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Old 02-20-2012, 12:24 PM   #1
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Battery/Converter Questions

I just purchased a 2006 Salem 392FKTB Park Model. After bringing home from Indiana to Missouri, we plugged it into shore power with an adapter cord so we could run the 12 volt lights to clean it up. The lights seemed fairly bright but quickly starting dimming and then went completely dim. I started reading the manual for the converter and it mentioned several modes including one call "Buck Mode". This whole thing through me for a loop. On my old travel trailer, I left it at a seasonal site on shore power, and could run the campers 12volt system with a dead battery and 12volt system would work fine. One of my neighbors will run his 2006 Jayco without a battery on it and did not have a problem so I do not understand why I would need a good battery on this new camper if we are on shore power. Anyway, we turned everything off, and left it alone for the night because it was getting late. I went out in the morning, and the lights were bright. Then eventually, dimmed to nothing. I went ahead and replaced the battery, and the lights are bright, but I did not have time to leave them on a long time to see if it kills the battery due to having to leave the camper at the storage lot. The old battery showed dead at the store when they tested it with 10 volts showing. The battery looked old, heck could have been the original.

I guess my question is, is this normal?

Do I need a good working battery on this camper?

Also, when the lights were dim the night before, when I would turn a light on, I could hear the cooling fan on the converter kick on for a split second, then off. When I put the new battery on, it did not do this.

Also, next to the fuses, there are red LED lights. Should these be on all the time when hooked to shore power?

When I was looking at the camper at the guys house I bought it from, we had it plugged in and lights on for over 30 minutes and had no issues.

Thanks Nick
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need a new converter to me!
If your unit is a wfco brand I would upgrade it to something better such as what I put in mine from progressive dynamics. Also I upgraded from 55 amp to a 70 amp for not that much more money!
Now if your really handy you can just replace the converter and not the whole unit for even less money.
Plug your unit into shore power then check voltage at battery. It should be over 13
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, I was afraid the converter is the problem. It is a WFCO brand.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwrboatfan View Post
Thanks for the reply, I was afraid the converter is the problem. It is a WFCO brand.


Its only a suggestion but I wouldn't bother replacing it with anotherr wfco they are cheap units
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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I haven't had a problem with my WFCO 3-stage, but if I were to replace, I would go with the PD.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the respones. I purchased
Digital Multimeter - Save on this 7 Function Digital Multimeter
Multimeter to check my voltages. My RV dealer told me with the rig plugged the wires going to the batteries should be between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. They told me a bad battery in the system can send the converter haywire and since it tried to charge the battery, i should chrck it first before chucking it
Do you know what setting the multimeter should be on for checking DCV? 20, 200, or 100? I am new to this multimeter testing. And if I wanted to check the battery, what would I set it to. Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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20 VDC should check your converter output and battery voltage too.

Best Regards,

Hob
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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Thanks. I am going to check it this weekend.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:16 PM   #9
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Ok so I stopped by the lake yesterday and checked my converter.

I plugged the camper in with the battery not attached to the battery and with no lights on I got 13.5 volts. One interesting side note, I have two positive wires going to the positive pole on the battery. One had 13.5 volts, and the other was dead.

I turned on my living room lights and they were dim, so I checked the meter again and got 4.9 Volts



I then just turned on the light above my fuse panel and got 10.19 Volts



I shut every thing off and the one wire was reading 14.98 volts



My question is shouldn't that other red wire be reading voltage as well? Could this just be a blown fuse on that wire?

I have to take a cabinet apart to get to the converter, so I did not have time to do that. I think I have a stand alone converter. Here is a picture of my fuse panel.



Any thoughts?

Thanks Nick
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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That wire may only be 12 volt when hooked to the battery
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