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Old 07-26-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
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Talking Inverter problem ???

I have a 95 Fleetwood Southwind.
This spring the generator quit providing electrical power (engine runs but struggles and no electrical power). When connected to 30 AMP power supply everything in the coach operates fine, however, even when plugged in to a power supply the coach batteries and engine battery go dead in a few days.
Could the be a failing invertor or generator problem, or both ???

Need to fix because I'm tired of jump starting the engine to leave and someday may need the generator to provide power.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

Dave
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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Your system has a converter/charger....versus the Inverter device. I am thinking like you....best start by testing the output of the converter.

Here is the advice of some of the other experts... REPLACE THE OEM Fleetwood converter with Intelli-Power PD9260C 60A Electronic RV Converter/Charger
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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you have 3 lines of AC power coming in then
land power
generator power
inverter power

i am sure your generator is making power
there is a neutral to ground auto circuit in the RV that tells the RV what to take power from and to mate the neutral to ground

most neutral to ground auto circuits is where you well find your power lose
as for the battery's i am sure there just bad now from going died 1 time for a few nights and well no longer hold a charge

if the converter/charger is not working and the gen too i would say power
spike / lighting and the neutral to ground auto circuit would have been killed too
see this a lot in FL

hope this gives you some here to look
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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Wow - you have a lot of things going on so I will address one at a time.

1. You say the gen engine runs but no AC output! Is this correct?

If yes. Check for tripped breakers on Gen. Then if OK check for 120Vac at the transfer switch. If no breaker is tripped and there is no AC voltage at the transfer switch (shore power cord unplugged) look at all connections and troubleshoot the gen more. If 120Vac is measured on one side of the transfer switch with the gen on and not on the panel side - look at the transfer switch in more detail.

2. You say your house and chassis batteries are not being charged while on shore power, but you are getting 120vac in the coach.

Check all breakers, fuses, switches and connections everywhere associated with the converter and battery circuits. Check input and output power on the converter. Input should be 120vac and the output should be about 13-14 VDC. Some converters require sufficient voltage from the batteries to activate a safety relay in the charger. Measure the battery voltage. This safety relay prevents high current draw when discharged batteries present a low resistant load.

Also check the electrolyte level in your batteries and specific gravity but this is just a precaution and should be done as a matter of course anyway. I suspect your converter is not charging and you need to troubleshoot the cause as noted above.

3. You say you need to jump start the chassis batteries. You likely have a parasitic drain on them and if you do not have a "BIRD" or trickle charger of some sort on the chassis battery expect them to drain.

Hope I have been helpful.

It will be easier to pinpoint the problem better with empirically derived data provided such as voltages measured at various places as I suggested.

I do not believe you have an Inverter problem as noted in the subject heading. Albeit your converter might be housed in same chassis as the inverter. The inverter converts voltage from 12Vdc to 120Vac. The Converter (AKA Charger) converts from 120Vac to DC. I believe your problem is 120Vac to DC.

Good luck.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:58 AM   #5
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Thanks you.... gives me a starting point. I hate electrical problems as they seem to always be the hardest to find.

I'll let you know what I find.

Dave
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:33 AM   #6
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Thanks you.... gives me a starting point. I hate electrical problems as they seem to always be the hardest to find.

I'll let you know what I find.

Dave
Hope all works out OK. It is important to check the voltages at various places so you can isolate the problem source. In many situations it is a switch, breaker, relay or bad connections etc that are causing the problem vice the actual unit such as the converter, generator etc.

If you have an electrical schematic diagram for your coach it will help you troubleshoot. You may be able to get one online or have one sent from an IRV2 member. There are a lot of savvy folks here just willing to help.

Good luck and please report your findings.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Different coach, similar problem. Found my converter was not outputting enough voltage to the chassis batteries to charge them while on the shore power. Without the chassis batteries ever being fully charged the overflow voltage never got to the house batteries to charge them. Fixed converter - fixed problem.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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Different coach, similar problem. Found my converter was not outputting enough voltage to the chassis batteries to charge them while on the shore power. Without the chassis batteries ever being fully charged the overflow voltage never got to the house batteries to charge them. Fixed converter - fixed problem.
What is "Overflow Voltage" ?

Normally house batteries are charged first and then the bird will charge the chassis batteries.

Confused???
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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What is "Overflow Voltage" ?

Normally house batteries are charged first and then the bird will charge the chassis batteries.

Confused???
Probably a bad choice of words - overflow voltage. My converter charges the chassis batteries first and when they are charged it switches to my house batteries.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:28 PM   #10
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Probably a bad choice of words - overflow voltage. My converter charges the chassis batteries first and when they are charged it switches to my house batteries.
Dmason, thanks - I have been a practicing aeronautical engineer and an RVer for a very long time (more than 45 years for both) and never heard the term before relative to voltage, but there is always a first time for everything - I thought you might have meant something else. Thanks for clearing that up. Voltage merely has a potential to cause current flow and will do so if the appropriate current conductivity path is provided.

I did not know that some units charged the chassis battery first and once they are charged to a specific voltage, a circuit is created to charge the house batteries. It is always a good day when I learn something new. I thought they all did the house first and the chassis second through a BIRD type circuitry.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:57 PM   #11
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Libero's post #4 is spot on. And I'd have to agree that I've never heard of a system that charged the chassis batteries first before the house batteries on shore (or genset) power either.

I'd agree that the batteries should be load and spec gav checked. Especially, check the distilled water levels.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:10 PM   #12
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my Gen. did the same thing, it was the Voltage regulator IN the Gen.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:41 AM   #13
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OMG.... sounds like I need an RV Electrical Engineer to trouble shoot my problem.
I looked at the batteries, house and chassis seem to be connected is series but I am no electrical practioner.
I'll have the batteries check, then will start to learn how to check the convertor. Thankfully I can still go RVing as long as I have shore power for the night.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #14
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Welcome to iv2.
Every coach I have seen the house batteries are charged first and than the chassis batteries.
If you have a Bird System this link will explain and also give info on your batteries.
Batteries have to be checked for water levels monthly and filled over the plates with distilled water.
Your chassis and house batteries are separately wired systems.
Your batteries are charged by your converter and your engine alternator when driving.
The Gen supply's 110 for converter when its operating and your shore power cable when plugged into pedestal.
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