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Old 12-01-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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Question Power Systems

Does anyone know what the symptoms of a failure of the Automatic Transfer Switch would be. I'm in a 50 amp 5th wheel and having major electrical problems, and no one can tell me what is happening. This has become very expensive, frustrating and unit is only four years old.

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:21 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear that you're having problems. What is the brand and model of your 5er? What kind of problems are you having?

Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Raindudley View Post
Does anyone know what the symptoms of a failure of the Automatic Transfer Switch would be. I'm in a 50 amp 5th wheel and having major electrical problems, and no one can tell me what is happening. This has become very expensive, frustrating and unit is only four years old.
There are a lot of guys on this forum that know "symptoms of a failure of the Automatic Transfer Switch". But, it would be a whole lot easier for you to tell us what the symptoms are that you are experiencing.
'02 Ultimate Advantage 40J Spartan MM - Cummins ISC
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying SarahW...it's a KZ Montego Bay, 39 ft., three slide 2008 5th wheel.

Kix, let me see if I can explain. I sporadically loose ac power from the bedroom back. It drags, goes off mementarily, comes right back on, or can stay off for like five minutes before coming back on. I may go hours or most of the day and work fine, then goes back into the off and on again. Have tested everything can think of, and it shows I have lost one side of a circuit breaker which is the converter. No breakers are tripping like if too much power. So wanted to know the symtoms of a faulty automatic transfer switch.

Really don't want to spend a lot of money to just see if this or that is my problem. Like the converter... is expensive.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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Unless your 5W has a generator permanently installed, you don't even have an auto transfer switch. It's sole purpose would be to switch power between a generator and shore power.

However, if you have a built-in inverter/charger (as opposed to a converter), there may be an internal transfer switch there. Do you have a large, built-in inverter such as a Heart or Xantrex or Magnum? If so, what model?

You said "it shows I have lost one side of a circuit breaker which is the converter". Could you explain that further? "Losing a side" doesn't make much technical sense for a 120v breaker - current either passes through it or not, i.e. it is open or closed.
Gary Brinck
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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Had similar issue on previous MH. Traced to a bad connection on the inverter at a junction point. Bad crimp on spade connector. Would drop 2 circuits, one foreward, other aft.

Best of luck!
Dave and Nola, RVM1
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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You haven't specified if it's 12 v or 120 v system that's having the power problem. If it's 12 v, check all battery connections and grounds.

If it's 120 v, I'd suggest unplugging shore power and start hunting in Breaker box and Inverter for a loose or bad connection. It's not unheard of for screw down connectors to work loose as the stranded wire 'settles.' I periodically take a screwdriver to each connection and make sure they are still snug. If it is a bad connection, look for overheating damage to insulation nearby.

Also having a multitester handy next time it happens to get readings to see if (in 12 v) if the hot is still hot or maybe its just the ground.

Bob & Donna
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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One of the most common problems with electrical systems is....

Well, I've found many RVERS have a few screws loose.. Here is a short list of suspects:

Screws on chrcuit breakers and bus bars in power distribution panel.... One of mine took over two full turns before I felt any resistence.

The power INLET (If you do not have a fixed cord (one of my legs had a loose screw))

The power OUTLET (on the cord.. Had one fall off in my hand, that one belonged to someone else)

If you have an automatic transfer switch... Add those to the list, though mine were tight.

if the plug on the power cord is not "Molded on" check that one

The park outlet.

Next: RVs have TWO or Three (motor home 3 or 4) electrical systems.

120 volt Shore power (All)
120 volt INVERTER (optional)
12 volt HOUSE
12 volt Chassis (motor home only)

The systems interact to some extent.. That is there is a converter which converts 120 vac into 12vdc. And many 120 volt appliances, Air conditioners, Fridge, Water heater and such all use 12 volt for command and control. The furnace runs off 12 volt only. As do the lights (usually).

So.. What are your symptoms, then we can talk.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:37 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the posts, I do appreciate it. Some of it is over my head, and I have a electrician who has tried to help me. I have to get him to read this as some of the guestions I do not know. My system is 50 amp as I stated, and wired for a generator which I do not have. All wires, screws, breakers have been checked. It is the a/c that is the culprit, as the dc is fine.

I have a Walmart 6 x 6 hepa filter plugged in, and notice the thing was dragging on occasion. Also my ac/dc lights would get bright and then go low. Progressively the fan got worse, would almost stop even and eventually it would for about five minutes, thus no power. On one circuit breaker is the back a/conditioner and converter. When I shut the converter side off the little noise would stop, and the electriction said that side of the breaker had no power. But when the power came back to it, the little fan and outlets all came back on. The lights stay on as they are d/c, the outlets go dead and the little hepa fan alerts me to this.

It's a sporadic thing, may be a day long on and off, go days with no prob, and may do it for just a few hours, and of course in the night if a wake sometimes it is happening or not. The only power I have is the outlets in the bedroom. To save the life of my computer I have a big oragne cord plugged in to a bedroom outlet. It goes clear to the back of RV so my computer does not get all this low to no power.

Like I stated this is a mystery to the electrician and of course to me. I do not feel safe in this unit and may just have to leave it to live else where. Being four years old it's no long under warrantee, so .... that sucks eh?
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Are you plugged into a campground? Sounds to me like you are suffering from brownouts and spikes.. 50amp connections have TWO 'hot' legs. One could be overloaded/bad on the campground's side..
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:15 PM   #11
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I am on a private lot, and that has all been checked out. It's in the RV, and only part of the electrical ... from bedroom back goes out. Bedroom outlets are fine. Like I said, all has been checked. That is why I had asked the original guestion.

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