No power when just on 12v / Laika EcoVIP 6 (1 Viewer)

HarryHamsta

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Mar 25, 2019
27
6
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59,348
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Coachbuild
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4 years
Hi all!

So I purchased a Laika EcopVIP 6 (1995 Iveco chassis) in Germany, when I purchased it the domestic electric system was working fine although I could tell that the Leisure battery was in need of replacement. Only 1 previous owner(s), from what I gather an older couple who probably only used it on campsites / with a hookup.

The problem I have at the moment is that the domestic electrics are not working unless A) I'm on 220V hookup, or B) The engine is running.

When either of these are the case, everything works perfectly.

I have replaced the leisure battery.

The battery reads 12.5V.

I have checked all the fuses.

When on 220V hookup, and the leisure battery is selected (see photo), then the relay for the 12V battery charger clicks rapidly, slowing down and stopping eventually.

I am wondering if the relay completes the circuit, even if I'm not a hookup, and hence my problem. However I don't want to jump to conclusions. I have a practical understanding of 12V but not so much of a theoretical one. I did reach out to a online website and they sent over a relay that closely matched (but was not identical) to the current relay but with that plugged in, nothing worked even on the hook up.

I'm wondering if there is some way to bypass the relay completely (e.g. with crimped cable) to see if that is the problem.

Can anyone help out? I've attached the wiring diagram and a picture of the control panel.

Thanks,

Harry
 

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Aug 6, 2013
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From your description of the symptoms the leisure battery is never in circuit - on EHU you are working off the van power unit (charger) and when the engine is running you are working off the starter battery. Re-check the leisure battery and the connections you made when you swapped it and re-check the fuse near the leisure battery.
 
Feb 9, 2008
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I agree with the above, either a very poor, or broken, connection or blown fuse.
 

TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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switch the right hand switch up to run off the leisure battery

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HarryHamsta

Free Member
Mar 25, 2019
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4 years
Have you checked the fuse near the leisure battery.

I didn't think to do that; just have and its fine.

From your description of the symptoms the leisure battery is never in circuit - on EHU you are working off the van power unit (charger) and when the engine is running you are working off the starter battery. Re-check the leisure battery and the connections you made when you swapped it and re-check the fuse near the leisure battery.

This sounds correct. It's worth noting that the control panel is reading low voltage (1/3) on the leisure battery so either something is getting through from the starter battery or a very low voltage from the leisure battery.

switch the right hand switch up to run off the leisure battery

haha yeah I have of course tried that, I was just switched to starter battery when I took the photo.


I've attached a photo of the battery set up in the engine bay. I've checked the strip fuse and it is fine. I've checked the voltage at the relay end and it *seems* fine but I don't know which pin should be reading what. I'm assuming the relay is the split charge relay.

I spoke to a campervan place in France and they couldn't look at it (too busy) but suggested cleaning the terminals which I will do later.

The reason for the multiple washers is because the nuts are 'spinning' on the bolt so I think I need to either clean or replace the bolts.

Appreciate all the suggestions, if anyone can think of anything else, or if there is a way to work out whether the problem is at the leisure battery end or the control panel end I'm all ears.
 

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Apr 27, 2016
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That relay wiring doesn't exactly tally with the diagram. There's an extra wire for a start.

A relay is an electrically operated switch. A small current into a magnetic coil pulls the switch on. When the coil current is off, a spring pulls the switch off again. A relay has 5 terminals: 2 for the coil, terminal 30 (COMMON or COM), terminal 87 (NORMALLY OPEN or NO), and terminal 87A (NORMALLY CLOSED or NC)

On some relays the switch is a 'changeover' type. When the relay is off, terminal 30 is disconnected from terminal 87, but is connected to 87A. When the coil current turns the magnet on, terminal 30 is disconnected from 87A and connected to 87.

Terminals 30, 87 and 87A are heavy-duty 40 Amp terminals. 84 and 85 are the coil terminals, and only take a small current. One side of the coil is usually connected straight to earth. That's what the black (nero in Italian) wire is.

To test a relay, disconnect all the wires (leave the coil earth wire if you want). Touch a 12v wire to the coil positive, and you should hear a click as the magnet pulls the switch, and another click when you disconnect.

On your split charge relay, the coil is switched on by the alternator output signal, usually called D+. I guess it is the thin grey (grigio) double wire, which then goes on to trigger other relays like the fridge.

The thick grey wire obviously comes from the starter battery, via a fuse. The thick red (rosso) wire I guess comes from the leisure battery.

The white (bianco) wire is not on the diagram. I don't know what it is. I suppose it can either be an output, supplying some leisure devices when the alternator isn't running. Or could be an input from the mains charger or even a solar panel, charging the battery when the alternator isn't running.

Either way, red is 30 (COM), grey 87 (NO), white 87A (NC).
 
Last edited:
Apr 27, 2016
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Unfotunately the symptoms don't suggest a split charge relay fault.
Agreed, we could do with some actual multimeter voltage readings of the leisure battery. On EHU, not on EHU and with engine running, for a start.
 
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HarryHamsta

Free Member
Mar 25, 2019
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6
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59,348
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Coachbuild
Exp
4 years
Wow so I'm a total idiot. This is what happens when you try and troubleshoot something when you are tired and stressed. Bit of back story but in the last 3 months I've driven from Galicia to Somerset to Brighton with our old van, sold that, got a coach to Germany and driven back with this new van, flown to Portugal and back, and am now driving back to Galicia. I've done that whilst continuing to work (work from my laptop) and with a dog.

The picture I took is of the STARTER BATTERY, of which I replaced a perfectly good one. The other battery was the leisure battery. I paid a French mechanic 15E to basically tell me I was an idiot as he disconnected what I had assumed was the starter battery, and then got me to start the van.

I've replaced the leisure battery and everything is fine.

I made the initial assumption about the batteries based on their size and appearance, but its now clear that is the starter battery, the massive gauge cable and the fact that the vehicle electronics earth to it is a bit of a give away!!

I appreciate everyones input on this.

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Apr 27, 2016
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I've replaced the leisure battery and everything is fine.
I hope so. But it's still a good idea to take those leisure battery voltage readings. It would be sad if the new battery was ruined because it wasn't being charged properly.
 

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