Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Is my converter dead?
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 > Is my converter dead?

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jornvango

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

We are camped in a full hookup RV park with our Casita trailer. After going out for errands this afternoon, we returned to our trailer to find everything in the trailer dead. The fridge, lights, ... all dead.

Here's what I did:
1) I checked the campground 30A pedestal and it was OK.
2) Then I unplugged the electrical cord from the pedestal to see if our RV battery would get everything going again: no deal. Everything still dead.
3) I checked the battery with my multi-meter and nothing, dead.
4) I checked the converter's fuses in the RV and both fuses had blown. I changed out both 30A fuses.
5) Thinking at this point that the converter died sometime these past few days, I replaced the RV battery. OK, everything (fridge, lighting) is working again. The battery I bought at Autozone shows 12.2V so it's a little low.
6) I plugged the RV back into the 30A campground pedestal and the battery still shows 12.2V so it looks like the converter isn't charging the RV battery. I checked the fuses and they're OK. I checked the RV electrical panel and used my multi-meter to test the battery cables leaving from the panel (to go to the batteries): 12.2V so this (I think) tells me the converter isn't charging the battery.
7) Final note: throughout all this time, the camper's 110V outlets worked, even before I replaced the dead battery.

I think I have two questions:

Question 1: My electrical knowledge is (very) low so, based on the above, am I correct to assume that the converter is dead?

For the time being, I plugged in our portable solar panel to keep the RV battery charged and we're still plugged into the RV park pedestal so we can charge our laptops and devices using the 110V outlets in the RV.

Question 2: when the fridge is turned to 'gas', it uses propane and a minimum of battery power to run. When I plug the RV into the 30A park pedestal, the fridge automatically switches to 'AC'. Does this run on 110V OR does this use the battery?
Reason I ask is that until we can get the converter replaced, I want to minimize RV battery usage since our solar panel is pretty small. I don't want to have the fridge on 'AC' if that uses the battery for its entire operation.

Thanks!!

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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

Plug it into your TV to see if battery voltage goes up with TV running.
If it does not you could have other issues.
Is there a fuse adjacent to the battery?
Did you check fuses in the 12 volt DC distribution panel?


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BFL13

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Posted: 11/11/20 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The fridge uses 12v for its controls (temperature etc) when on either gas or electric. It will use less 12v on AC with no propane burner to power.

12.2v on the resting battery means it is half full. needs charging up so it won't sulphate. (Was on the shelf at the store too long)

You can get by on shore power by just staying on battery and charging the battery up every so often with any old charger. No need to rush out and buy a new converter at twice the price of ordering one on-line for a good price.

Not clear when you swapped the battery, but the two 30a fuses were the "reverse polarity" fuses that can be blown when installing a new battery and getting the wires mixed up.

If the converter is a plug in to a receptacle, try that receptacle with a plug in lamp or something to confirm it is "live" (if it is on a GFCI circuit, reset that) --and or plug the converter into a different receptacle known to be live--use an extension cord as required.


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cavie

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Posted: 11/11/20 08:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The fridge runs on GAS/120 and 12 volts. 12 volts is the control circuit and the light. Remove the 12-volt output from the converter. Measure the output voltage. There are 2 "reverse polarity" fuses on the converter. There is an inline resettable fuse within 6'of the battery.


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BFL13

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Posted: 11/11/20 08:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP says he gets 12v with the new battery so the "battery fuse/CB" must be ok.

time2roll

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Posted: 11/11/20 08:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You did everything except check the voltage of the converter output. Everything points to a bad converter so far.

If this will take some time to sort out consider buying a portable automatic battery charger to get you through for a while. Get 5 amps minimum and 10+ amps is better. Connect direct on the battery. Don't forget an extension cord if needed.

If you can post the converter model number or at least the number off the electric panel you will get best suggestions for replacement.


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cavie

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Posted: 11/11/20 08:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

OP says he gets 12v with the new battery so the "battery fuse/CB" must be ok.


you must separate the battery from the converter. Otherwise, we don't know if he is measuring the battery voltage or the converter voltage.

pianotuna

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Posted: 11/11/20 09:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the breaker that feeds the converter. Turn it off (press firmly) then switch it back on.


Regards, Don
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Old-Biscuit

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

cavie wrote:

BFL13 wrote:

OP says he gets 12v with the new battery so the "battery fuse/CB" must be ok.


you must separate the battery from the converter. Otherwise, we don't know if he is measuring the battery voltage or the converter voltage.


OP checked the new battery voltage then plugged back into the CG 30A

5) Thinking at this point that the converter died sometime these past few days, I replaced the RV battery. OK, everything (fridge, lighting) is working again. The battery I bought at Autozone shows 12.2V so it's a little low.
6) I plugged the RV back into the 30A campground pedestal and the battery still shows 12.2V so it looks like the converter isn't charging the RV battery


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 11/11/20 10:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do think finding the converter fuses open in item #4 to be very odd. Usually a converter just dies quietly.
Even if there was a power surge it would be odd to have 60+ amps into a charged battery.
These main fuses are often called reverse polarity fuses as in battery connected in reverse.... any chance there was battery service before this event?

May as well pull the converter out and bench test. You would be looking for about 13.6 volts output.

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