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Old 06-08-2015, 12:59 AM   #1
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Smoking converter can I get rid of it?

I have a 2013 Cherokee Grey Wolf 28BH which is parked and on shore power 24/7. Last night and tonight, after having a number of the lights on, we smelled a hot electrical smell from the electrical panel. Last night I took the cover off and felt the converter and it was really hot. I turned off all the DC and put a fan on it to cool it down. I had removed the two screws in front and slid the converter out to inspect it thoroughly. I did not see any evidence of a short or discoloration. The converter fan was on and working fine but the added fan got it cooled down so I put everything back together and we went to bed.

Everything went fine all day but late tonight the same thing happened again. This time when I slid it out to inspect it the large coil behind the fan is discolored as well as the circuit board where it is soldered. I no longer trust it so I'm looking for options.

Now for my questions. I'm plugged in 24/7 and do not plan on being off shore power at all. Do I even need a converter (I know I still need a way to charge my battery)? Should I replace with an inverter? Do I even need that instead of a regular battery charger to top my battery off and run my DC side (lights and fans)?

Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:11 AM   #2
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Converter converts 120 volts AC to 12 volts DC. Inverter goes from 12VDC to 120VAC. So to run your 12 volt stuff from shore power, you need a converter.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:27 AM   #3
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Do I even need a converter (I know I still need a way to charge my battery)? Should I replace with an inverter? Do I even need that instead of a regular battery charger to top my battery off and run my DC side (lights and fans)?
Short answer, yes. A converter is needed to power your 12v systems when on shore power... and also acts as a charger for your battery.

You stated above that you will always be on shore power, so an inverter really wouldn't do you any good and wouldn't make economical sense to wire your rig to run off battery (sans converter) and a stand alone charger.

There are long answers for that question too, with different results, but it sounds like you are just trying to find easiest/quickest/most economical way to get your 12v up and running. To that end.. simply replacing your defunct converter/charger is the way to go. It wouldn't be a bad idea to do some shopping around and get your converter upgraded.. if need be.

I would recommend a Progressive Dynamics. If you do a quick forum search you'll find ton of threads discussing converters.

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Old 06-08-2015, 06:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrader View Post
I have a 2013 Cherokee Grey Wolf 28BH which is parked and on shore power 24/7. Last night and tonight, after having a number of the lights on, we smelled a hot electrical smell from the electrical panel. Last night I took the cover off and felt the converter and it was really hot. I turned off all the DC and put a fan on it to cool it down. I had removed the two screws in front and slid the converter out to inspect it thoroughly. I did not see any evidence of a short or discoloration. The converter fan was on and working fine but the added fan got it cooled down so I put everything back together and we went to bed.

Everything went fine all day but late tonight the same thing happened again. This time when I slid it out to inspect it the large coil behind the fan is discolored as well as the circuit board where it is soldered. I no longer trust it so I'm looking for options.

Now for my questions. I'm plugged in 24/7 and do not plan on being off shore power at all. Do I even need a converter (I know I still need a way to charge my battery)? Should I replace with an inverter? Do I even need that instead of a regular battery charger to top my battery off and run my DC side (lights and fans)?

Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks.
More then likely you have a WFCO converter. If you have only one fan then it is. The fan is variable speed. So when you are using alot of 12 volt lighting it is getting hotter. Your fan is most likely the problem, but since you have mentioned the signs of heat that you saw, It will be only a matter of time before it will go out or worst might catch fire. I would look into a replacement now. Progressive has the best out there now. They are a true 4 stage charger also. You can get a direct replacement for your model that will just slide in and replace the wire's to the same place on the new, very easy to do. If your in warranty yet, they will replace it with a WFCO. Do yourself a favor and put a progressive in. It will also come with a charging wizard. So you can control what it will do. You can drop it down to 13.2 when in storage so you are only getting a trickle charge, or put it in bulk mode 14.4 anytime you want or need it. The problem with WFCO is that if it reads any loads at all it will never drop to 13.2 and that is for 48 hrs. That could just be the clock or your propane detector. Progressive will not do that, so it will also save your batteries from boiling out the water. Hope that helps you...
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:39 AM   #5
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You should check your battery to make sure water is at proper level and that it is good. A defective battery and additional load at night (lights) might cause the converter to overheat.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
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I understand not needing an inverter. Stupid question on my part. I guess what I'm really wanting to know is can I get rid of the converter so I'm running my 12v on the battery then straight charge the battery from shore power. Is the wiring to take out the converter too extensive? Have some experience with electrical work but don't want to kick a hornet's nest.
I'm the type of guy that keeps things as simple as possible and it seems to me replacing the converter when I don't truly need it (have shore power and battery) is adding one more place where things can go wrong. I have half a mind to get rid of the 12v side alltogether. The lights get way too hot anyway. Problem is the rf booster, propane side of the hot water heater, etc. would have to be dealt with.

fonzie- I'll be checking the water levels on my battery this afternoon. It's a "maintenance free" one so gotta tread carefully. If it's still good I don't want to mess it up. If it's low on water I'd have to replace it anyway if I still need a new converter.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:17 AM   #7
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You cannot charge batteries from shore power alone.
You "need" a converter.
Get a progressive dynamics converter with pendant and be done with it.

hot water heater require 12v on propane
Furnace is Strictly 12v
Fridge requires 12v on propane
A/c requires 12v

If you are so animate on keeping it simple then replace the converter as its the most "simple".
Changing 12v items to 110v is very extensive and "NOT" SIMPLE.

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Old 06-08-2015, 09:33 AM   #8
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Simple in my mind is trashing the $150 plus converter and replacing it with a battery charger to keep the DC side running.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:35 AM   #9
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Simple in my mind is trashing the $150 plus converter and replacing it with a battery charger to keep the DC side running.
Takes 45 minutes to replace the converter or less.
Good luck.

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Old 06-08-2015, 09:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
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You should check your battery to make sure water is at proper level and that it is good. A defective battery and additional load at night (lights) might cause the converter to overheat.
WHAT HE SAID!!! If you have a dry or shorted cell in a battery it could
cause the converter to overheat!!!
Have you checked your battery(s)?????
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