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Old 12-14-2014, 05:01 PM   #1
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Converter? Inverter? What is it?

Greetings. I'm back with my 06 Greyhawk 31SS with a new problem. I took it to the nearest (25 miles) Jayco dealer for a few fixes and winterizing. Among the fixes was replacing a faulty battery disconnect switch and putting in a new thermostat for the furnace (removed, for some reason, by the former owner - long story). When I got home, I checked everything and had no house lights. I tried the new disconnect switch in every possible position with no luck. I started the generator. Still no lights. I turned the furnace on with the thermostat and got heat. I called the Jayco service guy and we talked about several possible causes for no lights. He mentioned that it might be a failed converter but would make it right if the problem was their doing. I intend to take it back tomorrow. Before I go, I want to know what I'm dealing with in the type and price of a converter. I've looked at the worthless owner's manual and anything else I can find, but found no information as to what type, size, brand, etc. converter I have. He suggested that I try the GFCI outlet. It doesn't react to the reset button and might need replacing. Is this a 12 volt, RV specific outlet?
Lots of questions. Anybody got any ideas?

Oh. And one more thing. A couple of days later, I went back to the RV trying anything else that might work. Again, I tried the circuit breaker on the generator, the fuses and circuit breakers in the power panel, etc. etc. No change other than, now, the furnace doesn't come on. No blow, no heat. What the whaaat?
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:41 PM   #2
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Converter changes 110 volts to 12 volts. Inverter changes 12 volt to 110 volt (usually connected to the receptacle for the tv/dvd player) Unless your battery is dead you should have lights and the furnace should work for a while. Do they work if the engine is running? Sounds like a couple fuses are blown if the furnace works and the lights don't come on.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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This is simplified 30AMP TRAILER Wiring setup that might give you info on what does what...

Keep in mind the trailers are basically desgined to run off the battery when not at an electric camp ground.

Your lights and alot of other items are 12VDC for this reason.

12VDC DC is provided by a working 12VDC battery and is also provided by a 120VAC Converter which produces 12VDC when you are hooked up to shore power. When hooked up to shore power the converter also provides a charge to the connected 12VDC battery.

The Inverter is usually a customer add-on to be able to run some of your 120VAC trailer items directly from your 12VDC battery. The inverter draws alot of DC Current so several batteries need to installed to accommodate this...

Take a look at this pictorial and notice what is run by 120VAC and what is run by 12VDC. This will not solve your particular but may give you some more insight on what questions to ask...

All trailers are unique but this sort of gives an idea what to expect to see...



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Old 12-14-2014, 07:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies. I was pretty much aware of a lot of that. I checked the fuses and breakers. I apologize for the badly worded title. It was obviously misleading. I tried dealing with the lights with the generator running and turned off - with the same result.

What I really need is:

1. Size/voltage and possibly the brand name of Jayco standard converter so I can buy my own rather than let the dealer install it - if it turns out to be a bad converter. If that info isn't readily available, I'll go to the storage lot and try to find it tomorrow.

2. If the GFCI outlet (located in entry "stairwell" next to the sink) could be a cause. If it needs replacing, is it a 12 volt, RV-specific item and NOT a regular house GFCI outlet that I can get a Lowe's?

I would sho' nuff rather buy both myself than pay dealer markup.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:49 PM   #5
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GFI has nothing to do with your converter, it usually has it's own plug and breaker. It's probably a Progressive Dynamics converter. Also, if your breakers and fuses are together the converter is probably incorporated in that panel.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:21 AM   #6
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The 120volt GFCI outlet/receptacle is in fact for 120 volt appliances not 12 volt. My Jayco has a special RV style unit that you can't get at Home Improvement stores. But anytime you see a 3 prong recept like in your home walls, it's always 120 volts. A 12 volt plug is usually round like a cigarette lighter socket...almost always, this is standard.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:34 AM   #7
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Most RVers know that there are 2 electric systems in a RV. The primary system is 12 volt DC (from the battery/converter) and the secondary is 120 volt AC (from the shore/power pedestal). Like the posted diagram shows. The 12 volt distribution is much like in your car with fuses and automotive bulbs for lighting. The 12 volt system operates all the essential equipment. The 120 volt system is for the bigger non-essential loads: AC, Microwave, Converter.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:35 AM   #8
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Oh and the convenience wall receptacles.
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