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Old 05-29-2016, 11:46 PM   #1
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12 volt system not working please help!

So I recently bought a 2003 206st and we just set it up on our first trip to Florida with it and I think I may have cooked my power inverter. I didn't realize that the inverter is rated for 20 amp and I hooked it up to a 30 amp. We just came back from the beach and none of the lights work. I checked fuses and found a 15 amp blown, replaced it and moved the plug to 20 amp service. Now the fuse that I replaced lit with the little red light like it should but still nothing works. The a/c and outlets work but no lights, porch light, water pump or fan. Did I fry the inverter by plugging it into 30amp or could it be something else? Everything worked perfectly fine at home so I know it's something that happened today. By the way, I reset both breakers also just to make sure it wasn't them, still nothing. Please help...it's going to be a long week with no lights!
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jr2285 View Post
So I recently bought a 2003 206st and we just set it up on our first trip to Florida with it and I think I may have cooked my power inverter.

Converter...you'll really upset some people here if you call it an inverter, lol.

I didn't realize that the inverter is rated for 20 amp and I hooked it up to a 30 amp.

Doesn't matter, you'll only pull the amperage you need...it won't force 30A down you. Your main breaker on the trailer should trip first.

We just came back from the beach and none of the lights work. I checked fuses and found a 15 amp blown, replaced it and moved the plug to 20 amp service. Now the fuse that I replaced lit with the little red light like it should but still nothing works.

On my fuse panel (yours MAY be different) a red light next to the fuse indicates blown. What was the 15A to?

The a/c and outlets work but no lights, porch light, water pump or fan.

All of these are 12V systems, which indicates you are getting no 12V at all. The converter should supply 12V even with no battery attached.

Did I fry the inverter by plugging it into 30amp or could it be something else? Everything worked perfectly fine at home so I know it's something that happened today. By the way, I reset both breakers also just to make sure it wasn't them, still nothing. Please help...it's going to be a long week with no lights!
You've most likely got something disconnected or a fuse / breaker problem. You said you reset both breakers...I'm assuming you're talking about the pedestal outside. If you haven't, turn all your breakers in the trailer off and then back on. If your galley swings up or flips over, there is usually a switch that kills 12V when the sink is stowed for travel to prevent you from leaving lights on and causing a fire when you close it up. Try there first to see if the switch stuck or came loose. Also, start from the battery and work back, looking for an inline fuse (I think mine was a 25A on the frame just behind the battery) or a resettable circuit breaker that may be bad.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jr2285 View Post
So I recently bought a 2003 206st and we just set it up on our first trip to Florida with it and I think I may have cooked my power inverter. I didn't realize that the inverter is rated for 20 amp and I hooked it up to a 30 amp. We just came back from the beach and none of the lights work. I checked fuses and found a 15 amp blown, replaced it and moved the plug to 20 amp service. Now the fuse that I replaced lit with the little red light like it should but still nothing works. The a/c and outlets work but no lights, porch light, water pump or fan. Did I fry the inverter by plugging it into 30amp or could it be something else? Everything worked perfectly fine at home so I know it's something that happened today. By the way, I reset both breakers also just to make sure it wasn't them, still nothing. Please help...it's going to be a long week with no lights!
I'm kinda confused here. You cannot connect a 20 amp cord to a 30 amp outlet without some kind of adapter. The same thing applies for connecting a 30 amp cord to a 20 amp outlet....or for that matter any combination using any outlet including 50 amp ones. Did you use an adapter?

Here is a pic of the typical campground pedestal. I am posting this so you can check to make sure you are using the correct terminology as to which outlet you connected to so we can tailor the advice best.



Let's briefly explain what the converter does. It provides power to all the 12 DC volt things in your trailer when you are connected to 120 AC power. If you are not connected to 120 volt AC power, then the battery in your RV provides power. You should still have power to your lights...if you have a battery connected correct, and it has a charge.

The converter also recharges your battery, when connected to 120 volt AC.

So if you don't have 12 volt DC, then you have a depleted battery, or other too.

Have you recently replaced or disconnected/connected the battery? The reason I ask this, if you connect the battery wires backwards (it's easy to do if the wires are black and white, as black can be the positive wire), it blows what are called reverse polarity fuses to the converter. These fuses blow to prevent the converter from being damaged due to the batteries positive and negative wires being swapped. Sometimes the reverse polarity fuses are in the RV's circuit panel, but depending on brand of converter, they may be on the converter itself.

If your converter has the reverse polarity fuse(s) blown, it cannot provide power to the 12 volt DC things, nor recharge your battery....so when the battery depletes, no 12 volt DC things work.

Also if for some reason you connect to a 240 volt outlet, then you just about always fry the converter, and it has to be replaced. Can I also ask where you are camping, as well as to what you are connected to?

What some people have been able to do while on the road, when they either fry their converter or it just fails to work, is to hook up a battery charger to their battery and power the battery charger from the campground outlet. This way the battery will power all the 12 volt things, and won't deplete due to the converter not functioning.,,,,but I wouldn't haphazardly do this without knowing more of your situation and how the battery is connected.

I would also look for the 12 volt safety breaker switch that raspivey suggested. I had a Trailmanor popup one time, that killed all 12 volt DC power if the switch on the fold up bathroom wall wasn't depressed correct.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:56 AM   #4
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12 volt

10-4 what raspivey said about the fuse under the trailer tongue; my 1940 rockwood has a 25 amp spade type inline fuse among the wires under the tongue, found that one zapped, replaced it and now the interior lights, water pum, etc. now work!
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:13 AM   #5
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As said above the red light is usually a blown fuse indicator. You may have a short in a light or lighting circuit. I'd check the fuse, turn everything off, and replace the fuse and then if it doesn't blow immediately, I'd turn one thing at a time on and see when it blows. That'll give you an idea of where the short is.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:55 PM   #6
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Lost 12VDC

Agree that hooking up to 30A service is no issue. You only draw what your load is and this will not harm your converter in any way.

If you have a voltmeter... (if you don't.. you should add to your tool bag. $19.99 at Sears)
If I was there I would troubleshoot in a few minutes with the voltmeter. BUt here is troubleshooting 101...
Just start at the source (the batteries...)and work your way to the load (12VDC power distribution panel/lights...).
If there is no 12VDC at the batteries you have dead batteries.
If plugged into service, then that also means your converter (battery charger is not working either.
If this is so... then go to converter and voltage across output terminals. If zero, than switch meter to AC volts and measure 120VAC on input power to the converter. If 120VAC is there, then your converter is bad. If not, then you need to trace where you lost 120VAC to the converter back to the circuit breaker panel.

You most likely have a main fuse blown somewhere between your batteries and the 12VDC distribution terminals. An LED on means that your fuse in blown or the circuit for that load has blown open somewhere even if the fuse is good. The LED is wired in parallel with the fuse. If the fuse is good, then it bypasses the LED and there is zero voltage across the LED. If the fuse is blown/open then the voltage is provided to the LED.

I had this happen where the circuit was open and LED on even with a good fuse and I just switched the output wire to a spare fused circuit on the 12VDC power distribution panel.

Good luck...
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:53 AM   #7
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Untill you figure out the converter issue.You can plug in a 12 volt car battery charger and hook it on to your battery.that will give your trailer 12 volts.(need a good charger tho 6-10 amp).then work on getting the converter to work.If your not using a surge protector (Progressive industries pt330 or 50) then it may be a problem with the camp ground electric and it WILL fry your converter
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:59 AM   #8
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another note you say you may of cooked your power inverter.. ok first a power inverter takes 12 volt dc and makes 110 volt ac. and a power converter takes 110vac and makes 12volt dc.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:06 AM   #9
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Add to your list of equipment to carry should be a good battery charger.I always have one with me.Never used it for myself but have loaned it to others a few times when their converters have died.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:37 PM   #10
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I was one of those idiots that put 220 into my 110 unit (don't trust anyone . . . even family) get to sears and by a meter to check things out before you plug in. Had to replace my converter and also reset the reset button on my refrigerator (thought I destroyed it to). Remember to find out how much power each one of your devices uses so you don't overload the circuit. Good luck. . .
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