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Author Topic: Converter  (Read 243 times)

beetlebug

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Converter
« on: October 14, 2018, 09:59:05 AM »
I think my converter may be going out. We have shore power but in evening the lights grow dim, fridge goes off. We turn off lights last night and then this morning lights are not dim and fridge is back on.  If converter is going bad will it still recharge battery after some time?

Alfa38User

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Re: Converter
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 10:04:19 AM »
It could be that your house batteries are on their way out. Check that first. Remove them at take them to a battery seller and get a load test done, often free of charge. (Even "new-ish" batteries can fail!!)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 10:06:13 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Rene T

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Re: Converter
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 12:40:02 PM »
I think my converter may be going out. We have shore power but in evening the lights grow dim, fridge goes off. We turn off lights last night and then this morning lights are not dim and fridge is back on.  If converter is going bad will it still recharge battery after some time?

What do you have for a RV? Also what's the make and model of the converter?
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

beetlebug

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Re: Converter
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 01:34:17 PM »
I have a 2007 Keystone Montana Mountaineer. Not sure on the converter. Can't find any info in paperwork. I bought this unit used.

beetlebug

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Re: Converter
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 01:41:51 PM »
I have run into town to get a battery charger and voltmeter. Much concern is that we will dip down to 30 tonight. I have enclosed plumbing and the heater has a vent that goes to belly. If I run heater and the 12volt power goes down it shut down heater. I had not winterized yet because we don't finish our trek until October 30. If it is converter, can I attach a battery charger to battery for the night?

regval

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Re: Converter
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 04:58:30 PM »
I have run into town to get a battery charger and voltmeter. Much concern is that we will dip down to 30 tonight. I have enclosed plumbing and the heater has a vent that goes to belly. If I run heater and the 12volt power goes down it shut down heater. I had not winterized yet because we don't finish our trek until October 30. If it is converter, can I attach a battery charger to battery for the night?
Yes. The battery charger will provide the DC volts and current needed as long as the charger is able to provide the 12 DC current needed for your stuff, ie, if your appliances and lights need 20 amps, the charger needs to be able to provide at least that much. If your battery is failing and causing an overload, disconnect one post and just have the battery charger connected to the wires that go to the battery terminals.
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
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regval

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Re: Converter
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 05:19:26 PM »
I have a 2007 Keystone Montana Mountaineer. Not sure on the converter. Can't find any info in paperwork. I bought this unit used.

The model of the converter should be visible once you open the converter door. The label should indicate the manufacturer and model.  In case you don't know, the converter has circuit breakers and some small automotive type fuses that act acts as the "breaker box" for your coach. All converters have a cooling fan that cycles on/off based on how much current is being drawn from the converter. If the current demand is too high, you may hear the fan in the converter come on and run then shut off and the lights will get a little dimmer as the converter shuts down and you're running only on battery. Once cooled down, the converter will turn on again and then repeat the cycle if the overload is still there.
A couple of years ago I had one that continued to cycle on/off with nothing attached. It would run for about 5 minutes, producing the right DC volts, the cooling fan would turn on and then the converter would shut off. I could have replaced just the converter charger part, but I wanted to upgrade the capacity, so I replaced the entire unit.
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer


"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

Rene T

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Re: Converter
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 05:56:50 PM »
The model of the converter should be visible once you open the converter door. The label should indicate the manufacturer and model.  In case you don't know, the converter has circuit breakers and some small automotive type fuses that act acts as the "breaker box" for your coach. All converters have a cooling fan that cycles on/off based on how much current is being drawn from the converter. If the current demand is too high, you may hear the fan in the converter come on and run then shut off and the lights will get a little dimmer as the converter shuts down and you're running only on battery. Once cooled down, the converter will turn on again and then repeat the cycle if the overload is still there.
A couple of years ago I had one that continued to cycle on/off with nothing attached. It would run for about 5 minutes, producing the right DC volts, the cooling fan would turn on and then the converter would shut off. I could have replaced just the converter charger part, but I wanted to upgrade the capacity, so I replaced the entire unit.

I think regval may have meant to say entrance panel door. It's possible the converter is part of the entrance panel. I have a Montana (2011) and my converter is behind the entrance panel and is plugged into a standard receptacle just for it. I had to cut a hole in the backside of a cabinet to get to it. It also has it's own circuit breaker in the entrance panel.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

grashley

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Re: Converter
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 07:08:37 PM »
Since you have a brand new voltmeter,  1.  check the voltage at the battery with everything connected, early in the evening while everything is working.  Disconnect a battery cable, wait 5 minutes and  2.  check voltage again.  Do inside lights work with battery disconnected?    Reconnect everything.

Before you go to bed,  Disconnect a battery cable, wait 5 minutes and  3.  check voltage again.

Test 1 should read 13.4V if the converter is working.
Test 2 should read 12.6V if the battery is fully charged.  Lights should work on converter only if converter is working on most models.
Test 3 should read 12.6V if the battery is fully charged. With the dim lights, I suspect the battery will be significantly lower.  This would suggest a bad battery.  Pull it and have it tested.

If the converter is bad, a car charger will certainly work for awhile.  Just make sure it is not overcharging the battery
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regval

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Re: Converter
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 09:16:06 AM »
Rene,  on my Sundance 5vr, my converter panel is just inside the entrance door to the right, below a shallow, tall storage cabinet. As most I've seen, the access to the circuit breakers is by opening an access panel, which spans 1/2 of the actual converter. Anything internal to the converter requires removal of the converter assembly via 4 screws and slide it out. The Forest River TT we have has the converter installed toward the rear, adjacent to the refrigerator.

Beetlebug, I've attached a photo of a typical converter found in many Travel Trailers and 5th wheels.
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer


"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

Rene T

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Re: Converter
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 11:57:52 AM »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL