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Old 12-28-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
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'08 Sunstar power woes - all 12V gone

Any suggestions would be helpful. I have no 12V at all to the coach. The house batteries are completely dead (0.15V DC both) and so discharged the Stanley charger I have can't sense them and turn on. I'll have to get my old faithful non-electronic charger from storage. The battery isolation toggle by the door does nothing, no relay click.

In any case I have no 12V coming from the converter, but 110V going to it(I think, there's 110V going to a socket on the floor of this area and a conventional appliance-type plug/cord plugged into it. I believe this is the converter cord). The 30 amp fuses in the front of the converter are good, but no apparent life from it (no 12V and no fan). All 110V works, outlets, all breakers good. No apparent issues with the 12V fuse/breakers. So as far as I can tell the converter unit is dead.

Are there any other tests I can do to verify this before I go buying a replacement? How the heck do I get it out of the area behind the power panels and under the fridge - it looks like they built the cabinets around it? I took the 12V fuse panel off to reach in to check the converter fuses and my arm barely fit and got all scraped up. How do service folk get to this as I'd expect it to be a fairly common item to repair/replace?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:37 PM   #2
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I am sure a more qualified voice will speak up, but have you been plugged into shore power? If so, that should have charged the batteries as well. I would think either a bad transfer switch ( which was in the engine bay at the front of my old coach), or the relay from your converter which would be in an outside storage. Wish I had more and hope someone chimes I. Soon with more ideas
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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Yes, plugged into shore power. There's no switch for that on my RV, the cord is unplugged from the generator outlet and plugged into the shore power cord. I think the converter also charges the coach batteries when plugged into 110V, but my batteries have not been charged at all. All lights and anything that uses 12V has been turned off. Even the power and tank levels panel is dead.

Thank you for the reply
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:28 AM   #4
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'08 Sunstar - Is that a 27ft Itasca?
The stock WFCO converter in that vehicle has seen it's fair share of issues
Most folks suggest you replace with a PD or Iota either way with a remote control that allows manual control of the DC voltage

It's simple to pull it out - plug it into a know good 120Vac source - check the two rear 30amp fuses and check for about 13.6Vdc on the output - if not DC it's toast

PLEASE DO NOT TOSS the old one in the trash - I collect them for spare parts
PM me if I can be of further help
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:55 PM   #5
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It's simple to pull it out - plug it into a know good 120Vac source - check the two rear 30amp fuses and check for about 13.6Vdc on the output - if not DC it's toast
How do I access it? I can't find an access panel to get to it. I was able to reach in and pull the fuses, both good. The stud the 12V goes to is dead, so no output. The cord I believe is the AC (three core black molded wire with right-angle plug on end) to the unit has 110V.

Also. what is a "PD or Iota", are they brand names?

Thanks for the response. If its toast and I can extract it you're welcome to the carcass

Oh, and its a 32' Sunstar with Ford chassis, 2 slides & bunks model.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:09 PM   #6
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Sorry not sure about the Ford chassis - mine is a Workhorse chassis with the converter below the AC Breakers / DC fuses - two screws takes open the lower portion where the converter slides in / out

PD - Progressive Dynamics
Iota - brand name as well

If you need to replace give Randy at Best Converters a call
Excellent service, good selection and good prices

If indeed toast happy to pay the shipping costs for the carcass
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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Some converters/chargers require a specific voltage on a battery to engage a safety relay on the charger. This prevents putting an extremely low resrstance load on the charger. Suggest you check to see if it applies to your system.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
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Got the batteries charged

Well, the charger did kick in eventually and charged the batteries. It's a charger that goes into trickle charge mode when the batteries are fully charged so I'll leave it on there for a while.

With the full batteries everything worked again in the coach including the battery isolation toggle now that there's juice to energize the relay. You can hear the relay clicking in and everything 12V in the coach goes dead. It used to be that when plugged into shore power all the 12V items such as lights, master control panel, sliders, etc., would work even if the coach batteries were offline. Now nothing working unless the batteries are switched in to provide 12V, with or without shore AC.

The power panel has live 110V going out on the converter wire. Still no 12V at the 12V stud when the batteries are isolated. Still thinking the converter is the problem.

Anyone know how to access the converter in an '08 Sunstar e32K? If I could pull it out I could bench-test it.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:36 PM   #9
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Some converters/chargers require a specific voltage on a battery to engage a safety relay on the charger. This prevents putting an extremely low resrstance load on the charger. Suggest you check to see if it applies to your system.
Thanks Libero. Would that mean that once I charged the batteries the Converter should kick back in and operate? Is this a relay that has to be reset?
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:33 AM   #10
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Yes automatic. The safety relay needs to have sufficient voltage to enable sufficient current flow to connect the charger to the battery. Not all chargers have this feature but many do. When this happened to me I just put a trickle charger on the batteries to bring them up a bit and all was well. This happened on my golf cart and on a 2001 Monaco Diplomat I owned. The Alternator did not charge the house batteries on the Monaco, until I modified it.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:54 PM   #11
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Coach lights with batteries isolated and 110V plugged in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Libero View Post
Yes automatic. The safety relay needs to have sufficient voltage to enable sufficient current flow to connect the charger to the battery. Not all chargers have this feature but many do. When this happened to me I just put a trickle charger on the batteries to bring them up a bit and all was well. This happened on my golf cart and on a 2001 Monaco Diplomat I owned. The Alternator did not charge the house batteries on the Monaco, until I modified it.
I charged the batteries, so at least now they are good for a while.

So, given the above, when I isolate the (fully charged) coach batteries with the isolation switch, should I still have 12V services (lights, etc.) if plugged into shore 110V?

If I should, but I don't, would that indicate that the converter is not functioning?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:22 PM   #12
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Honadman900
I doubt you would have 12v in the coach with the "isolation" switch open. Assuming you are referring to the switch in the coach or the manual batt disconnect switch. Suggest you sketch a circuit diagram of what you have. This will help you troubleshoot.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:54 AM   #13
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Wiring diagram

Well, here's the wiring diagram (attached). The switch inside the door trips the relay that pulls the solenoid to isolate the batteries.

I can't determine from it if the converter is also pulled offline. I would think that even with the batteries isolated the converter should provide 12V when receiving 110V from shore or generator.

Wish they provided an access panel to get to the converter so that I could test it directly.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:57 AM   #14
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Thanks for the schematic, unfortunately when I enlarge it I cannot read the text in the blocks because of the copy. I just downloaded all diagrams for your model from the web. I can read them fine. Am on my tablet right now but will pull them up on my 26" PC screen and investigate further re isolation relay functionality. I.e does it just cut batteries off and leave the converter output going to the coach. (Winnebago might have a quick response to that question also.)

Please confirm the batteries charged from your internal charger/converter after you applied a secondary charging unit to get the batteries up to say 12.5v at least? If yes, did you measure ~ 13.5 volts on the battery while your converter was charging from the internal charger? (Just trying to understand if the converter is working - you did say the charger "kicked in and charged the batteries") so my assumption is the converter is working. Is this correct? Perhaps not and your external charger charged the batteries.

Will look at the circuitry in a while and report back on my findings but we should determine if the converter is working. We will get there, I need to keep my engineering skills honed so it is good therapy to do this type of research and am happy to help. It is much easier of course with the ability to take hands on measurements.

We will get there. Perhaps someone who has that model might pop in with a response also.
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