Habitation electric cutout - WHY?

physio49

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having had a number of continental vans in the past, where the 12 volt systems remained on when the engine was started, it has become more than an irritation that my Autotrail Vline (and others) cuts all 12 volt systems when the engine is started.
I came across this paragraph whilst trying to research this:
"CAMPERVAN CIRCUIT ISOLATION
There is a potential risk that appliances being used when the camper is being driven may divert power away from the vital systems of a vehicle: braking and engine management etc.
An isolation relay automatically cuts off the power to the living area when the vehicle is started. The fridge and the charge to the leisure battery can bypass this relay for obvious reasons."

If this is the case, how is it that there is no such risk in ALL continental vans - including all sold here in UK - and who do I approach to get a definitive answer? It has been suggested that it is a regulation from the NCC - if so again why??
Anyone help here??
 

pappajohn

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It's complete rubbish.
It's part of the national caravan councils recommendations which UK motorhome converters mostly adhere to because they think it matters.... It has no legal standing
If it was the case there would be foreign vans broken down all over Europe.
If you could find the relay it can easily be bypassed allowing the hab electrics to remain live with the engine running.
 

tonyidle

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It's to do with EMC regulations. Everything electrical that's installed in a vehicle must be EMC approved or have a certificate of exemption. To gain approval all electrical bits'n'pieces would need to go through a no doubt expensive process. So the industry doesn't do it. There are many links to EMC information. This is the first one I found:


It has to be said that there are few active (in terms of EMI) components used in a motorhome so bypassing the device that turns off habitation electrics when the vehicle is in use poses no danger. As evidenced by all the Continental motorhomes that don't bother.
 

DBK

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Our British built Murvi doesn't turn the 12 volt system off when the engine is started. We regularly charge tablets and phones while driving and it would be a bind of we couldn't do that. So much so the relay and I would be having words. :)
 

thebriars

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It may be NCC approved but Adria is Slovakian, not British.
Our Benimar is NCC approved for what little it is worth (ie, nothing), and Benimar, Autotrail and Adria are owned by the Trigano Group. The Autotrail Vline is made in Grimsby.
 
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hilldweller

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If you could find the relay it can easily be bypassed allowing the hab electrics to remain live with the engine running.
Maybe not so easy when Mr Sargent is involved. The engine running feed also retracts the step and sets of a hooked up warning so I suspect the "relay" is embedded in their control system and can not be simply bypassed.
 
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physio49

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Thanks to Tonyidle on the link to the 'EMC standards'. Further research provided this -:

UNECE Regulation 10.

"Certain types of equipment are exempt from certain tests. Equipment for caravans and motor homes that operate when the vehicle is in use are included, but those that only operate when the vehicle is parked or are powered independently are excluded.

The Regulation is enforced by a different body in each member state. In the UK, the responsible body is the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), which is an agency of the Department for Transport. "
So it would seem that it is the VCA/DOT that state we must cut all supply when starting the engine because
" Products without direct control (of the vehicle) only have to meet the emission requirements."

All electrical items that meet these standards are CE marked - so it still raises the question as to why UK built vans - which have CE marked electrical fittings have to do this? Or are we (UK) fitting Chinese non CE marked electrical items??
Will be questioning VCA about this, and look forward to their answer.
Have approached Sargent re: disabling the cutout and received short shrift!
 
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physio49

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To DBK, I would be most grateful if you could let me know the age of your Murvi - as I would like to contact Murvi to ask how they manage to NOT cut the habitation electrics?
Thanks.
 

Allanm

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We suffered the 12v cutouts in both our Swift and Autosleeper. A total pain.
We can use everything in our Burstner, including the heating and hot water, while we are travelling.
No more sitting freezing in the winter because the cab heating can’t keep up and rear passengers are also warm and can use any of the numerous spotlights to look at whatever they want to look at while travelling.
 
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physio49

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I shall be questioning most if not all British manufacturers as to their reasoning for this anomaly,
and reproduce their replies here. Perhaps with sufficient support - including as JeanLuc suggests the buying public's reluctance to purchase British, we can get this changed.
 

busbuddy

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the light above the rear seatbelted seats and 12v/usb socket(if fitted) next to it usually work with engine running
well it does on my 2003 swift and on everyone i looked at when shopping for it

i have read about the one wire that needs to removed from the relay to enable full 12v use when engine running but depending on your wiring the removal of that wire could also affect your leisure battery charging, fridge, step, etc
 

funflair

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Our British built Murvi doesn't turn the 12 volt system off when the engine is started. We regularly charge tablets and phones while driving and it would be a bind of we couldn't do that. So much so the relay and I would be having words. :)
Interestingly Murvi don't appear on the NCC list of approved leisure vehicle models. Does it have an NCC sticker?

Martin
 
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