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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 00:04
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Tip

If an RCD has actually tripped it may not be obvious by looking at it especially if in an awkward position

Switch it to the off position then back to on to be sure

When tripped it may just move a little and not toggle full over to off position
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 14:06 Thread Starter
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Yes Eurajohn I do mean Live and Earth reversed. Its driving me mad. I plugged the rapidtest in to an internal van 230 socket and it gives me Live earth reversed reading. I plug the van into a 16amp socket I had installed in my garage for welding (with the same caravan type socket). If I connect the van to this my control panel DT220 shows that I am not connected to the mains, and the rapidtest shows no indication at all. I have a lead which has at one end a male caravan plug and at the other end a european mutipoint socket. I plugged a UK multipoint socket into this (it has a euro male plug on the extension lead). If I plug this into my dedicated campervan socket on the outside wall of my house, the rapidtest shows three lights meaning everything is fine. I have checked my campervan cable (it is permanently fixed to a reel in a utility compartment on the Frankia) and it is clearly wired correctly, so somewhere downstream of the socket and the cable, there is some issue. I have turned off the 230 volt using the switch on the RCD and turned it on again (the unit makes a distinct click). The only thing I haven't done, is to push the reset button on the cable reel inside the utility compartment. My van is parked too close to our fence for me to open the compartment. However I have charged the engine battery fully, so today I will move the 'van a few precious inches from the fence, to enable me to access the utility compartment and to follow the lead on its path from the reel to the consumer unit. Sadly my van documentation doesn't give any information about the cable run, and how the van 230 volt sockets are wired in and access to the back of the consumer unit might involve a lot of cupboard dissassembly
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 14:19 Thread Starter
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Trek, Thanks for your input. It may well be that I have the same config and in fact what I call an RCD is probably a twin MCB (my stupidity). To go through your points:
1. Yes I plugged the rapidtest in to other sockets in the house. My "van" socket is a dedicated caravan socket on our external wall so not possible to plug rapidtest directly however I do have a caravan plug on a lead with a European style multisocket. I plugged a UK multisocket with a european plug on its lead and with these two leads I tested the van socket successfully.
2. Yes when I disconnect the lead and reconnect, the DT220 correctly shows both states.
3. The fridge is a moot point. I had problems using the fridge on gas (no gasflow) so it is turned off and anyway, we keep it empty and with doors open over the winter to avoid mould. I can however give that a test with its power selector switched to mains.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 14:56
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The reset button on the cable reel is a overheat protection circuit, if the cable reel is not unwound and a high current flows through the cable the reel heets up so there is an overheat protection to cut off the supply

The reel button just resets it

If you have an RCD then it will have a test button ! No test button then just MCB which is akin to a fuse

If you have a test button try it with the power on it should trip



So if this live and earth is reversed is it on all sockets or just one ?

Have you unplugged every appliance etc from the caravan electrics ?

What heater do you have truma air or alde water

Can you test the polarity of the live on the fridge, heater , and ELB feeds ? To see if fault is on all circuits or just the sockets


Has any work been performed on camper recently ! Could a screw have gone through a cable etc ?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 15:06 Thread Starter
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OK Erneboy & Trek. Some slight sanity. My wife is still slim enough to access the utility locker on the nearside of the van. Inside this there is a cable reel which allows us to wind in the cable (it sounds like a good idea, but in practice it is a difficult job). On that reel Frakian have installed some kind of cutout which operates when the van draws too much current. This has a reset button when the condition causing the reset has been fixed. Typically this happens if we have the air-con running and try to boil a kettle or my wife uses her hair dryer. Seemed to get this problem (the power cut-out tripping) a lot this year, but then it was very hot and we used the air-con more often.

Anyway, after operating the reset, the rapidtest result changed from live/earth reversed, to a live neutral reversed which suggests that somewhere in the lead, the polarity got changed.

So now the remaining questions.....

1) What caused the trip to operate when I haven't been using any 230V (as far as I can remember)
2) Why did the two 140Ah leisure batteries and the starter battery go flat in 5 weeks when I had the 12v switched off via the Schaudt control panel

My wife did enable the toad alarm/immobiliser (it has issues too, like the alarm going off randomly, and the courtesy light on the front passenger door flickering when the door is shut) and it did trigger one night, so that is the only device that should be operating off 12v, and that is now turned off. So I guess it is time to watch what happens once both leisure batteries are charged. When that happens I plan to disconnect them over winter. The only other device is my reversing camera which draws some power (it has a blue status light which is always on) but I believe that also operates from the engine battery.

Thanks for the advice. Now waiting for a nice spell of weather to get the cover off so I can do diagnosis on the alarm
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 16:31
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Sorry I forgot about that thermal protection. I took the reel out and just dropped the wire down the hole. The reel looks nice but I found it inconvenient.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 21-10-2019, 17:30
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If you use the reel you should really fully extend it to prevent any overheating

I dont use mine very often - idea was good but in practice its easier with the old fashion hook up cable so I intercepted the cable from back of reel going into camper and fitted an external male hook up connector on the back of the internal locker wall so just plug hook up cable into that

If I need to use the reel - that now has a femail connector that I can also plug into my internal socket


Think I may have post a photo years ago on the forum ?
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-10-2019, 14:29 Thread Starter
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OK. Thanks for the additional points Trek & Erneboy. Today, after an overnight charge all batteries are back to spec and because there is some sun I may have a go at tracking the reversed polarity fault. Pretty sure that no work has been done so that a screw has pierced a cable, so I can only assume that the polarity reversal was my bad at some point. I always unwind the cable completely and of course always enjoy 10 minutes of wet knees reeling all 25 metres back in while skinning my knuckles due to inadequate clearance. The cable got trapped a couple of years ago so I replaced it and even lengthened it from 20mts not realising how difficult it would prove to coax the last 5 metres onto the reel. Ho hum.

The water heating is Alde. I will read up on how to test polarity, but I'd assumed that since the only thing I have changed is the cable then the polarity would be reversed on all appliances, but I shall google on how to test for reversed polarity using a basic electrotest meter and perform the other tests. This will probably have to wait until the weekend as we are off (without the van) to stock up for Christmas with Belgian beer before it all gets much harder or more expensive to do this!

Thanks again for all your advice and help!
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 22-10-2019, 15:16
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I too found it a nuisance pulling the cable from the reel through the floor

So I now use a standard hook up cable and just feed up through the hole the end of it to plug in to my internal hook up connector as per the photo

I can still use the reel if I need too by plugging that in instead of the hook up cable
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