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Old 10-02-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Converter issue?

Hi there - its me again
we have a new (to us) 2001 fleetwood fifth wheel with no manuals of course and I have a couple of questions.
1) there is a switch on the cabinet under the stove that says hot water with an on and off switch - we cant figure out what its for
2) we have a power issue - when we first got the unit it seemed to work fine but little did we know that we were operating on battery power only - we tried to replace the burned out fuses in the "converter" unit and they blew immediately - then we found a bad breaker in the panel in the unit and replaced that and thought we were done. Then, overnight, we had the porch light on and it drained the battery so obviously we were not done, and the lights would not work. So, we put on the battery charger to have lights again and remembered we had not replaced the fuses in the converter - when we replaced them, the converter started to smoke and smelled awful, so we removed it and replaced it. Now no blown fuses but same issue - the new converter does not seem to be charging the battery.
Anyway...rambling....anyone have any ideas?

Robyn
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
1) there is a switch on the cabinet under the stove that says hot water with an on and off switch - we cant figure out what its for
Most likely your water heater has two modes of use - propane and electric heating. They typically have a separate switch for each. The electric mode switch usually looks more substantial and may in fact be a standard house type on/off switch, while the propane mode switch will be a small toggle and usually has a red light with it.

Quote:
2) we have a power issue - when we first got the unit it seemed to work fine but little did we know that we were operating on battery power only - we tried to replace the burned out fuses in the "converter" unit and they blew immediately - then we found a bad breaker in the panel in the unit and replaced that and thought we were done. Then, overnight, we had the porch light on and it drained the battery so obviously we were not done, and the lights would not work. So, we put on the battery charger to have lights again and remembered we had not replaced the fuses in the converter - when we replaced them, the converter started to smoke and smelled awful, so we removed it and replaced it. Now no blown fuses but same issue - the new converter does not seem to be charging the battery.
Anyway...rambling....anyone have any ideas?
My first thought is that the batteries are perhaps hooked up backwards, i.e. positive and negative reversed. The negative terminal should go to chassis ground.
Second thought is that one of the batteries has a an internal short. Have they been checked to see if there is adequate water in each cell? Or load tested to see if they are functional? A shorted battery can cause those symptoms..
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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converter

We have a similar issue with our converter on our 1989 chinook motorhome. Went out today and the fridge was not cold. After checking everything over it seems power is not going thru the converter so battery is totally drained. Next step is to check out the converter closer to see
what the problem is there. Fuses and breakers have already been checked. Would love to hear any ideas.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
My first thought is that the batteries are perhaps hooked up backwards, i.e. positive and negative reversed. The negative terminal should go to chassis ground.
Second thought is that one of the batteries has a an internal short. Have they been checked to see if there is adequate water in each cell? Or load tested to see if they are functional? A shorted battery can cause those symptoms..
Thanks Gary - there is only one battery in this unit - it appears that someone has removed the second one - could that be the problem?
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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A single battery is fine as long as it is a 12v (some RVs come with two 6v batteries in series to make it one large 12v). A 6v battery has three cells and 3 caps on the top, while a 12v will have 6 cells/caps.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:25 AM   #6
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it is a 12 volt battery so that is not the issue - any other ideas?
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:00 AM   #7
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you say the 2nd battery was removed...are the unused cables laying where the positive cable can short to ground?
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:11 AM   #8
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Hubby says no - all cables are hooked up - he is thinking it might be a bad battery at this point.
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