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Old 03-10-2017, 04:48 PM   #1
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2004 Battery Distribution Center

I have a 2004 35’ Dolphin on Workhorse Chassis. Issue is, on the battery Dist. Ctr, ckt breaker #3 (50amp) keeps resetting itself when I have shore power connected or running the generator. The bcc is a RV CUSTOM PRODUCT part number 130325 with 7 ckt breakers on it. This ckt breaker is the one between the converter and the house battery.


-The coach batteries are fully charged, have 2 new 6 volt batteries connected in series.
-All 12volt items work just fine on batteries without shore power.
-After about 3 minutes or so when shore power is connected, the ckt breaker continues to reset itself and the interior lights will flicker while this is happening.
-If I disconnect the coach batteries and run off the converter, the ckt breaker will continue resetting itself.
-If I turn the house battery switch off, the ckt breaker will continue resetting itself.
-If I have the house battery switch off, disconnect the engine battery, the ckt breaker will continue resetting itself.
-If the house batteries are disonnected, house switch is on, engine battery is connected the ckt breaker will continue resetting itself.
----If I disconnect the engine battery at this point, running entirely off the converter now, the lights stay on for a moment then the ckt breaker will continue resetting itself and the lights will come off and on.
-I have swapped out the converter, same issue.
-I have reset all the ground wires on the common ground
-I did check all the connections on the BDC

-I did have all 12 volt items off and the ckt breaker still reset itself.
-Thoughts:
---If there was a short on the house battery cable, it would run the battery down (probably smell as well)
---If an item was shorting out somewhere, a fuse would pop.
---


I was thinking bad ckt breaker. Ckt breaker #3 is a 50amp breaker and the only one I could find locally today is a 40amp. Switched them out and the same issue.


I did call RVCustom today, She sent me an email for troubleshooting this unit. Her Tech is on vacation until the 20th.
I won't be able to do the trouble shooting for a week or so, just put the rig in storage. I did want to put this out here to share with others in case it happens to them or it has happened and I missed something. I will update as I learn what the issue is and the fix.


She did say a new BDC is $296.00


If you can't Laugh and Smile every day, need to find out why.


Attached is a pdf I made to help trouble shoot
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Dolphin Battery Dist. Ctr. Troubleshooting.pdf (1.09 MB, 68 views)
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:54 PM   #2
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What is the amperage of your charger?
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:41 AM   #3
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Hi Steve, the factory installed one was 55 amp, the one I replaced it with is 100 amp with 3 stage battery conditioner. I think I have a dc volt/amp meter with a shunt I might be able to put on to see the actual current draw, just have to locate it. When I take it out of storage I can give that a try along with the trouble shooting process.

In the 50's and 60's I used to visit my Aunt and Uncle who lived in Manhattan Beach. For years they had the restaurant, bait and tackle shop on the end of the pier.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by YO_ View Post
Hi Steve, the factory installed one was 55 amp, the one I replaced it with is 100 amp with 3 stage battery conditioner. I think I have a dc volt/amp meter with a shunt I might be able to put on to see the actual current draw, just have to locate it. When I take it out of storage I can give that a try along with the trouble shooting process.

In the 50's and 60's I used to visit my Aunt and Uncle who lived in Manhattan Beach. For years they had the restaurant, bait and tackle shop on the end of the pier.
You just stated your problem. 100 amp converter with a 50 amp circuit breaker. Did you also increase the wire size to the 100 amp? May have over done it a bit. Why did you almost double the size of converter? Unless you have the batteries to accept that amount of charge, you will be doing more damage than good to the batteries. Two batteries can not accept that amount of charge and survive, you will burn them up. They may accept that amount for a couple of minutes without damage.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:32 PM   #5
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Hi Charlie, don't believe your correct on this one. That 100 amps is just sitting there waiting to be used. That doesn't mean that 100 amps is being used all the time. It's like your house, most homes have a 100 to 200 amp service. That just means it's there if you need it. There are ckt breakers like the rv in your house that limit the amount of current you can use on that ckt.(wire size). The 50 amp ckt bkr just limits the amount of current, from the entire rig, you can draw from the converter. The new converter is a 100 amp, but that ckt bkr will only allow 50 amps to be used. I just had this converter from another project.



The issue was there before I put in the new converter.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:47 PM   #6
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Hi Charlie, don't believe your correct on this one. That 100 amps is just sitting there waiting to be used. That doesn't mean that 100 amps is being used all the time. It's like your house, most homes have a 100 to 200 amp service. That just means it's there if you need it. There are ckt breakers like the rv in your house that limit the amount of current you can use on that ckt.(wire size). The 50 amp ckt bkr just limits the amount of current, from the entire rig, you can draw from the converter. The new converter is a 100 amp, but that ckt bkr will only allow 50 amps to be used. I just had this converter from another project.



The issue was there before I put in the new converter.
"but that ckt bkr will only allow 50 amps to be used". Which is true before it trips, and that is what it is doing, so something is pulling more than 50 amps or the circuit breaker has weakened. That 50 amp circuit breaker will always be the weak link in your system.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:10 PM   #7
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Charlie is correct. If the batteries are only slightly low the charger will put out more than 50Amps (+- ) for a few seconds until it adjusts for to correct charge rate. Try re-installing your 55amp charger to verify.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:15 PM   #8
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You may have a shorted wire someplace. I have seen shorts in battery cables that didn't look like they could last as long as they did without sparking or burning up, but there were large strands of cable worn through along with big gashes in the adjoining metal.

Your breaker may be weak also.

A/C & D/C current act differently when under load
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:14 AM   #9
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Charlie, I agree with you about something pulling more than 50 amps tripping the ckt bkr. I did do what you suggested. In my original post I outlined what I did in troubleshooting and I did put in new 6 volt batteries charged to 100% with the original converter which is 13 years old. That was the first thing I did, the issue is still there. Then I swapped out the ckt bkr with a new 40 amp, the largest I could find and it would reset with the original converter, tried the new converter the bkr still reset. Put the original ckt bkr back in and the bkr still reset. When I was doing the troubleshooting, to see if it was a load issue I did have many lights on, but problem was there with and without lights or anything else on.


I agree with you Steve about the cables. I did a quick scan of the battery cable to the BDC and did not see anything that was wrong. My thought on that was, if the battery cable was shorting out, it would drain the battery quickly as that would be a direct short and that isn’t happening. It is about 4’ long with an extra covering on it to protect it. I will take another look at it and the troubleshooting process I received from RV Custom Products when I get the rig out of storage.


What I know about the auto converter/charger, has three automatic voltage settings, 13.2 volt “float” mode, 13.6 volt “absorption” mode, and a 14.4 volt “bulk” charge mode, with a current limiting ckt. I’m pretty sure unless the converter is bad, it isn’t allowing a large amount of current going to the battery for charging. But when plugged into shore power, the converter takes over the need for the 12 volt items and charging/maintaining the battery at the same time up to the rigs limits and in my case 50 amps.



Thank both of you for working through the process with me. An extra set of eyes is always appreciated.



Steve did you see my original response to you about Manhattan Beach? I took my mom there in the late 80’s early 90’s and we hardly recognized the downtown and pier area. Think the building on the end of the pier, where the restaurant used to be is a museum now.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by YO_ View Post
Charlie, I agree with you about something pulling more than 50 amps tripping the ckt bkr. I did do what you suggested. In my original post I outlined what I did in troubleshooting and I did put in new 6 volt batteries charged to 100% with the original converter which is 13 years old. That was the first thing I did, the issue is still there. Then I swapped out the ckt bkr with a new 40 amp, the largest I could find and it would reset with the original converter, tried the new converter the bkr still reset. Put the original ckt bkr back in and the bkr still reset. When I was doing the troubleshooting, to see if it was a load issue I did have many lights on, but problem was there with and without lights or anything else on.


I agree with you Steve about the cables. I did a quick scan of the battery cable to the BDC and did not see anything that was wrong. My thought on that was, if the battery cable was shorting out, it would drain the battery quickly as that would be a direct short and that isn’t happening. It is about 4’ long with an extra covering on it to protect it. I will take another look at it and the troubleshooting process I received from RV Custom Products when I get the rig out of storage.


What I know about the auto converter/charger, has three automatic voltage settings, 13.2 volt “float” mode, 13.6 volt “absorption” mode, and a 14.4 volt “bulk” charge mode, with a current limiting ckt. I’m pretty sure unless the converter is bad, it isn’t allowing a large amount of current going to the battery for charging. But when plugged into shore power, the converter takes over the need for the 12 volt items and charging/maintaining the battery at the same time up to the rigs limits and in my case 50 amps.



Thank both of you for working through the process with me. An extra set of eyes is always appreciated.



Steve did you see my original response to you about Manhattan Beach? I took my mom there in the late 80’s early 90’s and we hardly recognized the downtown and pier area. Think the building on the end of the pier, where the restaurant used to be is a museum now.
I was able to find larger resetable circuit breakers on Ebay a few years when I was working on my Challenger. How much of a spark do you have with out the rig plugged in when you attach the negative battery cable?
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:20 AM   #11
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Hi Charlie, thanks for the heads up on Amazon, I just ordered one. It took me a moment to understand your ? about spark. with everything off, but there will be some items I can't turn off, i.e. several air detectors, but there shouldn't be much of one. I'll add that to my list of things to check.
Thanks
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:52 AM   #12
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I have a 05 and a 08 Dolphin. (selling the 05) . I went out and took pictures of the power boards and in each shows breaker #3 at J7 not used or on the 08 not even mounted. Also, the electrical diagrams are the same in both RV's and show breaker #3
not there. It appears 12V from the battery goes right to the Freedom 458 convertor/invertor , though I think there maybe a large fuse behind the 458, but too cold here right now to really take a close look. Is this RV new to you ? Could a previous owner changed connections or parts like the Power Board ? This breaker wasn't used by National on our RVs, could you try just removing it if there is another main cable supplying the invertor/convertor unit ?


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Old 03-12-2017, 03:10 PM   #13
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Greg, the 2004 is different from the 2005.

Yo, I have re-read your original post several times and I went out and looked at my 2004 5342, and there is a breaker #3 at J7. On my unit the breaker gets it's power from the + terminal on the converter/charger. 'Thinking out load', that means that the 12vdc systems in the MH are being powered by the converter when you are plugged in to 120VAC. If I remember correctly, after about 15-30 seconds 12VDC is sent to the relay switch (black square box on the right side of your Dist panel) so the 12VDC out of the converter/charger not only powers your lights it also sends power to the batteries to recharge them. So, a couple of things to check, 1. is the nut on the breaker tight against the circuit board? 2 if you disconnect the relay switch does the problem go away?

I did see your post about visiting Manhattan Beach, I have lived here since 1955 so you are correct, lots of changes, but it still feels like HOME to me.
If you're ever out this way again let me know and I'll buy you some really good Mexican food (or something else to your liking) Thank you for your service to our GREAT Country.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:15 PM   #14
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Belgian, Thanks, I thought the 04 and 05 where the same. I see they are not as far as what inverter/ converter they used and the wiring set up.
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