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Subject Topic: hobby caravan mains power unit
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Message posted by parkranger on 04/11/2013 at 6:00pm
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hello again. i have been having some problems with my mains 12v . power unit, it works fine , until we try to use our mini vacum cleaner. it never tripped the rcd before, but now the unit trips every time we try to use it. the vacume cleaner is fine, like i said we had no problems with it till now. the rcd unit just cant handle the fast surge the hoover emits on start up.

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Message posted by saxo1 on 04/11/2013 at 6:14pm
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An RCD operates on 230V and only trips on earth leakage current not overload.It's difficult to see how a 12V appliance can affect a 230V RCD!
Saxo1

Message posted by saxo1 on 04/11/2013 at 6:17pm
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I wrongly,I believe,assumed it was a 12V vacuum,if it is a 230V one then it must have an earth fault to trip an RCD.
Saxo1

Message posted by parkranger on 04/11/2013 at 6:41pm
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is the rcd unit earthed through the hook up plug, as i have noticed some earth cables on chassis but thought they would be for the 12 volt system, i have just moved the van, as it was on a pitch for 4 years and this has just started since then, surely a coincedence, there is a faulty fuse on the 12v circut but dont think would affect rcd ??

Message posted by michael on 04/11/2013 at 8:40pm
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we had this problem with a hairdryer,turned out to be a faulty hairdryer.

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Message posted by saxo1 on 04/11/2013 at 8:50pm
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The RCD doesn't need an earth to operate.
The earths on the chassis are connected to earth via the hookup cable when on EHU.
The only thing that an RCD will detect is a leakage to earth,it measures the current coming in on the live and on the outgoing neutral and if they aren't the same it will trip.It will trip on a very small amount of leakage current.
Are you sure it is the RCD that is tripping?
If it is it has a button on it marked TEST if it hasn't then it is an MCB which will trip on overload,a live to neutral fault or a short circuit to earth.
The 12V circuit should not affect the 230V system
Saxo1

Message posted by parkranger on 05/11/2013 at 10:37am
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thanks again. the mains unit works fine with all the other electrical appliances in van. ie electric oven, micro wave. blow air heaters, it just seems to be the surge on the vacume cleaner start up. do you think this all points to a faulty appliance. also when we use the vacume we turn everything else off. to prevent overload. the site electrics are only a couple of years old we have 16amps. will try another hoover ,

thanks i appreciate your input, this is doing my head in.

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Message posted by michael on 05/11/2013 at 10:46am
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still think its faulty.

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Message posted by parkranger on 06/11/2013 at 11:12am
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i contacted hobby just in case i have to replace the transformer unit, they are talking 350. for new mains transformer. will i be able to use another caravan transformer as they all do the same job, ie supply 240 and 12 volts. everything for hobbies seems to be megabucks. can anyone suggest a suitable replacement unit.

Message posted by saxo1 on 06/11/2013 at 3:34pm
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I think you are putting the cart before the horse!
Your problem would point to a faulty Vacuum cleaner not the transformer,if everything works other than the vacuum cleaner then there can't be a problem with the transformer.
The transformer only steps the voltage down to 12V and charges the battery it wont be affected by a mains vacuum cleaner.As said before if it is the RCD that trips then it isn't affected by power surges etc it only trips on earth fault current,if it is an MCB then if it is a low rated MCB then the amps drawn by the vacuum may trip it.
Have you tried the vacuum on the house mains? Provided that your house has RCD protection if the vacuum is faulty it will trip the house RCD.
Saxo1it only trips on earth fault currents

Message posted by parkranger on 06/11/2013 at 7:37pm
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thanks for that saxo1. you are probably right. if this would have happened before i moved my caravan to a new pitch i would have been more rational about it. as it happened after the move and the fact that i had to cut off 2 of my corner steadies made me think something must have went wrong during the move.but all the 240 loom is inside the van. as for the melted 12v spade fuse holder which has been like that since i bought the van. is this something that can be replaced, as as some of the 12v caravan downlights have stopped working as the fuse broke to bits when i tried to remove it, so i am left with the 2 small metal contacts still in the fuse holder.but fuse has blown.

Message posted by parkranger on 10/11/2013 at 12:42pm
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on further inspection of my power unit i noticed that the 12 volt 15amp fuse holder has come away from the circuit board and cannot be replaced so back to trying to get a compatable transformer unit to replace mine, tried all my electrical appliances in my brothers caravan and nothing tripped his load or rcd, can anyone helpme find a new power unit, hobby are asking for 350.

Message posted by Delboya on 11/11/2013 at 12:07pm
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On my Hobby, one of the 12v feeds from the transformer failed earlier this year, and the xformer was making a loud buzzing noise. As you say, to get a replacement either from Hobby or OEM would have cost hundreds.

Years ago I had added a battery and a separate CTEC smart charger, the output of which was fed through a switch to the xformer side of the 12v fuses. So I simply removed the cover of the xformer box, disconnected the 240v feed to the xformer, and now all 12v supply is from the charger. Obviously the charger is connected to the battery as well, so the 12v supply is buffered and smoothed by the battery.

So to resolve your problem, get a decent smart charger (60-70) and 2 or 3 in-line fuse holders (pennies).

Del

Message posted by parkranger on 11/11/2013 at 2:27pm
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thanks for that del. its a great idea. as you probably know the hobbies dont have batteries. well mine does not use one. but it should be easy enough to incorporate one somewhere as the van is huge. were did you put your battery.

hugh

Message posted by parkranger on 11/11/2013 at 7:08pm
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DEL can you elaborate a bit on the actual job itself ie the inline fuses basically how i can replicate the job you did.

hugh


Message posted by jeff juke on 12/11/2013 at 11:35am
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If your needing anything for your van chargers etc go to the caravan shop glasgow their the cheapest by far ive found.

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JEFF................

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