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Old 04-09-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Electric help?

Maybe someone can help me? Went camping last week. Was plugged in to their electric, all ok for a few days. One nite I noticed porch light and 2 main hall interior lites going dim, then out. I thought it was just a problem with the circuit that feeds them because they are turned on with a switch at the door. But the next day the fridge was also off. We were leaving so I didnt worry about it, but when I tried to start the rv all the batteries were dead. Had to jump start to get running. When I got home all batteries had charged up, but I have not tried fridge on electric. Been having problems with lp so thats not new. No fuses are blown and no breakers tripped. I will drag a cord out tomorrow but I'm sure it hasnt healed itself. My question is where should I begin trouble shooting. Inverter?
It's a 1988 Champion LaSalle class A...

Thanks
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:34 PM   #2
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In 1988 MH you wouldn't have an inverter unless it was added somewhere along the way. An inverter changes 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC. What you will have is a converter/battery charger. It takes the 120 volts AC when you are plugged in, or have the generator runnung if you have one, and changes it to 12 volts DC to charge the batteries and/or power up the 12 volt lights and any thing else that works on 12 volts like the furnace. First, check your 120 volt breaker box and see if the breaker for the converter is tripped. Second step, find the converter and check with a meter if you have 120 VAC going into it and 12 VDC coming out. There might be a seperate fuse or fuses on or in the converter. If you have 120 VAC in and no 12 VDC out, there is your problem. If you have 12 VDC out there might be a fuse somewhere else before the 12 VDC gets to the batteries. If you have a wiring diagram that would help. If the converter is orginal to the MH it might be toast, then time for a new one.
Greg
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #3
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It is the job of the converter to supply 12v to operate the RV when plugged in. It is not doing that. You ran till the battery went dead, no 12v at all.
The refer, heater and AC all need 12 volts for control power. Without it they will not work.
You probably have a converter, not an inverter.
Start with the converter.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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Timmer,

You have at least two problems.

1 - Your converter/charger is not doing its job.
2 - Someone crossed wires that they should not have.

About 1:
If the converter charger is not toast - a meter can tell you that, then it is disconnected. It may not actually appear disconnected, but connections can go bad due mostly to corrosion. While this may be a cheap fix, you should still consider updating the converter as the new breed are so very much better than those of 1988.

About 2:
You may need a wiring diagram for the coach, but that coach was built with two batteries and two (almost) isolated electrical systems. There should be a chassis battery and a house battery (bank). There used to be an isolator or a combiner that made it so the house battery was charged by the main engine alternator but at the same time prevented that house loads for depleting the chassis battery. That way, you can start the engine even if the back goes dark.

When you find out more about the coach, come back and tell us so we can offer effective advice.

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:24 PM   #5
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Ok I found a bad connection at the fridge. The 12 volt dc positive connection. Fixed that. Now it shows its on and lights on lp but only freezer gets cold. Gas or electric. On the transformer there are 2 connections 1 has 110v and 1 has 0v. So I figure that tx is bad. But if I swap wires fridge still doesn't get cold. Is fridge history? Is there something else I can check or another way to test the fridge? I know I started out with multiple problems I'm needing to get this running though cause I don't have money to replace it. TIA.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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Make sure the RV is level so the fridge is level. Don't operate the fridge when it is not level.
What make and model of fridge? It may be better to start a new thread for the fridge problems.
Did you get the converter working all the time? Are the batteries charged?
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmer594 View Post
Ok I found a bad connection at the fridge. The 12 volt dc positive connection. Fixed that. Now it shows its on and lights on lp but only freezer gets cold. Gas or electric. On the transformer there are 2 connections 1 has 110v and 1 has 0v. So I figure that tx is bad. But if I swap wires fridge still doesn't get cold. Is fridge history? Is there something else I can check or another way to test the fridge? I know I started out with multiple problems I'm needing to get this running though cause I don't have money to replace it. TIA.
I really hate to tell you this Timmer, but the reefer is most likely charge short. I am hoping you have the unit pretty level, but it takes an uncomfortable amount of out of level to make this happen.
So,
Did you ever small ammonia near it?
Are there any places on it stained yellow?
If yes to either, you need a cooling unit.

This is no surprise as the half-life of these reefers is about 6 years. Being 24 years old makes it a very senior unit.

You give no hint where you are, but if you are in striking range of Shipshewana, you can get a completely rebuilt cooling unit installed at National RV Refrigeration for about half the price of new. They have a website, and will even talk on the phone.
I know there are others, but he is the only one I have even watched work.

Good Luck

Matt
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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I didnt smell ammonia and dont see any yellow. Trying to locate the heater? to test that.
Garym the the power issue seems to have gone away...

thanks
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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If you have a three way refer that can work on DC/12v only I'd not use that mode unless you are running your MH engine and getting a good supply of 12v. The refer in 12v mode will drain your battery(s) faster than anything.
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