Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-29-2015, 01:41 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
No power when using battery

Hi!

I have an older (1998) 2108 TT I recently purchased used, and while I love the camper I'm having issues using the battery alone for 12vpower. When the trailer is connected to 110 shore power everything works fine- lights, fridge, AC, etc., but when using only the battery there's no power at all. I've replaced both the battery and the 12v30A circuit breaker located on the A-frame, but with no success in resolving the issue. Lights do not power on, and the battery indicator inside the camper shows nothing at all.

Fuses and breakers all test OK when hooked to 110, but while on battery only I checked the battery cable connection at the converter with a multimeter shows 0V, indicating that no power is coming from upstream- does anyone have experience with this particular issue? Am I missing a battery bypass/kill switch somewhere, or perhaps there's a connection under the cabinetry that could have become loose?

One other thought: the 7 way cable was replaced by the previous owner a few years ago after an unfortunate incident, looking in the junction box under the trailer it appears all the wiring is co-mingled together via wire caps. Is it possible that the service tech created an open circuit by wiring everything together improperly? Previous owner never used the battery power so there's no way to confirm if this issue is new, unfortunately.

All advice is appreciated!
__________________

voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 01:47 PM   #2
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
Pull the cover off your distribution center and check for 12v there from the battery .
If not you need to work your way to the battery.

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
__________________

TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBS View Post
Pull the cover off your distribution center and check for 12v there from the battery .
If not you need to work your way to the battery.

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
Thanks!

I've done that, 0V on the multimeter. I'm hesitant to go wire by wire back to the battery for fear of messing something up even worse. I'm hoping there's a common failure point that I can focus on before getting that far
voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 01:56 PM   #4
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
After installing circuit breaker do you have power on the non battery cable side?

Is it possible the previous owner installed a battery disconnect switch?

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 02:19 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBS View Post
After installing circuit breaker do you have power on the non battery cable side?

Is it possible the previous owner installed a battery disconnect switch?

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
No disconnect switch that he knew of (fortunately I was able to contact him). He had never even used the battery,

The breaker reads 12.7V on the "BAT" post, same as at the battery itself, but ~0.9V on the "AUX" post. Should I bypass the circuit breaker and test the system that way, or do I risk damage elsewhere if there's a bigger problem?

I tested the circuit breaker with the ohmmeter and it showed continuity, which just confused me even more.
voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 02:32 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
Did you test continuity with cables disconnected? Disconnect from the battery and shore power while dinking with these cables. The current potential is huge.
__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 02:32 PM   #7
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
Try hooking up direct once.
Bypassing curcuit breaker.

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 02:46 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
Did you test continuity with cables disconnected? Disconnect from the battery and shore power while dinking with these cables. The current potential is huge.
yes- I'm not connected to shore power at all, and tested the c/b continuity before installing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBS View Post
Try hooking up direct once.
Bypassing curcuit breaker.

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
Thanks. Is it safe to connect directly at the converter inside, or should I connect at the ring terminal that connects the c/b and goes into the trailer?
voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 02:56 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoozen View Post
yes- I'm not connected to shore power at all, and tested the c/b continuity before installing.

Thanks. Is it safe to connect directly at the converter inside, or should I connect at the ring terminal that connects the c/b and goes into the trailer?
Turbs is saying temporarily bypass the C/B. You could simply move or connect the lead going to the converter to the Batt side of the C/B along with the cable going to the battery. Connect back to the battery and see if you have a interior light.

Or if all is connected, strap across the two terminals of the C/B.
__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 02:58 PM   #10
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
Turbs is saying temporarily bypass the C/B. You could simply move or connect the lead going to the converter to the Batt side of the C/B along with the cable going to the battery. Connect back to the battery and see if you have a interior light.

Or if all is connected, strap across the two terminals of the C/B.
Correct.

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 08:35 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
A small update:

Turns out the circuit breaker issue was user error- left it unhooked and reattached, self reset kicked in and no more issues. Confirmed both posts are getting the same voltage.

Using the multimeter inside the junction box I get 12V, but still no power inside at the converter. Tomorrow I might try removing the converter and try a few wires under the trailer. Here's a couple of images for reference, maybe something shown here will be useful.

Junction box (positive wire in blue cap tested good at 12V, which it should since it's only 6' past the circuit breaker)

And inside panel (0V at all 3 red, white and blue terminals)
voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 05:37 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
I can see a Red and White connected to the panel that isn't fused; what are they doing?

Second, in the J-Box it looks like all the White wires are wire-nutted together. This is a lot of wires in one wire nut, are you sure one or more wires are not open (broken off) in that busy wire nut?

Is the Battery (-) is connected to the frame?

Make sure your ground reference you are using for your meter at the panel is truly ground (-).

I would think at the upper RED lug there should be two cables, one from the Battery and the other to Converter.

As well, I think the WHITE lug (far right) should be (-) from Converter and one from the J-Box; to the frame; and all the (-) connnected in common?

You don't need to be concerned about the Converter. You know its working because it powers the lights when in shore power mode.

Your job is to get the battery voltage to the panel. Not to mention all grounding correct.
__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 10:28 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
WolfWhistle- thanks for the feedback, great insights, I really appreciate it! I'll try to respond best I can, bear with me as I'm not much of an electrician (aka not one at all), but I'll tackle these one at a time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
I can see a Red and White connected to the panel that isn't fused; what are they doing?

I would think at the upper RED lug there should be two cables, one from the Battery and the other to Converter.

As well, I think the WHITE lug (far right) should be (-) from Converter and one from the J-Box; to the frame; and all the (-) connnected in common?
The red and white leads coming down behind the fuse board are both connected to the back of battery lead terminals and feed down into the converter relay. My understanding is that the relay should switch between 110V and 12V when shore power is disconnected, but since I don't have power at the terminals now, I don't think the relay is the culprit. But I could be wrong...

There's only one white wire coming into the back of the upper panel (save the one going behind it down to the converter), it looks to me as though all the white (-) wiring is tied together at the junction box, which sounds like it may be part of my issue.

Quote:
Second, in the J-Box it looks like all the White wires are wire-nutted together. This is a lot of wires in one wire nut, are you sure one or more wires are not open (broken off) in that busy wire nut?
Good question, I'll have to take a look later this evening. My first thought when I opened the box was "Are these really all supposed to be connected?", it seems like an awful lot of wiring to be coming together to my self-admittedly untrained eye.

Quote:
Is the Battery (-) is connected to the frame?

Make sure your ground reference you are using for your meter at the panel is truly ground (-).
Battery ground looks good, I took a wire brush to the frame, screw and ring terminal just to be sure they were cleaned and had good contact. It also holds the breakaway switch mounting bracket, (which I haven't tested but need to), which I also cleaned, just in case. I was using that ring terminal as my ground when I checked the positive lead in the picture- should I maybe look for another ground?


Quote:
You don't need to be concerned about the Converter. You know its working because it powers the lights when in shore power mode.

Your job is to get the battery voltage to the panel. Not to mention all grounding correct.
Glad to hear that. Most of my camp time will be on shore power, last thing I want is to find out I have no power too late to work on it and keep things running.
voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 12:05 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
To make the job of the converter and the distribution panel clearer... Its dual purpose; having circuit breakers for 110vac (with shore power only if you don't have a Genny) and fuses for those 12vdc devices. It also houses the converter which makes. 12vdc our of 110vac. Without shore power .. you only have 12 volts to the fuses coming from the battery... No hundred 110 volt ac at all.... The only things that will work are those appliances or lights that are powered by 12 volts by the battery through those fuses. When you have shore power... AC powers all the AC devices through the circuit breakers as well as it powers the converter that supplies 12 volts DC again through the fuses to the 12 volt devices. Typically the converter also charges your batteries that's why the 12vdc from the converter and the 12 volts from the battery are on the same terminals.
__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 12:18 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
The (-) battery to the frame would not be used for anything else
If it were me.
__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 12:19 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
I'm still not clear why wires are connected to the fuse panel but not fused
__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 12:19 PM   #17
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
I'm still not clear why wires are connected to the fuse panel but not fused
Which ones?

TURBS
08 duramax tuned n modded, 32bhok Sabre
2015 camping "2 nights"
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 02:13 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
I'm still not clear why wires are connected to the fuse panel but not fused
here's a picture of the back of the panel (not my picture, but it's what my fuse panel looks like):


They feed down into the black relay you can just make out in the bottom center of that picture


Any advice on where to ground when testing the wiring in the junction box?
voodoozen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 02:17 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Evereddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Pfafftown NC
Posts: 2,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfWhistle View Post
I'm still not clear why wires are connected to the fuse panel but not fused
That's the 12volt input to the panel. Come from output of converter and battery but it's the battery connection to this that is apparently not working.
Evereddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 05:46 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
WolfWhistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoozen View Post
here's a picture of the back of the panel (not my picture, but it's what my fuse panel looks like):


They feed down into the black relay you can just make out in the bottom center of that picture

Any advice on where to ground when testing the wiring in the junction box?
I see it now... had to save the picture and zoom in... the Red and White just passes by what I thought were connections, but are in fact connected at the rear. I haven't see a panel like this. The heavy lugs seem to be common and pass from rear of the panel to the rear. Sorry to chase this rabbit.

I don't see why using the frame of the panel or a white wire (-) would be a problem for reference ground for your meter.

Now, to recap; you have +12 on the load side of the CB, but you don't have +12 at any wire in the distribution panel. Then there is an open between the two points. I would look for a battery cut off switch or another J-Box. If there isn't any of these to be found, I would run new wiring from the Battery. Probably a #8AWG or better.
__________________

__________________
Hyper Lite was sold

2017 F-250 4x4 6.2L Gas
I can't fix everything, but I can make it so nobody else can
WolfWhistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, power

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



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:54 PM.


×