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A AUTOTRAIL HELP INFORMATION

Ladders

by Donna

[ 2 ]

Donna

10:03 PM   08-Aug-19

Motueka

Hi, I am hoping that I'm not the first to do this but I'm looking for where I can buy the bottom half of a ladder off a Comanche Auto-Trail. It had 5 steps.

Cheers

John M

11:00 PM   08-Aug-19

Well that would depend on the brand and model of ladder, the vehicle age and was it supplied by the original vendor with the van or ex factory, or an after market fit?

There are only a couple of manufacturers, such as Fiamma.  

The ladder on our Commanche has no manufacturers identification.

You could photograph it and send an email to AT’s help desk, who may identify it.

However, unless the van is new the likelyhood of spares being available is slim.

I would recommend that you prepare yourself for having a local engineering company repair yours?  I assume you reversed over it?

JohnM

Sibenik

Storage

by JRJ

[ 6 ]

JRJ

10:46 AM   03-Jul-19

Tauranga

I am about to purchase and Imala 734 and just wondering where people store their pots and pans in this vehicle.

Thanks

Janice Jeffs

Richard & Kay

04:18 PM   03-Jul-19

Auckland

There isn’t a lot of room for pots etc . There is a locker door in the side of the lh bed which opens into the garage. We put a plastic box large enough to handle our pots etc and as it wAs level with the bottom of the door there was room to put a lid on it . Worked well

Beetle2

01:32 PM   04-Jul-19

Christchurch

I added shelves to the two deep cupboards under the sink bench (we have an Imala 730) and also made pot lid holders on the doors. We also use sliding baskets as shown (ex The Warehouse). Hopefully you can see the attached photo.

Beetle2

01:44 PM   04-Jul-19

Christchurch

Continuing the storage topic: I found there was a wasted recess under the bathroom sink when I was fitting a smell trap. There were two screws covered by plastic covers holding a flush hatch. I replaced the screws with disc magnets in the corner of the hatch and recessed matching magnets in the wall aperture, added a little brass knob and now we have a handy cupboard for spare soap, toilet rolls etc. I could have hinged the door but figured this system was simpler and easier..

Beetle2

04:26 PM   04-Jul-19

Christchurch

The little decorative curtains that come with an Imala 730 are large enough to pull right across once you replace the two short pieces of curtain track with a full-width section. (Available from UK Caravans in Christchurch). And the shelf on top of the curtain becomes much more useful when an edge fence is fitted.

Beetle2

04:45 PM   04-Jul-19

Christchurch

The lockers above the bed in an Imala 730 are deep and spacious but the first time we used them we found everything fell out when we opened them after a trip. Adding a shelf with edging and using Kathmandu clothing bags improved the next journey..

Blooming to buy 625 Autotrail

by Stewart_1

[ 6 ]

Stewart_1

05:30 PM   29-May-19

Dunedin

my wife and I are looking at getting a motor home we had a caravan for years when our kids were around but now there is just the two of us so we’re thinking the motor home tripping looks good, we like the layout of the tribute 625 but there is also the imala 625 now we are confused, any suggestions would be great.

cheers 

Stewart and Ronwyn 

Mike & Chris

05:56 PM   29-May-19

North Canterbury

Hi Stewart and Ronwyn

 

If you haven't already, have a look here: https://www.auto-trail.co.uk/

 

You will see that the Tribute range generally has lower specification as standard up to the Frontier range which is the highest standard spec. The Imala is somewhere in between.

Mike

Boltman

07:56 AM   30-May-19

Whangarei

You will get great support from the tribute agents I can't say the same for the other dealers.

Stewart_1

03:30 PM   30-May-19

Dunedin

thanks,we can buy the tribute local and need to go to Auckland for the imala . The imala has 150 BHP compared to 130 in the tribute but also is around 10k more is it worth the extra money for the extra BHP

Mikee

04:33 PM   30-May-19

Auckland

Hi Guys, We researched the Tribute and Imala 625 last year and  the Imala features were far better in our opinion. The 147bhp is definitely better than the 130bhp output. I looked on line earlier and spotted a few Tributes and One Imala for sale on Trademe. Tributes are 2019 the Imala is 2018 but advertised as ( New ). I would go for the Imala as I reckon it has been there a while and the dealer will want to shift it.  You are in a good position having a choice I would negotiate the price of the Imala down by playing it off against the New Tributes.  Good Luck 

 

Cheers  Mikee

Stewart_1

05:10 PM   30-May-19

Dunedin

Thanks Mike, 

Tracker RS

by Janet McK

[ 1 ]

Janet McK

08:55 PM   07-Mar-19

Whakatane

We are looking for a Tracker RS but have to wait for next shipment. Would anyone have one that can give us lots of info re storage locker sizes as we can't find any info on dimensions or where we would store chairs

Apache 634 or Tracker RB

by ArchieO

[ 7 ]

ArchieO

11:59 AM   07-Mar-19

Tauranga

Hello everyone, 

 

We are looking at buying our very first motorhome and after trying quite a few different models we like the Apache 634 and the Tracker RB. Two different configs for sure!

 

We like the large U shape lounge area and general openness of the Apache however the toilet and shower is a little small. I'm 6'6"!

 

The Tracker RB is a little different with the East West bed which is what we like plus we understand the majority of buyers these day prefer island beds so for resale this would be more popular.

 

Just keen to get some opinions from all you experienced folk on what you think of the above models, pros / cons etc.

 

Thanks for your time.

Mike & Chris

12:11 PM   07-Mar-19

North Canterbury

If you like a big shower have a look at a Dakota. Mike

Julie and David

12:18 PM   07-Mar-19

Kapiti Coast

Hi there, we have recently purchased an RB and love it, especially having the rear window which is both a bonus when driving and when in bed having awesome views to wake up to. Large area up front to dine on great as well. Happy campers

geebeealan

12:33 PM   07-Mar-19

Kaiapoi

Check the head height in the shower on Tracker RB Ithnk it is only 6' high!!

Dakota is now  Tracker EB

Puwaka

04:15 PM   07-Mar-19

Auckland

We brought a Tracker RB in November and love it. Suggest also you check the shower for height, particularly if you are going to live in it full time. Remember one doesn’t spent all their time in the shower.
We have had a few teething issues with electronics, but Nationwide RV who we brought it from, have been extremely helpful to rectify these.

Love the window in the rear and also we have no step as as opposed to the LB version.
One thing we find is the central toilet door opening as the divider makes the bathroom area quite large.

Kelvin and Frances

04:31 PM   07-Mar-19

Hamilton

We've had a Traker RB for about a year now and have just spent six weeks away in it and couldn't be happier. The fixed double bed is great and a lot easier than having to make one up or climb up the top each night. The showers not massive but certainly big enough. I would certainly recommend the RB.

We are in Hamilton and you would be more than welcome to pop over and have a look If it helps.

ArchieO

10:25 AM   08-Mar-19

Tauranga

Thanks everyone for your comments, it has firmed up for us what we were thinking, the Tracker RB is the one!

Cheers Kelvin and Frances for your offer to view yours however we've been lucky to find one here at the Mount being prepared for a new owner so we've had been able to check it all out.

Auto Trail Tracker RS

by Janet McK

[ 1 ]

Janet McK

03:51 PM   17-Feb-19

Whakatane

Does anyone have a Autotrail Tracker RS. We are wondering how to store a bbq, fishing rods, chairs etc

in the tall garage it has. Any comments appreciated. Thanks Jan

Imala 734 Lowline 2019

by Janet McK

[ 2 ]

Janet McK

09:00 AM   14-Feb-19

Whakatane

Hi all  We are complete newbies to motor homes and nearly made up our minds on a 734 Imala with twin beds

as hubby wants to take his fishing mate to the lakes. Does anyone have this model who can give us ideas ie  Storage,  are beds easy to make  to a double, good reversing camera (hubby likes a wide angle) economy,

easy to drive for me! ?? We would like to buy one now  or should we wait to COVI and perhaps get one cheaper.

We will appreciate any suggestions. Thankyou

 

Nick & Karen

10:24 AM   14-Feb-19

Hi Janet,

l can not answer about the weight but if you give Treena at Auckland Motorhomes a ring she can answer those questions and if they have one in stock may even give you show price early. 

  Has far as reversing camera there is a very good wide angle available from RSE which works well both day and night. Had one fitted last year and highly recommend it.

Shipping to Australia

by Ricky & Libby

[ 2 ]

Ricky & Libby

09:56 PM   20-Nov-18

Queenstown

hi just wondering if anybody has shipped their motorhome to Australia for a few months touring if what sort of cost and hassle is involved,or is it better to rent one in Australia or maybe exchange

thanks in advance

Ray W

10:32 AM   25-Apr-19

Auckland

hi , try Troy Budge at Taurus logistics in Christchurch 

Fiat Ducato Repair Manual

by

[ 2 ]

02:56 PM   16-Nov-18

Auckland

Copy of Fiat Ducato Repair Manual - models from 2006-2017 (up to and including Euro 5 engines). Awaiting link to the downloadable document (large, 230MB)

Ian

01:55 PM   17-Nov-18

Tasmania

That will be a truly great asset, I've been google-ing for sometime but only found bits and pieces from older manuals and not very relevent. Regards IanG

 

Picking up new Delaware next weekend --- excited !

by Elliot

[ 17 ]

Elliot

07:37 PM   30-Sep-18

After many months of waiting (and having moved to NZ only 5 months ago) the new Delaware is ready for pickup next weekend and I can't wait.

I have had a good mooch around the forum here to refresh my memory on a few things before I pick it up... so thank you all for that.

 

I can't wait to get it --- bit scary driving 8m for the first time but I'm hoping it wont be too tricky (any tips received with thanks!)

 

Elliot

 

John M

10:07 AM   03-Oct-18

Hi Elliot

 

Welcome to NZ, and the AT Users Forum.

 

My only advice is not to be nervous about driving a large vehicle.  There is no need to be.

 

You see there is a simple rule, the back of the van follows the front of the van.  So as driver you look out the front window just as you do in you car, and the rest takes care of itself.

 

I Drive our 9 metre (inc tow bar etc) Comanche into the tightest of spaces without any concerns for its size. And we have a car on the back, so we are about 13.5 metres long.  The rear overhang swinging thing is over rated, it has never been an issue.  The Comanche is actually worse than others because a tandem back axle pivots on the front of the pair, so a Comanche’s tail can swing very wide.  But we have been all over the Lake District’s narrow lanes, tiny French mountain villages, etc with no problems.  

 

Of of course I watch the rear when turning but only a quick glance, more to check the car is still there, not to the point of stresssing over it.

 

They are very easy to drive.  Enjoy it.

 

JohnM

San Sebastián 

Tim and Sheryl

02:16 PM   03-Oct-18

NSW

Hi Elliott, congratulations on your new Delaware....great choice.  We are now on our second Delaware and have had marvellous times getting into many of the magnificent remote locations with few problems at all.  They drive beautifully and have the power to pull you up many of those glorious mountain roads as well as being a comfortable size to negotiate the switchback corners. Two things only I suggest you are aware of....front wheel drives are less easy to extract from soggy ground (we always choose our spots with that in mind and carry a couple of mats to place under the front drive wheels) and second....there is quite a long overhang at the back so caution is needed to avoid grounding (we have installed tow bars on both our Delawares that not only hold the bike rack but also provides solid protection for the rear skirt).  Have heaps of fun and enjoy the ride you will get from your new MH.

Mike & Chris

02:35 PM   03-Oct-18

North Canterbury

Hi

 

As a person who used to drive large trucks and tour coaches I would agree with JohnM but also offer the same advice that I gave my wife... and unlike most advice offered by spouses it was accepted gracefully!!

 

Be careful when you pull into the curb if there is much camber on the road and there are poles, shop verandahs, bus stop signs etc... you will lean against them and make very expensive noises. And when you pull out from a park with obstacles fairly close on the nearside remember that when the front goes one way initially the rear goes the other with the potential for equally expensive noises.

 

The final bit of advice, if you do not usually use your mirrors for reversing and I mean totally use your mirrors then practice and practice some more until it becomes second nature.

 

Enjoy, Mike

Elliot

09:46 PM   06-Oct-18

You guys were right... it's not scary at all :)

I have discovered one thing, however, in my first day of ownership --- I regret having the rear corner steadies fitted at the factory as they things scrape when I drive onto my drive (it has the smallest of lips on it) 

I might get them taken off !

My front decal bonnet badge fell off aswell on the boat on the way over here , so I need to get a replacement (it was magically stuck on with double sided tape, and only one piece) :jokers at Autotrail.

 

So far , so good!

 

John M

10:08 PM   06-Oct-18

Well done, pleased for you 

 

But think twice about removing the rear steadies, they make a huge difference, they stop the van rocking as you move about.  Are you sure they are wound up, ours have never scraped?

 

JohnM

Salamamca

Les

10:19 AM   07-Oct-18

Tuakau

Good Luck Elloit with yor pick up...

I have never used Granny Legs, they just add about 20 kg on the back of your Delaware ok on a Comanche with the tag axle

Les

Elliot

10:08 PM   08-Oct-18

Hi again folks, yes its definately the steadies that catch , I'll stick a couple of planks down to life the wheels when i drive onto the drive, that should sort it out.

 

A few other observations:

 

The cupboards rattle when I drive, I'll have to deploy some window seal foam strips on them I fear!

The build quality on the kitchen main cupboard isnt great, large gaps on the fitting and the cupboard rattles...

The water filler cap (whale sliding fitting) is lockable but the dealer hasnt supplied me with a key, so as it is locked I can't fill the bloody water filler !

Not impressed with the leisure battery retention system (aka a nylon strap) ... which seems cheap and nasty to me when it should be a proper clamp.

Autotrail bonnet decal is missing having fallen off on the boat on the way over...

 

So far thats my snag list (at first glance)

 

 

John M

05:15 AM   09-Oct-18

Granny Legs, try em before you knock em!  Essential.  Our Comanche rocks without the legs down.  As the saying goes over here....”if she’s a rockin, don’t come knocking”

 

Elliot, the water cap is usually keyed the same as the habitation door and lockers, try that key.  The cap takes a couple of goes to learn when it is locked vs unlocked.

 

JohnM

Les

09:48 AM   09-Oct-18

Tuakau

Hi Elliot,

I still say through your Granny Legs away, exta weight on the rear of the Delaware but John OK on Comanche.

with regards to rattles, check tyre pressures, I use 60lbs Front and 72 lbs Rear 

 

Les

Avocadopicker

11:50 AM   09-Oct-18

Katikati

One of the biggest sources of noise for us was the glass stove cover plate rattling against the top of the stove - a drying up cloth laid across before lowering the glass cover made a huge difference. Nylon straps for batteries are very common, but usually the leisure batteries on Autotrails are held down with a metal plate between them, bolted and clamping them to the floor. Has it changed?

Elliot

05:47 PM   09-Oct-18

Thanks, yes looks like they have changed them.

E&L - has yours got the Whale sliding cover to the water and shower  inlets/outlets ... if so which key fits your water inlet? I've checked again with mine and I have the ignition key and the two others, one round and one square, both for the lockers and boot , but neither fit the water cover!!

I'm really not happy with the cupboard fitting , the door is simply not fitted properly and its not level.

I've been back in touch with the dealer in the UK.

How's the Comanche?

 

Elliot

05:48 PM   09-Oct-18

This is the cupboard door, its not well fitted at all, not impressed for a pretty expensive motorhome...

Rob and Pat

07:48 PM   09-Oct-18

North Canterbury

Get in touch with a good locksmith as they should be able to pick that lock and then make a key to fit.

There are adjustments on the door hinges which you could try adjusting to bring the door into level

Elliot

07:51 PM   09-Oct-18

I shouldnt have to be picking the lock on a new vehicle really, I'll see what the dealer has to say...

The problem with the door is that the bottom is level, the top is not ... the door looks to be trimmed too short on the upper end to me... frankly, rubbish Quality Control

Elliot

07:43 PM   10-Oct-18

Thanks for the photo , yes the dealer has confirmed this a seperate key and that I should have had two ... they are missing so they will order and send.

They have also agreed to replace my bonnet badge, re the doors they have said that this is a warranty issue and as the vehicle is in NZ , there is no warranty !

 

I guess this is a sign of things to come should anything go awry...

 

That said I do have emails from them previously where they have agreed to resolve matters once it comes here so we shall see!

 

Shame the Whale cap is yet another key to carry around!

Elliot

08:59 PM   17-Oct-18

Hi all, everything is now sorted with the van... I'm chuffed with it and looking forward to the trip up north this coming weekend (weather looks good too!)

Dealer in the UK has agreed to ship over the missing bits and pieces and a tweak on the hinges has sorted out my mis-aligned door... so its all good.

 

Have to say van looks mint and now we have out stuff in I can't want to go!

Delaware half diner

by Elliot

[ 4 ]

Elliot

10:34 AM   02-Oct-17

Hi , has anyone got one of these with this option?

I'm just about to close on my order and my wife is having doubts and making me re-think my decision to reject the Scout ...

I'm not convinced it's such a big deal losing the seats and replacing it with the seat-belted seats but regardless of what it looks like there is NO choice if you want to carry more than two (we have a one child with us)

Would be useful if anyone has any practical experiences .. lounge/table/dining/sitting etc and if they have spent any major time  in their van with this config.

 

thanks very much

 

Elliot

Avocadopicker

01:27 PM   02-Oct-17

Katikati

Elliott, side-facing seat belts are still allowed in NZ and you can get them added here (to offside of the van). We decided to go that way to avoid the loss of living space for a function only rarely used. When the side belts are unused they live under the seat squab.

Mike & Chris

02:09 PM   02-Oct-17

North Canterbury

Have a look under Auto-Trail Issues >> Seatbelts. Quite a lot of info there.

Elliot

09:00 PM   02-Oct-17

Again, thanks for this information - I wasnt aware side-facing belts were still possible, they are not allowed in the European Union any longer for safety reasons.

Do you think it lessens the resale appeal with the belted front facing seats ?

I'm unsure...

 

2018 Tracker new model

by geebeealan

[ 2 ]

geebeealan

10:26 AM   25-Jul-17

Kaiapoi

https://www.facebook.com/practicalmotorhome/?hc_ref=ARRZF7p0oVgHF_sPPOdIXDWq3EWKmgTyidqtdMEtAxjJWgcNjT-1eIaDZHADpM2iM_8

 

you will have to scroll down to find the page

geebeealan

09:41 AM   24-Aug-17

Kaiapoi

http://autotrailusers.nz/ForumFiles/1010/Motorhome%20manufacturer%20Auto.doc

 

The latest on 2018 models

Why choose an Autotrail Motorhome?

by Ian

[ 20 ]

Ian

08:38 PM   03-May-17

Tasmania

As mentioned in a previous post I am interested in moving to an Autotrail Imala 730 from our current Jurgens caravan.  Can any forum members give me an idea of why they Chose Autotrail (any model) over other Manufacturers Motorhomes?

 

Any feedback good or bad welcome.

 

Kind regards IanG

joanne g

07:06 AM   04-May-17

I live in the UK and on with my second auto trail first on a merc Cheyenne 630 now a fiat Cheyenne 696g I wouldn't buy another as the build quality isn't what it used to be if you set on an auto trail I'd look to buy an older model as those were exception in quality  now they are trying to keep the weight down with most people having restriction in the UK on their driving  licenses and what weight they can drive  I don't know when they started importing them to NZ but if you can get a low mileage well looked  after before 2006 you won't go wrong from 2007 on I wouldn't bother. look at the autotrail tribute range it's their budget range about £20000 less same build,same engine,same layouts  just different decals but you don't get the scatter cushions though but for twenty thousand pounds less who cares.

Sorry just looked on web site you do get the scatter cushions on the new models

Bman

01:20 PM   04-May-17

Auckland

We have just recently bought our Tracker EKS and so far its meeting our needs.  We chose Autotrail due to the quality, interior design, dimensions, storage, price and available warranty cover when compared to other brands.  We live in NZ, and have noticed that the Tracker is extremely insulated [I suppose made for the UK winters].  Perhaps it will be very hot in the summer, but yet to be fully tested.  Still early days, but so far reasonably happy with our purchase.  This is  our second motorhome and that also helped us decide what to prioritise in our search for a motorhome.  Good luck in deciding as there is plenty to choose from, which makes this decision challenging.  It will come down to personal preference I guess.

Ian

03:19 PM   04-May-17

Tasmania

Thanks Joanne and Bman for your feedback.

I think the reduced weight Joanne mentioned is possibly related to fuel consumption and pollution rules as well as reduced pricing for competition.  A bit different with caravans in Australia they tend to be bigger and heavier.

I'm pleased to hear 'insulation' being mentioned, it is high on my priorities ... I feel the cold and 40mm wall and roof insulation is better than the 23-30mm of other brands I have researched and often there is none in the roof.  Unless sandwiched construction I have found insulation very scant in wooden framed units.

Kind regards IanG

ZK-RMM

04:41 PM   04-May-17

Auckland

Hi Ian,

Im on my second Autotrail Delaware and think the Autotrail is without doubt the best on the market, I have been in the Motorhome/ Caravan industry for the last forty years and looked really hard before I bought an Autotrail, frankly I wouldn't touch anything built in NZ as the quality is not there and because of small production numbers they are very expensive,take for example a Trail-Lite, grossly over priced with a flat pack kitchen you could buy at Mitre Ten.

Autotrail have a great finish and the Fiat drives like a car, NZ built Motor Homes are mostly built on trucks which drive like a dog.

I carry five 150 watt solar panels and 400 litres of water and the Delaware has no problem in any respect,coupled with the best insulation money can buy,and the habitation door is on the proper side for resale.When I sold my last Autotrail Delaware it was on Trademe for one day then sold.

cheers,

Richard

Ian

07:22 PM   04-May-17

Tasmania

Hi Richard,
Thanks for the positive feedback much appreciated.  Apart from seeing them on the road and an external look around a Delaware recently I have not seen inside apart from sales brochures.  I'm justifying an expensive trip to Queensland to the Australian importer to view an Imala 730 to make a decision in a few weeks. I picked the Imala 730 as we prefer the island bed version.  My wife has severe arthritus, and beds against a wall are not her favourite plus climbing over one and other to get out of bed is needed in some models.  We need to limit overall dimensions and weight for economical Bass Strait ferry crossings to visit our daughter living in Canberra and other travel.
I have a technical and electronics background and a bit fussy with electrical stuff so will modify to suit my requirements, stand alone power via solar is my choice and I prefer free camping.
Are you happy with the truma gas heating and how often do you fill gas cylinders during winter?  How do you find the wiring and plumbing in general?  Thanks.
Kind regards IanG

joanne g

08:18 PM   04-May-17

The reduced weight has nothing to do with pollution people who passed their driving tests after jan 1997 in the UK can only drive up to 3.5t or have to take another test people who passed before this got to keep c1 on there licenses which allows them to drive upto 7.5t but once they get to 70 years old they loss that entitlement and have to have a medical and if they have certain health conditions it is disallowed so the UK motor caravan industry are losing how many people can drive over 3.5t hence why they are trying to keep the weight under the 3.5t mark. my van is 4.5t so my daughter who's 25 can't drive it unless she takes another test.

Well there's some useless information for you.

but as I mentioned have a look at the tribute range that autotrail make the build quality is the the same just autotrail is blue decals tribute range yellow and silver 

a lot of our friends that have had autotrail in the past are buying the tribute range if you go on auto trail UK site you can see both ranges a few years ago when the tribute range started they looked basic but now they look impressive  

to be fair we were at a show a few weeks ago and I can't see where autotrail can justify the price diffrence.

I know which one I would buy

if you are wanting a UK import why not look at elddis Or swift  they have really good vans built to UK standard thick wall insulation well built.

 

ZK-RMM

08:43 PM   04-May-17

Auckland

 

Hi Ian

The island bed is so good,very hard to beat and in my past experience in the industry it is the overall best seller in a caravan or motorhome(Resale etc) I run a 3000 watt pure sine inverter with a battery bank of five 130 amp hour agm batteries so we never use our stove just use a jug and toaster,air wave cooker,microwave etc etc,just like at home,the reason we carry so much water is we have a Camec front loader washing machine in the rear garage which is fantastic.

Everybody has their own way of doing things and their own budget,but I believe do it once and bite the bullet as I find a lot of people don't do it at the start and then don't get around to doing it at all,if you know what I mean,we find you can't beat having as much water as poss.The Delaware only carries 135 litres which for us is not enough.

we are very,very happy with our second Autotrail,off to Raglan by the sea in the morning, with the Yamaha Waverunner Jet Ski behind.

Great To Be Alive.

Cheers,

Richard

 

 

 

ZK-RMM

08:46 PM   04-May-17

Auckland

Hi Ian

Sorry, forgot to mention the Truma heating etc,very,very good and very economical on gas

cheers again

Richard.

Ian

09:34 PM   05-May-17

Tasmania

Hi Joanne, Not useless info at all, the licensing issue is a factor.  Here in Tasmania the general drivers licence is up to 4.5t then 'Light Rigid' I think its called, covers from >4.5 to 9 Ton and so on, and it may vary between states in Australia too.

I have not heard of Autotrail Tribute in Australia maybe it's not imported, someone else on the forum might know.  Elddis seem to have caravans here but not spotted Motorhomes as yet.  I have looked at Swift Motorhomes but they are more expensive and outside my budget.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Regards IanG

Ian

09:43 PM   05-May-17

Tasmania

Hi Richard,
Thanks for the additional info.  Interesting your water capacity, where have you added the additional storage tanks? We have learned to be very water-wise but if it is easy a little extra never goes astray.
In relation to your banks of 130AH batteries did you consider LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate)?  I have had a 200AH drop-in replacement in my caravan for nearly 3 years, very happy, and see it as the future with less than half the weight of lead acid, nearly the full capacity can be used and they charge up to 30% faster having a charge efficiency of close to 100% compared to LA of approx 80%.
Regards IanG

Chris Gaelic

11:13 PM   06-May-17

It's not just the weight and efficiency, lithium batteries have a minimum 10 year lifespan and a 200 AH lithium is roughly equivalent to 400 AH lead acid in capacity. They are significantly more expensive, but if you factor all of that in, they are worth it.

Geeco

06:05 PM   07-May-17

NSW Australia

Ian, the Tribute range is not imported into OZ. The Auto-trail range is and now so is the Imala Ange. I think that the OZ importer EliteRV imports a selection of both ranges. The English like a large wrap around rear lounge as they spend more time inside due to the weather. The AT range soles here in AU has been optioned up to suit the local market, so aircon is standard as is solar. One of the excellent benefits is the class 3 (UKspec) insulation that will come in handy in Tasmania. We have a 2015 Tracker FB now with 40,000 klms. IMHO it is much better value for money than any of the local product with lots of great design ideas such as the location of the TV to make it a real treat to own. We have not experienced any major issues with either the Fiat or the back end. I would buy the better speed AT rather than the cheaper Imala, both good but the AT has more kit, eg bigger frig etc. The product brochures have a list of standard equipment to help make the cost comparison. I have just recently looked at all the motorhomes on display at the Sydney show and the only other brand I would consider is the German Knaus. Imported by Avan in Victoria. Hope this helps.

Ian

07:01 PM   07-May-17

Tasmania

Hi Geeco, thanks for your comments much appreciated and supports my findings too.  I have a friend in Adelaide with a Knaus Sun Ti 700 and he loves it, as my wife and I did too, but we found the Autotrail suited us better with toilet and bed access as we are taller people and I'm not supposed to mention it but my better half has chronic arthritis and also sports a set of metal hips, so an island bed is almost essential for ease of getting in/out plus the ability to make the bed, hence our lean towards the Imala 730.  If the comfortability is right I can look after the rest within reason.
I've decided it might be worthwhile to take a trip to Burleigh Heads Elite RV and look over the models to finalise our decision if I can find some discounted fares.
You mentioned no 'major' issues with your Motorhome, is it possible you may be able to elaborate on any 'minor' issues you encounted?
Kind regards IanG

Avocadopicker

08:49 AM   08-May-17

Katikati

Hi Ian, I'm on my third consecutive new Delaware, which says something for the quality of these motorhomes. With any brand you're always going to get the odd teething problems but ours have been very minor. Like Richard we have gone for a lot of extra solar capacity, plus lithium batteries, to ensure that we can be independent of EHU. With each new version we have been initially doubtful about the changes introduced by AT, but ended up loving them. I doubt there is such a thing as a perfect motorhome, but we have been very pleased with ours and would certainly buy another. 

Geeco

05:59 PM   08-May-17

NSW Australia

Ian the minor issues have been mainly screws working loose. Where possible I have replaced with a nut & bolt. The brackets that hold the small round table on the front N/s lounge is a good example. The cord that holds the flyscreen mesh on the habitation door broke and the mesh stretched. A local screen company replaced the mesh and cord for just over one hundred dollars. The window mesh on some of the windows has stretched but not causing any real concern. One of the habitation door hinges came off after a trip to Cairns via a bumpy inland route. A replacement hinge under warranty and a drop of Locktite has fixed that issue. Not much else I can think of to mention. Good luck with your purchase if you have as much fun as we are having with ours then you will not be disappointed.

Karsten

03:39 PM   19-Jun-17

Auckland

Hi we have just taken delivery of our Imala 730. Apart from a few screws that needed tightening every thing was fine. It is a good size  and everything has its place but not the bigest motorhome but very good at the price. We bought ours at Auckland motorhomes in Drury. Fiat Ducato drives like a dream. Still getting to know it a bit though. We are having a lot of fun with it.

Ian

05:13 PM   23-Jun-17

Tasmania

Picked up our Imala 730 from EliteRV at Burleigh Heads QLD Thu 15th Jun and drove back to Tasmania on a 7 day vehicle permit arriving yesterday 21st Jun.  Very happy although my wife is coming to grips with the smaller toilet/shower unit compared to our previous caravan ensuite.  Still finding out how things work.  Happy with fuel consumption we covered 2,255Km and returned 11.39 L/100k overall calculated.  Unfortunately cool and wet in Tas today with snow forecast to 500 metre level so no crawling around underneath to check things out.

Bman

06:33 PM   23-Jun-17

Auckland

Congratulations on your purchase.  With those weather conditions in Tas you will definitely feel insulated in the AT. We were out last weekend in Auckland and the temp outside at night was 8 degrees and we were very comfortable inside with the temp reading 20 degrees.  We didnt even have to turn on the Truma heating to achieve this.  Its very well insulated.

Grant and Gail

08:22 PM   28-Aug-17

Christchurch

Hi Richard. Does the front load washer fit through the existing garage doors or did you have to enlarge? 

Cheers

Grant

Fiat Ducato Pre 2006 Manual

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

05:09 PM   04-Aug-15

Tuakau

 

click on link then click on download

 

 

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_zzvL4dRAeSQW5MRFJtQjBVWWc&usp=drive_web

Training Manual For Fiat Ducato x250

by Les

[ 1 ]

ACCESSORIES & BIKES

Bike Covers

by Peter_3

[ 2 ]

Peter_3

03:00 PM   29-Mar-19

Auckland

Hi all,

 

Does anybody have a recommendation or examples, for a fitted bike cover suitable for two E bikes fiited to a Fiamma carry bike pro C van mounted rack.

 

I guess it would have to made to measure so any leads to a company that has the expertise would be handy.

regards and thanks,

Peter3

Peter_3

07:27 PM   10-Jun-19

Auckland

If anyone is interested, I had a cover made at Total Trim,59 View road, Glenfield. Very happy, they did a good job.

Side Step

by Twilight

[ 1 ]

Twilight

06:31 PM   12-Oct-18

Auckland

A must for all Fiat chassis motorhomes, especially as we get older (well I am anyway) and as muscles and bones get sore and creaky.  Another benefit is that the bodywork behind the doors gets a bit of protection from stones and dirt thrown up from the tyres.  Available from Nationwide RV (Taranaki RV etc).  The side step is robustly made from aluminium tube and plate welded together with a steel brace underneath bolted to the bodywork to take the vertical loads.  I believe the step is made in NZ by McKechnie Aluminium Solutions.

 

Three 10mm holes need to drilled for each side.  All nuts, bolts and washers are provided and cost about $600 per pair (cheaper at the MH shows).  All up it took me about an hour each side to install the side steps on my Tribute T720.  I had previously helped my brother install side steps on his CI Prestige van (bit like a Fiat courier van).  I imagine they will fit all Auto Trail motorhomes but check with the side step supplier.

 

 

Witter Towbar Adaptor

by Les

[ 6 ]

Les

04:02 PM   13-Aug-18

Tuakau

BIKE RACK ADAPTOR FOR WITTER TOWBAR
AT NZ Facebook post:  The bike rack adaptor for Witter detachable towball has now been tested & finalised. We took it away this weekend and were very happy with the rack being 180mm higher than when it was on the Witter tow ball.  A interesting side effect of the extra height is that the bike handle bars are just above the spare tyre cover and they no longer rub against it. 
The prototype has been tested with 50kg (the weight of two heavy e-bikes) using a Thule 932 rack. A very small deflection of 2 degrees in the adaptor was measured when the weight was applied at the rear extremity of the rack. This was not good enough for the engineer so a strengthening rib was added for the production model. 
The adaptor is now available with it’s legally required label stating ‘For Bike Rack Only’ and ‘Maximum of two bikes’. Richmond Industries (Web: Towbar Shop) now have the adaptor available for $400 plus GST.
The contact is Richard Stephen Email: Richard@richmonds.nz Tel: 0800 800 112 Mob: 027 445 0283

 

Emjay

05:50 PM   14-Aug-18

Les

Looks good!!

Can this adaptor be locked on to the vehicle like the Witter detachable towbar?

Russan

10:38 PM   14-Aug-18

Porirua

Fitting the bike adaptor entails removing the Witter detachable tow ball and inserting the new adaptor in its place along with a securing bolt through existing holes. (It is not key locked)  This is for a bike rack only and NOT FOR TOWING. The original Witter tow ball can be reinserted for towing.  The design required no change being made to the tow bar as this would require a new certification for COF vehicles.

Bill and Hazel

11:34 AM   14-Oct-18

Palmerston North

You will also need to change the way the trailer light connector is mounted as it ends up being lower than the tow bar and is likely to be wiped out

The connector can be screwed to the plastic valance or a new mounting bracket made to replace the original

See pix on face book page
 

Bill and Hazel

11:35 AM   14-Oct-18

Palmerston North

Forgot to add - jolly good product -

P&G

04:13 PM   06-Aug-19

Auckland

Just phoned Richmond Industries to buy their bike rack adaptor (pictured above) for my Delaware with Witter Towbar to find that the company is no more! They went into liquidation last month with all stock & assets sold at auction.

 

Does anyone know of an option to the Richmond product? Maybe someone has experience with a towbar manufacturer in Auckland they can recommend. Thanks Philip

Bike Rack on Witter Towball

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

01:57 PM   22-Jul-18

Tuakau

BIKE RACK ON WITTER TOWBALL
AT NZ Facebook Post:    Have just find out that we can't put the bike rack fitted on the back but has to go on the towball... really disappointed as we are planning on towing. Maybe at those times we could put our bikes in the trailer. Anyway, what brand bike racks does one recommend and any tips would be helpful?


Comments:

 
-  We had trouble with the original rack we bought as we couldn’t secure it on the type of ball the auto trails have and after spending several hundred dollars and still not finished spending found a add for Precision Imports.co.nz and found the Diamant two bike rack which is made especially for our type of tow ball and canned all we had done and purchased one. We are so happy as all we had to do was unpack it put it on to towbar and plug in lights and we were done. We purchased a supplementary number from NZTA. They are well worth the money as the security is fantastic. I wrote and told them how happy we were with it and they said anyone I referred to them via email hello@precisionimports.co.nz they will give you 10%off RRP. Ours are ebikes so are quite heavy and it handles them well.


-  We are worried about that. We are looking at the Thule easyfold which requests a 50MM ISO complaint tow ball. I will look into it further.


-  They do come with a 50mm ball but make sure they realise they are hockey stick like ball and most of the one we had looked at needed the plate under the ball to stop it twisting.


-  I have a English Witter tow bar fitted on my AT. I purchased a torpedo 7 tow bar mounted bike rack low level carries 3 bikes. I had no problems carrying bikes around the SI. As a precaution I checked the tightening screw every day.


-  We are using a Thule rack with two E bikes on a UK fitted Witter Tow bar with 50mm Ball, have spent 4 weeks so far in SI and no issue on security of attachment to ball. Only issue is it is all very low to ground so we will need to look at how to raise eg weld a 200mm extension to gooseneck, but then we can’t use for towing of course.


-  We have the same problem. Looking at options to buy a second gooseneck with longer vertical section. Witter extremely unhelpful but found a source that sells a large range of goosenecks for the Witter system.  Sorted now by fitting a new bracket onto the Witter tow bar and a receiver type hitch that can accommodate a standard receiver for towing.  Raised the bike rack by over 150 mm. No risk of touching the ground now.  Requires Certification if on a COF MH.


-  See also the adaptor design that is progressing in our face book group, that may provide an off the shelf solution to plug in like the Witter gooseneck ball.

 

Emjay

05:45 PM   12-Aug-18

- Can you tell us who the source of goosenecks is that fit the Witter towbar sockets as I would like a receiver type hitch to mount a bike rack on?

 

High Bike Rack Tracker Towbar

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:56 AM   10-Jul-18

Tuakau

TOWBAR ON TRACKER FB
AT NZ Facebook post:   Sorted the problem with the towbar and bike rack hanging too low. Got the towbar fitted with a new receiver type hitch set at 150mm above the old towball. Bike rack is now well clear of the ground.

 

Comments:

 

- Did you originally have a gooseneck witter tow ball and did you change the whole drawbar or just the hitch?
- Had the original Witter towbar with gooseneck. Unbolted the whole gooseneck locking assembly, but then opted to cut off the plates and weld on the receiver assembly to the Witter towbar.  Extremely happy with the result.  Work was done by Richmond Industries in Naenae. HYPERLINK "https://www.towbarshop.co.nz/" https://www.towbarshop.co.nz
- They charged $450 for the Tracker FB.
-  This towbar  modification does not require certification as it is a WOF.  Any change on a COF requires re-certification

 

Rubber Wheel Arch Flares

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:37 AM   23-Jun-18

Tuakau

WHEEL ARCH FLARES


AT NZ Facebook post:  I am looking to find information/pictures about fitting mud flaps (or should I say extra mud flappy bits - technical term!) to our motorhome.

 
Comment:


  If you mean “flares” for the edge of your mudguard these are available in two sizes. 41 mm and 60mm and are 3000 mm long, enough to do 1 pair of mudguards. I suggest you use the smaller size and these cost $99 from a 4WD drive business in Auckland. Look on Trademe or search google. I used the 41mm and they look and work perfectly. Easy enough to fit. Self taping screws and then a piece of wire is pushed through tubular hole in outside edge to stiffen the rubber.  PHOTO #1
  Purchased them from HYPERLINK "http://www.mudstuck.co.nz" www.mudstuck.co.nz for $99.00 plus a bit of freight. Excellent service, so I recommend them.
  Got mine from Repco. 

 

Carrying Bikes

by Martin T

[ 5 ]

Martin T

03:24 PM   27-Dec-17

Upper Moutere

Finding the best way to transport bikes on cars and campers has been and issue with me for years but now now we are the proud owners of an Apache 634 we have found what for us is almost an ideal solution. Having had to remove the bed from above the cab we've found this space provides a perfect place for bike storage. Yes, I have to remove the front wheels and pedals (stowed in the boot) and yes, I have to be careful that I don't sratch the furniture when loading but the bikes ride securely, stay dry, don't get covered in dust / filth and are out of sight and safe. I use two 'removers blankets' (the grey posh ones) bought from Mitre 10 for about 10$ each to protect the bikes and camper. Definitely our best solution yet!

Jim and Jill

02:55 PM   16-Mar-18

Hamilton

Hi Martin

 

We are in the process of buying our Apache 634 (curently in production-we take possession early May in England)

We are thinking folding bikes might be the way to go while we tiki tour around Europe.

Do you or any other Apache 634 owner have the dimmensions of the garage space so we can buy our bikes to fit.

Cant see the size anywhere on the specs.

Thanks

Martin T

03:40 PM   16-Mar-18

Upper Moutere

I can't answer fully at the moment as there are two issues to consider and it will take time to measure up. They are the dimensions of the boot door (easy) and the fact that the rear seat is supported by a framework that, although it takes up minimal space, makes storing bulky objects difficult. I'll try to get more information to you in a couple of days.

Martin T

06:18 PM   16-Mar-18

Upper Moutere

The boot opening is 740 x450 and the boot goes through the full width of the van, 2150 internal so the whole boot is 2150. However the support for the rear seat is 670 from the door on either side. This means that at either side there is 670 x 900 of usable space joined by a centre section that is 800 x 650. I hope this makes sense!

John M

08:45 PM   16-Mar-18

Hi Jim and Jill

We have been full time for two years and have stayed at 85 camp grounds todate.  Bikes are very popular, I would guess well over a third of vans or maybe even fifty pc have bike carrier racks on the rear.  In all of that time and destinations I have only noticed a couple of fold up bikes?  I suspect that folding bikes are just not popular.  I am not a bike expert but I suspect the folding mechanism adds to the weight, and the smaller wheels makes them unstable?  On the other hand electric bikes are very common here amongst retired people, and they are much heavier.  

As an aside, in Spain where “we” hang out over winter it strikes me as very “cute” to see many pairs of bikes tied together outside the cafes and supermarkets.  It also amazes and impresses me how many quite elderly people are energetically cycling.

Enjoy your trip.

 

John M

PS

Just arrived back in Kent to have the vehicles serviced and MOT.  

Expecting deep snow this weekend!  Not at all like Spain’s costas with their perpetual summer!

Seatcovers

by GRANT R

[ 1 ]

GRANT R

07:44 PM   29-Nov-17

NEW PLYMOUTH

Hi 

    Looking for seat covers, try Rubbertree.co.nz  material covers for $119.00.for fiat Ducato.

       Grant R.

       

Front seat covers

by Richard & Kay

[ 3 ]

Richard & Kay

07:18 PM   29-Nov-17

Auckland

We are having problems sourcing seat covers for the driver and passenger seats in our Apache.

We live in Orewa in Auckland and have been to Repco and Super Cheap to no avail.Whatever they have doesn’t fit or they ,maybe don’t want to anything about it.

Any suggestions would appreciated. They are the standard seats used in all Fiats as far as we can see.

JimiT

10:27 PM   24-May-18

Nelson

Hi Richard, we live part of the year in Australia and there is a company that custom make seat covers we had a set made and bought home to NZ, they made a good job and even put the fiat logo in the centre. wasnt cheap but are comfortable and look good. i could look out the company name if you want.

 

 

Richard & Kay

03:39 PM   25-Jun-18

Auckland

Thanks Jimit but have found a set locally 

Bike rack

by Pete and Wend

[ 8 ]

Pete and Wend

07:36 AM   21-Aug-17

Tauranga

 

We are thinking of putting a bike rack on our 2014 Tracker FB.  Due to the position of the spare wheel a slight problem has developed into whether we have one that fits above the spare, or do we get a tow bar fitted just for carrying the bike.  Any suggestions/ideas would be welcomed and who is a reputable installer?  Thanks, Pete

Avocadopicker

07:58 AM   21-Aug-17

Katikati

On our 2017 Delaware a rear-panel-mounted bike rack is not an option so we had to go with towbar mounted model. Works fine but increases risk of grounding and increases overall vehicle length. If we had the choice we would definitely go with rack mounted onto back of vehicle.

Leonie

08:11 AM   21-Aug-17

Auckland

Hi Pete, I have a Tracker, my bike rack goes over the wheel. It was installed by Auckland Motorhomes ( Roger) and it has been great.

i can send you a photo if you send me your mobile number if you wish. Mine is 0212228982. 

Cheers 

Geeco

07:01 PM   15-Sep-17

NSW Australia

My FB has a Fiamma 2 bike rack fitted over the wheel cover. I also have a factory fitted ladder and it all fits. 

Peter McCormack

12:02 PM   18-Sep-17

Queensland

 

I fitted a Fiama Bike Lift 77 to our 2014 Delaware.  The Delaware has an externally mounted spare wheel.  Our bike weigh 12 and 17 kg each, so lifting these up onto a fixed bike rack mounted above the spare wheel was only get harder as we age.  There is also a risk of shoulder injury lifting these masses above shoulder height.  

 

There are also some videos showing how it works.  In short, the tracks where the bike wheels sit is wound down, put the bikes in as normal on a Fiama rack, and wind it back up.  One issue is that the reversing camera is obscured by the rack and bikes.

 

The rack is not cheap, about $1300 dollars plus fitting.  While expensive I thought it was money well spent to prevent injury and stopping me from travelling with bikes.

 

Hope this helps inform your decision.

 

Peter

 

Geeco

07:04 PM   15-Jan-18

NSW Australia

Geeco

07:08 PM   15-Jan-18

NSW Australia

The above image is my 2015 Tracker FB with a Fiamma 2 bike rack fitted over the spare wheel. It is tight however it works fine for us. Cheers, Gary

UK KIWI

04:09 AM   25-Aug-18

Canterbury

Hi, I am looking at the possibility of fitting the Fiamma cycle rack designed for ATs to the rear of our 2017 FB Tracker. As the hexagonal spare wheel cover is larger than the earlier models circular cover I'm expecting the rack will need modifying. Is anyone aware of an alternative rack that might fit? The two vertical rails need to be approximately 1000mm apart.

I would also like to relocate the spare wheel and sling it under the vacant chassis space behind the back wheels to achieve better weight distribution. Has anyone experience in doing this? The Tracker is COF so any bracket will need certification.

Stuck in the mud?

by Twilight

[ 1 ]

Twilight

05:42 PM   05-Aug-17

Auckland

I’ve been concerned with how I would get my Fiat FWD motorhome out of the mud if I got stuck.  I purchased the Milenco Grip Mats for about $28 which are great to park on if the grass is soft, but wanted something more.  I purchased one Cirtex Grass Pave mat (details below) and cut it in half length ways by hand saw so I now have two 816 x 306mm mats.  This was tested recently when a 2WD ute near I was parked was stuck on soft grass nearly up to the axles.  The Milenco Grip Mats were placed hard against the rear tyes and the cut down Grass Pave mats next as a run out ramp.  All went well - the ute gained enough momentum on the mats and was driven clear albeit through very soft ground.  Two of the Grass Pave mats could be interlocked together but I don’t know if the plastic would sustain the loads when flexing on soft ground.  However I figure that my 3500kg motorhome should fit inside the weight limits.  And best of all, the mats weigh very little and when stored on their edge, take up very little space in a locker.

 

Cirtex 816 x 612 x 40mm Grass Pave

Bunnings SKU: 08906985

$21.90

Able to withstand 700 tonnes per m2 (when filled)
Panels interlock securely

Bike racks

by Tim and Sheryl

[ 4 ]

Tim and Sheryl

09:15 PM   15-Jul-17

NSW

I have a 2014 Delaware and we have a towball - fitted Thule bike rack.  We have two electric bikes (about 25kg each) one with crossbar and one step-thru. With the long Delaware overhang the bike rack grounds continually despite great care and 45 degree approaches.  We really need a rack that sits higher.  Are there any racks that would fit to the towball but sit higher or do we need to get a rack permanently fitted to the back of the van.  We did meet a couple a while ago with a manual lift rack that seemed to work for them but cannot recall any details.  Would apreciate some advice hear.  Many thanks...

Allan Barnes

10:27 AM   16-Jul-17

We had the same problem and fortunately the Bike Shed on sold our Thule Bike Rack, we now have a standard prong type bike rack which works okay, we do have to use an extra strap for the step through electric bike.

 

Our TP

02:32 PM   16-Jul-17

Tauranga

I have the Thule bike rack too and have the same problem with my Comanche.

You can get a steel riser. You take the tow ball off, bolt on the riser, then attach the towball to the top of the riser.

I have seen one advertised somewhere, it gave an additional 6 inches of height, but unfortunately cannot remember where.

I will have to go to an engineering shop and get one made.

Hope this helps

Tim and Sheryl

11:22 PM   24-Aug-17

NSW

Thanks for the advice.  The steel riser sounds a good option.  Extra 6 inches would make all the difference.

 

cup holders

by Pete and Wend

[ 4 ]

Pete and Wend

08:03 AM   09-Jun-17

Tauranga

This may seem a trivial issue, but does anyone have any ideas of how to fit a cup holder or two in the cab of our Tracker.  Most modern vehicle come with them.

 

Michele

03:48 PM   09-Jun-17

Whangarei

I didnt have one either but I went to one of the auto shops..like Repko but it wasnt that one...it was the opposition...cant think of the name and they sell removeable ones that fit into the air vent...mine works well...Good luck Michele Leith

Grant and Gail

06:44 PM   09-Jun-17

Christchurch

I bought these on eBay and clip them over middle locker under heater controls. 

I did have to modify them with black tape. But they work fine.https://www.ebay.com.au/p/?iid=272055427763&chn=ps&&&ul_ref=http%253A%252F%252Frover.ebay.com%252Frover%252F1%252F705-139619-5960-0%252F2%253Fmpre%253Dhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.ebay.com.au%25252Fitm%25252Flike%25252F272055427763%25253Fchn%25253Dps%252526chn%25253Dps%252520%2526itemid%253D272055427763%2526targetid%253D91828859377%2526device%253Dt%2526adtype%253Dpla%2526googleloc%253D9069129%2526poi%253D%2526campaignid%253D184043497%2526adgroupid%253D8467825417%2526rlsatarget%253Dpla-91828859377%2526abcId%253D%2526merchantid%253D9549522%2526gclid%253DCI3X4rCUsNQCFZAEKgodzh8CBw%2526srcrot%253D705-139619-5960-0%2526rvr_id%253D1227624086146&chn=ps

Pete and Wend

07:41 AM   12-Jun-17

Tauranga

thanks for your help Leith, Grant and Gail.

A-FRAME / TOWING / TOW BARS

Towbars

by Peter_4

[ 5 ]

Peter_4

07:19 PM   26-May-19

Townsville/Queensland

Hi I'am a owner of a Autotrail Delaware and i'am looking at fitting a towbar,could anybody let me know if they have done this and what bar and any problem they had.

Peter

RSUP

08:03 PM   26-May-19

Taupo

What year is yours, we have a 2014 model with a Fiat chassis and a 1500kg braked rated towbar. We added air bags to give us a 175mm lift so we could get up our steep driveway.

Peter_4

09:01 AM   27-May-19

Townsville/Queensland

Hi we have a 2016 model with a Fiat chassis ,Iam crrently getting price that go from 600 to 2000 dollars,what brand of towbar and air bags did you have fitted.

RSUP

12:35 PM   27-May-19

Taupo

Our towbar was manufactured and certified by a mechanical Engineer in Huntly, NZ. Unfornuately he is now retired and no longer trading due to the cost of compliance imposed by our present govement. The towbar cost NZ$1150 rated at 1250kg the vechile is rated at 1500kg braked.

We installed Boss air bags at a cost of $1,505.01 inc GST. this included the compressor and in-cab controls. Boss Air Suspension market the LA-66 kit, which  is a simple bolt in kit designed for the current models of Fiat Ducato since 2006. 

Our costs were:

1 x  LA-66 @  $890.00 Kit   

1 x InCab06 @  $595.00  Kit  

Plus courier Freight ? 

NZ contact:

Michael Robins

Boss Air Suspension NZ Ltd
Mb:   021 688 886
Ph:    09 415 7117
www.bossairsuspension.co.nz

Peter_4

07:38 PM   27-May-19

Townsville/Queensland

Thanks for the help,its given me some ideas.

Peter

Front towbar/towball

by Beetle2

[ 5 ]

Beetle2

09:18 AM   25-Aug-18

Christchurch

Has anyone had a towball fitted to the front of a Fiat Ducato? I'm considering having one made to make launching my sailing dinghy less manual. Backing down ramps especially gravel accessways is not very much fun. I don't intend to actually put the road trailer in the water, I have a lightweight launching trailer that can come off and an electric winch mounted on the road trailer to pull the yacht back up. As I understand from UK adverts, the towball must be mounted slightly off centre.  

Mike & Chris

10:24 AM   25-Aug-18

North Canterbury

For a non-airbag vehicle adding structures to the front is feasible as long as they don't protrude so it would have to be a removeable tongue. 20mm behind the bumper rings a bell.

For a vehicle fitted with airbags it would be almost impossible to have it certified unless someone, elsewhere in the world, has engineering drawings and test results to show that it didn't interfere with your vehcles safety features and they were accepted in NZ by an NZTA approved certifier... sounds very expensive.

If it was a very light trailer you might be able to make up something that screwed into the recovery/towing socket though. Because you would only use it on a ramp, not on the road, it wouldn't need to be certified.

Beetle2

01:33 PM   25-Aug-18

Christchurch

Thanks for that reply Mike & Chris. After reading my handbook (again) I have got my towing hook but cannot find the little hatch where it should screw in. I've located a little triangular hatch opened by screwdriver as stated but there is only a little metal setscrew with Torx 27mm head. When I unscrew that there still is nowhere I can see for the towing hook to go.. any further insight gratefully accepted.

Mike & Chris

02:01 PM   25-Aug-18

North Canterbury

Our vehicle is a 2015 (NZ reg 2016) so others might not be the same.

 

Just went to check because I have never had the towing eye out of its stowage... on the drivers side in line with the number plate there is a rectangular panel about 50 x 60mm which levers out from the bottom. The towing eye is under the passenger seat with the jack etc. If you bought a long high tensile bolt with the same thread or a spare eye I'm sure a suitable device could be constructed.  Mike

Beetle2

02:36 PM   25-Aug-18

Christchurch

Thanks Mike, found it OK - the illustration in my manual had me looking on the passenger side. Glad to know where it is i ever needed for recovery was well. Cheers

Front towing hook

by Dave_1

[ 4 ]

Dave_1

04:58 PM   07-Nov-17

Christchurch

Can someone please tell me how to remove the rubber cap where the towing hook screws in behind the cover on the front bumper of my 2015 Imala. I can't see any obvious way. I could drill through it and hook it out but there might be a better way?

Mike & Chris

05:33 PM   07-Nov-17

North Canterbury

Hi Dave

Prise it out with a broad bladed screwdriver from the side... description is in the owners manual on page 226. The towing eye should be under the passenger seat.

 

 

 

Dave_1

11:42 AM   08-Nov-17

Christchurch

Thanks Mike and Chris....just wanted to be sure. My manual has the instructions on a different page but nothing about the plug. All good now.

Mike & Chris

12:37 PM   08-Nov-17

North Canterbury

Hi Dave

 

It may be on a different page in my manual as well, but when I am at home I usually use a digital version... see the link below, it may be of interest.

 

http://aftersales.fiat.com/eLumData/EN/77/250_DUCATO/77_250_DUCATO_603.99.321_EN_01_05.13_L_

E5/77_250_DUCATO_603.99.321_EN_01_05.13_L_E5.pdf

Tow bars

by Tim and Sheryl

[ 6 ]

Tim and Sheryl

03:58 PM   03-Nov-17

NSW

Can anyone recommend a tow bar supplier and fitter in the Hamilton or Tauranga areas?  We need ours modifying to raise the height of the tow bar so our tow bar mounted bike rack on our Delaware doesnt ground so easily.  Thanks.

Avocadopicker

05:37 PM   03-Nov-17

Katikati

Talk to Peter Johnston, pbjohnston@xtra.co.nz who is based near Huntly. Good guy for both towbars and seatbelts.

Boltman

06:26 PM   03-Nov-17

Whangarei

Peters cell 0274874287 very good to deal with.

Bob and Denise

07:44 AM   14-Feb-18

WHANGAREI

Hi Peter we have a 2017 Delaware and we are trying to fit a bike rack onto our tow bar but as it is a hockey stick type there is nothing to hold rack stable and wondered if you have any suggestions

 

cheers Bob Wood

bobwood160@gmail.com 

 

RolandM

11:54 PM   14-Feb-18

Tauranga

We use a Thule bike rack on a 2018 Delaware with I suspect same Towbar , it locks down on towball firmly. Takes two e-bikes and sits very solid on towball.

Avocadopicker

08:03 AM   15-Feb-18

Katikati

We have Witter equivalent of Thule rack. Excellent and grips the towball very well, however on the Delaware it exacerbates the already-long overhang and grounds a lot. We met someone recently who had had the towball raised (by cutting and adding 200mm, which of course means it's not certified for towing) which gave good ground clearance and worked beautifully (that was with a Thule rack too). Would absolutely not recommend the horizontal towbar-mounted rack without modification.

Towbar for Tracker RB

by DNC

[ 5 ]

DNC

07:42 PM   24-May-17

Auckland

Wanting to put a towbar on our newly acquired Tracker RB which apparently will need to be certified by an engineer, as we have COF, not WOF.

Does anyone know where in Auckland we can get this doe and fitted, at a reasonable price?

The Sutherlands

09:18 PM   24-May-17

Auckland

Do you want to tow or just for a bike rack.

DNC

08:21 AM   25-May-17

Auckland

Probably a tailer or small boat 

Bman

10:30 AM   25-May-17

Auckland

Hi, we have used Acker Bilt Ltd in Penrose.  They specialise in tow bars, roof racks, and bull bars.  Our old MH was also on a COF and we found the process very straightforward and received the paper work by a certified engineer, which Acker Bilt organised.  May be not the cheapest in terms of price, but we were happy with the service and the quality of the tow bar fitted and were confident that they knew what they were doing in terms of expert advice.  From memory the MH had to be kept over night and this was securely locked under cover in their massive workshop.  We presented the certified engineer paperwork to the VINZ testing station at the time of COF and they took a copy and registered the tow bar into their system and issued new vehicle labels with the towing weights etc.

 

Perhaps give them a call or go and see them with the Tracker for a quote.

Acker Bilt Ltd 

5 Industry Road, Penrose.  Phone: 5795167

 

 

DNC

07:36 PM   25-May-17

Auckland

Thanks for that Bman I will.

Towing a vehicle

by Mike & Chris

[ 4 ]

Mike & Chris

12:06 PM   21-Jul-16

North Canterbury

Hi

Question for members who tow vehicles behind their Autotrails... curious about what method you use to protect the front of the toad from flying gravel etc. Ease of use, effectiveness, cost, shop bought or homemade?? Protective blanket, extra mudflaps, horizontal curtain, nothing at all??

Boltman

10:08 AM   22-Jul-16

Whangarei

I completed a 6500km trip around North and South islands towing my New Jimny one very small stone bruise. I used full width brush curtain purchased from TWL mounted in a aluminum mounding purchased from Ulritch. I mounted it half way between the wheels and the back of the mh. Works fantastic. One mh,er who followed me in the rain at Hokitika  made the comment that the vortex that comes out from the MH clears the Jimny. I'm super happy with the setup.

Mike & Chris

02:18 PM   22-Jul-16

North Canterbury

Hi

 

Sounds great and reasonably easy to set up, I understand that the brush comes in different sizes, how close to the ground does yours go? Was the fore and aft positioning just a good guess or is there some research on the subject?

Boltman

09:14 AM   16-Sep-16

Whangarei

The brush is 12mm off the ground. 

Towed vehicle

by Mike & Chris

[ 9 ]

Mike & Chris

12:03 PM   01-Dec-15

North Canterbury

Hi

 

Since buying our Dakota I have looked at various ways to attach a small 4wd vehicle; towing dolly, A-frame or trailer. To this end I have just arranged the purchase of a new Suzuki Carry truck in Japan, arriving mid January and now I have to decide which method. Preference at the moment is to have a custom built alloy trailer which will negate the hassles with reversing, brakes and lights and also give me a convenient way to transport our sea-kayaks. The Suzuki is around 740kgs and the trailer will be a little over 300 giving a small margin for kayaks etc to stay within the 1250kgs towing limit specified by Autotrail.

 

Has anyone done anything similar?

 

Regards

Mike

Les

04:14 PM   01-Dec-15

Tuakau

I think for towing a trailer or car check your windscreen sticker NZTA for unbraked weights. .... our Comanche is 750 kg max and 1500 kg braked

Mike & Chris

04:30 PM   01-Dec-15

North Canterbury

Hi Les

 

Sorry, maybe I wasn't very clear, whatever I tow will be braked and I know the limits. What I am interested in are opinions and possibly personal experiences re the merits of a towing dolly versus an A-frame versus a trailer.

 

Regards

Mike

Les

09:08 PM   01-Dec-15

Tuakau

I went for a Aframe to tow our Suzuki Jimmy 2015 no extra braking as like a lot of others out their, no extra charges like rego, wof, that's needed on a trailer, car tows well.

Boltman

06:06 PM   09-Jan-16

Whangarei

I have purchased a 2015 Jimny manual. Tomorrow I am going to get the tow bar fitted any they tell me that a special surge eliminator has to be fitted. Can any one advise what it is.

 

happy new year all.

 

Boltman

04:30 PM   06-Feb-16

Whangarei

Just completed my Jimny Aframe works well even when reversing. Just waiting for the relay and Jimny lights to be wired up.

Boltman

10:10 AM   06-May-16

Whangarei

We have just completed a 6500km trip towing our new Jimny fantastic the best we have had. No problems at all.

Mike & Chris

01:27 PM   01-Jan-17

North Canterbury

Thought I would wrap up the thread by posting a photo of the finished article. The "Carry" has waterproof storage and dedicated racks for our kayaks, paddles and fishing rods. The storage has a lockable side hatch for kayaking gear with a rear dog kennel and it all lifts off in a couple of minutes, easily accomplished by two people.

 

 

Mike & Chris

01:30 PM   01-Jan-17

North Canterbury

As a matter of interest the photo above was taken lunchtime yesterday on SH1 just south of Kaikoura

Mike

Towbar wiring into CANBUS system

by Avocadopicker

[ 7 ]

Avocadopicker

05:40 PM   26-Nov-15

Katikati

I want to fit a towbar and want to choose the simplest and most economic way to install the wiring integrated into the CANBUS system (I have a 2014 Delaware). Has anyone done-it-themselves or have suggestions? Thanks 

Les

03:38 PM   27-Nov-15

Tuakau

I purchase an BRITAX interface from Italian auto Ltd in otahuhu Auckland cost about $230 which I made enough slack in the tail light loom to wire it in the back locker.this needs permanent battery feed 12v + as above behind driver seat 20amp tow fuse.

Avocadopicker

03:52 PM   27-Nov-15

Katikati

Great answers guys. Many thanks 

Avocadopicker

01:09 PM   29-Nov-15

Katikati

Thanks Rob, fyi I just got a new but unused relay (TEB7AS is the 7-way relay) for $30 off TradeMe. Just the job!

RSUP

02:20 PM   05-Jan-18

Taupo

Did you get any feedback from the members??

RSUP

10:20 AM   04-May-18

Taupo

Hi, did you get any responses to your request for info? I am about to do the same on our 2014 Delaware.

Avocadopicker

12:12 PM   04-May-18

Katikati

Actually I never fitted it - still in my box of bits, as the last Delaware had a fitted towbar. There's heaps of information on the internet, for example: https://www.towsure.com/fit_a_multiplex_bypass_relay http://www.uk-trailer-parts.co.uk/7-way-universal-bypass-relay-wiring-diagram/ http://www.thomson-caravans.co.uk/advice/caravanadvice/teb7as.htm . If you want my bypass relay you're welcome to make me an offer.  Cheers

 

 

AGENTS AND REPAIRERS

REMIS Blinds - Spare parts and Supplier question

by NZCamper2go

[ 5 ]

NZCamper2go

10:58 AM   01-Feb-18

Manly

Hi there,

 

I have a 2016 Auto Trail Imala 720 fitted with REMIS D-IV blinds to the front doors and windscreen.

 

On the drivers side door there is a plastic two part telescopic mechanism which contains the blind itself when opening and closing the blind. The two parts of this telescopic unit are joined by a small black plastic hinge. This hinge has broken and I need a replacement. From the research I have done on the web, buying just the hinge is going to be unlikely. It looks like I will have to buy the complete "Telescopic Guides Ducato (IV) incl. hinge). Part number 10043790.

 

My issues is finding an agent in either NZ or AU who can supply REMIS spares. I have found the exact part I need in the UK but postage alone is over $80. 

 

Does anyone have any suggestions of who to contact in NZ? (I have tried Auckland Motorhomes and am awaiting their reply).

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

RSUP

02:06 PM   01-Feb-18

Taupo

There is a company in Queensland Australia that may be able to help you. I will locate their contact details

Martin T

05:35 PM   16-Apr-19

Upper Moutere

Hi Paul

I have just suffered the same fault with the driver's side blind of my 2016 Apache. I wonder, did you find a local supplier?

If not, I'm heading to the UK soon for a few months so could pick up one there for me and also for you if you still need one.

Thanks

Martin

Geeco

06:56 PM   16-Apr-19

NSW Australia

Hi Paul, I am based in Sydney AU and experienced the exact failure last year on my 2015 Tracker. I went through a similar process and finally found an extremely helpful guy at the service company owned by Trakka Motorhomes called The Motorhome Doctor. They were able to supply me with the knuckle rather than the complete telescopic plastic section. The price was very fair. They use Remis on their motorhomes so I suspect have access to the factory for spares.

http://motorhomedoctor.com.au/

hope this helps.

cheers, Gary

NZCamper2go

08:20 AM   17-Apr-19

Manly

Hi Gary, Martin and RSUP

 

Thanks so much for all your responses and my apolpolgy for any delay replying.

 

Unfortunately because we rent out our van I needed a quick solution so in the end had to find a supplier in the UK to send me a new complete telescopic assembly, which included the broken part. So all fixed now.

 

Appreciate you all taking the time replying to my question though. Much appreciated.

 

Best wishes

 

Paul

 

 

Auto Trail Imala damage repair specialist needed in the Auckland area

by NZCamper2go

[ 3 ]

NZCamper2go

01:30 PM   29-Dec-16

Manly

Hi there

 

I was hoping someone in the owners club might have previously had some body work repairs done. I have got damage to my roof and also the opening over cab window to my Imala 720.

 

Has anyone had any work done to a good standard anywhere in the Auckland region that they would recommend?

 

Also, would anyone know if there is someone in NZ who I could contact to get the replacement window or do I have to go back to the UK?

 

Any help would be very much appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Paul 

John

03:45 PM   29-Dec-16

Auckland

  Hi Paul

 

I have used South Auckland  Boat Repairs.

They repair motorhomes for several motorhome dealers in Auckland and do an excellent job  

  

Contact Sam 092678498

27 Holmes Rd

Manurewa

Auckland

 

Cheers

John

NZCamper2go

04:08 PM   29-Dec-16

Manly

Great thanks John much appreciated.

Cheers

 

Paul

 

Getting repairs done on privately imported Autotrails

by Chris Gaelic

[ 13 ]

Chris Gaelic

11:32 AM   04-Nov-15

I damaged a couple of rear mouldings on our Delaware and have had difficulty getting parts so that it could be repaired. Apparently, Auckland Motorhomes blacklist any privately imported motorhomes, and refuse to supply parts. Fortunately, for anyone else in this situation, Taranaki RV are more than happy for the extra business, and have been very helpful.

The Sutherlands

06:43 PM   04-Nov-15

Auckland

Very helpfull. Will file away just in case. 

Sandy Dougherty

05:11 AM   10-Nov-15

Cambridge

Ditto!

Boltman

07:40 AM   18-Nov-15

Whangarei

If the privately imported are black listed then Autotrail UK should be told what's going on.

David Buxton

08:50 PM   18-Dec-15

Taupo

I have contacted AMH regarding this and they assure me they do not blacklist owners of imported AutoTrail motorhomes and are happy to supply parts, however some of the parts they carry are not compatible with some imports 

Jack and Robyn

10:43 PM   24-Mar-16

Winton 9783

We have also had trouble getting service from AMH. The owner was down right rude to us because we had bought our Autotrail Dakota secondhand from someone who had imported it. Thankfully Ashburton RV have been very helpfull and got any parts we have needed from the UK for us.

Boltman

06:55 PM   07-Apr-16

Whangarei

David two totally opposing comments the latter is more like what I'm hearing.

David Buxton

08:00 PM   07-Apr-16

Taupo

Those that have had a bad experience from AMH should make their experiences known to Autotrail UK

Boltman

05:58 PM   09-Apr-16

Whangarei

I have contacted Autotrail on 4 occasions there reply was to take it up with the NZ agent. Only a concerted aproach by many disgruntled autotrail owners may cause them to investergate what is really happening.

David Buxton

07:46 PM   09-Apr-16

Taupo

Those of you who have had  bad experiences with AMH will need to detail your experiences to Autotrail UK 

John_1

08:20 PM   09-Apr-16

Tauranga

I've emailed AMH twice regarding information I needed on a Autotrail I purchased in UK. When the Motorhome arrived back in NZ the entertainment unit had been removed. I was enquiringly about a replacement. Still waiting for a reply, 6 months later, but have spent $1600 having an Alpine unit installed. 

lbh

05:12 PM   22-May-18

auckland

Returning to the original question, are cracks in the rear moldings repairable? Or do the moldings have to be replaced?

Mike & Chris

08:02 PM   22-May-18

North Canterbury

A couple of months ago my A frame detached from the towball and because we were going down hill it unfortunately went forward over the top of the towbar and damaged the rear moulding. The forward momentum stopped when the safety chain reached the end of its travel so the damage is relatively small, about a 150mm vertical rip in the fibreglass and some scratching. As a matter of interest the incident was caused by a failure of the Trojan tow coupling, not by any fault of mine. Trailcom replaced it with a different model which is lockable and a bit more failsafe.

 

A friend of mine who is a retired CPIT engineering and composites tutor has given me a materials list and a complete rundown on the repair which I will do over the winter. A few years ago I did a CPIT spray painting course so I will do the respray but if I can't achieve a perfect finish then I'll rub it down and have it painted professionally. All the advice is not to use gelcoat as it is very hard to colour match.

 

I am quite confident that it will be as good as new so I guess the answer to the question is "yes they are repairable", I'll post some before and after photos when its all done.

Mike

AIRBAGS, HYDRAULIC LEVELLING, STABILISER

Front Stabilisers

by Twilight

[ 1 ]

Twilight

04:12 PM   31-Dec-18

Auckland

Following on from my post on rear stabilisers, here are the background and details of my front stabilisers. 

 

I pondered how to make the front of my MH more rigid, especially to reduce or eliminate lateral movement when entering via the side steps.  Various options were considered.  Probably the easiest option was to use two scissor jacks, one on each forward jack point which would probably give the most rigidity.  This was rejected because of cost, weight, and storage issues.  The objective was only to gain a bit more stability rather than jack the front up (my front and rear stabilisers are not designed to lift the van up like hydraulic levelers). 

 

The starting point was that there is only a relatively small space to mount the stabilisers without having to climb underneath.  They also needed to be mounted off the front jack points behind the front wheels, avoiding the need to climb underneath.  The distance from the ground to the jack point is only about 235mm.

 

The first idea was based on two pieces of broom handle with a combined length greater than the total distance.  Joining the broom stick together was a piece of aluminium channel fixed at one end of one piece and pivoting on a joining bolt at the other (one fixed & one moves).  When the channel was pushed in the middle the two pieces collectively straighten then go slightly overcentre into a locked position.  This system worked but was a bit fiddly to set up.  Also, mind the fingers!!

 

The second design was based on a nut and bolt principle where a nut was encased in the box section leg at one end and the bolt pushing against a plate on the ground. The concept worked but required quite a bit of engineering to fix the nut in the aluminium leg (steel leg & a bit of welding would achieve this I guess) and stop the bolt rotating at the foot as the leg was turned to tighten it up.  It was also quite fiddly and a bit frustrating to set up.  Incidentally my brother-in-law made a system similar to this on his Kea MH using a large modified turnbuckle, but he had plenty of vertical space to use.

 

The current design which I am currently use is a simple lever system based on a piece of aluminium rectangle section with part of the end cut out (refer to the photos).  Two holes are drilled in the aluminium, the top one displaced by about 5mm allowing the overcentre 'lock' to be achieved.  The leg is a piece of plywood (Mk1 was aluminium but overcomplicated - I plan to try kwila in an update).  A piece of 6mm rod is fixed at the top which takes the load at the jack point.  I have other variations in mind for spreading the load at the jack point in future updates.  The foot is the trusty caravan jack pad from Burnsco (4 in a box).  The handle is a piece of kwila which slides in and out of the aluminium rectangle section.  Though the vertical movement is only something like 10-15mm, this is sufficient to tighten up the front suspension.

 

When setting up, it is crucial to have the leg sitting in as tight as possible before moving the handle down, locking it in position.  Therefore I have a selection of wooden packers and a large wooden wedge to achieve the required fit.  Once again, the objective is to merely tighten the suspension up a bit, not lift the van up.  Also the warning sign is hung from the gear lever when deployed as per the rear stabiliser.

 

I have done tests using with my iphone and a G meter app and the results are quite noticeable.  The best judge is my wife who says that MH suspension movement is much reduced (not eliminated) when I am moving around inside and she is lying down or on the loo – how good is that! Mission accomplished!

 

Air Shocks

by Reg and Jan

[ 16 ]

Reg and Jan

10:19 PM   30-Dec-18

Warkworth

At Tauranga, I recall some body mentioned they had solved the tail dragging problem by  fitting Air Shocks.

Appreciate advice on this topic.

 

Reg

RSUP

10:30 PM   30-Dec-18

Taupo

We fitted Boss air bags to our Delaware which gives us 125mm lift. I do not like the idea of wheels on the chassis due to the unengineered stresses to the chassis and possible fibreglass panel movement over time.

Reg and Jan

10:51 AM   31-Dec-18

Warkworth

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Can you please give me an ideal of cost  and where you had it done.

Can you adjust the ride height from the cab?

 

RSUP

01:13 PM   31-Dec-18

Taupo

The kit which comprises of airbags,compressor,control panel and all pneumatic and electrical parts to make operational cost us $1050 inc. GST. Our son who is a automatic engineer did the mechanical install and I did the wiring and controls myself. Yes, we can adjust from the cab, also quite handy for leveling the rear at some parking sites.

Avocadopicker

01:38 PM   31-Dec-18

Katikati

What year is your Delaware? Fiat or Alko chassis? Thanks

Reg and Jan

01:45 PM   31-Dec-18

Warkworth

Thanks for the response. Sounds just what I am looking for.

Where did you source the kit?

Avocadopicker

02:40 PM   31-Dec-18

Katikati

Watch out for the age of your van - the later ones with Al-Ko chassis have completely different suspension which (I believe) the Boss system won't fit (and for which the kit is more than double the cost).

Reg and Jan

03:30 PM   31-Dec-18

Warkworth

Ours is a 2011 Apache 634 U.  Don't know which chases this is, but hope it is not the Al-Ko you mention.  How can we determine the appropriate kit?

Avocadopicker

04:04 PM   31-Dec-18

Katikati

I'm pretty sure you'll be OK with this. Basically this type of kit replaces the bump stops in the rear suspension with the airbag assembly - very straightforward fit. Go for it, it will make a big difference to the ride, noise levels as well as the lifting benefits as above.

Reg and Jan

05:41 PM   31-Dec-18

Warkworth

Thanks for the encouraging response.  

Just waiting for RSUP to point me in the right direction 

RSUP

08:20 PM   31-Dec-18

Taupo

No further comment, refer to Avoccadpiker they have all the answers.

Reg and Jan

08:47 PM   31-Dec-18

Warkworth

To Avocadopicker

Can you pleae provide  details of how/where we source the kit.

Thanks

Avocadopicker

01:47 PM   03-Jan-19

Katikati

Boss Air Suspension is here: http://bossairsuspension.co.nz/product-tag/fiat-ducato/ note that this is a basic system - I don't believe this kit includes remote control or the air pump etc, which you would definitely want for the convenient upping/downing of the suspension from the driver's seat. They also sell via Trademe https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-parts-accessories/performance/suspension-braces/listing-1882416131.htm as an example. To remind our viewers: this is for Fiat-chassis vehicles up to 2014 - after this many of the Autotrails (not sure to which ranges this applies, but definitely Frontier) changed to Al-Ko chassis for which this kit is not appropriate. Boss NZ are wholesalers but their web site lists dealers around the country, or if you want to self-fit, then I guess you can purchase direct from them via Trademe.

Mike & Chris

04:57 PM   03-Jan-19

North Canterbury

Our NZ mid 2015 Dakota (which may well be a 2014 production) is definately on a Fiat chassis. I guess what I am saying is that stock in NZ may sit around for a while so there may be no direct correlation between Autotrail production and NZ registration. Anyone contemplating this will have to get underneath and have a look!!  

Reg and Jan

10:04 PM   03-Jan-19

Warkworth

To Avocado Picker

Many thanks for the details . Will follow through and report progress for others who met be interested. May take a couple of months .

Reg and Jan

05:22 PM   11-Jun-19

Warkworth

Well, we are finally equipped with Boss Airbags.  The delay has been because the installation was timed to coincide with the replacement of the two rear corner panels which hopefully won't be damaged again now that we can raise the tail at will.  Part of a garage door had to be made in Italy, causing a long delay. !!!!

 

Peter Webster at RVrepairs, Albany (www.revrepairs.kiwi.nz)  did an excellent job, and there is a control panel at my fingertips to raise and lower each side separately.  So far our experience is good and we have not scraped the tail in places we normally would. 

 

It was a learning experience for both Peter and Micheal of Boss AirBags.   Peter is happy to do more installs now that he understands what it is all about.

 

Although the Fiat chassis is on long leaf springs and the ride is generally soft (compared to a truck chassis), it is noticeably even softer with the air bags inflated.

 

Overall, we are happy - but it wasn't cheap.

 

 

Stabilisers

by Twilight

[ 3 ]

Twilight

05:02 PM   29-Dec-18

Auckland

Our motorhome, along with most others I suspect, is subject to a certain amount of chassis bounce and swaying of the suspension when moving about inside while parked.  Similarly this can occur in a strong crosswind when parked.  I looked at various stabilisers to reduce movement, such as:

Hydraulic levellers – forget it on cost alone
Wind-down caravan stabilisers mounted on the chassis at the back – they are difficult to wind down as the screw jack is usually high up on the chassis requiring one to crawl underneath to raise and lower them
Swing down stabilisers e.g. Al-Ko or Camco drop down leg – same problems as above
Scissor jacks either on the ground or mounted on the chassis possibly with blocks or a connecting pole to the ground – more crawling underneath and may not stop swaying
Corner stabilisers which attach on the corners and angled outwards on an angle e.g. Barker Outriggers – good idea for lateral stability but nowhere to attach them on my AT
Universal RV Stabiliser (may be under the name of ‘Valdetta’) – the principle looks like a possibility but may require more crawling underneath

 

Using the principle of angled out legs for stability and linked by a ratchet tensioner as in the Valdetta, I designed something that provides both vertical and lateral bracing but is fixed permanently to the motorhome.  The stabilisers consists of two individual legs, each bolted to the chassis through holes conveniently supplied by Auto-Trail at the end of the chassis rails.  The top attachment bracket allows the legs to be swung back backwards, forwards and outwards, the degree of movement only restricted by the fibreglass skirt and the under floor. From the top bracket hangs a 25mm square section aluminium leg at the bottom of which is a caravan jack pad (Burnsco).  When in use, the legs hang out about 30-45 degrees from the vertical and the feet sit on wood blocks so that they sit on the ground just below the side of the motorhome – the angle depends on the number of blocks under the feet.

 

To tension the system up, a ratchet strap is connected to a hook on each foot and tightened up until firm.  As each foot moves inwards under tension, they exert a vertical force through the legs therefore tightening up the whole suspension and stopping the ‘wobble’ and ‘bounce’.  When it’s time to pack up, the strap is released, the legs moved forwards, then secured in brackets hanging down from the under floor.  The whole set up and stowing process can be performed by reaching under the rear and side skirts but without having to climb underneath.

 

For safety, a label stating that the stabilisers are deployed and must be removed prior to leaving the site, is hung from the gear lever when they are in use (like the ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs hanging from hotel room door knobs).

 

The prototype was first mocked up in wood and scraps of metal.  The final version is heavily over engineered and very strong. The brackets were made from aluminium off-cuts acquired from the scrap bin at the local aluminium supplier at no or minimal cost.  Stainless steel bolts and ‘Nyloc’ nuts for security were used.  Several washers including the 80mm discs between the top bracket and the chassis plus other packers were made from a plastic breadboard from the local ‘2 Dollar Shop’ using a hole saw.  The legs could be made from steel or maybe wooden broom sticks (whatever is available), hardware - zinc or galvanised, feet – wooden blocks, metal channel, or whatever.  It all depends on the size of your imagination and inventiveness.  I found that the bulk of the cost was in the hardware.  Basic tools were used – hacksaw, set square, file, drill and bits, tape measure, pencil.

 

Front stabilisers mounted off the front jack points behind the front wheels have been developed.  These are based around a cam type of system which when deployed, the top of the leg moves into an over-centre ‘lock’ position.  More about this at a later date.

NB: Pix 1, 2 & 5 with MK1 feet.  Tensioner now attached to leg via an eye bolt at the bottom of the leg.

 

 

Ricky & Libby

06:54 AM   30-Dec-18

Queenstown

Well done a great DYI outcome are you interested in making and selling theses as I would be your first customer 

Twilight

02:59 PM   31-Dec-18

Auckland

More comments and photos concerning my earlier post:

 

Mk2 foot attached (Note mat which is essential for kneeling on rough ground)

Two photos of stabilisers stowed

 

Comment - Though you don’t need to climb underneath, be careful of the bike rack – with head versus bike rack contests, bike rack always wins

 

Wheels to Protect Rear Bodywork

by Emjay

[ 6 ]

Emjay

09:45 AM   04-Oct-18

I am considering fitting Rexthane industrial wheels to the Witter towbar bracket at the rear of my Delaware to reduce scraping on 'high ground'. Wholesale & Industrial stock these. Can those that have fitted these share what specs of wheels they have successfully used ie diameter, bearings or no bearings, bore size, aluminium or cast iron and width etc.

Also, could this have an effect on COF renewal as it is slightly altering towbar mounting from original specs?

Thanks

John M

09:04 PM   05-Oct-18

Hello

I spoke to a guy yesterday who has a Delaware, and he said there was a company in the UK that made wheels for the Delaware.  Maybe an internet search would locate them?

 

I also visually compared the Delaware to my Comanche and the overhang looks identical.  In nearly three years of full time travel I have only scraped in four locations, and each time the tow ball bracket took the hit, no damaged resulted.

 

Also today I have just seen a 7m Norwegian Burstner fitted with a sophisticated Thule bike carrier, and that carrier had a solid bar across at a low height fitted with solid plastic wheels to prevent the bracket grounding.  Sorry I couldn’t take a photo.

 

On the other hand, in 3 years of travel I have never seen such wheels on any RV vehicle?

 

JohnM

Burgos, Spain

(heading to our winter playgrounds)

Emjay

09:14 PM   05-Oct-18

I have seen a few Autotrail Motorhomes in NZ before I owned one, with these fitted but didn't note the details!

The towbar bracket will take the brunt of the punishment as it is the lowest point of contact but a pair of industrial wheels fitted to the lowest bolts on the bracket would 'cushion' the contact

John M

11:06 PM   05-Oct-18

If solid wheels they won’t really cushion it?  

 

But if mounted further in from the rear and lower than the tow hook they will hit much earlier and further limit the angle you can climb onto.  I did actually get stuck a few weeks ago in the Alps above Nice, reversed into a steep side road and the bar hit the road leaving me unable to make a three point turn.  The hook dug into the road.   I had to climb further up the mountain trail to find a level spot.  These added wheels would have hit long before the tow hook.  I use the term tow hook to differentiate from the full tow bar assembly we have.

 

Not trying to argue, just a discussion of the limitations you may be adding.  The chassis manufacturer doesn’t think it necessary? But you may have a point?

 

JohnM

Boltman

01:17 PM   06-Oct-18

Whangarei

Two years ago (5 COF's) I fitted Rex 200mm wheels to the bottom bolt holes of the tow bar mounting. They are mounted by way of ag pins.

Emjay

12:16 PM   15-Oct-18

Did you replace the the bottom bolts holding the towbar on to the brackets or dont youhave a towbar fitted?

Overhang protection

by Richard & Kay

[ 6 ]

Richard & Kay

03:49 PM   25-Jun-18

Auckland

We have am imala 734arriving soon and would like to put bars underneath to protec the ear from steep driveways , ferries etc . Preferably , we do not want a towbar , if possible. 

Has anyone done this and if so , where did you get it done ? We live in the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in Auckland. Thanks

John M

05:36 PM   25-Jun-18

Many MH tow bars include a wide nudge bar with the actual tow hook bolted to the bar.  So you could just fit the bar without the hook?

Having said that my “hook” hits the ground before the actual bar.  We have left a few deep gouges on several roads!

JohnM

Richard & Kay

10:03 PM   27-Jun-18

Auckland

Thanks that is worth considering.

Boltman

07:39 AM   28-Jun-18

Whangarei

I have mounted to industrial rubber wheels to the rear bottom

holes of the tow bar frame no damage to the road. Look at the rear of long buses they have drag strips mounted to there chassis.

Richard & Kay

09:21 PM   13-Jul-18

Auckland

Thanks for that, the wheels make a lot of sense

Emjay

08:41 PM   02-Oct-18

I am considering fitting wheels to the towbar brackets at the rear of my Delaware to reduce scraping. Can those that have fitted them share what specs of wheels they have used? Ie diameter, bearings or no bearings, bore size, aluminum or cast iron and width etc etc. Also could this effect COF certification?

Thanks

AIR SUSPENSION

by Les

[ 6 ]

Les

10:33 AM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau


COMANCHE AIR SUSPENSION
AT NZ Facebook post:  Has anyone put air suspension on a Comanche? We are being told from sending photos that it possible there is nowhere to put them?Top of Form
Bottom of Form
.
 
Comment:
  try replacing the rear shock absorbers with air type, these can be pumped up which raises the height to whatever suits the occasion.
  Has anybody done this, I would be interested to know if it’s as simple as just air shocks and if there is any negatives. 
  I emailed autotrail UK and they have said that it can be done but it will be an after market kit. I was concerned about the warranty if we did it and was told from where we bought it that we need to go through fiat dealer to do it. But then told by another dealer that fiat does not hold warranty on the rear anyway only the front. It's all getting rather confusing and like it’s too hard.
AIR SUSPENSION
AT NZ Facebook post:  Has anyone fitted air suspension to their AutoTrail. If so, who by and ballpark cost. Need to raise the rear end to get into my driveway. 
Comment:
  Yep same thing driveway to close for comfort. I fitted them myself for $1150
  Are they 6 inch units?
  Probably more like 4 inch, you can only go up as much as the springs will allowed you after that it’s wheels on the towbar. Over inflating air bag can shorten there life. They also screw in to where the bum stops go.
  I had same problem with going up driveway, so fitted some myself. I used 6 inch diameter air bags but if enough room I would go bigger, say 7 inch. Purchased twin cylinder 12 volt compressor and 4 x one way electric solenoids air valves. (Cheaper than 2x two way solenoid air valves). Also needed 2x pressure gauges ( there are single gauges with twin needles available) plus you need a couple of two way switches. This set up will allow you to operate each side independently. You can save on solenoids, and switches if you only want to operate air bags together. Total cost of components about $600. You need to have some engineering ability to make the make the mounting brackets. I personally have fitted 5 sets of air bags to motorhomes over the years and they do improve handling and ability over curbs, etc. Some testing stations may require you to get the installation certified before issuing CoF or WoF.
  What year is your motorhome (ours is 2017 Tracker FB) and how much lift can you get at the axle? What brand did you use?
  The airbags have a movement of about 100mm which gives about 150mm at the extreme rear of the vehicle. My Autotrail is on a Mercedes but this shouldn’t make any difference, leaf spring rear suspension. If you google “air suspension nz” you will find several businesses offering air kits for cars. You won’t need the air tank and check for clearance (diameter wise) that can be fitted. You will need to get fittings made to install airbag to suspension and chassis.
  We used Boss airbags sourced from Trade Me on our Mercedes Sprinter. Keith Andrews Whangarei fitted them and certificated by an engineer.
  Boss air suspension fitted today. Works fantastically, achieved about 125mm lift providing about 25 mm clearance to the drive. Improved the comfort whilst driving too.
AIR SUSPENSION
AT NZ Facebook post:  Has anyone fitted air suspension to their AutoTrail. If so, who by and ballpark cost. Need to raise the rear end to get into my driveway. 
Comment:
  Yep same thing driveway to close for comfort. I fitted them myself for $1150
  Are they 6 inch units?
  Probably more like 4 inch, you can only go up as much as the springs will allowed you after that it’s wheels on the towbar. Over inflating air bag can shorten there life. They also screw in to where the bum stops go.
  I had same problem with going up driveway, so fitted some myself. I used 6 inch diameter air bags but if enough room I would go bigger, say 7 inch. Purchased twin cylinder 12 volt compressor and 4 x one way electric solenoids air valves. (Cheaper than 2x two way solenoid air valves). Also needed 2x pressure gauges ( there are single gauges with twin needles available) plus you need a couple of two way switches. This set up will allow you to operate each side independently. You can save on solenoids, and switches if you only want to operate air bags together. Total cost of components about $600. You need to have some engineering ability to make the make the mounting brackets. I personally have fitted 5 sets of air bags to motorhomes over the years and they do improve handling and ability over curbs, etc. Some testing stations may require you to get the installation certified before issuing CoF or WoF.
  What year is your motorhome (ours is 2017 Tracker FB) and how much lift can you get at the axle? What brand did you use?
  The airbags have a movement of about 100mm which gives about 150mm at the extreme rear of the vehicle. My Autotrail is on a Mercedes but this shouldn’t make any difference, leaf spring rear suspension. If you google “air suspension nz” you will find several businesses offering air kits for cars. You won’t need the air tank and check for clearance (diameter wise) that can be fitted. You will need to get fittings made to install airbag to suspension and chassis.
  We used Boss airbags sourced from Trade Me on our Mercedes Sprinter. Keith Andrews Whangarei fitted them and certificated by an engineer.
  Boss air suspension fitted today. Works fantastically, achieved about 125mm lift providing about 25 mm clearance to the drive. Improved the comfort whilst driving too.

Reg and Jan

05:36 PM   11-Jun-19

Warkworth

See also comments under  AIRBAGS, HYDRAULIC LEVELLING, STABILISER - Air Shocks

Peter_4

07:30 PM   07-Jul-19

Townsville/Queensland

Good Day all has anybody fitted airbags to a fiat ducato rear torsion suspension on a delaware

RSUP

07:50 PM   07-Jul-19

Taupo

Our 2014 Delaware has air bags and gives us a 125mm lift.

Peter_4

08:28 AM   09-Jul-19

Townsville/Queensland

Do you know if its a spring rear end or a torsion rear end   ?

Avocadopicker

10:50 AM   09-Jul-19

Katikati

Later model (after 2014 I think), Comanche and Delawares have Al-Ko chassis which uses torsion bar suspension. The air suspension system for these is more complicated (replacement suspension parts and brackets), thus more difficult to get here and more difficult to fit. I fitted AS Suspension to my 2017 Delaware, and VBAir to my 2019 one (had fitted Dunlop air bags to 2012 and 2014 Delawares which both had Fiat cartspring suspension).These were all supplied and fitted in the UK before bringing the vans out here. You can self-fit the simple air bag systems but the torsion bar kits are supplier-fit only. The only company I have found who will supply an end-user-fits Alko torsion bar air bag system is AirRide (Dunlop) in UK, but be aware that the torsion bar kits are significantly more expensive than simple air bags (£1514 currently, plus shipping and GST), and almost double for tandem axles like Comanche. See https://airride.co.uk/air/van-motorhome-pickup/fiat/ducato/x230/al-ko-chassis-ducato-relay-jumper-and-boxer-kit-2007-b/ as an example. Having said all that I would do it again if I had another Delaware.

Hydraulic levelling system

by Garry Yvonne

[ 5 ]

Garry Yvonne

05:16 PM   26-Apr-18

Blenheim

we have a 2017 Delaware S  of which we are considering fitting the Hydraulic Levelling System to , has any member had one fitted if so what is their opinion of this option, Obviously we are looking at cost of system to be Automatic and where to go for this and how much time it takes to be completed, we are currantly living in Blenheim,replies would be appreciated.

Regards Garry

John M

07:38 PM   26-Apr-18

Hi Gary,

I saw an advert for such in Europe and found the price was €8000!!  I decided the few minutes it takes with Ramps was more economic.

Then I considered how they could be mounted, at the rear there is nothing much solid beneath our vans?  The chassis members are probably not spaced wide enough to level off? So I would expect the cost to add solid cross members to be huge.  

Also consider the weight?

 

Incidentally, not same thing but on our Comanche we have wind down stabilisers which were an optional extra at about $500, they are worth every cent.  I make this comment as over here very few motorhomes have stabilisers.  Some people do use cheap hydraulic car jacks which are probably every bit as good and cheaper to obtain.  The purpose of them is to stop the van rocking in the wind or as you move about the van.  They work well.

 

John

Knutsford

Cheshire

Sublime

08:05 PM   26-Apr-18

Geraldine

We have hydraulic levellers on our Dakato and wouldn't be without them.  E & P levellers from  Holand (google them)they are made specifically for the likes of Fiats etc european vehicles.  You can bring them in direct however we went via Australia and brought them back with us and had them fitted here.  Not cheap approx $6000 for levellers and $3500 to fit. I notice you are in Belnheim we are at Marfells if you want to come and check them out or want any further info.

 

cheers Sue & Leicester

John M

07:51 PM   07-May-18

On the leveling subject:

I’m in Glasgow and met a guy with a brand new Swift Tag Axle similar to the Comanche.  He ordered it with the Leveling system I mentioned above.  He reminded me that it is marketed by Alko for use on Alko Motorhome chassis, and cost him £8000/$16000.  The whole vehicle cost him £104k which is about £20k worth of accessories.  

The leveling system is a pneumatic shock absorber rather than steel posts pushing on the ground.  The van looked really weird with its front wheels on the ground and the body about eight inches/200 mm above the wheels.  He said the leveling is great.

But the vehicle is undriveable and no one will take responsibility for it!  He took it to Fiat and they couldn’t work out the problem and blamed it on the installer.  In this case that was Swift, he believed?  He is now trying to work out how to get his money back on the whole van?  

Frightening story.

John M

Garry Yvonne

12:15 PM   27-Aug-18

Blenheim

Garry & Yvonne Watson

Further to our comment on installing a hydraulic levelling system, we have now had these fitted and decided on a brand called Ma-Ve made in Italy and marketed by Rn-Rv these were installed by a local company here in Blenheim called H R Engineering and the job was done very professionally by Daryl.

we have used these a few times and find the motor home is now very stable at rest and we get no movement when we move around especially at night time.

We think the expense was well worth the cost of having these installed.

Rear of vehicle ground clearance

by Noel

[ 16 ]

Noel

08:06 PM   29-Jun-17

Hamilton

We are looking at purchasing a new Delaware “S”.

Have any owners of this new 2017 model had trouble with bottoming out in gateways with such a large overhang from rear axle?

 

The Sutherlands

07:10 AM   30-Jun-17

Auckland

Yes it is a problem. It requires a change in driving style to overcome. My old 2013 AT had different chassis extensions to my 2017 AT and was a lot more forgiving because of it. I think the Delaware has an ALCO chassis which is lower again. With driving,firstly you need to be aware of humps and bumps and if you think you might bottom out get your co driver to jump out and watch. My driver training is x Army in which we were taught to approach the hump/bump at an 45deg angle or better so your front and back wheels are offset. Or get a tow bar and then at least you have an audible warning to stop and back up

Noel

07:28 PM   30-Jun-17

Hamilton

Thanks for your reply, would you purchase this model again? Do you know if the torsion bar  suspension can be adjusted to give more ground clearance.

Grant and Gail

08:19 PM   30-Jun-17

Christchurch

I have this problem but usually manage by changing the approach angle as per the Sutherland post. I intend fitting airbags which can be operated from the driving position. I have scraped the lowest part on the tight rear corner numerous times and am concerned that I may damage the chassis if I continue. I have seen caravans with rollers like boat trailers use.

Onlinesteve

08:43 PM   30-Jun-17

Cromwell

Look at photos from Autotrail rallies NZ. A few showing wheels attached

Beetle2

08:45 PM   30-Jun-17

Christchurch

We have a 2016 Imala 730 . On a recent trip to the North Island we had issues with the overhang - once going into a DOC campground at Mangaporo where the rear skirt (it is certainly not a bumper) grounded on grass and was torn and then we grounded lightly going into a service station in Whangarei.  We spoke at Te Awanga to the owners of a Delaware from Wanganui who fitted an aluminium bumper bar complete with a skid to alleviate similar problems. We are currently having a similar bpumper made in Christchurch. If I had the money and could find a suitable firm to make a professional job, I would have the lightweight plastic skirt totally removed and replaced with a tapered rear end - the bottom 20 cm is merely cosmetic and if the tail lights were moved up,  the vehicle would be more forgiving of uneven terrain. We had to make an angled approach and departure on the Paihia ferry and there are areas around Lake Pukaki where  we could easily drive in our previous campervan that are now unreachable. There are also some nasty low bollards in Kaikoura waiting to tear the skirt off as you leave a parking space. It is not a new problem with Autotrails - if you look at photos taken at the Levin Rally in 2015 and the Taranaki Rally in 2016 you will see custom-fitted bars fitted to try to lessen the problem (in both cases, photos are at the bottom of the series).  Overall, we are extremely pleased with the Imala 730 but the overhang and blind rear corners are serious design faults. We are also going to fit proximity alarms as soon as the new bumper is finished. For those who have already had an issue, the skirts are made of thin ABS which does not weld easlily but Marley solvent glue (for plastic guttering) works and you can make a filler with ABS welding rod and acetone...

Onlinesteve

08:57 PM   30-Jun-17

Cromwell

We have wheels fitted to our 2014 Delaware. Has worked at treat on and off the Cook Strait ferries along with angled approach 

Grant and Gail

10:17 PM   30-Jun-17

Christchurch

Have you had any concerns about the force that may be applied through the wheels to the chassis?

Leonie

11:04 PM   30-Jun-17

Auckland

I have replaced both right and left hand side rear skirts, they are supplied as a module which I didn't realise, as I had them patched unsuccessfully. Andy from New Lyn did the mending and also placed a strengthening bar behind the skirt for protection. So far, so good.

Auckland Motorhomes in Drury carry the spare skirts for $235.00 plus $30.00 labour. 

Onlinesteve

10:44 AM   01-Jul-17

Cromwell

Grant and Gail. It's more about protecting the ends of the chassis. If the wheels weren't there then the chassis still takes the applied force. 

Grant and Gail

01:56 PM   01-Jul-17

Christchurch

I will rephrase my question. Is there any concern about the applied force to the chassis with or without wheels? I mean you wouldn't try to jack up the Rv by the rear corner.

Mike & Chris

04:31 PM   01-Jul-17

North Canterbury

As an amateur engineer, I think without any doubt that if you relied on the wheels to get through any obstacle then you would soon find damage in the chassis extensions or in the van structure. My towbar is almost 100mm lower than the van skirts so it prevents damage to the van but I wouldn't be happy with a heavy grounding. I like the idea of airbags though, would be very interested in any research you find on that subject.

Mike

Grant and Gail

08:41 PM   01-Jul-17

Christchurch

Hi Mike. Some time ago I contacted Boss NZ and after a look at my Delaware they recommended the following. Prices may not be current.

 

2600 complete (includes bags, blank brackets and air line push fitting). $204 x 2.

 

In-cab 07 kit (includes big compressor, air line, in-cab gauge, switch and dump valves) $690

Total $1118

 

They recommend first contacting a heavy use certifier so that the work meets their certification requirements. They can provide certifier names.

 

You will also need a metal fabricator to add fixings to the brackets for bolting to the vehicle.

 

Hope this helps.

Grant

Avocadopicker

10:33 PM   02-Jul-17

Katikati

We have a 2017 Delaware, with towbar and towbar-mounted bikerack, so we're even longer. The airbags definitely help enormously. 

Mike & Chris

10:00 PM   03-Jul-17

North Canterbury

Hi

Do you have airbags that simply supplement the normal suspension or a full system with compressor, storage tank etc that will physically lift the rear. If the latter, how much will it lift? How quickly? and what brand/model? Did you have to fit longer shock absorbers? Modify the spring attachments? 

 

I want a system that in normal use doesn't raise the motorhome at all (it only fits in my shed with 50mm headroom to spare) but at the flick of a switch would raise the rear significantly, say 150mm which would be a little more than half of that at the axle, and then back to normal once the obstacle was overcome. Additional benefit would be a better and more stable ride.

 

Mike

Avocadopicker

05:48 AM   13-Jul-17

Katikati

We have specially made (for Alko chassis) compressor+gauges+bags+valves-and-pipery+fitting). I haven't measured but I reckon the lift at the wheel arch must be around 70mm. This would be reflected in a bigger lift at the rear. You can pump between 1 and 7 bar, running generally at around 4. Both bags inflated to same pressure but you can decrease them individually. It does make some (small) difference to levels if you're trying to avoid using ramps. The best effect is on the ride stability and noise. These were fitted in the UK by AS Suspension. We have found levelling much better this time. Previous Dunlop system on Fiat chassis permanently raised the rear which meant we were almost always obliged to use ramps to get level. 

AUTOTRAIL FAULTS & POSSIBLE RECALL

2016 January Launch Date Drop Down TV

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

12:25 PM   30-Jun-18

Tuakau


[DVSA logo]
  Home | Back
 

Vehicle Details

Reference : RSPV/2015/003
Manufacturer Ref :  
Make: AUTO-TRAIL
Model : Imala, Tracker, Apache 632, V Line (600,620), Frontier
Launch Date : 25/01/2016
Numbers Involved : 688
Build Start Date : 01/05/2014
Build End Date : 30/04/2015 

Recall Details

Concern : CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE MAY BE AFFECTED
Description : It has been identified that under certain situations it is possible for the weld joining the bracket post to the base plate to fail. This could allow the TV monitor to become detached from its stored position. If this was to occur whilst the vehicle is in motion, it can result in either block the drivers view of the road or strike them causing injury.
Remedial Action : Recall all affected vehicles to replace the monitor bracket with a stronger version.
Vehicle Id : 02577184 to 0282654
02577184 to 02823654
02577184 to 02823654
02577184 to 02823654
02577184 to 02823654

Other Vehicles Affected (Click the vehicle to perform an extended search)

AUTO-TRAIL - IMALA
AUTO-TRAIL - VLINE
AUTO-TRAIL - FRONTIER
AUTO-TRAIL - TRACKER
AUTO-TRAIL - APACHE

2017 May Launch Date Printed Circuit Board May Overheat

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

12:15 PM   30-Jun-18

Tuakau


[DVSA logo]
  Home | Back
 

Vehicle Details

Reference : RSPV/2017/006
Manufacturer Ref :  
Make: AUTO-TRAIL
Model : Vline (610,635, 636), Imala (620, 720, 715, 625, 730,615,734) Tribute (T-615, T-620, T- 720 T-715, T-736) T-726) , Tribute (680,699,670)
Launch Date : 16/05/2017
Numbers Involved : 237
Build Start Date :
Build End Date :  

Recall Details

Concern : PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD MAY OVERHEAT
Description : The printed circuit in the power supply unit may overheat.
Remedial Action : On affected vehicles replace the power supply unit with an unaffected version
Vehicle Id :

2017 September ZFA250000002E*****Not Recall

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

10:07 AM   30-Jun-18

Tuakau

Fiat Ducato with Comfort-Matic Heater Fault Hot Air to Drivers Feet

The copy email below outlines my communication to Fiat Customer Care regarding my concern. This email was sent twice without any conformation received from Fiat, my next action was phone fiats 0800 number on there web page. This was re-directed to Fiat Italy, my email was found by the English speaking customer care operative. At this point I entered into a long conformation discussion, insisting on a log number, It is important you insist on them logging  your concern.  I kept Chelston up dated on all correspondence, a few days passed when I received a call from Chelston informing me that Fiat would like to inspect my Motor Home, a date was arranged. The outcome of that inspection is below my copy email.      

 

Fiat Ducato with Comfort-Matic Gearbox  VIN  ZFA25000002E*****

I took delivery of my motor home based on the Fiat Ducato September 2017.

 I unfortunately experienced a warning light fault so returned to the Fiat dealership Chelston, located  in Wellington, Somerset. That fault was rectified, but my second reported fault regarding the heater not delivering hot air to the driver's feet, was not accepted as a manufacture's fault. I do not accept that to remedy it, they could modify the heater outlet at my expense.  This fault only appears when the Comfort-Matic clutch pedal  replacement foot rest  is fitted. It blocks the hot air that should be directed on to the driver's feet, therefore making the heater  not fit for purpose. The technician took me to two other Ducato's one the same as mine with the same fault, the other a manual gearbox that did not have the same fault.

To check this if you turn the heater on full blow to the feet you can thread your hand up behind the foot panel and feel

NOT RECALL

hot air, but if you rest your hand where the heat should be directed, there is no heat. With my experience as a retired Technician and Iveco service manager I am very concerned that the heat directed up behind the dash  could cause premature failure of electrical equipment in that area of the vehicle.

I requested the dealership to contact you with this concern, I trust thy have as when recently I used my motor home in freezing weather conditions my feet did not get warm.

I look forward to you investigating  this matter and recommending a fix, not at the customer's expense.

 

My Heater now works as it should. My assessment of the fault is that only the Comfort-Matic has this fault, the reason is Fiat has fitted a plate where the Clutch pedal would have been, this blocks off the heater outlet redirecting the hot air up behind the dash. You can check this yourself by putting you hand up behind the pedals towards the rear if the dash. When I picked up my Motor home I requested conformation as to the fix. I was told that it consisted of the fitment of recognized Fiat parts, of the pedal plate also the heater outlet pipe. Apparently this fix is not a recall, so I encourage any owner that has this concern to take this path. Personally I am upset that as the owner I should not need to be put in this position, as the indications are that Fiat have a fix and are aware of this concern, so being unfair to there customers regarding that concern.  

I thank Chelston Motor Homes Fiat service department helping me to get this resolve.

Dennis Hobbs  

Les

09:18 AM   05-Jul-18

Tuakau

How to remove the foot rest.

Remove the 2 screws above the fuse box cover (photo 1). Hold the lip from where the screws have been removed and the other side of the panel, pull firmly to release the clips (photo 2 shows where to pull on the left side). This panel is pivoted from the bottom (photo 3). Lift the panel from the 3 locators. The 2 top screws of the foot rest are now exposed, remove them (photo 4). Pull out the plastic plug/stud on the front bottom right (photo 5). Now the bit I am not happy about. I could not see/get to the screw that holds the bottom left in place. So I used a pair of cutters to cut the tab off (photo 6). That's it, job done (y). I will check for draughts when I next take Max out. I would not be surprised if I have to put some carpet/draught proofing down. The video I posted earlier shows the difference this makes

2015 Autotrail Fault.... Drop Down TV Bracket

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

09:59 AM   30-Jun-18

Tuakau

 

AUTOTRAIL

As part of our ongoing quality assessment and despite full endurance testing, we have discovered a potential risk

 

with the weld on the front TV bracket fitted to a number of 2015 Auto Trail vehicles.

 

It has been identified that certain conditions can affect the structural integrity of the weld that holds the two pieces of the TV bracket together. In some situations this can lead to the weld failing allowing the TV to drop with no prior warning. Because of this small risk, we have decided to add a secondary latch to the front of the TV installations on all 2015 affected models detailed below within the build numbers; 151002 - 151536 inclusive, 155001 - 155534 inclusive and 158009 - 158055 inclusive (after these build numbers the bracket was modified with additional welds).

 

Please note that this rework is not required on all models within the above build numbers.

Imala 615                     Tracker RS                   Apache 632                 Frontier Navajo

Imala 620                     Tracker EKS                                                     Frontier Mohawk          

Imala 715                     Tracker FB                   V Line 600                   Frontier Dakota

Imala 720                     Tracker RB                   V Line 620                   Frontier Savannah

                                                                                                              Frontier Delaware

                                                                                                              Frontier Comanche

                                                                                                              Frontier Chieftain.

Mike & Chris

10:23 AM   30-Jun-18

North Canterbury

My 2015 Dakota was recalled to the dealer (Ashburton RV) when it was about a year old, certainly during 2016, to fit an additional and much nore substantial latching system to the TV. It works great with the added benefit that it solved an annoying rattle from the existing catch.

2017 September Launch Date Thetford Fridge Recall Australia

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

06:05 PM   07-Apr-18

Tuakau

https://thetfordfridgecheck.com/

2016 November To February 2017 Sargent Recall Notice PSU

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

05:25 PM   20-Jul-17

Tuakau

 Power Supply Unit

https://youtu.be/BWvIUyEJ8L4

 

Sargent Recall Notice

A small number of PSU built in November and December 2016, and fitted to vehicles in January / February 2017 are being recalled. They have identified 70 circuit boards that may prematurely fail due to a possible manufacturing problem.  These 70 PCB’s were used during a period where 190 EC155 PSU’s were manufactured, so we are including all 190 of these for checking and possible replacement.

 

 

If the PSU serial number is between 7908 to 8095 inclusive then it is one of the 190 that need to checked.

 

Les

2017 May--Flickering of rear indicator lights

by Bman

[ 9 ]

Bman

10:57 PM   18-Apr-17

Auckland

Hi, my Tracker EKS rear indicator lights flick from left to right indicator light, approx every 80 seconds.  They just flick once from left to right. Then repeat the flick approx 80 seconds later.  The vehicle is stationary and the ignition is off.  The front indicator lights and those on the mirrors do not flick when this happens.  Has anyone experienced the same thing or know why this happens?  I am a little puzzled!

 

Cheers, Bman

Bman

01:23 PM   04-May-17

Auckland

Hi, I think I have solved this problem myself, by ensuring that all the doors are tightly slammed shut including the front cab doors and the habitation door.  Giving the doors are a good slam and then pressing the remote lock seems to have done the trick.  I suspect the flickering is an indication that the doors are not shut properly.

Robert

04:40 PM   28-Jun-18

Dunedin

I am having the same issue with our 2018 imala 730.

its not the doors not being shut in our case. If the doors aren’t properly shut you can’t actually lock the vehicle.

i was told by Auckland Motorhomes

to remove the fuse for the tail lights located behind the drivers seat on the floor, leave out for a few minute s and replace. This temporary fixed it but has come back since. 

Now I am at loss. Have written to both autotrail and Sargent and waiting for a reply.

anybody else know what the fix is? Is it a cranking battery issue! Low voltage!

John M

04:59 PM   28-Jun-18

 

Another possability is if you have a third party alarm system, that will be interfaced with your central locking and indicators.

 

Les

05:39 PM   28-Jun-18

Tuakau

Hi Robert, check the interface wiring that the tail lights feed from, it is a unit in the boot of your van, It gets its feed from floor behind the driver seat Em40 look for loose fuses wire connection points. Cracking issues earth strap problem.Les

Robert

08:14 PM   28-Jun-18

Dunedin

Hi les.

you are talking about this in the photo.

what has me a little curios about this is that looks like a trailer light interface but there also fitted another aftermarket trailer light fitting, is this necessary do you know?

 

 

Robert

08:20 PM   28-Jun-18

Dunedin

Just got this reply from Sargent.

 

I do apologise for the inconvenience the rear flashing indicators have caused. The intermittent fault can be rectified by updating the VLM5 unit which is located at the back of the van. I will attach the file to the email. If you could please see your dealer, I believe they have the Sargent Programmer V3 which has a blue label. All they need to do is to copy the file which I am attaching to the email on the SD card of the programmer and overwrite the existing file and then they can update the VLM5 on your van and the problem will be rectified.

 

 

Bman

08:45 PM   28-Jun-18

Auckland

Thanks Robert for the further research.  I’ll have to check this and monitor.  Since my last post, I haven’t seen the indicator lights flicker at all.  But I will be very keen to hear how you get on with the latest advice from Sargent.

Les

10:18 PM   28-Jun-18

Tuakau

Hi Robert, the picture is the interface for your tail lights don't disconnect for Sargent system. The small interface is for towbar wiring. Looks like you need to update via SD card for lighting. Les

2002 January to 2006 Rusty Sump

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

07:39 PM   04-Aug-15

Tuakau

Own a 2002/2006 Fiat based motorhome?

Check your sump ---- Rusty 

An extract from an email from a UK member regarding his motorhomel MOT test.

 

I put my van in for her MOT which she passed with no problems as far as the MOT was concerned,the tester called me over to the pit to have a look under the van at which time he pointed out the engine oil sump covered in oil, I assumed there was a major leak from the casket BUT it turned out to be that the sump had near enough rusted through, in fact it was so bad he reckoned another 20 mile and it would blow.

Now the reason for this mail is I suggest it might be an idea to put this on the web site, the mechanic told me this is a known problem on all 2002/2007 Ducato's, so my view is if you have one of these years check it out! He didn't say anything about earlier or later models.
In fact I've just been talking to a guy on our site here who has an 05 plate and his is going too!
When I went to pick the van up today the guy showed me my old sump and you could have put your fingers straight through it.

AUTOTRAIL REPAIRS

Repairs in Auckland

by lbh

[ 1 ]

lbh

03:32 PM   08-May-19

auckland

I am looking to get some work done (mostly electrical, but not entirely) on my autotrail Scout. Can anyone recommend anywhere in the Auckland area? Many thanks.

Rear Skirt Panel

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

09:50 AM   17-Aug-18

Tuakau

CRACK IN REAR SKIRT PANEL
AT NZ Facebook post:  Don't back your pride and joy into your fence. Lesson learned. [Photos 1 & 2]
Comment:
* A plastic welder will fix that easly Jenny. Shouldn't cost much at all.
* I’m afraid it does cost quite a bit from our experience?
* Was terrified that would happen to us so we have put a nudge bar around the back to prevent that. Ali Arc did ours in Wanganui.
* Are you able to post a picture of your bumper, what was the cost and how long did Ali Arc need the camper for.
* Costs us just over $1500. We dropped ours off on a Sunday night and picked up a couple of days later as that suited us.... but I would say a day or over night. They were very professional [See Photo 3]
* $230 will buy you a new skirt panel.
* I have done this exercise, to replacement onto the camper is not a simple task as I was shown. This damage is a lot less than the hole I had on mine when I bought it. The repair would not require a $230 new replacement plus fitting it costs. The miner repair by reputable plastic welder would not require removal from the camper. I would be surprised if it costs more than $100 to repair.
* Clean the outside and on the inside. Buy some spouting adhesive white.  Squeeze into the crack and use tape to pull joint back together. Once dry cut off excess with a sharp blade. Cut in polish and its hard to notice. $25
We did that was welded but cracked again. Got a new panel to replace it.

 

John M

04:23 PM   17-Aug-18

Our Comanche came with a solid looking bar across the rear that is part of the tow bar.  It is bolted to the two longitudinal chassis members so is way stronger than the one shown above.  However, the five tonnes of our loaded van verses a small 80 mm diameter sapling bent the bar like butter.  We didn’t even feel it.  Cracked the corner skirt.  

 

Skirt repairs are a hazard of the hobby unfortunately.

 

A more recent disaster, caught the drivers side on a lump of concrete on the end of an Armco barrier.  Never saw the concrete block, it was very low, tight traffic forced me towards the barrier.

Heard the exhaust hit then the waste water tap hit and broke then scrapped the lower edges of the rear wheel well skirt where it protrudes beyond the body skirt.  I have repaired the tap from my plumbing kit.  We carry 15 m of flexible pipe on the roof plus a selection of fittings for use in our fully serviced pitches while wintering over in Spain, so never short of make shift repairs here.

John M 

Somewhere in the Tirol 

Grab Entry Handle

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:37 AM   02-Jul-18

Tuakau

GRAB Handle

 

  I have an apache 634, the grab handle to assist entering the van door is attached to the panel covering the fridge, the handle is coming loose. I can see 4 screws securing the fridge in place. If I pull the fridge out is the gas pipes flexible enough to come out with the fridge. 


Comments:


*  Remove the outside cover of the handle using an allen key on the inside of the curved handle. Then you will be able to tighten the retaining screws from the front of the handle on the door side without removing fridge.

 

cracks in shower base

by Dick_1

[ 3 ]

Dick_1

09:17 PM   09-May-18

Qld

Hi,can any one confirm what type of plastic Plas-tech would have used for the manufacturer of my Apache 700 2012 shower base.

Need to get it Plastic welded but need to know material type.

 

Thanks Richard

John M

11:18 AM   10-May-18

Hi Richard

The most reliable answer would come from Autotrail, you will get a faster reply by phoning their technical support.

John

Glasgow

Avocadopicker

03:35 PM   10-May-18

Katikati

Richard, you might find it more satisfactory to use a complete shower base repair such as here: https://www.affordablecaravans.co.nz/Speedcoat-Shower-Tray-Repair-System - the product doesn't seem obviously supported in Australia, but if you Google plastic shower repair there are heaps of people claiming to do that...... problem is that the crack may be indicative of a general failure/weakness of the plastic base, and a complete cover-it-all repair might be a better long-term fix.

Blind wires not holding due to broken pins

by Bruce -Yvonne

[ 1 ]

Bruce -Yvonne

08:30 AM   17-Apr-18

Christchurch

Apachee 700. Three of the blinds now have broken pins. These are integral to the holding of the wires, important as one needs total blackout for sleep/privacy. Any information out there for repair or replacement. 

Front bed tracker FB

by Julie and Bill

[ 3 ]

Julie and Bill

04:50 PM   10-Mar-18

B of P

i hvae a problem fitting runners fro the front bed make up 

It is a new 2016(model) regn new 2018 FB Tracker

It is for 2 persons - ie 2 seatbelts,

We want to "stretch out" and use the French bed at the resr for one and the make front bed for the other,

NZ rules ( ? stupid) state thatthis would be trested as a fourberth and it is not allowed.

WE would like to fitrunners and use as we wish with no breaking of the rules.

It is hard to work the installation of the runners.

Any tips ant one ?

Bill and Julie 

Mike & Chris

05:09 PM   10-Mar-18

North Canterbury

It is likely that the extension slides of the front bed have been immobilised by a couple of woodscrews on each side, our Dakota was. Remove the screws and the bed should be good to use... I can't imagine they will be checked for any other reason than certification but put them back for WOF checks if you feel that it is necessary

Julie and Bill

05:50 PM   10-Mar-18

B of P

Thanks Mike and Chris

You have reassured me to get stuck in

Broken cord on roof vent

by Patricia.&Leo Martin

[ 3 ]

Patricia.&Leo Martin

11:17 AM   08-Jan-18

Te Awamutu

Is it possible to repair the cord on the roof vent blind/fly screen? This is the large roof vent.Leo

John M

07:46 PM   08-Jan-18

Yes, if not actually broken.  We had a rear window blind collapse on us, the blind fell out of the frame.   

 

To repair it I had to take the blind frame out of the wall.  That is not hard  to do, just half a dozen screws.  Start by gently prising off the corner pieces.  Then it all becomes obvious.

Lay the blind assembly flat on a table.

In our case one of the two cords had stretched by only a few millimetres and that allowed it to come off its tracks.

You need to figure out how it functions, impossible to explain here, but you will find it is a symmtrical cord arrangement.  At the end of the cord there is a clamp that holds it tight, in our case I had to restring the cord and adjust those two clamps (on either cord) to get it working symmetrically.  

But in order to restring it I had to dismantle the frame by releasing corner screws.  Be careful as the whole thing can then fall apart, I released one corner at a time, did what I had to do then reassembled and did the same in another corner, then repeat.

sounds horrific but not too hard once you work out how it works.

 

The skylight will be similar.  To remove the inner window frame, start by prising off the perforated panels.  That will reveal the mounting screws.  The handle needs to come off first, then I expect the whole thing will fall out of the ceiling.

 

Hope that helps. 

John

Costa Blanca 

 

Chris Gaelic

10:29 PM   08-Jan-18

I've done 3 window blinds now - in each case the cord had frayed or broken. As John described, it's easy to do, but you need to be careful. You can buy replacement cord at any supplier of window blinds - I bought mine from Kresta.

Side marker lights

by Gypsy Rover

[ 4 ]

Gypsy Rover

11:12 PM   17-May-17

Levin

We have a problem with our side market lights not working on our 2015 Savannah. We have found one fuse behind drivers seat that appears to be ok. Any suggestions on where to look next?

The Sutherlands

06:36 AM   18-May-17

Auckland

Is it all of them or just some?

Sublime

09:59 AM   18-May-17

Geraldine

We have a Dakato 2014 and we recently had a problem with our marker lights fuse which kept buzzing and cutting power to all sorts. The fuse was perfect but when we unscrewed the fuse box and lifted it up a little the problem was very clear, it had started to melt the wires together. So maybe worth a look just in case yours maybe starting to do the same.

Gypsy Rover

10:36 AM   18-May-17

Levin

Hi to the Sutherlands yes it is all the orange marker lights low down on the sides.

 

Daytime running lights

by Pete and Wend

[ 8 ]

Pete and Wend

08:09 AM   22-Apr-17

Tauranga

Hi everyone, I am a new memberand hope that you people can help.  I have just purchased a 2014 fiat autotrail tracker fb and have noticed that the daytime running lights are not working properly on the left hand side.  These led lights fit in the vent space.  It has six led lights, three are working and three are not.  A auto electrician informed me that these are 'after market lights' and as such cannot be replaced.  I am a fussy person and want things to look and go correctly.  Any ideas would be apprecitated, thanks.  Pete

Boltman

09:01 AM   22-Apr-17

Whangarei

I understand Taranaki RV has full access to the Autotrail factory for Autotrail Frontier and tracker Series parts. They are the Autotrail tribute and I believe the Autotrail roller team New Zealand agents. 

Les

09:06 AM   22-Apr-17

Tuakau

I would go to Jay Car and fit new LED light bulbs. Les

Pete and Wend

09:52 AM   22-Apr-17

Tauranga

Not being a great handyman Les I listened to the auto electrician who said that they were a sealed unit and would have to replace the whole light.

Mike & Chris

10:37 AM   22-Apr-17

North Canterbury

Hi Pete... if the unit is Narva, Hella or similar mainstream brand the unit should be readily available but otherwise as Les has already said Jaycar or the internet. It is unlikely that you will be able to replace individual LED's as they are usually completely sealed and waterproof. Mike

The Sutherlands

05:03 PM   22-Apr-17

Auckland

Hi Pete. Funny, i have just been on the UK Autotrail Facebook page and a member there has exactly the same problem. In your Facebook search engine type Autotrail Friendly Group and hit search. This AT group has over 900 members and is a mine of information. You can spend hours looking at the posts and has given me several ideas for after market mods. Now back to your problem. To have 3 out of 6 LEDs go is very very unusual . If the LEDS where faulty none would work as they would be wired in paralel. I would be looking for loose connections first

Pete and Wend

07:59 AM   24-Apr-17

Tauranga

The auto elctrician said the power was getting to the lights, I'm wondering if I should take it to another electrician for a second opinion???  While on line, we had a first night away in the van on Saturday, great fun, but I noticed when we used the water pump for shower etc. the lights would flicker throughout the rest of the van.  Appreciate your comments and suggestions, because as I said before, we are newbees at this game.  Pete

FrankC

11:12 AM   11-Feb-18

Just noticed yesterday one of my running lights are out. Replaced one before I left Uk supplied by Autotrail . We're could j source one in NZ South Island 

Frank

Rear lights - cracked lenses

by Peter Robieson

[ 1 ]

Peter Robieson

01:16 PM   07-Nov-16

Mount Maunganui

We have noticed on our Tracker that we have 2 cracked rear lenses, (in our case - backing and also 1 x indicator), and 1 now has  condensation in it.(which LED's hate). The problem has been caused we assume through initial overtighening of the lenses back at the factory installation stage? We have tried to find replacement lenses here in NZ, but now think that we must source back in the UK? We have a contact going back over to the UK in late November 2016, and returning in early December 2016, and he can source replacement lenses over there and bring them back to NZ for us. Is anyone else with the same problem interested in this? There also appears to be a wide variation of prices over in the UK, but we will be attempting to source and price the most cost effective replacements.

Rear LED Indicator Light Condensation 2015 Apache

by ChrisB

[ 4 ]

ChrisB

11:05 AM   08-Jun-16

New Plymouth

The left rear Led indicator light on our 2015 Apache 634 has failed with condensation appearing inside the lens (see pic, somehow it loaded upside down?).  These 17 segment LED lights are made by WIPAC, but I cant find any details on the internet.

 

Does anyone know:

1)  How do you remove these lights?

2)  Is the seal repairable?

3)  Where can I source a replacement LED light from?

 

Many thanks,

 

Chris

 

 

Rob and Pat

05:37 PM   08-Jun-16

North Canterbury

I would suggest givingTaranaki RV a ring or going around to see them as they should be able to tell you how to get the light out. If you cannot find the light anywhere then Taranaki RV would be able to source one for you.

 

For the bulb lights I have been told that there is a mark on the lens where you apply pressure with a screwdriver to push the light sideways and it should pop out. Haven't had to try it yet so not sure how easy it is.

 

Rob

Les

07:23 PM   08-Jun-16

Tuakau

HI Chris, There is a clear plastic plug covering a screw on each side. Lever them out with a flat fine bladed screwdriver. The problem is when they are installed by A/T the screws are over tightened thus resolving in fine crackes letting in moisture.

ChrisB

10:11 AM   09-Jun-16

New Plymouth

Rob / Les, 

thanks for your help with this; will have a go at removing the lens cover shortly.  I have also been in touch with Dolphin Motorhomes in Hampshire, UK where we purchased our Autotrail 11 1/2 months ago and they are arranging to supply a replacement light under warranty.  This will be shipped to me via YouShop.  Great after sales service from the other side of the world !
So looks like I am all sorted  :-)

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

 

Yellowing plastic

by Grant and Gail

[ 2 ]

Grant and Gail

09:42 PM   25-Jun-15

Christchurch

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to restore or paint the exterior plastic mouldings that yellow overtime?

Les

01:24 PM   10-Sep-15

Tuakau

"MOTHERS"

Plastic Polish

available from Repco LTD

Clips for drop down TV

by Chris Gaelic

[ 7 ]

Chris Gaelic

11:08 PM   15-Jun-15

Hi Kevin, What did you get sent out - the replacement clips or the whole tv unit? I had a look at the website, and couldn't see where they were selling spare parts, or even the tv units.

Les

11:36 AM   05-Aug-15

Tuakau

Click on the Link

http://www.veba.uk.com/

http://mailto:sales@armourauto.com

As I see they have VEBA Roof Mount Monitors 15.2

Rob and Pat

12:03 PM   08-May-16

North Canterbury

for those with broken monitor clips have a look at the the following 

 

http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/drop-down-monitor-clip-failure.118570/

 

This motorhomer managed to successfully make new clips out of Aluminium.

 

Rob

WD

09:03 PM   15-Jul-18

New Plymouth

Hi Rob,

how many clips did you make, my grandson pulled the TV down which broke both clips. Will pay you for a couple if you have any spares.

Regards

WD

 

Rob and Pat

09:07 AM   16-Jul-18

North Canterbury

Hi WD

I only made enough to fix my monitor. I used the broken bits as a pattern to make the new clips and screwed and glued them to the lock bar. The hardest part was getting the bar out and found by carefully bending it it would come out.

 

Rob

WD

06:13 PM   25-Jul-18

New Plymouth

Hi Rob, all good, worth a go as they dont seem to have replacements.

WD

Chris Gaelic

07:44 PM   25-Jul-18

If you'd like a quick and dirty fix for the broken clips, we tied a knot at both ends of a length of cord, loosened the front mounting screws, and fitted the cord as shown below:

 

 

We planned to try sourcing, or making, replacement clips, but this has worked so well that we haven't bothtered. Plus it makes a good talking point with our motorhome friends...

 

AUTOTRAIL SPARE PARTS

Replacement Hubcaps

by Kennet

[ 5 ]

Kennet

07:48 AM   29-Jan-19

Whangarei

Hello can anyone advise where I can buy a replacement Fiat Ducato hubcap please.

John M

08:56 AM   29-Jan-19

If you have no luck in NZ, try Brownhills in Newark UK.  They send parts to us in  Europe if we need help.  They told me to quote the serial number on the windscreen when ordering, for either Fiat or AT parts.

 

It may well be a Fiat part rather than an AT part.  I needed a Fiat motive for one of our wheels and while I presumed the wheels were an AT part, they turned out to be Fiat parts.

 

JohnM

Vila Joiosa

 

RSUP

09:15 AM   29-Jan-19

Taupo

We purchased a replacement hubcap from Italian Auto Centre (Fiat Light Commerical Sales only)  +64 (9) 276 7245, 23 SALEYARDS ROAD,OTAHUHU,AUCKLAND  1640, Make sure you ask for the correct coloured centre, they are either red or blue.

Martin T

03:13 PM   29-Jan-19

Upper Moutere

Hi, I've a brand new hubcap that fits my 2016 Apache: I needed one but saw a pair for sale on eBay last year. If you want it please make direct contact martinthomp@gmail.com

CBS

04:54 PM   31-Jan-19

Auckland

Hi Kennet - You can buy a new one direct from Andrew Simms Auckland for about $110 or so - I have a second hand one suit FB Tracker 2018 ( red centre) in good condition if you want it for free - I come to Waipu often so can leave it there 

regards

Chris

Autotrail Spare Parts

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:01 PM   31-Jul-17

Tuakau

Click on link

http://www.cmparts.co.nz

 

From: Kevin Dyer

Hello,

Caravan and Motorhome Parts NZ (CM Parts) is able to support your members for parts for their Auto-Trail motorhomes.

We are an approved parts supplier for all of the Trigano Group products including Auto-Trail. We can source items directly from Trigano.

Or phone me direct on 027 517 0300

Thank you.

Kind Regards Kevin 

SKY VIEW Vent at the front of the Delaware MoHo

by RSUP

[ 6 ]

RSUP

09:22 AM   05-Jul-17

Taupo

Hi Folks,

 

We had trouble with the lowering of the Dometic Seitz Sky View vent at the front of our 2014 Delaware Motorhome.  After climbing onto the roof I found that both of the small screws had fallen out of the blocks that connect to the threaded screw spindles. With some “pain” I refitted the screws and managed to get the Sky View lowered so we could travel.   

The winding mechanism must have got damaged during the attempted to lower the vent, and now when the handle is turned something is slipping inside and we get no movement of the spindles.

Has anybody had similar issues?

Has any other member had to buy spares? if yes from whom? 

Any advice would be helpful

Mike & Chris

10:17 AM   05-Jul-17

North Canterbury

Hi

A quick google came up with a number of companies offering to sell and fit the skylights so it shouldn't be too hard to find one that has spares or can point you in the right direction eg. this one in Whakatane

 

https://www.coastalmotorhomes.co.nz/rv-parts-accessories/hatches-windows/dometic/dometic-seitz-sky-view-curved-vent-760x706mm

 

Mike

Les

10:19 AM   05-Jul-17

Tuakau

 

 

 

www.marine-deals.co.nz/seitz-skyview-curved-skylight?___store=default

 

Les

RSUP

02:32 PM   05-Jul-17

Taupo

Hi Folks,

 

1. I made an enquiry to Coastal Motor Homes, their response was "Thanks for your enquiry. Unfortunately the windows are not the same"

2. I have made an enquiry with www.marine-deals.co.nz

I will let you know how we get on.

Les

07:14 PM   08-Aug-17

Tuakau

If you have contact with any of your members that have damaged Seitz Skyview 4 skylights in their Auto-Trail Motorhomes please get them to contact us. Some of these Skylights have arrived in NZ by mistake and are available at a very favourable price. Enjoy your week Les Kind regards Kevin sales@cmparts.co.nz Ph 027 5170300 CM Parts

RSUP

12:00 PM   07-Sep-17

Taupo

Unfortunately the Dometic Seitz SkyView units that CM parts have are not the same as used in the AutoTrail Delaware.  

After so great advice from Mr. Allan King of Ashburton RV we managed to get the inside surround off and found the failed part.  It is the plastic connection between which the winding crank handle and connects to that drive the hex shaft to the gearbox.

 

I would suggest that Delaware owners open the SkyView, climb onto the roof and ensure that the two small screws that connect the arms to the spindles are tight otherwise you could end of with the same problem we had.  

 

John Zittersteijn from Taranaki RV have been excellent and have spares coming from the UK.

John Zittersteijn and Allan King (Asburton RV) are really customer focused and are highly recommended,

( Spare Parts AU ) Wiper Blades

by Les

[ 4 ]

Les

03:55 PM   08-Aug-15

Tuakau

This a Motorhome owner in Australia, I have some interesting information for all Fiat Ducato owners which I would like to pass on, as it will be a great saving for them. Recently we needed some new wiper blades for our 2012 Fiat Ducato motorhome. Firstly I went to all the usual places like Supercheap and the like with no success, so was forced to go to the Fiat dealer (the wipers are different lengths, driver’s side longer). Upon hearing the price of $125 a pair and being told they are very difficult to fit sand o would need to be fitted also by Fiat I picked my jaw up off the desk, went home and  started trawling the internet. Soon I came across a fantastic company called Wipertech (Freecall 1300 778502) in NSW, who arranged next day delivery to us in Qld.
They have every blade from every vehicle at less than half the original cost and a YouTube  video showing you how very easy it is to fit them. There price was $59 for the pair in Australia

Boltman

10:14 AM   21-Sep-15

Whangarei

Just replaced mine very easy to fit brought from TWL $80nz

 

Chris Gaelic

02:57 PM   20-Nov-15

You can get wipers from SuperCheap Auto (Botany in Auckland) - mine cost $90 - a lttle more expensive, but still cheaper than $125.

Mike & Chris

02:45 PM   28-Mar-16

North Canterbury

Hi

 

wipertech.co.nz are now in the NZ market, $69 freight free on their website.

 

Regards

Mike 

( Spare Parts UK ) Dometic Seitz Windows

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

03:00 PM   05-Aug-15

Tuakau

S4 Top Hung and Fixed Window

Click on the Link

 

http://www.leisureshopdirect.com/caravan-spares#ppPDFs[iframes]/4/

 

Les

08:31 AM   08-Aug-17

Tuakau

If you have contact with any of your members that have damaged Seitz Skyview 4 skylights in their Auto-Trail Motorhomes please get them to contact us. Some of these Skylights have arrived in NZ by mistake and are available at a very favourable price.

 

Enjoy your week Les

 

Kind regards

Kevin

 

sales@cmparts.co.nz
Ph 027 5170300

CM Parts

www.cmparts.co.nz

( Spare Parts UK ) Blind Catch ( Broken )

by Les

[ 3 ]

Les

10:17 AM   05-Aug-15

Tuakau

Click on the Download :

 

http://www.atocuk.com/app/download/20333973/window+locks+for+motorhome.pdf

 

 

 

Got a broken interior blind catch? Here are the instructions on how to replace and the supplier contact information. Document is for download only. Supplier details are on the document.

lbh

09:57 AM   23-May-18

auckland

Sending off to Holland for some plastic parts seems a little extreme. Wondering if anyone has ever sourced such items in NZ?

John M

03:59 AM   01-Jun-18

I have just bought a handful of blind catches here in the UK, for £2.10 each, about $4 each. 

 

Most good RV companies here are frequently sending parts to us (collectively thousands of us) in Spain etc and I’m fairly sure they would put a handful of these clips into a Jiffy bag and post by cheapest method to NZ.

 

I bought these from Brownhills in Newark.  They have told me in the past that they will send anything I need into Europe.

 

FYI, Brownhills service dept has 25 inspection pits!  If you google them they have in the past had bad press, but the company was sold a few years back and now it is quite spectacular.  Huge stocks of new Autotrail Swift Adria and Rapido amongst others.  Over 300 vehicles in stock.

they also allow you two nights free accommodation in their paved overnight park with hook-up when you need some service work to your van, we have done that twice.

 

John 

Cottingham

 

AUTOTRAIL TECHNICAL

Battery Charger Selector switch

by

[ 9 ]

02:33 PM   11-May-19

Auckland

Hi all.

We have just recently purchased our Imala and are still coming to grips with all it's systems.

Today I was looking to install a pair of USB socket outlets into the 12V system, I switched on the power panel to be greeted with the low battery alarm on the leisure battery. Our vehicle is fitted with a Sargent EC155 Power Control system and underneath the control box is a small 3-position rocker switch which I haven't been able to find any information on amongst the volumes of reading that came with our motorhome.

Position I=Vehicle

Position O=Off

Position II=Leisure

Can someone explain exactly how this might work within the overall scheme of the EC155 system?

Up until a week ago this had been set to the "Vehicle" postion as suggested by the previous owner, on the basis that he felt it kept the vehicle battery charged with the "overflow" then being directed to the leisure battery. However since a visit from a member of the family who is an experienced motorhomer, it's been switched back to the "Leisure" position. Could this be related to the battery now being low on charge (down to one light only on the monitor), or is it just coincidence and the battery is needing testing/replacing? The vehicle is of late 2017 so I'm a bit surprised to see a dead battery so soon.

Any help greatlty appreciated.

 

Grant W. 

Tauranga

Dave_1

10:13 PM   11-May-19

Christchurch

When we purchased our 2016 Imala the dealer mentioned that some switches have been wired incorrectly so the leisure position is charging the vehicle and vice versa. I tested ours with a meter and found that is the case so I just changed the label. If it is set on vehicle, the overflow will not charge the leisure battery. I just change the switch from one to the other every couple weeks. If you don't have a volt meter just look at the Sargent lights over a couple days and see if vehicle or leisure comes up as that gauge is correct

Karen and Steve

08:41 AM   12-May-19

Kapiti

 

Was also wired wrong on our 2017 Imala.

I also just changed the markings on the label but leave the switch set to charge the leisure battery and rely on the vehicle alternator to charge the vehicle battery

Les

11:45 AM   12-May-19

Tuakau

EC155 SOLAR SWITCH WIRING ERROR

ATNZ Facebook post:  We have got a 2017 Imala 615 with a Sargent EC155 controller, and with a factory fitted 100w solar system. We have had trouble keeping the leisure batteries charged and were often down to 12.3v after sitting for a day in the sun without much switched on. We bought an additional portable folding solar kit, but on wiring it into the regulator discovered that the charging selector switch was wired the wrong way round. With the switch on position 2, which should have been the leisure battery it was actually only charging the vehicle battery and when switched to position 1, the vehicle battery, it would then only charge the house battery. A simple job to swap the wires on the back of the switch. I suspect that other vans may have this same problem too.
Comments:  
* We have an Imala 625, 2017, and have only just made the same discovery. Couldn't understand why we never saw the leisure battery improving under good solar conditions. Has been frustrating that we had all those lovely lights that we were too paranoid to use. Much happier now :-)

* We have a 2017 Imala 743 same problem . Leisure battery running out so have just added 200W on the roof - BUT the biggest revelation to us was that the 2 house batteries were not "sealed" batteries they were the old type that not "sealed" batteries they were the old type that needed topping up with distilled water every so often. Needless to say we had not done so they were stuffed . All changed now after spending $’s don't think we should have had to but now working well which is the most important eh.

* On our van there is a brown wire that runs from the solar regulator battery positive terminal down to the centre terminal of the charging selector switch. Then you need to check the colour of the wire connected to the battery positive. In our case it is a brown and blue wire. This wire should go to the top terminal of the charging selector switch, and the bottom wire on the switch, ours is brown and green, runs down to the 20amp vehicle battery fuse behind the driver’s seat on the floor. 
If the battery wire goes to the bottom of the switch just swap the two wires over then at least you will know what you are charging.

* Thank you so much for posting this information. We have an Imala 734, 2017 which we were about to take up to Auckland to get the electrics sorted out as we didn’t seem to be getting any benefit from our 100W solar to charge the leisure batteries. The vehicle battery was always 100% full. We tried position 1 this morning and the leisure batteries are now being charged.

* It does make me wonder how many vans have the charge selecting switch wired back to front.

* Do we need to switch the wires or could we just relabel the switch as it is not easy to access the back of the switch.

I plan on relabeling the switch.

GrantW

05:09 PM   12-May-19

Tauranga

Easy fix, thank you everyone. Just swapped top and bottom spade terminals on rear of switch and **POOF** ambiguity gone!! And I didn't even have to change the label.

While I was at it, fitted a couple of USB outlets to each side of the luton ledge below the overhead cupboards to allow recharging of phone devices. All in all a good afternoons work.

Thanks once again for your help.

 

GrantW.

Tauranga

GrantW

09:17 PM   22-Jul-19

Tauranga

Just returned from a drama-free overnight stay. Forgot to unpack our toiletries so went down to the MH last night, but on trying to switch on the power at the Control Panel to access the internal lights I got an alarm/red light (Leisure Battery Indicator) and no power.

Our system is a Sargeant EC155 with EC50/51 Control Panel (I think??). On checking things under daylight, I can't find any apparent blown fuses in the EC155 unit, the RCD's haven't tripped and the Charging Selector is correctly set, having recently switch the spade terminals around as per above.

One thing I did notice, which strikes me as odd, is that the main switch on the PSU doesn't light up at all. Also, the Solar Controller lights only light up with the Charge Selector set to Vehicle Battery, and not at all on the Leisure setting.

Any thoughts as to where I should be looking next? My first thoughts were to the battery itself being the culprit, but if that was the case, wouldn't the PSU still be showing power at the On/Off switch?

 

GrantW.

Tauranga

Avocadopicker

09:25 PM   22-Jul-19

Katikati

Hi Grant, have you metered the battery terminals to check that the battery actually presents at least 12v, then the fuse right next to the battery (20A) to make sure that volts are leaving the battery cabinet on the way to the Sargent unit? Definitely sounds as if you're getting no leisure battery volts at all.

GrantW

09:35 PM   22-Jul-19

Tauranga

Thanks for your reply.

I'll check both of those options at next daylight. Only just found where the battery even was late this evening, couldn't find any directions in my user manual.

GrantW

09:20 AM   23-Jul-19

Tauranga

**SOLVED** 

Turns out the battery I found yesterday evening was the Vehicle Battery. The User Manual was of no assistance, just stating there is a Leisure Battery fitted, and that I should familiarise myself with the vehicle to locate it. Well, I've sure done that!!

After pulling the vehicle apart I finally found a cover which was hidden by a carton under the left-hand bench seat in the lounge, this carton having been left there by the previous owners to store various nic-nacs. Through a small hole in the cover plate were threaded two exposed spade terminals and on the floor beside it a fuse. Guess the carton sliding around had disconnected it. Re-plugged fuse and test ... POWER!!! Now to reassemble the motorhome!

If the leisure battery could be placed in various places according to the model, then why couldn't Autotrail give a list of these various places? Would save a lot of confusion and frustration and wouldn't add much to the thickness of the Users Manual.

Seat Covers

by MIke

[ 1 ]

MIke

07:43 PM   08-May-19

Searching for stockists for Delaware front seat covers.  Please could someone advise whether there are any stockists in the South Island though not mandatory.  With thanks.

Electronics

by Our TP

[ 6 ]

Our TP

11:46 AM   20-Nov-18

Tauranga

I have two electronics problems.

Was watching ABs on Sunday morning on front TV in my 2015 Comanche, when suddenly after about 10 mins, picture lost and then screen says no signal. Turned on TV in rear to see if that working, in a bit of a panic by now, and front TV immediately got picture and sound again. Tested by turning rear TV off at half time, and lost signal to front TV again, turned on again and front tV all good again.

Can anyone point me in the direction of what causing this problem, and how to fix please.

 

Second problem is electronic readings from gauges above door. We have two solars - 220 watts on roof, and two lead acid batteries - 210 amps so plenty of grunt for normal use.

The battery level of charge is not responding correctly to show level of charge after either heavy inverter use, or night time TV use.

On Sunday, not on mains power,  I charged two E-bike batteries with inverter. I have a blue tooth battery management device connected direct to my batteries, and after an hour and 20, the bike batteries fully charged and house batteries showing about 85% charged, or 15% down, on blue tooth device. This felt about right.

However the gauge above the door still showing house battery at 99% charged, so it is not registering accurately at all. I have reset it by holding middle button on right hand side down to hear first beep, then releasing to get 2 beeps telling me reset is done. This did not alleviate the problem

Has anyone had either of these problems and if so can you help please.

Thanks

Avocadopicker

12:40 PM   20-Nov-18

Katikati

John, re your issue with Sargent SOC reading not matching the real world, it sounds as if you're not charging and/or discharging your batteries solely via the Sargent unit. It can only track and measure that current which passes through it. With 220W watt solar at least some if not all solar charge is going via a separate solar controller. Were you charging the bike batteries from within the van, or straight off the batteries?

Les

01:54 PM   20-Nov-18

Tuakau

Hi John, When you reset your panel hope you did it at night when no current movement. Les

RolandM

02:10 PM   20-Nov-18

Tauranga

Hi john , I’ve been thinking your issue as follows;

A) inverter is direct connected to leasure battery

B) and as per above comment, solar is via separate controler direct to battery ( Sargent system won’t handle 200w)

C) Tv current , Lights etc will be via Sargent system.

Hence

1) as your only charge current on the day is solar , no charging current flows via Sargent system

2) as the inverter is direct feed off battery this reasonably high current (bike battery charger) is not via Sargent system. Ie most load current does not flow via Sargent system.

Therefor

3) the Voltage Reading on the Sargent will still be correct 

4) however the Capacity Reading will be incorrect as it is based on - preinput AH capacity ,less or plus the difference of input and output currents over time period that are flowing via the Sargent system - ( at this time this was only the tv (and maybe lights ?) .ie a small current draw off for Sargent to monitor.

5) on the other hand your Bluetooth battery monitor has a shunt in the battery line and measures all input and output currents hence giving an accurate capacity % (approxamate) .

 

PS: I am guessing on how the Sargent system calculates capacity % but this sounds reasonable 🤭

Happy to discussover a wine or two. 😄😄

RSUP

03:47 PM   20-Nov-18

Taupo

John,

Re your front TV, it sounds like your front skybox is not powering up the LNB on the dsih. we had tge same with our front TV in our Delaware, i checked and there was not voltage from the RSE skybox, So the TV in the bedrrom was powering the LNB. replaced front box and all is good.

 

Our TP

05:33 PM   20-Nov-18

Tauranga

Thanks to all for above replies.

From a mere accountants perspective, I think what you are telling me is that there will always be a difference because of the solar power being greater than what the Sagjent can handle. That being the case, I probably do not need to worry about the difference and can rely on the reading off the bluetooth battery monitor.

If this is correct then I can live with that.

Thanks Martin, Les and Roland.

Could have a discussion over a glass of wine, anytime, Roland, perhaps we might even get to talk about electrics!!

 

Re TV problem, thanks RSUP for your comment. Both of the TVs incorporate slots for the My Sky card - no separate sky box.  So does this mean the front TV has a problem. If so it is about 2 year old RSE TV. They may or maynot be interested in my problem, plus ofcourse they are in AKL.

Is back to RSE the only option?

 

Sargent EM50 Burn-Out

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

02:34 PM   11-Sep-18

Tuakau

From Facebook

Warning everyone with a Autotrail from late 2007 who has a EM50 intelligent interface located under the floor behind drivers seat this is what happened to ours after half an hour of driving. We have had intermittent problems with our electric step and the fridge fuse blowing since we first bought the MH 2 years ago. It has been looked into with no fault found. We recently had a new fridge fitted and after phoning Sargent found out fridges fitted since late 2007/2008 need a 20 amp fuse as they draw more current. So even the original fridge needed a larger fuse but thetford didn't inform suppliers and only admitted to Sargent after others had this problem. Also think the unit had become faulty because of the extra current over time. This could have caused a fire and we were very lucky.

Ours is the Cheyenne 660 don't know if it affects other makes but please get it checked out specially if having step problems or fuses blowing

Comfort matic light

by Leanne

[ 2 ]

Leanne

02:39 PM   28-Dec-17

Northcote point

Has anyone experienced the red light comfort Matic gearbox failure light coming on? My vehicle has only done 500 km three days of driving! Can't get hold of dealer- thinking maybe as the oil level light is also changing - that the warning light is a light fault so not a problem.

Les

03:11 PM   28-Dec-17

Tuakau

Hi, look in forum under fiat issues comfort-matic ......Les

Sargent PSU Burnout

by Les

[ 10 ]

Les

08:40 AM   07-Nov-17

Tuakau

David Buxton

08:55 PM   07-Nov-17

Taupo

Wow, I hope that never happens to us. 

Avocadopicker

01:35 PM   12-Nov-17

Katikati

The biggest danger here is that people will worry or panic about things which are extremely unlikely to affect them (I know, I've met one or two). From the dialogue you can deduce that the fault was probably induced by incorrect battery connection (i.e. user error). For most this will never happen,so you shouldn't lose any sleep over it!

RSUP

07:16 PM   12-Nov-17

Taupo

I find it hard hard to belive thst a reverse polarity issue would have caused this,. Most modern electronics these days have blocking diodes to prevent damage from this I will requesting the electronic awing for the EC500 unit from Sargent who have provided without question previous tech data. I will keep you updated.

Rob and Pat

08:09 PM   12-Nov-17

North Canterbury

I would also be interested in seeing a copy of the circuit but would be surprised if there is a diode in series with the battery. A silicon diode has a voltage drop of 0.6 volts and a shottky diode has a voltage drop of 0.2 volts. When charging and discharging 12 volt batteries this is a significant loss of voltage. Also if you insert a diode in series with the battery the output voltage of the in vehicle AC battery charger and solar controllers would all need to be increased to compensate for the voltage lost across the diode so that the batteries are charged correctly. 

Rob

Les

08:35 PM   12-Nov-17

Tuakau

Hi, I also would be very interested in seeing a schematic diagram of the workings with the PCB as it has had burnout on 230v ac charging..Les

John M

10:36 PM   12-Nov-17

Note the burnout is not 230 volt related.  

The 230 volts goes to the charger and then as 12 volts to the EC500.  The charger is a separate device in the rear right of the overhead cabinet (on my Comanche). 

The original email does not mention whether the charger has been damaged?

JohnM

RSUP

08:21 AM   13-Nov-17

Taupo

Hi John,

I would agree that the damage is on the ELV (12VDC) side not the LV (230VAC) side. Let's see what I can find out, Sargent are an excellent company and their products are generally top class.

Les

04:30 PM   13-Nov-17

Tuakau

Hi, 

A/T owners have had a Faulty Sargent EM40 units giving a lot of Electronic Grief with the Sargent PSU.

Our units are as pictured.

 

Our new A/T 2017 unit with solder splaters                  Replacement Unit

                  Left

Les

Les

08:28 AM   16-Nov-17

Tuakau

UPDATE

An update on the burn out in the Sargent Controller in the UK.  There has been a lot of discussion with no one taking responsibility for a warranty claim.   Autotrail, Sargent and the dealer said that as no cause had been found it wasn’t a warranty issue.  The MH was 20 months old and the owner had had correct servicing and no modifications.  He made a claim on his insurance and bingo.
November 8:  “Vehicle examined today by Caravan Club Insurance assessor . He has stated that simply the unit is at fault and gone into meltdown . There is no external factors causing this. Insurance are likely not dealing as to him it should be done under warranty. He had also told this to Dealer who are reproaching Autotrail.”  (His statement is a bit jumbled)
November 14:  “Caravan Club Insurance have stepped in. They have said the vehicle is a write off and have paid me. I understand Axa are to take recovery action against Dealer . Another own goal by Autotrail.  Game over.”

Sargent Control panel on 2018+ models

by Elliot

[ 3 ]

Elliot

06:14 AM   03-Oct-17

Just to let people know this has been uprated on 2018 models to 200w (cabling also)... very kind of autotrail to continue to fit a 100w panel, however!

 

 

RSUP

07:45 PM   03-Oct-17

Taupo

Hi Elliot,

Are they still using the Sargent EC500 unit?

 

Elliot

10:48 PM   03-Oct-17

Hi

I am told they are moving to EC700 as this takes 200w including the cabling etc

as I say they retain the 100w panel so it means a cost swap out to a larger spec panel.

 

Programming Sargents EC480 Control Panel

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

02:32 PM   28-Apr-17

Tuakau

/2014 Further Technical Information is available in the product assistance section of our web-site, www.sargentshop.co.uk 
Off Load Voltage % Charge 12.8 100% 12.5 80% 12.1 50% 11.5 10%
EC480 Control Panel - Batt Amps (A) and Capacity % (AH) The EC480 (or EC300) control panel, connected to the EC500 PSU has the ability to measure and display the current (A) going into or out of the active (Selected) battery. Positive Current (+) indicates charging of the battery whilst Negative Current (-) indicates discharging of the battery.  The EC480 control panel also displays the approximate remaining capacity of the leisure battery (AH). As the battery is charged this gauge will increase and as the battery is discharged it will reduce. This is a useful indication of useable battery power, However is only a guide and you should always take note of the actual battery voltage (See table opposite) 
Active Battery Screen 
 
EC480 Control Panel 
Capacity % (Amp Hours) – EC480 Control Panel ONLY 
The AH reading is not a reading or measurement from the battery, It is purely a calculation based on battery size, the charging current into the battery and the current drawn from the battery and as such is reliant upon a correctly calibrated ammeter and the correct sized battery being programmed into the control panel (See Below). 
This reading will also be inaccurate if the leisure battery has been removed from the van and charged independently, or an additional\larger battery fitted. In this case a programming option is available to reset the AH Start Point. To check\change the programming options follow the below instructions: 
1) Turn off the 12V Power To the Van 2) Scroll to the manufacturer logo screen (E.g. Autotrail) 3) Press and Hold the Up and Down Scroll arrows to enter the programming mode 4) Use the scroll keys navigate the menus a) Battery Size (Set to Appropriate Size) b) AH Start Point (Set To Estimated Battery Capacity, I.e. 100% when fully charged) 5) Use the Select (<) key to adjust the settings 6) Scroll to "Exit Advanced" and Use the Select key to exit. 
Calibration of the Ammeter – EC480\EC300 Control Panels The ammeter is within the EC500 PSU and requires calibration to the EC480 (Or EC300) control panel at initial install. Following this initial calibration you may need to re-calibrate if the reading is inaccurate, one cause of an inaccuracy could be due to a replacement control panel being installed. To re-calibrate follow the below instructions: 
1) Turn off the 12V Power to the van 2) Turn off the Battery Charger 3) Where possible solar panels should be covered 4) Scroll to the active battery screen (Battery Current Screen on EC300) 5) Press and hold the select button (<) to start the calibration process. 6) Note the "A" \ "Batt Amps" Reading reset to 0 7) Once calibrated you should see a more accurate display of the current.  

 

Dashcam suggestions

by Grant and Gail

[ 4 ]

Grant and Gail

07:31 PM   11-Mar-17

Christchurch

I'm thinking of buying a dashcam to record our trips and also record any incidents.

Does anyone have any ideas on what to buy?

I would like to be able to record to removeable memory that can be played back on a smart tv.

Boltman

07:34 AM   12-Mar-17

Whangarei

Dash cams are a must. Try and get one with built in GPS recording. Sharon said I like wasting money until driving from Blenhiem to murchison when a truck and trailer overtook us and swiped off the rh mirror. The Murchison cop looked at the footage and told me the owner. They wouldn't pay until I sent them a clip or the accident. They paid the $800+ bill. Will worth the $30 off trademe. Now have a cam in every vechicle we own. But don't try to show police footage of dangerous driving the aren't interested.

Chris Gaelic

10:37 AM   12-Mar-17

I've been using a Blackvue dashcam, which takes excellent full HD1080p 30fps video, and includes a gps so that you can display where you are as the video is playing back. The base model costs $230, which is most likely all you'll need. You can see more at www.blackvue.co.nz. They'll probably have a stand at the Covi show.

I attach mine to the motorhome windscreen using bluetack rather than the supplied adhesive pads - makes it much easier to remove, or transfer to you car should you want to. 

If you're planning to record trips for later replay, you might want to do something about the dashboard reflections, which can be quite distracting. I've got some black toweling that I spread over the top of the dash if I'm recording something special. Also, the higher up the windscreen you mount the dashcam, the more reflections it picks up.

Avocadopicker

05:07 PM   24-Mar-17

Katikati

We use a DDPAI M6PLUS and a GITUP GIT2 (lookalike for a GoPro Hero). Both good. M6PLUS allows permanent wiring for power and with a spare base so you can transfer it to your car by just pulling off the magnetic base and re-sticking it in the other vehicle.  Can't recommend having one too highly - we had our wing mirror smacked by an overtaking truck - fortunately in our case no actual damage done (apart from having to shampoo the driver's seat afterwards!). We made up a magnetic mount for the GIT2 so we can have on the dashboard but remove/replace easily when parked up. Apart from the crash recording aspect, it's great to be able to review your travels afterwards.

Power switching off during the day

by David Buxton

[ 4 ]

David Buxton

02:13 PM   07-Jan-17

Taupo

Is anyone having trouble with the main power switching off on the EC 480 panel above the door? When we are plugged into mains and the solar panel is charging our power is intermittantly turning off (most anoying when on the toilet and one nees water!) the switching off only happens when the mains charger is on and the solar is working - ie never switches off at night. Sometimes the power stays on for several hours, sometimes only for a minute and its off again.  I have reset the system by closing down the main EC500 panel but this makes no difference.

Rob and Pat

08:59 PM   07-Jan-17

North Canterbury

I have seen a similiar problem with the EC51/155 Control Panel and it was due to over voltage. I asked Sargent for help and they confirmed my suspicion of over voltage. Changing a setting in the solar regulator fixed the problem.

 

My guess is that with the solar and charger working together your system is exceeding a voltage threshold in the panel and shutting down.

 

I would suggest you send your query to Sargent and see what they come back with. I would be interested in hearing there answer.

 

Rob

David Buxton

07:49 AM   08-Jan-17

Taupo

Thank you for your advice. I'll email Sargent as you suggest. 

David Buxton

12:21 PM   10-Jan-17

Taupo

Sargent has replied promptly with this advice:

 

It seems like the system is cutting off due to the voltage spiking above 15.5v. this is possible if the sun is particularly strong, however, it would be an indication that the Solar regulator may need replacing. As you may guess from the name, the regulator’s job is to keep the voltage to a steady controlled level. The PSu is programmed to shut down as soon as the voltage gets too high as a self-protection method.

 

Kind Regards

Tim Sanderson

Technical Specialist

amp usage at rest

by Bernie

[ 2 ]

Bernie

09:45 AM   14-Oct-15

Kawerau

Our new Comanche is drawing between 4.8 and 5.4 amps while at rest with noting obvious going. We have been assured by Auckland Motor homes that this is perfectly natural because of clock and computor in fridge still running. Can any body give us their comments as to weather this is acceptable. Bernie

geebeealan

02:25 PM   14-Oct-15

Kaiapoi

Have  alook a few lines down from here 

calibrating ec300 control panel

simple as!!!

Calibrating the EC300 panel to show amps correctly

by David Buxton

[ 1 ]

David Buxton

09:16 PM   27-Jul-15

Taupo

I noticed there seemed to be current (amps) coming into the house batteries from nowhere.  At night when there was no solar and with no other charging system working (ie no mains, engine not running) there was still one amp showing on the panel above the door. I emailed Sargeant Electrical Services from their web site and asked if there could be something coming from the engine battery.  "No" was the prompt reply along with advice to callibrate the panel.

The procedure is simple:

First, ensure the charger is switched off, and the control panel power button is off.  Next scroll to battery current. Then to calliobrate the reading, press and hold the middle arrow button.  After a few seconds the screen will tell you that it's callibrating, then the screen will give a zero reading.

Turn the power button back on.

User Manual for Sargeant EC500 Power Control Sysytem

by David Buxton

[ 1 ]

David Buxton

09:36 AM   04-Jul-15

Taupo

At rallies and on this forum there have been questions asked about the electrics in our vans. Most vans have a Sargeant EC500 Power Control System and on the Sargeant web site there is a download for the manual. Either Google 'Sargeant EC500 Power Control System" or use this link: 
http://sargentshop.co.uk/Technical-Data/Self-Help/EC500-Power-Control-System
There's a wealth of information in the manual. 

BODYWORK / FITTINGS

Heater under bed

by Our TP

[ 6 ]

Our TP

05:39 PM   01-Jul-19

Tauranga

Hi there,

The Comanches and Delawares up to about 2016 models have the hotwater heater and habitation heater under the bed in the general storage area, as opposed to the garage in the later models.

Having the heater on overnight in cold weather, makes it too hot on one side of the bed.

We are considering venting the area with a small electric fan exhausting into the inside of the m/h. Could do it into the garage but seems a waste of the heat then.

Has anyone else done anything to alleviate the problem and if so, how successfull was it.

Thanks

 

 

 

John M

06:02 PM   01-Jul-19

Yes we have drilled a 70 mm hole through into the garage, and another high up in the underbed side above the heater.

This releases the underbed heat.  In the winter it helps to keep the dampness out of the garage.  

We haven’t used fans as it doesn’t seem necessary, and even silent computer fans would be noisy at night.

if you do install fans, use a Honeywell aircon thermostat to control it.

 

JohnM

Utrecht

Avocadopicker

07:56 PM   01-Jul-19

Katikati

John, I would suggest that if you do fit fan(s) you make them reasonably large (say 120mm) as the larger they are the quieter.

Les

08:22 PM   01-Jul-19

Tuakau

Hi John, have a look at.....Tip and Help go down to A/T Comanche / Delaware... read on..... I fitted vents and lifted the bed adjustment rails.

John M

07:45 AM   02-Jul-19

Thanks guys for you suggestions of adding fans, I may look at that.

 

While we are all under the bed, I did do the bed lift adjustment as originally described (I think by Les?) and it is dead simple if anyone is considering it. The Truma technician was most appreciative of it when he replaced our Truma water heater recently!

 

I also added a 7 watt 230 volt led Fluoro type light under the bed. I feed it from the power outlet in the garage.  This makes finding things much easier, especially if you can mount it on the bed slats so it is high and spreads light overall.  We are always on EHU. 

 

I mounted another LED fitting above my wife’s vanity, and on the kitchen ceiling close to the cupboard so that the wiring is almost invisible.   They make a huge improvement to the lighting in our dark timbered vans.

 

JohnM

Comanche 

Utrecht

Our TP

08:45 AM   02-Jul-19

Tauranga

Thanks for these comments.

I have now found and read the other comments in the Tips and Help area (thanks Les).

At this stage I think just drilling two or three holes and putting vent over them will be a first step.

Will also look at shifting the struts.

 

Cheers

 

John Smith

Sink Retaining Clips

by Smarties

[ 3 ]

Smarties

02:19 PM   13-Sep-18

South Otago

One of the 4 plastic clips that hold the sink in the bench top of our 2015 Dakota decided to spontaneously break apart.  I can only imagine the holding screw must have been slightly overtightened at the factory resulting in a crack which eventually, due to vibration, movement etc completely gave way.  We hadn't touched it at all.  The problem is the Taranaki/Ashburton RV centre is having trouble locating a clip.  Apparently Autotrail only supply them with a new sink.  Pretty ridiculous really - I don't want to spend several hundred dollars for the sake of a $2 plastic clip!!  Just wondered if anyone by chance someone might just happen to have a spare one floating around that I could purchase.  Superglue didn't hold - tried twice. Photo of offending clip below - it is completly in 2 bits

 

 

.

John M

05:05 PM   13-Sep-18

The issue is that the clip and rubber gasket is a part of the sink and not available separately. 

 

You could just use a long nut and bolt and a very large washer, or make a small metal tongue and use washers to hold it in place.  The original bolt may even be long enough? Pack the underside of the bolt with small washers before the tongue goes on.

 

I visited a huge RV parts company in Beverly, just along the road from Sargent, looking for a sink gasket and the dude said it was common to need replacements.  He said that most people use a black sealant under the edge to replace the gasket. Just a suggest for when that goes too?

 

JohnM

Nice

 

Smarties

02:56 PM   14-Nov-18

South Otago

Bit of an update on the broken sink clip issue.  As I said above Superglue was useless - cracked apart with very little pressure on it.  Not that super after all!  However I'm pleased to report that Araldite (a 2 pot mix glue) did the job nicely.

Spare Wheel Cover Centre Lockable Flap

by Smarties

[ 7 ]

Smarties

03:02 PM   09-Sep-18

South Otago

The centre lockable cover for the spare wheel on our 2015 Dakota decided of its own accord to fall off somewhere in NZ.  I recall seeing others mention this had happened to them - possibly on the Autotrail NZ Facebook page.  By the time I bought the flap, key barrell & Autotrail badge the cost was north of $300 with nothing to say it wouldn't fall off again sometime soon. I decided to attach the flap to the MH body via the knurled knob holding the spare tyre on the back with a length of light chain.  A 38mm key ring fits round the shaft of the knob and I drilled a hole in the flap itself & put a stainless steel coach bolt through it to secure the other end of the chain to the flap.  Sticking the Autotrail badge on the flap covers up the bolt head.  All up cost - about $2.  Thought I would mention this to this group as if it saves someone over $300 it was worth it.  If you were doing this as a precaution (with the Autotrail badge already in place) you could probably use the screw holding the locking lever on the end of the barrell to attach the end of the chain to the flap itself.   I will add a photo in a second post - can't seem to include it in this post!

 

 

Smarties

03:03 PM   09-Sep-18

South Otago

Smarties

03:04 PM   09-Sep-18

South Otago

Les

04:59 PM   09-Sep-18

Tuakau

I lost mine at $160 to replace. I just put glue on the barrel locking nut so it does not turn and won't loosen in lock position. Les

Avocadopicker

09:36 AM   13-Sep-18

Katikati

Good little video here by a UK member with his version of the fix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfQdQwLfI7E&feature=youtu.be . Sounds as if we should all be adding a retainer to avoid the problem (although having done the best part of 40,000Kms I've never actually even inserted a key in that lock!)

Mike & Chris

09:43 AM   13-Sep-18

North Canterbury

So your spare is probably flat now!

Avocadopicker

12:48 PM   13-Sep-18

Katikati

That's a very good point, however I do carry a humongous pump just in case....

Venetta Door Retainer

by Dick_1

[ 2 ]

Dick_1

11:10 AM   10-Aug-18

Qld

 

 

Hi Would anyone have had the need to fit new retainers to the boot lids ? I am about to replace mine but neglected to find out what length rivet is required to secure to the sandwich constucted side wall and boot lid.Thanks

John M

03:33 PM   10-Aug-18

The body sides consist of about 1.5 mm of plastic sheet bonded to a 40 mm sheet of polystyrene, then 3-4 mm of plywood covered in wall paper.

 

So your rivet is grabbing onto about 1.5 mm.

 

I’m looking at a chink I removed from my van. Sorry I don’t have a micrometer.

 

People argue that the outside is fibreglass but looking at the sample I have here it sure doesn’t look nor smell like fibreglass and more important there is no frayed glass fibres to the cut edge which is absolutely smooth like styrene.  Just saying?

 

Hope that helps

 

JohnM

Latvia

Aluminium Extrusions

by ColininChCh

[ 1 ]

ColininChCh

05:56 PM   19-Jun-18

Christchurch

 

Recenlty been hunting for some aluminium channel to fix a bike rack to our Mohawk.

All suppliers apart from one (see below) would only sell stock lengths of 5m.

 

Got a response from Paynes Aluminium in Hornby, Christchurch who were only to willing to cut to length and sell in 1m increments. As a result I saved $100. Really friendly service from Tash and I would highly recommend them.

 

Contact details

p 03 344 0264

e tash@paynes.co.nz

 

Rear tail lights

by Robert

[ 2 ]

Robert

05:08 PM   02-Apr-17

Dunedin

Any body know how to change a bulb in the rear tailights, presumably you need to remove the lens and this is the part I am not sure what you are supposed to do. 

Grant and Gail

05:35 PM   02-Apr-17

Christchurch

I haven't done this myself but our service centre used a L shaped device to poke into the slot at the bottom of the lens to release the lens. Hope this helps.

 

Thule Ormiston 6200

by Bman

[ 3 ]

Bman

05:22 PM   18-Mar-17

Auckland

Hi again, Finally out at beautiful Muriwai Beach in our AT Tracker EKS and wondering if I am doing something wrong? the awning is a Thule Ormiston 6200. Does anyone know how I can make the 2 awning fold out legs more stable to prevent it from sliding up and down. There is a little lever to slide the legs giving more or less length, depending on the height you want. Once pegged into the ground you can still slide the legs up or push the height down with your hand. Is there a way to lock this to prevent this from sliding because I fear if a gust of wind catches this it will damage the awning. I didn't have this problem with the Fiamma on my previous MH.  Unfortunately I left the manual at home. Cheers, Bman

ZK-RMM

08:26 PM   18-Mar-17

Auckland

Hi if you press the little plastic lever on the leg hard up that locks the leg

cheers,

Richard

Bman

04:14 PM   19-Mar-17

Auckland

Thanks Richard, your advice did the trick.  The little lever was very tight to push hard up but it worked.  I was a little apprehensive at first as I thought the plastic lever would snap off.

A fantastic forum.  I look forward to reading more tips and valuable advice.

 

Cheers, Bman

Vent underneath Delaware

by Grant and Gail

[ 2 ]

Grant and Gail

09:28 PM   17-Feb-17

Christchurch

Does anyone know what looks like a plastic black vent underneath my Delaware does? It's located forward of the left rear wheel and under the fridge or toilet cassette compartment. The "vent" opens towards the rear.

 

Peter McCormack

01:12 PM   20-Feb-17

Queensland

Hi Grant and Gail,

 

It will be a vent to allow gas to escape from the fridge if there is a gas leak for some reason.  You will find two more under the entry step door and also one under the island bed.  The island bed is for the water and space heater.  The final one is under the stove.

 

Regards

 

Peter

DC Outlets / rattling fly screens / securing the sink

by Martin T

[ 17 ]

Martin T

03:43 PM   05-Feb-17

Upper Moutere

Hi,

 

We've just imported an Apache 634 from the UK which we found to be a relatively simple and painless process. I'm happy to share info about how we did this with anyone if they are interested.

 

We're enjoying our new vehicle, a replacement for our aging Toyota Coaster, but there are a couple of questions which other members may have faced and dealt with.

 

1. Our Apache 634 has a DC outlet and a USB port on the dash which are only powered when the ignition is on. There is no DC outlet or USB port in the back for general use, although we've found that we can plug other devices into the TV's DC power supply which is hidden behind the TV.

 

We'd like to be able to charge / use other devices whilst stationary so want to install an other DC socket. I'm not an auto electrician but have two thoughts: presumably we could have sockets installed professionally, but I wonder if it is possible to plug a double DC socket into the existing TV outlet without causing an overload? Has anyone experienced and solved this problem?

 

2. On our first journey there was a very annoying rattle coming from the back. Eventually we traced it to the magnetic strips in the flyscreens that cover the side door. A quick and dirty fix has been to run a strip of masking tape down each of the magnetic strips. It solves the problem and doesn't affect the working of the screens but it isn't that neat. Has anyone come up with a better solution?

 

3. The only significant problem with importing our vehicle was that the person who did the self containment created a high-spot in exit pipe from the sink so it didn't drain. We didn't discover this until we were about 200km away on our journey from Auckalnd to Nelson and didn't understand what was causing the problem until we got home: it wasn't practical to go back to have it fixed. Whilst fixing the problem myself the exit pipe became detached from the sink so I had to unscrew and lift the sink above the worktop. The problem I now have is how to secure the sink without removing the fridge. Again, any thoughts?             

 

Looking forwards to hearing any good ideas / thoughts and also sharing what we've learned after 11 years of motor-homing in NZ. 

ChrisB

05:03 PM   05-Feb-17

New Plymouth

Hi Martin,

 

we also have a self imported 2015 Apache 634, good choice !!!

 

1) Our 634 came with a USB charging port in the cupboard to the right of the TV (top shelf, left hand side).  Have you checked there?

In any event it is a relatively simple process to access the 12V behind the TV and rout an extension through into this cupboard.  Removing the cover pannel in the cupboard above the TV provides great access and makes the job very easy.  The Avtex TV draws 23W (max) and the 12 V feed also supplies the TV antenna amplifier plus the USB outlet, (it also later powered the sat tv antenna for a while, see below) so you should be fine to draw 12 V from this location for low ampage chargers.

 

Alternatively you can run a new 12V feed from the battery.  This I did because the KiwiSat satellite antenna we later installed had a feature that folded the antenna down when the vehicle is started.  Unfortunately it didnt work as the Sargent pannel also uses the same feature to cut off supply to all non essential 12V loads when the engine is running.

 

So I ran a new 12V supplyfrom the battery (dont forget to put in a 5-10A fuse) to the sat TV antenna controller which is installed in the aformentioned cupboard.  The 2 core wire runs inside the duct that gas heater vent (and 230v supply) use and comes thru behind the gas heater and under the rear RH seat to the battery.  Although a bit tricky the cable routing was done using a "mouse line" with a small lead sinker attached, startind from the top and working down and across to the battery.

 

I would be happy to walk you through the process if that helps.

 

2)  No specific advice for the fly screen rattles other than what works for att rattles, patience, perciverence and inginuity!

 

3)  We had the same problem with the sink drain and Autotrails are notorious for not properly draining.  There are a number of posts on this site relating to the issue.  The sink goes back the same way it came out.  No need to to remove the fridge.  And make sure you fit a hose clip on the sink drain before re-installing to prevent it coming adrift again.  

 

Hope this all makes sense?

 

Cheers,

 

Chris

Martin T

06:41 PM   05-Feb-17

Upper Moutere

Brilliant reply thank you Chris: I'm heading stright out to the Apache to see what I can discover re the USB following your advice.

 

Re the sink, yes I can sit in place and it holds relatively securely, the issue is getting the plastic 'clamping nuts' to sit in place: when I'm completely satisfied with the draining system my plan is to make sure that I get 2 of the 4 perfectly alligned as I reckon  2 will keep everything secure 

 

Since writting my post I had a good hunt arounfd the forum: I hadn't realised that my comments would have fitted better in the Autotrail section and liked the comment re using a standard 32mm U-bend for the sink.

 

Thanks for your help Chris, really appreciated,

 

Martin 

Martin T

07:11 PM   05-Feb-17

Upper Moutere

Chris: yes there is a 'very cleverly disguised' USB port in the cupboard as you thought which will be very useful in the short term, but I'll be putting in an additional DC outlet as you suggest. Thanks again.

 

I like this forum: within a few hours of joining this user group I've had one problem solved and another two well on the way to resolution. Brilliant!

 

I just hope that I'll be able to help other members in the not too distant future!

 

Martin

Geeco

02:47 PM   17-Feb-17

NSW Australia

Hi Martin,

the flyscreen door has been a source of small issues for me thankfully now solved. My solution for the rattling magnetic strips was to run a bead of hot melt glue down one edge of both strips. After around six months it is still keeping the strips silent. I used hot glue as it is relatively easy to remove if necessary without any damage to the substrate. Cheers,

Martin T

05:14 PM   17-Feb-17

Upper Moutere

 

I was wondering about adhesives but the permanance was a concern,  so hot-melt glue sounds like a better solution. The masking tape is still in place but has a couple of splits in it and clearly was only a temporary fix: I'll get out there with the glue gun!  

 

Thank you

FrankC

06:04 AM   18-Feb-17

Hi i joined the group last week and have been avidly reading all the posts . I'm currently in Scotland were I recently purchased a 2012 Mohawk which should be heading to NZ later this year. I've noticed the drainage from the kitchen sink is poor and have been interested in your advice. What is the best way to access the drain for modifications  as the sink is directly above the fridge ??

 

ChrisB

09:43 AM   18-Feb-17

New Plymouth

Frank,

on our Apache 634 the sink is secured from above with 4 screws/clips.  If these are released, the sink just lifts out.  Not sure what the set up is on the Mohawk, it could be similar?

FrankC

12:37 AM   19-Feb-17

Hi Chris

thanks for that . Just checked and its as you say. I will take it off tomorrow then try and figure out how to improve the draining.

Martin T

10:28 AM   19-Feb-17

Upper Moutere

Hi Frank, I thought I'd posted a reply yesterday but it seems to have got lost...

 

My info is based on an 2016 Apache 634.

Our sink is to the RHS of a unit with 2 drawers at the top with a cupboard below. When I remove the drawers I expose the flixible sink hose which enters the unit, turns 90 deg to the back wall and then runs down the back wall of the unit. For NZ compliance you nee to insert a U bend / food trap with 1 metre of the sink. I had ours professionally converted and this was done with a narrow bore ubend at the top of the back wall: useless. I've now dropped the u bend about 25 cm down the back wall which gives a small head of pressure which helps, but my next job will be to replace the narrow bore pipe and ubend installed professionally with 32 mm pipe and bend. Fortunately the rubber jointing sleeve that they used to join the flexible hose to the narrow bore pipe forms a tight joint when inserted into 32 mm pipe. I don't know who supplies these sleeves but I should be able to find out.

 

If you have a similar set up I suggest you do not remove the sink: I've found it tricky to get the clips back into place.

 

If you want to know mre about our experiences with importing a camper into NZ please let me know. 

   

FrankC

12:05 AM   20-Feb-17

Hi Martin

thanks for that. Unfortunately the Mohawk has the sink directly above the fridge so the only access is to remove the sink. 

On the question of importing to NZ I would be happy to pick your brains on that . I’ve  imported a few caravans over the years but this is my first motor home. Did you get a Chassis Rating Certificate as suggested by Avocadopicker in an earlier post. Part of the documentation required is a certified copy or photograph of the manufacturer’s chassis rating plate from the vehicle. What do they mean  by “certified” . 

Previously when I imported a caravan I was able to register the van and get the rego plates before i went to pick it up and take it to VTNZ for a COF. What is the process with a motorhome. My agent will have it delivered to VTNZ but i wasn’t sure about registration and plates.

 

Thanks again

Frank

Avocadopicker

04:52 PM   24-Feb-17

Katikati

Certified as in I got my solicitor to sign a printed copy of a photo of the VIN plate to demonstrate that it was really the vehicle being applied for. VTNZ (we used the Silvia Park one) actually issue the rego plates AFTER they've done the full COF inspection, but need the CRC paper to complete that process.

 

FrankC

11:13 AM   25-Feb-17

Thanks Avocadopicker thats very helpfull, I'll get my CRC application in now, Gives me plenty of time before I ship

 

MarkRoaming

11:53 AM   25-Feb-17

Hi Martin T, yes we would love to hear your experience with importing from UK. Any tips, learning experiences are invaluable on this forum too.

Martin T

01:51 PM   03-Mar-17

Upper Moutere

Avocarderpicker/Mark Roaming

Sorry about the delay with the reply: we been away enjoying the camper!

Our shipping agent Joe Steele at McCullough, Auckland arranged everything for us: we just provided the camper, the documentation we got in the UK when we bought the vehicle and arranged for Peter at RV Repairs Glenfield to make the necessary modifications after Joe had fixed everything else: great service. 

Once I'd taken delivery of the camper I contacted João Marques at ATECO NZ re the Fiat warranty and he registered our vehicle with Fiat so we now have Fiat's 3 year worldwide guaranatee, but this has yet to be tested. It will be soon however as I've noticed that we have condensation in one of the rear foglights! 

For us a painless exercise once we got our doccs from DVLC in Swansea, which took about 3 weeks.

We wouldn't hesitate to use the same system again, no hassel at all!    

Avocadopicker

09:46 PM   09-Mar-17

Katikati

The rear lights condensation is an ongoing and very common problem, but unfortunately not covered by the Fiat warranty as it's part of the motorhome body. Depending on who you bought from in the UK, they may be able to make a warranty claim against AT and send you the parts. Good luck with that, as they say. 

lbh

10:25 AM   23-May-18

auckland

People looking for a USB at the rear of their bus - if you have a skybox installed then that should have a port on the back!! Et voila.

Door handle replacement

by David Buxton

[ 5 ]

David Buxton

10:32 PM   10-Jan-17

Taupo

I have seen, on the Forum I think, an item showing how the door handle on the bathroom door can be replaced with a small door knob. I can't find the item. Please can someone help. 

geebeealan

03:42 PM   11-Jan-17

Kaiapoi

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181911007058?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

Is this what you are looking for have to order 2 to have handle each side

David Buxton

05:09 PM   11-Jan-17

Taupo

Thank you - just what I was looking for. Where did you find the answer to my query?

geebeealan

07:33 PM   11-Jan-17

Kaiapoi

I think it was from UK Autotrail site 

I print out bits like this by screen capture so no details apart from product

Ross

11:17 PM   13-Jan-17

Taranaki

I have some of these handles in stock  . give a lot more room in my appache bathroom   contact me if you want some .  the shaft will need modifying  . if you want to know more   please contact me  Ross Calgher

reAR LADER

by dusty

[ 2 ]

dusty

06:07 PM   03-Dec-16

ANY ONE INSTALLED A REAR ROOF LADER ANY ADVICE WOULD BE WELCOME.

Peter McCormack

03:33 PM   22-Dec-16

Queensland

Hi Dusty

 

Our Delaware has a rear ladder.  The only time we access the roof is when I want to do a thorough wash.  As teh last section of the ladder is vertical and the stiles essentialloy stop above the roof about 250 mm above the roof, getting onto and off of the roof can be challenging.  I get up to the top and then put my hands onto the roof and "crawl onto it." Getting down is the reverse.  Get on your hands and knees and then down the ladder.  There is not much distance between the rungs and the back of the van, so if you have size 10 feet, you will have to use the balls of you feet on the rung rather than your insteps.  Hope this gives some insight.

 

Peter

DOOR TRIM RATTLE

by ZK-RMM

[ 1 ]

ZK-RMM

02:16 PM   10-May-16

Auckland

Hi Steve

we had the same problem and we use a small rubber wedge like a door stop wedge but smaller,cut it down lengthwisei so that it doesn't touch the window as it goes up and downi and fit it between the top of the black door frame at elbow level if you know what I mean and the window trim,works really well

Cheers

Richard

Sliding shade on driver's window broken.

by Georges

[ 1 ]

Georges

02:58 PM   27-Apr-16

Blenheim

My sliding window shade on the driver's side is broken and doesn't work well anymore . 

Has someone got the same problem or managed to have it replaced? 

My campervan is a Fiat Ducato Autotrail Mohawk.2013

 

Rear reflectors

by Chris Gaelic

[ 3 ]

Chris Gaelic

07:50 PM   17-Nov-15

I've just renewed my COF, and was told that the rear reflectors on my Delaware don't comply with our NZ regs. Apparently they should be within 150 mm of the side of the van. It's not a major as stickon reflectors will do the job, but it's the first time I've been told this after owning the vehicle for over two years, and 4 COF tests!

The Sutherlands

05:02 PM   22-Nov-15

Auckland

Yes-Rear reflectors are a requirement for COF. However I doubt if its rigidly enforced but for those that dont have them it would pay to get a couple of stick on ones as it just one less hassle if you get rejected.

ChrisB

04:10 PM   13-Mar-19

New Plymouth

Factory fitted rear reflectors on most older Autotrails do not comply with NZ's Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004.  See Section 9 of the rules:  https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/resources/rules/docs/vehicle-lighting-2004-as-at-1-december-2016.pdf

 

I have just been picked up on this after 4 years of passing successive COF inspections.  The plan is to fit two adhesive rectangular retroreflectors on either side and within 150mm of the edge of the vehicle.  Area of each strip needs to be at least 30 square centremeters and these are available from Repco or SuperCheap.

 

I note some owners have already fitted these but not the majority.  (See pic for example - note: it looks like the fancy chrome bump bar is obscuring the retroreflector and this would probably fail a competent WOF inspection).

 

Rear retroreflector placement

BODYWORK VINYL DECALS & LETTERING

Autotrail stick on name

by Richard & Kay

[ 4 ]

Richard & Kay

11:18 AM   21-Oct-17

Auckland

Both the O and the T have fallen off the Autotrail sign at the back of our Apache 634.

Fortunately we found them. There doesn’t appear to be much adhesive under them. Has anyone else had this problem and what would be the best adhesive to attach them . 

Mike & Chris

11:40 AM   21-Oct-17

North Canterbury

Double sided tape... if you call into a paint and panel shop they will probably give you enough for a couple of letters or at least advise the best product. If any of the other letters are loose just apply a little heat with a heat gun and cut them off with dental floss, clean up and re-attach... YouTube is your friend.

Richard & Kay

03:36 PM   21-Oct-17

Auckland

Thanks for that

Peter McCormack

03:32 PM   31-Oct-17

Queensland

We had letters come off also.  The Autotrail dealer used a polymer based advesive, Sikaseal, and not a silicone based adhesive.  Silicone does not truly adhere to plastic or fibreglass.  Sikaseal is in a tube like the silicone based adhesives.  The process is to clean the area with acetone, apply the Sikaseal to the letter and put into position.  Sikaseal takes at least one day to cure so put a pieces of masking tape across the letter to hold it in place.  I left it in place for a week and then used WD40 to moisten and remove the tape.

 

Peter

Faded side decals fixed!

by Chris Gaelic

[ 4 ]

Chris Gaelic

10:15 PM   15-Feb-17

 

faded side decal
new decals

The side decals on our Delaware have faded really badly, and getting replacement decals from Autotrail, or repainting, was way too expensive. This affected all the silver decals along both sides of our van.

 

After discussing it with a panelbeater, he suggested trying Sign Formula, who do custom decals for cars and trucks.

 

The next day, they had covered our old faded decals with new ones, cut exactly to size, and matched to the original. It looks fantastic, and only cost $385 for the covering every decal.

 

They also did some custom graphics for me, which they printed and positioned, at a very reasonable cost. I supplied the image files.

 

So, if you've got damaged decals and want to replace them, or have some custom graphics or a slogan, they do a really good job at a reasonable price.

 

Sign Forumula

7a Smales Rd,

East Tamaki,

Auckland

Ph:09 273-8158

 

 

Avocadopicker

09:29 PM   24-Feb-17

Katikati

Well done Chris. Looks like a great job and something that most of us will face in time.

Rob and Pat

06:55 PM   01-Mar-17

North Canterbury

Did they remove the old decals before fitting the new ones?

Chris Gaelic

07:42 PM   01-Mar-17

No, they just fixed the new decals over the top. Normally they would remove the old decals, but the silver decals are very thin, and would have to be removed a little piece at a time. This would have been very time consuming, adding a lot to the cost, for very little benefit. The old decals were faded, but stuck firmly in place. Because they are very thin, you now can't tell that there is anything under the new decals.

Vinyl decal faulty

by Grant and Gail

[ 7 ]

Grant and Gail

06:57 PM   21-Jan-17

Christchurch

Hi all. The vinyl decal on the edge of the bonnet has developed what appear to be small brown spots on the silver section. They appear to be within the vinyl and don't come off. Has anyone else had this problem or knows the cause?

 

 

 

Peter Robieson

10:55 AM   23-Jan-17

Mount Maunganui

Hi - the bottom decal on our bonnet has all gone brown, so possibly you could be at the early stage of where we currently are? I suspect that there is something wrong with the product, I'll see if I can post a photo I have just taken, and you will see the stage of ours...

Boltman

11:53 AM   23-Jan-17

Whangarei

We have what looks like rust spots on the silver started appearing about a year ago.

Peter Robieson

04:10 PM   23-Jan-17

Mount Maunganui

Peter Robieson

04:10 PM   23-Jan-17

Mount Maunganui

This is what ours looks like now??

Grant and Gail

12:22 AM   26-Jan-17

Christchurch

Hi Peter and Boltman it looks like we have the same problem and that there is a fault in the decal. I have notified Ashburton RV who sold us the RV and they have ordered replacements. It may take some weeks to arrive and I will try to get more information about how big the problem may be as I am concerned that some of the other decals may develop the same fault although no sign as yet.

Peter Robieson

09:57 AM   26-Jan-17

Mount Maunganui

Hi

I have just had a detailed look all around our Tracker, and this decal on the bottom of the bonnet would appear to be the only one breaking down (at the moment??). It would appear to now be cracking as well as decolouring, so I assume that it will only get worse in time? I will look to replace it locally asap.... Interesting that it is doing this, as we keep ours under inside storage when we are not travelling around, so the outside weather exposure is really minimal.

Autotrail decals & lettering

by Peter Robieson

[ 6 ]

Peter Robieson

02:46 PM   20-Mar-16

Mount Maunganui

Can anyone tell me if they have had to purchase lettering for the word "auto trail" on the front of their van?

 

We have lost the letter "i" in trail, we called into Dury on the way home from Auckland last week, and Tony from the service centre, said that, that letter was the most common for owners to lose??

 

The options seem to be to buy the whole "word (s) " from them, or source alternatively? Depending upon the members response I get, or not, I may look to go to the manfacturers in the UK, and see if I can purchase just the letter... 

Mike & Chris

09:13 PM   29-Mar-16

North Canterbury

Hi Peter

 

I was curious about the possibility of obtaining parts direct from the factory at Grimsby because I will be in the UK (Hull) shortly and I though that I might call by... hence I asked them about your problem. Their answer below:

 

Unfortunately the letters are not available separately, they come as a complete decal.

 

they are £45.00 plus carriage and vat.  The part number you will need is 14MAS0005.

 

If you wish to order one, please call our parts team on 01472 571003 and they will be able to assist you

 

Kind regards

The Sutherlands

12:56 PM   03-Apr-16

Auckland

The biggest hassle with parts purchased from dealers in the UK is ,

A/ Lack of a UK address or

B/ Waiting till a friend or relative is going that way so they can collect

 

Now- NZ Post has a system called "YouShop" where they will give you a UK address for shipping AND send it back to NZ. I have yet to try it but if it works as per NZ Posts web site it will be an invaluable tool for members struggling with local suppliers and specfic parts peculiar to Autotrail like the above

 

Check out the web site

Peter Robieson

06:45 PM   03-Apr-16

Mount Maunganui

Thanks all,

 

I actually emailed UK autotrail and they came back saying that they would only supply the approved NZ agent, and not anyone else, and of course thats AMH - Drury....

 

Tony from AMH has since come back and said that they can supply the entire whole words for $90, so this sounds like the only option available.

 

UK will only supply the whole words as well..in the UK.

 

So I will order a whole set of letters, and if anyone else has the same problem as I have had, I will have every letter other than the ("i) in trail, available. 

James

06:48 PM   11-May-16

Whakatane

We lost the L so we hit AMH up for a replacement which we got free of charge.

joanne g

06:38 AM   04-May-17

 I live in the UK and on with my second autotrail will be my last as well I had new lettering put on the van bonnet I just took in to a graphic design place they took a photo of the writing and just matched the missing lettering and printed a new one took old lettering of with hairdryer and replaced or do you need the metal letters.also if you need new parts go to  Leisure direct  or  Olearys  they may have what you need half the price of autotrail

DOOR HABITATION & FLY SCREEN

Removing inner plastic lining

by John M

[ 1 ]

John M

05:53 AM   11-Jul-19

Hey Felllow RVers

Our Comanche habitation door lock at the top has failed.  From reading this forum I suspect the spring has broken.

I have tried to remove the lugs that fix the inside plastic lining but am finding that near impossible without destroying them.

I have extracted one by prising it out about six millimetres then by rotating it I was able to twist it out.

Got a second one out and it was sticky as though it had been glued in.

On another the head snapped off with the force required to prise the head away from the panel.  The stump didn’t budge!

I’m technical and good at DIY, but this is proving crazy difficult.

Does anyone have any suggestions please..

Thanks

JohnM

Stuttgart.

 

 

 

 

 

habitation door inner panel removal

by lbh

[ 3 ]

lbh

06:08 PM   13-May-19

auckland

Does anyone have pictures of how to remove the inner panels of the habitation door on a 2013 scout or similar?! Central locking no longer works for this door. Pretty sure it is not the two exposed connectors. Don't hear anything from inside door when trying to lock/unlock.

Alistair & Stella

09:35 PM   13-May-19

Christchurch

I had this problem on a previous Autotrail Delaware, solved it by sliding a small peice of plastic ( small square cut from a plastic icecream container) behind the contacts, which makes them sit a little bit further out. In my case there was no contact to close the circuit when shutting the door. This was just enough to solve the problem. Hope this helps.

John M

11:45 PM   13-May-19

I agree with the above, almost certainly the contacts are not making.  But in addition to packing the contacts away from the door, you need to clean the contacts.  The contact surface needs polishing.  Sandpaper is not the recomended method but it is the practical method.  I need to polish mine every few months (probably because I use sandpaper!)

JohnM

Door Fly Screen Strings

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

11:33 AM   19-Aug-18

Tuakau

DOOR FLY SCREEN STRINGS

AT NZ Facebook post:  We have a 2012 Delaware and the string in the flyscreen on the door has pulled. Is there an easy fix?.


Comments:


* Just had to have our bedroom window fly screen strings replaced... cost $90.00 each.  Weathermaster in Onekawa, Napier..

They didn’t think they would be able to do it, but we took the blinds to them, and did a trial run with one, then they were confident to do the other, it’s caused by dust, so we are now spraying silicon on the tracks down the sides.


To repair the cords the screen needs to be taken out as complete unit. Remove top corner cap to get to the two screws attaching it to the door frame.  The bottom securing screws are prominent in the sill. Lift and remove the screen

John M

03:19 AM   20-Aug-18

It is easy to do yourself but you need to take care to understand how it works first.

 

You need a large work surface to lie the window on while working on it, and only dismantle one corner at a time until you fully understand the pulley system.  Take your time and it is easy.  Leave the string remnants in place until you know where they go.

 

You need a pair of fine tweezers to string the securing terminals, that is where the end of the string goes.

 

I did mine on a Camping table, but don’t try doing it on the ground or in the van.

 

John

Riva Del Garda

Door Opening In Transit

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

02:30 PM   22-Jul-18

Tuakau

HABITATION DOOR OPENING IN TRANSIT
AT NZ Facebook Post:    Today twice the hab door has flung open after about 2 minutes down the road. Gave us a heck of a fright the first time and thought maybe we didn't close it properly but when it happened the second time knowing I had checked it was closed. Now sitting on the edge off my chair waiting for it to happen again. Can anyone else has this happen?


Comments:

 
-  When you start the engine the step retracts and the habitation electrics are disabled. You are able to open the Hab door with the motor running, it is not interlocked.  This would suggest that the door was not closed properly or more likely it is not latching properly. It is common to have to adjust the latching bars on the door frame. Have a check to see if you can push the door open without the handle.


-  The door doesn't completely open without the handle when we push it but it does move about 10 to 20mm.


-  There should be no movement in the door when stationary. The door section of the hab wall is the weakest point on the wall and could have some small flexing when traveling.

 

-Adjust the door stricter plates for a firm latch ( both top & bottom) as the first step to fault finding the problem.

 

Habitation Door not centrally locking

by lbh

[ 7 ]

lbh

05:58 PM   30-Mar-17

auckland

Hi, On my 2013 Scout I am finding that I now need to manually lock the habitation door. The locking mechanism has always been a little flakey, but now it would appear to not function at all. Does anyone have any bright ideas as to where I should be looking?! Many thanks. I now see that this question has been asked before under "Bodywork and Trim". Seem the servo may be playing up.

Avocadopicker

09:16 AM   04-Apr-17

Katikati

I had the same problem. It turned out to be defective lock motor in the door, which I replaced. It's a German part and although quite cheap, the shipping is eye-wateringly expensive. See my other post re fixing it.

Mike & Chris

11:04 AM   04-Apr-17

North Canterbury

Hi

 

Is this the part?

 

http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/Search.html;jsessionid=31D05615E6A397F5C6946D90AFA290CF.ASTPCEN24?search=ML3605&searchType=mainSearchBar

 

If you get it from Conrad in the UK and send it via NZ Post YouShop (you have to register for YouShop, see under NZ Post website) it would be quite cost effective. I had a small parcel from the USA recently and it was less than $20 postage. Once registered YouShop have local addresses in the UK, USA and China.

 

Mike

Avocadopicker

09:08 PM   05-Apr-17

Katikati

On my 2014 Delaware the part number was a Waeco/Dometic ML-3602. Looks very similar but hard to tell. Looks like a good deal if it's compatible.

Rob and Pat

02:18 PM   07-Apr-17

North Canterbury

My 2011 Delaware had two contacts on the lock side of the habitation door which were used for control of the central locking. Autotrail have changed this on later models which have a rubber boot on the hinge side to bring the control for the central locking into the door.

Not sure what version is on your 2013 Scout but if your door uses the two contacts then these have a habit of corroding and hence make a poor electrical contact. Cleaning with fine sandpaper helps.

lbh

04:32 PM   19-Apr-17

auckland

Thank you. Cleaning the contacts was he answer. Joy!!

Alistair & Stella

12:38 PM   16-Nov-17

Christchurch

There is also another fix available:

1.cut a small square of plastic out of a used ice cream container, or similar.

2.Slide this under the two electrical connections in the bottom of the habitation door, ( opposite the two contacts mentioned above ) this makes a positive connection when the door is shut, and completes the electrical connection.

Very simple, but most effective.

 

Latching Habitation Door back by John Smith

by Our TP

[ 5 ]

Our TP

01:28 PM   23-Jun-15

Tauranga

Comanche.

Habitation door has the stay-arm on it but as we all know the wind can still blow it shut when wide open.

Has anyone found an attachment that can be used to hold the door open.

It would need to be about 200 mm long I think as the door doesn't open flush back against the van when open.

I would ideally like something in white plastic that clips on to the side of the van tidily when the door is closed.

 

Thanks

David Buxton

04:23 PM   29-Jun-15

Taupo

The best attachment is a chrome on brass hook 100mm long secured to a strong spot (just to right of the gas door on a Delaware) where the screws go into more thaan just the thin outer panel. I bought a second hook to get another eye so when the hook is not holding the door it is latched securely and not swinging around.

Les

10:06 AM   26-Aug-15

Tuakau

 

Automatic Catched Door Stop

Available at Mitre 10 etc

 

              

Mike & Chris

09:45 AM   14-Oct-15

North Canterbury

I wrote to Autotrail asking if there was a strong point in the door and bodywork to attach a latching system. This is their reply:

 

Hi,

 

The door and the sidewall of the vehicle do not have any strengthening pieces bonded in as this will cause print through on the surface material. The only real way to fix to either panel is to use peel back rivets. These spread out behind the outer skin to form a secure fixing. You will need to be very careful securing the door back as the door stay may rip out of the panel if wind gets behind the door.

 

Regards

 

Steve Moverley

Director of Design and Development

Main office: +44 ­(0)1472 571000

Tel direct: NA

Mob: NA

Fax: +44 ­(0)1472 571002

Web: www.auto-trail.co.uk

Auto-Trail VR Limited - Trigano House, Genesis Way, Europarc, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN37 9TU, United Kingdom

Avocadopicker

08:24 PM   25-Nov-15

Katikati

You could remove the door inner lining (not too hard to do if you know how ;-) ) and also reach the inner of the skin near the gas cupboard (obviously depends on model) and fit a smallish piece of reinforcing timber to each for the screws to bite on.

Habitation door remote locking failure

by Avocadopicker

[ 2 ]

Avocadopicker

05:32 PM   22-Apr-15

Katikati

A few weeks ago I happened to notice that the hab door lock was silent when locking/unlocking, and realised that we had been 'locking' up and walking away when in fact the hab door was still unlocked. To cut a long story short the locking servo wasn't working - all other remote functions worked properly, cab doors, step, welcome home light, etc, both remotely and with dashboad lock/unlock. After much trepidation I managed to remove the interior lining of the hab door (2014 Delaware), which turned out to be really easy - undo all the screws you can find, then gently lever the lining from the middle near the window to separate the velcro holding it on. I removed the servo assembly and it undoubtedly didn't work. A new one from Germany (Waeco product) is only 22 Euros, but 125 Euros shipping! Time to save money - I dismantled the servo mechanism, removed and dismantled motor, cleaned commutator and realigned brushes - sorted! I have a bunch of photos taken during the process if anyone else faces the same problem.

Alistair & Stella

10:40 AM   01-Jun-15

Christchurch

Hi I have just joined the club, and although it is a while since your post, yes, I have the same problem, so would be interested if you still have those photographs, seems to me that there are several standard problems with these auto trails. Cancel the above, we have found that the problem is a small bend in the bottom door hinge, caused when a strong wind caught the door and broke the door stop on the van wall, by packing the electric connection Pins at the bottom of the door with a piece of plastic from an ice cream container, this has restored the electrical connection to the door frame when the door is shut. No servo failure at this point, a temporary solution I know, but at least the van is secure. We'll have to remove the bottom hinge and gently bend a couple of mms.

Side door latch failure. By Derek Canvin

by Gypsy Rover

[ 2 ]

Gypsy Rover

08:53 PM   26-Feb-15

Levin

Recently we have had the misfortune of having the springs on the side door latches break hence travelling home with the door tied up with rope. Looking at the springs they appear to be just about at full stretch in the locked position but they then have to expand a further 20mm to unlatch. To have both springs fail within days of each other suggests a design fault.Speaking to John at Taranaki RV, Dometic the manufacturers, don't supply parts they expect you to replace the whole locking mechanism at the cost of several hundred dollars. I have contacted a spring manufacturer in Auckland who is going to make me some replacements for about $10 each. I have ordered extra's so if anybody else strikes the same problem I am only too happy to supply at cost. We have been unable to source the correct spring anywhere else in NZ.

Jo Wilson

04:24 PM   10-Feb-17

Papakura

We had the top latch spring break recently and for $50 labour included it was replaced yesterday at AMH.

ELECTRICAL 12V / 230V INVERTERS

Powering a small inverter from a cigarette power point

by Twilight

[ 4 ]

Twilight

06:23 PM   28-Dec-18

Auckland

I've been offered a 600W inverter and prior to been offered this, was considering a 350W pure sine wave inverter.  Could I run either from the cigarette power point at the rear of my Tribute?  The TV is also on the same circuit.  All I want is something to charge electric tooth brushes etc.  I see from some literature that a maximum of a 150W inverter should be plugged into a cigarette power point which may be enough for my needs.  I don't really want to spend money upgrading wiring, batteries, solar panels etc.  If I want to use the microwave, toaster, hairdryer etc I'll find some mains power elsewhere.  Any advice please?

John M

09:39 PM   28-Dec-18

On my Comanche the rear bedroom TV outlet is rated at just 4 amps, which is 48 watts.   

When considering inverters you need to look at which power rating you are reading. The input power will be greater than the output power. 

The Braun toothbrush I have here is rated as 0.9 Watts.  An invertor supplying that would still draw a higher minimum current.

So almost any invertor would work, BUT the danger is that one day someone plugs in a larger appliance.  

On my Comanche that outlet is fed from a 10amp fuse, ie a 120 watt circuit.  But the limitation is probably a cheap nasty cigarette socket capable of only 4 amps.  Knowing AT the wiring to that socket may not be rated as high as 10 amps either.

That is the technical answer, the reality is you will probably get away with the smaller  invertor but I suggest you label it “FOR Toothbrush Only” and don’t leave it on when you leave the van.

 

JohnM

Vila Joiosa

Avocadopicker

09:44 PM   28-Dec-18

Katikati

You would be better off using the lower power inverter if you're really not likely to exceed its power rating, but hard wire it in anyway.  It's a right pain having to replace the blown fuses when you overload the cigar lighter socket (as you will also do if running a heavy-duty tyre pump from the socket). Don't forget to put an appropriate fuse in the hard-wired supply though.

Twilight

11:35 AM   29-Dec-18

Auckland

Thanks for the advice.  I now have the (free) 600W inverter in my possession.  I was thinking of giving it a go but restrict the output to 50W through a 5A fuse (or maybe 75W with 7.5A fuse) in the 12V in line.  I notice that the 12V circuits are protected with 10A fuses.  The satellite dish specs suggested that it draws 5A so maybe 50W max for the inverter on that circuit.  I did look at the leisure battery box (under the side seat) and there could be options for mounting the 600W inverter under the seat with a multi box outside or alternatively the inverter outside the seat, but with the solar panel input, wires from here to Africa and the solar 'black' box etc, it all appears to be way above my pay scale.  The plan at this stage is to give the 600W inverter a go but restricted to 50W, and depending on what we use etc, lash out instead on a 150W inverter to keep it safe and simple.  Am I on the right track?

Large voltage drop

by David Buxton

[ 2 ]

David Buxton

01:28 PM   06-Oct-18

Taupo

I have two 120amp hour deep cycle AGM E2 Nomad house batteries installed in parallel under the front seats (they fit on their sides) . I have wired in a 2000w inverter and get an insane voltage drop when using a 1200w hair drier - 12.7 volts down to 10.1 volts. Fortunately the inverter kept going for 5 minutes. Previously when using an 1800w hair drier the inverter just cut out.  

When I had the same inverter wired to the house batteries in my Delaware the voltage drop was only down to 12v from 12.6 in the morning and it handled an 1800w hair drier no trouble. Then often cooked some toast!  

Is my problem the small size AGM batteries even that they are 120ahr? Do they have a lot more internal resistance?

Les

10:12 AM   07-Oct-18

Tuakau

Hi Dave,

Options give Lyn a hair cut or Sounds like your batteries have lost their guts..Lithium battery needed. Maybe the batteries have been getting to much of the good life in the way of 230v charging, solar is easy on batteries.

We have a cheap 1000 watt hair drier I let Annette use it on low speed...about 45 amps draw. not high at about 90 amps.

No problems 

Regards Les

Microwave Inverter Trials

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:58 AM   10-Jul-18

Tuakau

MICROWAVE
AT NZ Facebook post:     Wanting to run our microwave through 1000 watt “modified” not pure sign wave inverter! Anybody tried this?

 

Comment:


-  I would NOT try it.
-  What's the current draw of your microwave oven? 
-  Microwave is 700 watt.
-  Is that cooking power or input power draw.
-  The microwave draws a lot more than 700w. I melted fuses on 2500w PSW inverter. I've successfully used 3kw PSW inverter to run the microwave. You'll be needing a grunty battery too!
-  I tried it on our 1000watt inverter not quite enough power to start it but at least it didn’t cook anything phew!!
-  The question I really had was whether I needed a pure sign wave or just modified sign wave.
-  Yes. You need pure sine wave. At least 2k.5 kw and more batteries.  If adding batteries most likely you will need to change them all. Attaching new batteries to old ones is a really bad idea.
-  No issues with using the microwave in our Delaware, we have a 2kw PSW invertor and two AGM no maintenance leisure batteries.
-   Should use pure sine wave inverter as mod is more a square wave output and very hard on your batteries.

Inverter connects to vehicle battery

by David Buxton

[ 3 ]

David Buxton

12:28 AM   27-Nov-17

Taupo

I thought it would be more appropriate to connect an inverter to the vehicle battery as the draw off is short with high amps. We use the inverter only for a hair drier and a toaster. What do others think?

John M

06:24 AM   27-Nov-17

Well, ignoring efficiencies, and losses in the DC-AC converter, keep it simple, a small 1200 watt hair dryer needs 12volts @ 100 amps, my wife takes a fair few minutes to dry her hair, say ten minutes, one sixth of an hour, so about 16.66 amp hours, plus efficiencies add about 33%, about 22 amp hours?

This is a quick approximation.  My wife's dryer is 1700 watts, so add another 50%.

 

Assuming you are free camping, would you risk depleting your starter battery?

 

The original reason for adding leisure batteries was to preserve the starter battery from being drained by the couple of 12 volt incandescent lamps in the rear of the early "camper" vans.  While modern motorhomes are more sophisticated the purpose of the leisure battery remains the same.

Further, the deep cycle capability of the leisure battery is designed to provide high currents for longer than a vehicle battery which is designed for very high starter motor currents for relatively short periods.

 

John

Avocadopicker

08:33 AM   27-Nov-17

Katikati

And if your vehicle battery is only 100AH in the first place, and is completely depleted at 50%, then eating nearly half your available capacity for starting is probably not a good idea. Couple that with the 'modern' idea of the latest Euro6 method of only part-charging the vehicle battery anyway and you would rapidly not be in a good place. Incidentally my wife's hairdryer costs us about 8AH with each use - only 1100W and used in bursts, which barely makes a dent in our 240AH of available leisure battery, and the ability to use the microwave on occasions is pure luxury!

 

Inverter Recommendations

by ChrisB

[ 19 ]

ChrisB

03:49 PM   09-May-17

New Plymouth

Having added two additional solar panels and shortly will have changed to a 200 AH Lithium Iron Phosphate house battery, I now want to add a 2000W 12V DC to 230V AC inverter (to be wired to the 230V circuit).  

 

Can anyone recommend a suitable brand that has proven reliable and is not outrageously expensive?

 

Has anyone any experience with these units from waveinverter.co.nz?

 

http://waveinverter.co.nz/power-inverter/inverter-charger/2000w-inverter-charger

 

They are from China, include an integral charger, have 3 pre-programmed battery charging cycles and the option of "user program". I.e. Lithium Iron Phosphate battery setup.

 

The price looks good, but just want to hear/learn from others experience.

 

 

 

 

Les

04:35 PM   09-May-17

Tuakau

Hi, 

This is the inverter I have been using 12v dc  2000 watt  At $329 no problems

 

Thomas on Trademe Listing # 1316740533

 

Les

 

 

Karen and Steve

04:53 PM   09-May-17

Kapiti

 

Hi

I googled "Must power Inverter" and google came back as a Blacklisted Supplier with maybe a 10 to 15 failure rate and poor communication. Suggest you find another brand. 

 

Steve

 

Ian

11:14 AM   10-May-17

Tasmania

Having repaired a few inverters in the past if you want reliability I'd stay away from cheap units with no servicing outlets and stick with a known brand.  I can't comment on other brands but I have a projector 1000W Inverter which I take over it's limit with startup current for a small Koh-i-Nor Spin dryer. The inverter is over 4 years old and regularly used on trips, we lived in our van for 2 years full time recently and been 100% reliable.  The unit has a remote meter and control unit so you can mount the main unit close to the battery then operate/control from a convenient point in the cabin.  There is a 2000W version available but I haven't looked up available prices and not sure if available in NZ.  Regards IanG

ChrisB

01:47 PM   10-May-17

New Plymouth

Thanks Ian, Steve and Les.

 

I note the Google blacklist for MustPower was in 2015, but do understand the concern.

 

Les and Ian, am I correct in assuming there is no mains supply switching in these units and therefore you have not wired them into the 230V system in the AutoTrail?  I.e. Appliances are plugged directly into the inverter as and when required?

Ian

02:00 PM   10-May-17

Tasmania

Hi Chris, In my case no but the new projector inverter in my link has an AC transfer switch for that puropse so there is no need to change plugs over from power points as I need to do now.

Regards IanG

ChrisB

01:21 PM   13-May-17

New Plymouth

Thanks Les, looks like a good unit at an attractive price.

 

For comparison the Projecta 12v 2000W inverters are available in NZ for  $1679 (2 year warranty).

 

Did you hard wire the output from your JYINS inverter into the AT 230v wiring, or are you plug swapping?

 

Regards,

 

Chris

Les

08:54 AM   14-May-17

Tuakau

 

Hi Chris,

I Have just brought my Third one which is waiting for my new Delaware to arrive, last one was still OK after four years and I got one for a friend thats OK.

 

I did hard wire at the start by just pluging it in on the side bottom locker where I mounted the inverter and ran the 12v up behind the drivers seat with a circuit braker switch, and mounted a 4 way power box which I use with a lead, because I found the Fridge would go over from Gas to AC due to AES. You can set the fridge  manually but the problem is you forget, lot of drain on the batteries, so I unpluged the power feed to the Van supply from the inverter.

 

New van will have dedicated inverter power points, I think.

 

I had a 300amp/H Lithium Battery in that Van

 

Regards Les

Ebony

08:57 PM   16-May-17

Taupo

Hi

We have been using the Power Train pure sine 2000w inverters with remote in our last two motorhomes, and have have had the last one in our Delaware for the last year, and find the great and a reasonable price.

 

We are reasonable ( some would say heavy) coffee drinkers and use the inverter to run a nespresso coffee machine, sometimes the toaster and occasionally a electric kettle and microwave, never to forget the wife's hair dryer, all of which it handles at ease one at a time.

We have ours connected to a short cord with 3pin plug into the inverter and 16amp plug on the other end in the power connection locker.

We connect the inverter to the camper via the normal 16 amp plug when we run off grid, and disconnect the plug and plug into the mains when using the grid.

Saves on expensive switches.

This method allows all the 230v sockets to be live when the inverter is on.

2 things you need to remember

1)you won't be able to use more than the inverter rating at any one time.

2)turn the power off to the fridge, but leave it in AES, then it will switch between gas & Battery but not 230v when the inverter is on. Turn the fridge power on when connected to mains.

 

Another thing, is you may need to upgrade batteries and solar if you use the inverter as much as us.

Garry

Ebony

09:02 PM   16-May-17

Taupo

Forgot to add

The 2000w power train inverter comes with a remote unit to turn the inverter on and off.

So you can hid ethe inverter and turn it off and on easily.

See here for more details on these.

 

http://www.rvsupplies.co.nz/products/view/powertrain-pure-sinewave-inverter-2000-watt

 

 

ChrisB

04:17 PM   03-Jun-17

New Plymouth

Thanks everyone for your feedback on inverters and particularly Les who provided positive feedback on the JYINS brand inverter.

 

To close the loop, I purchased and installed a JYNS 2000W (4000W peak) UPS (inverter plus battery charger with auto swithching) including a remote, direct from the manufacturer in China.   Using Aliexpress the inverter cost NZD 371 landed!

 

I have now installed and tested it and it works great. The only job left to do is to have an electrician rewire the #1 230v circut so that goes via the UPS before supplying the microwave and 230V power sockets.

 

Total cost so far for the additional 2*100W solar panels, MPPT controller, inverter and wiring is NZD 1250 plus my own labour.  So if you have the time and some handyman skills I can thoroughly recommend this project.

 

Next step is to wire the UPS into the 230V circut and upgrade to a 200 Ahr Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.  Then will need to look for another project . . . .

 

Will post some pics for those interested.

ChrisB

04:32 PM   03-Jun-17

New Plymouth

Autotrail supplied solar pannel on LHS and two new flexible 100W solar panels centre and right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under seat in the Apache 634 showing battery box and new wiring.  The blue box is a BLE (bluetooth) unit that communicates between an Android phone and the Tracer MPPT controller. Very handy to see what is going on.

 

 

View inside the Apache 634 garage (RHS rear).  Tracer 30A MPPT controller on LHS JYINS 2000W UPS on RHS.

 

Ian

08:51 PM   03-Jun-17

Tasmania

Hi Chris,  Your flexible solar panel setup is a really neat job and exactly what I planned to install on my Imala after pickup.  Can you tell me what brand flexible panels you have and how they are affixed, is it silicon or some other adhesive?

Your inverter install looks really neat too.

Regards IanG

Chris Gaelic

09:15 AM   04-Jun-17

Hi Chris, just curious as to why you chose flexible panels, as you've installed them on a flat surface. Also, you might want to protect your inverter from being colonised by spiders - which can get into any spaces that are open to the outside. You may be ok inside that cabinet. I mounted my first inverter in the empty bay beside the house battery, only to have the inverter go up in a cloud of acrid smoke some time later. On dismantling it, there was evidence of a charred spider.

ChrisB

04:39 PM   04-Jun-17

New Plymouth

Thanks Ian and Chris for your comments, will look out for those spiders and possibly paint aroubnd the inverter with a bug spray.

 

The reason I chose flexible solar pannels was:

a) I wanted to be able to stand on them as I have plans to fit two roof bars for a kayak/stand up paddle board

 

b) The flexible pannels are light and I was able to get them delivered from China to my home for $337 for two.
This substantially less than what you can buy them in NZ for and on a par with 100W mono chrystaline pannels from AA Solar

 

The pannels are made using Sunpower cells from USA Sunpower Corporation and have a high (claimed) efficiency of 19-23%.

 

Ian, here is the link to the supplier:

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Solarparts-1PCS-100W-flexible-solar-panel-12V-solar-cell-module-system-RV-car-marine-boat-battery/32712881030.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.2bhPYC

 

I used Bostick Simson ISR 70-30 adhesive/selant.

http://bostik.co.nz/productDetails.aspx?p=857&c=120&t=i

 

Seemed to work well, so hopefully I wont need to remove the pannels !!!

 

Chris Gaelic

04:49 PM   04-Jun-17

Sounds good - sticking them down like that is a lot simpler that making up custom brackets. I'll look into that for our next motorhome.

 

However, be careful of shading them with the toys - if the cells in each panel are connected in series, a shadow on any one of them will affect the performance of the whole panel. It was a mistake I made when I set up an aerial to try and boost mobile phone coverage.

Ian

08:40 PM   04-Jun-17

Tasmania

Thanks for the information Chris, much appreciated.

However there is a little problem with those particular solar panels for 12 volt charging. I'm guessing you are aware and maybe have them in series having an MPPT solar controller.

Normally for 12v charging we use panels with 36 cells for nominal19 volts having a 4 x 9 array of cells.  These panels are only 32 cells, a 4 x 8 array, and only rated 17 volts nominal.  Which means in lower light levels they will dropout sooner and if they are in a series string for more efficient MPPT operation then a shadow on any one panel limits the total current (hence power) to that of the affected panel. They will certainly work OK but not as effective as a full 36 cell array. 

Regards IanG

 

ChrisB

10:58 PM   04-Jun-17

New Plymouth

Thanks Ian for your comments,

based on your feedback it looks like you are selling your own solar solution?

The configuration we have can be connected either in series or parallel (which is best if shading is an issue). They are currently connected in series although it is a minor matter to connect them in parallel.

The true test will be in how they perform . . . . lets see. . . .

For me, the real test is $ per kW plus reliability.

C

 

 

MarkRoaming

01:17 PM   01-Jul-17

ChrisB - I love your can do attitude and $ per kW + reliability research.  Keep us updated on any failures please otherwise we will assume you are onto a winner.  

 

Has anybody tried plugging an inverter into the cigarette lighter socket?  I'm not sure the cabling in the Auto-Trail's could handle the current draw?  I'd prefer this approach so the inverter is quickly removeable.

power inverter

by Judith Thom

[ 1 ]

Judith Thom

01:08 PM   22-Sep-16

Christchurch

have a 1000w pure sine12v/ 220/240v nere new.  wanting to swap trade or buy 1800/2000w pure sine inverter  doug thom

Inverter installation

by David Buxton

[ 4 ]

David Buxton

05:10 PM   03-Jan-15

Taupo

I have just installed a 2000W modified sine wave inverter to run Lyns hair drier and our microwave. I bought the inverter new on TradeMe for about 200 dollars. Chris advised me to instal it under the sofa inside because in the out side locker it can accumulate spiders etc and ultimately 'fizz'! I have installed a 230V outlet socket on the sofa front and run a lead up through the outside locker and up to the microwave plug. All concealed from view.

Avocadopicker

08:19 AM   23-Jan-15

Katikati

Hi, we installed a 3kw psw inverter for Lynne's hairdryer, under the offside bench seat. Worked great, however prolonged use for microwave eventually melted all the internal fuses (320amps-worth!), so I would monitor the consumption of your microwave, it's more than you think!

David Buxton

08:24 AM   07-Feb-15

Taupo

Thanks for the warning. We don't intend to use the microwave for any prolonged use - just things like softening butter. The microwave makes a buzzing noise no doubt due to the modified sine wave so this probably doesn't do the electronics much I good. Our microwave is used 99.9% for a bread bin!

Barry King

05:45 PM   27-Jan-16

Lower Hutt

We have plugged out invertor so it runs back in the 230 volt main feed and so it now runs all the 230 volt power points and the fridge as a result.  We do have to monitor the output more to make sure we are not draining everything completly and of course the hair dryer and microwave in short bursts.  seems to be working well after a year of operation.

 

ELECTRICAL 12V DC

High level brake light not working

by ChrisB

[ 1 ]

ChrisB

06:01 PM   01-Jul-19

New Plymouth

The high level brake light on our 2015 Apache 634 has stopped working.  The configuration looks similar from the rear as most other Autotrail models. See attached pics - sorry for the orientation of the pics, I tried a number of rotations of the original but to no avail  :-(

 

I have checked the fuse and it is OK (also the other brake lights work OK and they share a common fuse F37), so I need to get access to the LED strip to determine if it is a wiring or a LED fault.

 

1)  I can feel a plug connector on the wire going through the external wall but cant pull it down into the cupboard.  So to get access to it I will need to remove the rear cupboards.  Does this feed both the reversing video camera and the brake light or just one of these?

 

2)  Externally there is a removeable cover over both the LED strip and the reversing video camera.  But this is "glued in place" with selant.  Is this the best way in to test the LED strip?

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

 

Internal ceiling level cupboard with feed to reversing VC and/or high level brake light.
Image needs rotating 90 degrees counter clockwise.

 

Exterior view of cover.

Dash 12 V

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:22 AM   06-Jul-18

Tuakau

X250 and others Cab 12 volt socket change

 

The reason for the change is that 12 volt plugs usually keep coming out of contact over bumps causing loss of power to sat navs/ chargers etc without you realising until it proves inconvenient.
These twist lock sockets prevent this 
Pictures a bit out of sequence as I've already fitted the new sockets.
First remove the rubber seat for the ashtray cup holder. Then remove the T25 torqs screw.
 

The whole switch panel then pulls up on the front edge nearest you and out towards you.
The pair of original connectors have a seperate small +ve wire for illumination of the cigarette lighter socket, this wont be needed so cut off and tape back.
The large yellow +ve requires a blue female 6.3mm spade and the -ve black a red 6.3mm 

Led Strip Light

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

11:00 AM   23-Jun-18

Tuakau

LED STRIP LIGHT
AT NZ Facebook Post:   We have a prob. with 1 of our led strip lights above the sink unit, goes but not bright. Can't see how the cover comes off. Any help would be great. We have an Imala 730.
Comment:
-  The cover just pops off, carefully.

 

Battery Reading

by Les

[ 6 ]

Les

12:05 PM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau

VEHICLE BATTERY READING
AT NZ Facebook post:  I am hoping someone may be able to help me. We have a 2015 Delaware owned from new. The vehicle has been fitted with 2 house batteries 220Ah Recently the vehicle battery has been showing 4% or less charge but the vehicle battery reads 13.2v on my multi-meter and the vehicle starts every time. I thought I would ask if other AT owners have had an issue like this and maybe offer a solution. Any advice would be appreciated.

Comment:
  Presume you mean showing 4% on the control panel?  If so, and you are happy battery is ok, you could try to Recalibrate the control panel.
  I had the same issue on my 2014 Delaware, after doing some tests at the Sargent controller, the reading was correct.  I found the 20 amp fuses blown on the unit behind the drivers seat.  Replaced and all was good, occurred after a service.  I believe it is called the MT4O.
 We have a year old Apache 632 with a second leisure battery. However my vehicle battery runs down and after about 4 days unable to start. Surely it should last for a few weeks, maybe sneak drain somewhere.  [Subsequently discovered the simple reason, have been switching the 'battery' switch on the 500 panel 'on' and hence using vehicle battery all the time!!!] 

John M

06:38 PM   22-Jun-18

Les is correct, but also if in the set up menu you select SMART charge then the system should alternate the batteries as required.  If one or the other is low it should detect that and charge it.  Unfortunately it doesn’t always work, so I keep an eye on the batteries and manually select the weaker one.  Meanwhile the SMART charger doodles about in the back ground.

JohnM

Copenhagen

John M

06:47 PM   22-Jun-18

Another suggestion, and this happened to us, if the fuses from the leisure battery are blown, the display panel will still indicate good batteries because the panel display measures the output of the charger!!! Big trap!!! 

So then the system will select the van batteries when not on electric hook up.

Important to check the fuses on leisure battery lead at the battery and in the electrical cupboard fuse panel. 

JohnM

Bman

07:04 PM   22-Jun-18

Auckland

Thanks, really useful information.  How do you test if the fuse has blown on leisure battery?

Avocadopicker

10:06 PM   22-Jun-18

Katikati

You can use a trickle B2B charger like a Batterymaster which keeps the vehicle battery topped up from the leisure battery. Never have to worry about Sargent failing to charge the vehicle battery.

John M

01:35 AM   24-Jun-18

Bman, to check the leisure battery fuses, on our Commanche they are in the positive battery lead about 200 mm from the batteries.   Easiest is to eyeball the fuse, you will see (if) it has blown by the black burn mark and missing fuse wire.  If unfamiliar compare to a new fuse.

 

measuring voltages is not a good method for the inexperienced as you may find miss leading measurements by measuring the wrong location.  Just change if you think it has failed. 

 

Also check the appropriate fuse at the power panel.  There is a list there identifying the fuse.

 

Note:  all motorhomers should always carry spare fuses.  In two and a half years we have replaced half a dozen failed fuses in the MH and recently in the Toad.

John M

Copenhagen 

Kitchen Fan Vent

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

11:27 AM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau

FAN  INTERMITTENT
AT NZ Facebook post:  We are having an intermittent problem with the ceiling fan in our Tracker RB 2015. It goes occasionally, sometimes doesn’t want to go at all and other times goes for a short time then stops. Any ideas on how to fix the problem would be much appreciated thank you.
Comment:
  Most likely the switch on its way out.  They are available without replacing the entire fan.

 

Bill and Hazel

08:57 AM   24-Jun-18

Palmerston North

Had issues in our old MH. The fan controller would start flashing the lights and the fan would stop

I removed the fan an conected it to a battery direct with an Ammeter in the circuit. It drew lots of amps to start with then settled down after 20-30 second to a low value. Reversed the connections a couple of times and it ran OK

I suspect that the bearing grease had got hard. I noted that it ran faster when it directly connected to 12V  

Re-assembled all into MH and ran OK after that

I also took the oportunity to lube the vent mechanism with silicone grease while I had the fan out

Battery wiring fault

by John M

[ 2 ]

John M

09:53 AM   10-Nov-17

We are traveling full time in Europe, been on the road for 18 months now in our Comanche, with a car in tow.

 

We recently had a failure in the leisure battery wiring that surprises me and Sargent. I have not talked with AT as previous communication has not been satisfactory.  

 

I am electrically qualified which is a BIG help in this hobby, and with good communication with Tim at Sargents I eventually solved the issue.

 

We don't freedom camp, instead preferring the security of motorcamps, plus we stop for about seven to ten days in most destinations.  The first symptom was that the leisure batteries were not charging.  I soon discovered that the the two 20 amp fuses on the dual battery loom had blown.  Replacing them resulted in the new fuses exploding.  This indicated a dead short circuit.

I soon found that all four of the flimsy battery cables were shorted to one another and the chassis. I cut the cables at both ends, so nothing was connected to them and the cables were still shorted together.  

 

After some time looking for chaffed wiring below the chassis I found no sign of where the problem lay, so I ran four new wires from the batteries to the EC500.  

 

But things still were not right.  Incidentally, I carry a spare EC500, so I swapped that over at one point also.

 

Eventuslly I discovered the 20 amp engine battery fuse that supplies van power to the EC500 was also blown.  This is in the fuse box on the floor behind the drivers seat and easily forgotten.  Now you may ask why was it not obvious that that fuse had blown?  This is important, the EC500 display panel still shows voltage and charge of about 45% when there are no batteries connected, because I believe it is not reading the battery state but displaying what the charger is doing, in my case the charger was driving the interior lighting while the batteries were isolated by the blown fuses.  Big trap!

 

So where have my original battery leads shorted.  I believe I have worked this mystery out, but only in theory as it cannot be accessed.

The four battery wires to the EC500, let us talk from the EC500 to the batteries, the four wires pass down through the bottom of the overhead cabinetry into that odd little curved cornice in the corner beside the curtains where they travel horizontally into the void behind the drivers right shoulder.  From there they pass over an obstacle then fall straight down into a loom below the chassis and into the battery compartment. My conclusion is that the above mentioned obstacle is a piece of sharp steel, a gusset strengthening the back corner of the B pillar?  I firmly believe this is the only place where my four battery cables can all be shorted together.  I also suspect more cables may chafe there in the future?

 

I hope this is a rare event, but if not our story may help someone to solve an issue.

 

John and Bron

Marbella

MarkRoaming

12:15 PM   10-Nov-17

Thanks John for your detailed breakdown of the trouble shooting you went through on this one.

I'd imagine many hours of thinking and exploring went into this - lucky you had the time, tools and experience to diagnose.  Interesting that you found AT communication unsatisfactory, was this because the battery system was modified after delivery and they didn't want to know?

 

We had a quite different situation, requiring many hours to figure out, that others may be interested in.

Our van was new, electrics converted in Auckland by an electrical inspector.

When we came to a campsite and plugged 230V in, the EC500 wouldn't light up.

It had just been through conversion so we rang the electrician/inspector and he was similarly stumped, after all he had tested and certified his work.

 

So we became suspicious of the factory supplied 230v cable which he hadn't used in his testing.

We tested it on the only other van at the campsite by connecting to his hardwired cable.

The factory supplied cable worked fine during this test but we weren't able to test it exactly the same way as we used it.  Specifically, instead of plugging the factory supplied cable into the side of his van we were connecting to his hard wired cable lying on the ground.

This led us to believe the issue was with the van.

Rookie mistake - many hours went into trying to diagnose what was wrong with the van.

 

BUT the fault only occured when plugging into the van and the cable hung down pulling the phase wire out.

Forehead smack!

 

 

Faulty 230v cable

 

Accessing the Imala power control box ...

by Ian

[ 3 ]

Ian

05:43 PM   11-Sep-17

Tasmania

Anyone know how to access the box in pic below containing the power and heating remote units.  There is a screw on either side which I have removed but nothing seems to come apart easily and I didn't like to apply much pressure just in case. Regards IanG

 

 

Rob and Pat

07:39 PM   11-Sep-17

North Canterbury

The easiest way in will be via the controls. The grey surround for the Sargent unit will pop off and there will be screws behind which will allow this unit come out of the panel. Similarly with the switch. I think the Truma panel is similiar but you have to remove the knob first.

Rob

Ian

08:40 PM   11-Sep-17

Tasmania

Thanks Rob,  I did remove the middle switch for the awning light, but I was hoping to remove the whole panel to make small holes in the sides to run a cable behind to power a Sirocco fan on the side of shower wall.  It's messy to go around the panel and the size of wiring I saw for the awning light didn't inspire me to tap into it and couldn't pick up the neg lead either.  Now you have pointed out how the Sargent unit is mounted, I'll give that a try and see whats behind.  Kind regards IanG.

Power Usage 12v dc Appliances in your Motorhome

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

05:18 PM   20-Jul-17

Tuakau

If you’re new to motorhoming, you may not realise that space heating, water heating and refrigeration are all designed to be run on gas as well as mains electricity. Most motorhome electrical equipment runs off 12 volts and so can be powered from the on board battery when there is no mains hook up. Making that battery last is all about using its power as efficiently and economically as possible and, if necessary, finding additional sources of 12 volt power.

Rallying for  2-3 days with a good, charged battery, should be no problem, even if a 12 volt TV is on for 1-2 hours per night. Beyond this additional power sources may be needed.

It’s important to understand how much power is consumed by the various 12 volt devices.

From the table below you will see some use a lot more power than others.

Power is measured in watts - the more the power the greater the watts.

Item

Power consumed (watts) 12 watts = 1 amp

17” LCD colour TV

35 - 50

15 “ LCD colour TV

25 - 40

19" LED colour TV

25-35

Satellite receiver / Freeview box

12

TV booster

0.6

Halogen down lighter

10 or  20 (depends on bulb wattage)

Fan for blown air heating

10 – 50 (depends on speed setting)

Fluorescent strip light

6 - 7

LED strip light

2 - 3

LED spotlight

2 – 3

 

Fluorescent lights use less power than halogen lights and LED lights are more efficient again. Very recent advances in technology mean that LED lights are now available in warm colours and only use about 15% of the power taken by an equivalent halogen light.

Appliance Calculation Chart WATTS--AMPS

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

01:03 PM   07-Jul-17

Tuakau

                                 [ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - S I T E  V O L T S - - - - - - - - - - - - - ]
                                        200v   210v   220v    230v     240v
WATTS                           [ - - -  - - A M P S  D R A W - - -]
250                                 1.250   1.190 1.136   1.087     1.042
500                                 2.500   2.381 2.273   2.174     2.083
750                                 3.750   3.571 3.409   3.261     3.125
1000                               5.000   4.762 4.545   4.348     4.167
1250                               6.250   5.952 5.682   5.435     5.208
1500                               7.500   7.143 6.818   6.522     6.250
1750                               8.750   8.333 7.955   7.609     7.292
2000                              10.000  9.524 9.091    8.696    8.333
2250                              11.250 10.714 10.227 9.783   9.375
2500                              12.500 11.905 11.364 10.870 10.417
2750                              13.750 13.095 12.500 11.957 11.458
3000                              15.000 14.286 13.636 13.043 12.500
3250                              16.250 15.476 14.773 14.130 13.542
3500                              17.500 16.667 15.909 15.217 14.583
3750                              18.750 17.857 17.045 16.304 15.625
4000                              20.000 19.048 18.182 17.391 16.667
                    The calculation to find the AMPERAGE draw is Watts / Volts.
                    The calculation to find  the WATTAGE is Amps X Volts.
                     Most UK sites with EHU will be at least 230v - 240v.
                     On the continent it is more often 220v, or often less, and as low
                     as 200v on many large sites when busy, especially in winter.
                     Beware that the lower the voltage, the higher the amperage draw.

A mains plug in power meter is a very handy device to have in the motorhome,
as you can then define the site's EHU voltage. If you know the wattage or the
amperage of the appliances in use, you can work out what you can use without 
tripping the site supplies.
A typical plug in power meter can be purchased for £10 or under.

Tracker extra lighting

by The Sutherlands

[ 1 ]

The Sutherlands

08:53 PM   16-Jun-17

Auckland

I decided my new RB needed some extra lighting so I added some LED strip around the fan which now shines nicely into the fridge and the other areas. I used an old school bed lamp switch as the on/off which fits nicely into the escutcheon of the vent (first image) The under bench cupboards were also very dark so added strip on the three levels and put a micro lever switch on the door to act as the on/off. Also added a 230v outlet by the door for Helens hair dryer and phone chargers when on hook up. Came off the outlet in the garage and ran the feed through the bathroom, under the fridge and up the back of the table cupboard  
   
   

y

marker lights fuse

by Sublime

[ 4 ]

Sublime

05:05 PM   30-Mar-17

Geraldine

We have developed a problem with the marker fuse buzzing and when removed cuts out all the motorhome power. 

The step would set it off as well.  Fuse OK batteries are OK the auto electrician can't work it out.  Think it could be the relay, does anyone know how to access to fuse box (this is the one on the floor behind the drivers seat)to get at it. Any suggestions would be helpful.

ChrisB

05:48 PM   30-Mar-17

New Plymouth

Attached are details of the EM40 and the more recent EM50 interface modules which are located behind the driver's seat.  Hopefully this will provide more technical information for you.

 

http://autotrailusers.nz/ForumFiles/1012/EM50_Tech_Data.pdf

 

http://autotrailusers.nz/ForumFiles/1012/EC500%20Dealer%20Guide%20Issue%201(1).pdf

 

In our Apache 634 the EM40 is readily accessible via a perspex cover and can be removed by removing 4 screws. 

I have included some pics of the unit.

 

Not sure of the set up in the Delaware?

 

 

 

Neil

08:26 PM   30-Mar-17

As you are loosing all Motorhome power when the marker fuse is removed, I suspect you have a "backfeed" through the marker fuse suggesting that you have lost a power feed somewhere. The other possibility could be loss of an earth feed/ connection. 

Check continuity of all fuses first.

Sublime

10:32 AM   20-Apr-17

Geraldine

Finally found the problem and it was under the box where the fuses are, the red connection had started melting together so confusing everything.  Not sure what caused this but at least we are now sorted.  Always a bit scarey when the electrics play up in these vehicle!!

ELECTRICAL 230V AC

Storing Electric cable

by Gail and Shona

[ 3 ]

Gail and Shona

10:56 AM   17-Sep-18

We find our cable is quite stiff and unruly when we try to store it. Presently sits in a plastic tub, but gets tangled as we try to use it. Does anyone know if it can be wound on to reel (like a hose holder)? Do they get too hot if they are wound up? TIA for any advice.

Les

11:34 AM   17-Sep-18

Tuakau

Hi . Don't use a electric lead wound on a drum for supplying power. If you do want to use it ,unwind it all first ,as can get hot and burn while wound up.Les

RSUP

02:09 PM   17-Sep-18

Taupo

Les is quite correct, if the cord is on a reel it should be completely unwound before use. The heating is due to induction The cheap PVC they use for the flexible cord becomes very stiff in the cold I use TPE which remains flexible.

Red phase light

by John M

[ 3 ]

John M

03:49 AM   08-Jul-18

Help please, my Red Phase neon is permanently on.  In Europe phase is a regular issue and we are equipped with phase reversing cables and additional phase testers, so this is something I can usually deal with. 

 

Part way through our last camp stay the phase light came on and I could not correct it.  Now at a new camp (new supply) and after trying all my tricks I cannot get rid of the phase light.

 

My phase tester lights up all three neons which is not an allowed state, ie it should not light more than two of the three neons at any time.

 

I have emailed Tim at Sargents but as it is Saturday night may not hear back.

 

so just wondering if anyone here has had this curious fault.  We have a Comanche with EC500.

 

Thanks

John

at the bottom of a Fiord!

Norway

John M

06:21 PM   14-Jul-18

Well it took six days for Sargent to reply to my (third) email for assistance.

They said it was an external issue and that I should call an electrician.  Really? An electrician would take one look and tell me to call Sargent!

 

I persisted that the fault has occurred in the past three camp sites.

In retrospect they may be right but their reply didn’t definitively say with explanation that the symptom was certainly an external power problem.  I felt fobbed off.

 

However researching in the Caravan Club book they say that Norway has a national grid unlike anyother(?) and that phase and earth issues are common.  So I shall assume for now that this is just an external earth issue and wait another six days until we reach Sweden again. If the phase light stays on then I’ll know we have a van issue.

 

I’m disappointed that Sargent couldn’t say yes it is an earth issue, rather than suspect you have an earth issue.

 

In NZ you will seldom or never see the phase light come on, but in Europe there is no phase and neutral, just earth plus two other wires, and the power outlets can be wired either way.  So we carry phase testers and reversing adaptors.

 

JohnM

Bergen

John M

05:12 PM   21-Jul-18

We are back in Sweden now and the problem of the Red Phase indicator has gone.  

If the light was on in every one of five Norwegian camps then safe to conclude there is an issue with Norway’s power system.

The Caravan Club Manual warns of phase and grounding issues.

Sargent eventually advised me that the supply there does upset “sensitive electronic equipment” but then retracted their statement saying instead that they had made an error and Norway is the same as the rest of Europe?

Moving on now...

JohnM

Orebro

ABB Circuit Breaker

by Joyce

[ 2 ]

Joyce

03:25 AM   07-Nov-17

Tauranga

Hi  All

 

Does anyone know where I can buy an ABB Circuit Breaker   2CSR255150R1164     DSN201 C16 A30, and if so aproximately how much it is.  I live in Tauranga area but as its small it doesnt really matter where from as it would be easy to post.    Many Thanks Joyce

RSUP

05:54 AM   07-Nov-17

Taupo

Hi Joyce,

What is wrong with your  2CSR255150R1164, did it fail a WoEF?

     

It does not need to be a ABB brand RCBO, as long as it is a Type A for NZ, 16amp,30mA then it will comply.

Give me a call on 021 613 448 and I will help you out.     

Truma 240v selection

by golfbuddy

[ 3 ]

golfbuddy

09:32 PM   25-Jul-17

We are new to the motorhome world and need some advise. Can anyone please advise what setting needs to selected ie 1 "bolt" or 2 "bolts" of lightning when hooked up to power when setting up the Truma.

 

Much appreciated.

 

Deon

Mike & Chris

10:04 PM   25-Jul-17

North Canterbury

Hi Deon

One "bolt" will use 900 watts and two "bolts" 1800 watts... what you select depends on the available supply. In theory some camps may have a limited supply or if you are using a small generator then one "bolt" may be more appropriate.

Mike

golfbuddy

11:02 PM   28-Jul-17

Awesome, much appreciated.

UK to NZ 240V electrical socket conversion

by NZCamper2go

[ 6 ]

NZCamper2go

12:37 PM   21-Jun-16

Manly

Hi there. We are just in the process of bringing over a new Imala 720 to NZ. One of the things needed on arrival will be to arrange the conversion to NZ 240V sockets. Has anyone had to go through this process before and could give some suggestions on who to contact. We are in the Auckland area but it doesnt have to be local to us.

 

One item which I have drawn a blank on, is the replacement of the "Pop up Sockets" in the kitchen area. I have contacted Kengo in Hong Kong who weren't particularly helpful and even suggested that the conversion to NZ sockets within the existing tower, was not possible. I find this hard to believe.

 

I am happy to replace the whole tower but wondered if anyone knew of an NZ distributor who I can contact to obtain the replacement unit.

 

If there are any other "conversion" issues or tips anyone has out there, it would be great if you could let me know.

 

Any help and guidance would be very much appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

Paul and Amanda Pearson

 

 

John_1

12:52 PM   21-Jun-16

Tauranga

We had all our conversions, electric & gas, done by RV Lifestyle in Hewletts Rd Mt Maunganui. Guy to contact is Warren McDonald, really good to deal with. Not sure about the pop up sockets but can see no reason why the NZ ones wouldn't fit straight in as per the others in the vehicle. 

Rob and Pat

12:54 PM   21-Jun-16

North Canterbury

Have a look at this seller for replacement AC sockets. 

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/caravans-motorhomes/parts-accessories/lighting/auction-1107841212.htm.

 

In my 2011 Delaware the AC sockets had been replaced with NZ standard flush plates. They just cover the holes for the UK ones and may be a cheaper option for you.

 

Rob

geebeealan

01:02 PM   21-Jun-16

Kaiapoi

Try The PDL 570S power point managed to fit these into the original fittings by autotrail with a bit of filing

Alan

Rob and Pat

01:08 PM   21-Jun-16

North Canterbury

Here is a pop up socket with NZ sockets. It may help.

 

http://power-tower.com.au/product/powertower/

 

Rob

NZCamper2go

08:53 AM   22-Jun-16

Manly

Thanks for all the comments here... much appreciated. Paul

UK to NZ electrical conversion

by Brett and Kerri

[ 8 ]

Brett and Kerri

03:07 PM   24-Aug-15

Porirua

Hi all We are new members and think the autotrail club membership is a neat idea.  have looked at all the tips and tricks and found them very helpful.  We have just imported a Companche and need to change over the electrical plugs.  We wondered if anyone had been able to source their own NZ configured electical power point plug inserts?  We could use the standard plates, but thought perhaps there was another option so we can keep the electrical sockets flush as they are now.. any help greatly appreciated. 

 

 

 

 

geebeealan

04:27 PM   24-Aug-15

Kaiapoi

Try this have seen it in black also

 

 

Trademe 935444920

Brett and Kerri

08:18 PM   25-Aug-15

Porirua

Thanks very much, will take a look

 

 

geebeealan

12:09 PM   26-Aug-15

Kaiapoi

Also now found the black one

 

Trademe 936046329

Avocadopicker

09:44 PM   27-Dec-15

Katikati

I've used these: http://www.pdl.co.nz/product-details.aspx?rcat=products&catid=696&id=675 in black, with a homemade retainer made from polycarbonate. It replaces the UK socket just about perfectly, retaining the original backplate and cover. You may have to 'relieve' the inside corners of the clip-on coverplate but otherwise perfect in-place conversion. I've done two complete Delawares now.

Geeco

07:41 PM   03-May-16

NSW Australia

While looking for flyscreen components for my Tracker FB Hab door I came across who I think looks like the source of the 240v outlets. Probably too late for the origional poster Brett but may be useful for others. www.thecbecentre.co.uk. They do not show an AU/NZ fitting however an email to them would sort it out. cheers Gary C.

Avocadopicker

09:02 PM   05-Apr-17

Katikati

fyi cbecentre don't carry AU/NZ fitting and have no idea about them either. CBE in Italy don't know either. The newly imported vans now seem to use Berker (German) components where AU/NZ sockets are an option.

Krauts

09:54 PM   09-Aug-18

Tauranga

Re the pull up power tower in our Imala 730. NZ price $420. Ebay  price delivered approx $50. Also has a USB charging point. I have a spare one available 

FLY SCREEN DOOR REPAIRS

Fly screen repairs

by Bernie

[ 1 ]

Bernie

08:28 PM   29-Jan-19

Kawerau

We have just had our 2 bedroom blinds repaired as the cords in the mesh blinds had freyed and broken within 3 years of use. We have found a blind man in tauraga that has done an excelent job in repairing them His contact number is Russell 0274761251

replace mesh

by dusty

[ 2 ]

dusty

01:22 PM   25-Jan-19

Has any member located a supplier for fly screens and habitation door material. Our door has come to the end of its time and need new material so as to restring it.

Geeco

02:03 PM   25-Jan-19

NSW Australia

I had my habitation door mesh and strings replaced by a company that sells similar style domestic flyscreen systems. I have also just replaced several of the window cassettes. I found the small metal eyelets had rusted causing the strings to frey then break. We spend a lot of time on the coast so sea spray most probably the cause.cheers,

security replacement

by Dick_1

[ 2 ]

Dick_1

05:30 PM   08-Aug-18

Qld

 

 

Hi all,has anyone had the requirement to look for a security screen door as replacement for the stock Autotrail unit ??

I have seen various caravan makes listed that can have a replacement but have not noticed any motor homes especially autotrail.Thanks

Dick_1

12:10 PM   28-May-19

Qld

Hi all,further to my original post i have since had the cords break and as i was not happy with no security on the sliding screen door i decided to have a go at making a replacement swinging flyscreen door instead.Thought it not much point to try for a heavy security door considering the large windows that are a security risk anyway,so i opted for a f/screen door only.Because of the four small radius corners my local screen manufactuer thought it almost impossible.

Well after recycling some material from a large sliding door and much riviting/deriviting three times to get the right fit.much sanding of the alloy corner brackets,and welding two 50mm butt hinges to form a double hinge,its mounted and works.

Can only get it to open out to about 80-90 degrees but is workable.

As i used recycleable material the cost was about $80.00 (Whitco lock $55.00)

Labour about 40 hrs or so.

Next trip is testing stage.

 

Will try and include some photo,s but not sure how to attach them ??

 

Cheers Dick..

Flyscreen door

by dusty

[ 4 ]

dusty

12:43 PM   23-Apr-18

 Fly Screen Door

Many thanks to Geebeealaw for your words and diagram, worked a treat and cost $8.00 for the new cord. Thanks A.M.H no need to pay $850 for new screen door when not needed.

ColininChCh

01:06 PM   23-Apr-18

Christchurch

Hi Dusty

 

I don't see the pervious posts and the response from Geebeealaw. we have an issue with broken strings on our screen door as well and would like some help on how to dismantle and repair it.

Cheers 

geebeealan

01:18 PM   23-Apr-18

Kaiapoi

Under Autotrail fly screen door

 

Alan

dusty

01:34 PM   23-Apr-18

thanks alan, yes i posted first enquire under autotrail issues. And with the instructions was easy fix. Got the cord from mitre 10 just took a sample with me and they were very helpfull.

Flyscreen door

by dusty

[ 5 ]

dusty

02:10 PM   10-Apr-18

Autotrail Delaware. Can anyone please advise is you have had the cord on the flyscreen on the habitation door break and if so have you had it fixed in NZ and how much it cost? or if you have had to replace the whole thing and once again  cost?

geebeealan

06:21 PM   10-Apr-18

Kaiapoi

http://autotrailusers.nz/ForumFiles/1012/Fly%20screan%20cords.pdf

 

sorry for it being in hand writing I found this on a UK site may be of some help

 

Alan

Geeco

06:22 PM   10-Apr-18

NSW Australia

Dusty, I have had the cord replaced in my flyscreen door and two of the windows. In fact the repairer has had four goes at repairing the door. The cord kept on breaking. It turns out that there is a little ferrule in each corner that the cord goes through the central hole. They have  corroded internally ( thus took a while to Id) we think from salt air as we are often near the ocean. Hopefully it will be ok this time after the ferrules were renewed. I have used a local (Sydney) domestic concertina type flyscreen maker as none of the RV guys were interested. Door cost A$130 , window A$60. A new door here is A$300 odd. They are certainly are IMHO a weak spot in an otherwise very good motorhome. Hope this helps. Cheers, Gary.

John M

06:46 PM   10-Apr-18

Dusty, I have done my own repairs to the windows which work in the same fashion, although there are two screens in one frame.

It looks formidable but is quite straight forward.  The hand written explanation is good, particularly the diagram.

Give it ago yourself, you can’t really damage it.

John M

 

Geeco

10:32 AM   11-Apr-18

NSW Australia

Alan, thank you for the attachment you posted it has given me the confidence to do the repair the next time it needs doing. Cheers, Gary.

Flyscreens

by Geeco

[ 9 ]

Geeco

05:52 PM   06-May-16

NSW Australia

I am experiencing premature wear on my flyscreens. Our AT is a 2015 Tracker FB first registered  Jan 2015 and has travelled 28,000 klms.

The habitation door screen has seriously stretched fabric and recently the cord on the bottom horizontal has broken.

A review of all the others indicates similar issues of stretching fabric. I am keen to identify if other owners have experienced similar issues and I would greatly appreciate any feedback you can offer.

I do plan to claim restitution under warranty but anticipate some resistance based on initial discussions with the Australian importer. I look forward to your feedback. Cheers, Gary C. 

Rob and Pat

08:50 AM   18-May-16

North Canterbury

I have not seen the fabric stretch but if the cords break or come loose it will allow the fabric to flop around which would give the appearance of stretching.

However I have had one of the cord guides on a blackout blind break which made the blind all floppy. I managed to reattach the guide using a small screw and then reattach the cords to the blind. 

 

Rob

Geeco

02:51 PM   18-May-16

NSW Australia

Thaks Rob for the feedback. The fabric on mine has stretched such that the habitation door screen has lost it's "set". I have discussed this with the importers and they have agreed to replace the affected screens, that is all except the big front roof screen. I hope when the new units are installed they last a little longer than the 12 odd months life of the initial items.cheers, Gary.

Rob and Pat

05:16 PM   18-May-16

North Canterbury

We are always carefull to make sure we never shut the door with the screen across

 

Rob

Geeco

07:07 PM   28-Sep-16

NSW Australia

Thought an update on the flyscreen issue might be useful to others with the same problem. After a deal of communication with the AT importer I was refused warranty (long story) , however they were happy to sell me a new habitation screen door for A$520. This forced me to look at my options. I located a domestic flyscreen door company not too far from where I live. End result I removed the door and he replaced the material & cord for A$130. The fabric is slightly heavier so should last longer than OE. Once I work out how to remove the window screens I will have those reconditioned as well.

Peter McCormack

03:23 PM   11-Dec-17

Queensland

G'day Geeco

 

My screens are also stretched and lost their set.  Where did you get yours done?  I am on the Sunshine Coast, Qld.

 

Peter

Geeco

03:48 PM   01-Jan-18

NSW Australia

Peter I am based in Sydney so not that much help to you sorry. The company I used is called Artilux Pty Ltd. if you look online for companies that supply & fit the domestic versions of the flyscreen door they should be able to help. I was told it is possible to reset the pleats with heat, I assume by ironing the material.  All my window screens are progressively failing due to the cord freying possibly due to sunlight. At $60 per screen to renew the cord it is not a major expense.If I can help further call me on 0458 592 844. cheers Gary.

MarkRoaming

04:04 PM   01-Jan-18

Hi Gary, random questions to a fellow Sydneysider..... have you seen any Tributes on your travels?  Do you have A/C in your habitation area and did it come fitted?  Do you have any knowledge of importing privately into NSW?

Thanks
Mark

Geeco

06:20 PM   05-Feb-18

NSW Australia

Sorry I have taken so long to reply however I have only just noticed your post. I have not seen any Tributes in AU on my travels. I understand no company is importing this brand, however there may be a few examples that have been privately imported. I have not imported a MH into AU however I have completed some rough costings and looked at the compliance issues to see how difficult it would be and if the savings justified the warranty risk on the habitation section. I understand Fiat will provide a 2 year warranty on private imports. My AT came with factory fitted AC in the hab area. I understand all AT's imported by the official importer EliteRV are fitted with AC. IMHO this is a necessary option when travelling in very hot summers. Our first trip to Adelaide we experienced temps in low 40's and it saved the day. If I can help further let me know. 

Insect Screen door repairs/replacement

by Jo Wilson

[ 7 ]

Jo Wilson

02:04 PM   28-May-15

Papakura

The insect screen door on our 2010 Autotrail has now broken a cord and when pulling across a cord is not retracting. The door has also increasingly becoming out of shape. Can anyone tell me how to remove the frame so that I can attempt to repair? Maybe I need a whole new screen and if so has anyone sourced one? Look forward to responses. Jo Wilson

Alistair & Stella

10:52 AM   01-Jun-15

Christchurch

I look forward to hearing anyone's experiences with this as I have the same thing happening with bedroom ceiling window ( before I pull it to pieces and make it worse ) they are obviously quite a delicate lightweight unit like many of the fittings in these autotrails!

Jo Wilson

04:54 PM   29-Jun-15

Papakura

Have sourced a replacement insect screen from Dometic NZ through Chris at Auckland Coach and Motorhomes, (chris@aklmotorhomes.co.nz), 39D Rennie Drive, Airport Oaks. Cost $135 + gst + freight and then the cost for Chris to install it.  Chris was recommended by Dometic and we had to purchase through him as Dometic NZ do not sell direct to the public.  Dometic were very helpful. 

Jo Wilson

04:01 PM   01-Oct-15

Papakura

Finally got an appointment at Auckland Coach and Motorhomes to have the replacement screen door installed only to find that Dometic had supplied an insect screen for a window door!  Went back to Dometic and am now required to contact Autotrail for the model number of the door unit installed in our motorhome so that Dometic NZ can order a replacement which will not arrive till sometime next year.  At least from Dometic i learned how to remove the door unit so will attempt to replace the cord myself before ordering a whole new unit.

Jo Wilson

09:55 AM   11-Mar-16

Papakura

Couldn't figure out how to repair the insect screen door so when it finally stopped working I purchased a replacement from AMH at a cost of $600.  Easy to install but more of a cream colour than the original grey but only really noticeable by me who fitted it.  These doors must have a short life span because AMH already had some coming into NZ when I made my order.

Rob and Pat

10:07 AM   07-May-16

North Canterbury

As you have replaced your insect screen door can you provide some detail as to how you removed the old screen. 

 

thanks

 

Rob

Jo Wilson

10:13 AM   24-May-16

Papakura

Replacing the screen unit is simple.  Remove the screws from the bottom plate then lift unit up and out as it is sitting on the shafts of screws on each side.  The holes on the side of the unit are like an upside down key hole - circle at the bottom to fit over the screw head then the slot to slide  the unit down the screw shaft.

FRIDGE--DOMETIC--THETFORD

Broken shelves

by John M

[ 4 ]

John M

05:41 AM   23-Feb-19

After a couple of months touring Southern Italy and Sicily with a fully laden fridge, the very rough roads there destroyed our fridge shelves.  Well more or less, all three shelves had cracks across them front to back, they had not yet totally  separated but the cracks were only just hanging in there when we fortunately spotted them.

 

A quick solution was required, one that didn’t involve messy glues that would cosmetically damage them further, and a solution that offer enough support for my wife’s buying passion!

 

I found some aluminium extrusions that fitted across the shelves, seating neatly into the shelf’s plastic form.  I inserted one inside the front edge and another inside the rear.  The upper shelf differed from the other two so different aluminium forms were selected to fit.  To fasten these bars across the shelf I used 5 mm stainless nuts and bolts.  I fitted a bolt at each end of the bar and one either side of the cracks, four per bar.

 

Fortunately the DIY stores here have ranges of plain aluminium and ranges of coated aluminium, I was able to find a chrome like product.  While obviously repaired it looks purposeful?

 

That was 18 months ago, and no further deterioration has evolved.

 

JohnM

Benicassim 

 

 

Geeco

12:03 PM   23-Feb-19

NSW Australia

John, the roads in the country areas of AU are no better than the south of Italy. I have also had two cracked shelves in my frig. My solution was to place rigid thin strips of clear plastic on the underside & fastened with clear Araldite. I have had no problems since. I am not sure if there is a better plastic material available to the manufacturer  but an upgrade would be in order.cheers,

John M

10:07 PM   23-Feb-19

Hi Greco,

I can well imagine the Aussie outback is way worse than Italy.  On the other hand we had one particular elevated motorway where the speed limit was set down to 60 kph, and had been that way for some years.  It lasted for about a 20 km stretch.  Even the GPS had the lower limit.  Sadly Italy and the UK have seriously damaged roads that neither country is likely to be able to remedy, the problem is now so great and widespread.

 

I was concerned that a plastic patch would not support the shelf nor make it stronger than it originally was, where as with aluminium bars across its width, it now has more rigidity and support for heavier loads.

 

Question though, has the glue discoloured the plastic?

 

Regards

John

Geeco

10:39 AM   24-Feb-19

NSW Australia

The two part epoxy I used from memory (away in MH currently) is a clear finish product from Araldite. The original Araldite does set to a light yellowish colour, so no discolouring. Cheers, Gary.

Fridge replacement

by Grant and Gail

[ 7 ]

Grant and Gail

09:19 PM   15-Dec-18

Christchurch

Hi. Has anyone replaced their Dometic fridge in an AT Delaware?

How do you remove it from the rv? There doesn’t seem to be enough room through the door?

 

Sue

10:43 PM   15-Dec-18

Wellington

Hi Grant and Gail

Yes I have replaced my Thetford fridge, it failed twice so didn't want to spend any more money on it.  It certainly was a mission though, you are correct, it does not fit through the habitation door.  I replaced it with a 255 litre Samsung Inverter fridge which runs on power and an inverter when driving and off grid (no gas) and it works perfectly for me.  I had a very clever friend who was able to remove the passenger door, passenger seat, kitchen tap to get it in and there was quite a bit of work to get it to fit but was totally worth it.  If you're up in Welly would be happy for you to take a look.

John M

10:48 PM   15-Dec-18

A guy I met here last week with a 2010 Tag axel AT, Cherokee I think(?) said he had just replaced his.  He said the price after shopping around was £1200/$2400.  He claimed they only last about 8 years?  But I know he used gas rather than pay the extortionate power charges here. 

So it must be simple enough to remove.  

 

The AT help desk will advise you.

 

FYI, we pay about NZ 80c  a kilowatt in European camps.  But the power is included in most short stay rates.  Over winter we pay about $8-10 a day for power, using a mix or electric and gas.  Each pitch is metred, and we are asked to pay monthly although not demanded to do so.

 

As a social observation, the Brits are still paranoid about budgeting and the cost of everything, especially fuel cost, as a result of post WW2 shortages and rationing. It is very noticeable.

 

John

Vila Joiosa

Grant and Gail

10:18 PM   23-Dec-18

Christchurch

Hi Sue.

Where did you buy the fridge?

How much solar and battery have you got?

 

What model AT?

thanks

Grant

Sue

10:26 PM   24-Dec-18

Wellington

Hi Grant

 

Bought the fridge from Noel Leeming, with NZMCA discount card.  I have 550 watts of solar, the battery is a 200 AH Lithium, runs off a 600 watt inverter and I have a 2015 Delaware.  Merry Christmas

Grant and Gail

09:45 PM   26-Dec-18

Christchurch

Hi Sue, I’m seriously considering doing the same as we have had so many problems with the original Dometic RD8555. Mainly not being cool enough on 12 volt while driving. Have you monitored the temperature in your new Samsung fridge and is it always in range 3-5C? My solar and battery setup is very similar to yours and I have a 2000 watt inverter so should operate ok. Regards Grant

Sue

11:07 PM   26-Dec-18

Wellington

Hi Grant, I have had no problems with cooling while driving, fluctuates between 4 and 10 degrees, same when on power, currently at Papamoa and was 34 degrees inside Moho today and fridge at 10 degrees.  I have had no regrets changing fridge/freezer as performs much better than the original Thetford I had.

Fridge not working on 12 v dc

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:29 AM   24-Jun-18

Tuakau

FRIDGE NOT WORKING ON 12V


AT NZ Facebook Post:

 I have a 2015 Tracker FB with a problem with my fridge is a Thetford N3000 Series model that won't run on12volts while mobile. It runs on gas and 240volt just fine. I have had it at RV Dreams in lower Hutt however they were unable to get to fix the problem even a new mother board made no difference.

So after $250 and no result was disappointing. All the fuses are fine apparently. I have found that if I drive with the fridge on it drains the vehicle battery, if I turn it off and travel it doesn't drain the battery.


Comments:


-  This may be stating the obvious but it sounds like the 12 volt supply from vehicle battery to the element is drawing too much. Although this should be protected by fuse. Has the element been tested? Has the alternator been checked? Can you connect a meter to the 12v in supply at the back of the fridge to check how much power is being drawn?

 

-  RV Dreams checked all those things you mentioned. They even pulled out the 12 volt element all seemed fine on the amp meter. I’m having difficulty in finding a servicing agent that may have some clues on how to fix in or near Palmerston North. 

 

-  I understand your frustration. I think you need a second opinion and maybe contact Thetford and Autotrail UK for help. Meanwhile you can check the element yourself by running on battery with engine going and touching the element carefully) to see if it gets hot. You could also connect directly to back of fridge from the vehicle battery (with engine running) and check amps being drawn. My Domestic 12 volt element is 170 watt so must draw about 14amps. I assume Thetford is similar. This large draw is what can flatten a battery unless the engine and alternator are recharging. My experience is the 12 volt element is next to useless and at best may maintain the fridge temp. while driving short distances on cool days.

 

- While the first thought is that the fridge is faulty it may be telling you something different. If the fridge element is drawing high current then it is probably not faulty and the element is working. So looking back down the 12V supply it is fused at the EM40 unit behind the driver’s seat, the fuse must be ok because the fridge is drawing current so the only thing to look for at this unit would be corrosion on the terminals. On the other side of the EM40 it is deriving supply from the alternator possibly via a relay so that there is only power when the engine is running. When you say the fridge flattens the vehicle battery is this an assumption because the vehicle 12v items don’t work properly eg head lights dim or media unit plays up, etc. Or does it mean that when you stop the vehicle the battery is flat and the vehicle won’t start. If it is not the latter then you have to rationalise that the alternator is not delivering the required charge voltage under load. This could be caused by loose terminals or a loose or dirty earth strap which I have read about causing a number of faults. Good luck with your investigations.

 

- To begin-your problem with the fridge is easier than you think but requires some electrical ability to fix.  My 2017 RB had the same problem with the fridge. It stopped working on 12V shortly after we bought it. Fine on gas and 230v. I contacted Thetford UK who sent me a list of fault codes that would appear on the control panel when certain buttons were pushed. The fault code confirmed no 12V supply. Now the fun starts to diagnose the problem. The 12v is supplied on the D+ circuit from the EM40 panel behind the seat. The EM40 panel tested OK for Fuses and loose and dodgy contacts. Right- problem must be at the fridge end. Logic dictates that because no 12V was getting to the fridge there must be a fault in either the cable (a break caused by poor install) or a faulty connection in a connector block. The easiest to check was the connector block theory so tracing the 12V input loom back from the point of entry at the fridge (this is the loom without the green earth) I dismantled the first block and YES there it was. A very brown connection quietly shorting away so after fixing that, my problem was gone.

 

- thanks very much for your very informative information. I have looked at the loom as suggested and I think you are on the right track. I have found that the white plastic connection block is quite loose. It does not seem to be obviously wrong apart from being very easy to unplug. If I wobble it, it does seem to effect the fridge control panel all be it briefly before going back to fault mode. So I have put it all back together will try and find someone with electrical now how that I don't have. I really appreciate all the very helpful replies I have received.

Fridge Problems

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:59 AM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau

 

FRIDGE HUMMING
AT NZ Facebook post:   The fridge in our AT Serrano is making very loud humming noise, any suggestions as to fix?


Comments:
  I think you will find that it is the two fans humming due to them working due to the heat in the back of the fridge.
  Do they turn off by themselves? Never happened before and it’s colder now than it’s been all summer
  Yes they turn off. Can be adjusted next to the burner is a sensor with two wires on it all you do is move the sensor away from the burner by siding it on the black pipe it is clamped on....First see if that is the noise you hear by taking the bottom vent off and look up the inside of the back left side to see if the fan is going when you hear the noise. The second fan is mounted higher you won’t see it, don’t worry too much on a hot day, cold days you don’t need the fans so do the adjustment I said on the burner pipe

Fridge Not Cooling

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:55 AM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau

FRIDGE NOT COOLING
AT NZ Facebook post:  Had a problem with our fridge not cooling or freezing at all in our Auto trail FB Tracker. Went into see Paul at Ovaland Motorhomes in Green St Hamilton. Sorted the problem in no time. The gas pipes had rust particles in them and gas could not pass through. He told us that they should be serviced every year or so. Fantastic service. Recommend this company. 

Comment:
  The rust is caused by condensation in the gas lines. 
  That's something to check. Did they replace the pipes ?
  No they cleaned them, didn't need replacing.
  Same issue with our fridge & Paul at Ovaland diagnosed that same problem and fixed today. Interesting.

Winter Vent Covers

by Angela O

[ 6 ]

Angela O

09:05 AM   09-Jun-18

Whangaparaoa

I’m interested to know if anyone uses vent covers on their fridge vents in winter or in storage.  Thetford recommends fitting covers to the vents when temps get low and I’m travelling to Queenstown this winter where temps will be well below freezing overnight.  Do I need to source a couple of winter vent covers for the trip?  Trouble is these are hard to find in NZ...Trade Me has them for around NZ$70 out of the UK which seems excessive for a piece of plastic and I need two!  Recommendations on what you use in winter and any supplier contacts would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Angela

John M

09:47 AM   09-Jun-18

I have never used mine here in Europe but we seldom get below zero, nor have I seen anyone else use them.   

Why not cut pieces of thick cardboard from a substantial carton and tape them to the inside of the grilles.  So long as you don’t have horizontal rain they should last the season?  Or better still, buy a cheap exercise mat and cut that to size.  

The grilles come out easily once you work out how for the first time.

Also, if you bought the van new, they should have been supplied with the fridge.

John M

Kent

Geeco

08:39 PM   09-Jun-18

NSW Australia

Angela, Our Tracker FB is stored out in the open so I fit my when the vehicle is not being used to prevent any moisture entering the frig  cavity. I use a high pressure washer to clean the vehicle so again the covers keep most of the water away from the back of the unit. Our MH came with the covers.we on occasions travel into the snow country with around zero temps but have not found it necessary to fit the covers to improve frig performance. 

John M

02:10 AM   12-Jun-18

Hi Angela 

I just saw Thetford fridge covers here in Kent at Songhurst Caravans, for £12.99 each, $26 dollars each.  I may be worth asking some of the bigger UK retailers for a price to ship two out to you?

FYI

Regards

John M

Richard & Kay

03:55 PM   25-Jun-18

Auckland

Word of warning if using them. We had them fitted for cleaning and to stop insects from getting in.

Went away one weekend and couldn’t understand why the fridge was cooling properly . When My wife felt the heat on the bench top , I realised Imhad forgotten to take the covers off. Took a long time for the fridge to cool down after . Hopefully no,long term damage was done.😅

Angela O

07:44 AM   30-Jun-18

Whangaparaoa

Thanks for the feedback guys. In the end I made my own using some corflute board (like the real estate signs) purchased from Bunnings for $10, and copying pics and measurements off Thetford sites. Managed to make two covers out of one sheet of corflute with enough left over to make a third cover if I stuffed it up.  They do the trick for low temps and for storage. Happy to share measurements, instructions etc, just ask and I'll post. 

Fridge performance with a dirty jet

by Chris Gaelic

[ 2 ]

Chris Gaelic

05:07 PM   28-Jan-18

We noticed our Dometic fridge temperatures went high even though the blue light wasn't flashing. The temperature in the freezer was around -2 deg C, so not so good for our frozen goods. The fridge worked fine on 230v and 12v, so we guessed that it was likely to be a partially blocked jet resulting in a smaller flame

 

We got the jet blown out by AVI-TECH when we returned to Auckland, and it should have been all good. We turned the fridge back on and set it on gas and left it overnight.

 

However, the fridge now didn't cool at all, and we ended up with the freezer at room temperature. I couldn't hear the gas burning, or even the clicks when it lights the gas. So I turned the fridge off and called AVI-TECH who came back the following morning. When he arrived and turned the fridge back on and we could hear the clicking when the gas ignited, and could hear it burning. The technician checked the freezer temperature with his super accurate digital thermometer, and the freezer had cooled by a few degrees after around 20 minutes. Embarrasing!!

 

But then I remembered how a similar thing happened while we were driving a rented van in Europe. It had a Dometic fridge which couldn't cope with the over 40 degrees temperatures. I tried turning it on and off multiple times, but to no effect. Even when it became cooler outside, the fridge refused to start. So, I turned off the fridge and I found a Dometic service agent. When he turned the fridge back on, it all sprang back to life.

 

His explanation was that Dometic fridges are so intelligent that, if they detect mulitple attempts to restart, they will assume that it is a serious fault and ignore any further attempts to restart. To override this, you need to power off for 4 or 5 hours (overnight) and it will reset and return to normal. 

Chris Gaelic

05:19 PM   28-Jan-18

As a corollary to the above, I spent $30 on a digital thermometer from Jaycar:

 

It's supposed to be accurate to within 1 deg C, and you can set an alarm if the temperature in the freezer goes too high. Given the consequences of loosing a freezer full of goodies, it should be cheap insurance.

Rmd 8555 fridge blowing 3amp fuse

by Rob

[ 8 ]

Rob

09:43 AM   14-Jun-17

bucks

My Dometic RMD8555 keeps blowing the 3am plug fuse it will not work on 230V. can any one help please. 

Les

10:01 AM   14-Jun-17

Tuakau

Hi Rob,

 

You Must be a light sleeper to blow a fuse at 3am, Try a stronger one.

 

Les

Rob

10:17 AM   14-Jun-17

bucks

Les I have tried that with a 5A no good blows as well. The gas and 12v are ok. Rob

Les

10:46 AM   14-Jun-17

Tuakau

Hi Rob,

 

First meter heating element on back chimney that you get a omh reading it could be aroung 40 omh it may be burnt out if it is a short curcuit.

 

Or its the Electronic's that has 2 amp fuse 

 

Les

Rob

06:48 PM   14-Jun-17

bucks

Hi Les When i change the 3 amp plug fuse under the fringe it blows. The glass fuse on the pcb is ok. The first meter heating element. Where is this located. Rob

Les

07:22 PM   14-Jun-17

Tuakau

Hi Rob, Check wiring out at bottom of the Furnace Exhaust tube to see 12v dc heating element and 230v ac "Turn power off" and look for a testing point near by maybe a junction....I think you will fined a cooked 230v ac element for it to be blowing fuses. Not a hard job to replace it so i have read.... Les

Rob

07:31 PM   14-Jun-17

bucks

Les Any links to other threads. Rob

Les

08:25 PM   14-Jun-17

Tuakau

I dont have any, but there is lots of threads on forums.Les

12 volt not working

by Grant and Gail

[ 7 ]

Grant and Gail

09:28 PM   15-Apr-17

Christchurch

Hi. Today my Dometic rmd8555 fridge/freezer decided to play up.

On AES it makes a clicking sound (not the igniter) and it doesn't switch from 12 volt to either gas or 230 volt.

On manual it will operate on 230volt and gas but on 12 volt it makes the clicking sound.

Any clues?

Grant

 

 

Les

09:28 AM   16-Apr-17

Tuakau

Hi,

I would check the interface unit EM40, which operates the Fridge with the motor running, which you need for 12v dc operation to work your fridge.

Located behind the drivers seat, check the the fridge fuse holder that it is firmly holding the fuse or maybe blown.

Les

Boltman

10:19 AM   16-Apr-17

Whangarei

I had exactly the same problem it was fixed by City Motorhomes Whangarei. The problem was a joint In the EM40 fuse holder was short flashing. Originally the fridge wouldn't work on 12v was repaired by AMH unsuccessfully. Started clicking in back of fridge. City Motorhomes tracked the fault to the poor repair. Resoldered by a skilled trades person. No problems since. 

Grant and Gail

03:47 PM   18-Apr-17

Christchurch

Hi. I'm not sure what happened but the problem has gone away.

I turned off all 230 and12 volt power for 10 mins then tried again and it's now ok.

 

I did check the fuse and holder and they look ok. I did notice some signs of moisture around the fuses so gave these a good clean. All this was done after the system seemed to have reset itself.

 

The moisture is most likely from a 4 litre water bottle I store behind the drivers seat. Silly really putting it over the fuses. ☹️.

 

Thanks for the advice.

Grant and Gail

04:19 PM   23-Feb-18

Christchurch

Hi. Further to my post on this subject last year.

Dometic RMD 8555 12 volt operation.

 

I recently had the fridge checked again by a different Dometic agent as the fridge is useless on 12 volt. They checked the 12 volt element, 240 volt element, cleaned the burner and flue, added a Dometic external fan with thermocouple and installed a flue vent in the side of the van.

 

All this was done to improve fridge performance in all modes.

Nothing was found but it was suggested the 12 volt wiring may be affecting the elements performance so I made a cable to connect the truck battery directly to the 12 volt element and drove for an hour. There was no improvement in fridge performance so I can assume it’s not the element or 12 volt wiring.

 

As the fridge performs ok on gas and 240 volt (at temps below about 25c anyway) can I assume it’s not the thermostat?

 

I am thinking of running the fridge off the inverter while driving but need an electrician to wire this for me. We are nervous about driving with the fridge on gas.

 

Does anyone know of an electrician in Christchurch who could do this work?

I have phoned electricians but they’re not interested.

 

Krauts

09:59 PM   09-Aug-18

Tauranga

We drove through Europe for 4 months without ever turning the gas off. Used about 2 kg gas per week. 

Avocadopicker

10:22 PM   09-Aug-18

Katikati

Just a thought.... it might be worth checking that your fridge connection to negative is good (i.e. ground or chassis connection). If that isn't 100% right it can cause some otherwise inexplicable problems (which wouldn't be improved by bypassing the 12v positive supply).

Fridge

by Paul

[ 5 ]

Paul

06:10 PM   03-Feb-17

Auckland 1025

I have a 2014 Dakota with a Thetford fridge / freezer which is problematic regarding dangerous temperatures for food.

ca anyone recommend a knowledgeable person to talk to about this in Auckland, Whangarei or surrounds. 

I don't know how to use a forum so is someone able to email me? 

Who is Les? How do I find him?

thanks kindly

Paul

 

RSUP

06:57 PM   03-Feb-17

Taupo

Hi Paul,

What is the problem?

Does the fridge display a fault code?

What is your email adress ?

I maybe able to help you.

Allan Hill

Registered Electrical Inspector/EWoF provider

Phone 021 613 448

 

Sublime

07:00 PM   03-Feb-17

Geraldine

We also have a dakato 2014 with same fridge. We have a a separate temp gauge so we always know what the temp is and whether we need to turn temp up or not. But we never let it run on the 12v as it can't keep temp up so we leave it on gas even when driving. I know most folks probably wouldn't but it has worked great ever since.

Paul

07:57 PM   03-Feb-17

Auckland 1025

Thank you. I am writing on Paul's behalf.

he has a fridge thermometer and it commonly reads 12-15 degrees on gas. It appears acceptable on 240 volt. 12 volt is poor also.

he will phone yo when he gets some decent coverage.

thanks again. 

Pauls mate

David Buxton

10:10 PM   03-Feb-17

Taupo

There's a special section on fridges in the 'Autotrail Issues' topics. 

If you are using a fridge temp gauge purchased from a hardware or kitchen store, don't rely on its accuracy. It could be 5 or more degrees out. I have checked several of these gauges with a mercury thermometer and have got variable results.

Fridge Temperature

by Kevin & Joy

[ 4 ]

Kevin & Joy

01:55 PM   01-Jan-17

Napier

Is anyone monitoring there fridge temperature this time of the year? At the moment only getting fridge down to 9c on gas😩

David Buxton

02:06 PM   07-Jan-17

Taupo

You should be able to do better than that unless outside temps are higher than 30c and you dont have a tropical rated fridge. Ours is a tropical rated Dometic fridge freezer (a warranty replacement from a troublesomeThetford.). We are currently getting 3c in the fridge and -11c in the freezer with it set on its second to coldest setting.  I was wanting more towards the recommended -18c in the freezer however when set on the coldest setting we got -13c and the fridge went to 1c which was too cold. this is with around 18c days. When we get summer temps (whenever that may be) our fridge wil probably perform a coupoe of degrees warmer than above.  These temps have been measured with an accurate mercury thermometer. the fridge thermometers bought from kitchen or hardware shops can be 5 or more degrees out so dont rely on these.  

Ross

09:20 AM   18-Jan-17

Taranaki

I purchased from Burnsco a bluetooth  temp guage  works on a cell phone ot tablet app . this also records the temps for over a few hours or days   . . with min / max  and actual temps  seems very accurate .  it  was not cheap at  around $50 .  I also  did some of the mods suggested by  Les  in the forum   [ thanks Les]  and that has made a lot off diffence    , you can now feel the  different temps of the air going into and out of the air vents [ and that is with out the fans running ]  . i also extended the  gas exhaust flue to  the proper dometic outside cover  with provison for the exhaust .and used some my race car tech and lagged the exhaust pipe  with exhaust wrap , ,  I did moniter the temps before and fafter the mods  and there was  a huge difference  for the better we got down to 1.5 c in the fridge before 8   degrees  on the same settings ,  hope that may help 

The Sutherlands

09:43 AM   18-Jan-17

Auckland

Got to this discussion a bit late but the fridge issue is a standard problem for all non Tropical rated fridges and the absolute minimum modification required is a fan in the back cavity. My first summer (2013/2014) in my wagon was an absolute nightmare trying to keep the fridge cold but now with the fan and a flue modification the beer and the Chardy are lovely and cold. Les is a great font of knowlegde on modifications and when my new Tracker arrives I will be doing another new fan and sink drainining mod's as well as a new solar set up

Cleaning fridge burner

by Kevin & Joy

[ 2 ]

Kevin & Joy

05:01 PM   31-Oct-16

Napier

I have a Tracker FB, and I want to clean the fridge burner as recommended in the Dometic book, took the outside cover of to see the burner higher up the back of the fridge. So the question is, do I have to take the fridge out to get to the burner?

Boltman

12:16 PM   23-Jan-17

Whangarei

The pyrometer insulater on my burner cracked at ranfurly. Dometic told me to contact Dunedin RV. Brian at Dunedin went out of his way to send me a new burner. The Courier delivered it to the NZMCA park at 7.30am fridge was up and running by 8am. I would recommend them to anyone in the south of the South Island. I have never had such good service from a motorhome company.

Fridge stopped working on 12v

by Boltman

[ 2 ]

Boltman

04:39 PM   20-Oct-16

Whangarei

Just checking every thing out to go to Kaponga. And found when I run the engine the fridge won't run on 12v. And the step won't retract. Checked all fuses all ok. I would appreciate any ideas.

David Buxton

08:58 PM   20-Oct-16

Taupo

I'm not sure why your fridge won't run on 12v - possibly a relay problem, however with regards to your step this was recorded at the Tech Session at the Levin Rally:

:Step  coming in and out part way.  Can be caused by water getting into the motor - also try using CRC on the moving joints. Can also be caused by a faulty thermo switch triggering when it shouldn't.  This fixed by exchanging the E500 panel (expensive option) or fitting a new thermo switch in the E500 panelfor $3. Sometimes problem caused by people standing on your step and twists the mechanism. 

 

Dometic Fridge just stopped working

by Chris Gaelic

[ 7 ]

Chris Gaelic

04:38 PM   01-Feb-16

We were away in Coromandel when we opened the fridge to warm inside temperatures  and sour milk (among other delights). Curiously the lights were all displaying normally. We tried switching it off and back on again, checking on 12v and 230v, but all to no avail.

 

So we headed back home, cleaned it out, and switched it off, planning to make an appointment with Cooltech to get it fixed. Three days later, just on a whim, I switched the fridge back on again, and a couple of hours later, noticed the temperature going down. It is now behaving as if nothing had happened.

 

The only explanation I can think of is that we were stayng overnight at a friends place in Coromandel Town. The parking was about 10 or so degrees off level. We were sleeping in her house, so I just left our Delaware where it was. It was only much later the following day that we noticed the fridge was no longer working.

 

Presumably, the refrigerant can move out of position if the van is not level, causing the fridge to just stop working, and can take 3 or 4 days to correct itself after the van is level once again.

 

Has anyone else experienced this? If nothing else, we've learned yet another 'interesting' lesson.

Les

10:36 AM   03-Feb-16

Tuakau

 

 

Answers and Tips in forum as below

Fridge Operating Temperatures by Les

 

 

Chris Gaelic

12:16 PM   03-Feb-16

Hi Les, we knew about the need to keep the motorhome level, but 3 or 5 degrees either way never seemed to cause a problem for us. I should have realised that more than 10 degrees might, but thought I'd share this experience because others might be caught out the same way, and then not realise that it might take 3 or 4 days for the refrigerant to sort itself out.

The Sutherlands

09:40 PM   03-Feb-16

Auckland

Hi Chris-do you remember if it was a hot humid day? If it was, then our SN rated fridge really struggled as well even with my fan modification. I noticed the floor around the bottom was warm so I went and took the outside vents off and the gas flame had a definite yellow tinge to it and it was quite hot at the bottom of the back cavity. I found that LPG will , with very high humidity burn yellow instead of blue. I turned the fridge off and restarted it later in the night when the ambient temp had cooled down and it roared back into life so I think with the very high humidity and high temps affecting the gas burn it just messed it up a bit. Its worked perfectly since

Chris Gaelic

08:42 AM   04-Feb-16

It was quite hot and humid, but we've been in similar conditions elsewhere without any problem. Running on 230v didn't help, which I think rules out the gas burning problem. These fridges are very convenient, but also very temperamental if they don't have everything just right.

Mike & Chris

11:45 AM   15-Feb-16

North Canterbury

Hi Chris

 

We have a Thetford fridge in our almost new Dakota but I guess they have the same foibles. On Friday we drove from our home in North Canterbury (I had the fridge cooling on power before we left) to Okains Bay, over a fairly steep Banks Peninsula road, through some of the hairpins it would be at least 10 degrees. I managed a cold beer when we arrived but in the morning it was all but room temperature... all the settings and indications were normal. I tried it on battery, mains via generator and gas... all appeared normal but would not make the fridge cold. On Sunday morning I tried again on gas, went for a 2 hour paddle around the bay and returned to a cold fridge. I turned it off for the trip back over the hill and on again whilst back on flat land, drove through a 5.7 earthquake and all ok when we reached home. In January we drove up the East Coast of the North Island around East Cape, down to Taumarunui and through the Forgotten World Highway, all with a cold fridge but probably never on roads quite as steep as Okains. Prior to buying the Dakota we took our Jayco Swan caravan to Okains many times but didn't have the facility to have the Dometic fridge going whilst driving... never had any issues.

 

Regards

Mike

Chris Gaelic

05:08 PM   15-Feb-16

Hi Mike, Yes it really annoying that these fridges can be so temperamental. But we've never had a problem with stopping while driving. Even a long drive over a steep hill shouldn't cause a problem. It's possible that the gas flame blew out, or failed to light, after you arrived. That should light up the flashing warning lights though. Okains Bay looks quite nice. If we get back down to Akaroa this year we might check it out. 

Thetford fridge dealers south Island

by Sublime

[ 2 ]

Sublime

11:37 AM   19-Sep-15

Geraldine

Is there anyone in Christchurch who can service the Thetford fridges?  Our Dakota has a N3000 E series fridge/freezer that has decided it no longer wants to work on power, gas & 12v no problem.  Has error 8 that says contact dealer have checked 240 supply, fuses and the obvious. I would expect a bit better from a well known brand and only 19mths old.  Seems to be lots of little niggly problems with the autotrails. 

Sublime

03:40 PM   19-Sep-15

Geraldine

Thanks for that, we will get our electrician to check power etc before we go further just in case it is simple as we don't have a meter.

Dometic Fridge Temperature

by The Sutherlands

[ 1 ]

The Sutherlands

11:58 AM   12-Sep-15

Auckland

We imported a Tracker RB and last summer noticed the fridge was struggling to maintain a decent temperature. After some research I found this was not an unusual problem and was due to a couple of factors.

As Les has pointed out there are various ratings for Dometic and ours is SN ,so high ambient temps were going to be a problem and also lack of ventalation to remove the heat from the back cavity of the fridge is an issue as well.  

So- we cant change the fridge, so the easiest answer was to increase the ventalation in the rear to remove as much heat as possible to keep the ambient temp down. To do this, I have installed the flue kit which wasnt done originaly and have also put in a 12v cooling fan to draw cool air up from the bottom vent and over the heat exchange fins to be expelled out the top vent. Hopefully this will sort the problem. I note that there are kits avaliable with a 120x120 fan, a thermostat and cable through a RV supplier in Tauranga but I did my own sourcing most of the gear through JCar

 

Rather than fill up this page with loads of links, wiring diagrams and photo's- email me at courti@xtra.co.nz and I will send the relevant info

 

 

 

 

 

   

FRIDGE OPERATING PROBLEMS

by Les

[ 7 ]

Les

07:21 PM   04-Aug-15

Tuakau

 

• A fridge should have a temperature of between (5°C) to (3°C). Any warner and the food will go off, any colder and you'll lose nutrients and fresh food can be ruined.
• The ideal freezer temperature is (-18°C ) which will store food safely and Stop bacteria forming • It's a good idea to buy a fridge thermometer and check the temperature if you are not sure.
• If you change the temperature it generally will take 24 hours to adjust.


To measure temperatures:
Fridge: put the thermometer in a glass of water. Check the temperature during the first door opening after not using the fridge for 8 hours or more (such as overnight).
Freezer: put thermometer between two bags of vegetables and as above check after 8 hours or more.

Les

07:59 AM   13-Sep-15

Tuakau

                                                                                                                       

 

( Left ) Fridge Dometic RMD 8555                                                        ( Right ) Fridge Dometic RMD 8555

  190 Litre is New ( Tropical ) TYPE                                                                    190 Litre ( SN ) TYPE

   Note : Plumbing 9 Tubes zigzaging up,                                                  Note : Plumbing 7 Tubes zigzaging up

Long Exhaust Stack, 2 Fans                                                                             Shorter Exhaust Stack

                                                                                                                         

                                                                  

Les

09:41 AM   14-Sep-15

Tuakau

On Label inside Fridge

Climate Class                                                          Min/Celsius                            Max/Celsius

 

N   ( Normal )                                                             16 Deg. C                                 32 Deg. C

 

SN ( Sub Normal )                                                     10 Deg. C                                 32 Deg. C

 

ST ( Sub Tropical )                                                    18 Deg. C                                 38 Deg. C

 

T   ( Tropical )                                                            18 Deg. C                                 43 Deg. C

Les

02:32 PM   14-Sep-15

Tuakau

 

FRIDGE PROBLEMS Summer

Fit a Digital Gauge or S/S type from The Clearence Shed to read your operating temperatures.

Check the Aluminium Cooling plates inside to see if they are icing up or dripping water..... not so good.

 

I have tried eveything by installing 120 x 120 fan up to (4) all together Found little improvement at all on our Autotrail Delaware.

 

THE FIX I FOUND WORKED BEST, ON DOMETIC FRIDGE 190 LITRE CLIMATE CLASS SN

 

At the floor behind the fridge I drilled two 50mm holes down through to the lower floor, Fitted flexable plastic tubing through to the bottom ( Sealed with silicon ) then the cold air under the van can work it's way up                ( Capillary action ).

Take the mesh of the back of both vents

At the bottom edge of the top vent I fitted a aluminium deflector plate up on an angle to the top edge of the          ( black Fins) heat exchange fins this also directs all the air through the Heat Exchange Fins.

 

NEXT FIX ON DOMETIC FRIDGE 190 LITRE RMD 8555 CLIMATE CLASS TROPICAL

 

New van different Fridge ( Tropical Climate Class ) Works Best

 

All these new mods just in case it is a real Summer Hot !!!!!!!!!!!!

Same mods as above except for ONE 65 mm Hole and larger tube through to the bottom under van floor with a computer 75 mm Fan to feed more cold air up from underneath, Top vent outside I have two 120 mm Fans to extract hot air out 

 

Grant and Gail

07:24 PM   27-Jan-16

Christchurch

Hi Les, I have the same fridge Dometic RMD 8555 SN which cannot maintain a safe temp range, especially when driving and on 12 volt. Dometic NZ inform there is no conversion to Tropical class. I was wondering if it helped drilling the two 50 mm holes through to the bottom of the RV. I take it this is through two sections of floor. Do you think it helps having the extractor fans as I thought all the turbulence while driving would make it ineffective? 

 

I have had had the fridge serviced ie. gas burner and flue cleaned and both 12 v and 230 v elements checked. I have large ventilation grilled top and bottom plus deflector plate above fridge. I gad wondered about venting directly through the roof and or a separate section exit for the flue fumes.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Regards,

Grant

Les

12:12 PM   02-Feb-16

Tuakau

Answers and Tips

 

1..........While travelling on 12v dc in your motohome the fridge will try to maintain the temperature that you left of with, ............but they do lose a few degrees depending on the distance travelled.

 

2..........You need to install a flue Kit to take the hot exhaust fumes outside, a must

 

3..........drill two holes 50mm holes as above and if possible put a computer fan on one under the van to draw up cool

............air from the under neath the van as above.

 

4.........Not Cooling properly............Contaiminated Gas from suppliers, Gas lines need to be cleand out, you can     ............remove a oily mess from gas line, replace regulater

 

5..........Set the Fridge Running of a control setting at high temperature, This helps keep the Jet and Flue from sooting ............up, on a lower setting the flame will be colder and more changes of sooting up.

 

6..........Keep the motorhome level so the capillary action of the ammomia in the fridge plumbing doen't get air bubbles

Les

04:13 PM   07-Jul-17

Tuakau

Thetford fridge/freezer sometimes will not reignite when on gas

by David Buxton

[ 5 ]

David Buxton

10:11 PM   23-Jan-15

Taupo

We have a Thetford 3 way fridge/freezer, Model number N3000-A series: N3175, that intermittently turns off with error message number 3 (gas problem). I have had a gas expert check all the gas line and pressure and at AMH's request Thetford have sent me a replacement solenoid that turns the gas off when the fridge has reached its set coolness. This has not solved the problem. What else could be causing the problem?

Boltman

12:33 PM   26-Jan-15

Whangarei

I think it looks like an electrical censor that controls the solenoid. Try phoning Thetford direct and they will recommend a real expert that knows there products.

David Buxton

08:15 AM   07-Feb-15

Taupo

Thank you - Thetford in NZ deal mainly in toilets so I emailed Thetford via their .com website and the reply said the only thing left was to try a new control board. Dan at AMH is getting one in for me to try.

Gypsy Rover

09:13 PM   26-Feb-15

Levin

Several of our friends have been having fridge problems over the recent hot spell. All Dometic fridges. Reading the manual it appears that Dometic fridges come in 4 operating categories which is listed by a letter on the specifications label on the back wall in the fridge. Motor homes coming out of the UK general have an "N" rated fridge which operates up to 32 deg. M/hs being built for the NZ market are being fitted with "ST" rated fridges which operate up to 38 deg.Above these temperatures your fridge will not operate properly which was the problem we struck. Once the temperatures and humidity decreased we were back in business. Wether this is the same for Thetford fridges I am not sure,

Boltman

12:35 PM   28-May-15

Whangarei

Our Dakota came with a dometic fridge/freezer the hot exhaust of the fridge is fitted directly under cooling coil. This is not they way Dometic insulation manuals recommend. We have the exhaust installed as per the manual after we were told by AMH that it's the way Autotrail install the fridges end of argument.

GAS

Gas Locker Door Catch

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:14 AM   24-Jun-18

Tuakau

GAS LOCKER DOOR CATCH
AT NZ Facebook Post:  Any suggestions what I can replace this door retainer with as it fails to hold up my gas locker, thanks    Photo #1
Like
Comments:
-  You could try using two instead of one, you can buy them at the rv supercentre and other rv places.

-  Try gluing butynol either over the male side or inside the female section as this makes for a tight nonslip fit, worked fine for me.

-  Buy from Moutere Caravans

-  These latches are very positive action & strong so is it misaligned or are you not pushing it hard enough to hear it go clunk. Once latched it requires a very firm pull with the loop handle to release.

-  Hi, as per the previous comment, misalignment is probably the cause however NZ sun can deteriorate this plastic very quickly. The female piece is made of plastic about 2mm and fails within a few years. I solved the problem by using stainless steel catch and also corrected misalignment which probably caused the early failure. 

-  Would you mind posting a photo of the stainless steel catch please?

-  I have had that hit back the of my head,  shit it hurts not a good design eh

-  Yes, would prefer a catch I have to do up and undo, much safer!

-  here is picture of female piece. I am going to put photo of male piece on another post. Photo #2
 
-  Male piece “offset” to allow for misalignment when assembled by Autotrail. I made these catches as I wanted to use existing holes in Motorhome and hatch lid, hence the offset. You could probably buy something similar by looking up a coach building hardware supplier as there a huge variety of quality catches available in NZ.   Photo #3
 
-  Thanks, I want to cover the existing holes too and since the cover fell on my head I want something I latch and undo. I have a door stopper which latches, I'd like to find something like that!

Gas Shut Off Valves

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

11:05 AM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau

GAS SHUT OFF VALVES
AT NZ Facebook post:  Hello could you please tell us where the gas shut off valves might be located on a 2017 Apache thank you.
Comment:
  They're all under the floor now...will have to look under the van where an appliance is...
 In the cupboard under the fridge in our Savannah.
 In our 2016 model there is a glass faced cupboard under the oven the turn off valves are in there ...left side
 Thank you that’s exactly where we found them

 

Gas Locker Latch/Catch

by Sue

[ 5 ]

Sue

03:59 PM   09-Jan-18

Wellington

Hi all, have searched the site but cannot find anything on the gas locker latch/catch.  Has anyone replaced the catch on the locker and if so what did you use?  I'm guessing the rivets will be difficult to remove but as the locker fell on my head last night I want to get it sorted, thanks

geebeealan

04:10 PM   09-Jan-18

Kaiapoi

https://uk-caravans.co.nz/product/veneta-door-retainer/

 

Is this what you are looking for

Mike & Chris

04:23 PM   09-Jan-18

North Canterbury

If its easier they also sell on Trademe ( Listing #: 1510913646)

Sue

04:31 PM   09-Jan-18

Wellington

Thanks for your reply Mike & Chris.  This is what is currently on the locker door but it doesn't hold very well, would like something a little more substantial!

Mike & Chris

05:11 PM   09-Jan-18

North Canterbury

If you dont want to go with original then the problem will be to find something with the same dimensions to avoid drilling more holes. Alternatively you could add a gas or mechanical strut inside the locker such as these:

 

https://www.comac.co.nz/F/Door-Holders-Support-Stays-Gas-Struts-Rod-Ends

 

Having said that mine seems to hold quite securely so perhaps your is damaged or worn and a new original part may fix the problem.

Gas Conversion/Certificate

by Joyce

[ 2 ]

Joyce

03:04 PM   02-Jan-18

Tauranga

Hi There ,

 

Have a new Autotrail just arrived from UK. Does any one know where I can get the gas connection converted to NZ Standard in the Tauranga or surrounding areas.

 

Also where I can get a GAS certificate done. and Also get an electrical certificate done around here?

 

Many Thanks  Joyce

John_1

04:13 PM   02-Jan-18

Tauranga

I took mine to Lifestyle RV on Hewletts Rd, on the left hand side as you drive towards Tauranga. Ask for Warren McDonald, he is very good to work with and can answer all your questions. Had gas, electrical, self containment etc. Forget actual cost but think it was about $1800 2 years ago. 

 

John

GAS CONSUMPTION

by Peter M

[ 4 ]

Peter M

10:28 PM   16-Oct-17

Hamilton

Is our gas consumption normal? We have very recently imported a  new Tracker FB. After 4 short trips away our 9kg gas bottle was empty. This seems rather excessive consumption. We have been away on 4 trips, a total of 12 nights. 7 of those nights were in campgrounds hooked up to mains. 5 nights were freedom camping. This meant we were using LPG for the fridge for 4 days (and nights) and the heater for a few hours on 3 nights plus the hot water for 4 days but not continuously because it heats up pretty quick so probably about 3 hours each day. We also used LPG to chill the fridge overnight before we left home on each of the 4 trips. Is this normal or could there be something wrong with our system?

I checked the gas bottle connection with soapy water; no leaks. I would appreciate some feedback on this.

P.J.

geebeealan

12:19 PM   17-Oct-17

Kaiapoi

Fridge uses .36kg a day

combie 4e  uses .320kg hr 

cooking  .4kg day

 

hope this helps

 

Alan

 

Peter M

05:56 PM   17-Oct-17

Hamilton

Thanks for that Alan.

That is about 1kg per day or just over a week per 9kg bottle. Obviously there will be quite big variations for different users and different times of the year.

I would be interested to hear what other people get out of a 9kg bottle.

Peter

Krauts

10:20 PM   09-Aug-18

Tauranga

We used about 2 kg per week on our European trip Sept 17 to Feb 2018 in our Imala 730. 90 % free camping.

Gas conversion & certification in ChCh

by KevinA

[ 2 ]

KevinA

10:30 PM   12-Oct-17

Newbies to Auto trail needing help here.

 

We have a Tribute T625 on its way from the UK. Obviously it will need the gas "doing".

 

Any suggestions for anyone that can convert to NZ spec and to certify in Christchurch?

 

 

thanks

 

 

Kevin

FrankC

06:22 AM   21-Oct-17

Hi Kevin I've just had word from my friend in Christchurch and he's arranged to have my gas conversion and certification to be completed  by IGP Gas- www.igpnz.com
Based at
127 Wordsworth St
Sydenham . He indicated that he had checked with NZMCA and they gave him " a green light "

Hope this helps 

Gas conversion

by FrankC

[ 1 ]

FrankC

07:30 AM   25-Jul-17

I will be shipping my Autotrail Mohawk from the UK to NZ next month. Not sure of what is required from a gas point of view. I have imported  three UK caravans in the past and all i ever did was change the connection hose to the gas bottle . If any more work is required were can I have this done in Christchurch area were I will be living with friends when I arrive. For any Mohawk owners what gas bottle configuration will I be able to have.

Barbeque

by JRJ

[ 3 ]

JRJ

10:22 PM   11-Jul-17

Tauranga

Has anyone got a barbeque which plugs into the outside of the Tracker EKS and if so what sort is it and where do you store it while travelling. Janice

Geeco

08:00 PM   15-Jan-18

NSW Australia

I use a Webber Q we the high top lid. As There is a regulator at the bottles you can dispense what the item supplied with the BBQ. You will need to purchase a new hose, suggest 2 mtr long so you can keep the heat away from the side of the MH. You may also need to purchase a gas connector set for the van & hose. We purchased a Webber carry bag that allows the whole lot to be stored in the hatch that is visible in the image. Not sure if the EKS has the same hatch config so you will need to measure the height of the door & BBQ to make sure it fits your layout. The table is a simple collapsible camping table that also fits in the hatch along with lots of other items. We have use ours now for 3 years and it suits our needs perfectly. Sorry I have not responded previously however I have just today come across your post. Cheers, Gary

Avocadopicker

10:28 PM   15-Jan-18

Katikati

Just a word of warning. Mis-guidedly we used the Autotrail trestle table which comes with the van, and put our BBQ (not a Weber) on it. The heat from underneath cooked and ruined the table top, very expensive to replace, so I suggest you either use a different table, or ensure that you have a heat-proof layer immediately below the BBQs.

Gas monitor

by Leonie

[ 1 ]

Leonie

10:57 PM   30-Jun-17

Auckland

Has anyone had a problem with the functioning of their gas monitor? I have had mine sound at unusual times, for example in the middle of the night and also whilst empty, and tgeee has been no trace or smell of a gas leak. Tony at AMH has replaced mine once but now again, it sounds erratically. Has anyone else have a problem? 

Second BBQ hose for Autotrail BBQ gas outlet

by Bman

[ 4 ]

Bman

06:57 PM   13-Mar-17

Auckland

Hello Autotrailers,

I am wondering if anyone can tell me where I can get a second BBQ gas pipe hose made to fit the specific Autotrail BBQ external outlet socket on the body of the vehicle and connect this to my Gasmate Cruiser BBQ?  I have the BBQ socket adaptor from Autotrail.  I want to keep the original Gasmate BBQ hose in the event I choose to use the BBQ with a LPG gas bottle.  Therefore, a second gas hose pipe is needed.  I live in central Auckland [Kohi, St Johns, Glenn Innes, Penrose, Panmure areas] so any recommendations of any reputable gas plumbers who can attach the Autotrail gas adaptor switch to a second hose and provide and connect the Gasmate BBQ connector for me is appreciated.  Many thanks, Bman

David Buxton

07:19 PM   13-Mar-17

Taupo

Any qualified gas fitter who can supply the fitting that matches your BBQ. They will have the correct hose to use (most important). I ended up using a firm in 'tMaunganui who could supply the right fitting to screw onto our Coleman. 

Rob and Pat

08:24 PM   13-Mar-17

North Canterbury

I have just had a look at a picture of a Gasmate Cruiser BBQ and it looks like the regulator is part of the gas on/off and heat control. If your BBQ does have this type of control then it will not work if connected to the Autotrail external gas fitting. The reason it will not work is because the external gas fitting is regulated to low pressure and you will be trying to regulate the gas flow to the BBQ via a second regulator.

 

However if your BBQ has a regulator that screws directly into the gas bottle it will work off the external gas fitting and you can get a hose made up.

 

Rob

 

 

Bman

11:00 PM   13-Mar-17

Auckland

Thanks David and Rob for your advice.  You are correct Rob, I forgot about this fact re the regulator.  I now remember coming across this problem in my last motorhome 3 years ago. Looks like I will definitely need to get the right fittings and its not just a matter of fitting the AT adaptor on the end of a gas hose.

Gas bottle size

by Beetle2

[ 6 ]

Beetle2

09:31 AM   03-Oct-16

Christchurch

Is it possible to fit a 9kg gas bottle in place of the apparently standard 7kg in the Imala  730 motorhome?

Beetle2

09:48 AM   19-Oct-16

Christchurch

I'll answer the question myself as I have now taken delivery of an Imala 730 in NZ. The Imala (ex Auckland Motor Homes)  comes with a 9kg bottle plus a 7kg bottle. Which is great as many locations only have 9kg Swap a Bottle and will not refill...

Robert

07:56 PM   21-Nov-16

Dunedin

I presume that the 7kg bottle is smaller in dia than the 9kg!!

I would be interested in knowing where you can purchase a 7kg bottle, I have been trying but all I can find us a 4kg.

Rob and Pat

08:25 PM   21-Nov-16

North Canterbury

My Delaware has 2, 12kg gas bottles. These are smaller in diameter than the 9kg bottles and 2 easily fit into the gas locker. The extra capacity is good but the down side is I have to find somewhere that fills bottles.

 

Rob

Beetle2

09:05 PM   21-Nov-16

Christchurch

In Christchurch, Rockgas supply re- certified 7kg bottles. A 9kg plus 7 kg bottle makes for quite a tight fit in the Imala 730. I have to undo the straps on both bottles and do a spot of manoeuvring to remove the 7kg bottle without removing the 9kg first. There is not room for two 9kg bottles.

 

Sandy Dougherty

02:47 PM   22-Nov-16

Cambridge

After finding it a tight fit to get 2 x 9kg bottles into our Tracker FB then suddenly finding we couldn't called for a little closer look on my part. I discovered that there are 2 distinct shapes of the 9kg bottles and one is about 3 cm greater in diameter. The slimmer ones are slightly taller and become easy to spot after you get used to looking for them. 

BBQ for autotrail delaware

by Ricky & Libby

[ 6 ]

Ricky & Libby

01:04 PM   28-Aug-16

Queenstown

Just wondering what people are using in the portable bbq space I was thinking about a baby q Webber ?

thanks

Geeco

07:02 PM   28-Aug-16

NSW Australia

Another vote for the Webber baby Q. If you like to roast the high top lid is better and it has a temp gauge. I purchased a Webber bag that makes moving in & out of the rear storage of our Tracker FB easy.

Nick & Karen

07:44 PM   29-Aug-16

add our vote to the baby Q also purchased bag, fit nicely in the garage and easy to handle

Ross Knight

05:55 PM   12-Nov-16

Auckland

Get A 3 meter gas lead made up and plug it in to your outside port, as we have.

Nick & Karen

06:23 PM   12-Nov-16

You can get a 3 metre gas lead from Webber BBQ ordered mine on online and arrived 3 days later

Judith Thom

11:00 AM   13-Nov-16

Christchurch

imported delaware do the gas fitting in outside port fit allright

Replacing Trum gas regulator on private imports

by Sublime

[ 2 ]

Sublime

05:44 PM   29-Aug-15

Geraldine

After having problems with our gas we nailed it down to the Truma regulator.  We took it to a gas fitter who changed the regulator but also found the gas fitter who certified it had not followed the NZ standards even though we have a certificate for the work.  We did not import it but the previous owner had.  Our local importer changes all the regulators before they are sold as NZ standards require them to have an on/off tap, he also had to put in a ballvalve it took him over an hour and cost $254 but apparently the Truma regulators are notorious for playing up. As in our case in the middle of winter with 2deg frost outside and no heater!! So those with self imports maybe a good idea to check it has been done.

Sublime

10:46 AM   01-Sep-15

Geraldine

We tried all that first and even tried two new bottles full just in case it was the gas.  We have the Truma CP Plus and yes have noticed previously that for the heater to run well likes plenty of gas in the bottle, good idea swapping at night you can guarantee it will run out right when you don't want to jump outside to changeover!!  Our gas fitter advised us that it is better to get your bottles filled (which we do most times) than swapa bottle as the gas is not as good and can have been sitting around for awhile.

slide out bbq for a Dakota

by Sublime

[ 1 ]

Sublime

04:11 PM   16-Jul-15

Geraldine

We have installed a slide out bbq in our locker, works brilliantly and has made the storage area under the bed more usable.  If anyone wants any further info let us know.

 

GAS STOVE

Hob thermocouple

by kevin & Judy

[ 5 ]

kevin & Judy

02:21 PM   02-Dec-18

Auckland

I am looking to find were i can purchase a new Thermocouple for my hob and oven. It is a thetford spinflo CK 13000. Can any one help I am in Orewa Auckland. Many thanks Kevin.

Rob and Pat

02:44 PM   02-Dec-18

North Canterbury

Both UK Caravans (https://uk-caravans.co.nz/) and Affordable Caravans (https://www.affordablecaravans.co.nz) in Christchurch list various thermocouples as a parts.

Rob 

John M

08:16 PM   02-Dec-18

If not available, most UK companies will have it and will send to anywhere.  We, the RV fraternity, get things delivered all over Europe in no time at all.

Try Thetford UK, or a great parts dealer is Brownhills Motorhomes in Newark.  They told us they could send anything for our AT, just send the description and the vans number engraved on the windscreen.

JohnM

Vila Joiosa

kevin & Judy

09:12 PM   02-Dec-18

Auckland

Thanks Rob and Pat, and John for your help about were I can purchase the thermocouple. Many thanks.

 

Graham and Laurel

08:48 AM   22-Apr-19

Masterton

We thought we needed a new hob thermocouple to but after talking to Tony at Auckland Motorhomes he said pull the control knob off for the hob which is not working and stuff some paper inside the knob. Slide it back on and it will fix the problem. I was skeptable but it worked. All good now

Heat Stove Wall, Loose Glass Top

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

11:40 AM   19-Aug-18

Tuakau

HEAT DAMAGE FROM HOB

AT NZ Facebook post:  Has anyone put small tiles down the wall of the cooker just wondered how they would be with vibration of van. It's a Dakota 2011
Comments:
* I have had a tile cut for a splash back behind the hand basin and had no problems
* Old fashioned - will put 20 yrs on your moho, plus keeping the grout clean!..hmmm
* The wall panel above the glass is puckering with heat so it needs to be higher. 
* Photo 1 is an example of a larger glass panel. There has been discussion about this problem being caused by wrong pot sizes. Our approach is to only use the right rear gas ring when the other two are in use.
* We had a large sheet of smoked glass fitted to our Dakota it was to save the wall from delaminating of the veneer no further heat problems since.
If you do decide on tiles make sure you use 'flexi grout'. I put tiles in our last motorhome and after 11 years they still looked great. Love my black glass in AT now.

 

LOOSE GLASS TOP

 

AT NZ Facebook post:  We are having problems with our glass top on our cooker sliding out of its hinges.


Comments:


* There is a pair of screws to tighten it up. Make sure the plastic insert is there.
* My sink glass came loose, just needed to nip up the screws a little bit.


* We done that but they keep coming loose again
* Loctite
Apply window silicone & slide the glass back to hinge

Gas hob singeing window frame

by jedm

[ 3 ]

jedm

04:35 PM   21-Jul-18

We  have a 2013 Delaware which has a real problem in that when the right rear gas hob is used it causes the window frame above to  burn on the lower left corner. The burnt section was replace but soon after this started singeing too. so far no flame has been seen but it is a problem we don't need. I have had made a 2mm stainless heat shield made which I will fit as an interim fix. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how was it mitigated. Ed, Blenheim    

Alistair & Stella

05:24 PM   21-Jul-18

Christchurch

I had the whole outside window crack with a huge bang, (on a Delaware) just too much heat, and had to replace the whole window, now always have that window open when using the oven top, even just a little bit, and try not to have more than one burner/ hob running at a time. I don't see a way to mitigate apart from your heat shield idea.

John M

05:29 PM   21-Jul-18

We have a Comanche with a similar kitchen, the glass stove lid or cover folds up and protects the window, does your Delaware not have the glass lid?

We bought second hand, low usage, but the previous owner used the stove often enough to melt the plastic veneer of the cupboards above on the underside panel.

From the other good ideas dept, we found a wood cutting board from IKEA, made of compressed bamboo, about 15 mm thick that sits perfectly on top of our glass stove top to give us a bigger bench space.  We normally cook outside.

JohnM

Stockholm

HABITATION CHECK, ANNUALLY

Checking for moisture

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

04:34 PM   14-Jul-18

Tuakau

HEATING--TRUMA

Frost damage repair at Truma

by John M

[ 4 ]

John M

04:25 AM   27-Mar-19

Hi Guys

 

Our Truma water heater failed on electric back in mid June, two days into our 2018/19 euro tour!   Being electro technically savvy (qualified) I determined that both of the electric elements were dead.  On-line research showed that you could replace them yourself, but a good workshop was essential in which to make the repairs.   I also considered flying a new Truma heater out to Sweden so that I could just swap them over.  But that was seriously expensive.

 

So we persevered for nine months with only gas water heating.  Now normally that would be ok as we do have big 22 kg LPG/GPL tanks, but for the next four months we would be in Scandinavia where filling stations are less frequent, with none at all in Finland.  We managed our gas usage for Bron’s showers only, and later when the hot Spanish winter arrived we bought simple electric fan heaters for €14 each, one in the lounge and another for the bedroom.

 

Meanwhile I had been in touch with the Truma help desk in Burton upon Trent in Derbyshire, who confirmed my diagnosis.  Fortunately for us, Truma have only about four service centres worldwide, of which one is the aforementioned.  There are of course service companies elsewhere, but only about four actual Truma service centres. Months ago when we knew what we were doing this year, I booked in for replacement elements.

 

Today was the big day, we had arrived last Thursday and stayed nearby at the Caravan Club’s site in the centre of Uttoxeter race course.  Truma have a huge UK distribution warehouse and customer service centre here.  They said they could remove the heater and repair and refit in about four hours, during which they would water and feed us in their TV lounge.  Their quote was £300/$600 parts plus about 4 hours labour.

 

We duly turned up at 0830, removed about 500 kg of clothes from under the bed where our Truma is located, and I dismantled the custom fitted cabinetry I had built under the bed.  Then we went to Derby for the day, great city centre shopping there.

 

They called a couple of hours later and said the heater was seriously damaged by frost.  It was kaput! 

 

A new Combi 6000 watt model, the biggest model, needed because of our size, retails for £2600/$5200 plus labour, I knew this but was not expecting it.

 

But there is a problem, the new generation model has an LCD keypad, while our older model has mechanical switches.  The new LCD panel needs a 12 volt supply, and creating that will take a lot of work.  I offered to do that as I know it can be done really easily, but no they don’t have insurance for me to do that.   While I understand this insurance business, I also see it as the great British cop out for not doing anything different.  Sorry to my Brit friends, but we have heard that excuse so many times in the past three years.  In this instance I would be inside my van doing whatever damage at whatever risk I wished to take, not their worry.

 

Anyway, Tony the technician was very very nice and he had a better solution.  He had a fully warranted and serviced Combi 2000 watt trade-in heater, which can be converted to a Combi 6000 watt model by changing the internal circuit board and loom from ours to this heater, hence converting it to the same as our original.  After some discussion to clarify all that we went ahead.

 

The job was completed about 3 pm and we returned to the Workshop.  Wow what a difference.  The new heater was much much better than it had been.

 

Tony then spent half an hour demonstrating how to use it, which confirmed we were doing it correctly, and demonstrating that the new heater worked correctly.  Then he showed us our old heater, and how he had removed the electric control board and fitted it to the new one.   It seems that a Combi 2000 watt and Combi 6000 watt heater are physically the same, but the lesser model is electronically limited. 

 

So what had happened.  Frost is a major issue for motorhomes in winter, and he said the damage to ours was the worst he had seen in his six years at Truma.   What I don’t quite understand is that the heater and plumbing are all inside the vehicle, and in our case all external connecting plumbing is insulated, as are the water tanks, with a winterising kit?  However frost damage does still happen.  

 

We know for certain that over the past three years our van has always had warmth and hot water during the winter evenings and mornings, with only a two day period in Kent last year when we were snow bound.  During that snow period the heating was definitely turned on because we were there in the van.  The only time I can see that this damage occurred is after we purchased it, in Wales, they stored it over winter without taking the necessary anti frost preventions.   At the time I was quietly concerned back in NZ that they may not have winterised it properly, or at all?

 

The damage was amazing.  The heater is designed as follows.  The inner gas heater is a roaring inferno inside a stainless steel tubular tank about 120 mm in diameter and about 300 mm long.   

This tank is a firm fit inside a massive aluminium heat sink with maybe 30 solid radial fins, each with many minor fins off them, creating a massive surface area with which to radiate heat.

Surrounding the heat sink is the water tank, this time a long round tank with a hollow centre.  So the inner and outer tank walls look to be maybe two centimetres apart, yet it holds ten litres of water.  The water tank is millimetres away from the heat sink and not physically contacting each other.

The way it works is the inner furnace tank reaches 200 degrees. The serious heat radiates from the fins to the water tank by air convection, not physical contact.

 

The frost causes the water to freeze and expand, pushing the inner tank wall against the heat sink fins.  In a minor damage case, the direct contact causes the water to over heat and then the unit shuts down.  So it will work like this.  In our case though, the tank had expanded so far that the radial heatsink fins had been crushed!  This is a huge solid aluminium extrusion crushed by the expanding water tank.  The damage was spectacular.

 

The electric elements are just two straight jug or kettle elements, worth peanuts but sold for £300/$600 a pair.  They fit in the air chamber, slid into slots between the heat sink fins to heat the heatsink directly.

 

The power rating works like this, on electric only it is rated at 1800 watts, on gas only it is rated at 4200 watts.  On the joint electric and gas setting, it prioritises one or the other depending on the thermostat, so it is not really a 6000 watt heater.

 

Our electric elements failed as elements do.  The frost damage was not apparent until they tried to replace the elements and then saw the state of the thing.  I wish I had photos, but at that point I had left my phone in the car, uncharacteristically.

 

So now it is working well, in retrospect the heater never seemed quite hot enough, but it is now.  

 

The final bill was £1074/NZ$2148, which was £650/$1300 for the 2000 watt heater, plus a wiring harness, plus labour to fit our 6000 watt components and install.  And a new warrantee. They only charged us for two hours labour at about $100 per hr.

 

The staff at Truma were awesome, excellent advice and service all the way from when I first contacted them from Scandinavia. 

 

Incidentally, the name Truma comes from President Truman.  According to the web site, the company was started during WW2 when the founder was producing economic gas heaters for German citizens.  He later named the company after President Truman, for whom he had great respect.  Later he created the very first hot water shower system for caravans, in 1961, from memory.  Although I understand the Alde water systems are superior, Truma claim to have a 90%  market share world wide?  The company is still family managed, now by his granddaughter I recall.  All this info is available on their website or on YouTube.  

 

There is a terrifying video on YouTube showing a see through version of the 6000 watt gas heater, burning like a jet engine about to explode, this is good under our bed!

 

Sorry for the long description, but I think it is a great example of what frost can do, and to be aware of.  We Aucklanders are not really concerned by frost although we do get them, but those of you south of Bombay need to be aware of the dangers.

 

Cheers

JohnM n Bron

Uttoxeter

Sue

08:09 AM   27-Mar-19

Wellington

Hi John M & Bron

Thank you so much for this very interesting information.  I have never given frost a thought (live in my moho in Wellington) but I will now.  However, as I hate the cold I have often thought about having my Truma serviced as I'd hate it to fail in winter, but don't know where to start.  Good to know it's two elements required, wonder if anyone in New Zealand knows if these are available here?

 

Thanks again for taking the time to share this with us, happy travels!

John M

09:27 PM   27-Mar-19

Hi Sue

i don’t think you need to service the water heater,there is some information in the manual on looking after it.

 

But they do fail occasionally on electric, and the big worry is frost freezing the water system, as above. So it is very important to winterise them in cold climates, that means draining the water completely from the system.

 

In very cold areas some friends here say they leave an oil filled electric heater on in their vans all through the coldest periods?

 

When the electric fails, you will still have gas operation.

 

JohnM

 

Rob and Pat

01:22 PM   01-Apr-19

North Canterbury

This can be a problem in the South Island. When I broughjt my 2011 Delaware in 2014 I found that the Combi 4E would not heat the motorhome. I tried all sorts of things but it always came back to the fact that the fan would only ever run at slow speed but the Combi was great at heating water. Then on further testing I discovered that after a period of time running the burner would shut off, the fan would roar away and when the Combi had cooled down the burner would relight. Then the cycle would repeat.

 

No one in NZ could offer any help so I approached the dealer who I had brought the motorhome from and they came up with a contact in Truma UK for me to contact. I sent them an email and was put in contact with a support Engineer in Truma Germany. From the symptons I described their suggestion was that the Combi had suffered frost damage and that I should inspect the boiler for damage. Not quite believing this I took the combi out and opened up the end to have a look inside. Sure enough there were 2 bulges in the boiler which were now starting to touch the fins of the heat exchanger.

 

What to do now. I could buy the parts from the UK but then according to Truma I may not be able to get the unit apart because of the damage. So I made the decission to contact a Truma supplier in the UK and brought in a complete new Combi taking the opportunity to upgrade to a 6E. This duly arrived and came with the new control panel and also in place of the standard drain valve there was a frost control version. This frost drain valve opens at about 6 degrees and will drain the water out preventing freezing should I forget to manually drain the system.

 

As I live in Kaiapoi from May onwards I always drain the water system to prevent the possibility of the Combi freezing during heavy frosts. I would also recommend to anyone living in an area where you get frosts to always drain the water system as it is not a cheap exercise to replace a Combi unit.

Heater not starting E 89 H code

by Neil

[ 3 ]

Neil

10:32 AM   19-Feb-19

The Truma Combi 4 water heater on our 2016 Dakota does not start intermittently on gas and eventually comes up with fault code E 89H which is not in the manual. Any ideas?

(I have not tried it yet on 230volts)

Mike & Chris

11:06 AM   19-Feb-19

North Canterbury

Hi

 

From a number of overseas forums it seems to be a code for an internal electronic failure only to be remedied by a software update or a new PCB. They say to contact Truma directly...

 

https://www.truma.com/int/en/faq/fault-code-on-truma-cp-plus-control-panel.html

 

There is a contact box on their website.  Mike

Avocadopicker

11:28 AM   19-Feb-19

Katikati

http://autotrailusers.nz/ForumFiles/1012/truma%20error%20codes%20bcl_769_2_1_0_en.pdf

 

As Mike & Chris say, the code implies either a PCB failure, or a fan motor. See the attached for latest Truma codes.

Truma Heater Power

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:27 AM   28-Aug-18

Tuakau

TRACKER FB HEATING ON ELECT

AT NZ Facebook post:  When on power and air heating on, is my heater working on gas or power please?


Comments:


* We set the fuel source to EL 1 or EL 2 and it uses 240 only for heating. ELEC1 is 900W ELEC 2 is 1800 W


* The Tracker FB has a Truma Combi system so if you set the Energy Source to EL 2 both your heating and hot water will operate off power only on the 1800W element. In the pic you will see that power is present (connected to MH & switched on) by the icon on the right side.


Make sure if you have switches on your sergeant panel that they are turned on as well.

Instant Water Heater

by Twilight

[ 3 ]

Twilight

11:14 AM   31-Jul-18

Auckland

Does anyone know of a NZ supplier of instant water heaters?  I've been looking online at water heaters such as the Truma AquaGo LP Gas Instant Water Heater (available in OZ) but so far I haven't found anyone.  The concept seems great - instant hot water when you need it rather than waiting for the tank to heat up (yeah, I know - only 30 minutes), but I'd rather have hot water available straight after my wife has had a shower.  It may be an option if and when I have to replace the current Truma gas/power system.    Questions I have are:

- do they work ok with LPG or are they propane only?

- increased water consumption therefore more grey water - I can cope (no teenagers)

- more gas used - I can cope

- sacrifice mains power hot water even if power is available - I can cope

- a bigger hole cut in the side to accommodate the new system - it still looks ok

- are they  legal in NZ?

 

Any thoughts?

 

John M

03:11 PM   31-Jul-18

Have you asked Truma for NZ distributors?

 

Incidentally do you know that Truma is named after President Truman?  Interesting back story there.  Also Truma claim to have invented hot showers for caravaners.  The brand seems to have most of the market share on RV heaters, including in the USA.

 

But a better option may be to ask your wife to use less hot water? Am I allowed to say that?  Wet yourself, turn water off, soap up, turn water back on to rinse. We use about 8 litres per shower, total of hot and cold mixed.

 

We still have hot water after two showers, using gas, although I usually use the camp facilities.

 

Our heaters electric elements have both died and I cannot get them replaced in the near future. I considered doing it myself but it really is a full workbench job, too hard on a picnic table!  There are on-line descriptions for those who wish to.  The elements cost $700 a pair in the UK, discounted to $600.  They are after all only straight stove top elements and should not cost that.  On line comments are that the elements fail easily and often?  Truma’s help desk confirmed mine have died.

 

So I looked at having a new heater DHL to me, the price of a new heater is eye watering,  you don’t want to have to replace your Truma!!!

 

Good luck

JohnM

Helsinki

Twilight

03:47 PM   31-Jul-18

Auckland

Thanks, I should have been more gender neutral as to who has the first shower but I’m a gentleman & yes we do the on/off shower method but it’s a pain if the faucet gets bumped. The query was more generic as I had not seen any adverts for such a system in NZ. I phoned RV Supplies in Hamilton who deal with Truma etc. Apparently NZ regulations don’t yet permit instant hot water systems in motorhomes. Truma seems to be slow but apparently Suburban will have an approved system in NZ in the near future. One could buy a Truma in OZ but NZ gasfitters would not be allowed to fit them so I was told. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Heater on When Using A Generator

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

02:35 PM   22-Jul-18

Tuakau

HEATER ON GENERATOR
AT NZ Facebook Post:    How do you turn the heater on when using a generator. We have a 2014 Auto trail FB tracker

 

Comments:

 
-  It’s no different to when it is plugged into power. However, (depending on the generator) the heater may or may not be able to be used with a generator.


-  We have a Hondo 201 generator


-  I can’t remember how much current the heater draws, but the Honda produces 2000VA. I would say that running the heater from that would be marginal at best. If you turn off the charger and any other mains power equipment you have, it might run the heater


-  Use the heater on gas and everything else off the generator.

 

Water Freezing

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

04:55 PM   05-Jul-18

Tuakau

WATER FREEZING
AT NZ Facebook post:  Getting my head around the issue of water freezing in winter, what do you guys recommend?  And, the water heater and air heater for cabin work separately?  Newbie to Autotrail.

 

Comments:

 

-  There is normally an insulation blanket around the fresh water tank which will help
-  My Autotrail has an electric blanket round it which I turn on if required.
-  Your Tracker FB has a Truma Combi 4 which does both the hot water and the blown air heating. You need to have a good read of the handbook because there are many options including selection of gas/electric.
-  NZ has mild weather conditions (especially the North Island) so you are unlikely to be MHing in freezing conditions. So you should have no problems. If you are storing in a location where the water could freeze then you should drain your water down.

Heating Thoughts

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

04:48 PM   05-Jul-18

Tuakau

HEATING 
AT NZ Facebook post:  We are a new Autotrail owner, just looking at the winter ahead, campers can get a little cold, what do you guys do to keep warm? I see there a 'eco' with the camper heater, is it worth leaving this on overnight or does it drain the van?

 

Comments:

 

-  Gas heater.. but don't leave ours on at night.. more blankets.. and flannelette sheets or if you got power get a little fan heater still don't leave on at night.
-  Artic sheets are way more warmer than flannelette sheets
-  In Tekapo it was -6 and -3 in van. Didn't  trust leaving gas heater on overnight, preferred to wake up.....albeit somewhat chilly.  Put heater on at 5am so was ok by 7am.
-  Your gas heater is flued outside, it is contained within a sealed unit,  there is no chance you will be gassed during the night. If that’s what you are worried about.
-  Happy to put our gas heater on at night. Just spent couple of nights in Twizel/Tekapo and we needed it. Put it on to 12 and it’s really comfy 💤-
-  We leave the gas heater on at night with thermostat set to about 15/16 deg on eco. Polar fleece sheets too.....always cosy!  Little difference between leaving gas supply on at home and in the van.  If for some reason you are worried about the gas install a gas detector.
-  We leave ours on in the winter ,but only set to about 12 or 14 as it gets too hot
-  Wondering what the issue with leaving it on overnight is. Nothing in my manual to say you shouldn't. Houses have gas fires. They all flued outside. I'm happy to run it at anytime to keep warm
-  If the temperature drops to near zero the gas will not provide enough had to operate the heater. It's a problem with NZ LPG.
-  Our heater seems to work ok even in frost conditions. 
-  Ours  failed one night at -6deg  
-  What about  a thermal blanket around the gas bottle

Truma Combi Fault-- E212H

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

10:41 AM   02-Jul-18

Tuakau

TRUMA COMBI FAULT – E212H


 Some help please! I am getting fault messages on my Truma CP Plus controller for my Truma Combi combined space and water heater. I have tried everything suggested to rectify the fault (E212 H) but with no success. 

 

Comments:

 

-  Is the gas bottle full, does it still have the UK regulator Try turning on all burners on oven together if flame reduces replace regulator
-  When I run out of gas the error code is E122. For basic diagnostics You can reset the furnace by removing Fuse 12 for a minute and you can reset the Truma system on the control panel. Reset the  time after this. 
-  A better way to reset is to select the spanner  icon in the bottom right corner.  Then turn the knob to the right until the reset appears then press the knob. 
-  Will the fridge work on gas??
-  It is short of Gas. Try a new gas cylinder or check the gas valves are turned on.
-  We got this error when gas was low. Still enough in bottle (just) to operate fridge and stove but not heater as well. Guess having everything on at once when gas is low was expecting a bit much. changed to new bottle and all good.
-  Changing the gas bottle did the trick!  Thanks

Truma Control Display Problem

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:33 AM   02-Jul-18

Tuakau

Truma Control Display


   The Truma control above the door does not want to work.  Pressed knob for at least 3 seconds but it won't light up. It was working fine up until recently. It would be great if I could get some ideas on how to fix the problem.


Comments:


-  If the Truma display is blank you need to check Fuse 5 and if fuse is ok you will need to check the wires at the back of the display panel. The bottom two wires are the 12V and top connector is the control wiring.
- Yahoo I got the Truma control panel going again. I got the fascia off, a little phillips  screw under the knob was holding it so once I got that off I found a loose connection joint on one of the two very thin little wires. So it's working fine now. 

 

Hot Water--Heating Not Working

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:25 AM   02-Jul-18

Tuakau

HOT WATER/HEATING NOT WORKING ON POWER

Help needed. The hot water/heating will not work on power. Goes ok on gas though. Any ideas as to what is wrong. We have a 2012 Savannah.

 

Comments:

 
-  In the photo it looks like the indicator bezels are not glowing (green/Orange/white). It looked like the RCD was off but zooming in it is installed upside down so is on. Check if there is any power on the wall plugs and if not you have to check you are switched on & then your connections back to where you are plugged in.
-  Looks like you need to press the clear light so it is on.
- Hot points are fine, sooo frustrating. Don’t know where to turn next.
- Have you pressed the clear/white glass indicator on. It appears off in your pic.
- Press the white bezel and it will turn orange when on. This should then provide power to the water heater.

 

Truma support

by Tim and Sheryl

[ 3 ]

Tim and Sheryl

09:51 PM   15-Apr-18

NSW

I am having ongoing problems with my Truma Combi gas heating system.  The fault showing is E212H which indicates that the  "combustion air infeed or exhaust outlet is sealed".  I have done what I can without dismantling the system.  The problem is intermittent.....first occurred a couple of days ago and I thought it was rectified but has recurred again tonight.  I think I need a Truma specialist to look at it.  Can anyone please recommend someone in Christchurch or nearby.  Cheers.

Sublime

08:50 AM   16-Apr-18

Geraldine

Has the old original regulator been changed. We had a similar problem but once we changed the reg we have never had a problem since. Did exactly as you say one minute it would run perfect then block up again. Very intermittent.

Mike & Chris

10:16 AM   16-Apr-18

North Canterbury

Hi

 

The way I read the Truma manual fault codes, page 13 here:

 

https://www.truma.com/web/downloadcenter/files/truma-heating-cp-plus-installation-operating-us.pdf

 

there are several possible causes, the most likely one is that your gas bottle is low with a high percentage of butane coupled with cold night time weather it is unable to supply gas but works ok the next day when it warms up. We have had exactly this problem, the solution is to change to a full bottle when the weather is cold and back to the old bottle when it warms up... worth a try. I note that your registration address is NSW so you might not be familiar with this problem as Australian LPG has a much higher percentage of propane than ours.

Truma water heater

by Stuffr

[ 5 ]

Stuffr

11:27 AM   07-Jan-18

Christchurch

Hi everyone, I have a 2013 Tracker FB and on our Xmas holiday the Truma water heater has decided not to work. I have checked all fuses on the sargent mamagement system and all seem ok. We live in Christchurch and are back there today. Can anyone tell me who sercices these units? Has anyone had a similar problem? Thanks Nigel

Mike & Chris

11:48 AM   07-Jan-18

North Canterbury

RV Super centre at the airport would be worth a call or Ashburton RV (agents), if they can't help they should know who can. As a matter of interest has it stopped working on gas and electricity... there are fuses on the boiler itself. I can email you an operating manual if you haven't already got one.

 

Mike 

Stuffr

12:29 PM   07-Jan-18

Christchurch

Thanks Mike I wondered if there was a fuse on the boiler. The manual would be great thanks. nigel@ndupholstery.co.nz.

John M

08:57 PM   07-Jan-18

We had a problem with ours 18 mths ago where it just wouldn't start 90% of the time for about a week, then it came right.  I got really involved and frustrated with it and also contacted AT and Truma who did not give a damn about it frankly.

 

Eventually it came right, what I think may have been the cause was the thermostat sensor above the kitchen power point was being blasted with steam from the kettle and was telling the heater that things were warm enough.

 

Another trap is that no gas appliances will work until about fifteen minutes after the engine is shut down, so that you can't/won't turn a flame on in a service station.

 

I know I'm talking about the heater, but the water heating is essentially the same thing, and neither would start when we had the issue, on 230 nor gas.

 

incidentally, if you read the Truma manual it describes a safety feature/requirement of a switch on the window above the gas flue outlet.  That is so you don't gas yourself with exhaust gases coming back in thru the bedroom window.  A sensor switch is intended to disable the Truma if the bedroom window is open.  After a thorough search of our bedroom window I concluded correctly that AT don't bother to fit one!   A Carbon Monoxide detector is essential in the bedroom.

 

John

Nevaathome _1

08:29 AM   10-Jan-18

Northland

Hi everyone we have a 2012 Dakota and all of a sudden our Truma water heater has decided to only go at 8am the rest of the day we can’t get it to work. Any ideas thanks Peter

Combi 4E heater failure in below zero temperatures

by El-Dub

[ 3 ]

El-Dub

03:00 PM   19-Oct-17

Our new Apache 632 with a Truma Combi4E failed us early on trying to keep warm when the outside temperature was -5 degrees or less. Error messages noted frozen air intake or outlet, gas pressure regulator frozen, too much Butane. Since LPG has at least 40% Butane what to do. From correspondence in the recent Motor Caravanner this is not a unique problem. Any solutions beside taking a gas cylinder to bed or retrofitting a diesel heater.

Mike & Chris

03:44 PM   19-Oct-17

North Canterbury

There are things that you can do.

 

The issue is that LPG in NZ is a propane butane mix and during cold weather propane is used preferentially because it turns from liquid to gas at a much lower temperature. As the bottle empties the contents become richer in butane which is unavailable at temperatures just below freezing so the system stops even though there is gas (liquid) in the bottle.

 

So, never refill bottles that are not completely empty because that will increase the proportion of butane in the mix. Change to a full bottle in freezing weather and back to the used bottle as soon as the day warms up. Anecdotally, sometimes a shipment is imported into the South Island from Australia to cater for a winter shortfall. This LPG is much richer in propane. If you asked, a supplier might be able to tell you when such a shipment arrived so that you could fill up a couple of "winter" bottles.

El-Dub

10:39 AM   26-Oct-17

Thanks for the response. Seems one needs a local knowledge of the gas industry. So annoying as in Europe with propane and a simple Truma radiator (no need of battery supply unless circulating the heat)we survived down to -20 in the Alps.

truma ultraheat not working on 230V

by lbh

[ 5 ]

lbh

06:15 PM   09-Apr-17

auckland

Hi all, Having an issue when trying to use truma ultraheat on 230V. Heating fails on 500, 1000 and 2000 Watt setting. The green light comes on for less than a second then fades away. The fan, auto and manual both work fine - just no heat. Everything is fine in gas. Coincidentally, perhaps, the 12V lighter socket used by the TV at the back of the bus has also stopped working. Auto Trail Scout. 2013. Cheers, Ewan.

Mike & Chris

08:17 PM   09-Apr-17

North Canterbury

Hi

 

Not sure if it is the same as ours, but on the 230volt side of the EC500 control panel you have to select the space heater and water heater buttons in to utilise mains power. Unlike using gas, selecting electricty as the source won't work unless the buttons are also selected on.

 

Mike

 

lbh

07:04 AM   10-Apr-17

auckland

Hi Mike, Thanks for responding. I have those options selected. Cheers, Ewan.

Grant and Gail

08:42 PM   11-Apr-17

Christchurch

Hi, probably stating the obvious but have you checked fuses or it could be your 230 volt element.

 

Grant

geebeealan

08:52 PM   11-Apr-17

Kaiapoi

Check the overload switch/button on truma unit press to reset instructions in manual

Autotrail Apache heater rattle

by Richard & Kay

[ 4 ]

Richard & Kay

09:09 PM   05-Jul-16

Auckland

The Fins on the front of our Truma cabin heater rattle when we are driving. Has anyone else had this problem ?

geebeealan

09:19 PM   05-Jul-16

Kaiapoi

The fins will be touching the heatfins on the gas heating unit grind fins to get a gap 

 

Alan

Sue

09:31 AM   06-Jul-16

Wellington

Hi All, not intending to hijack this thread but I have a Truma Ultraheat S3004/S3004P/S5004/S5004E Operation Instructions booklet which is surplus to requirements.  Wonder if anyone out there needs one, happy to post to you.

Richard & Kay

06:47 PM   06-Jul-16

Auckland

Thanks for the advice everyone . I am sure I can get a fix now.

 

Truma Combi Boiler/Heater Heating the Bed From Below

by Smarties

[ 4 ]

Smarties

04:46 PM   10-Jun-16

South Otago

Our Dakota, like many other Autotrail models (and no doubt other brands of motor home as well) has a Truma Combi heater/boiler located in a wooden box under the fixed double bed.  In the colder weather having some background level of heating on overnight is desirable - for us down south here anyway!  What we find though is that the heat from the Truma unit warms the mattress up from below so that the bed is a bit too warm for comfort.  If you don't use your van in winter this probably won't be an issue as room heating is much less likely to be needed at other times of the year.  To get around this issue I was thinking of getting something like a hot water cylinder insulation wrap & putting it under the mattress to try & insulate the mattress more from the Truma heat source.  I presume it would not be a good idea to put this wrap right on top of the box the Truma is in as no doubt some air circulation is desirable to prevent overheating of the unit.  Before trying this I thought I would just see if anyone else has struck this as an issue & if so what cunning solutions they might have come up with to mitigate the problem.  Using the timer on the control panel is fine for the water heating - you could set it to come on say 1 hour before you want it in the morning but it doesn't work for the van heat if you want some background level of heat right through the night.

Les

07:12 PM   10-Jun-16

Tuakau

Hi, 

as below about 19 entries you will see that on my Comanche and Delaware van I have fitted Vents on the side of the bed, this helps and also warms the van.

Mike & Chris

09:10 PM   11-Jul-16

North Canterbury

Hi

We stayed at Hanmer on Saturday and Sunday nights (2015 Dakota) with the temperature down to -5C. On Saturday night we left the central heating on, set to 14 degrees, and woke up sweating... eventually had to turn it off to get some sleep. On Sunday night it was even colder so left the heating on again but the thermostat set to 10 degrees. We had a reasonable sleep but the mattress was still uncomfortably hot although it was cold enough outside that in the morning there was an icicle from the Truma exhaust all the way down to the ground. I think that venting the underbed space into the interior and possibly adding a very small fan to aid circulation should keep the mattress cooler with the additional benefit of cabin heating as per Les's contribution above.

Barry King

09:28 AM   12-Jul-16

Lower Hutt

Hi

We've added a "Marine Vent" at the from (shower end ) of the bed and also cut two triangular shaped holes near where the hinges attach to the main body (on each side).  By doing this we didn't have to move the bolts holding the hinges at all, basically just worked around them.

Autotrail RB switch by bed

by John_1

[ 2 ]

John_1

11:34 AM   31-Jan-16

Tauranga

There is a switch by the transverse bed which is hard to read but has 3settings one which is OFF. Can anyone enlighten me to the relevance of this switch? It's to do with water heating but not sure if it's for power, gas or both. Many thanks

 

The Sutherlands

10:03 PM   03-Feb-16

Auckland

Ah Yes-The switch you need to stand on your head to read. Well its the hot water temp setting when you are on 230v hook up- Its a really dumb place to put it and is only on RB's I believe. The top position is 850 watt, the middle off and the bottom is 1300 watt. I leave mine permanantly on the bottom position so I dont need to second guess it when I hook up

Combi Heater Unit

by Dave_2

[ 3 ]

Dave_2

02:20 PM   22-Nov-15

Our Comanche Combi heater unit heats the hot water fine but when the heater starts up  just as it gets going dies out even when the gas bottles are fill. It seems we only get about half the heat when on electrics as well. Any suggestions on what maybe the problem, I have had the unit checked out by the gas experts who think its not getting enough gas for the heater although everything else on gas works fine. Dave B

Mike & Chris

09:50 AM   23-Nov-15

North Canterbury

Hi

 

You will find a lot of info here including troubleshooting... go to downloads, there may be something there to help.

 

https://www.truma.com/int/en/heating/combi-6.php

 

Mike

Les

10:28 AM   23-Nov-15

Tuakau

Hi, 

    Have you replaced the Truma Regulator as they gunk up, then check the copper gas line to heater that it is not gunked up.

The only time I have your problem is when the gas bottle gets low.

On power they only work on 1800watts so not a lot of heat in a big commanche van, unless you run both gas and power at the same time.

Bathroom Heating

by Barry King

[ 4 ]

Barry King

08:46 AM   13-Jun-15

Lower Hutt

We have a Comanche with a heater vent into the bathroom (along with all the other places of course).

The bathroom builds up and holds the heat which is very good for drying our towels etc but overall a waste of stored heat.  We are thinking of putting a vent on the forward facing wall up high to allow some heat to vent into the main cabin (with a close off shutter).  Anybody else have the same issue and any comments or solutions before we proceed?

Chris Gaelic

09:46 AM   13-Jun-15

Hi Barry, we've noticed the same thing. However, there are flaps on the hot air vents that you can close off if you don't want the bathroom to warm up, and the extra warm air will then get directed into the rest of the motorhome.

Sandy Dougherty

04:42 PM   13-Jun-15

Cambridge

Hi Barry and Chris, we do the same thing, close the bathroom vent in our tracker and find it still gets warm enough take the chill off the room. 

Chris Gaelic

04:57 PM   13-Jun-15

The other question of wasting gas for heating, the biggest losses to outside are in the lounge, and through the front windscreen. Closing off the vents into this area overnight, and keeping the bedroom door closed, should allow you to stay comforably warm on the lowest temperature setting.

Heater temperature

by Sublime

[ 3 ]

Sublime

08:01 PM   17-May-15

Geraldine

We have a combi heater in our 2014 Dakato. On gas we had it set to 18deg it comes up to temp no problem but then stops, we waited while it dropped 3 deg and still didn't come back on. I would have thought that it would automatically keep coming on to maintain the temp we set. Is it meant to? We have had it on electric and I'm sure it just maintained that temp. by Sublime

David Buxton

01:36 PM   22-May-15

Taupo

Our heater maintains temperature when on gas. I suggest you get the control panel checked out. 3 degrees is rather cold to live iin!

Sublime

11:58 AM   30-Jun-15

Geraldine

We just turn the dial to whatever temp we want.

hot water on power

by Sandy Dougherty

[ 12 ]

Sandy Dougherty

10:31 PM   28-Jan-15

Cambridge

This may seem a really dumb question but.... we cant seem to work out how to switch on our hot water when on on power! We have the system with 2 dials as opposed to some that may have a digital display I think? Hoping someone can help!

The Sutherlands

04:10 PM   01-Feb-15

Auckland

Hi Sandy-On the Main Control Panel which is inside a cupboard at the front there are 4 push button switches in a row that light up when pushed. They should be marked "Reverser Polarity" "Charger" "Space Heater" and last "Water Heater" Push this on and you should be away Also find your Truma Hot Water Switch which Autotrail in their wisdom seem to locate any where they feel like, this is a small grey unit the same size as the gas hot water switch and you will see three positions Top position is 850 Watts, middle pos marked with an "o" is off and the bottom position is 1300 watts. The bottom position heats the water quicker and hotter. Good Luck

Boltman

05:10 PM   09-Feb-15

Whangarei

hi Sandy there is a good video on u tube explains it clearly. Good luck

Sandy Dougherty

05:05 PM   28-Feb-15

Cambridge

hi to the Sutherlands and Boltman. I found the button in the cupboard, felt really dumb not to think of that one. I have found the dial (above our door) and put it on to power only, and chose the higher power level and still not working. am wondering if I am using the correct dial? I am not using the one that is for the gas heating. I wonder Boltman if you could give me some idea as to words I can use in my youtube search. I can't seem to come up with anything that will get useful results. Cheers, Sandy

Boltman

05:31 PM   17-Mar-15

Whangarei

Hi Sandy I have searched YouTube to find the video it was under Autotrail Tv but it seems to have been removed. On our Dakota I rotate the both dials above the side door anti clockwise 2 clicks. I hope this helps regards Glenn.

Jo Wilson

10:07 AM   02-Jun-15

Papakura

Hi Sandy. I had the same issue and was told by AMH that both the Space Heater and Water Heater buttons needed to be pushed on for water heating to operate. Jo

Sandy Dougherty

06:30 PM   07-Jun-15

Cambridge

At last we have lift off!! Yes thanks to 'Boltman' we turned our dials 2 clicks upwards and presto.. it worked, thanks for your help!

WD

11:01 PM   03-Jun-18

New Plymouth

Great advice guys, hadn't been able to get the water heater working on electric power. Now I can ,thanks.

however any advice on getting the space heater working. I waited until the water heated up but nothing else happened. Left switch was on high and thermostat was set at 3. Any thoughts? Space Heater, Water Heater and

 Charger switches are turned on, on the EC500

John M

11:51 PM   03-Jun-18

Yes they can be temperamental!

 

First thing is to remember that there is a timer lockout somewhere that prevents the water heater and space heater from igniting for a period after the ignition is turned off.  This is to stop you igniting the gas system in a service station.

In our Comanche it takes about 20-30 minutes.

 

Thermostat (the round inner knob of the water/heater control) has minimal effect, but to get it started set it to the highest temperature which is full clockwise rotation.

 

Note, the temperature sensor for the thermostat is on the kitchen bench above the power sockets, in the Comanche at least.

 

Note that if you boil the kettle close to that power point you may have heated the thermostat to thermo nuclear levels? This could in theory prevent turn on of the heating?

 

I find that if it won’t start, I have more chance  of starting with the power, then switch to gas.

 

In the larger 6000 watt version of the Truma, we get far hotter water on gas than electric.

 

On electric the heater is fairly useless by itself.  But it does maintain the comfort level once the van is heated adequately.  So start with the gas and electric then switch to electric to maintain the temperature.

 

The two illuminated switches on the EC500 to the right of the green charger switch can be left on permanently.

 

As a fire safely precaution I always turn off the Truma Combi control to the “0” off position, and kill the water pump and lights as I leave the van.  Leave the master power switch (top left) above the door “on” as that effects the solar charging.

 

John M

Sevenoaks Kent

 

Peter Robieson

03:13 PM   02-Oct-18

Mount Maunganui

HI there

 

Have you solved your" no hot water" issues when on power?

 

What model autotrail do you have? We have a Tracker RB

 

Peter - 021 775177

John M

06:19 PM   02-Oct-18

Hi Peter

 

No not yet, we have to wait until we return to the UK, where Truma will replace the two electric elements, at $700 a pair for basically jug elements, plus about six hrs labour at around $150 per hour!

 

We have a Comanche with a Truma Combi 6. The heating still works on gas of course.

 

On our way to the south of Portugal now to start our wintering over in Spain.  We have big gas tanks so we should survive for long periods, plus this year we will move camps monthly so we can refill the GPL as they call it regularly.

 

Back to the UK in March.

 

JohnM

San Sebastián 

John M

11:26 AM   02-Nov-18

Finally booked our Truma repairs, to replace the two electric elements.

Truma have a service centre in the UK, one of five worldwide.

They will remove and repair while we wait, which is fantastic news as we live/tour in our van full time.

We have a Caravan Club site booked not far from Truma, so we can be there early .

The quote is £306.04, just over $600 for the two elements, and labour of £50/$100 per hour.  Hope that included VAT?????

Excelent service but expensive elements when you consider they are like straighten jug elements, or more accurately jug elements before you coil them!

We are still in Spain, so booked in for late March when we return to the UK for MOT/WOFs for the vehicle’s, service etc.

I’ll update when complete.

 

Also of interest is where we go for the MH mechanical services, to Brown Hills Motorhomes in Newark.  They allow us three nights free parking in their secure site with full hook up etc.   Interesting company, they have 25 service pits in their workshop.  The week ends must be quiet MH wise as they advertise to service Fiat trade vans over the weekend.  I guess the RVs are away touring while the tradies are on their days off.

 

JohnM

Cadiz

HOUSE BATTERY - INFORMATION

Freedom camping and solar panels

by GS Berger

[ 3 ]

GS Berger

03:14 PM   09-Aug-19

Hello, Seeking advice in relation to freedom camping in one spot for 3-4 days specifically living from solar panels. Advice on how many would power for that time frame. Cheers Samantha

Les

03:24 PM   09-Aug-19

Tuakau

 

Go to AASOLAR, silverdale,

in the forum look at Autotrail issues,

go down to batteries, lithium, projects, etc.

 

All depends on the amount of solar and your batteries to stay extended periods this time of the year.

 

Les

GS Berger

10:28 PM   09-Aug-19

Thank you

Battery Information

by Les

[ 2 ]

Les

02:01 PM   09-Aug-19

Tuakau

Lifepo4 batteries advantages:
Low Weight
Won't care about PSOC (partial state of charge)
Longer life span than other chemistry's
Can drain down more than traditional chemistry's
Has very little voltage drop at high draws

Disadvantages are:
HIGH PRICE
Battery monitor that measures input and output is required as you can not tell the SOC (state of charge) by voltage

Lead carbon advantages:
Won't care about PSOC as much as most other chemistry's
Longer life span than other chemistry's
Can drain down more than traditional chemistry's

Disadvantages:
Higher price than AGMs (but still lower than lithium)
Heavy
Somewhat unproven battery chemistry

AGM deep cycle advantages:
Much lower cost 
Much more common so more selection and competition on price

Disadvantages:
Heavy
Worst out the ones mentioned at PSOC (meaning PSOC will likely reduce the lifespan of the battery)

Les

03:42 PM   10-Aug-19

Tuakau

LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES Faster charge/discharge rates without damaging the battery. Claimed 93 percent charge efficiency, 15 percent better than the best lead acid varieties. ... Very low rates of self-discharge when not in use. At 25°C ambient temperature the battery will retain 80 percent of its rated capacity after 12 months on the shelf.

Extended free camping

by GS Berger

[ 2 ]

GS Berger

09:29 PM   07-Aug-19

How long will the standard house batteries last with the factory installed 1 solar panel?    How about free standing solar panels and or lithium iron batteries.

where in Auckland is it possible to get this done?

 

cheers

Les

08:45 AM   08-Aug-19

Tuakau

Go to AASOLAR, silverdale, in the forum look at Autotrail issues, go down to batteries, lithium, projects, etc.

dc to dc charge

by Mikew

[ 14 ]

Mikew

12:44 PM   29-Jul-19

Hi im thinkingof getting a DC to DC charger installed to charge house batteries while driving

has anyone had this done ? we have a 2013 Dakota with 2 house batteries. RSE have a 40 amp system im loking at 

thanks mike

Mike & Chris

02:38 PM   29-Jul-19

North Canterbury

But doesn't this happen already with the standard system?

Smarties

04:58 PM   29-Jul-19

South Otago

We have a 2015 Dakota & I'm practically 100% certain that the house battery(s) charge while the engine is running.

 

Cheers

 

John

Avocadopicker

07:29 PM   29-Jul-19

Katikati

We have a 30A B2B to charge LB when engine running, and a 3A B2B to trickle charge top up VB if necessary on our 2019 Delaware. Might be belt and braces but ensures we never have a low battery.

Boltman

07:29 PM   29-Jul-19

Whangarei

My 2013 Dakota charges house batteries when Vechicle is running. I had massive problems for the first 9 months with the charging system until Keith at AMH swapped out the controllers against instructions and put our faulty ones in some poor mugs motorhome in the yard that solved the charging problem.

Mikew

08:52 AM   30-Jul-19

i dont think they do charge. we had about 50% capacity left after freedom camping for 3 days, overcast weather so no solar help drove a good 6 hours and still had 50 % charge. im sure some would be going in to keep the fridge working but not enough to top up house batteries. i checked with ashburton MH they didnt think they did either

Run-Off

10:03 AM   30-Jul-19

Waiuku

I have the same charging problem with my 2014 Delaware.Daniel at RSE told me yesterday,he has a"magic box",a 12v DC toDC charger which resolves all the issues relating to the smart alternator operating in our vehicles.

      The charge is stepped up to meet the combined needs of the 'house" eg  the fridge and the house battery while travelling.

Les

11:02 AM   30-Jul-19

Tuakau

 

I have a german DC to DC 45 amp 12v charger,best thing I did Batteries always full. Starting Battery sits about 13.1 v and house battery at 13.3 v dc plus on a Lithium battery.

Les

Mikew

06:26 PM   30-Jul-19

im booked in to get one tomorrow so hopefully that will sort it ill keep you posted

 

John M

04:03 AM   31-Jul-19

The Sargent system is all bells and whistles but is totally unreliable!  I have a spare EC500 that I was forced to buy by Sargents because they refused to help me solve issues with the original EC500. I got heavy with them and they repaired the original.  Cost about $650 for the new EC500 and about $135 for a full board replacement in the original.  

I swap them over from time to time and both are equally confusing and frustrating, and I’m a qualified electrical Dude!

My Comanche frequently but not always arrives at destinations with flat LBs, according to the display.  

Yesteday was a bad one, 165 km run on autoroute, arrived with 7% charge.  Today 28 hour’s later it has risen to a mere 25%.  

However, when displaying 2% charge the batteries still power everything!

 

Unlike most of you in NZ we camp solely in motorcamps, so always have 230volt hook up.

I have installed a big grunty sophisticated multi talented Bosch charger connected directly to the van battery.  That keeps the van battery charged, after a run the VB does need a top up!  I turn it on after a trip and a few hours before a drive.  This leaves the Sargent to deal to the LBs.

 

For the record we have a very new Varta VB, and the LB were recently tested during a habitation service.

The profession battery tester places a huge load across the batttery for ten seconds, then measures the recovery time, our LBs passed the test.

 

In conclusion I don’t know if the LBs are charged while driving, but the EC500 is off while driving, so I suspect that it doesn’t connect the alternator and VB to the LBs.  

 

Cheers

JohnM

Zadar

Mike & Chris

09:43 AM   31-Jul-19

North Canterbury

The Autotrail manual states quite clearly that the leisure batteries are charged by the alternator when the engine is running and that is our experience... we have never had an issue, at the end of a days driving the batteries are always at or close to 100%. So, if this is not what happens in your van surely you have a fault which can be repaired.

 

As for the EC500, it is still operating in the background when the engine is running modifying the various systems to suit, 12v power to the fridge etc.

 

Mike

John M

06:11 PM   31-Jul-19

Yes Mike I agree with your comments That is what we believe?  But the consensus is half in half on this thread.

Sargent is unreliable or perhaps too complicated, which is why I have two .EC500, both of which exhibit confusing characteristics.  If you read this forum’s electrical threads they are full of confused owners with conflicting ideas, as in this thread.

I don’t believe that I have a fault.  After three and a half years of full time living in this van I have repaired or replaced just about everything. 

Part of the issue with the Sargent became apparent in a letter from Tim at Sargent, posted in this forum, explaining that the change over from VB to LB is controlled by a timer.  This means it is not necessarily charging the most needy battery.

The other thing that I thought of is that there are no big high current relays inside the EC500 capable of switching the currents that the alternator may deliver and they are not likely to be electronic relays. 

Also if the alternator was connected to the LB, and you stalled the engine, when you use the starter motor it would try to suck current back from the LB, the leisure wiring would fry, I can’t see any big isolating diodes there to stop that.  

Also, the only wires from the van battery to the EC500 are a piddly little 1.5 mm pair, hardly sufficient for heavy charging.

If I have a fault then it is shared by others on this thread.

As I concluded earlier, I don’t know for sure, and maybe it is supposed to charge both batteries, but evidently many of us feel it doesn’t for whatever reason.

JohnM

John M

06:11 PM   31-Jul-19

Yes Mike I agree with your comments That is what we believe?  But the consensus is half in half on this thread.

Sargent is unreliable or perhaps too complicated, which is why I have two .EC500, both of which exhibit confusing characteristics.  If you read this forum’s electrical threads they are full of confused owners with conflicting ideas, as in this thread.

I don’t believe that I have a fault.  After three and a half years of full time living in this van I have repaired or replaced just about everything. 

Part of the issue with the Sargent became apparent in a letter from Tim at Sargent, posted in this forum, explaining that the change over from VB to LB is controlled by a timer.  This means it is not necessarily charging the most needy battery.

The other thing that I thought of is that there are no big high current relays inside the EC500 capable of switching the currents that the alternator may deliver and they are not likely to be electronic relays. 

Also if the alternator was connected to the LB, and you stalled the engine, when you use the starter motor it would try to suck current back from the LB, the leisure wiring would fry, I can’t see any big isolating diodes there to stop that.  

Also, the only wires from the van battery to the EC500 are a piddly little 1.5 mm pair, hardly sufficient for heavy charging.

If I have a fault then it is shared by others on this thread.

As I concluded earlier, I don’t know for sure, and maybe it is supposed to charge both batteries, but evidently many of us feel it doesn’t for whatever reason.

JohnM

Mike & Chris

09:54 AM   01-Aug-19

North Canterbury

Considering the issue of a timer, it isn't as simple as that. If smart charging is selected the EC500 initially defaults to the leisure battery and monitors the vehicle battery. The timer bit only kicks in if the VB voltage drops below 12.4v. There is a huge amount of information here and elsewhere on Sargents website for those that are interested.

 

https://sargentltd.co.uk/tech-support/article/EC500-System/18

 

I get the feeling from reading many posts on this forum that for all of the "standard" motorhomes with one solar panel and possibly two leisure batteries the Sargent electronics work well but they are not particulary tolerant of additions and modifications.

 

Mike

House battery configuration

by lbh

[ 1 ]

lbh

05:48 PM   13-May-19

auckland

Hi All, I have a 2013 Scout, and am wondering what owners of the same motorhome have as their house battery configuration. How many and what size batteries have people managed to fit in their side compartments?! Cheers, Ewan.

House battery configuration

by lbh

[ 1 ]

lbh

02:05 PM   13-May-19

auckland

Hi All, I have a 2013 Scout, and am wondering what owners of the same motorhome have as their house battery configuration. How many and what size batteries have people managed to fit in their side compartments?! Cheers, Ewan.

Solar recharging of house battery

by lbh

[ 2 ]

lbh

08:33 PM   08-May-19

auckland

Can anyone tell me what is the maximum size of battery (or batteries) I can run with if I have 200W 18V solar panel. IE I am hoping to recharge them fully during a sunny day. Thanks.

Avocadopicker

08:17 AM   09-May-19

Katikati

So using some very rough rules of thumb: 200W of solar power at 13V (for charging) represents about 15A. With an efficient MPPT controller you might hope for 90% efficiency so could hope for around 13.5A charging. So in four hours of a perfect blue-sky day with unobstructed bright sunshine, you might expect to put back around 54AH of charge into your battery. This is all assuming perfect conditions so generally you wouldn't often get quite this much. Really the question should be more: 'how much of my battery can I use and hope to get recharged during a sunny day'. Having a larger battery gives you a bigger safety margin before you hit damagingly-low state of charge on your battery. For example, if you actually used 54AH of your 100AH bettery in one day, it would be headed towards being damaged (i.e. 54% discharged when the accepted maximum discharge should be no more than 50%), but a 200AH battery would only have been discharged 27%. So long-story-short, your solar capacity should aim to match your usage profile.

battery charging

by Mikew

[ 4 ]

Mikew

03:06 PM   29-Apr-19

Hi There wondering if anyone knows does the altenator charge the house batterys while driving ? i have a 2013 Dakota

 

thanks mike

Mike & Chris

03:18 PM   29-Apr-19

North Canterbury

Hi Mike

 

Absolutely... charged by the vehicle alternator, solar or mains connection as appropriate.

 

Mike

John M

11:07 PM   29-Apr-19

No not necessarily.

Yes I think it should, but my 2012 Comanche often arrives at the destination with half flat batteries!  Totally unreliable.

I have two EC500, one a spare, and both often fail to charge the habitation batteries in transit.

There is no direct connection from the alternator to the EC500 that I have found. The alternator feeds the starter battery, which in turn connects to the EC500.  The EC500 then may or may not connect the van battery to the habitation batteries.

Of course we can’t see what is happening when the vehicle is in transit because the monitor panel turns off.

 

FYI, in a simpler older MOHO basic electrical system, the alternator charged the starter battery, which was then connected through a diode and relay to the habitation batts, when the starter bat voltage exceeds the hab bats, then the diode turns on and charges the latter.  In our modern ATs the EC500 takes the place of that diode, or in my experience often doesn’t.

 

JohnM

3 years full time in Europe now on holiday in

Auckland.

 

Les

09:43 AM   30-Apr-19

Tuakau

I have a German DC to DC Charger or 12v to 12v DC. Off the starter battery Both batteries always full. 12.1 v dc vehicle battery and 13.3 v dc lithium house battery Read further down charging from an alternator

Battery charging issues

by UK KIWI

[ 5 ]

UK KIWI

03:16 AM   28-Apr-19

Canterbury

Hello friendlies.

Can anyone please confirm that solar charging of the vehicle and habitation batteries still continues, ( sun depending of course) when the main switch on the Sargent unit is off?

Secondly, following poor performance from the habitation battery I discovered that the cells on the so-called maintenance free sealed battery were bone dry. Has anyone else had similar issues?

Apologies in advance if the above concerns have been wired previously.

 

Many thanks

Grant

The Sutherlands

07:33 AM   28-Apr-19

Auckland

Hi Grant Yes.. I got sucked in to the "maintenance free" sealed battery issue as well. No wet cell battery is maintenance free as I discovered when my battery went dry so a new battery was required.Poor product description from Banner Secondly...a quick look at the Sargent website for the EC500 charger says the main switch should be in the "on" position for the Smart Charger to work Cheers Rob

FrankC

08:27 AM   28-Apr-19

Hi I came across this website a few yeRs ago when looking to change my motorhome batteries .As a result I purchased 3 Bosch batteries to replace the installed batteries and have had no problems http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/battery-technology.php

 

Frank

Mike & Chris

08:46 AM   28-Apr-19

North Canterbury

Hi... below is a paste from the Sargent Manual. It appears that the leisure batteries will still be charged but not "intelligently"

 

Mike

 

3.6 Solar Charge Management

 

The EC500 PSU incorporates a built-in solar charge management feature, which will control the input

from a solar panel (when fitted, maximum rating 120W). Depending on the charge state of the

batteries, the solar power will be directed to the required battery, and continuously monitored to ensure

optimum operation. For this system to operate intelligently, the shutdown button should be left

switched on. If the shutdown button is turned off then the solar panel will charge the leisure battery

only.

UK KIWI

11:09 PM   28-Apr-19

Canterbury

Thanks for the info and advice Rob, Frank, Mike & Chris. I will endevour to source a supplier of the Varta LFD90 or Bosch L5. Cheers for that.

Battery

by Kevin and Joy_1

[ 5 ]

Kevin and Joy_1

01:55 PM   04-Dec-18

Just replaced my one battery for two 120w. Now I have the problem of the power turning it self off. Do I need to have the Sargent panel look at please?

Avocadopicker

02:06 PM   04-Dec-18

Katikati

Can't explain the turning off bit, but for sure you need to tell the Sargent system that it's now looking after 240AH of battery. You can configure that in the settings.

Richard & Kay

08:27 PM   04-Dec-18

Auckland

How are the batteries setup ? Are they in parallel or using two Sargent less to to fittings supplied . 

I used the 2 leads on our last Apache but had trouble and found wiring the batteries in parallel fixed the problems 

John M

11:18 PM   04-Dec-18

Using the two sets of leads is “in parallel”.

 

Normal battery practice is to parallel at the batteries, but for some reason Sargent have designed the wiring system with separate leads, ie four wires, for each battery to the circuit board plug.  Two red and two black.  They are paralleled at the circuit board.

 

I had to replace my Comanche battery wiring because of a short circuit in the void behind the drivers seat.  I detailed this in another thread about a year ago.

 

John M

Vila Joiosa 

 

Les

08:31 AM   05-Dec-18

Tuakau

Hi Kevin & Joy

 

As Above Paralled at the PSU ( Brown Positive )  Blue ( Negative )

 

Sargent System ?  is it a PSU.  EC155 Recall by Autotrail

 

Votronic Monitor fitted, if so could be a conflict between Sargent System and Votronic System causing the switching relay to turn off

 

Les

 

 

Low Battery Warning

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:49 AM   10-Jul-18

Tuakau

LOW BATTERY WARNING 
AT NZ Facebook post:    We have had a low battery warning ⚠️ beeping at us from the Sargent panel. It’s very disconcerting not to mention nerve wracking! Because this shouldn’t be happening, ie batteries fully charged today, I am wondering if the Sargent panel might need resetting? I have had to do this once before.. can’t re-find that info on how to do it. Also we aren’t experiencing any loss of power eg tv picture cutting out, lights dimming when water pumps being used.

 

Comments:

 

-  Press the "system reset " button on the Sargent panel in the cupboard.  Leave it off for a few seconds before turning back on. 
-  The Sargent website is HYPERLINK "https://sargentltd.co.uk/shop" https://sargentltd.co.uk/shop. They are really good at coming back to you if you ask technical questions. You can also download manuals for their equipment. Give them a try!
-  Had it checked and they discovered a plug disconnected (think it was to a fuse) in the little compartment beside the battery box.

House Batteries

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:45 AM   10-Jul-18

Tuakau

HOUSE  BATTERIES 


AT NZ Facebook post:    Our house batteries look as if they have given up the ghost overnight any advice on the batteries we need. We have a Delaware.

 

Comment:


- If you can afford it, suggest you replace the Old Batteries with Lithium type.
-  Before you purchase lithium or calcium batteries make sure that your alternator VOLTAGE (not amperage) is going to be sufficient for the type of battery you intend installing. This is very important. Also, use two 6 volt batteries in series as the internal resistance is less than using two 12 volt batteries in parallel ( which is most likely to be the case on your MOTORHOME. English motorhomes do not appear to be wired in most suitable way for charging batteries for NZ conditions as most European travelling is involved with overnight power supplies. My suggestion is that if you want trouble free battery get a DC battery charger fitted to charge house batteries from your engine battery, NOT from your alternator as at present.
-  Replacing them with Lithium type batteries will create a wide range of other issues as the Sargent system isn’t set up for them and a different type of charger is required. Also, the starting battery still needs the charger. Unless you want to spend a lot of money redesigning the entire system your best bet is to remain with the std AGM batteries

Batteries

by Alan and Barbara

[ 5 ]

Alan and Barbara

02:33 PM   09-Apr-18

Warkworth

Delaware has been in shed connected to 240v for 4 weeks. Come home and find both starting battery and leisure batteries below 12 volts (11.3 & 11.6 ) according to Sergeant panel. Consequently van won’t start without jump start. Ensured everything was turned off before going away and that the starting battery was selected on the control panel. What am I doing wrong as I’m over all this electronics. Brand new starting battery 2 months ago complements of AMH. Any suggestions appreciated.

Mike & Chris

02:50 PM   09-Apr-18

North Canterbury

Hope its not a silly question, but, did you select the charger switch in/on (green light) and check that the batteries were receiving a charge?

Mike & Chris

02:56 PM   09-Apr-18

North Canterbury

And, as a matter of interest do you know that you can do a jump start from under the bonnet... much easier than uncovering the battery. Although, if the answer to my first question is no, simply select the charger to "on" from the control panel and the batteries will then recharge.

John M

08:14 PM   09-Apr-18

I believe you also need the Black master switch to be on so that the EC500 is powered up so it can decide which battery needs charging. The green illuminated switch is only the 230 volts to the charger which is independent of the EC500.

 In other words the van needs to be powered up to work, to charge the batteries.

Ensure the water pump is off while the vehicle is unattended in case of leaks.

 

If I had the luxury of a garage for my van I would fit an isolation switch to the liesure batteries and run a separate external charger to them. Perhaps another to the van battery using the under bonnet access.  This is what Ferrari owners do as a matter of course, and car collectors generally.   

John M

John M

01:04 AM   10-Apr-18

And for today’s issues, 

our EC480 lost its display today.

 

Solution

Reboot it by removing the panel from the wall and disconnecting the cable by unplugging.  This allows the EC480 to fully discharge.

 

First turn off the Black Master Power at the EC500.

 

Remove the EC480 and unplug the cable.

 

Wait 30 seconds and then reconnect the lead.

 

The plug is difficult, there is a locking tab under the cable, against the board.  

 

Reasemble and test.  If still not working, remove the micro SD card on the EC480 board and re-insert.  This will reload the software.

 

John M

 

 

 

 

Information on Batteries Your Choice of Type

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

09:27 AM   08-Apr-18

Tuakau

Click on Link

 

http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/battery-technology.php

House batteryV

by Leonie

[ 6 ]

Leonie

04:05 PM   06-Apr-18

Auckland

Hi fellow members,

i am wondering if someone can help me? I have a 3 year old Auto Trail Tracker, purchased new from Auckland Motor Homes in Drury.  I have been having trouble with the sustainability of my house batteries. I have installed a 150 watt solar panel in the first year and for the last year or so I keep the van on charge constantly. My vehicle battery is fine, it bursts into life at the turn of the key but my house batteries are dead! I don't fully understand the systems, why one battery is ok but the other is not!

Naturally I have to purchase two more batteries but I would like to think that I can get a longer life from my batteries than 3 years plus eliminate the problems of low charge that has been occurring over the last 12 months. This problem spoils my enjoyment of my beautiful luxury motorhome!!

Les

07:57 PM   06-Apr-18

Tuakau

Hi, look at forum under Autotrail then down to house batteries.Do you use 230v power a lot and have your Sargent panel charge turned on, over time this cooks the battery plates leading to a shorter life.Solar is easier on batteries for charging through a mppt regulator. Les

John M

03:51 AM   07-Apr-18

I fear this will be one hotly contested debate. There may not be an easy answer as everyone knows everything and nothing about batteries.

 

In response to Les, billions of lead acid or sealed batteries are on constant chargers.  First most obvious one is the battery in your burglar alarm in your home, most run on a 12 volt sealed motorcycle battery and are supplied forever by a 230 volt charger.  My home still has its original battery installed 16 years ago, and still holds its charge for power outages.  Not saying Les is wrong, but I don’t think the matter is as simple as he suggests, Sorry.

 

The way a charger works is once the battery voltage exceedes the charger voltage the charger is biased off.  Usually the solar charger is higher than the mains charger so that too will turn off the charger.  

 

I have had three Sargent EC500, they are far from perfect and don’t do quite what you think they do.  The first EC500 failed and gave erroneous intermittent readings and warning alarms. The PCB was replaced at $170 and has its own new set of quirks.The third was bought as back up for $700 and is as odd as the other two.  I carry a spare EC500.

 

Just yesterday, I awoke to find the van starter battery was dead flat and the lessure batteries showing full volts and 0% charge.  The 230v was on all night.  What went wrong, I have no idea.

 

So why did the EC500 not keep the batteries charged? After a day of weak sun I have 16% charge.  The mains charger is not charging the leisure just now but it is charging the van.  In a day or so the main charger will kick in and offer some support. 

 

But even though the display tells me all this, the dead leisure batteries still run all the lights. They are not really flat?  I’m

so used to these things I ignore them.

 

Sorry to sound negative but after two years living with the EC500 x three I have little trust in their display of what the state of the batteries is, not saying they don’t work but they don’t do what you think they do.

 

If I was storing my van near home I would leave it on solar but would periodically check the state of the batteries and would run the 230 volt chargers when I felt they were needed.  

 

Regards

John

Kent

 

 

Leonie

10:13 AM   07-Apr-18

Auckland

Thank you Les and John for taking the time. As a woman, I'm not a great tech buff but I appreciate your comments. The information that you referred to Les was interesting, pardon my ignorance but I'm not sure what is 230 v, the TV? 

What I need to do is talk to a firm that specialises in this field, perhaps AA Solar in Silverdale? I see there is a "redarc" system advertised in our latest NZMCA magazine. 

I suspect that I haven't practiced good battery maintenance from purchase, as a result they have suffered insult which has resulted in an early demise. I am hoping that I can do better next time.

Of note, I have had problems with my gas monitor going off in the middle of the night when not in use, I see that that can stem from battery malfunction according to the info you referred to Les. 

Thank you both again. 

ColininChCh

10:38 AM   07-Apr-18

Christchurch

I have had the same experiences as John. Warnings going off, displays showing 2volts etc when the batteries are in fact still have significant  charge. I use a separate meter to check the battery voltage and go by a chart I have which tells you the battery capacity in relation to it's charge.

 

On Les's comment I had a technician repair my TV receiver and he advised that using the EC500 it does not take advantrage of the full output of the solar panel (20v) but regulates it to the 12V. Installing a mppt regulator, according to the tech, will increase the charge from the solar by 20-30%.

 

Regards

Colin

 

 

Mike & Chris

12:36 PM   07-Apr-18

North Canterbury

Well fortunately I have not had any issues with the electrical system in our Dakota so for me I think the Sargent EC500 and associated paraphernalia is great... touch wood. From Leonie's first post she said that she installed a 150 watt solar panel which is outside the stated maximum of 120 watts for the EC500 so perhaps the problems all stem from not sticking to the specs.

switching off batteries for storage of motorhome month or two

by GRANT R

[ 1 ]

GRANT R

10:06 AM   17-Dec-17

NEW PLYMOUTH

Shutting Down the power for a month or two on your motor home 

1/Ensure  that the batteries have been checked recently and water topped up ( Other wise you will cancel al the care that you give to your batteries ) 

2/. Do not disconnect the batteries 

3/  turn off the isolation button on the control panel over the drivers seat ( this switch turns off all the electronic circuits except the solar panel charger,  its circuits will determine a safe charge for your house batteries and motor battery . 

4/ If storage time runs into months and the solar panel is not getting the sun light then the batteries will slowly  run down and sulphate and deteriorate the life of the batteries . 

6/ three or 4 times a year I disconnect the batteries from the van and connect a high tec 3 stage charger to the batteries this will remove any sulfation from,the battery plates , the battery can then deliver its full output as it was designed to do , in the past I have had motor home batteries last 8 or 9 years .

7/ don't forget heavy drain 60% is to be avoided as the time will come around quicker than you think for replacement .

Grant R

Battery Storage, what to leave on/off?

by Angela O

[ 3 ]

Angela O

09:20 AM   17-Dec-17

Whangaparaoa

Hi guys

I'm after a little help/tips on what systems to leave on/off when putting my 2015 Dakota into storage please?   I've searched this site but couldn't find anything on this topic, sorry if it's been asked before and I missed it.

I'm leaving my vehicle outside in a storage lockup for about a month with no power hookups.  Do I turn everything off, disconnect the batteries etc or do I leave some items on/some off or what?  I have the standard solar setup that comes with an autotrail.

Interested to know what you do when storing your vehicles.  Any assistance would be awesome. Ta in advance. Angela

Chris Gaelic

10:47 AM   17-Dec-17

Hi Angela,

If your solar panel is out in the sun, then all you should need to do is to switch off your fridge-freezer and leave their doors open (to avoid mildew). There will be a small drain from the other electronic systems that will place a small load on your house batteries overnight, and will then be recharged during the day. This cycling is beneficial for your batteries, and we mostly do that while our van is parked at home, even though I've got access to 230 volts.

If your solar panels are shaded, then I'd turn off your main power as well.

Cheers,

Chris

Angela O

11:59 AM   17-Dec-17

Whangaparaoa

Perfect thanks Chris, yes my solar panel will be in full sun so will do as you've suggested.

Thanks

Angela

Onboard generator

by Mike & Chris

[ 4 ]

Mike & Chris

02:38 PM   08-Nov-17

North Canterbury

There has been a lot of discussion of late about increasing electrical capacity and specifically about lithium batteries.

There is another possibility that hasn't as yet been thrown into the discussion; carrying a generator. After adding a second battery I looked at all of the other possibilities, cost and technical complexity etc and decided that a small, quiet generator is the most flexible solution, hence we bought a 1kw Honda inverter generator which fits nicely into the small right side locker on our Dakota with fuel and connecting cable. A 2kw machine is marginally more expensive but unfortunately will not fit into the aforementioned locker.

Advantages:

Cheaper than lithium at $1899

Lighter than batteries and solar panels at 13kg plus fuel and cable.

Will last a lot longer than lithium batteries.

Very quiet at 52dB, similar to conversational noise.

No inverter required for 230volt appliances (up to 1000 watts)

Able to charge house and vehicle batteries should the need arise.

Only use it when you need it which is seldom for us.

Provides an emergency power source at home.

Smarties

11:00 AM   09-Nov-17

South Otago

Hi Mike & Chris

 

I couldn't agree more.  I have watched & read all the at times quite complicated (not being an electronic engineer or an electrician) discussion over installation of extra batteries, solar panels, controllers, Sargeant PSU's, the wiring thereof, inverters etc & decided to stay away from it all.  We also bought a 1kw Honda inverter generator EU10i (managed to get a 2nd hand but brand new one on Trade Me for $1100).  We also have a Dakota and as you said it fits nicely in the side locker.  I also bought a security cable for it so I set it up behind the kerb side rear wheel under the motor home itself & secure it to the chassis rail with the cable.  When it is running it is just a gentle purr in the background - really barely noticeable from inside & certainly not intrusive unless it is running at maximum output when the revs do increase a bit & it does make a little bit more noise but in our case that is really only if operating a toaster or toasty pie maker.  With normal recharge of the batteries it seems to not be under much load so just purrs in the background.  I doubt if most motorhome campsite "neighbours" would find it too intrusive either but obviously it is polite to ask first.  We often run if for an hour or so a night and the leisure battery virtually never gets below 95%.  A 2.3lt tank of petrol lasts quite a few hours - maybe round 8 - I haven't really taken a lot of notice how long but it is pretty economical to run for this type of purpose.

 

I did see another fairly new EU10i sell on Trade Me for $990 so those who want one - keep your eyes open!   Generator Place (see their website) sell them for $1899.

 

Les

06:13 PM   13-Nov-17

Tuakau

Generators
We are seeing the occassional damaged charger caused by Generators with a poorly regulated output.
For sensitive Electronics fitted in a modern Motorhome it should be a Pure Sine Wave or Invertor Generator. Many Generators aimed at Building site operation will destroy Electronic devices.
The Schaudt OVP 01 is good at trapping the slow rising voltages that can occur when a generator is first started or the surging/low voltage that can occur when a Generator runs out of fuel.
 

 

Below is a battery that requires regulary topping up, in a very dry state, just on 2 years old and completely destroyed. 

Les

11:09 AM   22-Jun-18

Tuakau

GENERATOR
AT NZ Facebook post:  ADVICE REQUESTED. I have been wondering about getting a small 600watt 240 volt generator to top up the leisure battery when remote camping. Connecting to our Imala via the 240 volt power lead. Would this work? Any concerns I should be aware of? Comments and advice appreciated.
Comment:
  Two options. 1. Increase your solar and battery storage. Preferred option as no ongoing maintenance. 2. Small generator connected by charger directly to battery will work but requires storage for generator and fuel, setup time, time restrictions in most camps and noise annoyance to neighbours. Larger generator connected via 240v connection to power whole van which will charge batteries as well as allow use of 240volt power outlets. Same negatives as small generator but a quality low noise Honda 2000watt would reduce noise nuisance.
  A 3rd option for a quick boost to batteries. If your Imala is setup like our Delaware, then running the engine while parked will boost the truck battery and any surplus the leisure batteries.
  My advice is to get more solar. No petrol no noise less weight and cheaper.
I would agree!!! Solar is the way to go.
That would be my choice too.

 

Power Supply Permanent Connection EHU To Leisure Battery in Van

by Les

[ 1 ]

Les

12:00 PM   04-Nov-17

Tuakau

 

Can Be BAD for a Leisure Battery ???

 

Click on link

 

http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/ehu-full-time-yes-or-no.php

LEISURE BATTERIES---Lots Of Information

by Les

[ 1 ]

Dimensions of house battery compartment

by Ian

[ 3 ]

Ian

05:56 PM   20-May-17

Tasmania

I'm not sure whether the house battery compartment is similar amongst models but could anyone tell me whether a battery size of length - 522mm, width - 238mm, height 223mm will fit through the opening.  My interest is Imala 730 but not many of those about I feel.

I'm looking at keeping my 200AH LiPo4 battery from my caravan if it will fit in the Motorhome.

Kind regards IanG

Mike & Chris

08:58 PM   20-May-17

North Canterbury

Hi Ian

 

Can't quote you on the Imala but assuming that Autotrail use a common battery size (until recently they all seem to be 100ah) then it is considerably bigger than the batteries in my Dakota. They are 354 x 175 x 190 high. A single battery of the size you have may go in side on but would be unlikely to fit end first the way the racks are designed.

 

Mike

MarkRoaming

11:26 AM   21-May-17

 

We have just landed our Tribute 720 which should be close to Imala. The pic shows the battery compartment and the extra battery we ordered inside the battery box to the left.

Measurements of the compartment are

23cm Deep

19cm Wide

39cm Long

 

Hope this helps

 

Leisure (house) battery life

by lbh

[ 21 ]

lbh

02:39 PM   03-Mar-17

auckland

Hi All, I am at my wits end trying to figure out what is going wrong (if anything) with our leisure battery.

 

Since buying our Scout, I have replaced the solar panel (now 200W), our solar controller (now 250W MPPT) and our leisure battery (now 105Ah).

 

So my question is - how much daily life should I expect? Can I rely on the readings from the EC500 PSU and EC480 control panel? Especially the voltage reading? (is voltage the important measure?)

 

Given that all our lights are LED and we do not run our TV, and we only have a 300W inverter (that we typically only use during the day), and recently we have purchased a Wireless Nation router (the draw from which seems miniscule).

 

Each day out voltage gets up to around 14.4V. By dusk that reading is sitting around 12.8. By the time we have had a couple of LED spotlights and maybe run the waterpump for a cup of tea, we are at 12.6. A flurry of light around bedtime with the strip-light in the kitchen sees the reading hit 12.5, and in the morning, before the sun is high enough that drops to 12.4 (which is a warning colour on the console).

 

At the moment I turn off the router overnight.

 

I would have expected that with a 105Ah battery, and not allowing the battery to fall below 70%, we should have about 30Ah to play with.So where is that going?

 

Can anyone shed some (LED) light?

 

Many thanks in anticipation.

Ewan.

The Sutherlands

05:14 PM   03-Mar-17

Auckland

Hi Ewan-Welcolm to the the dark arts of Batteries and Solar Panels. Dont panic as 12.4 is still considered very acceptable for a battery. Dropping below 11v is when you get into the danger zone. Is your battery AGM or wet cell?AGM will take a higher depth of discharge than a wet cell and require no maintenace, wet cell require a top up of distilled water every couple of months to keep the charge up. Your MPPT controller (provided its a good one) will monitor your discharge and I would recomend a seperate digital  monitor as I tend to think Sargent  are not really suited to NZ conditions. 

lbh

07:43 PM   03-Mar-17

auckland

Hi there, Thanks for responding. Our battery is a wet cell. I understood that 12.0 was an empty battery (0% charge), while 12.7 was 100% charged And 12.4 is a dangerous level, as deep cycle batteries should not be taken below 70%. Is my understanding wrong?!

The Sutherlands

09:34 PM   03-Mar-17

Auckland

Hi Ewan. Your control panel and the EC500 especially has an inbuilt safety device that will not allow you to discharge to a dangerous level so you have no worries on that front.I think it will shut off at 10.9V. The state ofcharge really is the most important issue with batteries. A well maintained battery will deliver more Amp hours st 12.7 to 13.8 volts than a wet cell which has low water levels but might show over 12 volts on the panel. If in doubt add another battery but make it the same 105 amp hours as your existing one

lbh

09:04 AM   04-Mar-17

auckland

I think I should have read the manual first ...

 

Under normal circumstances it should not be necessary to remove the battery other than for routine
inspection of the terminals and “topping up” of the battery fluid where applicable. Please see
instructions supplied with the battery.

 

Note: Do not over discharge the battery. One of the most common causes of battery failure is when
the battery is discharged below the recommended level of approximately 10v. Discharging a battery
below this figure can cause permanent damage to one or more of the cells within the battery.

 

To prevent over discharge, the EC500 system incorporates a battery protect circuit that warns the
users and then disconnects the batteries when they fall below set values.

 

If the power is turned on and the leisure battery level falls below 9V a warning beep will be heard and
information will be shown on the screen. To cancel the warning, press the select button.

 

If the power is turned on and the vehicle battery level falls below 10.9V a warning beep will be heard
and information will be shown on the screen. If no action is taken the system will switch over from the
vehicle battery to the leisure battery. To cancel the warning, press the select button.

 

These warnings will not be repeated unless the power switch is turned off and on again. This is to
ensure the warning does not become a nuisance.

 

Battery Cut off Action after cut off Notes

 

Vehicle

 

10.9V

 

Battery selection is changed from Vehicle battery to Leisure battery. If the leisure battery is below 9V then a further warning will occur (see below).

 

This cut off level is designed to protect the vehicle
battery from over discharge. The 10.9V level
ensures there is sufficient power in the battery to run
the vehicle electronics and start the vehicle. This
cut off only applies to power drawn from the battery
by the leisure equipment; it will not protect the
battery if you leave vehicle circuits switched on,
such as the road lights.

 

 

Leisure

 

9V

 

Power is turned off

 

This is an emergency cut off level to protect the
battery from severe damage. You should not rely on
this cut off level during normal operation, but
manage your power consumption to a discharge
level of 10V.

 

This cut off only applies to power drawn from the
battery by the leisure equipment that is controlled by
the control panel power switch; it will not protect the
battery from discharge by permanently connected
equipment.

David Buxton

10:12 AM   04-Mar-17

Taupo

Hi Ibh, I have had my fare share of battery concerns and put some of them on the forum, as have others, mainly under 'Autotrail Issues'. To find what elastic is on the forum under batteries, just do a search by entering 'battery' in the search box. 

I also suggest you google 'deep cycle battery maintenance' and you will find a wealth of info on how to best look after your battery. The consistent advice is not to discharge below about 75% capacity or below 11.5v for max life. Sometimes this is not possible. 

Also Google for the web site of the battery manufacturer. Often they have good advice too. 

lbh

12:18 PM   04-Mar-17

auckland

Thanks David, Taking your advice I have referenced the manufacturers webiste to find the following information:

 

It is not necessary to fully charge the batteries after each cycle. If the batteries are working hard then a maximum discharge level of 60% (leaving 40%) for using true Industrial Deep Cycle Batteries you will still achieve a reasonable life. However this is not the recommended depth of discharge for every cycle, which is 50%, but occasional discharges to 60% is acceptable. A recharge back up to 80% to 85% after each cycle is also acceptable provided the cells are fully charged every 4 to 6 weeks. Regular very deep discharges to 80%  will result in a reduced battery performance and a reduced life. Both of these systems are the result of high levels of lead sulphate, which diminish the batteries charge acceptance and cause premature positive plate failure.

 

So I read that as 50% discharge being acceptable, and even 60% being acceptable sometimes.

 

I make that to be a 12.2 reading.

 

State of Charge

Sealed or Flooded Lead Acid Gel battery
100% 12.70+ 12.85+
75% 12.40 12.65
50% 12.20 12.35
25% 12.00 12.00

 

So I think for now, unless anyone can tell me differently, I will go with that.

 

Cheers,

Ewan.

Buddy and Jeanette

04:55 PM   04-Mar-17

Tauranga

Hi, Just thought I would add a few comments about your battery concerns. Your Deep Cycle battery will have a limited number of times that it can DEEP CYCLE. Deep cycle is when it goes to below 30% of its full charge. This number of cycles is about 300 times and this is when damage is done, so try to avoid this. Voltage: if your fully charge a battery and then leave it for about 4 hours with nothing connected (to draw power) it should show 12.7 volts. Dropping to 12.0 volts (or even slightly lower) is perfectly normal, so dont worry. What I would be concerned about is only having 115AH capacity which seems extremely small, and I am wondering whether you have just read this off one battery, when you may have two batteries.  I would suggest that an average motorhomer would use about 60 amp/hours of power during a 24 hour period to run TV, fridge, lights and pumps etc. 115a/hr battery is simply not enough capacity for trouble free motorhome use. Your "normal" charging methods are only going to charge battery to 67% ( which is 115x 67%= 77amp.hrs )  Take away 60amp.hrs of power and your battery is very low and in the danger area. 

    My advice from experience of 26 years motorhoming and having gone through the same problems you are experiencing is to install a REDARC , or similar brand DC/DC charger which will solve your charging problems once and for all. They cost about $500, and about six wires to connect which includes connecting to solar panels. This system does NOT charge form your alternator, but from your engine battery. What's the difference? The alternator will charge your engine battery and the input to the engine battery is controlled directly from engine battery (your vehicle has a specific wire to do this). the DC/DC charger draws current from the engine battery at the rate required (say  30 amps) to charge the house battery.  

  Incidently, you may be able to sell your existing solar power controller and any VSR (voltage sensitive relay) that has been installed to connect engine battery to house battery.

   Hope this isn't too confusing, but with correct installation, you will have trouble free power available to enjoy your motorhoming. Cheers Buddy C 

Buddy and Jeanette

06:53 PM   04-Mar-17

Tauranga

Hi again, I have made an error in my second sentence above. It should have been  that below 30% charge it is in the DEEP CYCLE state.( i.e only 30% charged from completely discharged). Cheers Buddy C

lbh

11:26 AM   05-Mar-17

auckland

Thanks Bubby, I am grateful for all information received. Do you think you could expand on why normal recharging will only achieve 67%. As right now my 105Ah leisure battery (my only leisure battery) is sitting at 14.3V.

Buddy and Jeanette

02:48 PM   10-Mar-17

Tauranga

Hi, a normal engine battery (lead/acid type) only charges to 67% of its total capacity so that it doesnt require regular topping up with water. The Regulator , normally built into the alternator, is preset to give a maximum charge output voltage of 14.4 volts. You can purchase after market regulators which will allow voltage to go to higher amounts, say 14.8V or 15.5V which are required for some types of batteries (however, I wouldn't recommend doing this in your motorhome).

   The alternator output will gradually charge your engine battery to 14.4V (if you have only started the engine, this will only take a few minutes to replace the energy used) and the signal wire from the engine battery back to the alternator "tells" the regulator "I'm full" and the regulator redudes the current in the field windings and reduces the voltage to 13.3 volts, which is the normal "float" charge used to replace the small amount of power that may be used. You can verify this for yourself by connecting a voltmeter to your engine battery. Incidently, I have connected  digital voltmeters to both my engine and house batteries and have these on display on my dash. These gauges are less than $10 each to buy and are well worth having to monitor what is going on.

     To specifically answer why your battery is showing 14.3 volts. It is being charged at that moment either via solar power, engine or froma 230V charger   OR  it has just stopped being charged by the above and has a "surface charge" which is not a true state of the battery. You must leave the battery  without being charged for several hours and it will go to 12.7V. 

  Some vehicles have a VSR (voltage sensitive relay) to connect the engine battery to the house  (just like connecting with a set of jumper leads) which basically allows current to flow from engine battery to house battery, but not the other way. Because engine battery never fully charges the house battery never fully charges.

Batteries are an expensive part of your motorhome so they need to be looked after and monitoring with gauges is a very simple way of achieving this. 

 In my travels, I meet many, many people with house battery problems, but with modern electronic devices readily available there is no need to encounter these problems. These problems aren't just Autotrail problems, i have in the last 2 days met a person with a very expensive, brand new NZ made motorhome having the same problem, within hours of taking delivery from the factory.

   There are some excellent books on motorhome charging solutions by Colyn Rivers, an exceptionally experienced expert in Australia on this subject (and other related topics). They are available from Jaycars in NZ. Also, go on line and look up REDARC DCDC chargers (Adelaide, Australia) which is the unit I have fitted to my Autotrail, or  West Electronics in Whangamata who also explain on how to charge house batteries.

  Happy travels,

        Buddy 

 

 

lbh

02:34 PM   12-Mar-17

auckland

OK I am going to add to my confused state now. Last nighy we went to bed with the leisure battery showing about 12.1 /12.2 on the control panel. But ... we left a light on in the bathroom (not clever I know). When we discovered this the leisure battery still showed 12.2, but the vehicle battery showed 12.4. I understand that this may be the "smart" logic within the controller kicking in,but 2 things : 1. Was this smart of the controller? 2. Why at 12.2? Any responses appreciated.

David Buxton

03:17 PM   12-Mar-17

Taupo

Keeping a watchful eye on battery voltages is very wise, however ti can drive one nuts!  My guess is that there was nothing smart happening. When you went to bed and a few lights, TV? We're turned off the leisure battery voltage possibly increased by a couple of volts with the load coming off. One led? light wouldn't consume much power so the battery voltage would not drop much at all. 

It may pay to check which battery is the active battery. My 'smart Sargent system' sometimes changes the active battery to the engine battery without me doing anything!

lbh

01:36 PM   14-Mar-17

auckland

Update: What I now believe is happening is that overnight the vehicle battery is dropping to 12.4 /12.5 of its own accord. This would suggest that the battery needs attention. The owners manual says that the battery is 'minimal maintenance' and should not require topping up. The manual also says that a Fiat dealership only should replace the battery?! Thoughts anyone.

Rob and Pat

01:53 PM   14-Mar-17

North Canterbury

Something to remember is the Sargent control panel draws between 0.25 and 0.5 amps when everything else is turned off. Have you put a current meter in series with the battery to see what current is actually being drawn.

I am the second owner of my Delaware and when I got it I had trouble with batteries and after measuring the current draw I found a number of devices were permanently turned on and drawing power. By isolating various devices I got the idle power consumption down from 1.5 amps to less than 0.5 amps.

Rob

The Sutherlands

02:27 PM   14-Mar-17

Auckland

I fell into the trap of so called "minimal maintainence"and let the battery run low on water. Result-new battery, so buy some distilled water from Super Cheap and top it up. I had to use a wide blade divice like a chisel to get the fill caps off and a small funnel from $2 shop to get the water in.

lbh

05:41 PM   14-Mar-17

auckland

Many thanks all. I shall investigate.

Clarky

02:43 AM   15-Jul-17

Marlborough

Hi

i have a autotrail tracker eks 2012 and have a constant draw on the leisure battery of -5.8. I have pulled every fuse in the camper and the currant draw is still there. Without using the lights the tv will only go for 2 to 3 hours before a

alarming on the battery this makes freedom camping impossible.

As we are new to this game any advise would be appreciated.

Les

10:28 AM   15-Jul-17

Tuakau

Hi,

 

PSU Draw off is normal at 0.6 to 0.8 amps

I don't think one battery is enough unless it is Lithium

I would suggest you go to Autotrail Issues.. Look at Solar and Battery Headings in the FORUM

Lower than 50 % on a lead acid stuff the plates

 

Les

Rob and Pat

12:23 PM   15-Jul-17

North Canterbury

If you are measuring the 5.8 amps on the Sargent Control Panel I would suggest putting a DC amp meter in series with the battery to confirm that there is 5.8 amps being drawn from the battery. The Sargent panel could be out of calibration giving you a false reading.

 

If you find that there is only 0.6 to 0.8 amps being drawn from the battery then I would suggest getting your battery checked. If it is the original battery it is now 5 years old and may be dying.

 

Rob

Les

01:00 PM   15-Jul-17

Tuakau

Hi Rob, Have not got our new van yet but the Lithium battery in old van is still going strong after over 5 years. The 0.6 to 0.8 amp is refering to is the Sargent system at idle Les

Battery charging from engine alternator in question

by David Buxton

[ 9 ]

David Buxton

09:01 PM   19-Sep-16

Taupo

Battery charging from your engine alternator may not be much good. I suggest you read an article in Issue 100 of "imotorhome" (https://issuu.com/imotorhome/docs/issue_100_imotorhome_magazine_-_6_)  This is a free online publication. You can also access it by Googling 'imotorhome' and selecting Issue 100. Click on the 'Technical section' and on page 60 there's an article "Alternators Ain't Alternators". In order to make engines more economical and with less immissions modern European vehicles often have systems that reduce the power output of the alternator as soon as the vehicle battery is charges up.  This may only take a few minutes after a quick start then the alternator only puts out a trickle of power - not good if your want lots of charge going into your house battery. This may not be the case with Autotrails however I have had my suspicions of how effective the charging system is in our 2014 Delaware.

David Buxton

09:28 AM   17-Nov-16

Taupo

After reading Buddy's posting and the article in iMotorhome I thought it best to ask Sargeant UK for advice. I sent him both the posting and the article which tend to be negated by his reply:

 

We generally tend not to answer such wide ranging emails as much of this would be better served by speaking to the Manufacturer of the Alternator/Base vehicle.

 

A voltage of 14.4V should be enough to provide a full charge to the battery. It is of course the amperage that is most relevant, but our PX300 mains charger is designed to go to a maximum of 14.5V and this has no issue with charging the batteries to full capacity. The PX300 also can only supply a maximum of 20A to either battery as the lead is fused at that.

 

On this basis, when compared to our charger, the split charge function on an alternator is fairly similar in output. The Split charge function has been in use of Auto-Trails and similar vehicles for several years and would not be part of the design without providing a benefit. It should be capable of providing significant charge to the battery which can be tested by putting an Ammeter in line. Here is a useful example that would fit the fuse slot at the battery, however this model may not be available in New Zealand.

 

https://sargentltd.co.uk/tech-support/article/Leisure-Battery-Testing/28

 

You could see the input from the split charge here and assess its performance. It is always worth mentioning that the battery determines the Amperage requirement and not the charger/alternator.

 

We do not recommend or advise any other form of power source be used on the vehicle such as an inverter or extra DC to DC charger. If you are looking to use these sorts of devices, you will need to fit this direct to the batteries without using our equipment.

 

Again, this will normally not be necessary if the Alternator and Split charge relay is performing normally.

 

The Fiat Ducato base vehicle does not use a Voltage Sensing Relay or a signal wire. We have a dedicated connector set we use. The current ranges of Ducatos do not use any “Euro 6” technology and so will not back off the alternator the supply will remain constant.

 

I would suggest confirming this with Fiat for further advice.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Kind Regards

Tim Sanderson

Technical Specialist

David Buxton

12:00 PM   06-Jan-17

Taupo

Thanks Buddy for your advice. You sure have done a lot of research. Yes, charging voltage is not high enough to clean the battery plates properly. When I was having problems of my deep cycle batteries not charging properly I was advised by the importer of my batteries to take the batteries to a auto electrician who had a high powered charger that put at least 15v into them. 

On another matter here's a link that shows in simple schematic form how the Sargent charging works in our vans: 

 

https://sargentltd.co.uk/tech-support/article/18/download/203

Mike & Chris

12:43 PM   06-Jan-17

North Canterbury

I have (imho) an excellent 25A Projecta Intellicharger which can be used as a stand alone charger or permanent built-in (comes with a control panel for built-in). I give all of my batteries a refresh charge about every six months and certainly just before the winter, so far the results have been great... it will charge up to 16volts dependent on the battery type and includes a reconditioning mode. If you are interested in its capabilities have a read of the PDF attached at the bottom of this link.

 

http://www.projecta.com.au/Products/BatteryChargers/Intelli-Charge.aspx#!prettyPhoto[iframes]/4/

 

Mike

David Buxton

10:35 PM   17-Jan-17

Taupo

If the solar charge is above 15.5 volts then another issue arises - the Sargent system closes down. (See my item in "General" titled 'Power switching off during the day'. 

Buddy C's comment about the solar charging while the engine is running causing an unwanted signal to the charging system needs to be investigated further. I have always had my suspicions on how well the engine alternator charges the house battery. Importers of European motorhomes need to be challenged over how suitable the electrical controllers are for NZ conditions. Perhaps several of us need to challenge them at the up and coming Covi Show. 

The Sutherlands

08:42 AM   18-Jan-17

Auckland

Hi David-after the Childrens Rally and with what I thought was an issue with my solar/battery set up, I pluggged into mains and within a couple of hours my battery was back up to 14.4V and holding charge. I have come to the conclusion after all the comments on this forum and further research that I think we have to accept that the Sargent/Autotrail set up is not suitable for NZ and no matter which way we slice the pie it just will not cope with our form of "freedom camping" and the amount of Solar Radiation generated in this part of the world. Although I have ordered my next Tracker with an extra battery I duobt if this will improve the situation so I will be looking to by-pass the Sargent and fit a MPPT controler with a digital monitor and an extra solar panel and saving myself the stress of trying to juggle power between house and start batterys. Sad, because I thought we had an "Intelligent Charging System" but as I have said, this doesnt appear to be the case and to be honest, I doubt if challenging this,will change anything as from past experiece dealing with imported equipment that is either unsuitable or under rated for NZ conditions it falls on deaf ears 

Regards Rob Sutherland

David Buxton

04:42 PM   18-Jan-17

Taupo

I just leave the control panel above the door set to house battery only for solar charging. 

The Sutherlands

07:02 AM   26-Jan-17

Auckland

Hi Buddy

Where did you get this from? Cant find a reference to this model on the web

 

Regards

Rob

 

P.S Found it as a BCDC1240-looks very good but I have already ordered an extra battery for the new vehicle and after asking the local agent in Auckland (who conveniently is one of my customers) it really is designed for one battery, although it will charge two bats it will be a lot slower. 

Buddy and Jeanette

09:57 PM   04-Apr-17

Tauranga

Hi, apologies for not replying sooner. I purchased the Redarc BCDC1240 unit from Australia for about Au$460.

I am not aware from any of the manufacturer's specifications that it is designed for only one battery; it is designed to have an output of up to 40 amps maximum.( I presume the 1240 designates 12 volts at 40 amps). The time it takes to charge a battery or batteries depends on their combined capacity (Amp Hours Capacity). A very basic analogy would to be like having a hose running with water at a constant rate. if it takes 2 minutes to fill ONE drum of water, it will obviously take TWO minutes to fill TWO drums. It is not slower, it is constant, just more water required. AND you will be able to drain (use) water out of the two drums for twice the time compared with one drum. 

   Hope this explanation is not to childish but it makes it easy to understand.

Happy travels

Buddy

Battery Harness

by Richard & Kay

[ 2 ]

Richard & Kay

10:02 PM   09-Jun-16

Auckland

i have just installed 2 130 amp batteries in my Apache. I contacted Sargent Electrical in the UK who make the EC 500 controller and associated stuff and they supplied a battery harness . It was delivered here Royal Mail in under a week for $49 in total. Excellentservice

ChrisB

10:48 AM   07-Mar-17

New Plymouth

Hi Richard,

 

could you post a pic of your instalation?  I am considering installing a second battery and an inverter in our Apache 634  The current battery is installed under the right rear seat, below the floor level.  But this requires a metal frame which is bolted to the chassis and a battery box.  I and am wondering where best to install the second battery.  

 

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

 

Thx. 

van batteries

by Sublime

[ 4 ]

Sublime

01:16 PM   10-Jun-16

Geraldine

I was under the understanding that when the house battery gets low it gives you a alarm message on the control panel then switches to using the vehicle battery.  This scares me a little if it is correct.  Last year we went away for 3 weeks and did not plug our motorhome into power like we normally do but there was nothing obvious drawing power (nor getting no solar power as it was under cover) and when we got home the house and vehicle batteries were totally dead we could not even use the remote to get inside.  I know that there is a switch to shutdown all power when wintering over etc but I thought 3 weeks was not a long time and we would not need it. I also notice that on the panel the vehicle battery gets drawn down the same amount as the house battery which is a little hard to really know the state of the vehicle battery.  Not sure whether this is normal or not.

Rob and Pat

08:15 PM   10-Jun-16

North Canterbury

If you plan to leave your Motorhome under cover for a period with no solar charge then you must turn off all the electrics by pushing the black button.

If the electrics are left turned on the Sargent control panel etc has a static draw of about 0.5 amp and if you have no charge going into your batteries then they will be discharged at about 12 amps per day. Consequently as you found after 3 weeks your batteries would be completely flat.

The Sutherlands

11:05 AM   11-Jun-16

Auckland

I have my wagon parked outside but I take the precaution of flicking the "kill" switch on the panel during winter and between trips to avoid this. I can come back to it after a couple of weeks and it still reads in excess of 13 volts on the house batt

Alan and Barbara

06:00 PM   25-Sep-16

Warkworth

I have my van inside the shed plugged into 240v supply. On advice from AMH I was told to leave the kill switch on to avoid having the vehicle battery go flat. So far, so good but still quite confusing. 

Batteries

by Grant and Gail

[ 13 ]

Grant and Gail

09:34 PM   19-Mar-16

Christchurch

I need to replace my 2 X 100 ah batteries with greater ah, possibly 130 if they will fit my Delaware. Can anyone recommend an installer in Christchurch and advice on best batteries, etc.

Avocadopicker

11:23 PM   02-Apr-16

Katikati

Grant, we used 2 x 6V Trojan traction batteries in series which definitely fit in the battery compartment. Gives 225AH and very heavy duty. They work well.

ZK-RMM

06:44 PM   05-Apr-16

Auckland

Hi Grant

I have five 135a/h in my Delaware,no problem,plenty of room

Grant and Gail

09:24 AM   08-Apr-16

Christchurch

Hi ZK,

 

Thats a lot of amp hours.

How many watts of solar do you have?

 

I have 1 X 90w (original) and 1 X 140w added. The 90w runs through the original Pwm Sargent controller and the new 140w through a 20 amp mppt tracer as separate systems but dually charging both batteries.

I find the batteries charge up quickly but at night with tv on the voltage drops quickly so the batteries aren't holding the charge.

 

Did you install the extra batteries under the offside lounge seat?

 

cheers

Grant

ZK-RMM

12:24 PM   08-Apr-16

Auckland

Hi Grant and Gail,

I run 550 watts of solar at the moment but will be installing 5x150 panels on my next(750 watts)and ditching the factory 100 watt,and in conjunction with a 40amp and a 30amp mppt controller the 5x135 a/h batteries sit in the side locker where the existing house battery from the factory sat,I also run a 3000watt pure sine invertor as we use only electrical appliances,also use it to run the built in washing machine in the garage,I have upgraded the water to 400 litres.We use jug,toaster,grill,sandwich press etc etc just like at home,have never used the gas stove from new

Cheers

The Sutherlands

05:29 PM   08-Apr-16

Auckland

Hey Richard-You forgot your wine cooler and induction hob!

Grant and Gail

06:28 PM   08-Apr-16

Christchurch

Hi ZK-RMM,

 

Wow!!!

 

How do you fit 5 X 150 watt panels on the roof? I don't have room for more with just two. What with curved Luton peak with skylight, 3 roof vents and a satellite dish there is no space left.

 

My battery locker has only room for two but maybe the adjacent locker in which I keep waste hose etc could be converted. Is this what you did?

 

We would like to fit an inverter also but haven't done the sums to see if existing solar plus new batteries will cope.

 

As I find in summer that the 3 way fridge on 12 volt when driving isn't fit for purpose, I had wondered about running the fridge via the inverter on 230 volt as this element has higher wattage and should run the fridge cooler.

 

Cheers

Grant

ZK-RMM

07:14 AM   09-Apr-16

Auckland

Hi Grant and Gail

My panels are mounted up on the edge of the moulded roof line,North/south to catch the low sun angle in winter and the lower edge of the panel in towards the roof vents,at present I have two along the back edges, one in the middle flat plus the factory 100 flat also, that's 3x150 plus the factory 100, and whoever answered about the wine cooler must know me as there is a wine cooler and induction hob Ha Ha it's a small world

Cheers.

ZK-RMM

07:25 AM   09-Apr-16

Auckland

Hi Grant

Re the batteries, all my five are in the locker on the side where the lift up side skirt is and original house battery is,

if you google "Gone with the Wynns" they are a young American couple who are travel writers and on the road full time and have some great YouTube videos about solar/ invertors etc I've taken a lot of their ideas and adapted them to my Delaware well worth looking at,they do mostly freedom camping and have 960 watts of solar on their RV,if you go to their uploads all their articals are there

Cheers,

Avocadopicker

05:31 PM   09-Apr-16

Katikati

Hi Richard, we have 2 x 150W panels in addition to the factory 100W one, installed either side of the bedroom skylight on our Delaware, via a single 40A mppt controller, also with a 3kw psw inverter. What brand and model of inverter did you install?  Would love to see a photo of your panel installation. By the way, the 2016 Delaware is uprated to 4.5Tonnes so you could carry even more batteries on a new vehicle.....

Cheers

Martin

ZK-RMM

08:52 AM   10-Apr-16

Auckland

Hi Martin

I have the Motorhome at work so will get back to you with the make of the invertor etc and a pic of the solar setup

Cheers,

Richard.

ZK-RMM

12:52 PM   11-Apr-16

Auckland

Hi Martin

The inverter is a Jyins Ce Rohns 3000 watt, I took a photo of the solar setup but can't manage to attach it to the forum,if you give me your email address I can send it to you.

Cheers,

Richard

Avocadopicker

10:35 PM   11-Apr-16

Katikati

martin dot sydenham at gmail dot com

 

Thanks Richard

Second house battery

by Mike & Chris

[ 5 ]

Mike & Chris

05:54 PM   01-Aug-15

North Canterbury

We have just taken delivery of our new Dakota which of course comes with a single 100ah house battery. I would like to add a second battery but in my online search to date I can't find a NZ sourced equivalent size and spec to the original "Banner 95751". Any info would be appreciated as I don't want to introduce charging issues by having mismatched batteries.

https://www.tayna.co.uk/Banner-Energy-Bull-Leisure-Battery-95751-P8270.html  

 

Les

09:42 AM   04-Aug-15

Tuakau

My thoughs would be to sell your battery (Trademe), replace with a Lithium Iron 200a/h (Best) or 2 x AGM 6v Batteries say about 200 a/h. Then look at increasing your solar panel wattage

Chris Gaelic

06:08 PM   04-Aug-15

I've upgraded to a lithium batter, but only after I stuffed our first lead-acid house battery - mostly through first motorhome user ignorance. I replaced my 200AH battery with a 200AH lithium battery, which gave me close to double the effective capacity because you can use up to 50% of the charge and still expect to get 10 years use. However, they are much more expensive, but I've never regretted the extra cost of mine.

The extra solar panels are just as important if you want to take advantage of freedom camping. How many depends on how much power you use each night. Our motorhome came with a single 80 watt solar panel, which was really only good for one night of freedom camping before we had to resort to checking into a holiday park. Not being aware of this was the reason we stuffed our first battery. We've got 500 watts on top now - which is more than most would need, but we're also using computers in the evening. 

You should work out how much power you expect to consume each night and then go to a supplier who can advise on both the battery capacity and solar panels needed.

The difference in cost between freedom camping (or using DOC sites) and staying in holiday parks easily paid for our installation in the first summer!

Avocadopicker

05:07 PM   05-Aug-15

Katikati

And the other reason for going with Lithium (which I haven't yet ) rather than Lead Acid, is weight. I have 450ah of lead acid to give me roughly the equivalent of the 200ah Lithium, but have to carry 4 times the weight!

Beetle2

10:17 PM   05-Oct-16

Christchurch

Where can I buy a suitable lithium battery.

 

Battery Check

by David Buxton

[ 3 ]

David Buxton

03:08 AM   30-Dec-14

Taupo

I have just checked the water levels in the house batteries in our 9 month old motorhome and just as well. In some cells the water level was almost down to the plates. There was also a little corrosion around one of the terminals which I cleaned up with washing soda then sprayed on a marine anti-corrosion spray which I had for my fizz boat. Taking the house batteries out for checking is no easy task (they are very heavy and the leads have to be removed before sliding them out) so its a job that is easily postponed. The battery importer recommends the water level be checked every six months.

Mike & Chris

09:26 AM   02-Aug-15

North Canterbury

Hi David

Doing some research on batteries at the moment... this article may be of interest if your batteries are using a lot of water.

http://motorequipmentnews.co.nz/articles/picking-right-battery-crucial

Mike

David Buxton

01:38 PM   04-Feb-17

Taupo

Just done another battery check after nearly 12 months and found them in need of water again. Fortunately the plates weren't exposed. To make the task easier I built a sturdy platform to slide the batteries out onto. See photo. 

HOUSE BATTERY...............LITHIUM BATTERY

Lithium battery

by Grant and Gail

[ 2 ]

Grant and Gail

07:58 PM   15-Apr-18

Christchurch

Does anyone recommend a brand of Lithium 200 or 300ah battery and installer in Canterbury?

Les

08:19 PM   15-Apr-18

Tuakau

Hi, I have purchased two for different A/T that we have owned 300 amp/h from AA SOLAR in Albany north of auckland.

Lithium batteries

by GRANT R

[ 5 ]

GRANT R

11:56 PM   05-Nov-17

NEW PLYMOUTH

 In regards to adding lithium batteries for more power storage and the effect on the EC 500 controller . Having been in the electrical trade all my life  I would not intertain  the idea of over loading a system that has limitations and the risk of huge repair costs . 

   I would ;  install a separate solar panel ,lithium batteries, and an appropriate solar regulator , also a 230 v charger again appropriate to charge the lithium batteries , arrange a separate 230v supply for this charger and a multi contact rotary 20amp change over switch , this would cut out the lead acid batteries ,the original solar panel and 230 v inbuilt charger and replace it with the lithium supply . 

   The system would be simple to activate. Switch position A /original system .  B /lithium 12 V  supply to origional system and ISOLATING charging by both  inbuilt systems . C/  230 v and second solar panel and controller to lithium batteries ,if 230v not connected, the second solar panel would still charge the lithium battery through the controller, may be one 200 ah battery may be sufficient .

 It would be advisable to engage a registered sparky to arrange a separate 230 v supply connection at the entry point of  the motorhome for the lithium charger and to make the connections to the rotary switch ,there are several options that can be taken at the rotary switch .

  Done this way there would be no danger of screwing up the EC500 controller or charger struggling to supply the current to recharge the lithium battery as well as the lead acids .Grant R

Martin T

10:45 AM   06-Nov-17

Upper Moutere

I'm not technical at all but have just read through your post Grant because I've just purchased an e-bike with a 36V 14Ah 504Wh lithium battery. 

I'm planning to take the bike on our travels and charge through the AC sockets in our Apache when hooked up to the grid and would just like reassurance that this would not overload our EC controller.

Your comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

   

Avocadopicker

10:48 AM   06-Nov-17

Katikati

The charging current for the transformer charger 'brick' is pretty low, and as it's supplied as 240VAC anyway, the Sargent 240V circuit breakers will take care of that anyway. No risk of overload there.

Martin T

01:14 PM   06-Nov-17

Upper Moutere

Thanks for the reassurance Avocadopicker: very helpful. 

RSUP

04:11 PM   06-Nov-17

Taupo

Hi Folks,

An update from AA Solar, Silverdale

 

First of all, we would like to thank you for your support over the years and look forward to working with you for many more years to come.

 

We have made some exciting changes at AA Solar & Sun Power Plus with a new management team and a new company name.

 

Pierre decided it was the right time for the organisation to benefit from a change of ownership, injecting new energy into building upon the great business he has created over the years, and for him to begin to wind down his involvement. However, he will be staying with the company for the foreseeable future, mentoring the new owners Coen and Christine van Breda and ensuring continuity of service to our customers.

 

Could we ask that you please update your records to reflect the following important information:

 

New Company Name:       AA Solar and Marinetronics Ltd

 

New Bank details:              Westpac        03 0162 0011773 000

 

We at AA Solar (the new and the not so new team) all look forward to helping your with your ongoing renewable energy needs soon.

 

End

Adding Lithium Batteries

by Richard & Kay

[ 7 ]

Richard & Kay

08:49 PM   28-Oct-17

Auckland

I am looking at replacing my 2x130 amp agm batteries with 100a lithium to give me more room and reduce weight.

We have 230 watts of solar which charge the batteries through a votronic solar controller , which has lithium settings. The solar controller in the Sargent panel has been bypassed. Battery readings come from a Votronic battery computer.

The question is, will we have to change anything coming from the alternator or 230 volt external power ? Most  of the time the batteries charge quite easily form the solar array, and we don’t tend to do a lot of mid winter travelling.

RSUP

09:04 PM   28-Oct-17

Taupo

There are no changes required to the 230 volt AC system. What model Autotrail is It? Who did you solar panel upgrade? What model sargent controller is it? EC500??

Richard & Kay

08:50 AM   29-Oct-17

Auckland

Thanks . Apache 634 2016. Yes it is the EC500. I did the upgrade myself. I have done similar in the past but never contemplated lithium.

RSUP

08:57 AM   29-Oct-17

Taupo

I could be interested in buying your AGM batteries, when do you think you might do the upgrade?

Richard & Kay

07:51 PM   29-Oct-17

Auckland

Not sure as I am just starting to look at costs etc . Also need to make sure this is a mutual agreement if you get my drift 😇.Will let you know when. The batteries are 18 months old so I need to formulate a brilliant reason to change. 

Avocadopicker

08:01 PM   29-Oct-17

Katikati

It would be an ideal opportunity to increase your capacity whilst reducing weight.... if you assume that your 2 x 130AH batteries are worth around 130AH (at 50% discharge), and your 100AH Lithium is probably worth max 80AH (at 80% discharge), you would be going backwards in terms of capacity if you don't go to, say, 200AH Lithium (which would be worth maybe 160AH). Just my 2 cents-worth.

Richard & Kay

09:18 PM   29-Oct-17

Auckland

Going to 200a has crossed my mind but my wallet screams no. You do have a very good point.

Interesting Read On Lithium Batteries

by Les

[ 7 ]

Les

05:06 PM   09-Oct-17

Tuakau

 

click on link and read your heart out

 

 

http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/lithium-batteries.php

Avocadopicker

06:36 PM   09-Oct-17

Katikati

Interesting read. Fyi, I checked with Sargent regarding the 18V overcharge. They assured me that that is no longer the case on later vehicles. One of the ways to promote longevity (works for lead-acid batteries too) is to ensure that you have plenty of capacity - that way you minimise the deep-discharge potential.

Chris Gaelic

09:06 PM   09-Oct-17

I agree that it's an interesting read, but it also sounds like a heavy duty pitch for Victron Energy's Long Life Gel batteries! I haven't done any research on them, but I have been using a 200AH Lithium Iron Phosphate battery for over 5 years, and have to say that many of the comments made are not what I've experienced:

 

 - no noticeable lost of capacity in that time

 

 - they were very signifcantly lighter than the gel batteries available at the time of purchase

 

 - after it was first installed, the battery handled some significant abuse when the shunt controlling the recharge cycles malfunctioned due to grime buildup. The battery was only saved from several full discharges when the safety switch cut out before we identified the cause of the problem. The battery showed no sign of damage on being bench tested.

 

 - it did finally fail after 5 years when the control circuit malfunctioned, causing the battery to keep running the fridge after the gas ran out. The saftey switch also didn't kick in, and the battery was completely drained. Bench testing showed that one of the cells had failed, but the other 3 were still ok. I could have replaced just the one cell, but AA Solar honoured their 10 year warranty and installed a new battery for half the cost.

 

Also, while it wasn't mentioned in the article, lithium iron phosphate batteries not only handle higher discharge rates, but they also recharge faster. i don't know how they compare with the new long life gel batteries.

 

So, would I buy the same batteries again? Not necessarily. Battery technology is evolving, and I'd want to recheck all options whenever that time comes. However, I've been very happy with the decision made 5 years ago.

 

Les

11:07 AM   12-Oct-17

Tuakau

More Reading

 

http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/add-a-second-battery.php

 

Lithium batteries primary advantage over Lead batteries is their ability to discharge at a far higher rate, up to 100amps per the average 100Ah Lithium. This means they can, and do, also charge at up to 100amps per 100Ah battery. 

The average Autotrail with Sargent equipment has pretty thin wiring to the two batteries. It is already well documented elsewhere that they sometimes struggle with 30amps. 

Imagine if those two batteries were Lithium, discharged to 80% and drawing all the amps the Alternator can muster? 

That is potentially (an extreme example) 180amps from the Alternator through the Sargent, which remember these two battery cables usually run back to, then through the spindly cables where the Lithiums are attached. 

Can anybody visualise the damage that might be caused to the : 

1. Cabling from the Alternator to the Sargent? 
2. The poor Sargent box that has to transfer current that the designer would never have imagined in a hundred years? 
3. The cabling from the Sargent to the batteries? 

If a Fire doesn't start somewhere along that current path, then I'm a Welshman. 

There are already issues with many Motorhome Power Controllers (not chargers) failing to cope with the existing Alternator current of just a second Lead battery, let alone the huge power of a Lithium battery. 

If you are even vaguely contemplating Lithium, it will be a dangerous approach if you think it is a question of just removing the old batteries and fitting the Lithiums. 

Have a look at our webpage on the complications that can arise of fitting a second Lead battery, never mind something more powerful. The webpage contains photos of Power Controllers that have burnt and even caught fire : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/add-a-second-battery.php 


I have seen inside a Sargent EC325, EC328, EC500, etc and they are well made units, but it fills me with horror at the thought of the huge charging currents passing through from the Alternator that tired Lithiums might pull. 

As for the likes of a BCA unit or any other Motorhome Power Controller that was designed in the days before Lithium, how would they respond?. 

Avocadopicker

11:18 AM   12-Oct-17

Katikati

But if you connect your Lithium battery via the original spindly-little-wires-that-Sargent-provide, you'll still be going via the 20A fuse which protects the wiring from the battery, and thus the rest of the charging system, so the situation where you attempt to charge at 150A from the alternator can't occur!

RSUP

12:04 PM   05-Nov-17

Taupo

Lithium Batteries, make your own mind up!!

http://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Lithium-Batteries-The-honest-Truth-/47818/

Avocadopicker

12:19 PM   05-Nov-17

Katikati

I think the important thing is to be well informed, and/or use a supplier who is, and who is prepared to put their name and support behind the products they install. I was put off by the apparent complexity and risks of Lithium on one van, but after much research and debate I installed Lithium on my latest van and am very happy with it. Just don't go into it with your eyes closed, but there are enough experienced owners in the forum who have gone to Lithium to suggest that it is a good thing (with caveats!)

LITHIUM BATTERIES

by Les

[ 1 ]

INTERIOR TRIM

Table Sideways Movement & Locking Tables

by Twilight

[ 1 ]

Twilight

06:49 PM   13-Jan-18

Auckland

The following is suggested to stop tables in Tribute motorhomes from moving sideways and also a solution for locking tables in place:

 

Sideways movement

The table in Tribute motorhomes are supported on a 16mm metal tube supported by plastic fittings which are then screwed to the wall.  The tables may not be able to be centred on the pipe and secured using the hole in the middle for various reasons e.g. wall fittings and trim etc. There is a tendancy for the tables to move sideways. A solution is to install a piece of 16mm ID clear plastic hose (Bunnings) outboard of each table hook bracket.  Smear a small amount of vaseline or similar on the metal pipe before sliding the plastic hose on as the fit is tight (dishwashing detergent may promote rust on the metal pipe over time).  The plastic hose fits snuggly against the plastic fittings that the metal tube is supported by.  This fix stopes the table from moving sideways.

 

 

Locking the table in place

The table is hooked over the metal tube mounted on the side of the wall, then catches are moved forward to lock the table in place.  Unfortunately the catches have a tendency of slipping open during normal driving shaking and vibration.  To stop the catches opening, a simple plastic swivel locking device is installed.  The swivel lock is made from a piece of plastic that was to hand (from an old window catch), and screwed to the underside of the table.  When moved to the lock position, the swivel lock keeps the table catch in place and stops it from sliding backwards.

 

 

removing arm rests

by Pete and Wend

[ 2 ]

Pete and Wend

02:53 PM   24-May-17

Tauranga

I am wanting to put seat covers in the front seats of my tracker.  Has anyone had any experience of removing the arm rests and then reinstating them when the covers are in place?  Thanks Pete

pedro50

04:05 PM   24-May-17

Kaiapoi

 

 

I have fitted seat covers, just remove the armrests with a torx type spanner (2 bolts on each side) and fit the cover. Then locate the 2 bolt holes with the aid of a small screw driver and cut a little hole or slot and reinstall the armrests and bolts. Make sure you get the taller covers that fit high back seats.

 

Peter.

Front blind removal

by David Buxton

[ 1 ]

David Buxton

08:59 AM   14-May-17

Taupo

How do I remove the right pillar blind cover. I need to get at the little speaker behind. A fault is causing all of the radio and TV sound to stop. A thump usually fixes the problem but not always!

Bed head board on delaware

by Sail to trail

[ 4 ]

Sail to trail

09:37 AM   27-Mar-17

Tauranga

Has any one tried removing the top head board on the delaware with island double bed. I would like to change the colour of the material

Rob and Pat

09:44 AM   27-Mar-17

North Canterbury

The headboard in our 2011 Delaware is held on with Velcro. Just need to give it a gentle pull and off it comes

Les

09:45 AM   27-Mar-17

Tuakau

Hi it is velcroed on, pull on it and it will come off

Sail to trail

09:07 AM   17-May-17

Tauranga

If you have the crime strip through the middle it has three screws behind it as well

Sliding Window shade broken

by Georges

[ 2 ]

Georges

03:04 PM   27-Apr-16

Blenheim

My sliding window shade on the driver's side is broken and doesn't work well. 

Has someone had the same problem and know where to by a new one? 

My camper is a Mohawk 7.50 m on Fiat Ducato.

Rob and Pat

03:18 PM   27-Apr-16

North Canterbury

Give Taranaki RV a call, 06-758 0984 to see if they can source the part for you.

 

When you ring have the build number (usually on the wall inside the cupboard for the switch panel) for your van as this will allow them to go into the Autoitrail database and see exactly what parts were used to build your van. This way they can order the exact part that was used in the build of your van.

 

Rob

MAINTENANCE

ceramic coatings

by Mikew

[ 3 ]

Mikew

12:40 PM   29-Jul-19

Hi There has anyone had there MH protected by Gardx ?

if so are you pleased with the result ? also an idea of the cost would be great

just thinking of getting ours done 2013 dakota. the fiberglass has gone dull

 

thanks mike

John M

05:09 PM   29-Jul-19

We have a similar age Comanche.   

The body sides are, in my opinion, not fibre glass.  The skirt pieces are fibre glass I think, the rear one piece moulding may be but I suspect more likely to be ABS?

I have drilled a 70 mm hole through a side panel piece, the gas cupboard door, to mount a gas filling port. That door is made of the body material.

There was no glass fibre in that white plastic body. Nor was there the characteristic smell or resin from the saw dust.  I have worked with styrene, I may be wrong but I think the white sheet exterior is styrene?  That sheet is only 2-3 mm thick.

I have cut and polished our van twice over the past two years.  I reckon it needs doing annually.  It doesn’t take too long, about a day on the Comanche.  

The first time I used a marine cut and polish combined product at $40 a bottle! The second time I could only find a single cuting product, followed by a professional polish, again $40 each!  

It will need doing annually from now on but the results are good. 

 

JohnM

Zargreb

 

Mikew

08:54 AM   30-Jul-19

thanks John

im hoping Gardx will bring shine back at protect for a few years

 

regards mike

Protecting garage walls

by John M

[ 1 ]

John M

09:10 PM   22-Feb-19

I found a cheap way of protecting the wood paneling in the garage.  Cheap exercise matts, the ones you use for Yoga class perhaps, 1800 x 600, cut to size where needed, just slide between wall and gear, no adhesives required.  Also small pieces line the kitchen cupboard floor to stop rattles.

JohnM

Benicassim

Drooping cupboardsstraightening them.

by John M

[ 1 ]

John M

09:05 PM   22-Feb-19

We have lived full time in our Comanche for three years, and during that time we have replaced or fixed everything, literally!

 

The Autotrail cabinetry is better than most Brit vans but way inferior to the better German vans.  We have found that our overhead lockers have sagged badly, with little load in some cases.  Once they sag the doors start to bind on the other cabinetry, so a fix is needed.  Nothing has been built with enough support nor screws, no strength anywhere, which ok for intermittent use when the sun occasionally shines in the UK, but not for the use we make of it n NZ, or full time.

 

The Comanche in particular has longer lockers which doesn’t help.  But our shorter locker above the fixed bed is loaded with underwear and summer tee shirts, not a great deal of weight, and that sagged about 10mm, this I could see from a reference mark on the wall.  

 

To repair it one has to get the warped cabinet raised into the correct position, not easy to achieve.  Wilth the bedroom cabinet, first remove the one or two screws that hold the back of the lower cabinet to the wall.  I was able to buy a long piece of stiff timber which I cut to the distance from the bed base (having removed the mattress) to the centre underside of the saggging cabinet.  Then get a larger flat piece of wood, say a 12 mm piece of ply to fit between the cabinet and the long length of wood, this is to protect the cabinetry.  Now jam the lot between the bed and the cabinet to force the long piece into the vertical, this forces the cabinetry back towards level.  Tweak as necessary to get right.  When satisfied drive a bunch of 25 mm screws into the lower cabinet back and into the vans plywood wall.  I used a heavier gauge screw.  Don’t over tighten as the wall ply is only about 3 mm, the the wall itself is about 40 mm.

 

The kitchen cupboard is a long story so briefly, it is poorly built, not strong enough for the microwave, not to mention our combination of melamine and chinaware.  It is in two pieces with the join between the two cabinets, and hence sags there.  Same technique as for the bedroom.  Remove everything from the cupboard.  Dismantle the shelves and bottom shelf.  Remove the couple of tiny screws securing the back to the van wall, leave the screws going sideways into the surroundings furniture, but remove screws between the cabinets.   Using the method described force the cabinet level.  Add many screws into the van wall.  But that is not enough.  Briefly, I used very strong steel L shelf brackets to square up the four corners of the cabinetry, that is 8 brackets, yes heavy, but the only way to stop the cabinets becoming parallelograms rather than rectangles!  Use long L brackets, as long as possible, drill more fixing holes thru the brackets as you will secure them with very short screws. Don’t use flimsy brackets, they must be totally rigid.

 

For the lounge overhead lockers, all I have done is add more screws into the van walls.  They have sagged a little but due to their length there is no simple method of straightening them.  I considered steel L beams, but the guage available and of suitable dimensions also sags over their distance, I experimented with that.  Steel is not strong over distance.

 

Hope this helps someone, if you have a new van then I strongly recommend more fixing screws through the rear of your cabinetry into the plywood van lining.

JohnM,

Benicassim 

 

Toilet repairs 2

by John M

[ 1 ]

John M