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Old 06-20-2015, 09:37 PM   #1
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need help - several electrical issues / concerns

Brand new 2015 cardinal 5th wheel model 3825. living room in front, bedroom in rear. this may be lengthy but I want to explain fully as I have some concerns about the electrical system.

Here is the set up of the trailer. we are at home. 25 ft 110 electrical from garage to trailer. connected to a 110 to 30 amp adapter. connected to a 30 amp to 50 amp adapter. connected to the 25 ft 50 amp cable that came with the trailer. the intent of this was to be able to run the residential refrigerator in the trailer.

I was able to get the refrigerator running by turning on the inverter. but with the inverter off do 110 to the refrigerator. I know that the 50 amp circuit is wired as two 110 circuits with different busses on the distribution panel. the distribution panel is a 50 amp progressive dynamics panel and it appears to be divided into to separate sections. the top section has the following 6 breakers labelled: SO, AC, WH, WASH, REFER, DRY. to the best of my ability I verified that these breakers DO NOT have 110 power going through them. (no power to refrigerator, put 110 test plug into receptacles for washer and dryer). the bottom 6 breaker seem to have power and they are labelled REC, MICRO, GFI, 2AC, CONV, FP. I was able to confirm 110 power at the microwave, gfi outlet, the converter. so it looks like these are getting 110 power.

the immediate concern is no 110 to the refrigerator. so I thought turn the inverter on and the 110 to the converter will charge the battery and supply power to the inverter to run the refrigerator. tried this and the inverter kept powering off (probably the low voltage safeguard.) I went to the lieppert leveler and it has an option to show battery voltage. it read 11.6 volts. i have a progressive industries surge protector and it was saying 0 amps on 1 circuit and about 3 amps on the other circuit. but we had some fans running so shout them down and the second circuit showed 1 amp. so my next concern is shouldn't i be using way more than 1 amp as i would expect the converter to be trying to recharge the batteries? by the end of the day the batteries were down to 11.5 volts. a final concern about the 110 wiring. the 50 amp cable plugs into the rear of the trailer (the trailer is 40 feet long). it then appears to run up to the front to the generator compartment where it goes through the surge protector. and transfer switch. note that the batteries are up front in the generator compartment. after that the incoming 110 must travel about 3/4 of the length of the coach back to the rear door when the converter and distribution panels are located. then the converted 12 volts have to travel all the way back up to the generator compartment in front to connect to the batteries. this seems like a lot of length!

I would appreciate any observations that you may have. one option i am thinking about is to move the 110 circuit for the refrigerator off the upper or unpowered bus down to the powered bus. probably swap it with the fireplace. but i still have the concern about being able to charge the batteries. i believe it is the 30 amp to 50 amp adapter that puts the power onto only one of the 50 amp legs. does this mean that if we plugged into a 30 amp circuit i would only get power on one leg and would again not be able to run the refrigerator?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:12 PM   #2
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Guess the first thing I'd try is running a regular extension cord, and after removing the outside fridge access, plug the fridge directly into the cord. You can also just leave trailer plugged in as you had, and text that fridge outlet with a volt meter. Try it with 110 hooked up, and again with the inverter on. ?? Might give some insight into what's happening. Could test the end of your extension cord as well.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:45 PM   #3
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to all, please excuse me for being an idiot. I finally figured this out. we took the trailer out of storage and brought it home to get it ready for a trip. I never changed the battery disconnect switch. this is why it was not charging the batteries and running the refrigerator via the batteries and inverter. once I changed the switch I have the refrigerator running. sorry for the alarm.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:29 AM   #4
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Good deal. Glad it was simple.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
.
I know that the 50 amp circuit is wired as two 110 circuits with different busses on the distribution panel. the distribution panel is a 50 amp progressive dynamics panel and it appears to be divided into to separate sections. the top section has the following 6 breakers labelled: SO, AC, WH, WASH, REFER, DRY. to the best of my ability I verified that these breakers DO NOT have 110 power going through them. (no power to refrigerator, put 110 test plug into receptacles for washer and dryer). the bottom 6 breaker seem to have power and they are labelled REC, MICRO, GFI, 2AC, CONV, FP. I was able to confirm 110 power at the microwave, gfi outlet, the converter. so it looks like these are getting 110 power. Thanks in advance
That still doesn't answer why you only have power on half of the distribution panel??
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:28 AM   #6
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I know, I've been thinking of that. I thought the 30 amp to 50 amp adapter was supposed to put power on both legs of the 50 circuit. we're taking the trailer out for a few days today and I am going to verify everything. it will be a real simple test to see of the hot lead on the 30 amp adapter gets outputted on both legs of the 50 amp side. if it is not I will get a new adapter. if it is, the test meter and I will be exploring in more detail.

also going to relabel the circuit breakers. things like AC and AC2 should be AC front and AC rear. what is REC? going to find that circuit. I just like it spelled out! not for me as much as when somebody else needs to know. and you never know when that will be and how urgent it will be at the time.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:58 AM   #7
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I've often wondered the same thing. If you hook up a 50A MH to a 30A service, are you getting 15A on each leg or are you getting 30A on a single leg and nothing on the secondary leg. Anyone know the answer?
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:23 PM   #8
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I've often wondered the same thing. If you hook up a 50A MH to a 30A service, are you getting 15A on each leg or are you getting 30A on a single leg and nothing on the secondary leg. Anyone know the answer?
The adapter does not 'split' the amps to the two circuits the way to look at it is 30 amps total available. If using circuits on both sides of the 50 amp system you have to add up amps being pulled by each appliance and stay under 30 amps total.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:28 PM   #9
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My explanation on that was rather dumb.....thanks for clarifying. What I was trying to ask was if both legs on the 50A would be hot or if only one of them would be hot. I'm not real swift on electrical - obviously.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
I know, I've been thinking of that. I thought the 30 amp to 50 amp adapter was supposed to put power on both legs of the 50 circuit. we're taking the trailer out for a few days today and I am going to verify everything. it will be a real simple test to see of the hot lead on the 30 amp adapter gets outputted on both legs of the 50 amp side. if it is not I will get a new adapter. if it is, the test meter and I will be exploring in more detail.

also going to relabel the circuit breakers. things like AC and AC2 should be AC front and AC rear. what is REC? going to find that circuit. I just like it spelled out! not for me as much as when somebody else needs to know. and you never know when that will be and how urgent it will be at the time.
We have a 50 amp trailer, at home I have a 30 amp service. When I plug in with a 30 - 50 splitter it powers both busses of the distribution panel!
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