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Old 06-01-2020, 04:56 PM   #1
AP1
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Electrical Problems Caused By A Surge

My wife and I have been on the road about 25 years, 16 of those years in our 2004 Fleetwood Flair 31A. From our home base in Colorado. We have been fortunate to explored many places that most people never see. We've met lots of great friends along the way and have shared a lot of great experiences. I have learned and done the majority of repairs myself.

A few years ago, my wife's mother had a stroke and we traveled to the eastern shore of Maryland to be with her. We quickly realized that Maryland has very few campsites and resources for motorhomes, but we found a campsite on the mid-shore.

I came home one night during a full moon and a nor-easter and found the campground under ankle-deep water. The surge protector I had, had vanished a few months before. The electricity was out and the coach batteries were drained. We had had power-outages and small surges before, but this was beginning to look bad.

The 30 amp power cord, neutral connection to the RV was melted. The converter/charger was shot! So I rigged an older converter, an auto charger and replaced the 2 house, golf cart batteries. Right away I noticed that the damage was in the DC power. The 15 watt house lights were very dim and the 3 watt LEDs wouldn't fire at all. Electronic ignitions on the water heater and refrigerator wouldn't fire.

This is when I made the biggest mistake I ever could... I called an RV repair company. Even to my wife, this sounded like a bad idea. So the day came that a repairman was to (for $200) show up. At 1pm, the office called me to say that he was right around the corner. At 6:30 pm, he called himself to see if I wanted to reschedule. He showed up soon after with his wife in the front seat (they were going out to dinner). He spent less than 5 minutes to estimate that I need a new converter/charger and two electronic ignition boards at the bargain price of $1500. That is plus the $200 service call. And that's without breaking out a voltage meter or testing anything! And that was the last I heard from the repairman.

I put a new converter/charger in, but it's not shutting off or even powering down. That seems to me like the brains that control the charger aren't working. But the electronic ignitions and lights work + fuses and breakers ok.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:36 PM   #2
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When we went through a pretty severe electrical storm without a surge protector in our 03 Southwind, we had pretty much the same issues. I had to replace the converter/charger, and the battery control center circuit board. The microwave also never worked again and had to be replaced. Needless to say I installed a hard wired surge protector ASAP. Good luck getting this all figured out.
Mike
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Old 06-01-2020, 06:43 PM   #3
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I put a new converter/charger in, but it's not shutting off or even powering down. That seems to me like the brains that control the charger aren't working. But the electronic ignitions and lights work + fuses and breakers ok.
Sorry, I'm not following. The Converter/charger is running anytime you're plugged into shore power or running the generator.

What do you think should be shutting off or powering down?

Ray
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:14 PM   #4
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Are the 2 GC2 6 volt batteries wired in series.
If not, the lights will be dim, ( 6 volts ) and the converter/charger will never shut off, trying to bring the 6 volt batteries up to 12 volts.

It must be wired like this.Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture%2B_2020-06-01-21-13-54.jpeg
Views:	7
Size:	64.2 KB
ID:	287853
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:18 PM   #5
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Hey Ray,

I plugged in the converter/charger but unplugged when the batteries started boiling
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:44 PM   #6
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Sorry, I'm not following. The Converter/charger is running anytime you're plugged into shore power or running the generator.

What do you think should be shutting off or powering down?

Ray
Hey Ray,

Didn’t see your entire reply. The converter has a 3 stage operation, from quick charge to float. What I think is happening is the charger doesn’t recognize the batteries are fully charged and keep running at high charge. How I might know this is that the batteries are boiling.

Alex
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:48 PM   #7
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Are the 2 GC2 6 volt batteries wired in series.
If not, the lights will be dim, ( 6 volts ) and the converter/charger will never shut off, trying to bring the 6 volt batteries up to 12 volts.

It must be wired like this.Attachment 287853
Yup that’s how I have the batteries aligned
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:17 PM   #8
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That is what happened to us and why I had to replace the BCM board. It was no longer sending the correct battery info to the charger.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:32 PM   #9
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That is what happened to us and why I had to replace the BCM board. It was no longer sending the correct battery info to the charger.
That’s good to know. I’ll check it next.
Thanks,
Alex
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:54 AM   #10
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The symptoms really read like the batteries are not connected correctly. Dim incandescent lights, LEDs that won't light, multi stage charger boiling the battery water,,,. Very easy to connect them in parallel producing 6VDC rather than in series for 12VDC.

Could you do one last measurement with a handheld voltmeter before spending money for parts? With shore power disconnected and the generator off how many volts does the meter shore for the house power? Best place to check is at the battery posts that have the power leads going out to the coach.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #11
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Thatís good to know. Iíll check it next.
Thanks,
Alex
Kind of has to be that or you missed a wire somewhere or got onto an alternate connection

Did you get the temperature sensor connected back on the battery terminal> That should shut down the battery charger no matter the stage
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:07 PM   #12
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Yup thatís how I have the batteries aligned
So, two terminals, one on each battery, only have one jumper on it, going between the batteries. NO other wires.

Send a picture of your battery connections.
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