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Subject Topic: Problem with Alko ATC & brakes locking on
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Message posted by TonyC5221/7/2011 at 10:44am
Outfit:  Jeep Grand Cherokee     Location:  West Midlands
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Hi gfinlay,

Thanks for the update and glad they seem to have finally acknoledged the problem.

I think they are improving their customer response, I had a problem with my ATC retro-fit not working, they sent out an engineeer, replaced the system, did a full test and couldn't find any fault with the system. Worked on their van but not my car. Asked me to check again with the tow-bar fitter and found they had used a short-cut and wired to the 12v aux socket in the boot, which didn't deliver enough amps, when they wired correctly all worked ok. Told Al-ko and they thanked me and said they would note for future reference, no charge for fitting new ATC.



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Tony C

Message posted by Christech23/7/2011 at 10:58am
Outfit:  Volvo XC90 + Swift Charisma 545     Location:  Midlands
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Quote: Originally posted by gfinlay on 19/7/2011
But now we know what to look for, we are careful and have added a check to our "hook up" routine.


What do you do to perform this check of the ATC when hooking up....?


Message posted by Pickled Onion23/7/2011 at 11:25pm
Outfit:  Bailey Burgundy S7 Honda CR-V IV     Location:  Near Alton Towers N. Staffs.
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We had trouble with our ATC not long after we had it fitted from new. It seemed to be working ok, (making all the right noises on power up etc) but the LED on the fairing didn't always light up. Sometimes it would start, flash & go off or never appear in the first place, at other times it never skipped a beat. Of course all this happened just as we were ready to set off so it was very unnerving, hoping that it doesn't actually fail totally and jam all the brakes on. As it turned out it was a dodgy dual LED unit, replaced under warranty.

However, I decided that with a bit of simple control electronics and a couple of additional flashers I could fit a 13 pin socket onto the fairing, wire in some power from the onboard battery and without interfering with the original wiring I could utilise additional features. I always thought it would be useful to have lights and hazards when using the mover to shift the van on & off the road in the winter when its dark. I wired the appropriate supply to test that the ATC is working too, anytime, and not just the minute we are ready for the off. It works for me.

Dave

 


Message posted by gfinlay24/7/2011 at 9:57am
Outfit:  Swift Challenger 580     Location:  Chelmsford Essex
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Christech: I have a tester for the car to prove pin 9/13 are active so I know if the car can provide a current that will clear and reset any inadvertent partial activiations. (I change my cars a lot) If it is a car that provides a 9/13 circuit, then the normal check at hook up which is "listen for the noise of ATC activating" then check tell tale light for solid green (or flashing green if just back from a service - which resets it to an unused position)  Note: you can also tell if your car does not provide 9/13 current as it should not activate the ATC at hook up.

If the car does not have 9/13 pins active, then I activate the ATC from the caravan panel and make sure it goes fully through the arming cycle then, when complete, ensure that the internal caravan circuits are all off before hooking up.

Pickled Onion: A braver man than I.  Following my experience I would never attempt to modify caravan electrics if an ATC is fitted.

Safe caravanning to you all. 


Message posted by Christech25/7/2011 at 8:53am
Outfit:  Volvo XC90 + Swift Charisma 545     Location:  Midlands
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Quote: Originally posted by gfinlay on 24/7/2011

Christech: I have a tester for the car to prove pin 9/13 are active so I know if the car can provide a current that will clear and reset any inadvertent partial activiations. (I change my cars a lot) If it is a car that provides a 9/13 circuit, then the normal check at hook up which is "listen for the noise of ATC activating" then check tell tale light for solidgreen (orflashinggreen if just back from a service - which resets it to an unused position) Note: you can also tell if your car does not provide 9/13 current as it should not activate the ATC at hook up.

If the car does not have 9/13 pins active, then I activate the ATC from the caravan panel and make sureit goes fully through the arming cycle then, when complete,ensure that the internal caravan circuits are all off before hooking up.




Many thanks - will check when hooking up.

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Message posted by Pickled Onion25/7/2011 at 2:29pm
Outfit:  Bailey Burgundy S7 Honda CR-V IV     Location:  Near Alton Towers N. Staffs.
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Quote: Originally posted by gfinlay on 24/7/2011

 

Pickled Onion: A braver man than I.  Following my experience I would never attempt to modify caravan electrics if an ATC is fitted.


On the contrary, I haven't modified any of the caravan's original electrics, and wouldn't under any circumstances. All I have done is mimic the tow car's electrics using the power source carried by the caravan already.

Dave


Message posted by Surfer0118/9/2012 at 4:02pm
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We suspect that we may be having problems with the ATC on our caravan and found this thread to be interesting.
Our previous caravan never had ATC fitted and MTPLM was 1600kg (Lunar Lexon EW) twin axle. No issues with hills when towing. We are towing with a Toyota HiLux 3.0L auto 130bhp. The new caravan 2011 Delta TI has MTPLM of 1800kg and has ATC.
We find that the vehicle is struggling up steep hills such as Fish Hill when towing the Delta TI and we almost come to a standstill. No over heating issues. Going through Wales between Worcester and Aberystwyth although some steep hills did not slow down to almost a standstill, but was able to keep up a reasonable momentum.
Is there any possibility that the ATC could be activating as on Fish hill there is a very sharp left hand bend going up? We don't really want to change vehicles or caravan.

Message posted by JTQU18/9/2012 at 6:25pm
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If the ATC is activated for long enough to climb a hill the evidence will be extremely hot brake drums, too hot to get near.

Message posted by Surfer0118/9/2012 at 6:52pm
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We suspect that it only comes on when cornering very sharp. Approach to left hand bend at about 40mph, then brake to go around bend,then accelerating up. We feel that the caravan maybe braking just hard enough for the vehicle to lose momentum causing it to struggle up the rest of the hill.

Message posted by birder9919/9/2012 at 9:14am
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Surfer, I have experienced the ATC coming on when attacking tight corners at speed but it has only been a quick pulse and certainly not enough to knock a lot of speed off. Coincidently I tow a Delta with a pick up and I think the length of the caravan may induce the ATC to detect instability when cornering due to the greater pivoting effect. If you are getting anything more than a quick pulse of braking out of the ATC I would be inclined to get it checked as I can not imagine you unit is so unstable that it induces the ATC to activate the brakes for longer.

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Message posted by Surfer0119/9/2012 at 10:02am
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Unit is very stable and we check noseweight before each journey. I should have mention that prior to the bed the road is very bumpy probably due to vehicles braking so caravan bouncing a bit and sharp left hand bend may induce ATC to activate when it should not. Just a guess of course.

Message posted by scar19/9/2012 at 5:19pm
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I will be pointing all of this out to a chap at work who has had nothing but bother with the ATC since the purchase of his brand new Bailey van.
I will try to persuade the chap to join on here to inform you all of his findings and dealings with Bailey and Alko so far.

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Message posted by TonyC5219/9/2012 at 5:43pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Surfer01 on 19/9/2012
Unit is very stable and we check noseweight before each journey. I should have mention that prior to the bed the road is very bumpy probably due to vehicles braking so caravan bouncing a bit and sharp left hand bend may induce ATC to activate when it should not. Just a guess of course.



If it activates it should only be for very short "pulses" on alternate wheels to counter any perceived movement out of line. This should not have a major effect on forward speed. So either ATC is faulty and sticking on or the problem lies elsewhere.

Is it only the one location where this happens?, if you can induce it near to home I would suggest you disengage ATC as described in manual and see if problem still occurs.

HTH


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Message posted by Diver Dave17/5/2020 at 2:39pm
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Hi Paul, we just had a similar problem with our 2018 Swift. We towed it several miles without problem and reversed it onto our drive, again without issue. Later I engaged the motor mover to reposition the caravan exactly where I wanted it. This time it would hardly move forwards and made terrible noises from underneath. I disconnected the motor mover and two of us tried to push the caravan. We couldn't move it. This told us that it was the brakes that were jammed on and not an issue with the motor mover. The hand-brake was in the off position all the time. I then noticed that the push rod fromthe hand-brake wasn't moving at all as the brake was engaged and disengaged.

Fortunately I'd read a form input saying that there were known issues with the ATC's not disengaging when the caravan is unhitched from the tow vehicle. So, as suggested I connected the caravan electrics up to the car. This reset the ATC system and bingo, the problem was solved and we can easily push the van once again.

Message posted by JTQU17/5/2020 at 4:16pm
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One scenario that fits was that on disconnecting the van you did not make a clean electrical break, like can happen if you don't pull the plug out without giving it a little wiggle?

What happens then is momentarily the power is lost, but remade again before then being finally broken. That initial break, then triggers on the remake the ATC to start its check routine, which starts by applying the brake before again releasing it. Not having a connection maintained throughout the check cycle leaves it unable to complete the check, so leaving the brake on a bit.
This was a problem I know when vans used the less satisfactory 7 pin rather than modern 13 pin connectors.

Message posted by Monty1517/5/2020 at 5:46pm
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All a bit vague as not someone I knew before or have seen since, but last year at a group camping w/e, one of the caravans wouldn't pull away after the event finished. They were new to caravanning, so had made the classic inexperienced mistake of trying to drive off with hand brake on, then reversed up with hand brake still on, which seemed to force the brake lever into a unusually high position. After we realised they were in trouble we piled in to help, after much shunting van back and forth, we got the hand brake to release, but the brakes shoes were still jammed on hard and it wouldn't tow, then I noticed ATC light was indicating a fault. No amount of coupling and uncoupling electrics would clear the fault, and after much consulting of my manual, 'cos they had left theirs at home, we concluded the only way to get them going was to disconnect the ATC link rod as described in manual to disable ATC. A much skinnier chap than me crawled under van and started to disconnect link when with an almighty bang it released itself and freed the brakes. Our advice was to carry on disconnecting it in case it jammed on again, but they were happy to 'try it on the road' as they didn't have far to go, don't think the ATC fault warning light had cleared, but brakes were free anyway.

Never did find out if they made it home safe, nor what the outcome of any further repair/investigation work was, but those of us with a mechanical background still on site discussed further and semi-concluded that the reversing with brakes on may have forced the brake/ATC linkage beyond it's normal/permitted travel and somehow jammed it, the ATC auto-test then detected the jammed state and indicated a fault. Maybe the excessive travel had done some damage as even with jam freed off, warning light still showed a fault. Guess we'll never know, but would dearly love to know just in case mine does the same thing.

Many aspects to Alko design/technology in general, from the God awful underslung spare wheel carrier, to the non/poor waterproofing of ATC light (a common failure so I'm told - and mine did!), to the no inbuilt jacking points on chassis (and the after-market option seemingly often fouling the spare wheel carrier!), leave me less than impressed with them, all a bit 'knocked up in a shed', not world leading chassis builder!


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