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Old 08-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #1
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Power Problem, supposed to leave tomorrow!

Had my TT for little over a month now, took it on one camping trip so far, everything worked great except for the fridge on gas whould constantly need to be reset, so I put a dinosaur board in it, a couple weeks ago, let it run for a while, seemed to do good.
Were going on a trip tomorrow for the weekend. I turned the fridge on last night so it would be cool today, went home at lunch and checked it and it wasnt that cold, and also noticed that the lights in the TT are dim, radio wont work, odd! Its been plugged into the house, the microwave works and the 120v lights work, but everything 12v is acting like the 12v batteries are super low.
I put a battery charger on it and the lights are bright again. Coincidence? Im fairly new to owning a TT so I really appreciate the help. Will running the trailer off the battery charger all weekend be a bad idea?
Where should I start checking? Not sure where the inverter is on this thing yet. At work now with a headache.
Thanks
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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You probably don't 'have an inverter, you should have a converter to charge the batteries.

First make sure the converter is plugged in and the outlet has power

Second there may be fuses on the back of the converter. Make sure they are good.

Third, make sure the converter wires are tight at converter and battery.

Hopefully you will find the problem quickly.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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I will check that after work, I just wonder whats going on in there, as it worked great until recently. Hopefully its an easy fix. Worse case scenario, can the battery charger get me through the weekend?
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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I would bring a portable battery charger along, also check water level in batteries, and shop for a better converter charger.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Ok thanks! Any suggestions on converter chargers?
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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I would bring a portable battery charger along, also check water level in batteries, and shop for a better converter charger.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:12 PM   #7
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You first need to find out what is happening with the battery and if you have a functioning converter. A VOM is your friend it can tell you, assuming you have a converter, that it is or is not functioning correctly. Most of the converter manufacturers have their manual on line and that will give you the numbers as to what you should see with the VOM. The advice to check the water level in the batteries and I would add their condition is good. One place to start in understanding the care and feeding of deep cycle batteries is Deep Cycle Battery FAQ and Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ, Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List, and

The converter you hear the least complaints of is the Progressive Dynamics American made and good quality, yes we have one in our teardrop trailer.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #8
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Im assuming its a converter? it used to charge the batts and the lights were bright a few days ago. What is a VOM and how much are they?

Thanks
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #9
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For maintenance while camping any decent "Smart Charger" automotive type battery charger in the 20-30 amp range should do well.. Would not do for me but should for you (I need at least 50 but that's only because of my user ID The Big radio can really suck amps when I transmit).

Fact (True story) This has happened to me twice.. I noticed house batteries getting lower and lower even though I am plugged in.. Flipped back up converter switch and all was well.. (This usually happens around 3 am you see) went outside the next day and found I'd snagged the plug on the primary converter (yes I have 2 and the primary plugs in) plugged it back in and all was fine.

Many motor homes have the converter integrated with the power distribution panels (on those the 12 volt and 120 volt panels will usually be behind the same door, the model is on the door)

Some have the converter Hard Wired (no plug/socket).

Mine has a plug in.



Recommendations on converters if you need a new one....

Progressive Dynamics 9200 series - or -

Take advantage of this oppertounity to install an IN-LINE type inverter, this type usually has a converter built in.. A True Sine Wave model is best. I can not recommend the one I have (Xantrex Prosine 2.0) Because it is a discontinued model. That said it is a very nice top end converter in addition to a true sine wave inverter, It is also "Typical" of the class.. That is most inverter/chargers are top of the line
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
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Thanks! Im looking for the converter or whatever it has, but no luck, not in the closet, not under the bed, must be hiding behind the fuse panel, Ill rip it apart when I get back and its not 90 degrees outside. yuk.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:04 AM   #11
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VOM Volt Ohm meter, a basic for any electrical troubleshooting and for minimal monitoring of battery condition, basically start where you have power and trace and test till you do not.
The converter may be integrated into the fuse and circuit beaker panel and if it is malfunctioning it is often a simple swap with a replacement from Progressive Dynamics.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:09 PM   #12
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A battery charger can give charge to a bad battery. Seems like you may need new batteries. Not likely that all circuits would be acting up at once.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:24 PM   #13
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If the RV is plugged in to 120VAC as you stated in your first post and all the 12VDC circuits (which includes the refrigerator controls) are dying or dead, then you probably have a problem with your converter. Even if the batteries were dying, the converter should be putting out ~13.6VDC or so in an attempt to charge them, and that 13.6VDC should keep the fridge and lights working.

The converter on our present rig is behind one of the sliding doors in a service bay in the basement. On another rig, it was mounted next to the power distribution panel (breaker box) and 12VDC fuse box. On yet another, it was hidden on the exterior wall up behind the kitchen sink. My point is, it could be just about anywhere.

Your problem could be that the converter is unplugged, that the 120VAC breaker feeding it is tripped, that internal fuses/breakers are blown or tripped, or that it has completely failed. Depending on its amperage output, a battery charger might let you limp along through a trip - I've used one when we had a converter fail while out on the road - but it probably won't put out enough current to run the furnace or other heavy 12VDC loads.

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:53 PM   #14
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check for your charger under the fridge. my last 5th wheel had it there. and like was posted prior: , check for a tripped 120 volt breaker feeding the charger or a tripped fuse in the back or on the 12 volt output of the charger. A small automotive charger will not harm anything for the weekend ( keep it dry). check the water level in your battery as it may have boiled dry.

while charging, the voltage accross the battery should reead approx 13.5 volts.... any reading below 12.5 indicates that the battery is not being charged.

HINT: watch the settings on your voltmeter, it must be set on DC volts or you will not get accurate readings or may damage the meter.

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