• 0
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

ATC problems

Question

Posted

we have just come back from our trip . Caravan towed with no problems .

our last caravan had ATC on it and we never had a problem towing in this country or in Europe , on and off ferries .

when we away three weeks ago we couldn't move the van with the motor mover .we were able to tow to go away . So on our return took it straight to dealer . Because we would be unable park it in our storage site with out the mover . We thought the fault was the mover.  So they kept the van and adjusted it. We picked it up from the dealer and have been away until yesterday. 

We arrived at storage and unplugged it from car . But it wouldn't move with the mover . It would go backwards and side ways but not forward. 

We couldn't put on the  wheel clamp . Tried to hitch it and pull with car but it was locked. We went to our dealer. Speaking to their engineer . He said it's not the mover it has to be the ATC . We tried to carry out a few things as advised . But this didn't work . We have arranged for them to come to our storage site now.

i did e mail Alko . Explaining  that we would be towing to Europe in the spring and what will happen if it locks on route or on the ferry .

Alko e mailed me back and said the dealer needs to sort out our problem but advised me that when going on to ferry I need to unplug the ATC  due to movement of ship and going over ramps to board.  I can't believe this . And wondered if anyone else does this or has had a problem.

after a sleepless night thinking about it we were able to release it and get it moving . But we are now concerned about this happening again when on the road or if going on a ferry . We shall ask if it can go back in for a diagnostic check .

my question is do you unplug your ATC when boarding a ferry . To prevent locking .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

28 answers to this question

  • 0

Posted

Well I wouldn't have thought that boarding a ferry was any different from a potholed road myself....and I did have the ATC come on often on them,but never so that they couldn''t be released.

geoff

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

I unplug it on long ferry crossings but only once I have stopped.

Sounds like you may have a poor connection and it is going through its start up sequence then losing power.

Have you tried a disconnect reconnect and watched the light?

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

I unplug it on long ferry crossings but only once I have stopped.

Sounds like you may have a poor connection and it is going through its start up sequence then losing power.

Have you tried a disconnect reconnect and watched the light?

Ian

yes this is what we did .to get it going . But to begin we thought it was our mover. 

We have contacted our dealer and it is going in to be checked . 

I just felt it was strange that Alko advised to unplug on a ferry . I wouldn't think other people wouldnt even think to do this . I didn't on our last van . I am just understanding it a bit more now .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

The only reason I unplugged it was because it was taking power for over 6 hours, I don't bother on the Irish crossings.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

The only reason I unplugged it was because it was taking power for over 6 hours, I don't bother on the Irish crossings.

Ian

I hadn't realised that it could drain the battery . Maybe I need to do a bit more research . We shall be using the Harwich to the hook over night crossing. So is it advisable to unplug from the car .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

We collected the van today after it being checked for the ATC , they said they put it through a few test and found everything fine .but they did need to adjust caravan brakes which may have caused the problem . 

We shall have to wait now and see how it goes . We are going on a ferry at Easter this may be our first trip of the year . Our  service engineer advised us to unplug on the ferry .so we will do this . 

I was going to e mail one of the clubs to see if they have researched this or if it is a problem for others ,.i also wanted to ask if it will affect insurance but couldn't find a way of doing this . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

We always disconnect the electrics when doing a long crossing as nothing worse than trying to start the car the next morning when the car battery is flat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

We always disconnected the van electrics from the car and put the van handbrake on as it lessens the swaying if its a bit choppy,

If the vans brakes are out of adjustment the ATC operating rod can drop and jam the brakes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

We always disconnect the electrics when doing a long crossing as nothing worse than trying to start the car the next morning when the car battery is flat.

We always disconnected the van electrics from the car and put the van handbrake on as it lessens the swaying if its a bit choppy,

If the vans brakes are out of adjustment the ATC operating rod can drop and jam the brakes on.

thank you both we shall do this interesting . We would never have thought about it  . I just hope we don't forget to reconnect before moving off . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Must admit never ever thought about disconnection of electrics...might do it future.

 

geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

 

thank you both we shall do this interesting . We would never have thought about it  . I just hope we don't forget to reconnect before moving off . 

I always disconnect my electrics and put the handbrake on during ferry trips; the van does not need any powering during the trip and locking the wheels via the brake must add to stability. Remembering is easy, I tie a hankie to the streering wheel as an aid, but have never needed to.

I am not buying into the concept that the ATC is stopping the mover working as you report it tows without issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

I'm not sure of the way the ATC operates but is it possible that it has a system whereby it applies the brakes if the power is removed from the towing vehicle as in the caravan breaking loose?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

It is the power from the towing vehicle that powers the ATC so not power, nothing happens which is why there is a breakway cable.  Happy to be corrected if I am wrong.  :2thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Surfer agree,'manual' system.

 

geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

The ATC is powered by the tow vehicle's "12 volt" system, but note that this both applies and takes off the caravan's brakes; the brakes are not self releasing.

There could be a possible link to mover trouble, in that if the disconnect was not quickly and cleanly executed the ATC could be left part into its self test. This would leave the brakes on to some extent and tallies well with the mover being able to reverse a wheel but not move a wheel in the forward direction. This directional difference come virtue of the "auto-reverse" feature employed; a partly applied brake works effectively against forward movement but trips to off going astern.

So I have suspicions you might be wiggling the plug out, therefore risking a momentary break and remake of the electrics, before finally disconnecting. That momentary remake starting the ATC to put the brakes on, the final disconnect leaving it with no power to complete its pre test and haul the brakes fully off. The old 7 pin S12 plugs with the centre pin were very prone to such unclean breaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

 

So I have suspicions you might be wiggling the plug out, therefore risking a momentary break and remake of the electrics, before finally disconnecting. That momentary remake starting the ATC to put the brakes on, the final disconnect leaving it with no power to complete its pre test and haul the brakes fully off. The old 7 pin S12 plugs with the centre pin were very prone to such unclean breaking.

That could happen anywhere and not just on a ferry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

That could happen anywhere and not just on a ferry.

And the relevance of that comment is?

Nor's issue was using the mover after disconnecting the van, which is what I addressed.  I have never had cause to use a mover on a ferry nor seen others doing so, though I do disconnect the electrics on a ferry as it is not required, so best not left connected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

I was referring to the ATC as per the OP so not sure of your reference to the mover because the mover is not the issue.  Also I was not aware that the ATC actually took off the brakes as my understanding was that it stopped applying the brakes and they then released "automatically" like with a car so that if necessarty they could be applied again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted (edited)

I was referring to the ATC as per the OP so not sure of your reference to the mover because the mover is not the issue.  Also I was not aware that the ATC actually took off the brakes as my understanding was that it stopped applying the brakes and they then released "automatically" like with a car so that if necessarty they could be applied again.

The question being addressed very much relates to the mover, I quote

"we couldn't move the van with the motor mover .we were able to tow to go away . So on our return took it straight to dealer . Because we would be unable park it in our storage site with out the mover . We thought the fault was the mover.  So they kept the van and adjusted it. We picked it up from the dealer and have been away until yesterday. 

We arrived at storage and unplugged it from car . But it wouldn't move with the mover . It would go backwards and side ways but not forward." 

Your understanding of how the ATC works then is very different to mine; I believe the ATC's motor pushes the brake balance beam "on", then it motors off out of the way to allow the brake springs to release the brakes. If it has no power to back off then the brakes are to an extent between zero and 40% left applied. The 40% assumes the ATC was correctly set up in the first place.

I stand to be corrected, but this was my understanding from now ten years back when involved in discussions with their technical staff. It is the reason that you need to have spanners to back the ATC off if it sticks on.

These words IMO are the telling evidence supporting what I think could be the issue: 

"It would go backwards and side ways but not forward."  This hints very strongly it is an issue to do with the autoreverse being activated. that allows wheels to rotate backwards but not forward, so going back is viable, as is moving one side backwatrds or the other, but going forward is not, it is braked.

 
Edited by Ocsid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Thanks for the explanation but as per OP's post "my question is do you unplug your ATC when boarding a ferry . To prevent locking " so qestions relates to ATC.  My understanding of how the ATC works is limited to the explanation on the brochure, but seems to make more sense than the ATC powering off the brakes however I am not an ALKO engineer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Sure I have commented here in past...had problems with my BPW which in all but one point is the same as ATC......if you reverse the 'van then remove the white plus or 13 pin which covers ATC/BPWi you have to go x metres forward before it comes on again,and that includes the so-called test programme.

 

geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Sure I have commented here in past...had problems with my BPW which in all but one point is the same as ATC......if you reverse the 'van then remove the white plus or 13 pin which covers ATC/BPWi you have to go x metres forward before it comes on again,and that includes the so-called test programme.

 

geoff

We have never had an issue with reversing with either the ALKO or BPW chassis with the electrics connected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted (edited)

Sure I have commented here in past...had problems with my BPW which in all but one point is the same as ATC......if you reverse the 'van then remove the white plus or 13 pin which covers ATC/BPWi you have to go x metres forward before it comes on again,and that includes the so-called test programme.

 

geoff

Geoff, I struggle to follow the point being made, if you remove the plug so there is no 12 volt power to the stability device, then when moving forward where is the power coming to bring it on again?

I have had with the ATC a solid red LED when first coupling and when stopping a tad too abruptly; in those cases creeping forward has always cleared it to solid green.

Edited by Ocsid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

It is mentioned in the BPW handbook.

 

Geoff

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

I omitted the words 'when reconnected'!...agree that is how it is.

 

geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


Click this banner for a Motorhome and Touring Caravan insurance quote from Caravan Guard