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Old 07-28-2021, 10:48 AM   #1
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Electrical Issues - 2010 Damon Daybreak 3211

I own a 2010 Damon Daybreak 3211. I have been chasing electrical issues ever since I purchased it earlier this year. When hooked to shore power the batteries seem to discharge after about 3 days. In addition, I have had multiple devices "burn up" when plugged into the 110v circuits. These include cell phone adapters, computer power adapters, curling irons, a coffee pot, and probably more that I can't remember. On one occasion, I plugged in a computer power adapter and the overhead lights actually brightened. This has also happened when running on generator. This has happened at multiple campgrounds.

I contacted the converter/charger manufacturer and was assured this could not be caused by the device. Not sure I'm convinced.

I always connect to 50 amp at the power pedestal with a good surge protector.

I have had this checked twice by one RV center and one by another RV mechanic. Neither can find an issue. This is very frustrating. It has been suggested that I am exceeding the amperage limit but I've never tripped a breaker or blown a fuse.

Questions:

1) I know the circuits are split between the front and rear (bedroom) of the coach. I can't find any specs on the acceptable draw on each circuit. Is there a way to determine that?

2) If this is an issue with drawing too many amps, does the air conditioning or other appliances come into play? I assumed they are on different circuits and wouldn't be related to the issue.

3) Any other ideas? I love my coach but this is getting very frustrating.

4) And wouldn't too much amp draw trip a circuit breakers?
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:37 PM   #2
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Does your rig have an inverter?
When connected to shore power, the converter, or inverter/charger should charge the batteries. If the batteries are going flat, then either the converter/charger is dead, or the breaker is off for it. On my daybreak, the converter is on the wall of the compartment the shore power cord is. You can check with a meter if it's putting out 12 VDC or not. The lights brightening when you plug in a 120 VAC device have nothing in common, except the converter/charger.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:47 PM   #3
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you have a partially open neutral wire , that is a white wire .
plug the rv in to 50 amp shore power . plug in a couple things .
take a a/c volt meter and check the voltage from all the outlets if some are over 130 and some are under 110 you found the problem , now just track down the bad connection .
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply. My RV mechanic says he has checked for open neutral but I'm thinking of taking it to another service center for a second opinion.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply. My RV mechanic says he has checked for open neutral but I'm thinking of taking it to another service center for a second opinion.

Yes, the open neutral could be in your RV, or just as easily could be in the shore power outlet or wiring.


What does your digital voltmeter say when you probe any of the 120 style/home style outlets in your coach. If open neutral, the readings will likely be well higher OR lower than 120 VAC.



No need to take the RV anywhere to do this test.



Be sure to do the same test on the shore power outlet.


Yup, if not safe working around 120/240 VAC hire it out.
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:39 AM   #6
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yep get a volt meter and check all the outlets with some things plugged in and running like a toaster
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:50 AM   #7
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Perhaps your converter is also an Inverter????

In any case, batteries running down while plugged in is a symptom and often fixing an obvious symptom will lead you to solve any other issues.

Put your voltmeter across your batteries and see what the voltage is. You should be seeing a charging voltage from the converter and either you have really bad batteries and connections or the converter is not working properly.

OR, you have the INverter on, running outlets and it is not pure sine wave and thus destroying components that do not play well with a lot of electronics. Unplug from shoreline and see if any outlets work.

Batteries running down could be do to an inverter being on and a converter that cannot keep up with the charge.

I do not know what your components are so am taking some stabs in the dark here.

If you measure your outlets and they are on an inverted circuit you could easily be fooled by the meter not reading a modified sine wave.

A pure sine wave is like a tuning fork sound or a solid tone. Modified sine waves are like giving someone the razzberry. Lots of interruptions in the signal sort of.
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Old 07-30-2021, 02:24 PM   #8
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Update

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. No inverter in my motorhome.

I tested the circuits while running on generator. Unfortunately, I have no shore power source where my MH is parked. I check all of the receptacles with both a tester that should show open neutral and other issues, and with a volt meter. The tester displayed the indicator for correct wiring for all receptacles. The volt meter shows slightly under 120v for all receptacles. It fluctuated between low 118.x and high 119.x. I assume the fluctuation is expected when on generator.

I also confirmed that all receptacles are on the same 15 amp circuit except for the rear (which means bedroom only). So bathroom, kitchen, living space, etc. are on the same circuit. I'm thinking that my built in TV is also plugged into that circuit.

I'm willing to accept that I might have plugged in too much. I've read that the breaker might not trip until the draw reaches 20 amps depending on how long the draw exceeds 15 amps. I'm a bit confused but suppose I will have to live with it for now and monitor how much I have plugged in.

I sure would feel better if I had comments and experiences from other RV owners that had experienced similar issue.

Thanks to all.
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Old 07-30-2021, 03:00 PM   #9
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"... I have had multiple devices "burn up" when plugged into the 110v circuits. These include cell phone adapters, computer power adapters, curling irons, a coffee pot, and probably more that I can't remember. ..."

Classic case for open or intermittent neutral.

"... On one occasion, I plugged in a computer power adapter and the overhead lights actually brightened. ..."

Classic case for open or intermittent neutral.

"... This has also happened when running on generator. This has happened at multiple campgrounds. ..."

This indicates the open neutral is in your RV.

"...I contacted the converter/charger manufacturer and was assured this could not be caused by the device. Not sure I'm convinced. ..."

It could be caused by a loose wire on a transfer switch. The transfer switch may or may not be part of the inverter/charger.

".. I always connect to 50 amp at the power pedestal with a good surge protector."

Another indicator the open or intermittent neutral is in your RV. The surge protector only works on the side away from your RV. Any problem on the RV side of the protector is not detected.

"... I have had this checked twice by one RV center and one by another RV mechanic. Neither can find an issue. ..."

This suggests the open neutral is intermittent. Intermittent problems are extremely difficult to trouble shoot. Look for loose but apparently still connected wires.

"... It has been suggested that I am exceeding the amperage limit but I've never tripped a breaker or blown a fuse. ..."

As you suggested, overload would trip a fuse or circuit breaker. Just a red herring.

Questions:

1) I know the circuits are split between the front and rear (bedroom) of the coach. I can't find any specs on the acceptable draw on each circuit. Is there a way to determine that?


Not relevant to the symptoms listed above.

2) If this is an issue with drawing too many amps, does the air conditioning or other appliances come into play? I assumed they are on different circuits and wouldn't be related to the issue.

Highly unlikely the issue is drawing too many amps. Symptoms indicate otherwise.

3) Any other ideas? I love my coach but this is getting very frustrating.

Look for loose connectors in main neutral distribution wires. Look at everything from the plug into the surge protector to the connections in the main distribution panel. Look at twist on wire nuts, crimp connections, screw connections, etc.

Tighten clamping screws. Look for chared insulation or corroded connections.

4) And wouldn't too much amp draw trip a circuit breakers?

Yes, to many amps would trip a circuit breaker. It is highly unlikely to many amps are the cause.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 07-30-2021, 04:20 PM   #10
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Not a lot to add to above post but the transfer switch is the usual suspect and often guilty party. Look for tight bends in solid wire Romex or skin that looks like it may have been bent around several times it's hard to crack a solid wire but it can happen.
Next I would look wires after ATS because genny and shore power having same issue. Distribution boxes ,some MH have one near transfer switch, some have main breakers right there in older rigs ,then tighten everything in CB panel.
Your getting power so high impedance multimeter may not help as much as an old wiggy meter. Mostly look , wiggle and tighten.
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Old 07-30-2021, 04:38 PM   #11
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Have you opened you main breaker panel and checked for loose or corroded nuetrals? I once saw a you.tube video that showed how connections can loosen over time driving down the road. That's why I ask.



That's where I would start. Make sure you're not connected and check all the wires. Not just a tug test. Actually loosen, remove, scuff and retighten.


If you have a transfer switch do the same there.


It sounds like a loose or bad connection somewhere.


And yes, increased load will make a bad nuetral, if it's a loose or bad connection, rear it's ugly head.


It's difficult to help without being there. But, the only way to track it down is to isolate circuits, one by one, until you can duplicate the problem.



If you're thinking the converter is the problem, then unplug it. Forget about the batteries not charging, for now. Focus on why the 120v circuits are eating devices you plug in.


YC1 brought up some excellent points too. If you do have an inverter disconnect that when your unplugging the converter. That will eliminate another potential area that's causing you grief.


You may have to disconnect everything, get the 120v cicuit to play nice, and then start bring other circuits online to duplicate the problem.


It will wear you down and frustrate you but start at square one and try to duplicate the problem.
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:44 PM   #12
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This most likely an open or loose neutral. Start at the shore power cable. You must suspect a intermittent neutral. Attach an ohm meter and move the cable and pull as well with the ohm meter connected across both ends of the cable. Yes move and pull checking both ends. See if it the connection opens or the resistance increases. It doesn't take much to increase the voltage when the line is imbalanced. Next the the connector on the RV. Yes they can loosen up or get oxide built up. You need to see the back of the connector where the internal cable is connected. Do you have a cable reel? A well known spot for loose power and neutral connections. Do you have a surge protector? Open it up and check for tight connections. Then, if you have a transfer switch, check the connections there. Last check at the breaker box. You will find it. The converter will not cause a 120V problem, but a high or low voltage input on your converter will destroy it. You may have latent failures six months to a year from now do to the high/low voltage applied. When one side goes high the other goes low. TV's, microwave ovens, converter, etc.. And don't as me why I know! It was fun upgrading as each failed. One TV, which was the living room TV, now resides in our S&B office/sowing room. I was able to locate a used power supply board on EBAY for it. Another thing, DeOxit is the best for contacts.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by nlsjma View Post
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. No inverter in my motorhome.Digging into manuals which are quite poor actually, it seems there may be an OPTION of a 1000 Watt inverter, but if you have not found it then that is out of the pictures You have a 60-80 amp converter and that could not cause problems with any devices you mentioned burning up.

I tested the circuits while running on generator. Unfortunately, I have no shore power source where my MH is parked. I check all of the receptacles with both a tester that should show open neutral and other issues, and with a volt meter. The tester displayed the indicator for correct wiring for all receptacles. The volt meter shows slightly under 120v for all receptacles. It fluctuated between low 118.x and high 119.x. I assume the fluctuation is expected when on generator.

I also confirmed that all receptacles are on the same 15 amp circuit except for the rear (which means bedroom only). So bathroom, kitchen, living space, etc. are on the same circuit. I'm thinking that my built in TV is also plugged into that circuit.

I'm willing to accept that I might have plugged in too much. I've read that the breaker might not trip until the draw reaches 20 amps depending on how long the draw exceeds 15 amps. I'm a bit confused but suppose I will have to live with it for now and monitor how much I have plugged in.Overloads will not cause devices to burn up as you have described. A breaker run right at its normal limit will actually trip at a lower amp draw when it gets hot. This is how they work.

I sure would feel better if I had comments and experiences from other RV owners that had experienced similar issue.I believe I found the inverter to be standard in the next year model.

Thanks to all.
I still believe you need to start right at the converter and measure the AC input voltage and the DC output voltage. If your batteries are running down, fix that issue first. It is a very simple test and will eliminate one of the problems and maybe both if they are related.

If the input voltage is low across the input to the converter you can then decide if you have a bad neutral. Turn on every blasted light in the place and anything that runs on 12 volts. Floor furnaces draw about 8 amps so that is a great start. IF you have LED lights they won't hardly draw anything.

Your converter can put a decent load on the AC line coming in. Generator or shoreline.

I have some other thoughts but won't share them at this time. Could muddy the watters even more.
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:37 AM   #14
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Forgot to mention

Testing while running on a generator or inverter may not show the same symptoms as when using a 50 amp 240 volt shore power connection.

50 amp 240 volt systems have two out of phase 120 volt legs. With an open neutral, one leg may have high voltage while the other leg has low voltage. The high voltage is what destroys 120 volt appliances.

This may switch around as different appliances attempt to run. Automatic things like water heater and A/C can cause the switch at unknown times when they try to start.

Many RV generators have only one 120 volt leg connected to both RV legs. This situation will not show the high/low voltage effect with open neutral. It will only show low voltage. It will be lower when more current is drawn.

Inverters may do the same if they have only one leg.

A 120 volt circuit analyzer should show the open neutral unless the open neutral in intermittent. A loose neutral wire causing an occasional high voltage can destroy an appliance quickly and still test OK later.

Drawing no current through the system while testing can also test OK. Test on 240 volt 50 amp shore power with a small electric heater like a hair dryer running. It will be on one leg and pull the voltage down on that leg. The other leg with little or no current will go high.

To address intermittent neutral connection, tighten screws and look for signs of arcing in neutral wire connections.
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