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Old 10-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #1
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National RV Owners Club
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Interior lights dim while on shore power

Hello all,

This is my first night at an RV park proper and though we are hooked up to 30 amp shore power and it is working for inside systems, the cabin lights began to dim severely after about an hour or so. After research, it seems that this could be a converter problem? Or for a National Tradewinds (2000) does the AC have to be hooked up to a full 50 amps for the converter to work properly? I'm a very new RV owner and even newer at understanding the systems and how they work - please keep answers extremely basic!! I am not even entirely sure that I know where my converter is... Help!

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Old 10-18-2014, 01:01 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 15,603
Welcome to iRV2.
You should not have to be hooked to 50 amp. service to get the converter working properly, 30amp through an adaptor works fine on my, 50 amp. RV.
First thing would be to find your 110v power center and make sure all the circuit breakers are fully on.
My convertor/charger, is in the power cord bay. I'm sorry I can't say exactly where yours is.
If your batteries run too low the fridge may cut out , as the control panel operates on 12v, even when using 110v power. So I hope it's just a tripped breaker.

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:24 AM   #3
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Posts: 23,948
Ok.. Charging sequence:
There are many different types of converters
Single Stage: Output voltage remains constant, usually 13.6
Example of this is the Parallex 7300
Two Stage (Parallex 7300T note the addition of the T)
In this type the converter starts in BOOST mode, after a condition is met it switches to 13.6. The condition may be a timer, or it may be current, sensed voltage, based. on the 7300T it is a timer.

Three stage
In this type the converter starts in BOOST mode,, then switches to absorption and finally to float (13.6)

And 3-stage PLUS, this has at least one additional feature, For example one of the 3+ I have has a temperature sensor and adjusts all voltages based on battery temp... The other one does an auto-equalization burst after 20 hours of float (This will brighten the lights for like 15 minutes every 20 hours)

Converter modes:
OFF: no shore or generator power: Battery voltage (Full and resting that is about 12.6)
Float: usually about 13.6 volts
Boost: Varies from converter to converter but often 14.5 or so Amps up to full output of converter
Absorption: May be a bit higher voltage wise (or not) amps generally in the single digit range (10 or less).
Equalize: Voltage may be as high as 16 or more.

(On most 3-stage units Equalize is manually invoked by user, The Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard units and the IOTA IQ4 are the exceptions that I know of. may be others)

IF after a couple hours (1-6) the lights dim and stay dimmed.. That is the converter dropping out of boost/absorption into float and 100% normal.

NOTE: Quality LED lights.. WILL not dim when this happens, they are current regulated.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:00 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 49
I had a the same issue where my lights would dim. I traced it to a bad WF-9800 55 amp converter. Opened converter and found burn marks on circuit board.
Also converter caused both coach batteries to boil over.

Replaced both batteries and converter and no more dimming lights.

2010 Four Winds Hurricane
2009 Chevy cobalt as toad.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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That can do it too... Of course WFCO like one of my air conditioners and some tires which get called "CHINA BOMBS" is made in China.

As for my air conditioner.. Blew up last week, (Condenser fan came apart YES the one piece fan came apart, the blades went flying sounded like a bomb going off, Replaced fan with a PHYSICALLY identical Coleman fan.. Better materials though I suspect.)
Home is where I park it!
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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Location: Arizona
Posts: 143
I had the identical issue with our 96 Fleetwood Bounder. The Charger lost its "ability" to sense a charged battery. I purchased two new house battery's, and a new 55 Amp, from Errin at Powermaxconverters. Never had another issue.

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