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Old 06-01-2016, 06:42 PM   #1
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Transfer switch: what does it do, and should it be slightly warm to the touch

We have a '15 Ventana. Today, I noticed that the transfer case was warm. But, in all fairness it was 90*F, and humid. I also noticed that instead of one "clunk" noise when I plug into shore power, it did two clunk noises. It don't recall it making two of those noises before.

My limited knowledge of the transfer case is that it tells the coach system that it should run on shore power, not inverted power...or generator power. Does it do something else or make any other noises?

At the same time my zone 2 A/C is throughout an E-7 error. Zone 1 is working just fine. Newmar is dispatching a mobile tech tomorrow to trouble shoot our A/C error code.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HavingABlast View Post
We have a '15 Ventana. Today, I noticed that the transfer case was warm. But, in all fairness it was 90*F, and humid. I also noticed that instead of one "clunk" noise when I plug into shore power, it did two clunk noises. It don't recall it making two of those noises before.

My limited knowledge of the transfer case is that it tells the coach system that it should run on shore power, not inverted power...or generator power. Does it do something else or make any other noises?

At the same time my zone 2 A/C is throughout an E-7 error. Zone 1 is working just fine. Newmar is dispatching a mobile tech tomorrow to trouble shoot our A/C error code.
First I think you mean transfer switch, transfer case is part of a four wheel drive vehicle.
Second if I remember correctly an E-7 error means no 120 volts to the a/c unit. I would turn the breaker completely off to that unit and then turn it back on. I believe that'll get rid of your E-7 code.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by loisjop View Post
First I think you mean transfer switch, transfer case is part of a four wheel drive vehicle.

Second if I remember correctly an E-7 error means no 120 volts to the a/c unit. I would turn the breaker completely off to that unit and then turn it back on. I believe that'll get rid of your E-7 code.

You are so correct. I did mean transfer switch. Our transfer case is in our Jeep Wrangler.

Boy, do I feel foolish!!! I just looked at the circuit breaker for the rear A/C (as you suggested). It was indeed tripped. Not sure if there is a reason for it to be tripped, but I reset it. I will try and run zone 2 A/C tomorrow morning. Hopefully some transient one off event tripped the circuit breaker, and I am good to go. If not, the mobile tech may find the cause of the tripped circuit.

The circuit breaker never came up in my discussion with Newmar CS. I should have looked there first. The CSA did step me through resetting my t-stat. That didn't clear the code.

Thank you so much!

This doesn't explain the double clunk from my transfer switch, or if there is a concern about the warmth to the touch.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:13 PM   #4
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You are so correct. I did mean transfer switch. Our transfer case is in our Jeep Wrangler.

Boy, do I feel foolish!!! I just looked at the circuit breaker for the rear A/C (as you suggested). It was indeed tripped. Not sure if there is a reason for it to be tripped, but I reset it. I will try and run zone 2 A/C tomorrow morning. Hopefully some transient one off event tripped the circuit breaker, and I am good to go. If not, the mobile tech may find the cause of the tripped circuit.

The circuit breaker never came up in my discussion with Newmar CS. I should have looked there first. The CSA did step me through resetting my t-stat. That didn't clear the code.

Thank you so much!

This doesn't explain the double clunk from my transfer switch, or if there is a concern about the warmth to the touch.
I don't think being warm to the touch is a concern. The double clunk for whatever reason may have been the cause of the breaker tripping.
Glad to be of help.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:02 PM   #5
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I don't know if you're question got answered regarding, what does it do. In the old days, an RV had a power cord that plugged into the shore power post and into an electrical box in the RV. This powered your coach from the pedestal. If you wanted to power your coach from the generator, you would remove the shore power cord from the electrical box in the coach and plug the cord from the generator in. This system worked okay, but required you to switch cords (connections) when you switched power sources.

Along came the transfer switch. Basically, the cord from the shore power and the cord (wiring)from the generator are both wired into the transfer switch. The switch looks for power from either power source and then "transfers" it to the coach using large contacts.

The transfer switch is setup to recognize one power source over the other and default to one of them. Typically, the default is the generator. If you were to connect the shore power and turn on the generator, the transfer switch will select the generator.

They do get warm as they are passing power through them. Occasionally, they will double click. Often this is caused by the cord being wiggled into the shore power outlet and making, then losing connectivity briefly.

Your inverter takes 12 volt power and converts it to 110 volt power. When you're plugged into shore power, the power still goes through your inverter to all the items connected to it. It's called "pass thru" and allows power to pass thru the inverter when connected to shore power. Often, when you trip a circuit, the inverter is a good place to look, as it typically has two circuits feeding your coach.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:55 PM   #6
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Double clunk can occur when making connection with power turned on. If not doing so, suggest to turn off the breakers at the campground pedestal, then plug in the shore power cord, now turn the breakers back on. Probably no more double clunk. Likely no more tripped breaker either on the AC.

Oh, and don't have AC units or other high current draw items turned on when connecting shore power, staring generator, etc. Doing so can damage the transfer switch.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:20 PM   #7
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Don, thank you for the thorough explanation. I am now much better informed on the function f this device. You are right, that question had not been addressed.

Vsheetz, other than my residential fridge, I don't run any heavy amp draw device when hooking up to shore power (or starting the generator for that matter). I do not power off the fridge when plugging into shore power (does anyone do this)? Thank you for the timely reminder.

I learn so much from members on this forum!
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:03 PM   #8
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Ignore the comments about plugging in with a/c units turned on. These units have a built in delay so that they do not come on immediately and even if they did they would not trip a 50A circuit. It is more critical with the generator as this only provides 35A and you should definitely sequence the powering on of high current devices. BTW your transfer switch will feel warm with shore power as it is powering a solenoid that keeps the switch transferred. If you are running with the generator the switch should not get warm as this is its default position and does not consume power.
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