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Old 08-09-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Is this a inverter problem???

I really have no idea what I am doing here, but I am really frustrated. We have a 5th wheeler that runs on a 30amp system. We have been parked at my father-in-laws all summer plugged in. All of a sudden we came home to find the a/c, lights, and refrigerator not working. The ceiling fan and all wall outlets work. I checked all breakers and fuses and found nothing any direction would be appreciated!!!!!


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Old 08-09-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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You've boiled your battery dry or your converter died so you have no 12 volt that you need to control those devices.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:57 AM   #3
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The very first thing to do is go buy a digital volt ohm meter or VOM. This device measures resistance and voltage as well as current draw when set and used properly The converter is a device which converts 120 volts AC (what your RV drop cord plugs into or shore power) to 12 volts DC that's used for things like lights, radio, water pump, fridge, and furnace, in your rv. When the converter dies your batteries will eventually be drawn to dead because all 12 volt things in your RV work off the batteries even when plugged in. The converter charges your batteries when plugged in.

You need the volt meter to measure your voltage in the 12 volt system. Without the trailer plugged in and the batteries in good shape and charged your 12 volt system with nothing on should read about 12.8 volts.( thats the nominal voltage of a charged lead acid battery.) If plugged into 120 volts through the drop cord the same system reads closer to about 13.8 volts DC because the converter has to put more voltage into the batteries then the battery nominal voltage to charge them up.

Without a volt meter its impossible to diagnose your problems but I'm betting the converter died or the converter fuse blew and your batteries are now dead. If the batteries have only been dead say 48-72 hours it may be possible to recharge them using a standard battery charger if the batteries are in good shape. If the batteries have been dead say 2 months or longer, or the batteries are older then about 3 years, you will probably have to buy new batteries too.

Take a reading with a vom set on 20 volts DC to check your battery circuit with the trailer unplugged from shore power. That will give us a starting point and the general health of your batteries. Then plug the trailer in and take another reading. That will tell if your converter is working. 12.8 volts unplugged and about 13.8 volts or so plugged in is a good rule of thumb for a healthy 12 volt system.

It gets more complicated should you read voltages significantly different then those listed above.

Good luck and keep us posted.
-Paul R. Haller-
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