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Old 01-23-2020, 08:29 PM   #1
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Newbie with a few questions

I just purchased a 2004 cedar creek 30ckts. It is in great overall shape, but I have a few questions. At the dealership, they had the trailer plugged into shore power. The heat had been running, then he put the ac on, so everything seemed to work ok. I asked to see the slides operate. The slide were out and did not want to retract. It was like they didn't have enough power and would work a bit then lights would dim and flash. Then he would be able to do them a little more. He said it was because there was no battery, but plugged in, they should have been working on the shore power. They brought out a big battery thing on wheels and plugged it up and the slides worked fine. Didn't seem right to me. Anyway, we get it home, and plug it up and the slides won't work. Same thing, very sluggish and keep stopping, power dimming and lights flashing. We plugged back up to the truck and with it running, slides worked ok. Not great, but they are out.

So first, all 3 slides work on one switch. My other 5th wheel only has one slide, so it this typical? What if you only want 1 slide out? Can this setup be changed and if so, how difficult is it?

The dealer said the slide were sluggish because it is so cold the hydrolics don't want to work. It is around 30F here. Does this hold water?

When we got the trailer home, the cord won't reach my ped. I used another 30 amp cord as an extension cord, but it has 15 amp plugs, so I used 30 amp adapters to connect the two cords together and to my pedestal. Also, that probably makes the cord between 40 and 55' long total. I can rewire the plugs with 30 amp plugs, but is the total length still going to be a problem? I would think this might be an issue, except for it happening at the dealership.

It got too cold and dark tonight to do anything else, but if anyone has any suggestions about what could be the issue, please let me know. I don't even know where the breaker/fuses or any systems are located on this trailer.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:50 PM   #2
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You are putting a lot of stress on your converter without a battery trying to open/close the slides. It is logical that they may not work without a battery and the dealership's explination is the same one I would use. It is really an amperage issue where the converter is designed to charge the battery not run heavy duty items. It worked slowly with your TV attached because it was using a very thin aux wire to the TV battery. Same applies to your tongue jack.

Fyi-You really should not tow without a battery. You will not have emergency trailer brakes if you come disconnected without one. The dealer should not have let you leave without one and it is illegal in many states if you have trailer breaks to not have a functional break away device. I say this to educate you not to scold. I would scold the dealer as they should know better.

The cord length at home should not be a problem provided you are using the proper gauge wiring. It sould like you may not be. Normal TT extensions are 8 gauge or lower. Walmart sells them if you have to have it now. They are cheapest on amazon and about $50. Since the wire is the expensive part it is likely cheaper to buy what you need rather than make it.

If you are switching to a standard cord what gauge are you using? You will want 10 or preferably lower if you can find it. If you have a much longer run you should not run heavy demand items like the AC or electric heaters but at 50' and standard TT cords (no adapters) you should be ok.

If using a 16gauge regular cord it will eventually overheat and could catch fire if trying to pull to much current so best to get a TT cord with lower gauge wiring. Can it charge the battery via the converter most likely but what happens when you turn on more? See this video. Again just to educate you.
https://youtu.be/noBtXZiX3ew

Not sure about the slides with 1 vs 3, but typically there is a way to do them individually. I would defer that to someone with a similar trailer.

Congrats on the new trailer!
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:34 PM   #3
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everything dbledan said is right on. the slides are using more power over a short tie period than the converter can supply. a fully charged battery will provide that short term boost needed to operate the slides and then it will recharge over a longer time period suing the lesser power supplied by the converter.

as far as all three slides operating on the same switch that is not uncommon. it sounds like the slides are operated via hydraulics. the switch starts the hydraulic pump and pressure is sent to all three hydraulic actuator cylinders. the slide that takes the least pressure to move will move first, followed by the slide taking the next amount of pressure, followed by the slide that takes the most pressure to move.

there will be a manifold with 3 valves on it up near the pump. each valve controls one slide actuator. the pressure comes from the pump into the manifold and then out an individual set of hoses to the specific slide out. you can turn these vales to the off position to remove a slide actuator from receiving pressure thus keeping it from moving. you can even turn off two valves to take two slide offline so they do not move. this would allow you to move only 1 valve. i have done this for some service. but to be honest it if very difficult to operate this valves as they are buried in a compartment up by the hydraulic pump. they are not something you would want to go adjust on a daily basis.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:59 PM   #4
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You are putting a lot of stress on your converter without a battery trying to open/close the slides. It is logical that they may not work without a battery and the dealership's explination is the same one I would use. It is really an amperage issue where the converter is designed to charge the battery not run heavy duty items. It worked slowly with your TV attached because it was using a very thin aux wire to the TV battery. Same applies to your tongue jack.
I should clarify here. First we went to view the trailer, it didn't have a battery. They don't store them in the trailers due to theft issues. That's when the slides were not working properly until they hooked the battery pack thing to it.

When we went back to pick the trailer up, they had installed a battery. We did have one for towing. It may have gotten drained with hitching and snitching and putting the slides out. Also, I think one of the fans got left on.

I still don't understand why it doesn't run with the shore power though.

The cord length at home should not be a problem provided you are using the proper gauge wiring. It is an 8 gauge cable. I wired it before to run a portable ac unit. The problem right now may be the plugs. It is going from the trailer cable plugged in to a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter plugged into the 8 gauge cable, and the reverse on the opposite end. I will get 30 amp plugs and rewire tomorrow. Then see if that works.

Right now, it blew the breaker at pedestal. I reset it, but still no or little shore power to the trailer.

There is a key switch in the main storage bay that is labeled battery disconnect. It has an on and off. Right now it is in the on position. I don't know what this is or does, or if it could be related to my issues.

At the dealership we saw the furnace, ac ,refrigerator, and lights functioning on shore power, but right now, ican barely get the 12v lights to function at all.

Thanks for responding.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:03 PM   #5
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everything dbledan said is right on. the slides are using more power over a short tie period than the converter can supply. a fully charged battery will provide that short term boost needed to operate the slides and then it will recharge over a longer time period suing the lesser power supplied by the converter.

as far as all three slides operating on the same switch that is not uncommon. it sounds like the slides are operated via hydraulics. the switch starts the hydraulic pump and pressure is sent to all three hydraulic actuator cylinders. the slide that takes the least pressure to move will move first, followed by the slide taking the next amount of pressure, followed by the slide that takes the most pressure to move.

there will be a manifold with 3 valves on it up near the pump. each valve controls one slide actuator. the pressure comes from the pump into the manifold and then out an individual set of hoses to the specific slide out. you can turn these vales to the off position to remove a slide actuator from receiving pressure thus keeping it from moving. you can even turn off two valves to take two slide offline so they do not move. this would allow you to move only 1 valve. i have done this for some service. but to be honest it if very difficult to operate this valves as they are buried in a compartment up by the hydraulic pump. they are not something you would want to go adjust on a daily basis.
Thanks. I have seen the switches and hoses you refer to. This helps my understanding. It is not something I would do on a regular basis, but is good to know about if I needed it.

Your response was very helpful.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:28 PM   #6
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I'm not an electrician, so I might be talking out my butthole, but … if your ped only has 15 amp outlets I would question two things: 1) what amp breaker is running that circuit and what else is on that circuit; and 2) what gage wire is powering the 15 amp outlets?


My understanding (which could be wrong) is that if you attempt to draw 30 amps through too small of a gage wire the wire will overheat and potentially start a fire unless the breaker cuts off.


Don't know about where you live, but building code for me won't allow running a 20 or 30 amp breaker unless everything downstream is 20 or 30 amp rated.


Again, I'm not an electrician, but it might be worth looking into.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:03 AM   #7
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The pedestal is 30 amp. Nothing else on that circuit. The 8 gauge cord I was using as an extension cord has 15 amp plugs on either end. In order to use it, I put 30 amp plug adapters on either end. The two 15 amp plugs are the only thing in the whole setup that is not 30 amp.

However, I should be able to run a standard 16 gauge extension cord to a standard 110 outlet, and get lights. I am not even getting lights.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dallasrules View Post
The pedestal is 30 amp. Nothing else on that circuit. The 8 gauge cord I was using as an extension cord has 15 amp plugs on either end. In order to use it, I put 30 amp plug adapters on either end. The two 15 amp plugs are the only thing in the whole setup that is not 30 amp.

However, I should be able to run a standard 16 gauge extension cord to a standard 110 outlet, and get lights. I am not even getting lights.
Use a volt meter and see where you loose the power.

the #8 wire DOES NOT fit the 15 amp plugs. Who ever made that would have had to remove strands of wire to make them fit. Cut them off and replace with 30 amp plugs. You have bad/loose connections.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:06 AM   #9
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Take that 16 ga extension cord and cut the ends off and use it for a close line. It has no business anywhere near your RV. It is much too small. 16 ga wire is only good for 10 amps amps.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dallasrules View Post
The pedestal is 30 amp. Nothing else on that circuit. The 8 gauge cord I was using as an extension cord has 15 amp plugs on either end. In order to use it, I put 30 amp plug adapters on either end. The two 15 amp plugs are the only thing in the whole setup that is not 30 amp.

However, I should be able to run a standard 16 gauge extension cord to a standard 110 outlet, and get lights. I am not even getting lights.
This statement makes no sense.
Is it an 8 gauge cord? Is that a mistype?
I don't believe you could physically put 15a plugs on an 8 gauge cord and have successful connections.

Yes, you should be able to run a proper sized (NOT 16 gauge) extension cord and get lights by powering the converter.

With all that you have mentioned, you could have a discharged battery... a bad battery... a battery disconnect switch not on... a converter that isn't putting out charge voltage... blown battery protection fuses in the converter... converter 120v breaker popped and finally no power through whatever conglomeration of cords/adapters you have.

I have to wonder why the dealer isn't helping you get this battery situation sorted out on a unit you just purchased?
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:57 AM   #11
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as cavie said it is time for a multimeter. sounds like you two different problems going on, both of which seem like they are quite easy to solve.

the 120 volt power cord - when you hooked up you tripped the pedestal breaker (30 amp). i'm assuming you did not have 120 devices turned on in the trailer (a/c, electric water heater, microwave). the converter may have been on. go to your trailer circuit breaker distribution panel and turn all breakers off. reset the 30 amp breaker on the pedestal. then hook up your power cord, extension cord, and the adapters. does the pedestal breaker trip? if so you have a short in that power supply path. take a meter and heck for proper voltage at each and every point of connection. start at the pedestal itself and work towards the trailer. if the breaker on the pedestal does not trip go to the trailer distribution panel and turn each breaker back on one at at time. make sure the devices each circuit are turned off while you are doing this, ie no load on the trailer breakers. finally if you can get the breakers to stay on try actually turning the individual devices on. but i'm thinking the short will be in the power cord and adapters and you will find it real easy.

the battery disconnect switch - the purpose of this switch is to disconnect the batteries from the 12 volt loads in the trailer while it is in storage. the theory is that if no loads are connected to the battery it will not discharge while in storage. using the switch is easier than going to the battery and removing one of the cables at the battery terminals. i believe that when the switch is on the batteries are online and connected.. when the switch is off the batteries are offline and disconnected. with the red key type switch see if you can pull the key out of the switch. if you can the switch is off. if you can the switch is on. (i may be backwards as i can't get my head around the on / off terminology). again if you can pull that read key out of the switch the batteries are disconnected from the 12 loads in the trailer.

but there is more about that switch. if you have them disconnected they are also disconnected from your converter. so if you have 120 volt power available that would run the converter, and the batteries are disconnected, they will not get a recharge. only turn the switch to the off position when you have fully charged the batteries and you want to let them keep that charge while in storage where 120 volt power is not present.

but there is more. as i mentioned before that is the theory of the battery disconnect switch. they install them and then proceed to wire several loads directly to the battery that bypass the disconnect switch. so there are probably some small loads still connected to the batteries that will draw then down while in storage even with the switch off. what these loads are will vary by model. it will be things like co or propane monitors, anything with a remote control, some entertainment systems that need to save channel presets, etc. these are not big loads but over time they will deplete the battery.

if i were you get the power cord issue resolved. once you have proper power to the trailer turn the disconnect switch to on and let the converter charge the batteries. if you have power while the trailer is not being used just leave the disconnect switch in the on position all the time.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:39 PM   #12
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Bad ground?

I had the same problem with my one slide out- it wouldn't work on shore power at all. Turns out the slide runs on DC (battery) only and I had a bad ground wire that wasn't fully connected. After fixing the ground wire, everything was fine.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:11 PM   #13
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Slides

Get at least a 10 gauge extension cord and try it again. You need MORE POWER. You will not know if there is a problem until you hook to 50 amp.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:50 PM   #14
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I just purchased a 2004 cedar creek 30ckts. It is in great overall shape, but I have a few questions. At the dealership, they had the trailer plugged into shore power. The heat had been running, then he put the ac on, so everything seemed to work ok. I asked to see the slides operate. The slide were out and did not want to retract. It was like they didn't have enough power and would work a bit then lights would dim and flash. Then he would be able to do them a little more. He said it was because there was no battery, but plugged in, they should have been working on the shore power. They brought out a big battery thing on wheels and plugged it up and the slides worked fine. Didn't seem right to me. Anyway, we get it home, and plug it up and the slides won't work. Same thing, very sluggish and keep stopping, power dimming and lights flashing. We plugged back up to the truck and with it running, slides worked ok. Not great, but they are out.

So first, all 3 slides work on one switch. My other 5th wheel only has one slide, so it this typical? What if you only want 1 slide out? Can this setup be changed and if so, how difficult is it?

The dealer said the slide were sluggish because it is so cold the hydrolics don't want to work. It is around 30F here. Does this hold water?

When we got the trailer home, the cord won't reach my ped. I used another 30 amp cord as an extension cord, but it has 15 amp plugs, so I used 30 amp adapters to connect the two cords together and to my pedestal. Also, that probably makes the cord between 40 and 55' long total. I can rewire the plugs with 30 amp plugs, but is the total length still going to be a problem? I would think this might be an issue, except for it happening at the dealership.

It got too cold and dark tonight to do anything else, but if anyone has any suggestions about what could be the issue, please let me know. I don't even know where the breaker/fuses or any systems are located on this trailer.
You need a good battery to operate slides even when hooked up to shore power.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:50 PM   #15
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To trip the breaker you either have a too many high draw items on or a short somewhere.

Have you used that 30 AMP outlet for another camper? Or is it new? If new don't plug the camper back in until you check it with a meter, between each combination and report the results.

I doubt if the size of wires had anything to do with slides not working. Even if the pump draws 50 Amps at 12V (which is a lot) that is only about 5 Amps on the 120V cable.

Double check the battery disconnect, even though it sounds backwards I believe at least some the "ON" means the disconnect is on which means the battery is disconnected
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:44 PM   #16
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is the trailer 30 amps or 50 amps? you say you are plugged into the 30 amp pedestal with a 30 amp. then there is the extension cord. you said you had 15 to 30 adapters on each end it it. just how is the extension cord plugged into the trailer. if the trailer is 50 amp and you have some high amp device on in the trailer when you connect the cord between the pedestal and the trailer you could be overloading the 30 amp pedestal breaker. ensure that everything is off in the trailer when youo connect the power cord and see if it trips as soon as you connect it.

ARE YOU SURE THE PEDESTAL IS WIRED PROPERLY FOR A 120 VOLT 30 AMP RV AND NOT FOR A 240 VOLT 30 AMP CIRCUIT?
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:28 PM   #17
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The pedestal is 30 amp. Nothing else on that circuit. The 8 gauge cord I was using as an extension cord has 15 amp plugs on either end. In order to use it, I put 30 amp plug adapters on either end. The two 15 amp plugs are the only thing in the whole setup that is not 30 amp.

However, I should be able to run a standard 16 gauge extension cord to a standard 110 outlet, and get lights. I am not even getting lights.

You have two different electrical systems in this RV. Some things only run off 120 volt AC, and some things only run off of 12 volt DC.


Your converter could be bad, and or you may have now blew reverse polarity fuses to the converter.


Please read these threads to get an understanding of both:


http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...nt-152813.html


http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post2215949


Do you have access to a standalone battery charger similar to something like this?
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #18
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i would first determine what the 120 volt issue is. you should be able to get 120 volt into your trailer. do you have an EMS protector in the incoming shore power path? they can block power but they will show a status code of why they are blocking power.

it sounds like multi meter time. test each and every connection from the pedestal to the trailer. you need to know where you are losing power. i wouldn't even spend tome on the 12 volt stuff until you have a steady stable 120 volt power supply coming into the trailer.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:31 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions. We have shore power and the battery is fully charged. Here is what I think happened and what we did to get things going.

First, I think there were some things drawing power from the battery on the trip home which left the battery partially drained to start with. (We are now aware of the battery disconnect switch) Then I think putting the slides out wiped it out. Second, I think the 15 house plugs on my cord were causing issues. I rewired with 30 amp plugs. I have a 50' rv cord coming tomorrow. We now have shore power and the battery is now reading 100% charged.

Along the way, I have come up with new questions, but those are for other posts.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:53 PM   #20
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We now have shore power and the battery is now reading 100% charged.
.
I hope you used a multimeter to determine the 100% charge. If you were still plugged into shore power and went by the monitor panel, that's NOT how you determine battery charge amount. You have to disconnect from shore power, wait awhile and then test the battery with a multimeter.
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