Challenger SE 480

Jul 1, 2021
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Hi All

New to the forum and new to caravanning (well I say new, only bought it today!).

I have a question, or more of a request truthbetold. Purchased a Swift Challenger SE 480 1996 as a ''do'er'upper''. General condition of the exterior is sound, frame, floor all good with some minor signs of 'DIY' from previous owners.

The purchase was from a buyer seller with little or no knowledge about the caravans themselves so my questioning was pointless, but given the price, I thought it was a bargain.

My questions.. The carver cascade 2 plus water heater that was in the van doesnt have any cold or hot pipes to it, looks like its actually been cut only a connection from the gas line.. is it worth me spending the time reconnecting all and trying it out, or do I bite the bullet and put a replacement system in?

Second question, where should I be looking for the blow air heating system.. it seems to be missing. It it likely to be behind the gas fire, as thats where vent tube seems to go (i did look in the cupboard next to it but there is nothing there and the tubs go up towards the roof in the cavity )

Thanks in advance.
 
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Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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There are so many questions raised in your post that it is going to take some time to deal with each.

First, the water heater: Are the pipes actually cut or have the fittings going into the heater snapped off? with some still left in the pipe and some still in the heater?
The hot water pipe goes to the top connection on the heater and cold to the bottom one.
If they are just laying open ended , when you try and use the water system you will just flood the van.
Some photos would be very helpful.

Now the blown air : The heating system you have is made of 3 parts, the gas fire, then if fitted the electric heater directly behind the gas fire and finally the blower fan behind that, and that is where the ducting should go to.
Dont confuse the gas fire exhaust duct with being a blown air duct.
Again, photos would be helpful.

It sounds like you bought from a person who is not a dealer and knows nothing about caravans, so you have probably left yourself in a position where it is going to cost a lot to get it useable.
I will strongly recommend getting a mobile engineer to check it out for your own safety.

You can find a local engineer here: https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/find-approved-workshop
 
Jul 1, 2021
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Thanks Damian for your response, and taking the time.

Having had some time this weekend to look much closer at the Parts schematic for the Carver Cascade 2 plus water heater in my old Challenger, its safe to say that the previous owner had ripped the poor unit to pieces, removing the control unit, its cables, snapping off the hot water outlet plug (in half it would seem!), removing power cables to the unit and removing all remanence of the hot water pipe back under the sink. I was also horrified to find that under a strategically placed piece of hardboard, had also smashed a hole through the wheel arch where i can only assume an external water source was fed in via a hatchet job of a connector. The hole also seemed to exist where the water waste outlets once were as the waste water outlet for the shower and the bathroom sink were just open on the bottom of the caravan.

The blow air system seems to have received the same treatment. On realising this, I mutered many choice words under my breathe, before consoling myself with the realisation that i paid very little for it.

My only consolation at this point is that structurally, and esthetically, the main shell of the caravan is sound. Very dry, except for an area where the hole exists, but that is now patched up until i can rectify it properly.

Needless to say, i will be seeking the advise/skills of a mobile engineer to correct the lack of water heating, and to test all other aspects of the electrics and gas pipes.
 

Damian

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Thank you for coming back and having the strength to post what is obviously a very bad experience.

With regards to the hot water situation you now basically have 3 options.

First is to go for the Truma Ultrastore which are expensive,https://www.jacksonsleisure.com/car...s-electric-caravan-10-litre-water-heater-kit/

Second is the Propex Malaga E again not a cheap item: https://www.jacksonsleisure.com/car...tric-lpg-gas-water-storage-heater-updated-4e/

Third is the mains ONLY powered Propex 10 Ltr heater:

The drawback with the last one is that it only works on mains power but if you only ever intend to use sites with mains hookups that would work., and it is not a bad price.

Repairing the damage to the pipework should not be too expensive as it is only pipe and labour, the wheelarch will require some kind of repair to make it waterproof.

All the other pipework is , again , just stripping out the old and replacing with correctly aligned pipework.

Good luck with it, and dont be afraid to ask any questions you have.


P.S the only reason two of the links are to the same company is they were the cheapest I could find on a quick search, there may be other sources and may be a bit cheaper, or not.

Later : As far as the space heating goes, if the main heater has been damaged beyond repair, then replacement should be like for like:
So, here is the S3004 : https://www.jacksonsleisure.com/car...ters/truma-trumatic-s3004-caravan-gas-heater/

Here is the Ultraheat (the mains electric heater bit) :https://www.leisureshopdirect.com/g...r-spare-parts/truma-ultraheat-electric-heater

Here is the TEB 3 fan unit that provides the blown air circulation: https://www.jacksonsleisure.com/caravan-motorhome/truma-teb-3-12v-fan-unit-for-s-series-gas-heater/
 
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Thanks again for you replies.

Damian, thanks for the research and providing the links, very useful, and i really do appreciate your efforts. I have resigned myself to the fact the Carver Cascade 2 is not economically repairable in its current state (missing control unit, power, and no history as to if this was done because its broken!) So as you suggested Damian I am looking at alternatives to replace the unit with a new/newer alternative. I did see some other water heaters online but assume as some of the alternatives are geared for campervans/external, they cant be used inside a caravan as they are unvented?

The whole idea is to update where i can and the budget certainly runs into a few hundred for a replacement water heater / pump if it means I have peace of mind. Not sure I want to rely on 240V only so I might as well take that expense now.

As for the blow heater, same applies. Looks like i am going to have to find an alternative (or just invest in some nice warm jumpers!) Getting the Cooker, hob and Fridge tested this week along with a sanity check on the other wiring before i go ahead and plug in an electric hook up cable and new battery, which i will leave that bit to the expert eye i have engaged to oversee that operation.

My Challenger SE 480 is an old girl, obviously had an uncaring handler, and we intend to breathe some new life into it and freshen up the dated decor.

Other than that, im pretty happy with my investment (obvious issues excluded!) and looking forward to getting out and about. Problem now is, every man and his wife, kids, dog , cat and canary is booking up all the sites and there is nothing free.
 

Damian

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I should have added that the Propex Malga is what we use when replacing a Cascade as the flue arrangement is very similar to the Cascade it just needs an adaptor plate (available on line) to cover the hole in the van wall to suit the Malga.

Going for Truma would mean cutting a new flue point in the van and covering the old Cascade one.

Regarding the alternative heaters you mention, if you post a link I will have a look and advise accordingly.
 
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Well it seems I am more skilled than I gave myself credit for. Along with another post i put on this forum with regards the general state of the electrics, I have fully repaired both the electrics and the appliances myself (just awaiting sign off from a pro before we head off somewhere!)
 
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Well it seems I am more skilled than I gave myself credit for. Along with another post i put on this forum with regards the general state of the electrics, I have fully repaired both the electrics and the appliances myself (just awaiting sign off from a pro before we head off somewhere!)
when the pro signed you off i hope you have a nice time
 
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I don't know how I missed this post.

I'm sorry but this is going to be a lot of no's...

The appliance you have identified is specified for the USA it is not approved for use in the UK or Europe.

It states it is an "gas water heater with open chamber and natural draught, " which means it is NOT ROOM SEALED, which is a requirement in the UK. In a small space like a touring caravan such appliances are dangerous as they can easily start to produce Carbon Monoxide and release it into the living space.

It has a gas rate of 11.6kW, which might be more than many caravan LPG regulators can safely deliver without causing reduced pressure or even in lower temperatures Butane supplies might stop vaporising all together.

At 10.5kg weight it may be more than the flimsy caravan wall constructions might support safely - and finding space for it might be a problem.
 
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May 24, 2014
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I don't know how I missed this post.

I'm sorry but this is going to be a lot of no's...

The appliance you have identified is specified for the USA it is not approved for use in the UK or Europe.

It states it is an "gas water heater with open chamber and natural draught, " which means it is NOT ROOM SEALED, which is a requirement in the UK. In a small space like a touring caravan such appliances are dangerous as they can easily start to produce Carbon Monoxide and release it into the living space.

It has a gas rate of 11.6kW, which might be more than many caravan LPG regulators can safely deliver without causing reduced pressure or even in lower temperatures Butane supplies might stop vaporising all together.

At 10.5kg weight it may be more than the flimsy caravan wall constructions might support safely - and finding space for it might be a problem.

Now that is what I call a response.
 

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