Lighting - Don't understand

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by unitedgirl, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. unitedgirl

    unitedgirl Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    I am fairly new to motorhoming, we bought our first van earlier in the year and due to work have only managed to get away in it a couple of times.

    I am very confused as to how the leisure battery, 12V / hook up electric thing all works.

    The van is a Chausson welcome 1996. continental 2 pin plugs.

    1. 1In each of the 2 sleeping areas there is a plastic surrounded wall mounted light which I am assuming is 12 volt. We have used these lights whilst on hook up and the light covers melted! Have I just answered my own question? Are these supposed to be used only when not on hook up? And if so, are these lights the only ones that should work when not on hook up, as the other spot type lights do not work when not hooked up to mains. Lastly on that note, as the lights have melted are these relativley easy to change, ideally to a more modern style?
    2. Also, the fridge is a 3 way type but the light does not seem to come on when we are not hooked up? Is this a problem with the connection maybe or is the fridge only supposed to work when the engine is running??
    3. If we were using the van off site, how does the 12V system work? Can we only use items that plug into the cig lighter, or are there appliances that work in the mains sockets? If we do use appliances in the cig lighter say overnight will that completely drain the engine battery?
    4. How can I check if the leisure battery is working?
    5. Does the leisure battery automatically charge when the engine is running?
    I am sure all the above are fairly obvious questions but if anyone can help that would be appreciated as I am keen to learn how it all works.

    Many thanks!!:thumb:
     
  2. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick Read Only Funster

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  3. unitedgirl

    unitedgirl Read Only Funster

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    OMG Now I am really confused!! :cry:
     
  4. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    I am only guessing but the light covers may have melted because the size of the bulbs are too great. i.e the voltage or watts in the bulbs are too high - like putting a 100 watt bulb in to a lamp that should only take a 40 watt bulb.

    You should be able to use the lights in the motorhome any time as they will run either off the leisure battery your generator if you have one or off a mains supply.

    Using the van off site run your 3 way fridge on gas.

    Hope this is of some help. There are far more experience funsters here than we are and I am sure in due course they will help you further xxxx
     
  5. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Smile: Hi unitedgirl.

    1. The lights in the sleeping areas are 12 volts. They will work with or without hook up from the leisure battery provided there is enough charge in the leisure battery. They may have melted because they have too high a BULB fitted or have been on for too long a period.

    2. The 3 way fridge will work on 12 volts when the switch is on and the engine is running. It should NOT be left switched on when the engine is NOT running.
    The switch for the 220/240 volts is to turn the fridge on when on hook up and is controlled by the numbered wheel switch next to it. It should be switched OFF when NOT on hook up.
    The Gas is the other numbered wheel next to which should be a press button to click the spark to light the gas when the wheel is turned to ignition/gas and the wheel is kept pressed in until the spark ingnites the fridge. There should be a tell tale hole somewhere near the bottom of the fridge to show the pilot light or flame.

    3. The leisure battery is charge when the engine is running or when on hook up. The internal lights work via the leisure battery until the battery cannot supplu any more power.
    You can check that the leisure battery is working by switching on a light. If you start the motor the lights will increase in brightness due to the extra voltage supplied by the alternator.
    There is NO 22/240 volts when you are NOT on hook up.
    You can buy an Inverter which will convert the 12 volts via the cigarette lighter socket or direct connection to the leisure battery. But you will NOT be able to run an Hair dryer or such like via the cig socket and an average leisure battery will not give much time for hair drying.
     
  6. unitedgirl

    unitedgirl Read Only Funster

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    Thanks guys, now it makes a bit more sense, still dont know why the spotlights only work when on hook up though.

    Will have a play with the van later and see what I can work out.

    Going to order some new 12v lights online and lower watt bulbs, then see how easy they are to re fit!

    If you see something glowing in the skies over southern spain, that will be our van!!!:BigGrin:
     
  7. alf

    alf Read Only Funster

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    Have a look at a bulb in the spotlights if it says 240v there is your answer they are mains voltage spotlights

    Alf
     
  8. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1: Brilliant! thanks for that.
     
  9. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    If you have any probs when your in Spain let me know i live here and might be able to help you.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if funds allow you could consider L.E.D. 'bulbs'

    considerably more expensive to buy (around £8 in the uk) but a much longer life (around 50'000hrs) and very low power consumption meaning longer 'off' hookup.

    one normal 12v 10watt halogen will use nearly 1 amp per hour. (ah)
    8 L.E.D.s will use about the same...1 ah.

    a big power saving:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  11. unitedgirl

    unitedgirl Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Ken, I also live in Spain and we are heading off down the coast next month and want get it allsorted before we set off! May cross paths with you at some stage!



    Pappa John, I have thought about the LED lights and will probably look to change to those have read a lot of info on how good they are. Cheers:thumb:
     
  12. unitedgirl

    unitedgirl Read Only Funster

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    PS.

    How do I get an Avatar??
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    B&Q usually 3rd isle on the left.
     
  14. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Bet you couldn't resist thaT :Smile:

    Google free avatar, find a picture you like, download it to your computer, go to your usercp here and upload it.
     
  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I know, can't control my fingers sometimes.

    They were strongly influenced by Spike Milligan.

    Isn't there a saying "There's no such thing as a free Avatar" ?
     
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