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Old 05-04-2014, 01:54 AM   #1
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1206 Converter problems.

We set up our Jayco 1206 in the driveway last night for the second time since we got it a couple of weeks ago and connected it to shore power for a little driveway camping This morning we woke up to the smell of rotten eggs and noticed the brand new battery that the previous owner had a dealer install the day we picked it up had boiled over all over the driveway. Reading the PUP manual and the converter manual, an Elixer ELX-30, it should trickle charge.

I removed the battery after it cooled down and plugged back in to shore power then the CO detector gave a fault. So I flipped one of the lights on and off quick and noticed the lights were very, very bright. They were not the evening before when I was untwisting all the lift cables. That's when I metered the battery connections and CO detector and got 28V on both circuits. That is probably the problem. Looks like we will add a new converter to the list along with new lift cables, battery, and a new 30amp inline fuse holder at the battery. This is starting to turn into an expensive fixit.

I pulled out the converter, or rather tried to. The 12v wiring is so short I can barely get the back of the converter box to clear the mounting panel. No way I'm getting my hand in there. Any reason Jayco didn't put an extra 6" of wire going to this thing? The 120V wires you can get to through a plate on the top, but I don't think I can even get wire cutters behind the converter to cut them, never mind taking the cover off to disconnect.

I do know that when I get a new battery and converter, the first thing I'm going to put on is a battery disconnect. I don't think I'll ever run shore power with a battery connected again, I don't care what converter it is. When we woke up to the smell and acid all over the driveway, well, I just felt fortunate that it didn't blow up under our bunk while we were sleeping. Sad part is the battery only got used for about 5 minutes and I get to throw another $100 at one.

On a good note I did get the lift cable untwisted and adjusted as best I could and we got all the canvas cleaned today. It now closes properly, but the rear cables are so stretched they are going to need replaced. Next up tires and wheel bearings.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
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Blooze,
Sorry to hear about the problems with your "new-to-you" trailer. Sounds like you've got some work ahead of you, but once you get it done, you can look forward to years of happier endeavors. Congratulations? and welcome to The Forum!
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:48 AM   #3
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Do some looking around. Many converter makers have factory reconditioned units at very good prices.
If you are handy, you could install it and splice some extra wire in to make it user friendly.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:06 PM   #4
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Took the battery into the Interstate dealer and they checked it and said that it was sitting at 13.4V. The tech filled it with their Qual-Eze acid mix to top it back off for me because he said it was pretty dry. I'm not so sure though as I picked up a large battery box on the way home from work today just to set the battery in when it's in the garage. Put it in the box, went about doing some gardening, and came back in an hour to check the voltage. Voltmeter read 13.3V, but the battery is making a faint clicking/ticking noise. I set it outside for the evening then I'll take it to another Interstate dealer to maybe be checked better.

I thought camping was supposed to be relaxing. Well, at least it was when we tented it, but this camper stuff is beginning to be more trouble than it's worth, IMO, and my stress level is wayyyy to high.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #5
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Once your problem is fixed life will get better and camping will once again be relaxing.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutch View Post
Once your problem is fixed life will get better and camping will once again be relaxing.
As long as this ticking battery I have doesn't explode before I can get ti checked out

What I'm seeing, and I knew this going in from all my relatives experiences, is that using a camper of any kind is like owning a boat. It's just one thing to fix after another. At the rate we are going it's looking like it will most likely be the end of July before we take our first local trip.

Please excuse my bumming out, but it stinks having these problems that I have no idea how to fix. The battery thing, uggg. I know nothing about batteries and charging unless its a cell phone or camera. Wheel bearings, uggg. Not a mechanic as everything I touch on a car breaks. Always has. There are things I'm good at, but automotive/mechanical are not two of them. I've rebuilt old cameras because I understand how they work, but I just don't have the vocabulary or knowledge to do auto based stuff.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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Took the battery to a small mom n' pop battery store. The guy there ran the Interstate store in town for 15 years then now has this little shop. He's been doing batteries for 40 years he said. I told him about what happened and he asked if I had it. Sure, I said, it's in the back of my truck. So the guy walks about 50 yards to where i had to park, lugs it back, and throws it up on the bench. Pops it open and first checks the specific gravity of each cell. They all matched exactly. I told him probably because of all the new electrolyte. He said probably, but he mixed the acid in each cell pretty good and he remarked that it always came up clean, so there wasn't a lot if anything floating around in there making it cloudy which was a good thing. Then he voltage checked it. 13.3V same as yesterday. He then proceeded to put in on his load tester and did the standard test. All good at 500+ CCA when it's minimum is 405. Then he decided to hit it with a much harder load. Bounced right back. He said that as much as he would like to sell me a new battery as far as he could tell there wasn't anything "wrong" with it except the lifespan will most likely be shorter. I told him I thought the clicking may be the battery outgassing in the hot garage and there was a little acid still in the vent hole. He agreed that maybe that was possible and that he had heard batteries do that on occasion.

I got the man's card and a few prices on batteries (Advance brand), thanked him, and he asked that I think of him when I'm ready to buy a new one. I will. It's guys like me that know nothing about batteries that appreciate guys like him. He took the time to check it out thoroughly and answer all my questions as well as give advice freely.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooze View Post
snip..... He took the time to check it out thoroughly and answer all my questions as well as give advice freely.
Yep, not to many business owners out there like that anymore.

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