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Old 05-23-2017, 01:37 PM   #1
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Electrical Problems in Surveyor

We bought a used 2016 Surveyor 32RETS and have had electrical problems from the start. We use it on a river lot with no power so it's plugged into a generator. When the breaker marked "converter" in the trailer is on, the converter fan comes on and almost immediately kicks back off. After about 30 seconds it tries to come on again, then off again. There is also a clicking sound in the front of the trailer when the generator is on and converter is kicking on and off. Also an excess power drain on the batteries (the batteries have tested 100% when charged). About the 3rd time we used the trailer, a new issue started. When the furnace was running, every time the water was turned on, the power went out (lights and furnace). When the water was turned off, the power came back on. When the converter breaker is off, it seems to work fine except won't charge the batteries.

We contacted Forest River and they said it sounded like the converter was bad and may have an electrical short at the water pump. So we replaced both the converter and water pump. Everything worked fine for the first few hours, then the exact same issues started all over again with the new parts.

Anybody have any ideas?
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:45 PM   #2
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Have you plugged into shore power (not generator) and verified the same condition?
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:47 PM   #3
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OK, the stuff you are describing (furnace fan, water pump, lights) are all 12 volt DC items.

When you are connected to the generator, these items are being powered via the converter (which takes 120 volt AC and converts it to 12 volt DC).

If you are not connected to a form of 120 volt AC power (the generator), then all of those same items will work directly off of the battery(s).

Have you tried to disconnect from the generator, and operate them directly from the battery. If so, did everything work that way? I know you stated you turned off the converter breaker which could accomplish the same, but I am looking for a short elsewhere.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:54 PM   #4
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Need some clarifications. What are you considering excess current draw and how did you determine that? You say batteries 100% charged. How was that tested? Generator running when you measured? How often are you running generator. Have you checked the high current 30-40A fuses in the fuse panel. Fan in converter is temp controlled and will run when converter is providing lots of current and go off once current decreases. Converter depends on battery to provide current during times of high load. If battery is bad or not connected ( blown fuses) converter will overload. To check.
Turn of generator
measure battery voltage. should be 12.6 - 13.00 depending on how quickly you measure.
Start generator, Measure voltage battery should measure 13.8 or slightly higher.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:05 PM   #5
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Just spitballing here, when you said excessive power drain, and clicking at the front of the trailer.

Nobody by chance has either deliberately or by accident pulled the pin on the emergency breakaway switch? This will cause an excessive current draw, since the brakes are being constantly energized.

We've had dogs and kids pull the pin out....as well as owners who incorrectly think you can use it as a parking brake.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Have you plugged into shore power (not generator) and verified the same condition?
We only had the trailer plugged into shore power for a short time. Didn't have the problem with the water pump shutting down the power, but we also weren't running lights and furnace at the same time.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
OK, the stuff you are describing (furnace fan, water pump, lights) are all 12 volt DC items.

When you are connected to the generator, these items are being powered via the converter (which takes 120 volt AC and converts it to 12 volt DC).

If you are not connected to a form of 120 volt AC power (the generator), then all of those same items will work directly off of the battery(s).

Have you tried to disconnect from the generator, and operate them directly from the battery. If so, did everything work that way? I know you stated you turned off the converter breaker which could accomplish the same, but I am looking for a short elsewhere.
I don't believe we have but I'll check with my husband to make sure.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Need some clarifications. What are you considering excess current draw and how did you determine that? You say batteries 100% charged. How was that tested? Generator running when you measured? How often are you running generator. Have you checked the high current 30-40A fuses in the fuse panel. Fan in converter is temp controlled and will run when converter is providing lots of current and go off once current decreases. Converter depends on battery to provide current during times of high load. If battery is bad or not connected ( blown fuses) converter will overload. To check.
Turn of generator
measure battery voltage. should be 12.6 - 13.00 depending on how quickly you measure.
Start generator, Measure voltage battery should measure 13.8 or slightly higher.
We originally thought the batteries were bad because they drained so quickly so we pulled them off the trailer and took them to a battery shop for testing. They gave them a full charge and then tested them. Said they tested 100%. We run the generator in the mornings for a couple of hours and evening for a couple of hours to charge the batteries. I'll ask hubby if he's checked the fuses.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Just spitballing here, when you said excessive power drain, and clicking at the front of the trailer.

Nobody by chance has either deliberately or by accident pulled the pin on the emergency breakaway switch? This will cause an excessive current draw, since the brakes are being constantly energized.

We've dogs and kids pull the pin out....as well as owners who incorrectly think you can use it as a parking brake.
We will certainly check that when we return to the trailer this weekend! Thank you!
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