When it comes to pitching or parking up your caravan a motor mover is a saving grace. Designed to make life easier by moving the van with a touch of a button, saving you from having to break your back moving it. Yet I’m sure that’s not why you’re here.
Now and again motor movers just don’t work and there can be many reasons why this is. With so many makes and models of motor movers we go through the most common causes why your motor mover might not be working, helping you to diagnose the problem quickly with our step by step guide on what to look out for.
Most common causes why your motor mover isn’t working:
1. Flat Leisure Battery
The most likely cause and the first thing to check is if the leisure battery is flat. Motor movers require 12v electricity from the caravan’s leisure battery to power the rollers.
One observation that may determine that it could be a flat battery is when you go to move the caravan with the motor mover it may jolt or make a noise. This could indicate that the motor mover is trying to function however, there isn’t enough power to generate the motor mover to work.
To ensure that this is the case locate your leisure battery and check its charge level. Most leisure batteries or caravans have a light display that will show you the battery’s charge level. In some cases this may not be accurate so it is advised to use a hand-held metre that can obtain an accurate reading for you.
In case you aren’t already aware here is a guideline on how to read your leisure battery’s meter reading:
12.7v or above – 100% charge
12.5v – 75% charge
12.4v – 50% charge
12.2v – 25% charge
12v or lower – Discharged
Note: It is also worthwhile noting that if it is flat you shouldn’t use a motor mover with the caravan connected to the mains electrics or campsite hook-up, as this can damage the system.
2. Motor Mover Remote / Handset Batteries Are Dead
It may seem obvious but it is always good to check if the leisure battery is charged and that your remote is charged too.
Now in most cases once the leisure battery is charged or the remote has batteries that are charged your motor mover will be operational again however, there may be some underlining issues if this isn’t the case.
3. Damaged Leisure Battery
Caravans are built to be used and like a car if left unused it can cause problems with many parts of the vehicle. One of these parts for a caravan is the leisure battery. If the battery is left in a low state of charge it can get damaged and in some cases permanently damaged. It is paramount that you keep the battery in a good state of charge ideally over 12V to maintain its functionality. Leaving it uncharged for long periods can cause the battery to deplete and never retain its full 100% capacity.
Most commonly the leisure battery is more likely to get damaged in the winter if not maintained correctly. This is due to either leaving the battery uncharged for a long period of time or leaving the battery in freezing conditions. So it is always good to follow some precautionary steps before storing your caravan for the winter periods.
Hopefully it is just a case of putting the battery on a good charge however if the leisure battery is damaged it will look like you will have to get this replaced before you can operate the motor mover again. So be prepared for a bill of over £100 for supply and fit.
4. Low Tyre Pressure
This is very rare however, you may witness that the motor mover is making a noise as if it is rotating but the caravan isn’t moving, this could be the rollers slipping. This can be caused by the pressure in the tyre not being sufficient enough.
A caravan tyre pressure should generally be around 54 PSI range, but check on your tyre to see the correct PSI range for your tyre. To help you here is a guide to caravan tyre pressures.
5. Poor Electrical Connections (Likely to happen with motor movers that have been installed for a while)
If the motor mover has been fitted on to the caravan for quite some time then one potential problem could be poor electrical connections on the terminal. This can be caused due to the rubber shaft/boot that protects the motors terminals degrade or gets damaged and the caravan tyres throw up dirt and moisture causing the electrical connections to corrode. As mentioned this is likely to happen with motor movers that have been fitted for several years so if you have had a newly fitted motor mover it is unlikely that this would be the case.
In certain cases it may make the motor movers not work at all however, it is most likely that there will be inconsistency while operating rather than not working at all.
With motor movers being expensive to buy and install it is probably worth trying to fix the situation. One thing to try is cleaning up the connections by removing the rubber boot and clean up the connections from any dirt or grime. You may use a coarse paper to help remove this but be careful not to damage the terminals and ensure that the battery is disconnected before doing this.
If this fixes the matter we recommend you get a new rubber boot to prevent this from happening again.
6. Motor Mover Brushes
If cleaning up the terminals haven’t worked then it could be the motor mover brushes. One symptom for this is if the motor mover isn’t working on one side – now if your motor mover isn’t working on both sides then it maybe that the motor mover brushes have worn down on both sides but you would be unlucky if this was the case as it is very rare that they have worn down at the same time. So if the motor mover isn’t working on one side then it is more likely to be a motor mover brush.
The purpose of a motor mover brush is to generate the electrical current from the cable to the rotational shaft on the motor and these parts are designed to wear down over time due to the physical contact with rotating copper pads on the motor. Here are instructions on how to replace the motor brushes on a PowrTouch Classic motor mover.
You can purchase these motor mover brushes for around £5 each but make sure that the brush is compatible with your motor mover.
7. Remote Lost Synchronisation On The Motor Mover
This tends to be very rare however, there maybe a chance that your remote is no longer synced to your motor mover. If this is the case you will find with most motor movers that the mover will bleep to indicate it is looking for a signal, yet when navigating the mover with your remote there is no response.
The main cause of this is when the remote or the battery has been left with very little or no charge at all and it has lost its memory of where to connect. Again, this is very rare but it has and can happen.
In the unlikely scenario that it does happen most motor movers have a cable that you can connect the remote directly to the motor mover. This should help pair the two together again. If your motor mover doesn’t come with a cable we would recommend reading the motor movers manual to see if there are alternative ways to synchronise the two again.
7. Just Been Fitted? Never Seen It Work?
If you have had the motor mover fitted recently and never seen the motor mover in action before it is always good to also check with the caravan engineers who fitted it to ensure that there isn’t any loose connections anywhere in the installation process.