Originally Posted by npdeleon
So I was prepping to possibly take our last trip of the year. Recently new TT owner, bought a used 14 Jayco Jayflight Swift 267BHS in July of this year.
In the past prior to going out I would just plug the trailer into shore power and turn on the main switch in the breaker under the oven along with the refrigerator switch to get the fridge cool prior to the long haul. Have never had any issues in the three trips prior to doing the same routine yesterday.
When I plugged in the TT, turned on the main breaker and fridge switches, put the NORCOLD fridge on Auto I started getting blinking lights from my fridge green LED. Did some research and saw the 5 blinks meant the unit was picking up 'no cooling'. I flipped everything off, and tried again, same result. Tried again and this time started going through the other switches and flipped the one that said power converter, almost instantly after doing that the blinking stopped and the fridge light stayed solid. I flipped that converter switch back to off and the light stayed solid green. I figured I was out of the woods.
I checked the battery power on the grid and it was at one bar. Left it plugged in overnight and it's now at two bars. The fridge appears to not be cooling. I flipped the power converter switch and the checked the battery switch and it was a full four bars. The fridge also appeared to start cooling but still early to tell.
Were my batteries just low and I should let the TT charge a while before trying to cool the fridge? Was my assumption that when plugged into shore power it would be drawing from that right?
What is the power converter? And why would when I switch that the battery checking grid go from two bars to all of a sudden full?
The power converter is what converts 120VAC to 12VDC to power and charge your batteries. If it is working properly I would expect to see your bar graph with 4 full bars when connected to 120VAC. If you measured the battery voltage with a meter, you should see something over 13VDC with the converter turned on.
Batteries will not stay charged on their own. There is what is called a parasitic load, usually small, but enough to drain the battery in a week or two. Also, batteries self discharge over the course of several months.
If your trailer is sitting for more that a few days it should be plugged in, or have a solar trickle panel connected, or have the batteries removed/disconnected. If you don't do this you will likely always find your batteries running low.
Normally these refers have two modes. Auto and Gas. If in Auto the refer will detect when you have 120VAC connected and everything will run on 120VAC. If 120VAC is not connected, the refer will detect this and run the heater(yes the refer has a heater) off of propane and the electronics (very small load) off of 12VDC.
If there is any significant load on the battery your bar gauge will give an incorrect reading. I would start by plugging it in to 120VAC, turning off everything (just the power buttons not the breakers) and let it charge overnight.
Unplug from 120VAC, then get a DC amp meter and measure your current draw. It should be quite low, like 0.5A or less. Let the trailer sit unplugged from 120VAC overnight and then measure the battery voltage, it should be 12.6-12.7 maybe higher if not loaded.
Most common offenders are connections. Go around the trailer and check every connection, clean if needed. Make sure power is off when you do this. You will have connections at the battery, to the trailer frame, usually an electrical box up under the front, inside the converter box where all the fuses are.