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Old 08-20-2014, 10:34 PM   #1
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electrical puzzle

Trying to get out this weekend, and am having an issue. Broght camper home, plugged into the house, turned fridge on to precool and.... nothing. Tried the microwave and fireplace briefly as those are both 120 and not 12 volt I believe. They both turned on for the amount of time I tried them. Did not run them longer than what it took to see if they worked. No circuit breakers tripped, and I don't see any fuses blown. No battery power lights to measure battery strength on panel that tells you waste tank full/empty, grey tank etc etc. Converter fans turn on briefly and sporadically. Did not test all outlets, but the ones I tested had power to them. Thermostat for ac/furnace won't turn on. Was trying to test fan to see if I had power there as well.

Yeah, this is the first trip of the year. Getting kids out of high school, college, moved into their first house and sending another off to the army has made for a very busy year. Everything worked fine last fall, so I'm at a loss. Even iff the battery is weak, wouldn't house power be enough to get all running? Minus ac as its only hooked to 20 amp plug. Where else should I look? I wanna camp a few weekends before re winterizing.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:06 PM   #2
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Possibly your converter if it isn't producing power it won't be charging your batteries. That would be the effect of ehat you describe as 120v working and 12v not.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:22 PM   #3
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I'm going to say that the battery is shot and the converter can't provide proper 12 volt power because of the bad battery. Did you completely unhook the battery while in storage? If you didn't it is a sure thing the battery is gone, and it is so gone the convertor can't work around it.

What you can try now is to turn off any shore power, pull the plug. Now un-hook one of the leads from the battery and then plug back into shore power. See if your lights work and the battery indicator on the test panel reads. Now try the fridge. If all this works you have a bad battery.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:00 AM   #4
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Battery was pulled and brought into the garage. Not a heated garage, and it was brutally cold on more than a few occasions this past winter. Didn't put any charger on it before putting back in camper, and was surprised and thankful it worked at all when I reinstalled. Will unhook battery while leaving on shore power and report back. Hopefully that's the source of my problem.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:35 AM   #5
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When you hooked the battery back up, are you sure you did it right? If you reversed the wires, you may have blew the reverse polarity fuses to the converter.

On many RV's, the black wire is the positive, and it get's hooked up incorrect. If so, if your converter is equipped with reverse polarity fuses, these will blow.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:35 AM   #6
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When you hooked the battery back up, are you sure you did it right? If you reversed the wires, you may have blew the reverse polarity fuses to the converter.
Was JUST thinking that!

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:38 AM   #7
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It'd be the fuses just to the left of the main row of blue fuses.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:40 AM   #8
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Ok. Tried disconnecting the battery, shore power alone, and I get squat. Outlets read 120, ceiling fan turns on, microwave and fireplace turn on, no lights. Of any kind on 120v, but they worked when battery hooked up. Monitor panel for water,sewer etc still not working along with fridge when on shore power alone. Did not work when battery hooked up either. Have reset all gfi's and even looked for a reset switch of anykind near the battery. Shore power alone should make all things work, correct? What am I missing
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:42 AM   #9
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No, didnt hook them up backwards, but will check those fuses.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:43 AM   #10
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If the battery was hooked up backwards "trust me it happens" the short stop current limiter which is in line on positive battery cable popped and may need reset as well.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:46 AM   #11
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I did something similar. I hit the battery disconnect, but I left the battery in the trailer over the winter. Come spring, it still had 12v so I figured everything was good. Charged it up and went out on our first trip. After a couple of trips, it wasn't working and down to 8v, one more trip, it was down to 1v!

I thought for sure the battery was toast. So, I dropped the trailer off at the dealers to check the converter, and the battery off at a battery store (Not an autozone type place, but a place that does nothing but batteries) to have them check the battery. Both came back saying there was nothing wrong.

The battery place apparently charged my battery using a modified mig welder turned industrial strength battery charger while the battery sat on a old paint shaker that vibrated it while it charged. They load tested it and said everything was fine.

Sure enough, I've reinstalled the battery in the trailer, and I haven't had an issue (with the battery) since. I'm sure in the long run I've shortened the overall life span of the battery, but at least I didn't have to go buy a whole new battery.

Cost of the battery place to check it out? About $16. Well worth it.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #12
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Fuses on reverse polarity side good. Power to that side, nothing to fuses just to the right of them as illustrated by turbs picture. I have reset the breakers, and those feel fine. Well, they reset like a good one does anyway
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:01 AM   #13
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Fuses on reverse polarity side good. Power to that side, nothing to fuses just to the right of them as illustrated by turbs picture. I have reset the breakers, and those feel fine. Well, they reset like a good one does anyway
Follow your positive battery lead from the battery to your current limiter.
See if it needs reset.

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Old 08-21-2014, 07:07 AM   #14
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Ok. Tried disconnecting the battery, shore power alone, and I get squat. Outlets read 120, ceiling fan turns on, microwave and fireplace turn on, no lights. Of any kind on 120v, but they worked when battery hooked up. Monitor panel for water,sewer etc still not working along with fridge when on shore power alone. Did not work when battery hooked up either. Have reset all gfi's and even looked for a reset switch of anykind near the battery. Shore power alone should make all things work, correct? What am I missing
My hunch is the converter needs the battery (good one) which also acts as a buffer to smooth out the 12v current output. Can you just put in another good 12 v from a vehicle to test that. Then, you'll know if your bat is toast.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:22 AM   #15
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Rechecked somebody's work and found the black wire had been turned around to the negative side. Reset said somebodys work and all seems right with the world. Monitor panel, fridge, hot water heater and ac fan. Suprised it didn't blow the fuses, and even more surprised landing gear worked to allow me to get hitched up. Fridge cooling now. Will go out and light pilots for water heater and fridge in a little while. Will have to kick somebodys arse for putting me thru all this. Thanks for everybodys help. Try not to be too judgemental on somebody, ok?
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:25 AM   #16
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Rechecked somebody's work and found the black wire had been turned around to the negative side. Reset said somebodys work and all seems right with the world. Monitor panel, fridge, hot water heater and ac fan. Suprised it didn't blow the fuses, and even more surprised landing gear worked to allow me to get hitched up. Fridge cooling now. Will go out and light pilots for water heater and fridge in a little while. Will have to kick somebodys arse for putting me thru all this. Thanks for everybodys help. Try not to be too judgemental on somebody, ok?
is white your other cable ?

Good to hear!

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Old 08-21-2014, 07:30 AM   #17
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White is the other cable, yes. But even with battery disconnected, shouldn't shore power be enough to run things?
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:33 AM   #18
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White is the other cable, yes. But even with battery disconnected, shouldn't shore power be enough to run things?
Not always. I've heard some converters require the battery to be inline to run.

And in some other cases, I've heard the converter can shut down if the battery is too low.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:40 AM   #19
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White is the other cable, yes. But even with battery disconnected, shouldn't shore power be enough to run things?
It's common for the black to be positive and white being ground.
There basically mimicking the 110v wiring.
confusing I know!

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Old 08-21-2014, 08:11 AM   #20
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Try not to be too judgemental on somebody, ok?
Never!

That's what we're all here for. To help if we can, and get help when we need it.

Glad you got it figured out. As I stated it my first post, the black wire can be the positive and this easily get's confused when reconnecting a battery.

As Turbs pointed out, it's more akin to house 120 volt wiring color schemes, even though it's a battery like an automobiles 12 volt wiring. If it was all so simple, we wouldn't have a need for this forum.
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