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Old 01-09-2016, 09:36 PM   #1
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12 Volt outlet frying small outlet inverter

In trying to trace a potential 12 volt issue, we have found that at least one of our 12 volt outlets is literally frying a small plug-in inverter (like the kind you can use in car to charge phones, laptops, etc.) We have several of these outlets in the MH and this is the first time we have used this one and actually hubby was just testing them one by one trying to see if they were working as have had problems in the past. The three in the front of the coach seem to work appropriately. This one is in the back of the coach. There is also another one in the back but we have not had the guts to try that one for fear of frying a fourth (yes 4th) inverter. We have now fried the one we have been using for a few months plus two more brand new ones. Once we put the inverter in that outlet, it no longer works anywhere and they also have a rattle to them when you shake them (unlike before they were fried.) Anyone had an issue like this? Thoughts on what the problem could be? The rig is going in to be evaluated for multiple issues soon but just curious of any thoughts or shared experiences anyone may have on this meanwhile.

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Old 01-09-2016, 09:44 PM   #2
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The outlet could be wired backwards.

Check for + in the center and - on the outside.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:51 PM   #3
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If the rattling is in the plug after it quits working it could be a blown fuse.

Pull one of the 12 volt outlets out and measure the voltage. Then plug the inverter in and measure again. The voltage may be going very low and causing problems with the inverters.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:52 PM   #4
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The outlet could be wired backwards.

Check for + in the center and - on the outside.
+1, and also confirm it has 12v.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:56 PM   #5
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As we puzzle over this, I should add that there seems to be no power going to our TOAD, e.g. lights and blinkers will not work. We also have just received a repaired Even Brake that also was apparently fried. We did not know why but now thinking this over we have to think these issues are connected ... Fortunately we have not as yet connected the new Even Brake and will not do so until we know this is resolved.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:13 PM   #6
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The outlet could be wired backwards.

Check for + in the center and - on the outside.
That's got my vote!
Have I mentioned I detest 12V wiring problems_.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:13 PM   #7
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Have you or anyone been working on your batteries ?
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:20 PM   #8
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Not that we can remember. The Even Brake blew last spring the last time we went to use it. And we had not ever tried this outlet until today. So we have to think back to last spring and we don't think we had messed with the batteries. A couple of the batteries were replaced November 2014
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:30 PM   #9
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Ok probably unrelated issues.

If the batteries were wired wrong, Lots of things would have blew.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:59 AM   #10
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Some of the prongs inside the outlet could be bent causing a short when the plug it inserted. Did you replace the fuse in the inverter?
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:43 AM   #11
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Ok probably unrelated issues.

If the batteries were wired wrong, Lots of things would have blew.
True but if the 12v outlets in the front of the coach go to the chassis battery and the rear go to the house batteries and they are wired wrong there could be your issue (24 volts maybe if using 12v batteries).

A multi meter is your friend here along with time for tracing wires. If your are only having trouble with the rear outlets I would start there. Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #12
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If the rattling is in the plug after it quits working it could be a blown fuse.

Pull one of the 12 volt outlets out and measure the voltage. Then plug the inverter in and measure again. The voltage may be going very low and causing problems with the inverters.

Based on your additional information the voltage could be going very high. A faulty Alternator or charger could do it. In any case, measuring the voltage is critical.

If these things are breaking instantly then as suggested you could easily have a reversed set of batteries. If it takes a while for them to fail it is not reversed batteries.

I made a living for 40 years working on 12 volt wiring problems.
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Old 01-10-2016, 10:19 AM   #13
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Visit Walmart or truck stop and get a splitter cord.

These have a single male and multiple female so yiu can run multiple devices at same time.

Next try to find actual cig lighter...good luck or borrow one from old car.

Confirm polarity and voltage first then insert splitter and insert lighter in one (resistive does not care load) and check voltage on other.

We suspect it is dropping maybe due to too long of too small wire as inverter is high load.

The lower voltage caused inverter to work harder thus letting the special smoke out.

Condition can be fixed but report back what you find.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RVer402 View Post
In trying to trace a potential 12 volt issue, we have found that at least one of our 12 volt outlets is literally frying a small plug-in inverter (like the kind you can use in car to charge phones, laptops, etc.) We have several of these outlets in the MH and this is the first time we have used this one and actually hubby was just testing them one by one trying to see if they were working as have had problems in the past. The three in the front of the coach seem to work appropriately. This one is in the back of the coach. There is also another one in the back but we have not had the guts to try that one for fear of frying a fourth (yes 4th) inverter. We have now fried the one we have been using for a few months plus two more brand new ones. Once we put the inverter in that outlet, it no longer works anywhere and they also have a rattle to them when you shake them (unlike before they were fried.) Anyone had an issue like this? Thoughts on what the problem could be? The rig is going in to be evaluated for multiple issues soon but just curious of any thoughts or shared experiences anyone may have on this meanwhile.
Thanks!
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As you have discovered some "plug in inverters" don't "play nice" with every 12V RV outlet.

Make sure that any 12V outlet you want to use is "wired", and "fused", sufficiently for the input amps necessary to run your "plug in" inverter.
Depending on the inverter it may have to be "hard wired" from the house batteries, (rather than "plugged in"), to prevent it from "frying".

BTW the "inverter Owners Manual" might explain the 12V "input requirements", (mine does).
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