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Old 06-07-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
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Allegro Converter Problem

Went camping this weekend and while I was hooked up to 50amp pedestal my converter would hardly charge the coach batteries. When I started the coach motor the panel showed full charge?? Without the motor going I could hardly keep the refrig going because of the lack of 12vlt current. Any ideas as to what the problem is?? Popcorn Man
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:27 AM   #2
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Check the 12 volt "Kill" switch. If "Off" no 12 volt item will receive power regardless of battery state. Check also for any 12 volt fuses protecting the fridge appliance.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:35 AM   #3
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Popcorn Man

It's just not the frig.. Coach lights work but are dim. After awhile panel will show half charge then drops down to nil. Maybe its a bad converter but how can you test it??
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Maybe its a bad converter but how can you test it??
What kind of converter is it? A lot of the older converters are not very good at charging batteries. If the converter is good and the batteries are not too discharged, you should see 13.6 to 13.8VDC (with a DMM) on your house batteries with the coach plugged in.

But this reading will be affected by the battery state of charge so I would recharge the batteries first with a good quality multistage battery charger (the Vector 25-35A or whatever brand they are now are good, they are available at Walmart). Note if the batteries have been sitting discharged for too long they may be bad and never charge properly.

There are lots of posts regarding batteries, converter/chargers and how to test them, what's good, etc on this and other sites (the 12V side of life is an example).

In these websites and posts you'll find lots of opinions and facts, some of which contradict each other, so please be aware that what I said above are my opinions and are subject to debate in many cases.

Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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Stewart, Its a IOTA and the rig is a 2008 Allegro Open Roads TGA so it has to be a fairly decent converter.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:39 AM   #6
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The IOTA converter is a great converter. That converter can put 45A to 75A+ at 13.8V to 14.4V into the batteries, depending on model (amp rating and whether it has a charge Wizard built in or not). If the voltage across the batteries was not around 13.8V to 14.4V after a couple of hours I'd say the converter is bad.

Another reason why it would not is if the batteries have shorted cells which would keep the converter voltage low. If this is the case the batteries would be getting hot as you try to charge them, as the converter is putting a lot of power into the shorted cell.

You could disconnect the batteries and measure the voltage on the converter output (note manufacturers often use battery terminals to tie circuits together so you may lose DC power completely in the coach, and, of course, make sure you know where the wires came from and insulate them with electrical tape as you remove them to avoid big sparks). Or try putting a charger on the batteries to verify their condition.

If you have normal flooded batteries, verify the battery water level in each cell and measure specific gravity with a hydrometer. With this info you will know whether the batteries, converter, or both are bad.

Another, more unlikely reason is there is a bad connection in the wiring, most likely from the converter to the batteries. Looking for voltage drops from the converter to the batteries would help isolate this.

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Old 06-13-2010, 04:06 PM   #7
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Stewart, Its a IOTA and the rig is a 2008 Allegro Open Roads TGA so it has to be a fairly decent converter.
Interesting that they put different converters in different models, I have an '08 32BA, my breaker panel is an IOTA but I have a wfco converter.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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Hi All, I did everything that was suggested by you folks and could not find a culprit. I'm on another trip and have had no problems as previously expressed. We'll keep our fingers crossed. TU once again for your suggestions.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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you can also go here for lots of helpful info from members, Tiffinrvnetwork.com
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:08 AM   #10
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When I have an issue, I call Tiffin Factory, they have reps that are great to walk you through troubleshooting any problem.......They were a great help walking me through a 12volt issue last summer........how to test, where to test, results etc.......solved problem on the telephone,,,,picked up part installed,,,,,,happy rv'n
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:01 PM   #11
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Hi All, Here's an update about converter problem. Bought this rig in March and it had been sitting in a storage lot since Nov. Owner ran it once in a while. I checked water level it was ok. Drove it 1200 miles home and figured batteries where ok WRONG!! Learned converter can not fully charge battery unless you have a 3 or 4 stage charger on your converter. Tested batteries their ok and also converter is working. I fully charged batteries with a seperate charger and things now seem ok for next trip. Also ordered IOTA IQ4 3 stage charger to attach to IOTA DLS-55. This should do the trick. Batteries show 13.6 volts with multimeter.
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