Habitation Electrics with engine running

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by knokinonabit, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I know that UK made vehicles don't have this facility (which I think is daft) and I have read threads that say it can be done. So I had a look through back threads and came upon this one from Nigel&Debbie posted on the 6/4/2013 in this forum, titled "how to have lights on with engine running".

    Could you clever people please have a look and tell me if it seems like an ok method to you, as I can do this on our Comanche quite easily. I have had the panels off for a look and have identified the wire and it seems straight forward.

    All opinions gratefully received, good or bad :thumb:
     
  2. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    its a simple case of disconnecting one wire at the control panel and fitting a switch so the "feature" can be restored if needed. From memory its blue with red, but wait till somebody else has confirmed this before you start cutting wires
     
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    I done mine myself.

    I found the live feed to the Sargeant unit from the engine, then from the sargeant unit to the Hab, snipped and switch added.
    Obviously you lose the auto step retraction if the switch is on but everything else works including the fridge.

    The only reason we took this cause of action was to ensure that the loo could be used on the move, but more importantly so that I can use the B2B charger whilst the van is stationary. So after four or 5 days camped up, if the batteries die I can flick the switch, start up and rapidly charge batteries without losing all of the facilities inside.

    TBH Ive used it so rarely it's been hardly worth doing. :Blush:
     
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  4. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Having gone back and read the thread that you refered too. That sounds quite right to me. Similar action to mine but obviously located somewhere different (mines a Swift group van)...
     
  5. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I don't think I would use it a lot.
    It's for those annoying times when you may need to move a few feet and everything turns off as the engine turns on. :Doh:
     
  6. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    I did mine on my Apache,didn't bother with a switch,just cut it so that If needed they can be reconnected .The electric step still works and its great in winter as the kids can have the lights on in the back on dark nights.





    Vlad.
     
  7. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Did you cut the wire in that is under the panel down by the side of the drivers seat ?
     
  8. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    The wire I cut was going into the back of my Sargent unit,located in one of the overhead cupboards behind drivers seat on my model.

    Vlad.
     
  9. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Is it possible that you can remember the colour of the wire or if it was numbered please.
     
  10. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    The wire was yellow and red on my 2004 apache it may or maynot be the same for you.
    Below is the information I was given,word for word,if you have a wiring diagram and relate it to the following info this may help.


    The yellow and red wire is fed from the 12v fridge circuit, in turn from the fridge relay under the bonnet. Its function is to provide a signal to the Sargent unit to switch off the caravan electrics when the fridge is running.
    Simply cutting the wire removes that signal and allows your caravan electrics to function when you are driving.
    Your electric step and fridge operation will not be affected.



    Regards Vlad
     
  11. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Many thanks Vlad.
    I will have a root around tomorrow and see if I can find it and give it a try. :thumb:
     
  12. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I have had a look and can't find a yellow and red wire. The wiring diagram that is in the handbook is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard, so it is back to the drawing board. There is no mention of a yellow/red wire. The nearest I can find is red/orange.

    I am going back out there and see if I can identify the correct wire. If not, then it is the wire behind the drivers seat that gets it. :thumb:
     
  13. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Try pulling out the fridge relay under the bonnet.
    Run the engine.
    If your habitation electrics still work you are on the right track.
    On your wiring diagram the supply to the 12v side of the fridge will be from the fridge relay right?
    Follow that circuit and see if it works its way to your distribution panel. It should branch off to your electric step too.
    Where this circuit meets your panel, simply cut the wire, leaving sufficient length to rejoin if nessesary, and your habitation electrics should stay on!
    If not, get yourself booked in at Lincoln and wait for a crowd of Funsters to decend on your van like a bunch of Gremlins!!!!
     
  14. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I can't find which wire it is at the PSU because nothing matches the wiring diagram :Angry:. Even my cousin, who is an instrument tiffy, just took one look at it and laughed.

    So I did as Nigel and Debbie suggested and found the brown/white wire in the door pillar behind the drivers seat. I snipped this and yes, the habitation lights all worked, but the step wouldn't retract. Now I am sure that I have read that it can be done so that everything works, if you can find the correct wire to snip, in the right place. Right now I can't and I am pi**ed off. The wire is now joined together again and I am no further forward. :Doh:
     
  15. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    What year is your van?

    You could look for a brown and white at the PSU.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  16. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    My van is an 08. Again it's swift group, I know loads of people that have carried out this mod, some of them are very tech savvy too. Yet I know no one that has the step still auto retract when you start the engine.

    This is why I have a separate switch so I switch it when I need it and not any another time..

    Just as said when already on the move or parked up for a long period and just want to charge up? Why not fit a switch? Simple enough option.

    I was somewhat surprised when Vlad says he snipped his and the fridge and step still worked? From memory of course it is a different van and an earlier chassis to what you have.
     
  17. Ash

    Ash Trader - Service & Repairs Life Member

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    As haggers said this is the way to do it.:thumb:
    You are best to put a switch in to make it safe,
    I used a multi meter to find wire behind driver seat and put switch in the pod :thumb:
     
  18. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    I was somewhat surprised when Vlad says he snipped his and the fridge and step still worked? From memory of course it is a different van and an earlier chassis to what you have.

    Not as surprised as I was Paul ! Infact I was bloody astounded ! Least of all because when it comes to electrics I don't know my arse from my elbow.I was amazed that after giving my van the snip anything worked.Thankfully I followed good advice from a knowledgable Funster and all went well. :BigGrin:



    Vlad
     
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  19. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I wasn't! I told him which wire to snip!!!!!!:Laughing:

    I had given Jeff the snip the week before too! All courtesy of Sargent's online wiring schematics!:thumb:
     
  20. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Perhaps it's you who should be the nurse John ,as you seem to have facilitated a few of us having the snip!

    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:



    Vlad
     
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