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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Electrical Converter Going Bad ?

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camperkids1025

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Posted: 01/14/06 07:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the past 2 seasons off and on I've had a gremlin in the 12 volt side of the electric. I have a 1999 Coachmen Leprechaun 290RF, at times even while hooked up to shore power or running the generator or just using the 12 volt system, water pump, furnace, hot water heater etc. I have a loss of 12 volts. I have a fully charged battery (new).I have checked for loose grounds as well as loose connections in general. When this occurs the battery maintains a reading of 13 volts but at the coach fuse panel I have a voltage loss to 6 volts using a digital meter. Needles to say when the 12 volt lights blink and the pump doesn't run properly. I remember reading some where that when you have a loss of 1/2 of the 12 volt system at the panel usually it's the converter going up. I had to take the radio out of the system and put it on the chassis battery to lighten the load while I track down the gremlin. So any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for letting me pick your brain.
The Camperkids Jim & Lois
1999 Coachmen Leprechaun 290RF
Ford E450 V10


The Camperkids Jim & Lois
3 Grandkids Maria, Christian, Antony (part timers)
1999 Newmar Mountain Aire 37.5ft, Ford V-10, F-53 Chassis, Bilsteins Shocks W/ Bilstein Steering Stablizer, HWH Levelers

ct78barnes

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Posted: 01/14/06 07:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a problem like yours and also thought it was my converter. Hear is a test that you can try to see if its a ground or a bad converter. First unhook your camper battery . Second take your jumper cables from your car and run it to the positive and negative post on converter . If every think works on the dc part of the camper you have a bad ground . If not you probley have bad converter. I called the company of my converter and this is how they told me to test it . My converter was under my sofa so I could just open the camper door and hook up the jumper cables . Hope this helps had a bad ground wire it had burned out rubbing on the frame.

YC 1

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Posted: 01/14/06 08:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It sounds like a worn out circuit breaker somewhere. Since you have this problem with just the battery hooked up the converter most likely is not shot. The ckt breaker may be inside it or somewhere hidded just beyond it. I suspect just beyond since you have problems with the battery or shoreline power.
You did not tell us where you are measuing the 6 volts exactly. I suggest you use a piece of wire straight from the battery - post next time. If your ground is acting up then you can help isolate it this way. Use the positive probe to follow your ground wire connections. If you see any voltage along the way you have a bad ground. If everything measures ok then proceed backwards along the positive side of the battery feed. You should measure the 12.5 volts all the way back to the inverter and then to the appliances.
I found a small inline ckt breaker bad in my new mh. The breaker was inside the battery box buried next to the cut off solenoids.


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camperkids1025

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Posted: 01/14/06 08:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the tests that I can run to hopefully isolate the problem. Now that I think about it there is either 2 or 3 breakers in the battery box that I will check. I will also jump the converter if needed as suggested by ct78barnes. My converter is buried but we'll GetRDone some how. Hope to run the test this week and we'll keep you posted what we find.
Thanks Again, Jim

big dave

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Posted: 01/14/06 10:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since the battery is fully charged, the problem isn't with the converter. And since you are reading 6 volts down stream of the battery, I wouldn't suspect a breaker. A breaker is usually all or nothing.

Measure from terminal to terminal on the battery, then from pos. terminal to the frame to verify a good ground ( good chance this is where you're loosing it). Start measuring at the battery and work your out from there, as soon as you loose the 12.5+- .5 volts, back up.

Do your testing without shore power, and with DC lights on.


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Posted: 01/14/06 10:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

big dave wrote:

Since the battery is fully charged, the problem isn't with the converter. And since you are reading 6 volts down stream of the battery, I wouldn't suspect a breaker. A breaker is usually all or nothing.

Measure from terminal to terminal on the battery, then from pos. terminal to the frame to verify a good ground ( good chance this is where you're loosing it). Start measuring at the battery and work your out from there, as soon as you loose the 12.5+- .5 volts, back up.
Good post. Measure from a good frame ground to the battery negative post and not the cable. If more than a few tenths of a volt correct that problem then continue to the positive post and positive cables.


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Posted: 06/06/06 05:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On a Ford F350 pickup truck, I had an inline fuse blow (non-replaceable fuse) under the hood.

It wouldn't turn over, but had some lights (dash, dim courtesy, etc). Thought I had a bad wire somewhere to ignition and other items.

Turns out (after removing glove box, some harness and most of the dash) that I just happened to check it with my digital voltmeter and found 6v. Enough to run some things, but not enough to turn over starter or some items. Acted like no current, but was low current.

Now I ALWAYS check with digital meter when having troubles.

I don't remember which connection it was, but it seemed VERY strange.

Perhaps you have a similar situation where a wire not making a connection can result in low voltage instead of no voltage.

Good luck.

-JC

camperkids1025

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Posted: 06/06/06 05:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks DiskDoctr we have got her fixed the converter/charger went out so we updated it with a 45 amp with a Charge Wizard. Great combination and had to replace the 40 amp circuit breaker between the battery and converter with a 50 amp one. Now it works great. Happy RVing!!

HiTech

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Posted: 01/14/06 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is a bad (high resistance/loose/corroded) connection in the ground or positive lead somewhere between the battery and the 12V circuit panel.

I'd start by tightening connections at the battery and in the panel.

* This post was edited 06/06/06 07:11pm by HiTech *

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