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Old 09-17-2015, 05:14 PM   #1
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Help! heater won't work!!

Greetings folks! I need help! I have a 2000 Forest River Tent trailer 620, and the heater & lights just stopped working when the generator is plugged in. The lights and heater only work when the 12v battery is connected... 110 electrical power outlets work when generator is plugged in as well as the inverter fan. But heater and inside lights are not effected by generator when plugged in..

You can understand my concern, since the 12v battery will not run the heater and lights for long. Why would the generator power the 110 outlets and not the lights and heater. This issue just popped up. We used the trailer last in April, and have owned it for 3 years with no issues.

Any help with ideas as to my issue would be amazing!

Thank you!!

Storm chaser Jay
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Check all your 12 volt fuses. Take them out and look closely then put them back in. If they are okay go to the heater and check wires and connections.. Last check the volts at the battery with the generator off and then running. Could be a diode in the gen or battery failure. Just some things to check
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:33 PM   #3
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Check all your 12 volt fuses. Take them out and look closely then put them back in. If they are okay go to the heater and check wires and connections.. Last check the volts at the battery with the generator off and then running. Could be a diode in the gen or battery failure. Just some things to check
First of all thanks so much for your help!! I Checked the fuses, none blown. I checked the connections on everything, all seems tight. I checked the battery and it's full and getting a charge from the generator.. It's bizarre, as generator to the 110 outlets run fine when the generator is on, the battery gets a charge from the generator, but the generator to 12V won't work, generator won't power lights or heater.. Thoughts?
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:31 PM   #4
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Are you removing the battery when trying to run the heater and lights on generator?

Strictly speaking the generator doesn't run the 12 volt stuff, the battery and converter does.

Which generator do you have?
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:52 PM   #5
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Bama Rambler is correct. The generator does not run the 12v stuff when connected. Your original post also makes me believe you are disconnecting the battery when plugging into the generator.

You don't need to do that. The battery has to stay connected to provide 12v and the converter will keep it charged when plugged in to 110v.
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:36 PM   #6
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When I disconnect the battery while the generator is running or not, it shuts the heater and lights off. 110 still works if generator is running. Generator is a 2000w Honda. I think my issue is within my inverter box..
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:12 AM   #7
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Some converters aren't designed to have the battery disconnected when on shore power (post or generator).

Did you actually test the fuses or just look at them? Sometimes they'll look ok and be bad.

The best way to test the converter is to test the voltage with the battery connected.

Fyi. It's a converter not an inverter.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:23 PM   #8
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When checking the fuses, also check the fuse's continuity (ensure it is letting power through). A lot of fuse kits have a tester/puller in them. The reason I say this, is I have seen cheap foreign-made fuses, which look fine, but actually don't work. I learned this while working on my old Hoda VFR. Doing this has saved me a lot of extra work (once I figured it out).
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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When I disconnect the battery while the generator is running or not, it shuts the heater and lights off. 110 still works if generator is running. Generator is a 2000w Honda. I think my issue is within my inverter box..
Hook the battery back up and try the heater. If it works then leave it in.

Depending on how your converter is wired it may not supply power to the heater if you disconnect the battery.

Jim
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:06 PM   #10
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When checking the fuses, also check the fuse's continuity (ensure it is letting power through). A lot of fuse kits have a tester/puller in them. The reason I say this, is I have seen cheap foreign-made fuses, which look fine, but actually don't work. I learned this while working on my old Hoda VFR. Doing this has saved me a lot of extra work (once I figured it out).
I never go by how a fuse looks. Always use a meter to check them.

Jim
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:16 PM   #11
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Your power cord supplies 110 v to the converter from the generator, the converter then supplies a charge current to the battery which in turn runs anything 12 volt, the 110v feed to the converter is also split off to the 110 v power plugs. If you are disconnecting the battery while on generator then you will lose the 12 volt side unless you connect all the 12 v positive cable ends together where they meet the battery
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:24 PM   #12
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Do not disconnect battery. Leave it turned on, run the generator, all will be fine. Lights will light, heater will heat and battery will charge. Only disconnect battery when home and parked!
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:37 PM   #13
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thanks for all the input guys! I've spent the day checking the fuses and generator and battery. ALL fuses are good, I tested each and every one. Upon further inspection, I've learned the battery is getting no help from the generator, it's at 11 volts, which would make sense since we are camping currently and using the heater and lights at night, and it's been getting harder and harder to get the heater to click, click to light and work. Further, I tested the generator and is running between 105 &110 volts. So basically I'm only getting the 110 outlets out of my generator use. No battery charge, and no heater and light power. I believe I'll have to take it in for service and get the converter replaced... I don't see much of an alternative since I need heater and lights to run off the generator and charge the battery. We spend months living out of this trailer in the fall and spring for hunting and ski seasons and the battery won't sustain.
If anyone has a referral for an RV mechanic place in the Redding, CA area that would be great!
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:41 PM   #14
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I believe my converter had stopped supplying a 12V feed.. That's why my heater and lights only run of the battery and the battery is slowly draining. I've tested the battery with the generator running and no change in volts. Also I disconnected the battery, ran the generator and tested the current going tidy the battery, no current. Which means the issue is within my converter. The converter is not supplying 12v current to my 12v system..
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:55 PM   #15
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If anyone has any suggestions for a 2015 converter solution that I could buy for my 2000 Flagstaff without breaking the bank, I would love suggestions, or website links. Or do I have to stick to the 2000 model?
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:59 PM   #16
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You could always just order a charger section for the converter and change it out yourself. It's pretty easy to do if you have just a little electrical experience.

Best Converter has good prices and great service.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:03 PM   #17
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If you have a battery charger unhook the cables from the battery and hook the charger to them.

Does the heater work that way?
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:36 PM   #18
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As has been said, there's no need to unhook the battery when using your generator. In fact, you 'may' have damaged your converter by doing so. You have indicated from your tests the converter does not seem to be charging the battery. Short of replacing (or repairing) the converter, you could hook a stand alone battery charger to the battery to recharge. Also, most (not all) generators have a 12v charge output on them. You could also use that connection directly to the battery to recharge.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:27 PM   #19
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5Picker I took your advice and hooked the 12V charge output from the generator to the battery and will charge that way in the woods until I'm back in the city to find a replacement solution. I have a Centurion 3000 and i can't seem to find a replacement of that model online. What's the next alternative? Or to repair the Centurion 3000 converter, I'm not even sure where to start.. Any ideas guys? If it was you?
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:46 PM   #20
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Best Converter recommends the WFCO 8735P as a replacement for the Centurion 3000. That's the way I'd go.
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