Lister 5/1 Diesel

Drawbar Trailer Design & Build

Designing & Building Our 6-Wheel Drawbar Trailer Page 18

First time on the trailer for a week nearly, it's either been wet or I've had other things to do, Rita is in bed after a hospital visit..

I ordered a small ali IP65 box for the roof box, and decided to bring the chargers down into the back of the trailer, along with the other electrics.

I left the two blocking diodes up on top, they are 40A rated, but chosen for their ability to be used as a terminal point as much as anything else, plus we had a couple going spare.

Panel Connection Box 1:

The glands are IP68 and the cable is twin-core 6mm sq. The box is bolted to the roof through one of the top-hat rails, and sealed with a ring of Sikaflex 221 round the base and round the gland that goes through the roof panel.

Panel Connection Box 2:

The fully wired up box. Both negatives are commoned, both positives go through individual diodes, down to the (as yet unbuilt) control boards.

The charger on the side wall by the other electrical bits and pieces:

The feed-through of the three cables from the top sealed box.
The box was sealed to the roof and the gland just carries the cables through:

Close-up of the dual charger. The PCB's are standard ones that we used to use but are no longer required,
regulators are bolted to either side of the ali, both sides are separated until the bottom where they are joined before going to the battery:

We will rewire the mains and solar chargers to go through the 12V fusebox that is already in place, that will give us a fair bit of safety protection.

Later that week, it's a dull, overcast evening. With the four round overhead lights on and the two linear flourescents over the kitchen on, the panels balance the load with just over 15V coming into the chargers and the batteries sitting at 12.50V. No up or down movement for an hour.

The panels probably need a wash as well. It is parked just to the side of the big Ash tree which blocks the sun for most of the afternoon.

As soon as we take the lights off, the battery volts rise immediately to 12.76V.

All we need to know is that it holds the lighting load, with occasional bursts from the water pump and gas ignitors, which it does.

A picture of the compressor etc that we bought the other week:

The extension lead by the side plugs into the existing socket that we fitted a while ago.

We've been looking round for an A/V unit for the trailer, a small TV or something like that, so we can watch a DVD in the evenings after the show is over. They start at reasonable prices but the screens are small, so we looked out for a used one that would give us a decent (15") screen size but be within our sub-100 budget.

We finished up with an Avtex W151D combination unit, with radio, DVD, VGA and Scart input, memory card slot and 12V operation. It also came with a German satellite receiver which also 12V. DVD player was Region 2 only, but a bit of research found a suitable hack to make it Region 0, so Rita can take some of her films along 51 plus fuel to collect, but we had to go toa Forum member's place to collect a Landy part as well, and they were only a few miles apart, so not bad at all.


Been doing a bit of maintenance on the trailer tonight, we never sealed the water heater flange to the body as we wanted to test it first, and never got around to it, so that was taken out and a bead of Sikaflex 221 put around the aperture and it was all screwed up. White spirit and a cloth or tissue gets the excess off, I'll check the screws tomorrow when the outer skin has hardened.

When at Nuenen this year we had aeration in the water supply, which caused a lot of pressure pulses and splashes out of the taps when we turned them on. As I was walking round on the last morning, Rita was using the water supply and I noticed that we had a leak out of the charcoal filter, quite a large leak as well, so it looks as though the O-ring seal had curled up as it was tightened.

I took it out and put a bit of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the O-ring and refitted it, and it went in a further 1/4 of a turn. I'll try that out with water in tomorrow evening. Yesterday we rigged up the 'new' TV and played around with the portable satellite dish up on the trailer roof. We had a bit of a game getting anything at all at first, but moving the dish so we had more of an easterly view, we picked up Astra 2 and got all of the regular terrestrial programmes, plus about 30 others. A little signal strength meter we had was very useful for getting the alignment fairly close.

We had no sound for some reason, and it was not until we had tried another receiver that I remembered that I had pulled the receiver off the cupboard top in the morning, loosening the SCART plug. What I didn't do was check the other end of the cable on the TV, which turned out to be half out

The other job tonight was to replace the front mudguard stay fasteners with Nylocs, we lost one bolt and nut from the O/S front bracket on the last trip, so I will change them all. Four done tonight, the other four I'll do tomorrow.


Yet another job done today that I have been putting off, was replacing the vent seal and float on the Thetford C2 Toilet holding tank. I had washed it out thoroughly a few weeks ago, and flushed it through with Dettol, but still not the nicest of jobs, best done when you have absolutely nothing else you can do! The vent float and seal allow air to exit the holding tank when the toilet is in use, but seal the vent off when the sealing blade is closed and the cassette is taken out to empty.

Our seal had gone missing, we think it just fell out of its seating, but the float was still there. The problem is that it is a sealed cassette and the only access is through the main hole in the top. Once you have found the seating where the seal fits, inside the top and around the vent hole, the new seal can be pushed up into place.

The float just sits inside the blade mechanism quite loosely, and I had a couple of attempts at a firm location before I realised that it was supposed to have a fair bit of freedom. I checked the mechanism and it seemed to operate OK, so I reassembled the top seal and housing and put it back in the toilet.


A few more jobs last evening: We had a mini-collapse of one of the bed frames, right in the corner, at Nuenen. Caused by a crack in the framing that we'd missed, and probably caused by the accident that the donor caravan was involved in before we bought it. It was hit by a car in the rear and the front hit a telephone pole after the outfit jacknifed. That was when the owner put it up for sale.

We had screws and tools with us in Nuenen, so made a temporary repair, but I beefed that up some more so it will be safe until the winter when I can replaced the damaged wooden part.

We all sat out in the trailer during the evening, it's cooler than in the house and quite pleasant, especially with a couple of drinks!

Haven't run the water test yet, will probably get that done tonight, and will also check the water heater connections at the same time.


Been a fairly busy week, but have got a few more items ticked off:

1) 12V TV/DVD unit is wired up now, and the satellite TV receiver and portable dish set up and got running. We have 40+ channels working with it sat outside the house.

2) Solar Panel controller work continues, we have had a new controller fitted but still not happy with the results, may have to spend more money and get something better.

3) Got the piece of stainless for the side of the cooker hob. That protects the laminate of the bathroom wall alongside the cooker. Not a big thing but it's been niggling at me for months!

4) Started to split up the 12V systems into 2 X 55AH, so we can have some redundancy of we lose one of the batteries or associated charging circuits. The 26A charger still feeds both through twin blocking diodes. That will ultimately imply twin controllers for the solar panels as well.

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