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    fuse box very basic problem

    While camping this weekend I managed to blow the lights and I think the socket in the habitation bit of my van. If this was at home I'd either throw the switch to try and work out what had caused the damage, or in the good old days I'd replace the fuse wire. As no switch has unswitched itself, I must need to change the fuse. However I can't see how to get into the fusebox in the van. There's probably a simple catch to open it. It has a transparent plastic cover with all the coloured fuses inside, I'm assuming its the 10A I want. But how do I open it to get at them?

    Sorry if this is so basic, but it's really foxing me. Or maybe I've got it completely wrong and I need to do something else instead to solve this one.

    Help please!!

    Thanks - Jan

    #2
    Hi Jan

    You don't say what van you have got, if it's a Dimension I could have a look at ours and let you know, if its another van others might be able to help.
    Graham
    Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Graham View Post
      Hi Jan

      You don't say what van you have got, if it's a Dimension I could have a look at ours and let you know, if its another van others might be able to help.
      Honda Stepwagon, sorry I thought they were all pretty standard. I found a pic on a website but can't see how to copy it on here. It's a rectangular box fixed vertically to the van with the coloured fuses - presumably - fixed horizontally inside it under a plastic transparent cover. Each coloured fuse is numbered according to it's amps, and there's a list of what each does, which is how I know that lights and socket is 10A. My campervan manual which gives wonderful clear instructions for rewiring the van or fitting new lights, doesn't shed any light on how to open the fuse box, just says 'remove fuses'.

      anyway, thanks for responding so swiftly, I appreciate that.

      Comment


        #4
        Not sure but in the Dimension there is a similar transparent fuse box inside the battery storage box and there are plastic clips at each end that just clip off.

        I suppose yours could be screwed on but I am sure you have checked for the screws. Sorry can't help, hopefully someone will be able to.
        Graham
        Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

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          #5
          Mine opens like a book, sideways.

          What caused the blow out? It may be that the 10amp fuse isn't a 10amp - and that's why it's blown. Or could be a power surge.

          It usually throws the trip switch though. check they are all still pointing the same way. Also try switching the whole unit off, then on again, sometimes that works!

          If you have had a lot of electrical things switched on all at once, that will blow some out.
          It took me ages to find out how mine opened as well!

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you - feel better now knowing it wasn't just me. It's dark now so will try again tomorrow. What happened was someone gave me - new - one of those supposedly useless little fan heaters that can plug into the cigarette socket thingie (but the one in the back, sorry, not very techie), so I plugged it in and the lights died. I was in the middle of a field this weekend and it was pretty chilly which is why I thought I'd give it a go. Bad idea obviously. Everything else worked fine, on ehu and without. Tried flicking the mains switch on and off, and swearing and kicking (always works with computers!) but it had gone. Nothing had tripped which as you say, is usually what you'd expect.

            Anyway, I now know that for my next trip in a couple of weeks I'm going to acquire a small oil filled heater and remember to take my loo, (the site loos were dire) and then I'm set up. If I only had hot water in the van I'd be very happy. Oh, and spare lights, not just a torch! It's nice reading under a duvet listening to the waves outside.

            Thanks for answering, will try the methods recommended in the morning.

            Jan

            Comment


              #7
              The fan heater is probably what did it, then! And it certainly sounds like it's a fuse gone - not too difficult to replace. If that doesn't work, there will probably be an in-line fuse somewhere that's blown, you'll have to trace it back from the 12v socket to find it. Hopefully it's not that though.

              A lot of ppl just put their grill on low to take the chill off. However, you can't leave it on all night... There are some good ideas for non-electric heating here on the forum, will be back when I've found a link for you.

              I and many other ppl have the mini oil radiators, they are the biz, just great and you can leave them on low all night! However, you do need EHU for them. I still think hot water bottles are the best invention ever!

              Here's the link to the little heating gadjet:
              http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...read.php?t=421
              although I don't think the ebay link will work any more. Another thing you could use is a pan heat diffuser, which fits flat over an open gas flame.

              As for lighting, the little stick-up, push on/off battery lights are quite useful in an emergency!
              Last edited by jayjay; 14-10-2010, 08:11.

              Comment


                #8
                Are we talking mains (240v) from a hook up or 12v from the battery?

                They are 2 completely different animals.

                If it is mains there will be a reset switch.

                More info later

                Peter

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all. Oh dear, I really need to understand better how the electrics work in the van. For example, is it right that there are 3 systems that do or do not connect together. One is the system you get in every car, normal engine starter, lights and the cigarette lighter etc in the front. Then there's the 12v system from the leisure battery, which powers the fridge, cig lighter socket at the back, and lights in the habitation section. Then the third system when you're on hook-up which when connected, disconnects the 12v system and provides power for fridge, lights and normal plug. Cig lighter socket in back then doesn't work.

                  The lights don't work at the moment, whether on hook-up or leisure battery and I can't see that any switch has tripped, they're all pointing to the on position.

                  Is this right? Or? If someone can point me to a very simple guide that would be great. Still haven't sorted out my fuse yet as have been working all day and also power in my house has been off - I don't think electrics and me work well together!

                  Thanks for the replies, will look at the heating advice, that's brill. After this weekend's trip away I have very itchy feet for another. I only wish petrol was cheaper. I have a convector heater at home, I wonder if maybe I could use that. And I agree about hot water bottles, though am now seriously in love with my electric blanket, however am always hot in bed (!!!), it's the getting dressed in the morning that's the icy bit! Brrr!

                  J

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Here's a pretty good explanation of how it all works. not too technical!:

                    http://www.motorcaravanning.com/vehicles/electrics.htm

                    If the lights were working before you plugged that little heater into the 12v sys, then that's what has blown a fuse somewhere along the line. This could mean that you will need to trace the lighting wiring from the lights back to the source and replace any fuses you find along the way. You might come across a junction box ( I have one underneath a seat) and you may need to undo this and see if there has been a change in there - i.e., burned-looking wires and fuses, etc. Never looked in mine, so I can't help there.

                    If push comes to shove, until someone can sort it out for you, you could always use EHU and a table lamp in the 3pin socket for lighting, or get a separate battery powered camping light.

                    Another thing you should check is that the switch between the two is switched to battery. The only thing my battery powers is the lights, but yours will probably power the lights, and a water pump at the very least. If there are other things powered by the battery then check that those still work: if not, maybe the battery needs charging, so switch the switch to the 'off' postition and charge it. This may be all that's wrong. If the charge is very low in the leisure battery then the lights won't work.

                    The fridge should only work on 12v when you are actually driving somewhere. It will very quickly drain a leisure battery if left powered by 12v when parked up on a site.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you, have had a good read through the document in the link, though when it comes to practice on site I will need to have it and a calculator with me I think, I'll never remember watts/volts/amps. In my case I'll suck it and see I think, and if the battery runs out there are alternatives, or else I go out for a drive - not the end of the world either way. I'm glad to read, however, that running the leisure battery down doesn't affect the car battery, I had been worried that if the leisure battery ran out, then the car battery would be drawn upon. I'm still not entirely clear what is and what is not run from the car or leisure battery though, for example the light in the tail lift of the van, is that run from the car or leisure battery? It's working at the moment so I assume the former, in which case I shouldn't use it to read in bed which I have been doing. So far my fridge has run for around 4 days continuously on leisure battery, without hookup or driving anywhere, which is as good as I could ever expect. There's no alternative anyway.

                      I can't see any kind of switch that allows me to select ehu or battery, so assume this happens automatically - well that's what seems to happen automatically anyway as when I plug into ehu the 3 pin socket becomes live. Everything else that works off the leisure battery still works fine (fridge , water pump) so will follow the trail as you suggest to find the fault.

                      Thanks everyone, am beginning to get my head round this now. Rather fancy one of those tin can heaters though, (I haven't got a grill) also wondering about those little solar showers - just for hair washing.

                      Good fun all of this, isn't it!!

                      Jan

                      Comment


                        #12
                        go here for a discussion on showers!

                        http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...ead.php?t=1015

                        That must be an almighty big leisure battery to be running a fridge on 12v! Make me wonder if it's actually drawing from the car/van battery. Tried starting the van lately? I'm sure that the 12v side of a fridge only works from the car battery and when you get to a site, you either use EHU or gas to operate.... I'm pretty sure that if the leisure battery is turned off, and car is off, it shouldn't be working at all!!
                        I never used mine on 12v in the camper I previously used to own for that very reason - it would/might have flattened the van battery - so no starting. From reading from others, the 12v fridge system cooler is a very poor one anyway, so I always use mine as a 'coolbox' on the road and just use freezer blocks to cool down and keep the food cool until I get where I'm going.

                        Try turning/undoing the leisure battery from its posts, to see which power supply is being used for what thingy. Turn on the ignition. And then connect the leisure battery and turn off the engine ignition. It will give you a good idea of what's running on which battery.

                        I can never remember watts, etc either. A rule of thumb is to never use more that one item which heats something. For example, don't switch on the electric kettle until you've switched off the oil filled radiator. Don't turn on the radiator/other type of heater and the kettle at the same time.

                        Re the lights - Might just be that you just need to reset the power supply - did you manage to fight your way into the power box yet, Jan?

                        I haven't got a grill either, Jan. Found the tin can heater very effective for taking off the chill when not using EHU, but you can't leave it on all night, so a good heavyweight sleeping bag and hot water bottle still required! LOL!
                        Last edited by jayjay; 15-10-2010, 11:34.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jayjay View Post
                          go here for a discussion on showers!

                          http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...ead.php?t=1015

                          That must be an almighty big leisure battery to be running a fridge on 12v! Make me wonder if it's actually drawing from the car/van battery. Tried starting the van lately? I'm sure that the 12v side of a fridge only works from the car battery and when you get to a site, you either use EHU or gas to operate....

                          Re the lights - Might just be that you just need to reset the power supply - did you manage to fight your way into the power box yet, Jan?

                          I haven't got a grill either, Jan. Found the tin can heater very effective for taking off the chill when not using EHU, but you can't leave it on all night, so a good heavyweight sleeping bag and hot water bottle still required! LOL!
                          Success!!! Have used brute force to remove the fuse box cover - it may never fit back on but still!! I can see that when I removed the 10a red fuse it looks different from the others (no metal strip showing) so will trot down to Halfords and replace. Apparently it's a mini blade fuse - thanks to Google!

                          Yes the van runs fine, it's my everyday car and on the occasion I mentioned was at a National Trust site with no ehu. No idea how to run fridge from gas, don't think it's that clever!

                          Have found tin can on ebay, it's called "the mini cosy" from Bright Spark, costs around a tenner, definitely getting that. Don't care about overnight, hot water bottle, 15tog duvet (under and over), I don't like restriction of sleeping bag. Warm cosy doggie helps too!

                          Off to look at the shower advice now, I had thought of filling the shower bag from the hot water tap at some loos somewhere or even from the kettle, then using that to wash hair under shower. Have been put off site loos and showers recently and would rather be self sufficient anyway, as I don't like to leave dog as she would probably demolish van.

                          Thanks again, wow I'm learning a lot today. My turn to return the favours if I can!

                          J

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If your van came from Japan already converted someone must have changed it to british electrics, can you trace that converter or if your van was converted here can you trace that converter?

                            Your fridge is likely to be a "compressor" fridge which will run from mains or 12v and can run from a leisure battery.

                            Heaters are 240v mains except for the sill little things that are also sold as windscreen demisters and do not work.

                            Your lights will most likely be 12v but could be mains. Did they work without connecting a hookup? if so they are 12v.

                            12v and mains are not normally connected except by a battery charger to charge the leisure battery.

                            vehicle 12v system and habitation 12v system are linked by a split charge relay that charges the leisure battery when you are travelling

                            You are right. There are 3 electrical systems:
                            Vehicle 12v
                            Habitation 12v
                            Habitation 240v

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Just reread your post and realised that it is definitely the habitation 12v system.

                              As well as all the other fuses look for an inline fuse very near to your leisure battery.

                              Comment

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