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Old 12-02-2007, 09:12 AM   #1
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Converter help

All,
I posted before about the converter in our new trailer going out within 24 hours of our taking delivery. We got a warranty replacement, and I installed it within 3 days. Everything seamed fine until this weekend. On Friday we decided to "camp" in the driveway to try out the new trailer in the cold (it got down to 21 that night). In the middle of the night (~1:00 AM) I thought I heard a pop. When I went and checked, I smelled a slight electrical smell (you know what you smell when something electrical burns out). Anyway the panel showed full power on the battery, and none of the breakers where tripped, and the smell dissipated quickly. Not wanting to wake my wife or daughter, I waited till the next morning. The next morning I found that once again the converter was dead and both of it's polarity fuses were blown. The only DC items on at the time were the LP detector, the antenna amp, the radio and TV standby power and the furnace. Anyway, we hitched the beast up and took it into the dealer and asked them to take their time and figure out the problem (since we don't really need the trailer until it's a little warmer). Anyway, I was hoping maybe you guys could provide some thoughts on the issue, so I know what to keep an eye out for. a little background info that might be helpful:

- The unit was plugged into our garage via a 120 / 20 amp to 120 / 30 amp adapter plug that we used with our previous trailer

- We have used this setup for 2 years on our previous trailer with no problem

- All other DC items in the trailer not mentioned above where off.

-We were running 1 electric heater at the same time (we have used this heater before several times with our old trailer)

- When cycling off, the blower in the furnace makes a loud rattling noise (which we also asked the dealer to fix)

- No other fuses are blown

- No breakers are tripped

- The battery ran the unit the rest of the night with no problems

- After replacing the converter the first time, I ran everything DC that I could for a short period of time to check for issues (no tank heaters, pump or water heater since it's winterized). I also ran the slide in and out a few times.

- After the first converter problem I checked for voltages and shorts with a multimeter and didn't detect any problems (no shorts, power looked good).

- The furnace and electric heater had been on since 1:00 PM and the converter didn't blown until 1:00AM (assuming that was the POP)

- That night we also ran the TV, lights and Concertone DVD player

I have probably forgotten something, so please ask questions if you think of any. Again I hope the dealer can figure it out, but I thought I would ask around and get all your thoughts on it as well.

Any thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Bill
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:37 AM   #2
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A friend of mine had the same issue with his Cherokee. First day home with it popped the main DC fuses. Dealer put it 2 more units before it was right. It was the same converter as in my Puma. They told him it must be a bad batch of converters because they found nothing wrong with the installation. Il talk to him and see if he has any more info.
Kilowattkid
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:14 PM   #3
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Defective converter sounds about right. It's clear that you did nothing to cause the problem on your own. Here's a link to a WFCO Converters document with some testing procedures, but I think replacement is the right call.

http://www.wfcoelectronics.com/docs/...2025%20052.pdf
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input all. Any other thoughts are appreciated. Hopefully it's just 2 bad converters.

-Bill
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:52 PM   #5
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I have no thoughts other than previously stated.

bad converter

nuf said

greg
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:12 PM   #6
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some of the other converter issues were found to be with the insualting material to protect the two side of the dc supply, it was found some insulators were expanding and allowing metal to metal contacts and thus shorting out the electronic board. its was found to be bad assembly from the plant, keep after the dealer to get it fixed, make em load for 24 hrs to see what gets hot or burnt. good thing you guys didnt have a fire.
a 12v battery can burn down a trailer just as easy as 120 volts.
it all goes back to the slipping quality of imported items we use everyday.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Yeah the important thing is to have it in the dealer's hands - it's their issue to resolve. Whether its the converter itself or some associated component, she's under warranty and needs to be found and fixed.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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Well, the dealer installed unit has died now! That is 3 converters. The dealer said he could not find any problems, and that it must just be the the converter. I am finding that hard to believe after 3 blown units. I would question the power going to the unit, but it is the exact same outlet, 20 to 30 amp adapter plug and extension (30 amp) cord we used on our previous trailer for 2 years with absolutely no trouble. Every time it goes, it acts the same way, blown polarity fuses and the converter is buzzing. I wonder if there could possible be a battery problem that is intermittent, or possibly an intermittent short somewhere (caused by water, or moving the slide?). I just am not sure. From what I have read, the polarity fuses only blow for reverse polarity or possibly a dead short, but no other fuses are blown! That's why I thought maybe it's an intermittent bad battery (a plate shorting out?) I will take the rig back to the dealer this week I am sure. My wife is going to call the dealer tomorrow.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:14 PM   #9
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At this point, some trouble-shooting like trying a different battery would be a good idea I think. I'd also eliminate that extension cord and use a new adapter plug, though I can't see that being a problem. However, I note the following from the WFCO owner.s manual, that makes me wonder:
IMPORTANT: These fuses protect converter from damage in the event RV Battery is accidentally connected in reverse. A reverse battery connection even for a second is the only thing that will blow these fuses.

That's something to think about. I see tha tlink to WFCO is dead... here's is one to a PDF of the manual. http://www.bestconverter.com/assets/...8900manual.pdf
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:19 AM   #10
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I think the general consensus over on the open road forums tech group is that there is an intermittent short in the cabling going to the battery, or maybe a bad battery. Either way the dealer will be getting the trailer back to fix it (with these hints). I just don't like the fact that the fuses, though blowing, are not protecting the converter.

Thanks,

-Bill
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