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Old 09-08-2020, 11:21 AM   #1
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Converter bad?

Well....maybe not the converter itself- here's the back story.
Camping this last weekend. I knew my battery was having a hard time and I might have to replace it. It didn't make it the first day. Replaced the battery as I figured I'd need. That battery was dead inside of 12 hours.
Nothing running in the trailer other than the clock on the radio. Speaker started popping in the middle of the night. Had to pull that fuse to get some sleep.
Charged the battery the next day with the truck running- it recovered back to 12 volts. Bled back down to 4 and change same day.
Started checking what I was able to after charging the battery again - being in the middle of the forest I was limited but did have a voltmeter- 11.9 at the battery. Same voltage across 3 of the 4 fuse slots. The radio slot was only 8 and change.
So I'm thinking the fuse board has a flaw in it; of course I'm about 2 months out of warranty for the WFCO power center.
Should I try to replace that board or just replace the entire power center with something a little better like a Progressive Dynamics or something??
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:42 AM   #2
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If I understand your post correctly, your battery died while dry camping. You replaced it (likely with a battery that wasn't 100% charged because it had been sitting at the store for who knows how long). That battery went dead from some parasitic drain in the camper so tried charging it with the 7 way plug on your truck.

Unless you are plugged into shore power or a generator, your converter will not maintain/charge your battery. Using the truck to charge the battery is not the best solution as it takes many hours to bring a lead acid battery to 100% once drained that far.

I would plug the camper on to shore power and measure the voltage at the battery to see if your converter is charging the battery.

As for dry camping, you need to find your parasitic battery drain and/or make sure you battery is 100% before leaving the house by plugging it in over night.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:50 AM   #3
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Or have I read too much into it and you were plugged in all weekend and still having issues?
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:55 AM   #4
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Sounds like your radio might be a pretty good drain if it's pulling the voltage down on it's circuit. It would at least be worth checking out.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:02 PM   #5
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^^^^ What sdelam said.
When I first read your post, unlike sdelam, I missed that you were dry camping.
Is this your first dry camping experience or have you done this before and this is a new problem?
You probably already know that you have electronic ignitions on appliances that can drain that battery as well as the propane alarm. Our battery fully charged on our tt would last 2 days max if we didn't use any lights. Usually it would last only one night.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:16 PM   #6
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Sorry- probably too many things floating around in my head. So to clarify a bit more:
Trailer was plugged in prior to departure. Ran fridge on 12v on the way up- truck power should have covered that.
Camping in the woods. Totally dry- about 7 miles off the paved road.
Battery dead next morning. Replacement battery tested at 100% prior to departure from the store.
That battery was dead in 12 hours with nothing running.
In the woods- I measured a voltage discrepancy in fuse 1 (8v) vs voltage in fuse 2, 3 and 4 (all 11v). There is also some odd gray residue on the circuit board of the fuse side.
With the trailer plugged in at home I have no power issues.
My battery is isolated and charging (on a separate charger) as we speak. I will be able to function test the battery in the garage this week- but I am betting that it will be dead overnight with no load. Then I guess I can move on to trouble shooting further.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
^^^^ What sdelam said.
When I first read your post, unlike sdelam, I missed that you were dry camping.
Is this your first dry camping experience or have you done this before and this is a new problem?
You probably already know that you have electronic ignitions on appliances that can drain that battery as well as the propane alarm. Our battery fully charged on our tt would last 2 days max if we didn't use any lights. Usually it would last only one night.
This is a new issue. I have done this same trip for the last 2 seasons and had no issues for 2-3 days on battery even operating the furnace at night. No electronic ignitions on my appliances. Just LED lights and the furnace fan (which never ran on this particular trip).
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:56 PM   #8
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The fact that your speakers were "popping" means that the amplifiers and speaker power were on, or were coming on intermittently. The low voltage on the stereo circuit says to me that the current was too great for the wiring on that circuit. I'm suspecting a short inside you stereo or in the wiring (speaker wiring is possible, too).

RV stereos are commonly re-purposed automotive units. The input has 2 positive wires, 1 for keep-alive, 1 for primary power. In automotive use, primary power comes through the ignition relay. When you turn the key off (or similar event in newer cars) primary power is turned off. Keep-alive power, directly wired to the battery, is used to keep memory and settings alive. In an RV the 2 input wires are tied together with unpredictable results. In my campers, any sudden voltage change (plugging into or unplugging shore power or tow vehicle) would cause the stereo to turn itself on. I was able to catch this by the speaker "pop". The cure was to install a switch in both positive leads to the stereo to kill power completely. Loss of presets (radio stations and equalizer) was acceptable to me.

But in your case, I'm suspecting an internal stereo problem, or some frayed wires touching each other or ground. An ammeter would help verify my suspicions.

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Old 09-08-2020, 01:16 PM   #9
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Well that's a possible problem- I had thought maybe the radio was bad too but I was thinking that if the voltage across that fuse (with the fuse out of the holder) was lower than the others than the problem resided at the board and not the radio.
Maybe I'll see about unplugging the radio from that circuit to see if the voltage changes.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud23 View Post
Well that's a possible problem- I had thought maybe the radio was bad too but I was thinking that if the voltage across that fuse (with the fuse out of the holder) was lower than the others than the problem resided at the board and not the radio.
Maybe I'll see about unplugging the radio from that circuit to see if the voltage changes.
Help me understand. You removed a fuse then measured the voltage across the contacts where the fuse was supposed to be mounted? If that is correct, why would you expect the voltage to be the same on one side to the other: you have no way of knowing how voltage is working itís way back to either fuse terminals.

What do you measure on both sides when fuse is installed? It should be the same unless the fuse is blown.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalford View Post
Help me understand. You removed a fuse then measured the voltage across the contacts where the fuse was supposed to be mounted? If that is correct, why would you expect the voltage to be the same on one side to the other: you have no way of knowing how voltage is working itís way back to either fuse terminals.

What do you measure on both sides when fuse is installed? It should be the same unless the fuse is blown.
I guess I wouldn't presume to know what the voltage would be downstream of the fuse- but shouldn't I be expecting to see the same voltage at the fuse terminals that I see at the battery? Am I missing something?
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud23 View Post
I guess I wouldn't presume to know what the voltage would be downstream of the fuse- but shouldn't I be expecting to see the same voltage at the fuse terminals that I see at the battery? Am I missing something?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud23 View Post
Well that's a possible problem- I had thought maybe the radio was bad too but I was thinking that if the voltage across that fuse (with the fuse out of the holder) was lower than the others than the problem resided at the board and not the radio.
Maybe I'll see about unplugging the radio from that circuit to see if the voltage changes.
Iím not sure where you are measuring but you said across the fuse with fuse out? If youíre talking about a 12 volt feed to a fuse then yes I would expect it to be the same. Not sure where you are measuring but I think it is a good idea to disconnect the radio just to eliminate it.
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