SOS Please Help - Idiot caravan Questions :-)

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  • Hi
    I have just bought a lovely old caravan to live in. Bad news is I have no experiance whatsoever with them....
    So far I'm wondering,
    What will the leisure battery power? I haven't got one yet but I'll get one at the end of the month, its all fitted out for one, I just need to put it in and put the clips on - I (think) I can manage this.
    Will this run all the electrics or just the lights?
    If not would I be able to use a generator as well?
    Whats an inverter?
    It has a calver heater and has a gas cooker I can even get these to work lol
    Can't figure out how to connect the water?
    it came with two water cans and a couple of bits of hose?
    It has a water heater under the seat and is fitted with hot/cold taps and a shower of sorts.

    Any questions to above questions and any other advice would be very gratefully received.
    Cheers folks x

  • ok, lets have a look - the battery electrics will generally run the lights and water pump and maybe the fridge (if it is a 3 way one), If you have normal power sockets these will generally only run if you are hooked up to the mains on a special cable.
    an inverter is a unit that can give you mains voltage from a 12v battery, be careful it will eat through the charge in the battery very quickly.
    a generator hooked up to the mains intake would do the job.
    with the gas appliances, you have to connect the gas bottle, then turn on the gas at the bottle, then each appliance will have its own gas tap (somewhere - took me ages to find the one for our cooker) then you will need to know the specific procedure for your heater (might be worth getting the gas system checked over / serviced by a professional).
    the water usually connects outside, there should be a panel with a blue hose anda pump on the end, this drops into the clean water tank. the other bottle may be dirty water (outlet on the bottom edge of the caravan), hose will connect and divert to dirty water tank, to find where it is pour water in the sink and you will see where it comes out. the water heater may well have a gas connection, once again google for instructions for your model. for the water to work, you may have a 'pump' switch on the electrics panel.
    google for the model number on the panel and manual, and you might find something, otherwise check the manufacturers website and see if they have wiring diagrams / user manuals.
    Good luck

  • what make and model and year is it, I may be able to give you some pointers as I downloaded all of the manuals for my caravan, some are quite difficult to find.

  • haynes manuals do caravan guide book, covers everything mentioned above plus a lot more
    dont neglect a couple of fire extingishers, caravans do catch fire easy , burn baby burn
    if your running laptops invest in 12v charger. as inverters use too much juice i find.

    also look into a solar power charger for your lesuire batteries .even in britain its a very good investment

    also build in a safe box for valuables

  • All the caravans I have seen have a dual 12VDC and 240V AC wiring system. The 12V DC is connected to the trailer plug. What I did with my caravan out at work was to connect up a lead acid battery that had seen better days to the 12V system to run the lights and a car radio I had installed next to the bed. As mains power was available for some of the time I connected up a battery charger to the battery and left it plugged into the mains socket.

    As three way fridges don't work all that well in hot weather, I use 12DC compressor fridge that I just leave in the van all the time with a couple of deep cycle batteries that I charge up when I get home.