Fresh water fill on Worcester

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Post by Trillium2 on Mon May 19, 2014 1:41 pm

Hi,

I'm new to the forums and have just bought a 2012 Broadway which has an external fill facility.

I too was confused by all the options in the Sargent control unit (internal, external, both and water fill on/off) and found by trying all the options that the only way for the external pump to work is to turn on the control panel.  Strangely, the solenoid is always energised when the panel is on and nothing turns it off.  Setting the water fill option to on causes the tap symbol to light and then go out after about a minute (as I guess it should) but the pump keeps running until the container is empty.

A constantly energised solenoid is likely to die prematurely and, more to the point, what useful purpose does it serve?

It would be nice to know whether this is the way it is supposed to work or is there a problem as the handbook explains it's function exactly as you would logically expect.  Should I take this up with Sargent?

Thanks
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon May 19, 2014 2:00 pm

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You don't say but I guess you have the whale water system. I suggest you read the posts at the thread linked above. The system is nothing to do with Sargent.

If you search the forum for "whale" you will find more relevant comment.

Peter

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Post by Trillium2 on Mon May 19, 2014 6:17 pm

Thanks for the reply Peter.

Having read all the interconnected threads on the subject one thing becomes abundantly clear ... confusion.  The AS handbook does not tell me that the instructions apply only to a Truma installation and furthermore, other members with a Whale system seem to follow the handbook instructions and are able to make the fill behave exactly as the book explains unless they are confused as to what system they have.

Whilst accepting that I have the Whale system with its straightfoward fill function, I cannot for the life of me understand why the solenoid should be, or need to be energised all the time the control panel is turned on!  This is obviously the way that AS have chosen to install the system.  Better would have been to add a simple isolating switch somewhere in the system or have Sargent change the control panel function for the Whale system.

On the bright side, the motorhome is much better built and appointed compared to some of the competition (even allowing for their lower price tag), though the choice of a 30 Watt panel and a tiny 20 litre gas tank beggars belief if the 2014 model is genuinely aimed at a serious motorhomer.  For that reason I terminated the purchase of a new 2014 model in favour of the secondhand 2012 I now own.  AS certainly missed a trick there!
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Post by groundhog on Mon May 19, 2014 7:15 pm

We bought a BMW folding bucket of ebay ( loads listed) holds 11 litres and the nice thing it has a zippered top so no dirt gets in when you drop the pump in to it. Also have a folding water carrier, 25 litres, but as others have found the neck is too narrow for the pump. Just tip it in the bucket.... easy. Never run out yet, we can carry an extra 36 litres of water and just fold them away when not needed and no space lost to watering cans, plastic buckets etc.
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon May 19, 2014 8:59 pm

Trillium2, I think you are mistaking the pressure switch that manages the operation of the whole whale system with a solenoid valve.

I agree about the size of solar panel and gas tank and also would not want to be without my Truma gas fire that will work without any electricity?

Peter

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Post by Trillium2 on Mon May 19, 2014 10:49 pm

Thanks again for the reply Peter,

I think your probably right, being new to this motorhome and the pump system I am probably missing some important connection about the relationship between the solenoid and the pressure switch built into the Whale pump connector.

We spent a long "summer" holiday in Norway 2 years ago which was abnormally cold and certainly appreciated a 55 litre gas tank and a standard Truma gas fire.  However the dual heating system in the Broadway was very impressive when when picked her up as the evening was very cold.  A good choice by AS.

I don't mean to be too critical about the decisions that AS make but some seem to be against the concept of a motorhome.  However the choices for overnighting in the UK are rather limited to regular campsites and must influence the decisions that any UK converter makes.

I started with an AS campervan (1990 Rambler) and have fond recollections of build quality.  I have now returned to AS for those very reasons.

Our regards to AS staff.
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Post by inspiredron on Tue May 20, 2014 9:22 pm

Peter Brown wrote:Trillium2, I think you are mistaking the pressure switch that manages the operation of the whole whale system with a solenoid valve.

I agree about the size of solar panel and gas tank and also would not want to be without my Truma gas fire that will work without any electricity?

Peter

I am not sure that you are right, Peter.  
If the control panel is off then the solenoid valve is not energised and therefore off.  However, the tap filller (as opposed to the pump filler) has no electrical connections so if the control panel is on then the solenoid valve must be energised - at least that is my logic as there is no way that it would know that the filler hose had been connected.  
That is quite a point that Trillium 2 is making about solenoid valve longevity.  And if it fails you are stuffed as far as getting water into the tank is concerned. However, unless the solenoid gets hot I wold not expect it to be a problem - other than it is a constant drain on the leisure battery.  Maybe that explains the 0.1A discharge that seems to be constant after having calibrated the Sargent power indicator.

I do agree that the 30W solar panel is a joke, however. 20l of gas should be perfectly OK as topping up is normally not too difficult at Autogas stations.


Last edited by inspiredron on Tue May 20, 2014 9:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added last paragraph)

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Post by Trillium2 on Tue May 20, 2014 10:19 pm

inspiredon wrote:
I do agree that the 30W solar panel is a joke, however. 20l of gas should be perfectly OK as topping up is normally not too difficult at Autogas stations.

Maybe the tank size is something personal and from my experience 20l is too small.  We visit Scandinavia reasonably regularly and once you get well north there is no lpg, even in summer as the winter temperatures are too low.  As a result the 20l soon restricts you and the absence of a gas locker means bottles are not an option.  Also the 20l would soon run out if you CL'd in the UK compelling you to "up sticks" and go searching for an Autogas station ... personal experience ... may never happen for many others.

As an extra point, the solendoid doesn't seem to get more than warm, so maybe I'm worrying about nothing!
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Post by inspiredron on Tue May 20, 2014 11:39 pm

Trillium2 wrote:
inspiredon wrote:
I do agree that the 30W solar panel is a joke, however. 20l of gas should be perfectly OK as topping up is normally not too difficult at Autogas stations.

Maybe the tank size is something personal and from my experience 20l is too small.  We visit Scandinavia reasonably regularly and once you get well north there is no lpg, even in summer as the winter temperatures are too low.  As a result the 20l soon restricts you and the absence of a gas locker means bottles are not an option.  Also the 20l would soon run out if you CL'd in the UK compelling you to "up sticks" and go searching for an Autogas station ... personal experience ... may never happen for many others.

As an extra point, the solendoid doesn't seem to get more than warm, so maybe I'm worrying about nothing!
Point taken! We do all our touring south of John o Groats and we seldom use more than about 6kg of gas in 4 weeks - well within 20l. But on CL's in the cold you would use far more gas. Sorry!

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Post by padraigpost on Wed May 21, 2014 7:36 am

I have just taken delivery of a new Bourton which I ordered with the 80w upgrade to the solar panel which seems to work well, I also ordered a manual water filler to be fitted which is in addition to the whale filler, if ordered at the build stage the cost is minimal (£37) and it permits me to use the good old watering can for filling if required (in fact I have never used the whale filler only the manual filler)
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Post by Trillium2 on Wed May 21, 2014 6:48 pm

inspiredron wrote:Sorry!

Hey!  no apologies needed here.  They're only opinions so no-one gets tipped out of my balloon.

@padraigpost.   I started life with a 65W panel, perfect for most ocassions but now and then let me down when continuously off EHU so I went to 100W which seems plenty as I don't indulge in lots of TV and Blackpool illuminations so I think 80W will be alright for you.  I've bought another 100W panel for the Broadway and the 30W AS panel will be removed to make space as soon as I get to France.  (AS seems to have plonked the 30W right in the middle of the roof space so an extra 50W panel is probably all I would be able to fit in the space left ... a little annoying).  Costs for bigger panels are insignificant compared with the total installation costs so bigger is better within reason.

Back on subject, our Broadway came fitted with both Whale and a filler cap which seemed overkill at the time but who am I to complain.  I always carry 10l minimum extra water when in Scandinavia and in parts of France and it's a bit heavy to lift to the filler so the Whale will save my back ... must be getting old!
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Post by inspiredron on Wed May 21, 2014 8:15 pm

Trillium2 wrote:

Back on subject, our Broadway came fitted with both Whale and a filler cap which seemed overkill at the time but who am I to complain.  I always carry 10l minimum extra water when in Scandinavia and in parts of France and it's a bit heavy to lift to the filler so the Whale will save my back ... must be getting old!

I think that you will find the Whale filler really good. The only downside is that it takes rather longer than a straight hose fill which can cause others to wonder what you are playing at when there is a queue at the service point.  However, it does not need to be watched so you can empty grey waste and the cassette while it is filling. But don't make the mistake that we made on our very first fill with the new van at the Alzingen site in Luxembourg!  Having driven to the tap I couldn't get any water at all to go into the tank.  The filler hose pressurised but no water flowed in.   scratch head  It took us about 10 minutes to realise that the Sargent Control Panel NEEDS TO BE ON and that it had switched itself off when I had started the engine to drive to the tap!   :0_blush:  It had not been a problem when I filled at home as the tap was within reach of the van.

We haven't made that mistake again!  Your normal filler gives you the fall-back if that solenoid does fail.  One person on this forum told that they had filled their tank through the fresh drain valve in that situation.  I was offered an extra normal filler but declined as I did not want to lose even more space for the filler pipe in the offside bunk locker where half is already lost to the gas locker.

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