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Mover / Battery Saga


mcbrucer
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Hello all,

 

We're relatively new the caravanning and bought our first van, a 2013 Elddis Avante 636, roughly a year ago.

 

The mover has always been a source of concern and has never really worked for us - usually dying after a few minutes of use. It's been back to the dealers for this and a whole raft of unrelated warrantee work over this past year.

 

I did post an earlier thread about it here:

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/87494-new-powrtouch-model-6-awd/

 

Anyway, this last weekend away and yet again the mover died after less than a minute of moving. Had it not been for the help of others on the site, we would have been absolutely stuffed. I cant reverse it for toffee and the wife now wants to quit caravanning as its too stressful.

 

I called the dealer again, this time demanded to speak with a manager off the bat. Finally got somebody on the phone and was told the following:

 

1. The charger built into the caravan would never charge the 110amp battery.

2. The battery will need to be removed regularly or after every trip that involved mover usage and be charged with a suitable 8-10 (or 12) amp charger.

3. This is common knowledge among caravanners and its my fault for not knowing about or understanding this before now.

 

I'm absolutely flabbergasted and am hoping for some help to verify this from the good folk here.

 

Is it indeed common knowledge that a charger built into a caravan will not be able to fully charge a 110amp battery?

 

I've racked my brain and I cant recall even once being told by any of the sales or service team that the battery could never be charged independently by the caravan and would need to be removed and charged regularly.

 

Thanks in advance.

ML320CDI & Avante 636

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It is far from common knowledge. I use a motor mover and up until recently an 85 AH battery. The on board battery charger has always kept the battery topped up both on my present van (2012 Lunar) and previous van (2005) swift. The only difference that I am aware of between an 85 AH and 110 AH battery is that the latter is capable of storing more charge and therefore even more suited to a motor mover than the 85 AH that I have used up until now.

 

My van is usually on EHU at home and the battery is never taken off for charging.

Frankly I believe that the dealer is talking tosh.


I use the 'van on 4 breaks and the motor mover is used to move away from home, on return, and to set up and take of pitch. Typically used a total of 50 operations a year

Edited by Easy T

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

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They are talking a load of rubbish, we have had our motor mover now about 7 years never charged the battery off the van unless we have not been on a EHU and run for a week without electric, we have run our Motor mover for up to 10 minutes!

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Frankly I believe that the dealer is talking tosh.

 

He most certainly is.

 

A caravan PSU will not charge a battery in a few minutes, or even a few hours, but it absolutely will fully charge any size battery that you could fit in a van.

 

mcbrucer - do you leave your van on EHU when in storage? If not, THAT is the cause of your problem - you are simply allowing the battery to go flat. A lead-acid battery MUST be kept topped-up either by permanent connection to the on-board PSU, or by solar, or by taking it home and charging it at least monthly.

 

Tony

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mcbrucer, on 26 Aug 2014 - 4:39 PM, said:

Hello all,

 

We're relatively new the caravanning and bought our first van, a 2013 Elddis Avante 636, roughly a year ago.

 

The mover has always been a source of concern and has never really worked for us - usually dying after a few minutes of use. It's been back to the dealers for this and a whole raft of unrelated warrantee work over this past year.

 

I did post an earlier thread about it here:

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/87494-new-powrtouch-model-6-awd/

 

Anyway, this last weekend away and yet again the mover died after less than a minute of moving. Had it not been for the help of others on the site, we would have been absolutely stuffed. I cant reverse it for toffee and the wife now wants to quit caravanning as its too stressful.

 

I hope you can put your wife's concerns at ease, and she wants to carry on

 

I called the dealer again, this time demanded to speak with a manager off the bat. Finally got somebody on the phone and was told the following:

 

1. The charger built into the caravan would never charge the 110amp battery.

 

I have a 110amp/hr battery and my charger chargers, get a multimeter onto the battery terminals when on EHU and check if the charger is giving out more than 12v (14. 2v) admittedly the onboard charger will not fully charge a battery but will give enough power to operate a motor mover

 

2. The battery will need to be removed regularly or after every trip that involved mover usage and be charged with a suitable 8-10 (or 12) amp charger.

 

I have not always done that if I am on EHU for more than 2 days. But it is a good idea to regularly put the battery on a good domestic charger, checking the fluid levels beforehand and topping up where necessary, when in storage I have a 4w solar panel connected to keep the battery topped up as my alarm and other electrical appliances drain the battery over a few weeks

 

3. This is common knowledge among caravanners and its my fault for not knowing about or understanding this before now.

 

I agree it is a problem as most "leisure batteries" are not good for prolonged use with Motor movers I was told to use a dual leisure/traction battery as these are more suited, but to blame you is not a good excuse, test your battery cells to see if you have a dead cell.

 

I'm absolutely flabbergasted and am hoping for some help to verify this from the good folk here.

 

Is it indeed common knowledge that a charger built into a caravan will not be able to fully charge a 110amp battery?

 

I've racked my brain and I cant recall even once being told by any of the sales or service team that the battery could never be charged independently by the caravan and would need to be removed and charged regularly.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Edited by kiaboy

2013(13) Sorento KX2 2. 2 Diesel Manual, (With smelling clutch) Glittering Metal (Metallic Grey) dragging a 2020 Coachman VIP 520 with a Powrtouch Evolution Motor Mover (Towing @ 80. 0%) :)

 

1288275170_2019VIP.jpg.775f2d8ce7b26db242e04a2e77903cd0.jpg

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Sounds as tho you got a faulty battery or faulty charger and the dealer is trying to fob you off, I see in the other thread you mentioned it was a new battery so my guess is the onboard charger, he's talking rubbish telling too to remove the battery every time you use the mover

Compass Corona (Magnum) 524 (2003) -----------VW Passat Alltrack 170 BHP DSG

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Your dealer is giving you the brush off. You need to establish that the battery is not faulty to start with as this would give the symptoms you describe. After that the mover must be in some way faulty. Speak to Powertouch. In no way is it necessary to remove the battery to charge it off the van just to run the mover! Have used mine for 10-15 mins once using it to move pitches.

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The dealer is definitely talking out of his trouser trumpet! Absolute rubbish!

 

I have two 110Ah batteries and until recently rotated them monthly.

 

I had to charge mine at home as it was in storage. On a couple of occasions before I installed a solar panel the battery was flat as I was out of the UK in excess of 10 weeks.

 

Since it was in storage my wife could not swap the batteries over as they were too heavy for her to lift.

 

Before I fitted the solar panel even after 4 weeks parked up with the alarm and tracker drawing power I could still drive it out of the bay with the mover

Edited by Lee21
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They are correct to a certain extent in that most caravan chargers limit the output to 13. 8v which does not give a full charge. This is to prevent the battery being subject to a higher voltage for long periods of time and possibly causing boiling. There are some chargers on the market now that will give a higher voltage boost for a short time but I would assume yours is just a standard one. However even at 13. 8v it should give the mover considerably more operational time than one minute.

 

The other fact is that when towing, the car alternator will output 14. 4v to the caravan battery assuming your car is correctly wired which many are not. This should boost the battery when travelling.

I assume you have a twin axle with four drive motors which does take a lot out of the battery but it does seem to me that your battery may be duff. Do you know anyone who has a 110ah battery that you could borrow to try out and see if its any better than yours.

Brian

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Batteries do need looking after, neglect kills a battery,

so you really need to charge it when the caravan is

not in use.

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How many amps does the AWD mover use with 4X motors running. I would of thought it would be under half the time a single axle takes to flatten the battery.

 

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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Questions to answer for yourself: -

 

 

When on site do you use an EHU?

If so do you have the on-board charger switched on all the time?

In storage/at home is the caravan connected to a EHU for some or all the time?

 

If the answer to any of the above is no you will have to arrange separate charging for the battery

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely

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They are correct to a certain extent in that most caravan chargers limit the output to 13. 8v which does not give a full charge.

 

I keep reading this on here, but I don't know why. Let me spell it out very clearly:

 

A 13. 6V PSU WILL FULLY CHARGE A 12V LEAD ACID BATTERY.

 

It won't charge it as fast as a floating-voltage charger, but it will treat the battery more gently.

It won't do anything to desulphate the battery, but it WILL fully charge it within those constraints if left connected for long enough.

 

Tony

I've just found this site which shows in a pretty graph and quite simple language why a PSU will fully charge a battery: http://www. powerstream. com/power-supply-vs-charger. htm

 

Tony

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They are correct to a certain extent in that most caravan chargers limit the output to 13. 8v which does not give a full charge. This is to prevent the battery being subject to a higher voltage for long periods of time and possibly causing boiling. There are some chargers on the market now that will give a higher voltage boost for a short time but I would assume yours is just a standard one. However even at 13. 8v it should give the mover considerably more operational time than one minute.

 

No, it is to prevent the battery gassing. A lead-acid cell will charge comfortably up to 2. 3V per cell, but go above that and the battery will start to gas freely - which is potentially very dangerous.

 

The other fact is that when towing, the car alternator will output 14. 4v to the caravan battery assuming your car is correctly wired which many are not. This should boost the battery when travelling.

I assume you have a twin axle with four drive motors which does take a lot out of the battery but it does seem to me that your battery may be duff. Do you know anyone who has a 110ah battery that you could borrow to try out and see if its any better than yours.

 

The car alternator will certainly put out nominally 14. 4V but when the fridge starts to pull current usually down the same cable as that 'charging' the battery the voltage will drop a bit so you are really no better off.

 

I would suggest initially that the OP begs, steals, or borrows a digital voltmeter and checks the output voltage of the power supply. This can be done with the battery disconnected and should be pretty close to spot on 13. 8V. If it is not there will likely be a small adjuster visible on the power supply or through a small hole to allow the output to be adjusted. However to be careful to use an insulated-shaft screwdriver to make sure you don't get a surprise!

When that is set (or is correct) reconnect the battery and check the terminal voltage with the PSU powered up. Again something near 13. 8V should be seen, although if the battery is low it may not be and should be checked after a few hours. If 13. 8V (or certainly above about 13. 5V) the battery may well be shot.

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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The symptoms you describe sound like the problems I suffered earlier this year.

 

I thought the battery was not being charged by the caravan onboard charger.

 

My first check however before going to complain about the charger was to check the condition of the battery which revealed that it had a faulty cell and so would not charge to the full potential.

 

New battery fitted and no further problem.

Trevor.

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The car alternator will certainly put out nominally 14. 4V but when the fridge starts to pull current usually down the same cable as that 'charging' the battery the voltage will drop a bit so you are really no better off.

Agreed, which is why I said "assuming your car is correctly wired".

If correctly wired there should be two cables run separately from the car battery, one for battery charging/ATC to pin 9 and one for fridge pin 10. When wired correctly, the battery will get charged and not interfere with the fridge and vice versa.

Brian

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Thanks for the replies everyone!

 

To clarify, my van is kept in a storage yard where it has no hookup so no power.

 

The battery has recently been left in the van while in storage though in the past I have removed it and put it on charge at home (using a cheap trickle charger). As an aside, when I took delivery of the van, the dealer advised me to remove the battery over the winter months but said that other than that that, it could stay in there. As mentioned earlier, I thought that being on a hookup during all my trips away would be enough to keep it charged.

 

I've been in touch with PowrWheel who have turned out to be very helpful. Also turns out that the dealer never registered my mover as they should have done.

 

I'm not convinced the battery is fully at fault here as the mover is supposed to flash some lights to warn of that and it doesn't seem to do that. Also, I visited my van in storage last night and the battery meter was reading 13v (its a digital meter - not sure how accurate it is if at all!)

 

Hopefully, Powrwheel will be able to send somebody out to take a look at it for me and confirm one way or the other.

 

 

Overall, I'm very disappointed with the dealership. Call me naive but I expected more in terms of customer care from them after spending so much money. I'm pretty sure I'll not be going back there and even now I'm looking for somebody else to give the van its first service ( can anyone recommend B L Caravans near Corby? )

 

I'm also going to look at carrying a second battery - though I'm not sure which type is best for my purpose - and even considering getting a solar installation though that raises even more questions! Can a solar solution keep a 110amp battery topped up enough!

 

thanks again everyone!

ML320CDI & Avante 636

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Yes, a small (say 40W) solar panel will keep the battery topped-up while it's in storage. A larger one will enable you to go on rallies with no EHU.

 

Your reading of 13V appears good, even if somewhat inaccurate. What would be interesting would be to try the mover for a few minutes while someone watches that meter.

 

Tony

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Yes, a small (say 40W) solar panel will keep the battery topped-up while it's in storage. A larger one will enable you to go on rallies with no EHU.

 

Your reading of 13V appears good, even if somewhat inaccurate. What would be interesting would be to try the mover for a few minutes while someone watches that meter.

 

Tony

 

If it's a wireless control, why can't he be in the van himself? He could pop down the shops for a newspaper to give it a thorough test :o:)

hawkaye :beardy:

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  • 5 months later...

Old thread I know but I wanted to circle back on this in case it proves useful to anyone.

 

Powrtouch sent an engineer out to look at my mover. He was very thorough but initially didn't think there was anything wrong with it. However, just before he was about to give up and go home, he did another test and discovered that the mover was moving the front (or might have been back) wheels in the wrong direction on a turn. This meant that the wheels were fighting against each other and putting extra load on the rollers.

Turns out that the wrong control unit had been fitted to my van - it was for an articulated trailer rather than for a twin axle caravan.

 

He swapped out the control unit and since then I've not had any problems with it - though to be fair, I've not used it much since then but I am very confident that this was the root cause of all my issues.

 

While I am very pleased that Powrtouch were about to resolve this for me, I am still very angry about the service I got from the dealer and particularly about that last response from their management. I'm pretty certain that I will never darken their door again.

 

Many thanks to everyone for your help and support :)

ML320CDI & Avante 636

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Good of you to let us know the outcome. Glad it's all sorted.

 

Mike. :):)

2014 SsangYong Rexton W towing a 2017 Sprite Major 4EB. (After June 9th).

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