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Old 08-26-2018, 03:12 PM   #1
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Converter of battery problem

I hook my camper to 50 amp power so I can run both ACs. It is working fine for 2 days no problems. I get up Saturday morning and the lights are dim so I know something is wrong. Get my meter and the battery has 7.8 volts to it where it should read around 13-13.6. I think the converter is bad. I get the battery charger out and hook it to battery and put it on charge. That last me till I get home. I check the volts out of the campsite and they were 123 volts which is good. I get home and get the camper unloaded and think OK going to plug it in and just see what is coming out of the converter. I get 13 volts coming to fuse box and going out. Go to battery and it had 13 volts coming in to battery and to relay for generator. I guess any ideas on what could have happened because my converter is charging just fine now but 3 days ago it wasn't doing nothing. I also got under the frig and touched the top of it and the converter was warn to the touch.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Bryan
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:27 PM   #2
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do you have an integrated Inverter, like the Magnum, with built in Charger, or is it a separate Inverter and Converter/Charger setup?

(also, you could probably easily run both ACs on 30amp, but that’s a different discussion on many threads in this forum)
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
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I disconnected my WCFO converter which was integrated in my power panel and installed a new Progressive Dynamics one next to my batteries for quicker and more reliable battery charging. If the PD one ever fails, I'll have the WCFO one as a backup for not too long as WCFO converters are not known to have a reliable track record for long term use.

Check to see you have 120 volts AC going into it and if so, it probably is bad assuming all of your connectors and connections are good.

Replacement is fairly easy if you wish to install the new and probably separate converter in the same location.

If your batteries were fairly new, I'd use a smart car battery charger and get them up to 100% asap as permanent damage to the battery plates can occur if left fully discharged too long.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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I hook my camper to 50 amp power so I can run both ACs. It is working fine for 2 days no problems. I get up Saturday morning and the lights are dim so I know something is wrong. Get my meter and the battery has 7.8 volts to it where it should read around 13-13.6. I think the converter is bad. I get the battery charger out and hook it to battery and put it on charge. That last me till I get home. I check the volts out of the campsite and they were 123 volts which is good. I get home and get the camper unloaded and think OK going to plug it in and just see what is coming out of the converter. I get 13 volts coming to fuse box and going out. Go to battery and it had 13 volts coming in to battery and to relay for generator. I guess any ideas on what could have happened because my converter is charging just fine now but 3 days ago it wasn't doing nothing. I also got under the frig and touched the top of it and the converter was warn to the touch.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Bryan

Check connections make sure all are tight .
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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Well, 13 volts from the converter isn't that much. Sure it's more than a fully charged battery but since you were in the RV and using lights and other things, the voltage should be at least 13.6 when you are using DC power.

If your converter won't put out more than 13 volts with discharged batteries, you need a new converter.
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:16 PM   #6
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Check connections make sure all are tight .

X2 This might be your problem since when the trailer moved/bounced down the road it's working again.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:40 PM   #7
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I went threw and checked to make sure all connections are tight the last time I had problems and I found a connection loose to the relay on the bus bar that goes to generator. I have went threw and checked all connections already. I guess my next question would be do converters and it is a WFCO. Do they just kinda want to work after they have some age on them. Mine is 9 yrs old and I am thinking now that maybe it has some loose connections inside. I went and checked again and it is all OK. I don't know all problems seem to point to the converter
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:41 PM   #8
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Your converter is what provides power to your 12 volt DC items in the RV, when connected to shore power/generator. If you are not connected to shore power/generator, then your battery provides this 12 volt DC power alone...up until it runs out of power/depletes.


It is possible that your converter was not functioning at all during the two days you mentioned, and you just finally depleted the battery to the point you noticed the lights dimming from the low battery. We have no way of knowing how much 12 volt DC you used in those two days. I mention this, kinda trying to backtrack some. You stated you recharged the batteries with a portable recharger. The voltages you are measuring now may possibly be from that recent recharge.


Have you possibly removed/replaced or connected/disconnected your battery cables. The reason for this is, if you possibly put the cables on backwards (even for a sec)...then you will blow what is called the "reverse polarity" fuses that protect the converters circuitry.


I would also suggest checking to make sure the converter is operating by either making sure it's circuit breaker is not tripped and/or the reverse polarity fuses (up to 3 total) are not blown. These reverse polarity fuses are there to protect the converters electronics should you connect a battery backwards, but we have also seen them blow when there is an inrush of current from the converter trying to recharge a depleted/bad/faulty battery sometimes. The converter is also a battery recharger when connected to shore power/generator.


If the 120 volt AC circuit breaker to converter has tripped... or the 12 volt DC fuses for the converter are blown, then the converter cannot recharge the battery. I would suggest checking both first to make sure.


These fuses "can" be on the converter., but many are also in the RV's distribution panel..depending on make/model. See pics below:






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Old 08-26-2018, 07:42 PM   #9
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Next question? Using a battery charger to keep the 5th wheel running. What kind of problems will that bring up? If any.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:48 PM   #10
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Next question? Using a battery charger to keep the 5th wheel running. What kind of problems will that bring up? If any.

Really none, as this is what most people do when they have a converter failure on the road.


If the converter fails, then it cannot provide the 12 volt DC to the items that need such...and these items will draw from the battery only.


Your battery charger will keep the battery charged....instead of the converter doing the same.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:48 PM   #11
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The battery connections are good and clean and hooked up the way they should be
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:50 PM   #12
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The battery connections are good and clean and hooked up the way they should be

But have you checked the reverse polarity fuses?
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:19 PM   #13
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did you by chance have the battery disconnect switch off and it is now on?
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:51 PM   #14
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The battery disconnect is on I did not mention that I checked that because moving things around in the storage where it is I have shut it off before. The reverse polarity fuses? I have never hard of that. Where would I look?
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:59 PM   #15
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The reverse polarity fuses? I have never hard of that. Where would I look?
It was explained with pics in post #8.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:19 AM   #16
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I went got a better meter and I have 124 volts going to camper. At panel box I have converter in and it has 12.6 dc. The cable to battery from panel box has 12.6. battery has 12.6.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:30 AM   #17
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If I am following what you are explaining as where the 12.6 volt DC is that you are measuring...you do understand that both these wires are connected to the same block and you will get the same reading whether you are reading battery voltage...or converter voltage.

You may want remove the wire coming from the converter, and then see what the voltage is on that wire itself.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:36 AM   #18
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the red wire?
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:37 AM   #19
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If I unhook the battery cables from the battery should the converter run the lights at least inside camper?
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:55 AM   #20
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If I am following what you are explaining as where the 12.6 volt DC is that you are measuring...you do understand that both these wires are connected to the same block and you will get the same reading whether you are reading battery voltage...or converter voltage.

You may want remove the wire coming from the converter, and then see what the voltage is on that wire itself.
This is exactly what most Converter Mfr's ask customers to do before just sending their "Defective" converter's back. If disconnected and no voltage out from the converter when turned on only then can one condemn the converter's charging section.

From reading these posts my first check would be the Reverse Polarity Fuses.

On one trip I purposely ran my batteries down close to 50% SOC. When I started the generator and they began to charge I was reading an initial current of 56 amps which is near the limit for my Converter. The reverse polarity fuses are only 40 amp and I'm surprised that one or both didn't "blow". They definitely are a weak link in the circuit and purposefully so. Better for them to blow than a converter costing a couple hundred dollars or more.

To the OP, check these fuses. They may be partially hidden behind a sticker but on the WFCO panel they'll be to the left of the main fuse column.

If you remove both of the red wires as shown in the picture posted, one will come from the battery and will read battery voltage. The other is from the converter and should read a minimum of 13.6 V. If it's dead and you are sure your converter is powered up it's new converter time.

If readings are good from the Converter when isolated from the rest of the panel, check the R/P fuses.

Since some bouncing and vibration was involved it would also be a good idea to check where the battery positive lead is connected to the disconnect switch and any junction box(es) between the switch and panel. On my trailer there is a rat's nest of power wires on the frame near the tongue. It is where the tow vehicle umbilical cord joins the trailer. Power from the battery joins connections for slide, Tongue Jack, and main wire to converter panel here. There is also a circuit breaker that can trip and may need to be reset.

Lots of things to check before ordering a new converter.
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