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Old 12-09-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
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Question lights very dim

Winterized and removed house batteries, but with the extremly cold temps the last few days reconnected to shore power and put a small heater near kitchen and bath. When i turned on the lights noticed that they were very dim. why would that be if connected to shore power?
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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I wouldn't plug the camper in without having a battery in place. Not sure what that would do to the power center, as it's main job is to charge the battery.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #3
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Most of the lights operate on 12 volts and are powered by either the battery or the converter, depending on whether or not you are plugged into shore power. If the 12V lights are dim, it could be from low output from the power source or excessive draw due to too many 12V items being on at once.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #4
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If you're running off a regular extension cord and have two electric element heaters running you probably have a great deal of voltage drop. Without batteries to buffer it the lights will be pretty dim.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:27 PM   #5
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Thanks I will put one of the batteries back in to see what happens.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #6
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You will eventually burn up the converter with no battery load. A charged battery should not freeze, I don't think. Randy
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08flagvlite View Post
You will eventually burn up the converter with no battery load. A charged battery should not freeze, I don't think. Randy
This is true; A fully charged battery will not freeze in typical freezing conditions. Not sure about the North Slope of Alaska.

The trickle charge from the 3 stage converter will also keep the electrolyte warm and assist in keeping the battery safe.

You should still check the fluid level every month.

http://www.wfcoelectronics.com/docum...%20English.pdf

Is the manual. It says nothing about running it without the battery.

However without the battery in the loop, very low AC VOLTAGE as a result of high demand and long extension cord could result in Low DC voltage output. This condition (low AC input voltage) will fry more than the converter. Check your AC voltage at the outlets. Anything below 100 volts is a SERIOUS low voltage condition and can result in failed electronics throughout the camper. (Fridge, Microwave, Air Conditioner, Water heater, Concertone, etc.) I see an Autotransformer in your future if that is the case.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:57 AM   #8
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Contacted WFCO about this

The converter can work without a battery except for opening and closing slides. Slides draw an enormous amount of power quickly and there are no converters that can keep up with the instant power demand like a battery can.

Low input voltage could cause low output however itís more likely to cause the converter to work harder to supply the DC power demand. Working harder will cause the converter normal temperature to increase which will age the electronics quicker shortening is life time.

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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Thanks Lou, I reinstalled the battery last night and also downloaded a copy of the WFCO manuel for future refrence. The lights came right back up.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:13 PM   #10
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This is all good to know. I've never thought about plugging in without the batteries in. I just take them out for the winter and bring them inside with a trickle charger mainly because I don't want to keep the trailer plugged into shore power all winter.
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