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Old 08-15-2010, 08:06 PM   #1
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A/C Breaker Tripping - Also notice battery is not charging

Disclaimer: We love our camper, we consider this a 'strange' thing to be happening.

Ok folks, we've got a 2010 Palomino Sabre 32BHOK-6 (purchased in April) and absolutely love it. It has been problem free except for one thing... The A/C breaker keeps tripping, and sometimes it trips the outside breaker.

First wrote this off as maybe a low voltage situation at the campground, but we have been to several campgrounds since, in various states, and the problem continues to occur. The A/C will trip for no reason. Sure it's happened when running the microwave (but not always), but at other times it will trip for no reason at all. Here is an example:

Camped this weekend Friday - Sunday. Tripped three times Friday afternoon. Once while we were sleeping Friday night. Saturday afternoon (and hot as hell) it did not trip the breaker. Woke up Sunday morning to find the breaker tripped some time in the middle of the night. We have minimal electric use going on. Rest assured we are not pulling to many amps.

So my original thoughts were a bad compressor or capacitor in the A/C causing it to work extra hard. But then something else strange happened. When we packed up this morning, I unhooked the electricity and then went to raise the landing gear and nothing. Checked the battery monitor, nothing. So normally I don't unhook the electric until I'm hooked up to the truck, so I have no idea how long the battery has been dead.

Got back home, brought the battery down to an auto parts store and the battery is fine. The charging system is not working.

Two thoughts: If the battery isn't charging, all the 12v stuff is probably drawing off the main and perhaps this is leaving little for the A/C? Secondly, what I thought was an A/C problem may be a converter problem instead.

Any thoughts on this? I'm going to bring it to a local dealer shortly, but sometimes some good advice is worth its weight in gold when dealing with a repair shop.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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I'm having a breaker problem also in my 2011 Flagstaff, but its just tripping the main breaker in camper, dealer blames it on the campground but no other campers are having a problem and dealer could not duplicate the tripping. Im getting electrician to check all the circuits, like you despite this hiccup we love our camper and know we can solve this problem,, good luck and please post you solution.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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I'm not too familiar with the Converter/charger in your unit. In ours it is a separate box located in the power compartment. The converter/charger is plugged into an outlet there. Check to see if you have a breaker in the load center for the converter and turn it off, then run the AC and see what happens.

The other thing you need to check requires a multimeter. With your rig plugged in and the battery hooked up, you should be recording a voltage at the battery of between 13.1 to 13.6 if the charger is working correctly. If it isn't, check the fuses for the charger, there may be one or two of them depending on your unit.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:01 PM   #4
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I checked the voltage with a meter at the battery and it is flat. Also checked it at one of the auto-resetting fuses/breakers (there are two of them) near the battery and still nothing. Can those auto resetting fuses go bad?

Also found an orange lead with a 30amp fuse leading to one of the auto-resetting fuses. Fuse looked fine, need to research and find out what this orange lead is for, maybe the fuse holder is bad.

BTW, this little bit of news is in regards to trying to figure out why my battery won't charge. And I'm still not certain if I get the battery charging whether it makes a difference in my A/C breaker tripping. Does anyone know if the battery is utilized, in any form or fashion, when connected to shore power?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:28 AM   #5
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The battery should not be utilized when connected to shore power. It will however be used for spikes in the 12 volt side, for example when the furnace starts, or the water pump, especially if your converter is in float mode. Otherwise the converter is used to charge the battery. Now if you are plugged in to shore power, and you aren't reading more than 13 volts on the battery, the converter is working too hard, and may be drawing excessive current. One last thing to check, plug the camper in to the tow vehicle, and check battery voltage with tow vehicle running. It should once again be over 13 volts. Also just because a parts store says your battery is good doesn't mean anything, from a guy in the business too long.

Since you have a meter, why not check that 30 amp fuse that "LOOKS" fine. Also when the said you checked the battery and it is flat, what do you mean? 12 volts? 0 volts? How about an actual voltage reading. Sorry, I'm an engineer, I have to deal in real numbers.

Double check the orange wire with the fuse that feeds the "AUTO RESET CIRCUIT BREAKER!!!!' , (there is no such thing as an auto reset fuse). It is not normal to use a fuse and a beaker in the same circuit, doesn't make sense.

Chasing electrical problems take time, and you have to be sure where the wires go and what hey feed. You can't guess, or assume. Words of wisdom.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:18 AM   #6
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I agree with Windrider here.

Check for 12 volts from the tow vehicle's connector pin 4 (the battery charging line).

If you arrive at the campground after a long drive, and your tow vehicle is not charging your battery; your battery will be low. (possibly very low)

Your power center will go into a fast charge cycle on initial connection to shore power that will have a fairly high initial power draw for several hours. (actual length of time depends on how low your battery is).

Trying to use AC in addition to charging your battery could exceed 30 amps easily.

My GMC Sierra had pin 4 disconnected at the fuse block under the hood.
Here is the procedure to get that corrected.

I also included the manual for my Power Center as it discusses at length the charging pattern.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre Family View Post
Can those auto resetting breakers go bad?
Mike, While it is possible for them to "go bad" it is far more likely to have corroded terminal connectors causing the "opens" or "swingers" (connections that work some times and not other times).

Remove the suspected terminals; buff lightly with sandpaper; then reinstall.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice so far.

Battry had 0 volts. I tried both with shore power and with the truck hooked up, no power at battery.

Just for clarification, the camper has been hooked up to shore for about a month, and not running the A/C because its just on a 15-amp at the house to keep fridge/lights going. When we went camping this weekend, it was just a 40-mile drive. So that battery should not be bone dead. I am missing that 13-volts...

I'm going to parse through all this stuff you guys gave me so far and figure something out.

And yes, I should not have called that a auto-reset fuse, its a circuit breaker! Bussman DC Circuit Breakers

Thanks everyone so far,
Mike
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre Family View Post
Battry had 0 volts. I tried both with shore power and with the truck hooked up, no power at battery.
If you did not have a multistage charger there is a really good possibility that the battery is boiled dry.

Zero Volts is not just dead. Its rotten with worms crawling through it.
A dead battery should read about 8 volts.

You will most likely need to replace it to even start troubleshooting.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:13 PM   #10
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wow after all that
i would get it in for warranty work before it expires
my converter went dead in the middle of winter, I woke up to a low drone from the heater barely turning and FREEZING in side the rv.
cheap converters in rigs are all the rage.
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