Elddis 524 Firestorm - RCD tripping

Aug 16, 2020
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Hi All,

I have just purchased my 1st Caravan its a Elddis 524 Firestorm Barrons edition 2004.

I have done a lot of reading research as have been having issues with the electrics tripping in van and sometimes the house.

I believe the fridge is one of the causes due to the element. I have seen a YouTube video and reckon I can swap that myself pretty easily but will let the fridge run for a few days to see if it clears any moisture. The fridge powers on but soon as I change the thermostat it will trip sometimes instantly others after 15 seconds.

The main technical issue I have is all the power tripping in the caravan when I turn on the fuse switch on the left. I've put paper to identify it. Does anyone know what it is for? I am guessing it's for the turma water heater on 240v. The heater works fine on gas. That said I removed the fuse from the main fuse box and it still trips. The switch on the right does the truma heating.

Pictures below I could not post due to size of them being 2mb.



Thanks
 
Aug 16, 2020
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Hi All,

When plugged into mains should I set the switch to 1 12v and not 0 Master the reason I ask is if set to 0 Master some of my lights, pump etc do not work.

My understanding from what I have read is that if its on electric hookup it should always be 1 12V and only set to 0 Master when in storage.


Thanks
 
Jan 19, 2002
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Again my Elddis set-up is different, but I would expect you to be correct in that if the right one is for the water heater then the left is for 'room' heating when using the electric element. If it is blown air then you need to heat either from gas or electric and then the circulation fan requires 12v. Would expect these to be identified in illustrations in the handbook, but nonetheless it would have been helpful for them to be labelled during production.
Incidentally if your right switch indicates that you have your elec water heater on make sure the tank is filled with water before using this by running cold through all the taps until both 'hot' and 'cold' sides run smoothly before switching on the heater.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Paul 542,

Welcome to the forum.

The lack of labelling on the switches really doesn't help you or us, but from your description it does seem the fridges 230V element may be the cause of the problem.

As for the switches it was very common for caravan manufacturers to place water heater and Space heater mains isolators close together, and generally the fridge relied on its front panel control switches. But I would not want you to take my word for it, as your caravan might be different.

A competent electrician would fairly quickly work out what the switches were for when they attend the caravan. They would also be able to verify what was causing the RCD to operate.

As for changing the element on the fridge. In most cases the fridge would need to be uninstalled to gain sufficient working access. I have to point out the fridge is connected to the gas system, and you should know how to fully test the gas system if you break or make a gas joint. This is not a job for a casual DIYer.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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The OP mentions tripping, but such needs to be defined. Do you mean the RCD is tripping (that is the mains switch device that has a test button) or is it one of the miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) which will be marked as 6A and 10A? The functions are very different.
The RCD protects you (person) by measuring the current flowing into and out of the caravan - that is the current comes in the live wire and the same current goes out of the neutral wire. If there is any difference - as little as 30mA or 0.03A - between the incoming and the outgoing currents (irrespective of the actual current flowing) then that difference must be flowing away through some other earthed object which could be YOU and the device will switch the electricity off p.d.q. The test button simulates the fault condition and should be activated regularly.
The MCBs are the modern replacements for fuses except that in a fault condition they switch off at lower excess current and very quickly. You caravan handbook will tell you which controls what, but usually the 6A is the fridge, battery charger, any internal mains lighting, and often the (washing) water heater. The 10A MCB supplies the 13A sockets, the microwave if fitted, and the room heating. Note that it is usual for all of the fitted appliances - fridge, microwave, room heater, and sometimes the water heater - to be connected by means of a 13A plug and socket hidden away somewhere near the appliance so that it can be disconnected easily if the appliance has to be removed/extracted.
If it is the RCD tripping but the fault sometimes takes out the house RCD instead of the unit in the caravan do not be concerned as this is normal - its just a case of timing. However either RCD tripping does indicated a fault associated with insulation of mains connections and the most likely culprits are the water heater element or the mains element in the fridge - assuming nothing else is plugged in. Unless you are well competent in mains electrical wiring and safety I would suggest you get a qualified person to diagnose and fix the fault. If you bought the van from a dealer and you have some form of warranty get them to fix it as it should never have been sold with such a safety issue present.
 
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Aug 16, 2020
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Really appreciate the replies from you both and going into so much detail.

Quick update I confirmed the switch is in fact the ultrastore heater. I disconnected the wire to ultrastore and the switch works led lights up. I power it on and it trips the RCD not the MCB.

I presume the element is burnt out by me turning on the switch on a empty tank as I never knew what the switch was for, expensive lesson to learn.

I guess my next steps are to try and remove the heating element, which will be difficult as it's under some slats I can't seem to remove. Once removed do a continuity test and confirm element is issue and replace if so, will look on ebay for a replacement.

Do you think this is best course of action?

Thanks
 
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Regarding the fridge, so I had it running on gas most of the day no issues. I tried electricity and it stayed on to my surprise so I turned it up to the max setting it stayed on and stayed for around a hour then cut out again. I turned it back on this time on a medium setting it ran again and then tripped the RCD.

So not sure if this is the element or fridge needs a clean/service or it never cut out because fridge was cold from the gas and its only when thermostat kicked in the 240v element it cut out. Previously it was cutting on immediately when I powered fridge on 240v and set thermostat. I read somwhere to run it on gas for 12 hours to dry it out which I did but seems to cut out now but takes a bit longer rather than instant.

Any ideas?

Thanks
 
Aug 16, 2020
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Hi All,

Just bought my 1st caravan with covid so I can get away with the wife and kids. It's a Elddis 524 Firestorm Barron Edition.

Anyway soon I powered on the fridge and changed thermostat it would trip the RCD sometimes the MCB as well.

I read it would be worthwhile running it on gas for a while to let it heat up and remove any potential moisture causing it to trip. I did this and it got very cold (all good).

Anyway I turned off gas and set it to electric again and it ran so I turned thermostat to max and it continued to run and never cut out. I thought I had cracked it but it cut out again not sure when but was around 30 minutes later.

I set thermostat to middle setting again it ran without issues on electric but then tripped the RCD.

Do you think best option is to replace the element? I found one on ebay for £35 so could just replace that.

Also Caravan was very dusty when I bought it 2004 so thinking its been Stored for a while it maybe worth my pulling the fridge out and cleaning it before replacing element unless anyone has a better idea?

Thanks
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Paul,

I note you have started several different threads, with at least two f them are about the same RCD issue. It becomes very difficult to follow the information accurately when several threads are running.

But I have to say if the caravan is a 2004 model then it is sixteen years old, and it is hardly surprising that some things are wearing out. Even when caravans are not used, appliances can be compromised, and I really think as you have already found at least two issues, it might be wise to get the caravan properly checked over. There are mobile services that are fully qualified to do this, and represent quite good value, and you the peace of mind that all work is has been carried out according to the regulations and its guaranteed.
 
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Hello Paul,

I note you have started several different threads, with at least two f them are about the same RCD issue. It becomes very difficult to follow the information accurately when several threads are running.

But I have to say if the caravan is a 2004 model then it is sixteen years old, and it is hardly surprising that some things are wearing out. Even when caravans are not used, appliances can be compromised, and I really think as you have already found at least two issues, it might be wise to get the caravan properly checked over. There are mobile services that are fully qualified to do this, and represent quite good value, and you the peace of mind that all work is has been carried out according to the regulations and its guaranteed.

Thanks John that was my 1st approach, unfortunately everyone local seems booked up until November as everyone seems to be buying caravans with Covid so they can get away. I am in based in St Helens in the North West if anyone knows someone who is free.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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As the Prof says things do age and RCD's are notorious for tripping mechanically (as against through an electrical fault) during transit due to vibration. The same vibration can also cause the mechanical hold in the RCD to wear and this may be your problem.
Replacing the RCD is easy if you replace with the same make and model but if you have to go for another make the insulated busbars that connect the output of the RCD to the inputs of the MCBs will likely not fit - I had the exact same issue in our last van. The solution there is to replace the busbars with suitably rated flex but if is not a job to undertake unless you are competent and <really> know what you are doing. Not a problem for me as a retired Electronics Engineer....... :)
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Normally fridge element go open circuit instead of shorting out so you may have another issue. When our fridge packed in on our 2004 Lunar, the repair was done on site and they did not need to remove the fridge. Not sure about the Elddis. It may be a suggestion to get an Approved Workshop Scheme technician to do a check and a service especially if the caravan has not been serviced for awhile.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Hi Paul
You seem to have started three separate threads which ask the same question.
This is a bad idea, answers become duplicated and scattered all over the message boards.
I've merged the separate threads into this one to avoid further confusion.
If you have a question, that's fine but please don't ask the same question again in a different thread.
 

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