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Old 12-26-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
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Power Converter Bad?

I sent in posts that should have been set up as a new thread. My concern is that I started losing 12V power in my 1998 Bounder (28T, Chevy chassis), first the retractable steps, then the heater, pump, etc. The two 6V batteries went dead, even though the coach has been plugged into 120V AC for some time. If I turn on the engine, I get 14V both at the house and chassis batteries. Because I don;t have an informative Owner's Manual, I was not sure which way to press the rocker switches, so, I thought it was something I did. Several posts have gone back and forth, but, the following is where I now stand!


Thank you for any support on my electrical problem. I have measured the voltage across the red and black cables attached to the coach batteries using a VOM (I know how to use), and essentially get zero; the coach is plugged into house 120V. Makes no difference which direction the rocker switches are pressed, still no voltage. With the engine running I get the alternator 14V at both the house and chassis batteries. I have examined most of the fuses I can find and not found one blown: 12V fuse panel in upper cabinet next to fridge, the battery box in engine compartment, but not tested the panel under the steering column (see an earlier I Phone picture in attachment) because its too difficult to get to for an old man. I also noticed that the fan on the Power Converter (PD9155) never runs. Could: 1) a fuse under the steering column cause Power Converter output blockage; 2) you mentioned a fuse in the Power Converter, I could not find it, or, 3) the Power Converter is bad?

Hoping to get to a solution,

Willis
wclarke@rcsis.com
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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Hi willisclarke,
This is easy to diagnose. On the converter, check for incoming voltage (120 VAC). If you have voltage, check the outgoing connections for voltage (VDC).
This will give you the path for the next steps.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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This is what the manufacturer says about their PD9100 series of converters: "Our patented Reverse Battery circuitry prevents converter damage and unnecessary warranty calls in the event the customer or dealer accidentally connects the battery in reverse. Simple replacement of the fuse(s) located on the front of the converter restores the unit to normal operation."

So there is a fuse on the converter.

Then, you'd need to measure the input voltage to the converter. If one of your GFI circuits has blown (by far the most common cause of a converter not outputting voltage/current to the batteries), then there would be no output from the converter. So you should be looking for a lack of 120Vac supply to the converter, not a 12V fuse issue. I think the only fusing you'd find with a converter is inside or as Intelipower mentions, ON the front of the converter.

You say you are getting zero volts on the batteries. I think you mean you're just getting battery voltage? Not the 13.2V you expected?
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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Power Converter Bad

OK. So my converter is mounted on the sidewall in one of Bays, I had to remove from wall (cabling still attached) and I found two 30A Maxi fuses down in a well area. I removed them and one was blown. I replaced both, plugged in to house current, and still no 13V (or anywhere near it) coming out of Converter. I can't presently attach leads to the two power wires coming into the Converter, however, I have 110V throughout the coach, including the Microwave. Is the fan supposed to run continuously when the Converter is operating? I have yet to see mine run.

Willis
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Willis, take a deep breath and relax for a couple of moments.

Now, answer the following questions.

Do your interior lights work when you are plugged into shore power?
Yes!.. Your converter is working
No!... Your converter is not working.

Can you read an electrical schematic and follow diagnostic instructions?
Yes!.. Print and follow instructions in this document to find your problem.
NO!... Print and have it available for the person you call for help.

Now, if the answer to question one is yes, you need to open the hood (the panel on the front of your Bounder) and look for a black box attached to the firewall. The box will be on the left side, directly in front of the drivers position.

Open the box. At the bottom of the box, where the 10 gauge wires enter/exit to the converter, you will find two manually resettable circuit breakers. This is what they look like. Press the little black plunger in the base of each breaker. If they are tripped you will see that they stay depressed. If the breakers are not tripped, you won't see significant movement.

Also, from your description of the meter readings you saw when measuring your house batteries, I think you may have a problem with the connections on the negative side of your batteries. Remove and clean/tighten all connections. Check the end of the cable that attaches to the frame very closely.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:00 PM   #6
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The fan does not run all the time - only when the converter gets hot. I have a 9100 and have never noticed my fan running.
I'll send you a PM with the converter manual.
If you do not have the optional Charge Wizard, your converter will run at 13.6V all the time. You want to install the Wizard - it is an easy plug in module (about $35 on e-bay) that makes the 9100 a 3 stage charger.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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9100 Series Power Converter Manual

RV CONVERTER_MANUAL.pdf
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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Power Converter Bad

To Loulong and TomWalt,

Can't thank you all enough, what help and wonderful advice. I cannot do anymore tonight, am blown out from the Xmas activities. All this happened when my kids used the coach as a bedroom for Xmas Holidays; 8 adults, 6 teen grandkids, and 6 dogs; cold here in Sacramento and raining like I haven't seen in years. I had auxiliary everything hooked up everywhere! I will do all these checks tomorrow and report back; I am, or was, a Corrosion Engineer, and can read schematics. This MH is a recent purchase for which we are having bucu problems, some of which are my own ignorance. For example, I am used to using sealed batteries for my last TT and my boat (Optimas), and I let these 6V golf cart batteries water drop, so it may have caused the Converter fuse to blow. I am currently trying to revise (save) the batteries, otherwise, I will use one of my 12V Optimas to check out the system.

Willis
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Don't give up - it may take several months to work out the bugs. It is best to do this at home (vs. on the road).
My Workhorse is a 1999 - your 1998 is exactly the same as far as I know (Chevy 454 and HydroMatic xmission without a Parking prong). They are good chassis, but you need to know and be able to check out the AutoPark (Yellow Park knob on dash). Let me know if you need help with that.
If Dually tire maint is a PIA for you, let me know - I am pleased with my Crossfire/TPMS combo.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Willsclarke... Let me know if you've found your problem or not... I have a spare 9145 with wizard... and I'm near Sacramento.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #11
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Power Converter Bad

I just submitted a post but didn't go through. I took the Converter out (dropped a fuse inside) which allowed me to test the input. There was none, although I have 110V throughout the coach. I have tested a few GFIs inside, but can't find any outside. I also looked at the breakers in the black box, they appeared Ok (pushed on them with fingers). I am going through the Schematic sent to me earlier, however, if anyone has any ideas where to look for the power hangup to the Converter, I would be much appreciative.

Willis
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:00 PM   #12
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No power to the converter will cause it to not work (And it's way cheaper to fix than other causes)

In my time in my motor home, and chatting with others on line I have found MANY RVers have a few screws loose.

How I figured that out (And which screws)

When my rig was new I was having all sorts of issues with the air conditioners, sometiems one woud work, sometimes the other, sometimes both, sometimes none. Was driving me batty (Short trip) and finally I got a bright idea, the flash bulb in my mind went off and I checked the screws that hold the wires tight in the power distrubution panel NOTE UNPLUG BEFORE YOU DO THIS Over 2 full turns on one of them later... And a bit less on several others. Everything worked as designed.

Check all 3 colors, White, Black and Bare wire screws. Some of the folks who wire these things up seem to think that if they do it right folks will think they are screwy, so they don't do screw 'em down.
(And I'll bet you were thinking of different screws wern't you)
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #13
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No power to the converter. The cost of the fix just went down, that is good. I would check to see if you have power to the breaker that controls the converter. The converter should be on its' own breaker in the 120 VAC breaker panel. While I do not know your brand of coach, the power to the converter is pretty simple.

shore power to transfer switch to 120 VAC breaker panel which distributes power via the breakers. Best I know there is nothing else in the incoming power circuit.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #14
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Call Fleetwood Customer Service (or go here) and request the wiring diagrams for your coach. Have your VIN and FIN ready along with make/mod/year.

As I recall, the converter ac receptacle is NOT a dedicated receptacle, so other things in the coach should be inoperable as well.
In my '97, the front entertainment cabinet shares circuit #3 with the converter.

In response to a reply on one of your other many posts on this problem;
Unless your rig is wired differently from any Fleetwood that I have ever seen, your converter is NOT plugged into a GFCI outlet. However, stranger things have happened.
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