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Old 06-12-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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2004 176SD with power issues

Hey everybody... I bought a 2004 Flagstaff 176SD LTD last weekend, and got a great deal on it because the guy was selling it for his in-laws, and we couldn't get the power to work on it. I work in the computer industry, and know lots of folks with electrical experience, so I figured how hard could it be to figure out. Well... I'm stumped now.

When I plug into shore power (my house), I'm getting power to all of my receptacles. However, I'm not getting power to anything else (lights in the ceiling, furnace or sink). My friend who used to do electrical work traced the AC power in and saw that it was good (120v). He also checked the fuse on the inverter board and it was good. However, no power is coming out of the board... not even to the smaller board with the LEDs on it. This would imply that the inverter board is bad, but I wanted to check here first before I went and bought one. All other fuses have been checked and are good.

Tonight I'm going to check 12V with my car battery and see what happens there, and I'll report back on that.

Many thanks in advance!

Kenneth
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Make sure you are checking for 12V to the lights etc. 120V in and 12DC out. To me sounds like the inverter is bad, but please wait for others to chime in.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Hi Kenneth,
Hopefully someone with a Flagstaff pup can chime in. But, what comes to mind first is the possibility of a galley switch. I don't know if this is in your camper or not, but its a common safety switch in certain popups that is switched "on" once the galley was set up correctly. Its sometimes red in color.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kpinto View Post
Make sure you are checking for 12V to the lights etc. 120V in and 12DC out. To me sounds like the inverter is bad, but please wait for others to chime in.
Good point, I didn't even think to check for 12V at each item. I'll do that tonight also.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Triguy View Post
Hi Kenneth,
Hopefully someone with a Flagstaff pup can chime in. But, what comes to mind first is the possibility of a galley switch. I don't know if this is in your camper or not, but its a common safety switch in certain popups that is switched "on" once the galley was set up correctly. Its sometimes red in color.
Hey Triguy, I'm assuming the "galley" is the sink? Just now getting up to speed on my camper lingo. ;-) Anyway, I did depress the red button on the bottom of the sink, to no avail. Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Hey Triguy, I'm assuming the "galley" is the sink? Just now getting up to speed on my camper lingo. ;-) Anyway, I did depress the red button on the bottom of the sink, to no avail. Thanks!
I have seen them in some friends' campers. They called them "galley switches". I don't recall the models. One needed to flip his gas stove and sink over into an upright position in order to depress the switch to work his interior 12-volt items like the ceiling lights.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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Inverter converts 12v to 120v
Converter converts 120v to 12v

You most likely do not have an inverter since it supplies 120v

You do have a converter Eucharist supplies 12v which is what your having problems with.

You need make and model which is located on power distribution panel.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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f1100turbo, you're right, it's actually an inverter, not a converter. See attached for a picture of it. There is 110v coming into it on the top left, but nothing going out of it on the right. Could that still be caused by the galley switch, or some other unknown switch? I've depressed the galley switch multiple times with my hand, but still no power. Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by heygreene View Post
f1100turbo, you're right, it's actually an inverter, not a converter. See attached for a picture of it. There is 110v coming into it on the top left, but nothing going out of it on the right. Could that still be caused by the galley switch, or some other unknown switch? I've depressed the galley switch multiple times with my hand, but still no power. Thanks.
heygreene, that's a CONVERTER, not an inverter.

all RV's come with a CONVERTER. only a few come with a inverter installed from the factory, usually motorhomes. and that's to run 110vAC items on battery power, when you don't have shore power.

people always get these terms mixed up.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #10
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heygreene, that's a CONVERTER, not an inverter.

all RV's come with a CONVERTER. only a few come with a inverter installed from the factory, usually motorhomes. and that's to run 110vAC items on battery power, when you don't have shore power.

people always get these terms mixed up.
Thanks Bikendan! Any idea why I'm getting juice into it, but not out? Can the galley switch or some kind of other kill switch cause that, or does this just imply a bad converter board? Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #11
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My galley switch would come unhooked from the wires, leading to a total black out. Something to check, imo.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:24 PM   #12
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OK, so I took a multimeter and tested continuity for the galley switch. It tested good. I then tested for DC power to the galley switch by testing both sides of it to ground. No juice at all. Can anybody think of ANYTHING else that could be causing this before I buy another converter (WFCO 8712)? Surprisingly, they're only around $100 new from what I could see.

Thanks again, I really appreciate all of the help!!!
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:23 PM   #13
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Product manual

heygreene, couple of questions and a product manual here.
1) Were you able to connect a battery into the circuit?
2) What voltage did you have at the battery terminals with 110v on the camper? The voltage present would tell whether the converter is in charge mode or not.
3) What was the battery voltage without 110v on the camper?
4) How clean were the battery terminals? Corroded terminals can be a headache.
Here is a link to a site with the manual for the WFCO8712 converter
http://www.microlitetrailer.com/down...FCO_Manual.pdf
The troubleshooting section is a bit thin, but with the questions above and what they suggest to check we might be able to help you.
Hope this helps.

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:16 AM   #14
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Chris, here are the answers to your questions, and some additional info. I'd never hooked a battery to the camper before, since I just got it last week. I did that this morning, and here are the results.

1) Were you able to connect a battery into the circuit? Yes. Before attaching the (el cheapo) car battery to anything, it read 12.43v by itself.

2) What voltage did you have at the battery terminals with 110v on the camper? 12.24v (which went down to 12.22v after I had 110v turned on for around 10 minutes, but may have been from lights etc on inside of the camper). Lights, water pump, heater, etc all worked with the battery hooked up, and the receptacles worked also.

3) What was the battery voltage without 110v on the camper? 12.24v. Lights, water pump, heater, etc worked on 12v battery, but the receptacles did not (I'd assume this is normal).

4) How clean were the battery terminals? Very clean. This is a brand new car battery.

Thanks for the help!!!

Kenneth
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #15
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Kenneth, you should see the battery voltage go up after a few hours with the camper plugged in to 110v. It should approach 13.2 volts and a bit more as it reaches full charge. Check again later this afternoon and see what you get. That will help tell us if the charge circuit is OK.
You will not see 110v at the outlets unless the camper is plugged in, the battery provides current only to 12v loads like the lights, pump, etc.
When I asked about battery terminal cleanliness I was wondering about the cable connections. If they are corroded?

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:53 PM   #16
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OK, I plugged the battery back in tonight and on 110v it was showing 12.27v. I'll check it again in the morning and let you know what it says. As for the battery terminals and cable connections, all were in very good condition. Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #17
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See below for an update. I ran the refrigerator on 110v all night last night just to make sure it was working properly (which it was).

Voltage as of 9pm last night: 12.27v
Voltage as of 7am this morning: 12.35v

I was unable to leave it hooked up all day, since this is my car battery. I haven't gotten around to purchasing one for the camper yet, but hopefully this will tell you what you need to know. Thanks again!
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:14 AM   #18
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Something seems amiss to me.

As an example, my fully charged batteries will measure around 12.8V (measured after 24 hours of sitting idle). 12.27V indicated a battery at 60% SOC. Was your battery fully charged?

Assume that I plug into my 30amp shore power at home (and running fridge and HWH on 110), I measure around 13.6 volts at the battery. The 55amp converter in my trailer is doing its job in absorption mode.

If I disconnect the batteries and allow the surface charge to dissipate either by attaching a load or waiting for awhile, my batteries will read fully charged at 12.8V.

Your reading of 12.35V after 10 hours of charging seems off. See the chart below. That would mean the battery is only at about 70% SOC. Now it may be that your converter only has 12amps to start with and that this falls rather quickly while charging so maybe a longer charging test is needed. I don't know but I suggest you check the converter output voltage with a voltmeter. Here is the download for your WFCO 8712. See page 6.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:33 AM   #19
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Scott, a few things may be happening here. First off I'm dealing with an el cheapo battery from Auto Zone, and I'm also charging/using it in my 1998 Subaru Outback, which had a battery die slowly on me recently, which indicated to Auto Zone that the alternator may be failing (it has 210k miles on it... so I'm reluctant to put much cash into it). With that being said, I may have only been at 60% SOC when I started, if my car is hindering the battery's charge already.

I actually tried measuring the 110v output to the converter board a few days go, and got nothing going out, although I had 110v coming into the board. However, I didn't have the battery hooked up at the time. I can try and test this again with the battery hooked up, if you think that would help.

The converter board seemed dead without the battery, so does having the battery installed complete some sort of electrical chain that is needed for the 12v to work? I just naturally assumed that the battery was only needed if/when we were going somewhere without shore power, and that the 110v would convert to 12v automatically any other time. Thanks!
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:46 AM   #20
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So you already did that test at the converter and got nothing. I'd say the converter is probably done for.

My understanding of that test is it requires the battery to be disconnected so testing with it connected wouldn't help.
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