Lister 5/1 Diesel

Drawbar Trailer Design & Build

Designing & Building Our 6-Wheel Drawbar Trailer Page 20


We seem to have picked up a bug on the way back from California, that or the jetlag is hitting us particularly badly, both of us have been very poorly over the weekend, but getting out of it now.

Decided that a bit of work on the trailer would do me more good than looking at the news on the BBC, so got into the wiring in a big way with cutters and snipped off all the existing cabling and made up the second panel loom as far as the controllers.

The new wiring was pre-cut long enough to reach the original MPPT controller, as what we finished up with on that one was too short to reach the bottom of the unit. Then I ran both sets of three cables down the sides and now need to get a conversion from 3 X 6mm to 2 X 4mm to go into the controller terminal block.

The second charger is also going up, and at this point we will split the battery into two, one feeding the winch and rear compartment lighting, the other feeding the rest of the trailer. We can then add another pair of sealed 55ah's to the existing pair to give 110AH X 2.

Time to start cleaning out and getting ready for the Nuenen trip, haven't too much to do, but there's never time when you need it.


Another job to do, the LPG filler nozzle is changing within Europe with the adoption of a standard nozzle for all. The UK and Holland use the same bayonet coupling, so it's not an issue, but most of the other countries have a mixture of bits and pieces which you have to carry with you if you are travelling into France or Germany etc.

Here's a picture, old bayonet on the left, new 'Euro' adaptor on the right. The adaptor screws into the end of the bayonet type, but the cover cannot be fitted if it is left on. The installed base for the bayonet type must be very high, so I guess we'll see twin nozzle pumps for a while?


Fairly quiet afternoon, so we snooked off from work, Rita went to catch up on her kip (been awake three nights with coughing and sore throat) while I got the controllers running. I sorted the connector blocks out, cut a 6-way into 2 X 3 way, had to open up fixing holes and chamfer for c/sunk screws to make it look tidy, but they take a 6mm pin OK, and we took 3 X 6mm in at the top, did a TCW (Tinned Copper Wire) hard soldered link between the two positives and ran 6mm to the controllers.

That let us use solder cable pins of 6mm cable size which will go into the controller terminal block, but the head is slightly tight through the slots in the cover, but they will go if gently but firmly pushed and rotated into place. The screws in the terminal block grip OK, but the new controller had one b*ggered thread.

Once wired up, it looked like this:

It took a while to settle down, the new one does have the backlight working and the setting seemed OK, the only 'funny' was that their voltage readings were different, despite being connected to the same battery.

We are waiting for a second fuseboard, so then the two chargers will be side by side and the fuseboards either side of the controllers. Then we will use the controller 'load out' terminals to feed the fuseboards.


Had another productive afternoon/evening

Took the existing 12-way fuseboard off the divider wall and fitted it next to the forward charger, then got all of the heavy 6mm cabling done, including the output from the forward controller, battery feed, charger feed and external socket feed.

The fuseboard is split into 2 X 6way, so the left hand 6 are for the hab feeds, lights, fridge and water heater/pump, the right-hand feeds are for the charger input and the external socket, both directly connected to the battery and not going through the solar controller.

I didn't take any pictures as the second fuseboard should be here tomorrow and I can get that wired as well from the rear controller. That will have the rear compartment lights on and that's about all for now. When we split the systems, the rear system will have the winch attached to that battery.

I got more done than I expected, but got through an amazing number of cable ties as I went one way and then changed my mind, then remembered I should have put a feed in somewhere....

Legs and feet a bit sore after standing working at head height for a couple of hours or more, but nice to get right into it and sort out a load of intangibles by practical work. Ad-lib wiring is nice, but often ends up being completely different to what you intended when you started!

Here's where we are up to:

Got more done tonight, everything done bar making up the mounting plate for the two chargers and bring all the heavy battery wiring up to the charger terminals, where the controller outputs can pick them up.

The second fuseboard hasn't arrived, so I've put all the feeds onto the existing one for now.

So the fuseboard has two 12V circuits:

Battery Direct
Output socket on the side of the trailer, 30A fuse
Charger input 30A fuse.

Controller Output
Rear compartment lighting
Front compartment lighting
Water Heater
Gas Ignitors
Extraction Fan
TV socket

The white trunking cover above the controllers is missing in the pictures.


Mounted the chargers on a piece of Paxolin (SRBP) and got those ready for installation this afternoon (half day today at work)

Mounted them on spacers so that airflow can get up the rear of the chassis for extra cooling.

They have thermally controlled fans which run only when required, so not a big issue, but anything to prolong component life is useful. That gives us 52A total charging capability, 26A per battery set.

Second fuseboard arrived this morning, just looking for a smallish inverter to add for charging the laptop etc.


t's all finished and running, the faulty voltage reading of 0.2V was on the NEW unit, which surprised me, but I'll contact Eric and see what can be done about that. The old unit is within 0.05V of our Fluke DVM. The two circuits are not identical one has 110AH battery, the other 55AH. The smaller battery is for the winch and an emergency backup for the main battery.

Both chargers are set to 13.80V, the solar controllers are somewhere near that as well.


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