Powrtouch Evolution - one side running slow plus an interesting turn of things

Feb 11, 2024
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Hello to the collective wisdom!

I've bought a S/H set of Evolution single / manual movers (I like a challenge) and have been testing in the shed prior to fitting. They're 10 years old with an FM transmitter. A brand new 105Ah battery is powering proceedings.

A couple of odd things have happened and I'd love a bit of guidance before I go too much further, please.

1. One side runs faster than the other, say about 15%. It's NOT the wire length, I believe, although they have been cut. If I swap the connectors over the same motor still runs slower (both directly forward and back). It is definitely more sluggish to start and then seems to lag increasingly on the revolutions, judging by my marker pen lines. I'm certainly thinking the issue is at the motor end. Maybe the brushes?

2. If I try to go forward diagonal right on the handset, one side switches into reverse! This could cause an expensive pirouette... This one seems more likely to be the electronics (?), probably the remote (which looks well thumbed) but maybe the control box. Any ideas?

and lastly a little one:

3. Everything is there except the plastic cable retainer is missing from the inboard side of one drive unit. How important are these, really? I expect I can improvise something.

Many thanks in advance

PS The grub screws were also not there but I understand they are not strictly needed for single axle units.
 
Jun 6, 2006
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The slower speed could be down to the grease in the motor thickening, there have been a couple of posts on this!

If you are pushing diagonal (left right) buttons then one motor will run forward and the other one backwards, this allows you to turn a single axle van round virtually in its own length (assuming there is room to do so)
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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As Martain E has stated.
In respect to "speed" these units feature no speed control system, the achieved speed reflects the loading the motor encounters and the ability to get the "amps" to them. Certainly, the models I have had did not feature a speed term feedback control.
Running as described, where effectively both are off load, that is the motors are not having to move a caravan, then your present speed findings no way reflect what will happen under load.
The "pirouette" ability, ought to relate to the diagonal buttons. This is a valuable maneuvering feature, and can also avoid scuffing the ground or tyre depending on the substrate, under a static tyre, as the van turns about it. Grass pitch owners and following pitch users would appreciate that extra bit of careful mover use.
 
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There isn't a "diagonal" there is only forward or backward on either side (I think this is what you refer to as "diagonal" button), If you want to spin the can around the centroee of th axle you use opposite corner buttons (e.g. left forward, right back) to rotate
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Hello to the collective wisdom!

I've bought a S/H set of Evolution single / manual movers (I like a challenge) and have been testing in the shed prior to fitting. They're 10 years old with an FM transmitter. A brand new 105Ah battery is powering proceedings.

A couple of odd things have happened and I'd love a bit of guidance before I go too much further, please.

1. One side runs faster than the other, say about 15%. It's NOT the wire length, I believe, although they have been cut. If I swap the connectors over the same motor still runs slower (both directly forward and back). It is definitely more sluggish to start and then seems to lag increasingly on the revolutions, judging by my marker pen lines. I'm certainly thinking the issue is at the motor end. Maybe the brushes?

2. If I try to go forward diagonal right on the handset, one side switches into reverse! This could cause an expensive pirouette... This one seems more likely to be the electronics (?), probably the remote (which looks well thumbed) but maybe the control box. Any ideas?

and lastly a little one:

3. Everything is there except the plastic cable retainer is missing from the inboard side of one drive unit. How important are these, really? I expect I can improvise something.

Many thanks in advance

PS The grub screws were also not there but I understand they are not strictly needed for single axle units.

This is a Powertouch model and there have been many reports about how helpful Powertouch are when it comes to problems, so I think you would be wise to give them a call and see what they say.
 
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Feb 11, 2024
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Thanks all, appreciated.

I'll search for some 'grease thickening' posts and maybe have a look inside the unit, although I note JTQ's words that the apparent speed differential may disappear under load. So I wouldn't know for sure until after fitting anyway.

My apologies that I have not explained the control issue very well, so I'll try again. The manual states, "The Electronics Control System also has a continuous movement capability in that if button B is being pressed then buttons A or C can be used". I imagined that would slow or stop one side (to create an arc of travel, rather than either straight ahead or turning about axis). When I tried doing that, the two motors started to run in opposite directions at similar speeds, which would turn the van about its axis effectively.

But it is still the case that, when only pressing button B or H only (straight forward or straight reverse), the motors counter-rotate. They are cabled correctly and I have tried resetting the control box. I have tried pressing the buttons as I did before, as best I can remember. But I still have unexpected counter rotation.

Of course I could swap the cables over on one side to have them rotating in sync again. But then I may have the situation 'correct' itself unexpectedly, leading it to make a turn that I really might not want at that particular time. Thanks for any light you may be able to shed!

#EDIT - just seen ProfJohnL's post also, thank you.
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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Please forgive me if you have already realised this, You have told us your checking the system before you fit it, which is a sensible first step, Obviously I can't see what you've actually tried, but you haven't forgotten that the motors are fitted to the caravan pointing in opposite directions so they have to rotate in opposite directions to driver both wheels forwards or backwards at the same time?
 
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Please forgive me if you have already realised this, You have told us your checking the system before you fit it, which is a sensible first step, Obviously I can't see what you've actually tried, but you haven't forgotten that the motors are fitted to the caravan pointing in opposite directions so they have to rotate in opposite directions to driver both wheels forwards or backwards at the same time?
I've been thinking about this and perhaps I am being daft (not uncommon), but would that only apply to twin axle setups? This is single axle (manual) so they are set up as a mirror image of each other across the bench. When I first started testing them they were turning the same way, but now they turn in opposite directions from the same button input. I can post a pic later on if that would help to clarify.

I'll also call Powrtouch when I get a chance :)
 

JTQ

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When I first started testing them they were turning the same way, but now they turn in opposite directions from the same button input.
That "auto switching of the direction" described would be very difficult for me to understand. Some corruption in transmitting or interpreting the control commands?

Re the "direction issue" more generally, what does what relating to which motor and which way the van moves, the set up depends on whether the unit's rollers are in front or behind the van wheel,

In wiring up allow enough "slack", to enable each motor's pair [+ve, -ve] to be switched over, and for good measure even each pair, to go to either set of outputs, that enables all permutations to be configured. Just ensure each motor ends up on the same board output terminals, a motor to oneoutput pair, the other motor to the outer output pair.

The printed notation on some brands control boards seems to overlook how the motor units can be mounted, fore or aft.
With a Powrtouch controller, or the refurbisher of our unit, even switched its layout right to left, one generation of board to the other! That's how I found out the need to reconfigure things in replacing a failed, no longer available, control system! The original unit installer did so "neat" an installation I struggled to do my reconfiguration after switching boards.
 
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Please forgive me if you have already realised this, You have told us your checking the system before you fit it, which is a sensible first step, Obviously I can't see what you've actually tried, but you haven't forgotten that the motors are fitted to the caravan pointing in opposite directions so they have to rotate in opposite directions to driver both wheels forwards or backwards at the same time?
Humble pie time. I'll eat it rather than skipping dessert, much as I'd like to, since one good humiliation a day keeps us grounded!

When I swapped the cables from left to right to see if their length differences were affecting the run speed, I ended up with both red leads onto the top connector and both black leads to the bottom connector. Your post as well as JTQ's helped me to realize this was indeed me being daft. Thank you. The are now one red on top, one black on top and they run in the same direction. My mirroring of the cable connections was an error.

I think the association I made with trying the diagonal move (buttons B&C) throwing the electronics somehow was simple correlation to my observation i.e. that's when I noticed the directions were reversed but would not have been the start of it. The cause was me not paying close attention to polarity before I swapped the cables. Lesson learned.

As JTQ has observed, the performance under load will be the truer test on the speed so I'll get them fitted and check it out.

Thanks for your help and I hope I haven't tested your patience too much!
 
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There is an additional potential issue. Potential bearing failure.For me , in 15 years the O/S is original. The N/ S 4 years ago started making noises and dragging. The bearings were on the verge of collapse. Not expensive but not an easy fit due , in my case the inner race housing had almost welded itself to the stub axle
 
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There is an additional potential issue. Potential bearing failure.For me , in 15 years the O/S is original. The N/ S 4 years ago started making noises and dragging. The bearings were on the verge of collapse. Not expensive but not an easy fit due , in my case the inner race housing had almost welded itself to the stub axle
Good tip, thank you. If they don't settle to a matched speed after fitting I'll check this (y)
 

JTQ

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Note also the shape and surfaces of the "road" over which you move can affect the individual loads encountered by each wheel, so motor.

During entering and leaving my car port using the mover I have to travel diagonally over the camber in my lane, thus one wheel is climbing a differing incline to the other, one even rolling downhill whilst one climbs.
Using the Straight running" command then, anything but results in going "straight". So easily corrected though, I just physically "lean" against the run away side of the van to dictate it travels the track I want.

Whether more modern systems have speed synchronisation feedback I have no idea, I doubt it at the added cost and complication involved, they bother.
 
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Humble pie time. I'll eat it rather than skipping dessert, much as I'd like to, since one good humiliation a day keeps us grounded!
...

I'll have two slice with cream please......

I know that in the past I've done similar things, You can get almost too involved in something and miss the obvious.

As for the difference in speed, just some more basic logic, is one running faster than it should? - unlikely, so it's more likely one is running slower than it should, and as you have swapped the cables over and the same motor unit runs slow, it does point to that unit rather than the control.

Motors will run slower if they are loaded in some way. it could be failing motor bearings as Dusty has suggested. but don't forget that each motor also has a reduction gearbox, abd perhaps one is not running freely. Look for damage to water seals, if water has got into the motor or the gear box that is bad news.

I also suggest checking the motor brushes before you install it under the caravan, it's just easier to do look and replace them if necessary on the bench.
 
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As we are on the subject of movers, i tried to move my van today, the movers work when disengaged, and when engaged also work, but van wont move. It is sitting on grass, not level, slight tilt. Do you think its because of the wet and sodden grass?
 

JTQ

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I am not quite sre how to read the movers work when engaged but the van does not?
Are the rollers slipping against the wheel, the van moves a bit but not enough, ?

If the roller tyre interface is wet, then the roller slipping against the tyre is much more likely to happen.
The wheel being sunk into the ground will present some real challenges to "haul" itself out. It might be even more of a challenge once the ground dries out than now quite soft and able to yield , but the roller being dry helps in one way.
Rocking, driving just a single wheel can get more torque from the battery, progress one wheel out at a time.
Banging a shallow wedged plank under the tyre and rolling , again one wheel at a time might help; its the difficulty pulling out of the ground that is the challenge, climbing a shallow solid ramp could be easier.
 

JTQ

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The van moves at first, then stops, the rollers are still trying to drive. Im putting it down to wet ground.
I would be getting that track way, be it a matting, metal plate, sand track or chamfered plank placed there to roll onto; and do it progressively advancing one wheel at a time to best exploit the current the battery can get to the motor.
Then store on something solid so sinking in is mitigated,
 
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As we are on the subject of movers, i tried to move my van today, the movers work when disengaged, and when engaged also work, but van wont move. It is sitting on grass, not level, slight tilt. Do you think its because of the wet and sodden grass?
If the rollers are turning but not gripping the tyre, then there are three possibilities.
1 The mover is not adjusted properly to engage the tyre.
2 The tyres are not fully inflated.
3 The rollers have worn their grit away.

There is a fourth, but the fact you tell us the wheels have moved discounts the brakes binding.
 
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As we are on the subject of movers, i tried to move my van today, the movers work when disengaged, and when engaged also work, but van wont move. It is sitting on grass, not level, slight tilt. Do you think its because of the wet and sodden grass?
Is your leisure battery fully charged and in good condition?
When did you last change the hand controller batteries!
Do you leave the handbrake on or off in storage?
 
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One of the things we do (because our storage site is compacted hardcore) is park the van on rubber lattice mats. This stops the tyres picking up stones and those being ground through the rollers (we also use a Lock'n'Level on site and the mats are advised by them)...
 
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My Powrtouch mover was at times the only way to get the caravan off of wet grass and muddy pitches despite the best efforts of three four wheel drive cars. It’s not the wet grass that’s your problem. Check out the suggestions above.
 
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Lots of good tips here, thank you again!

And on reflection, I'm also glad I made the mistake on the bench, because it may well have saved me from a surprise outcome the first time I operate it after fitting :) And I've learned some other good things to check before I fit them. Brilliant!

Note also the shape and surfaces of the "road" over which you move can affect the individual loads encountered by each wheel, so motor.

During entering and leaving my car port using the mover I have to travel diagonally over the camber in my lane, thus one wheel is climbing a differing incline to the other, one even rolling downhill whilst one climbs.
Using the Straight running" command then, anything but results in going "straight". So easily corrected though, I just physically "lean" against the run away side of the van to dictate it travels the track I want.

Whether more modern systems have speed synchronisation feedback I have no idea, I doubt it at the added cost and complication involved, they bother.

I'll have two slice with cream please......

I know that in the past I've done similar things, You can get almost too involved in something and miss the obvious.

As for the difference in speed, just some more basic logic, is one running faster than it should? - unlikely, so it's more likely one is running slower than it should, and as you have swapped the cables over and the same motor unit runs slow, it does point to that unit rather than the control.

Motors will run slower if they are loaded in some way. it could be failing motor bearings as Dusty has suggested. but don't forget that each motor also has a reduction gearbox, abd perhaps one is not running freely. Look for damage to water seals, if water has got into the motor or the gear box that is bad news.

I also suggest checking the motor brushes before you install it under the caravan, it's just easier to do look and replace them if necessary on the bench.
 
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There is a You Tube posting by a man who bought van with mover attached and stripped the mover to refurbish, very informative, particularly how to remove the plastic covers without breaking them, also shows the grease and how it had flung itself out of the cogs in the mover, might be worth a search and look
 
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There is a You Tube posting by a man who bought van with mover attached and stripped the mover to refurbish, very informative, particularly how to remove the plastic covers without breaking them, also shows the grease and how it had flung itself out of the cogs in the mover, might be worth a search and look
Top notch, will find it. Thanks
 

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