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Old 06-30-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
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Possible inverter problem

I have a 2004 Fleetwood 20 foot Mallard trailer and it has 2 - 18 month old 6-volt batteries set up in-parallel for lots of boon-docking. My problem is the batteries are at about 1/2 of a full charge (each battery) and the trailer has been plugged into shore power for over 72 hours straight and the batteries have not charged at all. I believe the outlet I am plugged into is a 30 AMP outlet for normal extension cord 3 prong plugs used anywhere in the house or shop. In fact the batteries may have had a very slight discharge. all that is running in the trailer is the refrigerator set at Automatic. Everything else in the trailer has been check 3 times to make sure they are turned off.

How do I located the inverter and then check it to make sure it is working properly?

I have no manual or schismatics for the trailer and have done a quick look around in the easy places to get to that I would put it but don't see anything that looks like an inverter.

OH BTW this is the first trailer i have ever owned and have no knowledge regarding trailers.

PS: I was told, when I bought the trailer, by the original and only owner that there is an inverter for recharging the batteries when hooked to shore power. I have no way to contact the first owner to ask where it is because he has moved out of the area.

I appreciate any information that is passed on to me about this problem.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:03 PM   #2
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Just to correct a couple of things;

If you have 2 six volt batteries they are in series to effectively create one 12 volt battery.

The item that you are looking for is a converter. (Takes 120VAC and makes 13-15VDC)
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:16 PM   #3
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A standard household outlet is a 15 or 20 amp circuit. 30 amp circuits use special plugs.


You need to confirm the battery wiring.

If they are in fact wired in parallel, you would only see 6 volts. That's half charged.

The picture below is a series wired setup, to get 12 volts from 2, 6 volt batteries.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re-reading your post.

30 amp house and 30 amp RV outlets are not the same thing.


Basically make sure your RV doesn't get hooked up to a 220 outlet.
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Old 07-01-2016, 02:01 PM   #5
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My Error

Thanks for the help.

My mistake the batteries are wired in series not parallel to make a 12-volt system.

I will check the amps in that outlet today.

I was told today by someone who owns a trailer about the same age as mine but a different manufacturer that I may not be able to charge from shore power and while towing like you can with almost all newer trailers.

He said he has that problem with his trailer the converter or inverter, or whatever it's called is not the type that charges while towing or hooked up to shore power. He has to disconnect them and use a portable charger to recharge the batteries.

Can anyone with a an older say around 2004 trailer verify that information? And can anyone tell me how to get this information for a 2004 Fleetwood Mallard? I have tried googling it with no luck..


Thanks
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Old 07-01-2016, 02:40 PM   #6
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We had a 2005 Fleetwood pop up and it had a converter and I'm almost positive you have one as well.

Matter of fact all of your DC stuff should run without even having a battery when plugged into shore power.
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Old 07-01-2016, 03:42 PM   #7
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I had a much older trailer that charged the battery, from the converter, while plugged in.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #8
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Charging from the TV is through the seven prong plug, and if not there it can be added. The main question is the converter working, with it on shore power the voltage at the battery should be 13.2V or higher. If the batteries are not fully charged it should a be a good bit higher.
My bet is a failed converter, if so do yourself a favor and replace it with a Progressive Dynamics.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:44 PM   #9
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Why not start at the beginning? 1. Does your microwave light up when you plug in the AC cord? If so your 120 VAC is probably OK. If not or no microwave try plugging a light into an AC outlet. If you don't have 120 VAC to the unit then nothing will work. 2. Once you have 120 VAC working unplug the unit and check the battery voltage. Write it down. Plug in the unit and measure again. Did it go up? If so the charger is working. If not there are two issues: A - if the 12 VDC string in measuring less than about 10 to 11 VDC it may be overloading the charger causing it to shut down to protect itself. Try a big external charger to get them back up into the 11 volt range then try your internal charger again. B - If the voltage is in the 11 volt or higher range and not going up look for a can type relay near the battery. That is the storage cutoff. Check the voltage on both big terminals. IF it is higher on one side than the other the relay is open and you need to sort out the control for that. Probably a switch by the door. In that case you can jumper the relay as a temporary fix or post results for more options. C - There is an Converter problem. Find the label and look up the make and model on the internet to find out what you really have. Somebody might have really changed out the converter for an Inverter and created another problem. While you are checking the Converter toggle any breakers and check fuses. Post what you find and someone will help from there.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
Re-reading your post.

30 amp house and 30 amp RV outlets are not the same thing.


Basically make sure your RV doesn't get hooked up to a 220 outlet.
THIS, that's what I was wondering.... if you plugged into the 220 volt, that would be bad.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:24 AM   #11
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I've not read all the posts... but I can share that my old converter would when powered up... supply full charging voltage to the batteries for maybe an hour or so... and than a circuit in the converter would drop the charge rate back to a float charge... at the float charge level.... 13.0 - 13.2 VDC the batteries would never come up to full charge as there was always something turned on in the RV...

So we changed out the converter with one that had some intelligent circuits in it... it would monitor battery voltage and bring the batteries up to full charge... plus it has a 60 amp max output where the stock unit had a 30 amp output... so at full output it would charge the battery in 1/2 the time...

Of course it can only do this if there are no voltage drops across the connections (LOOSE CONNECTIONS) to test for loose and bad connections... power up the circuit... and put one end a good digital voltmeter on one connection and the other to the next connection.... let me explain... put on lead on the center post of your battery on the ground terminal... your touching the post, not the cable end... now touch the frame with the other probe... next to where the ground cable bolts to the frame or engine.... there should be no more than .2 vdc drop across each connection... any more than that... and really you want to see maybe .05vdc drop.. any bad connections you'll need to repair... you also test the positive side the same way....

Here's another thought... where the power comes out of the converter... test the voltage at the converted with a volt meter... and now move to the battery... your (2) 6 volt batteries in SERIES.... put the probes on the posts... not cable ends... the voltage you read at the converter should be within .1 vdc from what you read at the batteries....

Hope this helps... BTW we spend a lot of time off the grid... my unit has (6) 6 volt batteries... (3) sets of (2) batteries for lots of capacity when we're out and about...
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