Old Timers – Dethleffs Pre 2000

Old Timers: (Pre-2000 Dethleffs Motorhomes and Caravans)

Hi to all of you Classic Dethleffs Owners.

We offer to members a specialist helpline with parts supply and parts finding as well as specialist knowledge.  I love these 90’s Globetrotters and caravans. They are how we discovered how well built and supported Dethleffs is !!
We have had:

  • 1983 Camper Caravan
  • 1992 A642 French bed Globetrotter Motorhome (‘MOJO1’)
  • 1996 H6842 Globetrotter Comfort French bed low profile motorhome (‘MOJO2’)

Brighton 2009 Dethleffs Old Timers
Brighton 2009 Dethleffs Old Timers
They are beautifully constructed but you will need to know how things work and also certain workarounds if you want high fun with low operating costs. For example, if your 12v battery charger has failed, you need EITHER a rebuilt ‘Calira’ (£300+), or a £37 workaround that is more up to date than the original. Your choice!

Here are common failings:
Please note that gas and water systems depend upon you having a strong, well-charged battery in earlier vans as the gas has a safety solenoid cutoff and the water and toilet flush are both submersible 12v pumps. So….get the 12v batteries right BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE. Please note that leisure batteries do not like to be stood for ages without charging so it is pretty common for them to fail.

12v system/ battery charging:
Do not start the engine and do not hook up for the first battery check.
Check your leisure and vehicle batteries by pressing the meters on the dashboard ‘BORD CONTROL’ panel. They should be 13v or above.

Engine Charging

Now, start the engine and check the two voltages again.

  • Each one should now be 14v+
  • If NEITHER jumps to 14v+, your alternator is faulty. Go to a garage.
  • If either is not reading 14v+ (usually the leisure battery),
  • If your leisure battery stays low, there is a hidden inline fuse under the bonnet in a thick black wire coming from your vehicle battery. It is in a continental inline holder. 40Amp Continental
  • fuse. Get some from a Truck parts or electrical specialist.
  • Replace it and start the engine and check voltage has risen to 14v+.
  • If it blows again , your leisure battery is faulty or deeply discharged as it is clearly trying to draw over 40Amps.

240v Hook Up Charging

When you are satisfied that your 12v leisure battery is charging via the engine, switch off and hook up your 240v hook up lead. Check 240v sockets are working by plugging in something with an LED (e.g. a cordless drill charger).  Before you hook up, your 12v battery should still be reading 13v on your BORD CONTROL meter. After hooking up to the mains, it should again jump to 14v+.
If it does, and your batteries are holding charge, Great!

Very commonly, these 240v chargers fail because of wildly fluctuating continental campsite plug ins.

  • Choice 1: send charger off to be refurbished;
    The actual charger is at knee level in front of the RHS passenger cab seat and is concealed by a panel with 4 x crosshead screws.
    If you take these out, unhook your 240v plug first. take it out and email me (dethleffsowners@gmail.com) and I will tell you where to get it sorted. This is usually caused by a capacitor blowing. However it is old technology and there are more intelligent, electronic charging systems available now at much less money.
  • CHOICE 2: Buy a 4 stage 10Amp Intelligent (Fit and Forget) charger and wire it direct to your leisure battery
    Plug it in to an internal socket or take the ‘kettle lead’ feed from the broken Calira Transformer under the dashboard and reroute it to your new charger.  If in doubt, replace your leisure battery as well.  I would buy a box of LED G4 bulbs from ebay and replace all of the internal halogen bulbs and this reduces the drain on your battery by a factor of ten.’