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Old 06-10-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
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Question Power Fading Fast

I have a 2014 Palomino Solaire 317BHSK that is on my property 200 miles away from my primary home and I'm having a similar issue. I plugged into my 30 amp power source and nothing really wanted to turn on. The A/C started and after a few minutes it turned off before cooling the trailer down. It kept acting like it was trying to turn back on but didn't have enough power. Then I noticed my interior lights were not coming on so I checked the battery level using the trailer's control panel and it was practically dead. So as a test I plugged the trailer into my SUV trailer light hookup to see if I could get 12v power and then everything lit up and the A/C worked with no problem with both 12v and 30 amp power. So this raises 2 questions for me.

Does anyone know if this current limiter is under all Forest River travel trailers?

And does the A/C and furnace thermostat run on 12v or directly from 30 amp power?

Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Pher1130 View Post
I have a 2014 Palomino Solaire 317BHSK that is on my property 200 miles away from my primary home and I'm having a similar issue. I plugged into my 30 amp power source and nothing really wanted to turn on. The A/C started and after a few minutes it turned off before cooling the trailer down. It kept acting like it was trying to turn back on but didn't have enough power. Then I noticed my interior lights were not coming on so I checked the battery level using the trailer's control panel and it was practically dead. So as a test I plugged the trailer into my SUV trailer light hookup to see if I could get 12v power and then everything lit up and the A/C worked with no problem with both 12v and 30 amp power. So this raises 2 questions for me.

Does anyone know if this current limiter is under all Forest River travel trailers? And does the A/C and furnace thermostat run on 12v or directly from 30 amp power?
Thanks!
OK, lots going on here - simplest to hardest:

I would have to say that all campers have current limiter protection between the converter (the unit that takes 30 amp shore power and makes DC to charge your battery and run the DC items in your camper like the furnace, lights, and fridge) and the battery. Some have another one right AT the metal box the umbilical cord goes into.

It sounds to me like you have a shore power problem that is affecting the converter as well as all your other AC items.

Low shore power voltage can hurt your camper's electronics. It causes lugging of your AC and fan and can burn up your compressor. Low shore power voltage will prevent your converter from powering up and charging your battery; which will eventually die.

Have you run diagnostics on your campground pedestal?

Bad campground power happens quite often. Most serious campers carry power protection devices. I happen to use the Franks Electronics power conditioner, but others use Surge Guard and the Progressive Industries unit to good effect.

I have to ask. WHO wired up your 30 amp socket?
Did they wire it for 220 volts?

Just because it looks like a dryer plug does not mean it is 220 volts.
RV campers are 110 volt campers.

If you plugged your camper into a 220 volt outlet, you are in for quite an experience.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:54 AM   #3
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Herk, re-read the end of his first paragraph. Sounds like a 12v converter problem. When the OP plugged into his SUV, everything that needs 12v worked.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:42 AM   #4
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Herk, re-read the end of his first paragraph. Sounds like a 12v converter problem. When the OP plugged into his SUV, everything that needs 12v worked.
Yup. This is a 12 volt issue. Dead battery either because of battery failure or converter failure. The AC, heat and refrigerator control circuits are usually 12 volts and those units will not work without proper DC voltage. Some troubleshooting is in order!
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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Herk, re-read the end of his first paragraph. Sounds like a 12v converter problem. When the OP plugged into his SUV, everything that needs 12v worked.
With a failed current limiter at the battery, when plugged into the Umbilical, you still bypass the battery. He is not charging his battery when hooked up to the TV either.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:38 AM   #6
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Yup, that's still a possibility. But, if the converter was working, he should still have DC power. AC (shore power) isn't the problem as his air conditioner was working but only when hooked to the SUV. He didn't say how long it was plugged into his SUV though. If only a few minutes while trouble shooting, the battery won't be charged. My suggestion is the OP check the 120v input at the converter input, and the DC output fuses from the converter. THough, the OP's biggest problem is 200 miles to troubleshoot.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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It was wired by a licensed electrician (or so I was told) and he was instructed for 110v. This is a new connection on the side of my house. There is a breaker box specifically for the trailer on the side of the house containing a 30amp breaker, then the electric lines were run about 100 feet to where I park my trailer. The electric outlet where the trailer is plugged in also has a separate breaker box containing a 30amp breaker. My original thought was since the length the power runs may be weakening by the time it goes that distance to the trailer. The electrician agreed and came back out and put a 40 amp breaker on the house (not the trailer). So now I need to go back at some point to test it again. I have purchased a Progressive surge protector so that's also coming with me this next trip.

I think the battery has gone bad because I had it plugged into my SUV (while it was running for about 30 minutes). After I unplugged it from the SUV everything worked but the battery on the trailer drained quickly even plugged into shore power.

My next trip I'm bringing a multi-meter to do some testing on my shore power and take the battery to get tested.

So if the battery is bad and can't hold a charge, shouldn't shore power still be able to power the entire trailer without a battery?

Thanks to everyone for your help!
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:29 PM   #8
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So if the battery is bad and can't hold a charge, shouldn't shore power still be able to power the entire trailer without a battery? Thanks to everyone for your help!
The answer here is "no." If the battery voltage is below 10 volts or a plate is shorted out, the converter has internal circuitry to shut the converter down to prevent damage.

ALL troubleshooting of the converter must be done with the battery REMOVED (cables off the battery). Failure to remove a bad battery may lead you to conclude that the converter is bad when in reality your battery was.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:02 PM   #9
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Ok, very much appreciated! You're a wealth of information for me!

Well, the first thing I'll do is get the battery checked and make sure that current limiter isn't tripped. Then go from there on further trouble shooting. Assuming the battery is bad, and I put a replacement in, what should I look for on a multi-meter reading to determine if the battery is actually charging from the shore power?

Also, if you have any suggestions on what model of multi-meter to buy, it would be greatly appreciated. I've never used one so the easier it is for me to operate would be great since I'm new at using them.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Any reading over 13 volts "is working"

ANY cheap multimeter that reads in 1/10 of a volt will be fine.
You can find these in any Home store for around 10 dollars.
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