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Old 11-05-2008, 04:51 AM   #1
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I am beginning to have an electrical gremlin in my coach. A couple of times in the past year and a half, my propane sensor has gone off in the middle of the night. I have checked the system with a sniffer, and no leaks anywhere. I had thought it was our cat bumping the switch as I had caught it laying in front of it on 2 of these occasions. This past weekend however, I was sleeping pretty light (due to a yapping dog outside)and noticed a flicker in the kitchen night light, then the sensor went off. I reset the sensor, and then noticed that the refrigerator Check light was on. I had it set to auto, so it was running on shore power, not gas. I reset it also, and everything was fine the rest of the night. 2 days later, I had gotten up early, and had 2 lights on and my laptop on. Suddenly there was a chattering noise coming from below the refrigerator where all the electronics are at. The lights began flickering at the same rate as the chatter, and the lights on the refigerator panel began alternatley lighting. I went outside, and shut the power down, looked things over, saw nothing out of the ordinary, and turned power back on. No more problems the rest of the weekend. For the past 1 1/2 years I have been hearing an intermittent screeching noise, very high pitch, coming from this same area under the fridge. When I open the compartment door, it sounds as if it is coming from the AC/DC converter. Sometimes the sound is there, sometimes it is not. Seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it. Does not seem to be better or worse regardless of what power is being used. The best way I can describe the sound is if you have ever run a very long screw into a thick board with a screwgun, you get that high screeching pitch. That is what that sounds like, only in a lot higher sound range. I have sensetive hearing. My wife does not hear it. Any thoughts or comments would be appriciated.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:51 AM   #2
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I am beginning to have an electrical gremlin in my coach. A couple of times in the past year and a half, my propane sensor has gone off in the middle of the night. I have checked the system with a sniffer, and no leaks anywhere. I had thought it was our cat bumping the switch as I had caught it laying in front of it on 2 of these occasions. This past weekend however, I was sleeping pretty light (due to a yapping dog outside)and noticed a flicker in the kitchen night light, then the sensor went off. I reset the sensor, and then noticed that the refrigerator Check light was on. I had it set to auto, so it was running on shore power, not gas. I reset it also, and everything was fine the rest of the night. 2 days later, I had gotten up early, and had 2 lights on and my laptop on. Suddenly there was a chattering noise coming from below the refrigerator where all the electronics are at. The lights began flickering at the same rate as the chatter, and the lights on the refigerator panel began alternatley lighting. I went outside, and shut the power down, looked things over, saw nothing out of the ordinary, and turned power back on. No more problems the rest of the weekend. For the past 1 1/2 years I have been hearing an intermittent screeching noise, very high pitch, coming from this same area under the fridge. When I open the compartment door, it sounds as if it is coming from the AC/DC converter. Sometimes the sound is there, sometimes it is not. Seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it. Does not seem to be better or worse regardless of what power is being used. The best way I can describe the sound is if you have ever run a very long screw into a thick board with a screwgun, you get that high screeching pitch. That is what that sounds like, only in a lot higher sound range. I have sensetive hearing. My wife does not hear it. Any thoughts or comments would be appriciated.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:14 AM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Suddenly there was a chattering noise coming from below the refrigerator where all the electronics are at. The lights began flickering at the same rate as the chatter, and the lights on the refigerator panel began alternatley lighting. I went outside, and shut the power down, looked things over, saw nothing out of the ordinary, and turned power back on. No more problems the rest of the weekend. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My 2 cents: I'd replace the converter/charger with a new 'smart charger' that's not only more efficient but saves your batteries from overcharging. -And I'd buy a surge protector (either portable at the pedestal or hard-wire into your power bay). Both projects are easy to do-it-yourself, will give you piece of mind with faultless performance.
Try doing an advanced search for "surge protector", and look here for the converter/charger changeover: Smart Charger
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:47 AM   #4
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The most likely cause of an intermittant electrical problem is a bad connection somewhere. I would check the converter and battery connections first.

Good luck - Darrel
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:03 AM   #5
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Check condition of batteries as well as connection on them and to ground. Definitely change out the charger for the house batteries. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:04 AM   #6
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Ok, I'm trying to figure out how this system operates, so bear with me.This only happens when I am plugged in to shore power. When on shore power, I have both of my battery switches turned off. I have an Intellitec system. So is there current still going to the batteries when I have the switch off? I already use an in line surge protector every time I hook up, so I have that covered. I thought that the little "silver" box with the fan in it under the fridge was a convertor that allowed the same wiring, lights, and appliances to be used by either the batteries, or the shore power, or the generator, whichever one was turned on at the time. Is that not correct?
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:19 AM   #7
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I'm no expert on this, but it is my belief that if you are plugged into 120v shore power with the battery switches turned off, you've isolated the batteries so that they neither charge or discharge. I may be wrong on this assumption and hopefully others will chime in.
Yes, the silver box with the fan is the converter and it takes the 120v power and converts it to 12v for you lights, pump etc. Your 120v outlets are powered directly from the 120v source, be it the shore power cord or generator.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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That is what I thought. This would make sense then concerning the gas sensor, and the lights being affected by this gremlin, yet there was no problem with the laptop computer I had plugged in and turned on at the time. The only confusing peice to the puzzle would then be the fridge light panel scrolling through the lights. I would guess that they are also part of the low voltage wiring since they are active when I am unplugged from shore, and using gas. This is starting to point pretty directly at the convertor malfunctioning.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:34 AM   #9
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Your fridge ALWAYS requires 12vdc to operate, even if you're plugged into 120vac. When plugged into shore power, the heater elements use 120vac, but your converter makes 12vdc for the fridge 'brain' to operate.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:40 AM   #10
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May I suggest, anytime you are plugged in or running the generator and using the coach that you leave your house batteries turned on. This is the best method for many reasons, one of which is to save the converter charger a shorter lifespan and another is less dirty DC electrical issues.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:47 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the input folks. Guess I'll get Santa to bring me a new convertor for Christmas. That leads me to my next question. How to determine what size/type/model converter to buy. Thoughts or advice?
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:37 AM   #12
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The laptop probably was not affected cause the internal battery took over.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:09 AM   #13
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Machman72, here is a discussion of a charger replacement. charger
There are many models and manufacturers to choose from. You can easily replace your converter/charger charger section with even a free standing charger. You will want to keep it no larger than the wire feeding the battery bank is sized. What do you have now (make & model)?
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:25 AM   #14
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That was why I asked the question about what to replace it with. I really do not know the make and model of the current convertor. I am the 3rd owner of this rig, and although I have much of the original paperwork, I have nothing regarding this item, or the Intelletec system. All I do know is that it's a 94 Southwind, with 30 amp shore power, and dual batteries for the coach. You had posted earlier about leaving the battery switches on when connected to shore power. I did not know you were supposed to do that. Last October, I turned the caoch battery switch on while I still had the rig connected to shore power. It blew the Intellitec solenoid, and I had to replace it. Had no battery coach power on the trip home. Fortunatley I was only a couple of hours from home. The one that it blew was only a year old. That was the first time I ever tried having the switch on along with shore power, and it cost me 75 bucks for the experience. Was this just because I had the switch off then turned it on with the 30 amp connected? Or is that a sign of other problems?
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