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bailey550

Bailey Unicorn 3

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Scaramanga Replacement led bulbs for the marker lights & number plate light come with the Ryder box

Brilliant :)

 

Save me a few pennies buying them off ebay

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I wonder of some of the issue with the solar charging is that something else is left on? I have a smaller panel mounted on the inside of the front roof light on our U2. It's been in storage since Autumn and I've just checked it (remotely) and its reading 12. 48 now. So a panel is well capable of keeping the battery sorted even this time of year. It has the fitted alarm and tracker, plus our own tracker (which is how I can check the voltage).

 

I don't know what the switching is on the U3 as we don't have ours yet, but the master switch will need to be switched off and the fridge may need switching to the correct setting.

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Back to the solar panel and battery again. ...........I checked this morning, and the green light was permanently on, showing it was charging. The voltage read out was 11. 8

Tonight I got home just in the dark, and the green light was now flashing every 2 seconds, too dark to charge.

Checked the read out again, and it was 11. 9

 

Do you think the 0. 1 increase was all I could have expected today. This is a new battery 4 weeks ago. ??

 

I'm leaving it off the hook up to see if the battery recovers on the solar panel over the coming week or so.

 

Nothing is running on the caravan to drain the battery. ....so just have to wait and see.

 

Bob

As I pointed out charging at this time of year is going to be very slow.

 

If your battery is below 12v then it's pretty close to flat. Assuming that you need to get 70-80a/h back into it then at 10 a/h a day or less you probably need another 8-10 really sunny days to get it back up. Even more if you get murky ones like we've had today.

 

I'd be inclined to put a smart charger on it and get it fully recharged. The longer the battery remains undercharged the more likely it is to suffer permanent degradation and loss of capacity.

 

The ideal charge rate for a battery is 10% of it capacity = 11amps

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I wonder of some of the issue with the solar charging is that something else is left on? I have a smaller panel mounted on the inside of the front roof light on our U2. It's been in storage since Autumn and I've just checked it (remotely) and its reading 12. 48 now. So a panel is well capable of keeping the battery sorted even this time of year. It has the fitted alarm and tracker, plus our own tracker (which is how I can check the voltage).

 

I don't know what the switching is on the U3 as we don't have ours yet, but the master switch will need to be switched off and the fridge may need switching to the correct setting.

If you've got a solar panel connected the battery voltage should be well above 13v during sunny days and should not be less than 12. 7 when nothings happening. IMO 12. 48 shows that the battery is not fully charged and that your solar panel is probably just about coping with the drain from the trackers but not actually charging the battery. It's possibly within measuring error. What are you using to check it with.

 

The only way to properly check if the battery is being charged is to measure the current flowing into the battery using an ammeter connected in series between the battery and the charging device.

Edited by matelodave

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Scaramanga Replacement led bulbs for the marker lights & number plate light come with the Ryder box

 

Not with mine :(

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Our dealer has contacted us to say that our van should be due in on Monday. Whilst on the phone he went through the finance figures again; as we ordered back in September and the deal was done on the basis that we would take the delivery slot he had pre booked in February of this year. He would then preserve the trade in figure as of that September. Trouble is the payments he quoted which were done over the phone at the time last year have now jumped by £20 per month. This is due according t them because of changes to the FCA rules which and again I paraphrase here, have seen an increase in the cost of lending. Anyone else heard of these changes which have just come into effect or am I being taken for a proverbial?

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I don't think the FCA has anything to do with increasing the cost of borrowing. The cost of borrowing has been going down in recent months - sounds like the dealer is pulling a fast one to me but I'm not sure you can do much about it if you don't have a written finance agreement. It might be worth looking at getting a personal loan from the likes of Sainburys or M&S as their rates are really good at the moment.

Edited by paul683

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Car dealers have increasingly been heavily controlled by the FCA and presumably this also applies to caravan dealers providing finance. I had the ridiculous situation a few weeks back where I was PXing my car and paying the balance in cash BUT I had to wait 30 minutes to see the dealership's so called Business Manager to go through a paper box ticking exercise that's insisted upon as part of the FCA rules. Ridiculous waste of time.

 

So there is a possibility that the rate at which the dealership used to operate has been upped because extra admin has made the previously quoted rate untenable. Don't forget that dealers used to normally be given a range of interest rates that they could choose to use, with the higher rates earning them a kickback from the finance house. I think I'm right in saying that such practice has now been banned by the FCA and the dealer has just one rate. Now it may be that rate is higher than the lowest of the previous spread. However I also believe that any quote for finance must be given in writing and that rule has existed for decades. So by not confirming your telephone deal your dealer would have broken CCA regulations.

 

So here's the rub.

 

You have a verbal quote not confirmed as required by law.

 

Any finance agreement entered into now is firmly controlled by the FCA and if the finance house matched the rate you were quoted over the phone they could well be breaking current FCA regs.

 

If I were you I'd dig a bit deeper with the dealer and bearing in mind they didn't comply with the requirement to confirm the quote in writing I'd negotiate something extra off the price or additional options/accessories etc as it may well be that they legally can't honour the previously offered verbal rate

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Latest Solar panel update. ....

Checked this morning, and the read out of the voltage had dropped slightly overnight, from about 11. 8 to 11. 7

 

After a pretty bright day today, I have just checked again at 5pm, and the reading has climbed to 12. 0

 

What I have done, is switch off the main electric switch in the caravan. ...not that anything was switched on. ..but I wondered if that was the right thing to do. ..???

 

So a definite improvement during the day. ....lets see if the progress continues.

 

Bob

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If you've got a solar panel connected the battery voltage should be well above 13v during sunny days and should not be less than 12. 7 when nothings happening. IMO 12. 48 shows that the battery is not fully charged and that your solar panel is probably just about coping with the drain from the trackers but not actually charging the battery. It's possibly within measuring error. What are you using to check it with.

 

The only way to properly check if the battery is being charged is to measure the current flowing into the battery using an ammeter connected in series between the battery and the charging device.

It's 12. 62v today, according to the tracker. But then it's not been dusk long. When the sun is out properly, I see plenty of volts so I have no concerns. Bear in mind in cold weather, the voltage will be lower under load, albeit a small load, and that my panel is way less than optimum for position. And yes, volts doesn't equal charging, but if the battery is healthy then its a pretty good indicator.

 

The point I was trying to make is that 12. 0v from a U3 panel seems pretty poor in comparison.

Edited by lowedb

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Car dealers have increasingly been heavily controlled by the FCA and presumably this also applies to caravan dealers providing finance. I had the ridiculous situation a few weeks back where I was PXing my car and paying the balance in cash BUT I had to wait 30 minutes to see the dealership's so called Business Manager to go through a paper box ticking exercise that's insisted upon as part of the FCA rules. Ridiculous waste of time.

 

So there is a possibility that the rate at which the dealership used to operate has been upped because extra admin has made the previously quoted rate untenable. Don't forget that dealers used to normally be given a range of interest rates that they could choose to use, with the higher rates earning them a kickback from the finance house. I think I'm right in saying that such practice has now been banned by the FCA and the dealer has just one rate. Now it may be that rate is higher than the lowest of the previous spread. However I also believe that any quote for finance must be given in writing and that rule has existed for decades. So by not confirming your telephone deal your dealer would have broken CCA regulations.

 

So here's the rub.

 

You have a verbal quote not confirmed as required by law.

 

Any finance agreement entered into now is firmly controlled by the FCA and if the finance house matched the rate you were quoted over the phone they could well be breaking current FCA regs.

 

If I were you I'd dig a bit deeper with the dealer and bearing in mind they didn't comply with the requirement to confirm the quote in writing I'd negotiate something extra off the price or additional options/accessories etc as it may well be that they legally can't honour the previously offered verbal rate

 

Funnily enough since my last post the dealer has been back on and without prompting has now given us delivery, upgraded upholstery and the matching bed linen FOC. By my simple maths around £1000. Still mightily peeved though.

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Latest Solar panel update. ....

Checked this morning, and the read out of the voltage had dropped slightly overnight, from about 11. 8 to 11. 7

 

After a pretty bright day today, I have just checked again at 5pm, and the reading has climbed to 12. 0

 

What I have done, is switch off the main electric switch in the caravan. ...not that anything was switched on. ..but I wondered if that was the right thing to do. ..???

 

So a definite improvement during the day. ....lets see if the progress continues.

 

Bob

Do you mean the main 12v switch? If so, yes you need to keep that off otherwise the Alde, and maybe other things will add to the drain. Also, I think you need to switch off the fridge. I'm not sure about that, but on a previous van of ours, an Avondale, I certainly needed to switch to the Off position otherwise the battery only lasted a couple of weeks.

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Do you mean the main 12v switch? If so, yes you need to keep that off otherwise the Alde, and maybe other things will add to the drain. Also, I think you need to switch off the fridge. I'm not sure about that, but on a previous van of ours, an Avondale, I certainly needed to switch to the Off position otherwise the battery only lasted a couple of weeks.

 

Hi

Perhaps I should explain that the caravan is on the drive at the side of the house. ...we are not away in it anywhere. So the Alde is completely switched off. ......the fridge is completely off. ....absolutely nothing on whatsoever. But i thought I would go the extra bit, and switch the 12 volt master switch off, on the panel by the door, not that it should make any difference.

 

I purposely took my caravan off the hook up by the house, to see how long the battery would last using the Alde heating. After a week or so playing with the heating, I noticed the voltage had dropped to just below 12. 0

So I stopped playing with the Alde. ...and turned my attentions to the Solar battery charger.

I found that the factory setting was for a GEL battery, setting 1. ...which mine was not. It is also not an AGM battery, so setting 2 wasnt set. I have a flooded cell battery, so changed the setting to 3

 

This was only done on saturday. ..so I am now waiting to see if the solar panel can lift the battery back to a charged state over the coming days, or week or so.

 

Bob

Edited by 250bob

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Our dealer has advised our Cartagena came off the production line today and we should be able to collect next week Thursday/Friday after they have fitted the powertouch awd mover

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Pertshire caravans is expecting our cartagena this thur/fri with a view to collect on Mon/tues next week.

 

Our dealer has advised our Cartagena came off the production line today and we should be able to collect next week Thursday/Friday after they have fitted the powertouch awd mover

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I mention the Alde, because the control system will still take some power even if its switched off. Only switching off the isolator will stop that completely. On my Avondale, I would leave the fridge on mains, even though mains was not connected, thinking that meant it was off. But there was a control circuit still connected to the battery and it took a fair bit of juice. The weird thing is, there was an off position on the selector but it was unmarked.

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Solar panel update.

 

Checked this evening about 6pm and the battery is now showing a steady 12. 1 volts. ... up from 12. 0

 

Not a great improvement. ...but it is looking like it is now working and going in the right direction.

 

The Solar Panel controller is set on 3, which is for the flooded cell type battery. .....until last Saturday it had been on 1, which is for GEL batteries. The panel was obviously not providing any charge for the battery.

 

Do you know what type of battery you have in your Unicorn. ...most likely it is a flooded cell type.

And have you checked therefore what setting you have on your Solar Panel control box. ....3 for a flooded cell type.

 

Bob

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If you mean me, 250bob, I have a flooded cell type yes. But there is no adjustment on my controller.

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I know my solar controller/charger is currently set to Gel type & will be off to Lickpenny this weekend so will double-check that my battery is actually a gel type but it's been keeping a perfect charge from what I can see so I suspect t is correctly configured.

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If you mean me, 250bob, I have a flooded cell type yes. But there is no adjustment on my controller.

 

No, I wasnt specifically asking you. .....I was asking anyone.

 

Which caravan do you have. ??

I know my solar controller/charger is currently set to Gel type & will be off to Lickpenny this weekend so will double-check that my battery is actually a gel type but it's been keeping a perfect charge from what I can see so I suspect t is correctly configured.

 

Be good to hear what your battery definitley is. ..........have you been using your caravan not on a hook up for you to think your solar panel is keeping the charge up in your battery. ??

 

My God. .........I just checked up on GEL batteries. ......an Exide GEL 110amp Leisure battery cost £284

 

My Platinum Flooded cell 110amp cost £85. .............I am not about to spend £284 on a battery for my caravan. ........is that about what you paid for yours. .??

Edited by 250bob

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I haven't gone without EHU yet with this van but every time I pop to it in storage to potter I make a point of checking it and it's never been below 12. 7

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I haven't gone without EHU yet with this van but every time I pop to it in storage to potter I make a point of checking it and it's never been below 12. 7

 

Hi Again

Those GEL batteries are expensive. !!!

 

Regarding the voltage. ...from the time you put the caravan into storage, is the voltage dropping, rising or remaining completley static.

 

When you have been away, your battery is clearly fully charged being on a hook up. ........so wouldnt you expect the voltage to be higher than 12. 7 in storage. ?? Or is it everso slightly falling the longer it stays in storage??

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The battery came as part of a "starter pack" the dealer threw in when we bought our first small van April last year so if they are more expensive then there's a chance it could be incorrectly set I guess. Will know at the weekend.

 

Because I only get there in the evenings I do have the lights on etc. when messing so at least some power has been used though whether it's significant enough to show on the meter I couldn't say.

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Ordered our new Cartagena at the NEC got to wait until June for delivery, cant wait!

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The battery came as part of a "starter pack" the dealer threw in when we bought our first small van April last year so if they are more expensive then there's a chance it could be incorrectly set I guess. Will know at the weekend.

 

Because I only get there in the evenings I do have the lights on etc. when messing so at least some power has been used though whether it's significant enough to show on the meter I couldn't say.

 

Let me know what you find out with the battery make.

 

If you are using the lights for a short while, you might think that the solar panel will recover any small resulting loss over a short period. ....a few days maybe. ??

 

If it hadnt been for this forum, I would probably not have bothered checking anything. ....blissful ignorance you might say.

 

But I do have a strong desire to know that stuff is working properly on my cadiz. .....and as they have supplied a solar panel with this caravan, I want to know, and prove to myself, it is actually doing its job. .....not to just think its doing its job

Bob

 

PS. ....D'ya like your Cadiz. ......I'm really impressed with ours.

Edited by 250bob

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