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Old 08-14-2016, 09:27 PM   #1
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Another Converter Issue?

Hi All,

I did read through all of the other converter threads including the most recent "converter might be bad" thread and debated posting in there, but wasn't sure so I started a new thread.

I have a 2010 Rockwood Roo 23RS with a WCFO 8955PEC converter.

My battery doesn't seem to be charging. I thought the issue was with the battery itself so I replaced the battery but something is still not working. Here is what I have found/done/tested so far.

With truck plugged into trailer, very little or no power seems to be getting to the battery. Battery reads right around 12V. With no battery and just plugged into truck, nothing works except for the signal and brake lights. No power tongue jack, no interior lights, no fan, nothing. Brake and signal lights still work though??? Battery level indicator in trailer reads empty even though it used to read full if plugged into running truck. I checked the fuse by the battery and it is good. Is this issue connected to the converter, or is this a different issue altogether?

When plugged into shore power, battery reads 13.56V. Battery level indicator reads full while plugged in (obviously). Battery starts discharging immediately once unplugged and goes down to around 10V. 5 minutes after being unplugged, battery indicator reads empty. Same readings when plugged into generator. Ran generator for 2 hours and within 5 min, the battery read empty. I read on another site that this converter puts out 13.6V when not in boost mode. Does reading 13.6 at the battery when plugged in mean this isn't a converter issue at all? Why isn't the battery holding any charge?

Is 13.56V enough to be charging the battery? Is this what it should read while plugged into shore power?

Not sure if the battery is actually charging at all from shore power or if it was just fully charged when we bought it. It lasted our first 2 days camping with being super conservative with power usage. I guess it's been a couple of years since we camped without power.

With nothing on in the trailer, amperage(?) draw seems to be around 0.15-0.3. Is this normal?

I checked all the fuses in the converter fuse panel and all are good.

A couple of years ago I added a DC power outlet so that I could charge my phone while camping without power. I added the outlet using one of the wires going to a light in the trailer. The outlet does have an inline fuse (not sure if that makes any difference). Is there any chance that this could be causing some issues? How can I test this?

In that other thread for the WF-8900 Series Testing Procedure, it talks about wires. Do I need to pull the converter unit out to access these wires? I don't see them. Can someone walk me through this? I don't see a breaker for the for the converter either.

I would appreciate any insight into this and any help in fixing it!

Thank you so much,
Marcie
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:29 PM   #2
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Another Converter Issue?

Here is a pic of my converter if it helps. Click image for larger version

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ID:	117310. And I do see the converter breaker now. If I flip the breaker, the lights go dim.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:35 AM   #3
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From your description it sounds like your converter is working.
It also appears that either you're not letting the battery charge long enough to fully charge it back up, or you have a bad battery.

How long are you letting the converter charge the battery before turning it off?

If the battery is heavily discharged, your tow vehicle won't provide enough power to charge the battery and power anything else. Some vehicles don't provide more than a trickle of power to the 7-way, so they won't run things like the power jack, etc..
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:51 AM   #4
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i'm not the absolute expert so get other replies.


turn signals are powered by the tow vehicle, not the battery. that is why they work when connected to tow vehicle.


13.56 volts sounds like converter is outputting power to the battery.


the usb receptacle should interfere (assuming there is nothing plugged into it).


there is normally a small amperage draw for things like monitors and remote on/off sensors


as mentioned before it sounds like there is a battery problem. can you pull them out and charge them with a separate battery charger and then see if they hold a charge? or can you take them into an auto parts store and have them checked? have you checked water level in the battery and checked the terminals?
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:01 AM   #5
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It's a brand new battery from Costco and there doesn't appear to be a way to check any water levels or anything of the sort. Does a regular RV 12V battery even have a way to do this?

It is possible that maybe we are not letting it charge long enough, but it used to be enough. KWIM? We used to be able to run the generator and have the batteries charge enough to last at least 12 hours and not just 5 minutes. This hasn't been the case with the last 2 brand new batteries though. We used to be able to dry camp for a week, run the genny in the evening and that was enough. Now 5 minutes later the battery is dead.

Also, shouldn't the converter be going into bulk mode and charging at 14+V when the battery is so dead? Could that be the issue and why it is taking so long to charge?
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:40 AM   #6
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I just thought of something else that bit me once. do you have a battery disconnect switch? if so is it on (meaning are the batteries connected to the he 12 volt system - the on/off terminology for this switch confuses me). I tried to charge them once and had the switch set to off and they batteries did not get charged.

other than that, I do not know how to test a converter. there are several posts where people say they go bad. since you have brand new batteries perhaps it is the converter. if possible can you get the batteries checked / charged and prove they are ok. if they are, it sure looks like the converter to me.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:47 AM   #7
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If the battery is discharging in 5 minutes you have either a bad battery, haven't recharged it sufficiently or you have a MUCH BIGGER draw than the 0.15-0.3 amps you mentioned.

It's been asked several times and I'll ask again... How long did you let it recharge before unplugging? 13.5v is common and some converters do have a bulk mode that increases the voltage output higher but not sure yours is one that does.

I'm guessing there is an amp draw bigger than you think.

Edit:
I just looked up your converter model and it does have a 14.4 bulk charge mode.
Again, It likely can't reach that because of whatever the draw might be on the system.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:09 PM   #8
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Well, it is plugged into the house full time when we aren't camping. This battery was brand new 4 days before we left. So 4 days on this one. It lasted 2 days camping being suuuuper conservative with power usage and we have all LED lights. We hardly even used the lights and the only things that would have been using power were the water pump for toilet flushes and the ignitor for the fridge. With the last battery it was probably plugged in for weeks and the battery died within a couple of hours of being at the campground. Again, with super conservative power usage.

When recharging on the genny, the genny ran for at least 2 hours each time. I realize that is not very long, but as I said before, we USED to be able to camp and run the genny for 2 hours each evening and have that be enough. We have had this trailer for 7 years and something has changed. We've gotten more conservative and more efficient with our power usage, but our available power seems to have decreased dramatically. Same genny, same trailer, new(ish) problem.

It could be a bad battery, but the same thing was happening with the old battery so I just replaced it with a new battery. The old battery was only 2 years old and was well taken care of. Maybe we never camped without hook ups the year before to see if all this was a problem then. I just find it hard to believe that the last 2 brand new batteries that I have bought are the issue so I am trying to see what else it could be.

I checked the amperage draw again this morning and it was at 0.25.

I just checked the converter output and it is at 13.6.

I plugged the trailer in yesterday at 3:30 pm. I checked the battery this morning at 10:15 and it was at 11.96V. I disconnected the battery to check the converter output, went out to check the battery again and it is now at 10.96V after 45 minutes of being disconnected with nothing drawing on it. Does this for sure mean it is a battery problem or is it not actually charging?

I came across this in the WCFO manual:

"If converter output voltage reads 13.6 volts, but the battery is still not charging, check for an open automatic reset circuit breaker(if provided), or an open between the converter and distribution panel or an open wire between converter and RV Battery."

Any idea where this auto reset breaker could be?

What does an "open wire" mean and how do I check for this?

Thanks all, I appreciate your help.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:19 PM   #9
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If you are testing the converter voltage directly at the battery you can forget the verbiage about open wires. They only tell you that if you test directly at the converter to make sure your wiring is OK.

If you get 13.5 at the battery when plugged in (converter working) and then unhook the wires at the battery and it's static charge is only 11.96v (after a full day of charging) and then within 45 minutes the battery is down to 10.96v (with nothing hooked to it)... you've got a bad battery.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:22 PM   #10
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Checked draw again. It was at 0.33. I heard the fridge trying ignite and it jumped to 0.79. I turned the fridge off, draw is 0.15. I don't know what else to check.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
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I did check right at the converter. Can you explain to me about open wires?

I will take the battery to get tested.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:28 PM   #12
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What they are saying about open wires is... if you check the voltage coming directly out of the converter (at the converter itself) and it is OK and your battery is still not charging, you need to check for open wiring somewhere between your converter and the battery.

This is not your case. You've indicated you checked the voltage directly at the battery (with converter on) and it was 13.5 volts, indicating the wiring between the battery and the converter is OK.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:51 PM   #13
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Thanks. Yes, it is consistent at both the converter and the battery.

Assuming the battery is good (I will bring it in today to get checked), this is my theory... The converter is half working. It works at 13.6V, but since it will not go into bulk mode at 14.4V (and nothing seems to be creating enough draw to cause this problem), the battery is not getting enough charge quickly enough to enable it to charge with the generator on for a couple of hours. I read that it can take up to 70 hours to charge a 12V battery to full with just 13.6V and 55 amps. Apparently 14.4V cuts it down to 12 hours for a 90% charge and there are new converters that will charge to 90% in 2-3 hours. If I have to replace the converter, I think I will go that way.

Am I out to lunch or does this sound possible?
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:52 PM   #14
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Hard to troubleshoot without being there, but a few thoughts-
1) Do you have an ammeter? What you need to confirm charging is to measure amperes going into the battery. Turnpike all off, disconnect one battery terminal completely, hook the ammeter in series, and turn on for charging. Should read lots of amps going into the battery (I would expect 8 or 10 amps). If little or no amperage, your system is not properly charging. A clamp on ammeter can do this without disconnecting.
2) Do you have, or can you get (buy or borrow) an automotive type reasonable amperage (e.g. Greater than 5 amp) battery charger? Use it to charge your battery (at least several hours, better overnight). Hook the battery back up - if it still dies in 5 minutes, bad battery or VERY high drain.
3) It sounds like you are measuring the converter voltage with the battery disconnected - the converter should rapidly get the battery voltage (when it is connected and turned on) to 13+ volts. If not, I would suspect the charge current is not flowing into the battery. One common cause is corroded high resistance battery terminal connections. Voltage from the converter at the wire, but high resistance terminal prevents current flow to battery. (Lots of other potential causes, but this is a common one).

I also doubt you have two fairly new bad batteries (though running the dead may have somewhat damaged them). Sure would try to fix your charge circuit before throwing another battery at the problem...I
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:58 PM   #15
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Check for tiny black button on side of connection by the batteries. See third connection down from top on mine was tripped. Also check connection by the batteries where all the ground wires are attached.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:15 PM   #16
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I simply have a hard time believing if you had the battery charging via the converter at 13.5v for the better part of a day and you unhooked the wires and checked and had static volts at 11.6, that there isn't something wrong with the battery.

Have you by chance put a stand alone battery charger on it and checked how the battery does?
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:18 PM   #17
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If your battery is at 10 volts or so, it's going to take a lot longer than a couple of hours to recharge it.

You really need to get a load test on that battery. Even though it's new, it could still be bad.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
I simply have a hard time believing if you had the battery charging via the converter at 13.5v for the better part of a day and you unhooked the wires and checked and had static volts at 11.6, that there isn't something wrong with the battery.

Have you by chance put a stand alone battery charger on it and checked how the battery does?
He is reading it with the converter running. The converter is working the 12volt systems, but not getting back to the battery.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnVtx View Post
He is reading it with the converter running. The converter is working the 12volt systems, but not getting back to the battery.
I asked him if he checked the voltage at the battery.
He said it was 13.5v at the battery with the converter on and then disconnected the wires and had 11.6v.
How could the converter voltage not be getting back to the battery?
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I asked him if he checked the voltage at the battery.
He said it was 13.5v at the battery with the converter on and then disconnected the wires and had 11.6v.
How could the converter voltage not be getting back to the battery?
He is reading it on the cable. bad ground not getting to battery.
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