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Old 08-30-2011, 09:54 AM   #1
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Converter going bad? *long*

About 2 months ago we bought a used 2004 BH27. During our first camping trip I realized the battery wasn't holding a charge for very long and put it on the list of things I need for the camper. Well our last camping trip this weekend, we were on shore power and I used the bathroom and turned the fan on. A min later the lights all went dim and the low battery tone from the lp detector started. I turn the fan off and things brighten up a little but still clearly on the battery and not shore. After poking around a bit I notice that all AC items are working fine and DC is running off of the battery alone, which is about at the end of its life.
So I unhook the battery and all DC power is back at full! So I was thinking somehow the dead battery was shorting out the converter. Then I headed down to the local walmart and got the highest rated AMP hours marine battery I could find and brought it back. I noticed when I got back about an hour later that the lights were still working. I hooked the battery up and went in to check things out. The battery meter showed full (which it always did on shore power) so I powered on a few things and checked again and it was at 2/3. Clearly running on battery alone again. I went out and pulled the inline fuse that cuts the battery line and went back in. Lights back on full and battery meter shows full again. So I was thinking that there is some kind of switch that is not allowing the shore power to power the dc while there is a good battery. well I figured I would spend the last night with the battery unhooked and run the dc on shore so that I would have a full battery for the drive home to power the brakes if needed. After about 10 mins of just running the dc off the shore power the lights and everything dc died. No power at all. So I hooked the battery back up and power was back on. A few more tests and it seemed that the converter was working sometimes. I spent the night with the battery hooked up trying to use any dc power sparingly and we made it just fine.

So, now I ask, is my converter dying? I thought at first it could be a fuse, I checked all of them in the power box but couldn't find any other hidden ones that are mentioned sometimes on here. However, I figured if it was a fuse it would be out, not intermittent like it is now.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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My guess would be the converter. It sounds like it is only able to put out a small number of amps before it overloads and shuts down or the voltage drops. If you have a fully charged battery and disconnect from shore - can you turn on all your lights/fans/etc and it work just fine?

Also - you might check to see if your fan is running on the converter under load or when it is hot. I am not sure, but I would guess the converter has a thermal shutdown and that might also explain some of the issues you are seeing.

Let us know what you find!
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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I guess the first thing I need to find is the converter. Any idea where that is? Is it just behind the power center where all the fuses are?
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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That's where mine is.

Small access panel with two screws.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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Yep - It should be directly behind the fuse panel. Depending on where yours is located, you might be able to get to it by simply removing a drawer.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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Ok, there is a drawer under the fridge directly above the fuse panel, I will pull that out tonight and see what I find. What should I be looking for? I will check for fuses and power some stuff up and see if the fan comes on.. anything else?
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:10 PM   #7
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Really all you can do is check if it is really hot and if the fan kicks on (and maybe if it turns freely). There are no fuses or really anything else you can check back there.

If no fan/hot - then there is not much else you can probably do than replace the converter.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:19 AM   #8
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If it were me, I would dig deeper, and look for a cracked or cold solder joint in the converter. Touch up any suspect joint with a soldering iron and a small bit of solder.
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