PACE Vision Electrical Problem

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Mr_BillH

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Oct 28, 2012
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5
Hello,

I have a 1997 Pace Vision Arrow with the P chassis and we experienced a very unusual problem with it this weekend. 

Since the last time we were out with it the temps here have dipped and we are now definitley in furnace weather in the evenings. My coach has dual proane furnaces, one for the front one for the rear bedroom and needs AC power to run them.  I have used the furnaces before and never had an issue. This trip, when we fired them up we noticed that after staring up and running for a while they were suddenly not working. After checking the normals, I happened to start checking A/C breakers.

I had one breaker that was not tripped, but when I shut it off and turned it back on, suddenly all the coach lights got very bright (we had not noticed they had dimmed - but later realized this was always a sign) and the furnaces then fired up and ran. This continued through evening 1. At start of day 2 I decidied I must have a weak breaker since it was never fully tripping and replaced the breaker causing the issue. Exact same issues continued thru evening 2. I have since  brought the coach home and ruled out any electrical issues from the campground electrical supply, it does it here at home as well.

Looking back, I can honestly say my wife and have commented before how sometimes the lights are dimming and brightening in the coach when we are plugged in to a power supply. I can't say for sure but think it is also doing it while running on the generator.

???

What is going on here and where should I look??

Thanks!


 

Just Lou

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Dec 25, 2005
Posts
8,105
You need to determine what functions are powered by that breaker.  I suspect it may be powering your converter.

There may be some problem with loose wiring in that circuit or specifically with the converter. 

 

Master-Tech

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Jun 25, 2006
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82
Location
Jonesboro Arkansas
I agree with Lou, i also belive your converter maybe trying to short out causing breaker to trip, a soft trip is just enough kick down but you gotta completely reset , if everything powering back-up after the reset , your strictly on battery reserve and furnance drops out at or around 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 volts,  but also you could have an AC outlet shorting out causing the trip and converter maybe on same cicuit , i would check converter then start checking outlets, one to look at is in basement storage and refer. outlet , maybe even check refer heating element - was the frig still working on AC ?  i hope this helps ,,,, Good Luck ,    Rodney ,,,  ;D
 

Mr_BillH

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Oct 28, 2012
Posts
5
Well. its hard to say on the fridge. As soon as I saw I had electrical issues I switched it to gas. However even though it was on gas the fridge would actually shut itself off also. It would not do it instantly, as soon as I shut the breaker down, but ...sometimes... later.. it would shut itself off and set the "check" light on the fridge.

And yes, the breaker was doing a "soft break" not enough to completely reset, but enough to not let full current through.

How would I test the converter?  Is there a way to troubleshoot the fridge?  I know some about electrical but with everything this unit has going on it looks like an electrical engineers dream!

Thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
The fridge requires constant 12v power to operate, even in LP gas mode. Low voltage will shut it down.

You can disconnect the converter cables from the battery and check the voltage on the cales (not the battery). Should be 13.3 or more, probably more like 13.6. But if the converter is shorting out internally, it may be producing proper voltage up to the point where it trips the 120v breaker that feeds it.

What make and model converter/charger do you have? Have you located it yet?
 

Alfa38User

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Oct 4, 2007
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Most RV furnaces and the lights  operate on DC (12V), not AC so your need for AC (120V) seems to be tied to the converter producing the 12V and thus charging the batteries, as others have noted.

You may have batteries that are a little long in the tooth and not taking/holding a decent charge and overloading the converter. I think all those items mentioned before, as well as battery age and condition, have to be taken into account. Have you checked the water in each cell of your batteries lately???
 

Mr_BillH

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Oct 28, 2012
Posts
5
Batteries are fine. They are about 2 years old and with the master breakers thrown on the rv so there is no voltage draw, the coach batteries will stay up for months between uses.
 

Mr_BillH

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Oct 28, 2012
Posts
5
"What make and model converter/charger do you have? Have you located it yet?"

I believe it is tucked back under the fridge and a little hard to access. I haven't gotten the make yet




 

Alfa38User

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If you suspect it is located behind a combined fuse/circuit breaker panel, the make, if not the model number, is likely stencilled on that front plate or on the door/cover.
 

Just Lou

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Dec 25, 2005
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I think that by 1997 Fleetwood was using the PD-91XX converters and I would expect it to be on the wall of one of your basement bays.
 

rsalhus

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Jul 20, 2006
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I believe it is tucked back under the fridge and a little hard to access. I haven't gotten the make yet

That's where a lot of them are.  Ours has the manufacturer's label on top of it also, so you can't read it when looking at it.  Take a digital camera, turn on the flash and set it up for macro mode.  Hold it in one hand and extend your arm so the camera is above the charger/converter and snap a picture of the label (if that's where it is on yours). 
 

Mr_BillH

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Oct 28, 2012
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5
OK, I have an Intelipower Power 9000, Model pd-9155

I called the local RV shop here and he told me it's probably the converter. He told me the fans fail then they can start getting hot and cause intermitent shorts that would cause a soft trip. He also said a dead battery cell would cause the convertor to overwork itself and do the same thing.

I did pull my batteries out and check them. I have (2) 6 volts in series. The cells all tested fine, but I did find that the positive lead was slightly loose and a little corroded. From what I have found out - this ***could*** be the  issue - correct? 

My voltage meter died today so I need to get a new one tomorrow to test actual volts coming from the converter.
I really want to do some testing and know its fixed before I put it away for the winter, so any testing advice would be welcome.

Also, when I am looking at new converters in case I need to replace mine - what does the actual amp rating tell you? Mine was supposed to be 55 amps - what would happen if I replaced it with an 80 amp? Would I have more power to run the ac units in the summer, or would I be in danger of frying something else?

 

Just Lou

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Mr_BillH said:
Also, when I am looking at new converters in case I need to replace mine - what does the actual amp rating tell you? Mine was supposed to be 55 amps - what would happen if I replaced it with an 80 amp? Would I have more power to run the ac units in the summer?

Short answer NO.

The amperage rating of the converter has nothing to do with the power it takes to run the AC's.  The AC units are powered by 120vac, not DC from the batteries.  The DC current rating of the converter refers to the max current available to charge the batteries and power the DC loads in the house.  If you are going to stick with just the two house batteries, you don't need anything close to 80 amps.  If you do need a new converter, I would recommend the PD-9260.
 
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