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Old 07-25-2021, 05:59 PM   #1
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Converter Issue

Howdy folks,

Here with another issue, but I think I know the answer, just hoping I'm wrong.

I have a 30 amp circuit installed in the garage for the popup, dedicated with a 30 amp breaker. No extension cords, no adapters.

Went to popup yesterday so we can clean and prep for our trip next week, plugged into our dedicated (like I have a dozen times in the past). Went to turn on the ceiling lights, but they wouldn't come on. Checked our surge protector, was reading clean, no errors. I tried the roof AC, and that turned on just fine, I plugged in our nightlight into an outlet, and that worked, so AC power is working just fine. I kill the breakers, checked the fuses, everything was good. Plugged it back in, and the fan for the converter was pulsing on and off for a good minute, then the lights came on.

Whatever...

Well, later today, went back inside and turned the lights on, and they're pulsing and flickering, then went dim. The AC still works, the outlets still work. I checked the battery, ~13 volts. I checked the fuses, they're fine. I did some Google'ing, and found that the converter could be defective, overheating or a blow fuse. Well, I checked the fuses, and everything is fine (and I'm getting some power, so it's not that). It was running hot in the camper inside the garage, so maybe the fan is defective. I took the fan out of the converter and tested it, works fine. I checked all the capacitors and resistors, and they all look fine.

I tried to run the lights off just the battery, same deal. Which is weird, cause if the converter is bad (at least what I've read), it should still work fine off the battery since that would bypass converter. I checked the kill switch too to see if it was messing with anything, and it doesn't seem to be. If I take the battery off and put it back on, the converter fan runs for a second and then turns off, so its detecting voltage, but just not supplying it through.

I reassembled everything, tested again, same result. The ceiling lights act like they're only getting a few volts. If I only have one on, then I get maybe 20% brightness.

I'm guessing it's bad, and I should order a new converter before we leave for our trip.

Some photos for your viewing pleasure: https://imgur.com/a/uNPDTcM
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:13 PM   #2
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Without a voltmeter you be just guessing. You are correct that the lights should work without being plugged in.

The first check would be to measure the voltage at the battery with the unit NOT plugged in. If your battery is toast, the voltmeter will tell you. Doing this test while unplugged is the only way to check the battery as the converter would try to charge it up when plugged in and may mask the actual problem.

If the battery is bad it could pull down the converter's charge voltage. I would not just replace the converter without performing some tests.

The battery should be able to power all 12 volt items without being plugged in. This includes the lights. If you disconnect the battery, the converter would be able to do the same thing.

If the voltage is good at the battery the next checkpoint would be the fuse panel. Fuses protect the 12 volt items while breakers protect the 120 volt ones. Two totally separate circuits.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:57 PM   #3
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I would try without the battery connected and just run off the converter. If the problem goes away then I would try another battery, if the problem continues then I would check for a loose ground connection from the converter as well as all of the connections. If you can monitor the voltage at the converter and if the voltage is going up and down under a light load, then the converter likely needs replacing, it would be helpful if you have a clamp on dc amp meter to see if there is a big draw on the converter that you are not aware of. ~CA
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:54 AM   #4
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Here's my voltages

Not connected to shore Power
Battery (unhooked) - 12.83
Battery (plugged) - 12.83

Fan powers up for a few seconds on the converter when hooking the battery back up. Nothing that uses DC works.

12.82 v across all fuses (in fuse box)
All fuses test good with continuity

Connected to shore power
Battery (unhooked) - 12.83
Battery (connected) - 13.6

Fan powers up when shore power is connected for a few seconds. Lights work at about 20% brightness.

12.8v across all fuses (in fuse box).

Of course that's all voltage before it goes through the converter. The weird thing, is that the DC power should be working regardless if the converter is working when not on shore power. Kinda confused as to why my battery is going through the converter.

-----------------------------------

I'm not sure as to what other points to test, I didn't have the chance this morning to dig into it, I'll be gone all week so I won't be able to do any troubleshooting. I don't have a clamp for my multimeter, but I can get one. I am going so safely assume that I have a voltage drop after the converter if my lights are acting like they aren't getting enough voltage.

Unfortunately, the only DC electrics are the lights. We have the little ceiling fans that attach with the headphone jack, but they're unplugged. The fridge is turned off. I don't know what else would be causing a DC load, so I doubt thats it.
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:55 AM   #5
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Oh, to add... I have unplugged the battery and just ran with shore power, same result (low brightness on the lights).
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Old 12-14-2021, 05:23 PM   #6
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Hi Everyone,
I think this issue has something to do with the problem I am currently having, so I would like to ask a similar question.
Here goes, we took our 2017 RLTS 5th wheel for its safety inspection, after a day or so the dealer called and said that the Reese revolution wedge bolt broke off inside the pinbox when they had to remove the wedge,(I have know idea why it needed to be removed) and so the pin box would need to be replaced, fortunately when I contacted Reese, and submitted the required info they sent a new pin box to the dealer, the trailer sat at the dealership for almost a month,when I finally brought the trailer home today I plugged the trailer into a 15amp gfci like we always do to keep the battery charged, but this time the gfci kept tripping so I disconnected from the trailer and plugged in a night lite to see if the cord might be bad from sitting on the ground for a month, but it wasn't, the nite lite worked, so I turned off the gfci and reattached to the trailer, but this time I shut off all the breakers in the trailer, and then reset the gfci power,
so now the gfci didnt trip when powered on, so inside the trailer I turned on breakers one at a time and found the power converted breaker is what trips the gfci, I called the dealer to see if they had messed around with that circuit but he said they didn't, what could be wrong, could this have anything to do with replacing the pinbox?I have the battery completely removed from the system now, but still the same result!
Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Old 12-14-2021, 06:13 PM   #7
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@Squeaky- grounds ok?
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Old 12-14-2021, 07:34 PM   #8
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Plug into a non-GFCI receptacle and you will be fine. I'm an electrician and had the same problem with my coach, sometimes it would trip the GFCI and sometimes it wouldn't. A GFCI senses a current imbalance between the hot and neutral as low as 5 miliamps it will trip. Depending on what is energized inside your RV at the time will make a difference on whether the GFCI will trip or not. It's a crap shoot unless you want to spend hours analyzing each circuit.
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Old 12-14-2021, 07:47 PM   #9
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OK sounds like a good plan, I’m going to plug in the 50 amp power cord that I have and hope for the best I have the battery charging in my garage just to see if it’s OK to charge, going to try it tomorrow Hope the trailer doesn’t go up in flames!

thanks for your responses
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Old 12-15-2021, 04:44 PM   #10
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OK, well I just decided to plug into a different outdoor gfci outlet this one is 20 AMP instead of the 15 AMP and also charged the battery up overnight in the garage, so everything seem to work out now, but I did do some reading and when the battery is completely discharged the power converter will put out 14.4 volts as opposed to 13.8 volts to charge it rapidly so maybe that little bit of extra voltage was enough to trip that thing but it never did before because I guess we never let the battery get that low, but anyway the problem is solved now thanks for all the help

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