Newbie electrics

Jul 8, 2020
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Do I have to have the van on"car" when towing
Do I have to disconnect the battery when I arrive on site and use ehh
Sorry to be such a dumb dumb but we are really new to this
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Welcome to the forum, you would not normally have to disconnect the caravan battery when towing,
But which caravan do you have make year and model. As there are a lot of differences.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Welcome to the forum, you would not normally have to disconnect the caravan battery when towing,
But which caravan do you have make year and model. As there are a lot of differences.
When towing I press the switch on the 12 v section of the power supply unit which then allows battery charging and fridge cooling. On arrival the battery isnโ€™t touched at all when you connect to site 240v EHU.
 
Jul 8, 2020
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Thank so much for your reply.
The caravan is a 2003 coachman pastiche 420/20. We have been away these last three days just to see what we have so didn't go too far, luckily.
All ok in van, hooked up, made a cup of coffee and then everything started to deteriorate inside caravan,even electrics not working (3 pin plugs).
Been advised battery needs attention and get battery charger checked. Looking for someone to look at charger for us and battery going to garage to check and charge.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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I do not know why you have been advised to do anything with the battery if the problem is with the 3Pin Mains sockets.
The two have nothing to do with each other.

If you have just bought the van, do you know when it was serviced last?
If that is unknown then I strongly advise getting it serviced by an Approved Workshop mobile engineer who will be more than happy to show you how everything works safely.

You will find a local engineer here: https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/
 
Jun 20, 2005
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What was the EHU output? 10 or 16 amps? You may have overloaded your usage.
 
Jul 8, 2020
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It was serviced March 2019 and has been well looked after. Just plugged duh in didn't know about looking for amps. We will consider service so that we can see what's what. Thanks for your advice.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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Do you remember what electric appliances you had on when the problem happened?
 
Jul 8, 2020
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Electric kettle and We just switched on socket only for microwave.
In our ignorance we thought plugging in to ehu would charge battery and That was it.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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Depending on what wattage your kettle is , if a normal domestic 3Kw type then that draws 13 Amps and the microwave will draw at least twice its rated power initially on start, so a 800w unit will draw at least 1600w, or almost 7 Amps.
The van is limited to a max of 16Amps but you were probably drawing 20Amps, so tripped the MCB or the site supply bollard trip (most likely the site bollard as that is the one that normally trips before the van.)

What should happen when hooked up to mains and the battery charger is switched on, it should keep the battery charged, but that itself is drawing power as is anything else using mains power such as water heater, fire etc

Also, not all sites have 16Amp hookups, some are limited to 10Amps so you need to ask when arriving on site and work out what you can have on at any one time.

Moderator Note: I put RCD instead of MCB which has now been rectified.
Thanks to Bertiboy for pointing out my faux-pas.
 
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Jul 8, 2020
5
0
10
Depending on what wattage your kettle is , if a normal domestic 3Kw type then that draws 13 Amps and the microwave will draw at least twice its rated power initially on start, so a 800w unit will draw at least 1600w, or almost 7 Amps.
The van is limited to a max of 16Amps but you were probably drawing 20Amps, so tripped the MCB or the site supply bollard trip (most likely the site bollard as that is the one that normally trips before the van.)

What should happen when hooked up to mains and the battery charger is switched on, it should keep the battery charged, but that itself is drawing power as is anything else using mains power such as water heater, fire etc

Also, not all sites have 16Amp hookups, some are limited to 10Amps so you need to ask when arriving on site and work out what you can have on at any one time.
Thanks Damian I can't believe we are so stupid. Still this forum is so useful. We are ok with everything except the elctric side of things.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Thanks Damian I can't believe we are so stupid. Still this forum is so useful. We are ok with everything except the elctric side of things.
Hi and welcome to the forum.
We all have to learn, so don't be afraid to ask if you're not sure of something.
If you're on site and something unusual happens there's this forum, or ask a nearby caravan owner.
Most will be happy to help a new owner.
 
Oct 3, 2013
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Depending on what wattage your kettle is , if a normal domestic 3Kw type then that draws 13 Amps and the microwave will draw at least twice its rated power initially on start, so a 800w unit will draw at least 1600w, or almost 7 Amps.
The van is limited to a max of 16Amps but you were probably drawing 20Amps, so tripped the RCD or the site supply bollard trip (most likely the site bollard as that is the one that normally trips before the van.)

What should happen when hooked up to mains and the battery charger is switched on, it should keep the battery charged, but that itself is drawing power as is anything else using mains power such as water heater, fire etc

Also, not all sites have 16Amp hookups, some are limited to 10Amps so you need to ask when arriving on site and work out what you can have on at any one time.
Damien,
An RCD circuit breaker does not operate for an overcurrent,only an earth fault.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Electric kettle and We just switched on socket only for microwave.
In our ignorance we thought plugging in to ehu would charge battery and That was it.
i would get a Low wattage Kettle / Toaster & Microwave low wattage (Daewoo) we find this is better suited for a touring caravan ..
 
Nov 16, 2015
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i would get a Low wattage Kettle / Toaster & Microwave low wattage (Daewoo) we find this is better suited for a touring caravan ..
I disagree, we have done the 20 minutes kettle, the just browned toast, whilst the eggs were overcooked on the gas, we now use a reasonable kettle 1800 watt. normal toaster , as the gas cooker fails on toast.
The microwave works fine, even on 10 amps, just do not use them all at the same time. Remember the water heater is powering up for 20 minutes after a shower.
 
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Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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We have a low wattage kettle, a normal domestic electric toaster and microwave.
It's all in the timing. ๐Ÿ˜‰
For the occasional off grid trip we have an old school whistling kettle which we normally keep at the back of the pot and pan cupboard.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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I disagree, we have done the 20 minutes kettle, the just browned toast, whilst the eggs were overcooked on the gas, we now use a reasonable kettle 1800 watt. normal toaster , as the gas cooker fails on toast.
The microwave works fine, even on 10 amps, just do not use them all at the same time. Remember the water heater is powering up for 20 minutes after a shower.
Some Prefer there own choices (Parksy) but we brought a Sunncamp low watt cordless kettle i filled it to 2 cups it took 5mins to boil . the Toaster 730w - 870w
(We never use the gas cooker in our caravan)
i even make my scrambled egg in the microwave .
Take Care Keep Safe
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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Damien,
An RCD circuit breaker does not operate for an overcurrent,only an earth fault.
Yes My Bad !!! was thinking about another issue at the time and put an RCD instead of MCB.
I will flog myself and read some more of LOTR as pennance !!
 
Last edited:
Jan 3, 2012
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Yes My Bad !!! was thinking about another issue at the time and put an RCD instead of MCB.
I will flog myself and read some more of LOTR as pennance !!
Why (Damian) it easy done don"t put yourself down .:)
 
Nov 16, 2015
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247
11,935
We have a low wattage kettle, a normal domestic electric toaster and microwave.
It's all in the timing. ๐Ÿ˜‰
For the occasional off grid trip we have an old school whistling kettle which we normally keep at the back of the pot and pan cupboard.
You must have a "Whisteling " kettle even if you never use it. ๐Ÿ˜€
 
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Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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That whistle for the first cup of tea of the day is one of the nicest sounds associated with caravanning.
It's nicer still for Herself because hers is served to her in bed.
 

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