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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Electrical Issue - Help! - camping tomorrow night!

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thatguy1967

Springfield, Missouri

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Posted: 10/20/11 07:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys, this forum has never let me down. Let me preface this by saying when it comes to electrical matters, I'm as green as they come so bear with me.

I have a hybrid travel trailer with a WFCO Model #8955 converter. Started having some strange issues on our last couple of trips last year and didn't address them. Getting ready to take our first trip of the year this weekend and guess what...yes, the issues didn't magically disappear while the camper was parked in the backyard.

Basically, I am plugging the camper into a standard 120V outlet at home using an adapter. Running one or two lights and the furnace - at first everything seems fine. Lights are bright and the furnace blower is running at normal speed. Then without warning, the lights dim and the furnace blower drops to about half speed. There are three sets of breakers on the converter and if I reset those, everything goes back to normal for about 10 seconds then drops power again.

Now lastnight after I had set the camper up in the driveway, I connected the shore power without a battery (it was charging in the garage) and I had no issues. So I thought the battery might be the issue so I just disconnected it tonight...no change. Still had the lights dimming and furnace blower slowing.

Anyone have any clues where I should start troubleshooting?


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hmknightnc

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 10/20/11 07:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was with you until the last paragraph. Are you saying you have no issues when operating on shore power with no battery installed? If so that is good, means your converter is working at least to power the house loads

Don't understand the part about unhooking battery and problem returns. That is the same as my first paragraph.

It really sounds like your battery is bad and sucking to much power from the converter (a short cell could definitely do this). If its the original battery I would be very suspicious. Get it tested at an auto parts store tomorrow morning

Take some voltage readings at the converter output when this "slowing down occurs"

thatguy1967

Springfield, Missouri

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just went out and tested the battery with my cheapo tester - the needle registers in the "good" range and I just charged it yesterday. I disconnected it and went into the camper - no power at all. I flipped a couple of the breakers on the converter (although they were not tripped) and lights come on for a few seconds then go off. So I flip the breakers again, same thing happens. So it doesn't appear that the converter is doing what it's supposed to.

What I was trying to say is that lastnight everything worked fine. We had problems at the end of the season last year but a couple of weeks ago my kids had a backyard campout and the furnace and lights worked like a charm with no issues. Then I hook it up in the driveway with no issues lastnight. The ONLY thing I can see that was different tonight was the fact that I flipped the fridge on shortly before the issues cropped up again. I turned it off and still have the problems though.

Thanks for all the advice - keep it coming.

smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 10/20/11 07:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you are leaving tomorrow just go down and get a 10 to 40 amp portable automatic battery charger and slap it on the battery when you get to camp. Bring an extension cord to plug it in.

I suggest a 45 amp IOTA replacement when the camping trip is over.

http://www.bestconverter.com/-DLS-Series-12-Volt_c_144.html


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KendallP

Southern Oregon

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm guessing bad converter.

True that for shore camping, a portable charger on the battery can act as a makeshift converter. Always a good idea to keep one in the rig.

What happens when you kick off the breaker with battery connected... or unplug from shore?


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summerhouse

Big Rapids, Michigan

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What else is on the circuit that you are plugging into? If it is not the converter itself, there may be too much on that particular circuit causing a brown out condition when it comes on. Freezer, or furnace?
Sounds more probable to be the converter however.


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thatguy1967

Springfield, Missouri

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, we will have shore power but right now that's not working either.

thatguy1967

Springfield, Missouri

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KendallP wrote:

I'm guessing bad converter.

What happens when you kick off the breaker with battery connected... or unplug from shore?


Seems to just run off the battery when not connected to shore power.

KendallP

Southern Oregon

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thatguy1967 wrote:

KendallP wrote:

I'm guessing bad converter.

What happens when you kick off the breaker with battery connected... or unplug from shore?


Seems to just run off the battery when not connected to shore power.

Bad converter.

Same with breaker off?

KendallP

Southern Oregon

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Posted: 10/20/11 08:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Safe to ASSume that your looming trip is a shore powered one?

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