Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-10-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
New Tent Trailer Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 14
Unhappy Converter and Other Electrical Problems - Rockwood HW256

I recently purchased a 2005 Rockwood HW256 as my first popup, and have been getting it ready for our first trip this weekend. Last evening I realized my converter may not be working. Appreciate any guidance or recommendations on how to best proceed. Let me explain the symptoms:

- when I brought it home (purchased used from a private seller) the battery was dead, so I put my auto charger on it for a couple days. I also had it plugged into shore power. The battery was fully charged, maybe a little over charged; showed 13.6V when done. During this time I came to realize that the only things not working were the Thetford C2 toilet flush motor and overhead exhaust fan. All else seemed to work fine, lights were nice and bright, water pump worked, heater fan runs, etc.
- I wanted to check the converters ability to charge the battery, so I ran down the battery by disconnecting the auto charger and shore-power, and ran the water pump off the battery to de-winterized the camper. I also operated the overhead lights off the battery. After a couple days I started getting a Low Voltage/Fault light/chirp from the gas detector. I checked battery voltage at the terminals and was down to 9.3 V. I plugged in shore-power and over 24hrs the battery voltage was up to 11.6V.
- Maybe a red herring, but while trying to trouble shoot the exhaust fan over the weekend, I measured the voltage at the wire splice which goes into the ceiling (my guess for the lights and fan) near the canvas wall/ceiling above the converter, and it was 6.4V. Hmmm....seems low?
- Last night I went into the trailer while on shore-power, battery voltage 11.4V, and turned on the lights and everything looked dim. I start getting a chirp/red light from the Low Voltage/Fault from the panel. Then I turn the light off, the alarm goes away. I also checked the trailer AC outlets and all read 120V, and no fuses are blown in the converter front panel.
- Now I start thinking that there may be something wrong with the converter. I disconnect the battery, while still connected to shore-power, and the lights no longer work in the trailer. I thought to converter would transform the 120V AC to 12V DC in the absence of a battery, or am I missing something?

Please help. I think there may be multiple issues going on. Thanks
__________________

__________________
TXRI-Tenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
Fulltime family RVer
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 14,744
For your last point, I think I've read that some converters need a battery present in order for it to work.
__________________

__________________
2012 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling an early 2013 Sabre 36QBOK
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 11:49 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: X
Posts: 2,781
Your analysis is right-on. The converter is not working. There should be a circuit breaker for it. You should turn that off and back on again. If it is working, it will power lights, etc. even when no battery is around. I would suggest pulling it out and making sure that it's got AC power coming into it.

One comment: You shouldn't let your battery get down to 9.x volts. This will shorten its life expectancy.
__________________
BarryD0706 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: X
Posts: 2,781
I imagine you have a WFCO converter of some sort. There is a trouble-shooting guide for one model series in the Library section of this forum. (It mentions that there is a fuse inside.)

If you have to replace it, most people here seem to look for Progressive Dynamics converters.
__________________
BarryD0706 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Dave_Monica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,329
The voltage of 13.6V on the battery must be with it still on the charger as a fully charged battery would be around 12.7V.

Sounds like all the DC stuff works off the battery (others than the 2 things that you noted) until the battery charge runs down and obviously, the converter isn't outputting anything to the battery. You can check the converter output by measuring the voltage across the battery leads (with them disconnected from the battery) while on shorepower. You should have around 13.5V output is the converter is working properly.

Dave

Edit: Looks like I'm a little late for the party!
__________________


Nights camped in 2013 - 55, 2014 - 105, 2015 - 63
Dave_Monica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
New Tent Trailer Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 14
Problem solved. I call WFCO technical support and they stepped me through some trouble shooting. In the end it came down to a missing front panel fuse for the Reverse Battery Protection.

Now if I can just get the overhead exhaust fan and the Thetford toilet flush pump to work.

Thanks for the assist. Happy camping.
__________________
TXRI-Tenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Dave_Monica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,329
Glad to hear the WFCO tech support was able to help you out.

Some of the overhead 12V fans are fused on the unit itself...have you checked that?
The Thetford web site may help you chase down the problem with the flush pump...I guess it's separate from the fresh water pump.

Just think how worth-while camping will feel once you have the problems sorted out!

Dave
__________________


Nights camped in 2013 - 55, 2014 - 105, 2015 - 63
Dave_Monica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
New Tent Trailer Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 14
Overhead fan problem fixed! I traced out the line and confirmed 12V at the fan controller. Found an open circuit at the switch which cuts power when the vent cover is closed. When the cover was open the switch wasn't closing to complete the electrical circuit. I pressed the switch up/down a dozen times, which must have removed some of the corrosion from the contacts. Now working!

Ok, now my hot water heater won't stay lit, but I'll start a new thread for that.
__________________

__________________
TXRI-Tenter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:51 AM.