Getting over the Gremlins. 5th March 2014

After the trauma of the leaky roof, we pressed on with getting the van ready for our trip.

Jaki wanted me to fill the water tank and turn on the water heater so she could give things a clean. Last year this was an issue because we couldn’t get any water out of the tap’s, even though the pump was working (as we found to our cost when I ran it with one of the joints disconnected). Amazing how much water can  come out in the time it took to switch the pump off. In order to get rid of the air lock I had to connect the hose pipe to the system and blast water through the pipes, then quickly disconnect the hose and reconnect the pipes. Not for the Faint Hearted.

Before I put the heater on I decided to reconnect the Leisure battery which has been on a charger in the garage throughout the winter.

I thought this would be a simple task as I taped the cables together when I took them off last year and tied them at the appropriate end of the Battery  housing. I should have taken a picture of the connections ‘in situ’ to ensure I got this right.

After lumping the battery into place I quickly realise this wasn’t going to be simple as I couldn’t remember which way round the battery went and  if I got this wrong, I would be connecting the negative cables to the positive terminal, not recommended. On some Batteries the lug’s are different size’s to avoid this confusion but on my nice new battery the cables bolt to a spur rather than slot down over the lugs.

So I had to trust that the brown cables went to the live terminal and I set about connecting up.

It took me some considerable time to detach the 30 amp fuse from my finger after I attempted to insert it ‘after’ the battery was connected. Next time ill put the fuse in first, that will at least save me 40 pence and a trip to the Car accessory shop in Winterbourne.

Then I realised there was another issue. Two smaller wires were clearly coloured red and black but they were connected to the wrong end’s of the battery (red to the negative end). How had that happened when I had taken so much care taping the cables together in the order they came off?

I had to have Faith. So I pressed the Battery Test button over the door and battery one showed full (though im not sure which is battery one as all the instructions are in German) but poor old battery 2 didn’t even register. Some thing was wrong.

I tried all the lights and gizmo’s, some worked, some didn’t but here’s where things start to fall apart. There is a ’12v system’ as well as a…. well, ‘non 12V system’. You can switch between each but Ive never really mastered which is which and what does what? When we get in the van, we fiddle around till everything work’s and hope for the best but we’ve never really understand what were doing.

This was one of the thing’s I intended to ask Hall’s Auto Electricians, Yate near Bristol when I booked in to have the charger fitted, but as thing’s transpired, I never found the right moment to ask.

I decided to see if battery 2 was the engine battery by trying to start the engine. However, as soon as I turned the key there was a blinding flash, followed by another trip the the Car accessory shop for yet another 30 amp fuse.

Knowing when Im beaten, I drove into Frampton Cotterell and threw myself on the mercy of Paul at Frampton Garage who promised to come round this morning at 10am to sort it out for me. Sadly its 1328hrs and he still hasn’t arrived.

Has he forgotten? I hope not as im booked in for an MOT tomorrow at Pearce Bros, Yate and I don’t fancy asking them to fit a battery for me.

Its not the cost, its the embarasment that hurts.

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