Damsel in distress!

mandymops

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Ok, you clever techy sorts. A week ago I was having a little party in my van and when all the wine had gone we resorted to cocoa. (Tragic I know.) as I was filling the sink to wash up the tap stopped and lights went out. Flat leisure battery thinks I and switching on torch resolve to was up when I get home. On getting home I turn in and a weird pulsating motor starts up outside. Eventually at about 2.30a.m. I am so irritated by the noise and obviously inconsiderate neighbours, I go to investigate. My red face glows in the darling as I realize it's my pump and the water is pouring all over the place from my waste pipe. I switch off the tap and light and skuttle back to bed mildly baffled as to how to battery suddenly came to life again.

Now I am getting van ready to hit the road tomorrow-charging up battery and filling water but lo,the tap and lights will not function! Now, have I done something dreadful, burned something out, or is it more likely to be a fuse? If I have done something dreadful what kind of place do I need to go to fix it? I take the van to a mechanic more often than I care to mention but who do you take it to for this sort of thing?
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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Sorry about all the auto-corrects. (Note to self: Read before posting.) but you get the gist.
 

DBK

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Sounds like a poor connection somewhere - lights and pump goes off then magically comes back on again. With a blown fuse the pump would not have started again. I can only suggest jiggling the leads connected to the leisure battery or batteries, assuming it has one. Otherwise just jiggle any wire you can see!

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mandymops

mandymops

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Hmmmm.....I fear I may need to resort to an expert jiggler. Where does one go to for electrics problems in the habitation bit? Also, when jiggling I found something which I thought was part of the van but it was just sitting there. I shall see if I can get a picture up. What on earth is it? Should I worry?
image.jpg
 

DP+JAY

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I agree it sounds like a bad battery connection, or possibly a fault on the battery switch/relay.
the item in your pic is called jack, a usefull fellow if you have a puncture.

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mandymops

mandymops

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There's a wee box with switches under a seat which I've never touched. Is that where the battery switch relay is?
 

DP+JAY

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It would help to know what van you have? Do you have a control panel? usually above or near the hab door.
when you say the lights & pump stopped, was that all, or did everything that is 12v stop working?
 

DBK

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I fear Jack needs to be retired. He might make a useful doorstop. He should have shiny chromy bits but now I fear has developed something of a patina of age. It comes to us all. Seized up and useless.

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Don
Hmmmm.....I fear I may need to resort to an expert jiggler. Where does one go to for electrics problems in the habitation bit? Also, when jiggling I found something which I thought was part of the van but it was just sitting there. I shall see if I can get a picture up. What on earth is it? Should I worry? View attachment 38074
don't panic its only an old bottle jack, nothing to do with the electrics, but it does lift the vehicle
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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image.jpg
Bedford rascal nipper and tap and three little lights is all I have. I'll show you the box I mean. No control panel-it's all a bit basic. I've only ever used a hook-up twice but have never touched this box. I am wondering if I'm meant to and where the switches should be. I've just noticed the button which says,"Press Monthly." ???? Have just pressed it for the first time in the three years I've had the van. Is this important?
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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Don
don't panic its only an old bottle jack, nothing to do with the electrics, but it does lift the vehicle
Aaah. No idea how it works but, hey ho, at least it's not part of the hamster wheel I lovingly call an engine.

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jollyrodger

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Could it be that your auxiliary battery has gone past its sell by date ? Not holding a good charge?
Then when driving sufficient charge has gone back so as to activate the pump then zilch a few hours later .
Just a thought
 

DP+JAY

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OK, thats for the 230v not the12v & you push the switch to check that the trips work(plugged in of course) nothing to do with your problem.
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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No, I don't think so. I'm charging the battery now and it usually just blows the fuse of the charger if it's completely dead. Seems to be charging ok.

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DBK

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I suspect this little MH doesn't have a leisure battery.

The "press monthly" thing is just to test the circuit breaker is working, but as already mentioned this is for the 240v side of the electrics.
 

DP+JAY

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Could it be that your auxiliary battery has gone past its sell by date ? Not holding a good charge?
Then when driving sufficient charge has gone back so as to activate the pump then zilch a few hours later .
Just a thought

Not likely or the pump & lights would come on as soon as the engine started.

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DP+JAY

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I suspect this little MH doesn't have a leisure battery.
Likely, in which case does it have a "battery saver" that disconnects at a certain voltage?
Still doesn't explain why the pump didn't start with the engine?
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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No, it does have a leisure battery! Not much else but it does have one. I'm charging it at present. Should be nearly full of charge by now.
 

FULL TIMER

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I would say that your leisure battery is probably knackered .sounds like it ran flat when you first had the problem, as you drove home the battery has gained some charge via the vehicle split charging system hence the pump and light working again, but it seems it has since lost any charge it had as you now have the same problem again. The item in your last picture is nothing to do with the 12volt system, it is your mains 240v consumer unit ,the test button is just to check that the trip works, but mains power must be connected for this to function.

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mandymops

mandymops

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I would say that your leisure battery is probably knackered .sounds like it ran flat when you first had the problem, as you drove home the battery has gained some charge via the vehicle split charging system hence the pump and light working again, but it seems it has since lost any charge it had as you now have the same problem again. The item in your last picture is nothing to do with the 12volt system, it is your mains 240v consumer unit ,the test button is just to check that the trip works, but mains power must be connected for this to function.
Makes sense. Hadn't given it a good run or used the charger in an age. I'll see what it's like when the charger says it's fully charged.
 

AuldCodger

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Hi mandypops, please forgive the familiarity but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your post. Really refreshing when someone who doesn't know just asks (y)
Keep on enjoying your travels.
 

Abacist

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The jack is a hydraulic bottle jack and needs a handle usually found in 2 or 3 parts of tubular steel to fit in the the obvious hole in the heavy bit. It might work or may be seized as has already been suggested. Good type of jack for lifting motorhomes if of the right capacity and easier to use than a scissors jack.

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mandymops

mandymops

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The jack is a hydraulic bottle jack and needs a handle usually found in 2 or 3 parts of tubular steel to fit in the the obvious hole in the heavy bit. It might work or may be seized as has already been suggested. Good type of jack for lifting motorhomes if of the right capacity and easier to use than a scissors jack.
I'll have to investigate though I'm not sure where you would place it. I'll search for a solid bit-could take some time.....
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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Hi mandypops, please forgive the familiarity but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your post. Really refreshing when someone who doesn't know just asks (y)
Keep on enjoying your travels.
It's so nice that people answer so kindly. I do feel such an ignoramus but on the upside, I'm a whizz at interior decor. Have made cushions, curtains, rugs and blankets- all very pretty. I just wish the man stuff would behave.
 

OldAgeTravellers

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?..............I just wish the man stuff would behave.
Since when do you expect "Man Stuff" to behave. "Man Stuff" works when you don't need it to then packs up just when you need it. It has taken us men millions of years to get to that degree of sophistication!!!

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Jan 28, 2008
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from the fact that yoiur charging the battery at home before each trip it sounds like you dont have a split charge system or is not working you realy need a auto electrician to check it over
if you dont have a split charged and your charging and flattening the battery each trip its not going to last long
the fact that it stopped and then restarted suggests a loose connection or dodgy switch
unlikley to be the pump as you say the lights failed at the same time i would be looking at the battery connections or maybe theres a point along the wiring that feeds both with a dodgy connection also remember to check earth connections as this could be shared as well
maybe a few more pics of your battery wiring and switches might help us pick out the likley places for a fault to occur
im in east london and willing to take a look if you fancy an hours drive over one evening
 
Jul 9, 2012
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He should have shiny chromy bits but now I fear has developed something of a patina of age.

Deb'n Beekeeper,

I cant wait to meet a poster that uses such eloquence at one of the get togethers (or sooner as we both live in Deb'n).......do you happen to like red wine by any chance :rolleyes:

The Tinca's
 
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mandymops

mandymops

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from the fact that yoiur charging the battery at home before each trip it sounds like you dont have a split charge system or is not working you realy need a auto electrician to check it over
if you dont have a split charged and your charging and flattening the battery each trip its not going to last long
the fact that it stopped and then restarted suggests a loose connection or dodgy switch
unlikley to be the pump as you say the lights failed at the same time i would be looking at the battery connections or maybe theres a point along the wiring that feeds both with a dodgy connection also remember to check earth connections as this could be shared as well
maybe a few more pics of your battery wiring and switches might help us pick out the likley places for a fault to occur
I'm in east london and willing to take a look if you fancy an hours drive over one evening
Wow,how kind! I've charged it now and no joy. Also tried to jiggle bits and pieces ( of wiring,, that is) and no joy. Everything seems firm but very Heath Robinson. I think with my ancient little sardine can I would be laughed off the forecourt if I went to one of the engineering places I've seen online. I can just see them sucking their teeth and telling me to scrap it. If you really mean it, I may very we'll need your help. I'm in Streatham. Where are you? I'm off to the Witterings tomorrow, I suppose with lanterns and water carrier, but will be back on Thursday.

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mandymops

mandymops

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Actually, I've found a chap 25 minutes away who seems unshockable and has a soft spot for lost cause vans at Autolec so I'll see what he can do when I get back from my little jaunt, but thank you so much for your extremely kind offer.
 
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