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Old 01-16-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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Unhappy Major electrical problem

Last evening I noticed that our fridge was running on propane. I tried to switch it to electric but it wouldn't switch. Upon further investigation I noted that there was no prower to the fridge plug. I turned off & reset the breaker that also feeds the converter. No luck so I ran an exterior extension to the fidge and it functioned normally. During the evening while watching TV we hear a bang from the converter (under kitchen cabinets), the 12 volt lighting went off (batteries isolated) and we had an electrical burn smell. I engaged the batteries and the lights returned. I checked the breaker (tripped). Upon resetting the breaker, we hear another bang this time under the fridge /cw another electrical burn smell. The converter remained on but outputting 14.2 volts. Afraid that I would cook the batteries I shut the circuit down for the night.

This morning I checked under the fridge. (On the Sincruiser 38T the fridge is behind the driver's seat in the steet side slide). I noticed what appears to be some type of connector plug on the AC line to the fridge that was obviously burnt. I must work through a drawer opening so it is difficult to access the connector. There are cable clamps to the floor on each side, but removing them doesn't free up the connector. I searched the wiring diagrams for this coach and haven't found any usefull info.

As for the 12 volts, I went & bought a good automatic battery charger and it is doing a good job keeping the 12 volt system going.

My initial questions are:

- Any ideas on what could have caused this to happen?
- With the converter( Parallax 7455T) outputting 14.2 volts, does this indicate a bad converter? If so what is a recommended replacement and a good source for same.
- Any info on the AC connector plug would be appreciated. Would they be screwed to the floor? Where would I find a part number?

I am in Hilton Head Island SC, and the only listed Winnebago Service Center is Camping World in Pooler GA. I would prefer not to have Camping World service my coach.

Any guidence and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:53 AM   #2
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Ron, anything could have caused your converter to malfunction and die but you should always have the battery bank turned on when you are using the coach. If not then you are putting a lot of stress on the converter at times; shortening its life. When you get the converter replaced, (repairs not cost effective) be sure the battery bank is in good condition and properly maintain them.
The connector that is burnt is probably due to loose connections and high current.
Good luck and keep us posted. BTW, you should not have to have a Winnebago service center for this repair.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:33 AM   #3
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Operating the converter to power the coach without the batteries is likely what killed it. ALWAYS have the batteries connected unless the coach is going to sit unused for extended periods of time and unplug power from the coach. Never operate the converter without the batteries.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:46 AM   #4
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With the converter( Parallax 7455T) outputting 14.2 volts, does this indicate a bad converter?"

No, automotive batteries are intended to be charged from automotive charging systems that are 14.8 V. Its bad when it quits putting power out, and it hasnt.

Follow the tripped breaker, it indicates a GROSS over-current. Realize that a breakers rating is the HOLD current, which it will take indefinitely. I once saw a 30 amp automotive breaker take 100 AMP for about 5 seconds... scary...

And WHY is the power supply UNDER THE CABINETS? Where will it lose heat to?

With a breaker trip, reset, then a bang elsewhere, the second bang is the root cause, and it caused an overcurrent that tripped the breaker. If a short or other defect is marginal, often whamming it with current again will cause it to give up its smoke...

If its not over-current protected such that it needs to be connected to batteries, I wouldnt have it in the motor home! it would go in the nearest dumpster.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #5
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Definitely get rid of the dumb Parallax converter. You can do a search for other's views, but I replaced mine with an IOTA converter with the additional pendant indicator. Very happy with it in my '07 38T.

Also, it is easy to replace if you remove the drawers and lower drawer rail. Easy job and there is plenty of space and ventilation under there to avoid overheating as was previously stated. Piece of cake job.

Trace and check connections on the 110VAC line feeding the fridge for loose connections.

Also, your fridge is probably also involved in the recent Norcold recall. VERY VERY important to get that done.

Good luck
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