Violating a Princess!

Edina

Administrator
Is it possible to contact you directly, can't see a way to message on this?
Hi,
If you would like to use all the forum features, your best way would be to join wildcamping.co.uk. That would give you full membership of that site, this one and motorhomer.com.
Follow this LINK, then 'contact us' at the bottom of the page.
Chris
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
That was close, just been top coating the roof where the solar panels will be stuck. This afternoons job was to make a start on running the roof wiring. Phew, I could well have ruined the fans. :( Thanks Dave.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Double-check in the manual just in case they have changed it in newer versions to be more standard. (I am guessing they used Black as +12V and White as 0V to match US AC wiring - "Hot" (Live) is Black, and Neutral is White in the US).
Annoyingly, when I ran my wiring for the fan it was before it actually arrived and I happened to run a white wire for the +12V supply. So on my setup, I have a white wire connecting to a black wire, and a black earth going to the white wire (confused.com up there for anyone just casually looking!)
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
You may have noticed in some of my pictures yellow wires hanging around. This is because I have not had the courage to tackle any more professional wiring repairs. It was bad enough getting the indicators and wipers working as Mercedes intended. Yesterday I decided to tackle the problems. First job was to cut away any stray wires. All the front lights work so only the rear to sort out. Starting with the side lights they seemed to bright. Oh no I have brake and side lights working at the same time! Standard earthing check didn’t help. This afternoon I finally checked repaired every wire and connection. All back to plaxtons wiring diagrams. Still turn on the side lights and the brake lights come on and even operate some of the air brake valves. Wiring checked back to the body control module, all ok. Air pressure getting low so I started the engine. Low and behold I had side lights. Pressed the brake pedal and I had brake lights. All the other lights worked as they should to.
So what was wrong with it? Not a clue, but it works now.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Progress feels like it’s been a crawl uphill with the last few jobs. Then having to remove insulation from the roof where I was too keen to fit it. Maybe it‘s better just to accept the right way is often not quick.
Replacing the top coat on a section of the glass fibre roof was just hard work. Not only that, I must have been a sight wearing a particle mask and welding goggles due to the sunlight reflecting from the roof.
Fitting the solar panels was easier than expected. The backing film used was very helpful. Unfortunately the undulations in the roof may cause future problems.
I knew that space between the panels would be tight, so I purchased the cooker hood early to make sure I could fit the fan. Then I had to find space for the cable entry without placing it over the steel frame.
I was hoping that I might get as far as connecting the panels to a battery. As I used grommets and PU mastic for the cables to enter though, time was required for it to cure. Over this will be a standard cable entry box, so doubling the seals.
Im also low on 6mm sq. cable, so testing will have to wait. The first lash up will be to the engine start batteries.
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wildebus

Full Member
Looking good :)
Is that the misole PV Panel you have fitted there? very interested in how it performs (got a customer which one of those could suit his van perfectly).
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Looking good :)
Is that the misole PV Panel you have fitted there? very interested in how it performs (got a customer which one of those could suit his van perfectly).
Just a couple of observations so far Dave, the glue on the panels appears to be something like butyl mastic, so hopefully will move with expansion. Not so good, I found a couple of "scuffs" on the panels surface. Just hope they can cope with brushing though trees.
Another thought was, with the amount of space they take up and the price. I could have purchased a lot of cheap panels and doubled the power output. It seems they are a lot cheaper in the states if you can find someone to ship them. Oh well, best buy another pair for the other side :(
 

wildebus

Full Member
Just a couple of observations so far Dave, the glue on the panels appears to be something like butyl mastic, so hopefully will move with expansion. Not so good, I found a couple of "scuffs" on the panels surface. Just hope they can cope with brushing though trees.
Another thought was, with the amount of space they take up and the price. I could have purchased a lot of cheap panels and doubled the power output. It seems they are a lot cheaper in the states if you can find someone to ship them. Oh well, best buy another pair for the other side :(
Yup, the price is on the high side. I think ultimately he'll go with something else - probably a pair of panels positioned end to end for the long & thin fitting. The setup will be such that any likely combination of panels will work (the good old flexible Victron MPPT :D ) and will be a deployable array once parked up.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Another boring post for some, and maybe light at the end of a dark tunnel for others.
At the moment this is guesswork by conclusions. In the early days of this conversion I had indicator and wiper problems. The wiper stalk was faulty and some pratt had fitted an old style wiper motor.
The stalk was replaced, but no improvements. Fortunately the original Mercedes wiper motor was left in place. Plugging into this gave the impression the wipers would work. An expensive wiper motor later and the wipers worked. Phew!
Next the indicators had a habit of flashing fast as if a bulb had blown on an old system. All bulbs working. Then on occasion loosing one side!
So the Body Control Module (fuse box) was taken to Alliance Electronics. They said my wipers could not have worked due to the fault. ??? otherwise the box of tricks was fine.
Plugged it in and still the indicator problem. Sent the module back and was told it did not work at tall and was scrap. A heated conversation was had.
A replacement Body Control Module was to be supplied. When it arrived I asked the driver to watch me populate it and fit. Yes, still no indicators !!!
So only one answer, buy genuine :( Then in a fit of madness I pulled the fuse for the indicators. When I replaced it, all the indicator faults had gone. Confused? I am.
So all is good in the world, apart from tidying the wiring mess for the rear lights. This was done in an earlier post, but still with a bulb warning light on.
Now to the conclusion...… Two pins on each body wiring plug are not used by plaxton. Ground (Brown) and pin 2.
Trawling though Mercedes wiring diagrams I discover pin 2 is for side maker lights. Plaxton wire them into the rear tail marker lights.
So pin 2 is not used. On the Mercedes side it is wired to the plug.
I'm thinking, the replacement Body Control Module was of a vehicle that used pin 2. As I'm not, that's the bulb waring light.
All I need to do now, is find someone with a diagnostic box who can turn options on and off if I'm correct.
Oh what fun and games.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Interesting stuff.

I quite fancied converting a old coach into a Motorhome. I have to say one of the most important things I have learned reading your posts on this is to forget the idea! o_O I admire the work you are doing but don't think I fancy that level of restoration!
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Interesting stuff.

I quite fancied converting a old coach into a Motorhome. I have to say one of the most important things I have learned reading your posts on this is to forget the idea! o_O I admire the work you are doing but don't think I fancy that level of restoration!
I guess it’s about what you’re prepared to put into it. As bad as it is, it’s not as rotten as busboys. It could have been converted on the cheap and driven to death. I expect I’ll have it for some years. So I’m hoping it won’t want major work later. Murky evolved from a one week conversion. It’s a shame Plaxton made such mistakes in it’s construction.
I do wish I had built from scratch though.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Time for another update (just) The top section of the bed frame has been made and today we had a trial fitting. There was no personal verbal abuse or cruelty. So I guess that means it went well. ;) And there is enough room to allow fitting of the rest of the frame. Another half days work and the bed frame should be finished. Fears of cutting big hole to fit it have gone. This was quite an important step as the shower room, electrical cupboard and work surfaces all grow from here.

Still need to remove that horrible aluminium patch on the floor where a tyre once visited the passengers! The shower tray will cover it so inserting some new floor board will not have to be the neatest.


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