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Old 07-23-2020, 09:11 PM   #1
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No 12 volt Power unless on Shore Power or Generator

We were boon-docking. When we shut down the generator for the night, the 12 volt lights got dim immediately, so I assumed the batteries were bad (5 years old.) I replaced them with two 27 series deep cycle batteries. Ever since then, when the genny is on, the 12 volts lights are on, when genny is off the lights are off.

I have read half-a-dozen posts with same problem. I have performed all the recommended tests. Everything checks out except we have no 12 volt power with genny off. We have 12.6 volts on battery side of reset fuse, 12.6 volts on opposite side of fuse, jacks and slide work, lights, pump do not. I checked power at converter. 14.4 volts with generator on, 0.0 volts with genny off.

What have i overlooked?
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:57 PM   #2
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Did you check all of your fuses?
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:22 PM   #3
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Battery disconnect switch, 30 or 40 amp reverse polarity fuses or the resetable breaker/fuse near the battery on the positive cable.
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Old 07-24-2020, 05:59 AM   #4
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I have checked battery disconnect switch, reset switch, both 40 amp reverse polarity fuses. All are good. There is no power at the 12 volt side of the converter unless the generator is running. When it is, power measures 14.4 volts. When it is not, power measures 0.0 volts. I have 12.6 volts at the jacks and slide and the lead going to the converter.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:33 AM   #5
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Start at the battery and work your way towards the inverter. Measure every connection point until you don't read 12V. There is a break in the circuit somewhere.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:40 AM   #6
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On my fuse box there are two Big wires that come from the batteries to the fuse box. Actually two sets. One to the battery, the other to the converter.

With the generator off and shore power unplugged these connections should read 12.6 if fully charged. If not, likely there is a disconnect, fuse blown. Or other device.

I would hook my old battery charger to one of the batteries. The lights should come on. Batteries should charge.

Did the batteries ever work after you changed them?

Loose wire? Wired wrong?
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:15 AM   #7
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What kind of camper are we talking about?
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:29 AM   #8
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The new batteries are working, but the power from them is not reaching the 12 volt side of the converter. Battery disconnect switch is OK. Battery reset switch is OK. I Measure 12.6 volts going to wire that leaves the reset switch headed for the converter, but no voltage arrives at the converter. I’m wondering if there is a component inside the converter that is not letting the current through.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
What kind of camper are we talking about?
Camper is 5th Wheel. 2004 Forest River Rockwood. Converter is a WFCO WF-8935AN.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:41 AM   #10
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the fact that you are getting 14.4 vdc at the converter when connected to 120 vac (shore, generator) says your converter is working. what is the voltage at the battery when the converter is working? if it not 13.2 or above there is a break in the cable path from the converter to the battery.

the break could be the battery disconnect switch in the wrong position or the resettable circuit breaker has tripped. it could be a loose or corroded connection somewhere. it could be unseen corrosion inside a battery cable.

time to get the meter back out and use it to trace the battery cables and test each and every connection to see where you lose power.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by EarlyRiser1 View Post
Camper is 5th Wheel. 2004 Forest River Rockwood. Converter is a WFCO WF-8935AN.
Under the king pin is a red capped current limiter. It should be very close to the metal umbilical cord box. The terminals there can corrode disconnecting power between the battery and the converter.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:39 AM   #12
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“ what is the voltage at the battery when the converter is working? if it not 13.2 or above there is a break in the cable path from the converter to the battery. ”

Voltage at battery w/genny running is 14.4. Doesn’t that prove the cable path from converter is good?

Battery reset switch is auto resetting. Voltage reads 12.6 on both sides of it w/o shore power.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:45 AM   #13
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Herk, I haven’t seen the current limiter. I will check for it next time I am in camp (2-3 weeks from now.) Camper stays there full time, 200 miles from home.
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Old 07-24-2020, 02:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by EarlyRiser1 View Post
Herk, I havenít seen the current limiter. I will check for it next time I am in camp (2-3 weeks from now.) Camper stays there full time, 200 miles from home.
I had a similar problem and wire brushing the current limiter solved my problem. If it is badly corroded, you may need to replace it. I think they are 30 amps.

They are resettable if it is just tripped. There is a button on one of the short sides that can be pressed in if it is popped.

The reason that limiter is there is to protect the battery from a dead short if the umbilical is cut or severed by rubbing on the road or in a jack knife. one wire goes to the battery and one goes into the metal box where it joins the wire from the converter and the hot from the truck. Opening it isolates the battery.

A similar one is on the frame of travel trailers right near the metal umbilical box on the frame.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:21 PM   #15
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One more thing...

One more thing, only alluded to thus far.

The positive battery cable will directly connect to the positive converter cable and positive terminal on the distribution board. Not always the case for the negative wiring. On some units (e.g., our Cherokee 38P), the negative battery cable connects directly to the frame. A positive cable from the distribution board connects to the frame, about four feet away from the battery cable. If either of these ground connections goes bad (and mine were rusty), there goes the power.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:38 PM   #16
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Thanks again, Herk and thanks, Larry. I will check those out. Won’t be back at camp for 2-3 weeks. So it will have to wait.
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