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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Converter Question

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ARHunter

Texarkana, Arkansas

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Posted: 11/04/09 04:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My converter starting acting strange a while back. The converter fan kicks on and off like it can't decide what it needs to do. Yesterday, I left some lights on all day and finally they got dim and the converter will come on for a few seconds then shut off. When the converter comes on the lights brighten up so I know it is trying to work. Can the battery cause this or is this a converter problem? The battery is about 5 years old and I keep the AC power to the trailer plugged in all the time. It is a WFCO converter.


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stevesandidge

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Posted: 11/04/09 05:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

have you checked your water in your batteries? that aside, it sounds like your converter is going south. you will need a meter to check the voltage, it should be 13.5 or so.
steve


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MNtundraRet

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Posted: 11/04/09 06:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having a few lights on during the day should not cause dim lights that soon. It sounds like the batteries are bad. You need a multimeter to properly test the batteries while disconnected. Test the voltage at the battery terminals. The fact that the converter/charger caused the lights brighten right after plugging in shows that the converter portion at least is working. If the WFCO converter/charger has only a single stage charger, the voltage at the battery-terminals should be 13.6 volts, and a 3-stage charger would read either 14.4 volts (bulk mode) or 13.6 volts (normal mode). If you only see 13.2 volts after plugging in for at least ten minutes, the charger portion is not working and you are only seeing the converter voltage in the 12v DC circuit. Note; if the WFCO charger can fully charge the batteries it would fall back to 13.2 volts (float mode) later in the day.

I suspect your battery is almost dead and you will need to charge for at least 12 to 24 hours. Unplug and check the voltage at the battery the next day. If they are not 12.6 to 12.7 volts, the battery(ies) can no longer be charged to full capacity and need to be replaced.

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ARHunter

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Posted: 11/04/09 06:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I actually did measure the battery voltage about a month ago with the AC power unplugged. It was about 12.2 volts. If the battery has an internal problem and can't be properly charged could that make the converter kick in and out of the bulk mode? I'm assuming the converter fan only comes on in this mode (this is a 3 stage converter).

The converter seems to keep the battery up enough when the trailer is not being used at least enough to operate the slide and jacks.

Leaving the lights on all day is the first time I have seen the battery get low enough to cause dim lights.

big dave

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Posted: 11/04/09 09:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The batteries could have a shorted cell causing the converter to shut down on overload and start again when the overload resets. OR The converter won't stay on long enough to replace the charge in the batteries.
You need to test the batteries.


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smkettner

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Posted: 11/04/09 09:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Time for a new board


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ARHunter

Texarkana, Arkansas

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Posted: 11/04/09 10:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies, I am going to check the converter output tonight and replace the battery. I will probably upgrade to a Xantrex converter. $183 for the converter vs $135 for the replacement WFCO board.

Hurricaner

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Posted: 11/04/09 11:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Disconnect the battery negative lead at the battery. Now turn on your lights and other 12 volt devices, if everything functions normally than your battery is toast, if not it is time for a new converter.

Sam


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ARHunter

Texarkana, Arkansas

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Posted: 11/05/09 04:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Apparently the charging part of the converter is working, but the bulk mode part is not. With the battery disconnected from the converter it reads 13.6 vdc and this is after being run almost completely down yesterday.

If I turn on the main living area lights (8 bulbs) without the battery connected the converter comes on in bulk mode with the fan running for a few seconds then goes off and the lights dim and go out. I think I need a new converter.

Which brand is best? I am wanting to upgrade to something better. The one I have is a WF 8955 ANP. I was looking at a Xantrex 60 amp at "bestconverters.com"

MNtundraRet

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Posted: 11/05/09 06:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It does look like you will need a new converter, and most likely batteries. The old ones may have been done in by the converter.

I am not suggesting which brand to buy, but there is a new model from WFCO to replace your current unit. WF-9855 or upgrade to WF-9865. If you go to their site you could download any of the model manuals to help in you in deciding.

www.wfcoelectronics.com

I used this site a few years ago to get the manual for my WF-8945 model. The preveous owner only saved the French language version. I assume he lost the English version. The manuals do explain how to test for a bad converter along with installation instructions.

Mark

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