No 12 Volt Electrics

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No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:46 pm

I hope you can help me out.

About four months ago I purchased a one owner AS Symphony, based on a Peugeot Boxer chassis. I have hardly used the vehicle (it has been the "close" season), and the two occasions that I have camped in it for weekends I have used the mains hook up without any dramas at all.

However, just after Christmas I had occasion to use the van overnight at a site with no mains hook ups. I was not bothered as it was only one night, until I got there and found that I had nothing working at all on the 12 volt side - no interior lights, no extractor fan, no shower, no nothing.

I returned home and began investigating. My first port of call was the leisure battery, but this looked almost new and a tester revealed it was putting out almost 13 volts which is as good as it gets. I have supply to the large red wire coming off the leisure battery, this then disappears into a relay panel beneath the drivers seat. There is an in line 20 amp fuse and I have checked this and its contacts and all is well. However, it is clear that I have no 12 volt supply to anything on the vehicle.

When the 240 volt hook up is plugged in all systems work fine and a green light appears on the Zig panel above the rear doors to indicate that the leisure battery is charging as it should, but immediately it is unplugged everything goes stone dead. I have read the (frankly useless) AS handbook cover to cover and don't know what to do next. The van is clearly unusable as it is as most of the camping I do is at very small rural sites without hook ups. It replaced a faultless AS Nomad van and I am bitterly disappointed.

Any ideas are welcomed. Thank you in advance.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by modelman on Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:00 pm


I'm not familiar with your model, but mine too, is based on the boxer, ( so must be a similar age) & mine has a control-panel that has a 12v power-on switch, plus a push-button which is not only for the water-level, but also battery condition monitor, when pushed, a green led indicates a 'good' battery & red, obviously a flat one!!

IF you have something similar, then whip it out & check the fuses inside, mine has 4 I think, worth a check.

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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:03 pm

Mine has the same panel and switches. when you press the test button nothing illuminates - red or green. To the right of the test switch is a sliding panel that conceals (I think from memory) six glass fuses. All of these have been checked and are intact. Is there another fuse that I am missing?
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Paulmold on Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:05 pm

I gather from your intro that your Symphony is a 1998, mine is a 1997 so they should be the same. You've checked the obvious main fuse by the battery but have you checked the fuses in the Zig panel? I'm not sure what you mean by 'no shower' , do you mean no water pumped through or no heat? No water would affect all the taps if the pump wasn't working, if it is working to other taps then you have 12v to the pump, heatwise this would point to the carver heater not working which does require 12v, have you any lights on your heater panel (you won't have if no 12v)? I haven't got an extractor fan so have you got one built into your rooflight?
Sorry if these questions are a bit silly but just trying to think what your problems might be.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Dutto on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Hi there,

Have you switched it "On"?

Sounds for all the world as if the system is running directly from the charger unit! Somewhere in the van there is an "On" switch. On the man across the site at Vinaros it was under the drivers seat, on my Duetto it is under the sink! (And really easy to switch "Off" accidentally!)

Best regards,

drinksallround


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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by boxerman on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:07 am

Not wishing to state the obvious, but have you checked that the switch marked "12V" is switched on? it's next to the switch for the pump.
On my Zig panel, if you slide the end caps off it will reveal the fixing screws for the panel so you can pull it out of it's hole and check if it is getting power. The fuse holders are a bit fragile, one of the rivets came loose on mine so the terminal was no longer connected to the fuse, that puzzled me for a while, repaired with a tiny screw and nut.
Frank
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by roli on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:36 am

Thats a common fault Frank, there is/was? someone in the Blackburn area running around in our old Executive and the Zig panel in that had brass screws/nuts as I got fed up with the stupid rivet idea. I think its worth doing before they cause a problem for the short time it takes.

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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:42 am

My thanks to all the people who have posted. Yesterday I finally had some time to venture out into the cold and take a look at the van.

The remark about the rivets holding the fuse holders was the key. When I removed the Zig unit and wriggled the fuse holders, hey presto, on came the lights etc.

Now that I know what it is I shall organise some small screws and nuts on Monday and hopefully that will eliminate the problem. It really is a bit of cost-cutting in the manufacture of the unit, and should not be there given what they charge for these things.

thanks again.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Paulmold on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:02 am

I'm glad you've got to the source of the problem. Having the same vehicle, it's something I shall bear in mind if ever I have the same problem.
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Dual Post: Defending Autosleeper and Snow.

Post by 1Oll on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:29 am

Following complaints re your AS manual. I feel I must say something to defend Autosleeper.
I am pleased with the detail in mine. I was brand new to a motorhome and acquired an old 1995 Amethyst. My Amethyst manual is pretty good and was most helpful, as were Autosleeper. There is of course a wiring diagram in it. The only problem is finding the info thats sometimes spread around the book. I also couldn't find the charger and some fuses, I had seen them six months before and forgotten, but that adds to the fun in our hobby of motorhoming.

In the next few weeks I am going to digitise the briefcase full of manuals including the Autosleepers, heaters, satellite,solar,fridge etc., and all the other various bits of paperwork that are required very occasionally. This will lighten the load and I will be viewing this on my iPad.

Brian in Sunny, sorry Snowy Macclesfield.

Just noted that the the snow is making all the headlines, therefore can only assume it must be snowing in the south, possibly in London?

Hope they are still complaining about the Chelsea Tractors!
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:14 am

Many thanks again.

Plenty of snow here Brian, and this is possibly the one day of the year when a Chelsea Tractor is the perfect way of getting about!
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:01 am

Having at least got the 12volt side operational again, I wondered if anyone could shed light on another issue.

I have noticed that my Symphony is wired so that all the 12 volt systems automatically switch off as soon as the ignition is turned on. A separate switch on the Zig unit allows the fridge only to be run with the vehicle engine running.

This is my fourth camper and the only one I have ever owned to be wired in this idiotic way. For example, when we are travelling after dark, my son cannot sit in the rear and read, because none of the interior lights (apart from the cab light powered off of the vehicle battery) will work with the engine running. This is infuriating to say the least.

Are others wired in this way or is mine unique? And is there anything that I can do about it?

Many thanks,

Martin.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Cymro on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:29 am

mbellinger wrote:

I have noticed that my Symphony is wired so that all the 12 volt systems automatically switch off as soon as the ignition is turned on. A separate switch on the Zig unit allows the fridge only to be run with the vehicle engine running.

Are others wired in this way or is mine unique? And is there anything that I can do about it?

Yes. My Clubman [1998] is wired that way.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Paulmold on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:58 am

mbellinger wrote:This is my fourth camper and the only one I have ever owned to be wired in this idiotic way. Martin.

My Symphony is my first camper and I thought all were wired this way but for us, I can't think of any reason why the 12v system needs to stay on but then again we don't have anyone travelling in the back.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by whisky on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:01 am


My current van and the previous three that I have owned. All Autosleepers have all had this configuration of wiring. I have always concidered it a safety feature. I never had any problems or cause to complain about this arrangement but then never had anybody in the habitation area when traveling.

Puzzled. Whisky. scratch head

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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:40 am

Ok so it is clearly an Autosleeper problem.

My previous vans were CI Autohomes and Devon and they were sensibly wired. As for not having anybody in the habitation area, I have to ask what the point of a seat with three point belt is if they do not expect it to be used?

I have owned campers for over twenty years and have never encountered this sort of wiring.

Another nail in the coffin of this van which, to be honest, I am beginning to wish I had never bought.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Paulmold on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:27 pm

This is not just an Autosleeper problem. If you read through the link below, you will see that it is a ruling of the National Caravan Council that habitation electrics are not 'live' when vehicle in motion, so I'm surprised that your earlier MH's had this. Apparently the UK is in opposition to continental vans in this respect but again if you read the thread below, there are ways around it....

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by boxerman on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:32 pm

My Symphony is a 1995 and the 12v stays on with the ignition on, yours is obviously more sophisticated than mine.

You should not be driving with the interior lights on anyway, it spoils your night vision and caused reflections on the inside of the windscreen, (bus drivers are shielded from the interior bus lights) and to be honest, I think you may be breaking some law by driving with the interior lights on, but I cannot be sure.

Frank
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Dutto on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:36 pm

Hi there,

Here are two good reasons for shutting off the 12v supply when you are "on the move":

1) At night the very last thing you need is someone in the habitation area switching on a load of lights! It is dangerous! The "courtesy lights" up front are within easy reach of the driver for exactly this reason; and the habitation lights are not!

So, with regard to the comment "........ if they do not expect it to be used?" they do - they just don't want idiots back there switching lights on and off whilst the vehicle is moving!

2) When you disconnect from EHU the water heater starts to cool and the pressure in the water system falls. When you are moving the water in your tank sloshes around. When the pressure reaches the point where the pump kicks in all it takes is for the pump to start when the inlet pipe happens to be empty and the pump will continue running until such time as either the tap is opened and the air-lock is released or the pump burns itself out.


Unfortunately "Petal" doesn't have the modern ignition system and I have to make sure that I turn the 12v system "OFF" before we move off.

Best regards,

 drinksallround 

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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by mbellinger on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:51 pm

Just to be clear. There is no law against use of reading lights inside a moving vehicle - my car is equipped with reading lamps in the rear and these are positioned so as not to distract the driver.

I am not talking about the main habitation area lights - the rear individual seat (with belt) in the Symphony is equipped with a directional reading lamp positioned above that cannot even be seen from the drivers seat when illuminated.

On my Symphony the water heater and pump are separately switched and you could only drive off and leave both running by deliberate intention (assuming the 12v did not cut off).

I can further confirm that having attended the recent Motor home Show at Excel, the majority of vans were NOT wired in this way.

Thanks for the responses.
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by andygump on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:38 pm

mbellinger wrote:Just to be clear. There is no law against use of reading lights inside a moving vehicle - my car is equipped with reading lamps in the rear and these are positioned so as not to distract the driver.

I am not talking about the main habitation area lights - the rear individual seat (with belt) in the Symphony is equipped with a directional reading lamp positioned above that cannot even be seen from the drivers seat when illuminated.

On my Symphony the water heater and pump are separately switched and you could only drive off and leave both running by deliberate intention (assuming the 12v did not cut off).

I can further confirm that having attended the recent Motor home Show at Excel, the majority of vans were NOT wired in this way.

Thanks for the responses.

think_smiley_46 had_idea Your lad could use a head torch. Problem sorted gimmefive



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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by boxerman on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:43 pm

mbellinger wrote:Just to be clear. There is no law against use of reading lights inside a moving vehicle - my car is equipped with reading lamps in the rear and these are positioned so as not to distract the driver.

I am not talking about the main habitation area lights - the rear individual seat (with belt) in the Symphony is equipped with a directional reading lamp positioned above that cannot even be seen from the drivers seat when illuminated.

My Symphony does not have this, only one over the front passenger seat and angled so that it is only of use when the seat is swivelled round, I thought you meant the main habitation lights - sorry.

Frank
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Paulmold on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:07 pm

Frank,
Yours is a 1995 and your 12v stays on while ignition on, mine is 1997 and 12v does not stay on with ignition on, mbellinger's is a 1998 and has a reading lamp over the back seat. Strange how over a 3 year span that all these Symphony's should have such differences.
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Re No 12 volt electrics.

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:59 pm

Hi Martin,
I too have a Symphony, same year as yours, (1998) Yes the 12V wiring does get some getting used to. Do you have a small panel to the right of your Zig panel? It confused me for a while, it is just a battery check meter for main and hab, consequently it does not switch chargeing to one or other.
As you may notice we are in Orpington, so look out for a twin to your 'van!
Cheers,
Mike D
up!
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Re: No 12 Volt Electrics

Post by Paulmold on Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:19 pm

Mike D,
I'm just trying to understand the differences over the years. Has yours got the reading light that Martin's has? In Martins post at the start of this thread, he mentions an extractor fan, do you have one? I'm just wondering if some of these items are previous owner additions or original fitments.
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