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Old 07-20-2020, 10:14 AM   #1
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How to tell if converter is working

We have a 2005 Surveyor. This is our first camper. Thanks to all that posted how to fix things. We were able to replace the floor. Thanks to many that have posted how they did it. Also how to open up the camper.
Now we need to know how to tell if the converter is charging the battery. The battery was no good so replaced it. And how to tell if the fridge is running on propane.
Any help will be much appreciate it.

PNJ
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:24 AM   #2
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The easiest way to tell if the converter is charging the battery is to take a volt meter and test the voltage at the battery with the shore power off (or the converter breaker off) and then turn the power on and test it again. It should be more than it was with the shore power off. If it is, then your converter is working and charging your battery.

As for the fridge, we really need to know which fridge you have, but on most you can switch it to gas on the front panel and if it still cools then it's running on gas.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:27 AM   #3
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Ok thanks. Iím only plugged into 110 not 220. Will that still work?
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
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Yes. Your RV is not 220VAC.


All recreational vehicles have 110V power outlets. A 14-50R RV outlet delivers two 120VAC legs. The appliances used in RV are compatible with those outlets. Electricians who are unfamiliar with RVs can assume that they are run by 220V outlets. But the electronics and appliances will be damaged if plugged into 220V power sources. So, make sure that the 50A service is not incorrectly wired to bring 220V electricity to the RV.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thank you. Hot water tank working. Itís not sure if the fridge is working on propane yet. Click image for larger version

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ID:	234337 this is what I have. The check light comes on when on the gas button
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:39 PM   #6
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Thank you. Hot water tank working. It’s not sure if the fridge is working on propane yet. Attachment 234337 this is what I have. The check light comes on when on the gas button
If the check light comes on that means the propane is not lighting. It could be a bunch of different things:

1. No 12v getting to the igniter to spark because of a failed control board or bad connection to the igniter.

2. Igniter tip is dirty/scaled up. Or igniter is not adjusting properly and there is too much gap between the igniter tip and the frame. (I think 1/8" is proper gap, but might be wrong).

3. Propane nozzle/line clogged not allowing propane to flow.

4. There is a flame detector that tells the control board when propane is burning, that might be defective.

5. Air in the propane line that needs to be purged.

6. Faulty valve on the fridge not opening and allowing propane to flow.

Start by lighting your propane stove and letting it burn for a few minutes to purge air out of the propane line. You reset the check light circuit by turning the power switch to off for a few seconds, then back on. Let it go through the whole process 3 or 4 times to allow air to purge out of the propane lines going to the fridge. If after 3 or 4 times of the whole ignition process failing, it's time to start looking at igniter issues or propane blockage. Spiders are attracted to propane, you might have a web/nest in the area of the igniter keeping the propane from lighting.
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
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Even easier, no meter needed

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The easiest way to tell if the converter is charging the battery is to take a volt meter and test the voltage at the battery with the shore power off (or the converter breaker off) and then turn the power on and test it again. It should be more than it was with the shore power off. If it is, then your converter is working and charging your battery.

As for the fridge, we really need to know which fridge you have, but on most you can switch it to gas on the front panel and if it still cools then it's running on gas.
An even easier way is to simply disconnect one battery cable (either one). With shore power, if the lights, etc. still work, the converter is working.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:03 PM   #8
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An even easier way is to simply disconnect one battery cable (either one). With shore power, if the lights, etc. still work, the converter is working.
Easier than touching the battery studs with volt meter probes. Besides, using the volt meter will show if the converter is actually applying a charge to the battery.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:09 PM   #9
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Easier than touching the battery studs with volt meter probes. Besides, using the volt meter will show if the converter is actually applying a charge to the battery.
Agreed.

And learning to use a voltmeter 'should' be required when purchasing a R/V.
They can be had for free (Harbor Freight) and learning to use it is not rocket science.

There have been a plethora of threads here in the last few months where a simple test with a multimeter would have fixed things in minutes rather than days and save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:47 PM   #10
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For the fridge, i just went through this with mine.
Ran on 110 fine, LP got check light.
Depends on what model you have. Mine is a Dometic DM2652RBX
As I said, worked on 110, verfied by placing a thermometer in the freezer and verified temp started dropping. Be aware the fridges work very slowly, so be patient.
Mine has a button to switch from AUTO mode to GAS. I found if I turned the fridge off, waited 15 seconds, and turned it on in GAS mode I could go and light the burner with a spark lighter ( you have to remove the cover over the burner to do so ).
Deduced the ignitor circuitry was faulty, bought and installed a new lower control board, problem solved for under $100.
Worth a watch ( different problem but good source of general knowledge):
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:09 PM   #11
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Yes, easier

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Easier than touching the battery studs with volt meter probes. Besides, using the volt meter will show if the converter is actually applying a charge to the battery.
Easier if you
a) Don't have a multimeter, or
b) Are baffled by all those settings

Obviously, this doesn't apply to you or me, Bubbles, but there are many folks who were raised in homes where such things weren't talked about.

Let me tell you, sometime, about my current DW and her daughters, and contrast that with my late wife, daughter of an electrician.
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:50 PM   #12
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Yes. Your RV is not 220VAC.


All recreational vehicles have 110V power outlets. A 14-50R RV outlet delivers two 120VAC legs. The appliances used in RV are compatible with those outlets. Electricians who are unfamiliar with RVs can assume that they are run by 220V outlets. But the electronics and appliances will be damaged if plugged into 220V power sources. So, make sure that the 50A service is not incorrectly wired to bring 220V electricity to the RV.
Sorry Fly Bob but my 50 amp service to my RV is 240 volts. The receptacles and appliances use 120 volts as dictated by the circuit breaker. I believe some of the newer motor homes now use some 240 volt appliances
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:58 PM   #13
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As far as the fridge goes, you should be able to hear it fire up at the fridge vent outside.
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Easier if you
a) Don't have a multimeter, or
b) Are baffled by all those settings

Obviously, this doesn't apply to you or me, Bubbles, but there are many folks who were raised in homes where such things weren't talked about.

Let me tell you, sometime, about my current DW and her daughters, and contrast that with my late wife, daughter of an electrician.
I was only pointing out that disconnecting the battery to test for 12Vdc from converter to unit will not test if battery is actually being charged by the converter, which is what I thought was what needed to be known. Now, if you can tell me how that can be accomplished by your suggestion, I'm all ears. Example, my unit has a resettable DC CB between the coach batteries and the converter.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pnjminer View Post
Thank you. Hot water tank working. It’s not sure if the fridge is working on propane yet. Attachment 234337 this is what I have. The check light comes on when on the gas button
That picture doesn't tell us which model you have. There should be a tag inside the door with the exact model number of your refrigerator. Also on a tag inside the lower vent panel on the outside of the rv.


Service manuals for your model can be found in the Library section of the forum. https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...hp?do=cat&id=1
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:38 PM   #16
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So, make sure that the 50A service is not incorrectly wired to bring 220V electricity to the RV.
Actually, a 50A service is a 240V service. 2 split phase legs of 120V each but measured across from each other is 240V. There are RVs that use 240V.

The ones that get incorrecty wired are the 30A 120V outlets.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:06 PM   #17
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And how to tell if the fridge is running on propane.

PNJ
Open the fridge vent cover on the outside of the trailer. Check if the stack where the gas line goes to is warm/hot while the fridge is running.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:31 PM   #18
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Measuring battery voltage with and without AC power, if your converter is working. With power, you will read probably 13.1 volts or so. Without power, something less like 12.7. For me, a DC ammeter is very handy. It's very handy for determining the state of charge, etc....
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