require a load of power the battery takes the brunt of it and the charger can slowly recover what you have used. use it without a battery and the charger spikes up and down when you use things and they don't like this.

Edited by kirkcaravanservice

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if the battery was done and i was to replace it with a new one does it automatically charge its self or do i have to turn on a switch?? also is it possible to over charge a battery, ?? is there any way of having lights fridge etc working without a battery being connected, thanks again guys, as a novice these questions may sound silly but i genuinely havnt a clue about caravans but hope to be an expert on them in the coming months lol

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Is there a switch that says "car, caravan" or "master switch 12 volts" anywhere. Usually near the door or on the control panel

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if the battery was done and i was to replace it with a new one does it automatically charge its self or do i have to turn on a switch?? also is it possible to over charge a battery, ?? is there any way of having lights fridge etc working without a battery being connected, thanks again guys, as a novice these questions may sound silly but i genuinely havnt a clue about caravans but hope to be an expert on them in the coming months lol

some caravan manufacturers have a switch other become live as soon as 240V is present hence checking at the terminals without the battery connected, this would also ensure fuses were intact also, there are heavy duty chargers available such as those fitted to hobby caravans and some other foreign makes which don't require a battery but when they knack up they seem to be in the £550 region

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All the advice given is excellent but it may be a little confusing for a beginner. To simplify things:

 

You are quite correct, your caravan has two electrical systems, mains at 230V and a DC system at 12V. The mains system generally powers high power items like water boilers, central heating, the domestic 3-pin sockets, a DC power supply (more below) and can also power the fridge. The DC system powers everything else, water pumps, lighting, alarm and any auxiliary sockets. The leisure battery usually powers the DC system but when the EHU is connected the DC power supply (aka charger) supplies the DC and simultaneously charges the battery.

 

Whilst measuring the battery terminal voltage with a multimeter is a very good indicator, it's not the only way to check your systems are working. You should have an onboard voltmeter, usually a dial that you have to press a button. Now these things aren't usually very accurate but they will show you a difference in readings. With the EHU unplugged, check the DC voltage. It'll be something like 12V. Then connect the EHU and re-check. ..you should see an increase. Doesn't matter what the value is but it should be around 13. x volts. If you get this then all is likely good.

 

  • If you get no DC voltage without EHU connected, it is likely that an inline fuse has blown in your battery leads, a battery master is off or, if present, the Car > Neutral > Caravan switch is switched to something but Caravan.
  • If you get a low voltage (below 10. 5V) then your battery is flat.
  • If you get no change after plugging in EHU, check the MCB (Mini Circuit Breaker) supplying the power supply / charger, if OK, check cables to the charger. If all OK, your power supply / charger may be unserviceable.
  • If you see a change after connecting EHU but your battery still doesn't maintain a charge, your battery may be unserviceable.

 

There are additional things to try if you find your battery or charger unserviceable but this post would be too long to consider them here.

 

Edit: added additional scenarios for no DC voltage.

Edited by tictag

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Paul b tictag and kirk thanks very much for the help and information . I was away working all weekend and never had the time to check things over. With the information you guys have provided I hopefully will be able to locate and fix the problem . I see a switch inside the caravan which has a symbol of a car an a symbol of a tow bar where should this switch be when hooked up to the mains. I've tried both . Even the middle. And another silly question I have a cassette toilet which doesn't flush does this need power for it to work?? Thanks very much for your help information and advice guys
sorry guys above the switch is like a little dial with aNeedle

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The little dial is a voltmeter and should show 12. 5 volts if the battery is working.

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Thanks lefthand down. Would it be possible to temporary use a car battery just to check that the 12volt appliances are working

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A car battery is fine.

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A car battery is fine but don't use this long term - you'll significantly reduce the serviceable life of a car battery if it is used for deep discharge cycles like those found supplying a caravan.

 

Some flush mechanisms are manual (e. g. they'll be a foot pump somewhere near the toilet), others are electric and will require 12V DC supplies.

 

The switch surprises me. ..are you sure the "picture of a car" is not actually a picture of a caravan? It's just that in the context of this switch, the car and tow-bar are essentially the same thing. The easiest way to think of this switch is: if you are towing and you want the tow car to charge your leisure battery and power your fridge, switch it to car. Under all other scenarios, leave it switched to caravan.

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Well folks just to let you know I got the electrics in the van sorted. I had a broken wire in my charger and a fuse blown. All up and running and every thing in working order. Thanks again to everyone for youre kind advice and knowledge. The happy camping starts tomorrow . .... before I go one last question what position should my fridge be at when hooked up to 230 supply I've tried all 3 and don't think its working. Wat could this be and what number should it be at thanks again folks

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If it doesn't auto-switch (the new Dometic fridges do) then you'll have to manually change it depending on the scenario:

  • If towing, switch to Battery
  • If on EHU, switch to Mains
  • If no EHU, switch to Gas

Remember that the fridge will always need a 12V supply to power the control circuitry. It is usually powered from a live feed off the battery (via a fuse), that is, it will not switch off when you flip the master switch.

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At the minute I have got 240 hook up with no leisure battery in place . My lights socket water pump and water heater are working but my fridge and toilet are not. Does my baterry need to be in place in order for these to work.( I have fridge switch over to mains and stat turned to number 3 ) thanks for your help and advice

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You must have a battery fitted in most caravans.

If you use EHU a lot it does not even have to be large or even a leisure battery.

A car battery will be OK as it will power all the 12 volt appliances for you.

If you do not continuously use EHU then a leisure battery is best as it will accept the deep discharge it would encounter.

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Could this be the reason my fridge won't work??

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What fridge do you have.

 

It will not cool with the battery. They only cool with gas and mains

 

The exception is when being towed and then it is the car that supplies 12volt from the alternator.

 

 

It may not light on gas it needs a 12volt spark. Unless it is a piezo ignition.

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The fridge could run on either (i) EHU, (ii) Gas or (iii) 12V from the towing electrics. It will be completely silent in operation but it should warn you if the supply you have selected is not available (e. g. No EHU when mains selected). When switched to gas you should hear the ignitors 'clicking'.

 

Try checking:

  • All supplies. The control electrics must have 12V, irrespective of the supply type selected. Lights on the front panel / inside is a good indicator.
  • Mains. The MCB (mini circuit breaker) for the fridge is 'up'
  • Gas. The fridge gas stop valve (usually under the cooker/kitchen) is 'on'. The hob rings ignite.
  • 12V. If you have a supply switch, make sure it's turned to 'Car' or if this is automatic, make sure the habitation relay energises (all the electrics in the 'van should switch off, except fridge & alarm)

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