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Old 10-17-2016, 11:57 PM   #1
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Inverter/charger got wet

New member here, We have a 2009 cedar creek 5th wheel and last weekend I had a leak in the bathroom which I think got inside the inverter below. After wards I had battery power but after the batteries went dead there is no power going to the unit when I plug it in. It trips the breaker in our house when I plug it into an outlet. I pulled the plug that goes from the inverter to the main camper circuit panel and removed the fuses, but it still trips the breaker at our house. Do I have to completely remove the red and black wires from the inverter? Or could there there be something else going on? I don't know of anything else that got wet. Is there another way to troubleshoot the issue?

Many thanks
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:06 AM   #2
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I assume you are referring to the converter which plugs into a 120 volt outlet and converts that power to 12 volts DC. (Very common to call it an inverter by mistake). What brand and model is the converter?

I'm not sure from your post if the 120 volt power loss caused the converter to not charge the battery. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The converter is possibly damaged by the water and is not functional and therefore is not charging the battery and not powering your 12 volt devices. You only have to disconnect the red and black wires to the converter if you remove the converter to replace it. Before you replace the converter it can be tested further.

If the power cord for the converter is unplugged and the outlet in the house is tripping you have a separate problem.

Is the house outlet on a ground fault breaker or is the outlet a ground fault outlet?

Turn off all the circuit breakers in the 120 volt breaker box in the trailer. Plug the trailer into the house outlet. Watch for the house outlet breaker tripping. Turn on the trailer breakers one by one starting with the main breaker and note when the house breaker trips.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:57 PM   #3
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Inverter/charger got wet

It's a WFCO 55 amp power converter. I'm positive it got wet now. Yes it plugs into a outlet in the pool shed that has a GFI on it. I have to get more cords to reach a non GFI outlet. I switched off all the breakers in the camper and it stopped tripping in the house. The problem is I can't get a clear shot of the panel in the camper without putting the slides out and with everything dead I can't put the slide out. Would it be ok to jump the battery to get the slide out? If so should I unhook the converter first of leave it hooked up?Click image for larger version

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Old 10-18-2016, 05:15 PM   #4
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If you need to replace it, super easy job. I just replaced the 65 amp version (WYCO WF9865) in our 5er with a 75 amp version (WF9875). The low end cooling fan was droning and moaning. Best price I found was Makarios - received it within 2 days from ordering it, installed on the 3rd. Oh, and that fan - I replaced it and now have a spare converter.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:17 PM   #5
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That's what I assumed. This also charges the batteries or is there a battery charger somewhere else?
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:44 PM   #6
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You can jump the battery with no problem. You don't need to unhook the converter. If you have removed the 30? amp fuses, you have essentially unhooked the converter.

One way to test the converter while still installed is to plug the converter directly into your power cord (install the fuses first). If your batteries are dead (no working lights) and the converter is plugged in and the lights are still dead, the converter is most likely not working. If you have a voltmeter, check the voltage at the output terminals on the converter. It should be about 13.6 volts.

From my experience helping RV owners, I recommend replacing the WFCO with a Progressive Dynamics PD9260C along with the optional Remote Status Pendant. I've repaired or replaced more WFCO converters than PD. I bought my last PD converter from PPL Motorhomes. I was very pleased.

Be warned, there are vendors out there who sell Progressive Dynamics converters that have the serial number label removed. You don't want one of these as there is no warranty from PD. I suggest verifying with the vendor that the serial number WILL BE on the converter or they will be getting it back.

Think of the converter as a bottomless battery (at least up to its current rating) with a voltage level higher than your lead acid battery. The converter powers all your 12 volt loads, charges the battery and keeps the battery charged.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:06 PM   #7
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I'll look into that. Do you think it's worth the extra $20-$30 for the 70 amp version ? I have upgraded the batteries to 2 golf cart batteries and it's a 39'ft unit. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:37 PM   #8
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I totally agree with Jim_Bob. I have a Progressive Dynamics 9245 charger for two 6v batteries (225 Ahr each). In the near future I plan on upgrading to a PD9270 (70AMp). This is for a battery upgrade to four 6v batteries. A higher Amp rating will reduce the time required to recharge your batteries. This may or may not be important in your RV lifestyle. If you see using a generator to recharge with, a shorter recharge time means less generator run time. I think the larger Amp rating is worth it up front. I'm not going with the 9280 model because it requires a 20 AMP 110v line. The other models all operate on 15Amp 110V. I did not want to have to rewire the 110v feed circuit.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:20 AM   #9
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Very good reply by Rarebear.

If you increase the converter output over factory standard equipment rating the 12 volt wire gauge and any circuit breaker/fuse should be checked to make sure they are large enough.

As far as how much current rating you need, it depends. If the batteries are not discharged too much they might only draw 40 amps initially and then decrease. In other words in this case a 70 amp converter won't charge any faster than a 60 amp model.

When recharging batteries the current draw by the batteries is dependent on the difference between the battery charge level and the converter voltage. For example if the battery is fully discharged (10.5 volts) and the converter is set to 14.4 volts, high current. If the battery is down a little (12.2 volts) and the converter is set to lowest voltage (13.2), lower current.

The charging current will drop as the battery charge level (voltage) increases. If the initial current can exceed the converter output, the converter limits the current to the converter rating by lowering the converter output voltage.

A 70 amp converter will charge faster in theory. In practice as soon as the battery charge increases enough to drop the current to 60 amps, the charge rate is the same for a 70 or 60 amp converter.

Another side to the story is the number of batteries. 4 golf cart batteries will draw more charging current than 2 golf cart batteries. In this case bigger is better. I've worked on motorhomes with 4 six volt batteries with 100 amp or more chargers.

And one last (finally!) thing to consider is the generator size. For example a 1000 watt generator is too small for a 60 amp converter. That's one reason to use the remote charge wizard pendant. It allows the user to lower the output voltage in case 14.4 volts results in too much draw on the 120 volt side.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_bob View Post

Another side to the story is the number of batteries. 4 golf cart batteries will draw more charging current than 2 golf cart batteries. In this case bigger is better. I've worked on motor homes with 4 six volt batteries with 100 amp or more chargers.
....and exactly why I chose a 75 amp version over the original 65 amp. As far as the breaker and wiring - spot on. Our 5er had sufficient size - 20 amp breaker and power center receptacle, 12 awg power cord and 6 awg wire to the battery(ies) - as it is factory set up for a generator and extra batteries. Anything bigger would have been more costly and absolutely unnecessary. Then you have to factor in an RV manufacturer and their striving for a better bottom line and use of barely adequate components to add to that line. So, for my 20 extra bucks to add 10 amps (14+%) - it is probably worth it
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:42 PM   #11
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Good point about the larger converter if the wiring, etc will handle it. I hadn't noticed how small the difference in price is between the 60 and 70 amp Progressive Dynamics converters.
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:53 PM   #12
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Jim_Bob thanks for adding how a partially discharged battery can't use the full capability of a larger charger and the generator comment is great too. I'd to add a little more for some folks trying to understand more of this technology.

A generator typically has a continuos run load of perhaps half of the maximum rated capacity. So for a 1,000 watt generator it's recommended run load should be near 500 watts. When working with electrical systems you need to understand Ohms Law (Watts = Volts x Amperage). If you fell lost here please Google Ohms Law to better understand it. Watts is simply what we think of as "power". If you have a converter putting out 70 Amp at say 14.4 volts, a bulk charge mode, you need a generator with a run time load of about 1000 watts, or 2000 watt maximum load rated generator. Your needs will vary based on the total AmpHour rating of your batteries, their depletion state and their general "health" status among other potential factors.

It can be easy to get a mismatched electrical system without understanding how the different components work individually and how they work together as a system. I do all of my own RV service and maintenance. If I have questions about something I start reading and studding the issues, that's why these forums and other sources are so great. I think that RV owners should understand enough to determine if an RV shop tech knows there stuff or not. I think some are excellent and others I would not trust. Above all, be safe working around electrical equipment.
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:28 PM   #13
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Something that disappoints me with RV trailers at least is the lack of electrical instrumentation. I added a DC voltmeter and ammeter to ours. I can read battery voltage to know charge voltage or battery charge level when off shore power. The ammeter shows charging amps when on shore power or how much battery drain when dry camping.

For anyone interested, I recently installed this meter for a friend. It's not too difficult for someone with decent skills.

DC 5-40V 0-100A Volt Amp Combo Meter Battery Charge Discharge No Need Power | eBay

The biggest problem I've found with inexpensive digital voltmeter/ammeters is finding one that is bidirectional on the current measurement.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:36 PM   #14
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Here is the wire that came stock, I'm not sure if it's large enough to help but I'm still thinking about putting the larger converter in seeing that the extra cost isn't that much (thoughts?)


It's a WFCO 55 amp power converter. I'm positive it got wet now. Yes it plugs into a outlet in the pool shed that has a GFI on it. I have to get more cords to reach a non GFI outlet. I switched off all the breakers in the camper and it stopped tripping in the house.
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