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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Shore power not charging battery

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k9doctor2b

Vista, CA

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Posted: 11/03/11 09:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will double check everything in the morning, but I am sure that is correct. Of course this happens the first time we take this boondocking!

Here is a pic of the wiring:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/911eda/6310730029/in/photostream




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hmknightnc

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 11/03/11 09:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lights work on shore power but your boondocking, are you testing with a generator? Too small of a generator could cause problems with converter

Too finish your trip go get a decent battery charger and charge the battery manually. Enjoy your trip and figure it out when you get back home.

k9doctor2b

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Posted: 11/04/11 02:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the help. We are not camping now but leaving in the morning. Everything I have written so far was while plugged into 110 at my house. My plan was to charge the battery with a 7550W generator by just plugging the FW into it. Obviously this will not work in its current state. I have a good battery charger so my plan is to just plug the battery charger into the generator and charge the battery that way.

Good idea on checking the resistance. Of course the battery is in the front and the converter is in the back! I will check it though.

opnspaces

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Posted: 11/03/11 10:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It could be high resistance in the battery line which allows lights but not charging. It's a pretty easy check though.

Plug in to shore power, turn on a few interior lights and put your volt meter across the two posts on the right side of the converter box. (Batt pos and Batt neg) It should read at least 13.5V. Record this reading and then measure from the blask wires on either side of that circuit breaker in the picture. I'm not sure what it's for but it might pertain to the battery charging.

Now go check the voltage at the battery. You should get the same voltage at the battery. If not then start following the Batt pos. wire through the trailer and check for voltage at every connection you find. Sooner or later you'll find a connection with a .3 volt or more difference between the two sides.

Fix that connection and check at the battery again to see if you get converter voltage.

Edit, Just read and absorbed what hmknightnc typed. If you're currently camping and on a generator it might not be able to keep up with the converter. If you have jumper cables use your tow vehicle to charge it up for a few hours keeping an eye on the fuel level of course, and look at it when you get home.


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OnaQuest

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Posted: 11/04/11 08:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From looking at the provided photo, I would say that you probably have an older Magnetek (63XX) converter which has a relay to isolate the charge line to the battery (unfiltered output), from the line feeding the DC Distribution panel (filtered output), when the converter is running. The relay has to de-energize when the converter is not powered so the battery can feed back to the distribution system.

It appears that relay is not working, i.e. will not close the NO contacts under power (to send charge current to the battery, but will close the NC contacts when de-energized to allow the battery to power the appliances.

mena661

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Posted: 11/04/11 07:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

k9doctor2b wrote:

TMy plan was to charge the battery with a 7550W generator by just plugging the FW into it.
Wow! Is that on a separate trailer?


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k9doctor2b

Vista, CA

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Posted: 11/04/11 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mena661 wrote:

k9doctor2b wrote:

TMy plan was to charge the battery with a 7550W generator by just plugging the FW into it.
Wow! Is that on a separate trailer?


I know, I know it's overkill. But it is the generator I have. I was going to try to pick up a smaller one but didn't find one.

k9doctor2b

Vista, CA

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Posted: 11/04/11 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OnaQuest wrote:

From looking at the provided photo, I would say that you probably have an older Magnetek (63XX) converter which has a relay to isolate the charge line to the battery (unfiltered output), from the line feeding the DC Distribution panel (filtered output), when the converter is running. The relay has to de-energize when the converter is not powered so the battery can feed back to the distribution system.

It appears that relay is not working, i.e. will not close the NO contacts under power (to send charge current to the battery, but will close the NC contacts when de-energized to allow the battery to power the appliances.


So what is the solution? Replace the converter?

k9doctor2b

Vista, CA

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

Any suggestion on a replacement?

OnaQuest

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

k9doctor2b wrote:



So what is the solution? Replace the converter?


That's what I would do, simply because the old 63XX is just a single stage charger with NO smarts at all and can cause battery damage via overcharge if left connected for extended periods of time. However, you might be able to clean or replace the relay. The symptoms would be the same if the relay coil is bad or if the contacts are bad.

You could test my theory by measuring voltage at the Converter Positive and Battery Positive terminals (on the converter board) while plugged in. The readings should be nearly the same if the batteries are being charged. If the battery voltage doesn't change from the unplugged condition, then the relay is not working.

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