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Old 09-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
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Bad Converter? -- Check my troubleshooting logic, please

No, that is not an opening line for a bad Rodney Dangerfield joke.

''94 Southwind. Letting my son live in it while he is getting situated in a new town, new job. Met up with him this weekend and discovered that the batteries, all of them, were next to dead. No charge even while on shore power. There was no network where is currently is so I could not check this forum until today.

In reading, I'm beginning to understand that maybe the charging part of the converter has either failed or is failing. All 12v lights work fine. Batteries charge up fine via the engine running (just have to jump it).

So from what I have gathered so far is to verify that the charging circuit is out, is to disconnect the wires from the batteries and see if there is at least 13.x volts coming out. Correct? No voltage, then time for a new converter, right?

I did find a tripped circuit-breaker in the Intellitect (or whatever it is called) box under the hood. Reset it but did not seem to make any difference.

I did not have a meter with me this weekend so I could not check voltages but plan to next time we see him. Anything else I should look at/into? I know the converter is under the fridge and will not be easy to get to.

TIA
Bill W
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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If you have 12 Volt DC to your lights,then your converter (charger) is working
just fine. There may be a blown fuse in the line to the house batteries or the
battery circuit is open / bad connection/open batteries.
You need a multimeter to check things out.
On an old RV like yours,it is time to check how much lint and dust has
accumulated around the converter.
Siggy
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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When charging you should see the voltage at the batteries rise ~1 volt vs. when not charging. If you see no change when turning on the charging, no charging is occurring. If your converter is like mine - also a Fleetwood and also under the refrigerator, there is a 120vac outlet that the converter is plugged into. Ensure 120vac to this outlet, if not troubleshoot why. If 120vac input and no 12vdc output, check fuses on the converter - if ok then bad converter.

BTW, once my converter came unplugged from road vibrations. Plugged it back in with a tie wrap to secure it from happening again.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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Please read the post

It was said batteries charge up fine and lights work with the engine running. Batteries go dead with shore power only. It is most likely the charger or the charger is not getting any AC voltage to allow it to work.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:31 PM   #5
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Hmmm. didn't realize that the converter is plugged in (vs "hard-wired"). Don't remember seeing a plug under there but will look again and check it out.

May be a while before I can post an update.

Bill W
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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Just wanted to close the loop on this situation for any future generations.

In the original post, I mentioned that I had found a tripped breaker and reset it. But after waiting a day and a half, there did not seem to be a change in the state of the batteries.

Well, today my son informed me that all batteries seem to be fully charged and he didn't do anything. SO it appears that the converter is doing its job, just real slowly.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Bill W
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill001 View Post
Just wanted to close the loop on this situation for any future generations.

In the original post, I mentioned that I had found a tripped breaker and reset it. But after waiting a day and a half, there did not seem to be a change in the state of the batteries.

Well, today my son informed me that all batteries seem to be fully charged and he didn't do anything. SO it appears that the converter is doing its job, just real slowly.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Bill W
Bill, two things come to mind;
There should be TWO of those DC circuit breakers in the BCC box under the hood. Make sure you reset both of them. They handle all the current to/from the batteries.
Second make sure your son knows that the battery disconnect switches by the entry door must always be in the USE position. Press the TOP of each switch. The batteries will not charge from shore, or gen power, if the batteries are not connected.
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