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Old 07-27-2005, 01:31 PM   #1
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12 volt feed line dead - HELP!

Hi all!

we're about to leave for a trip next week, and my electrics are acting up. Here's the scoop: All was working fine (went on a trip 2 weeks ago with no problems) with our current battery dead (old, need a new one). I was plugged into the van, using the power jack to lift the trailer, van combo to release the weight distribution bars, when I went to power down the jack, nothing happened. All 12v lights, etc are now dead inside with the van connected. Intellipower charge wizard light is off with the umbilical cord attached to the van. Brakes work, with my voltmeter, I get power to all prongs on the van's 7 way connector. All fuses on the IP are fine as are in the fuse block. Since my battery is dead, I hooked up our generator, now all 12v lights etc inside work, as does the jack. The charge wizard lights up. With the van's feed, everything 12v is dead.

What's between the feed and the IP that could have blown? I looked all around for some kind of junction box, but can't find anything that looks or could be one.

Oh yeah - 75 26' ft Argosy TT
Help!
Marc
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:35 PM   #2
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I don't have this junction box

Here is vintage thunder's front, but I don't have this junction box
vintage thunder's junction box

I'll post some pics in a bit of what I've got
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:32 PM   #3
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Now I'm so confused

OK - Just before I tried to replace my battery, I plugged in the trailer to the van and.... the power jack worked, but none of the lights! So I thought, maybe the trailer's dead battery is inhibiting the current somehow, so I replaced the battery.

So with my trusty voltmeter, here's some readings -
1) New battery is 12.4 volts - lights and jack work without the van.
2) Before I put in the battery, I had the voltmeter on the battery cables with van attached...0 volts. With generator running - 0 volts. Hmmm
3) With battery attached, and generator running (off of eco power - EU2000), I get 12.4 volts. With IP on boost mode, still 12.4 volts. Voltmeter does not budge with or without the generator running.
4) I look at all fuses again, still ok.
5) I put voltmeter at 12v circut (at fuseblock + and at IP negative), generator on and boost mode on 14.4 or so volts.

So why am I not getting a charge at the battery? IP is wired at back with two (+) posts one with + for battery and the other for the fuseblock. The two negatives are one for the - on the battery and the other for the - on the 12 volt circut.

I was about to run out and get battery cables, thinking this was the problem, but then I thought, "but why does the 12 volt circut run the lights etc off the battery?)
Marc
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
- 75 26' ft Argosy TT Help!

Marc:

Don't know how much of a '78 Sovereign panel will transfer to the Argy, but the Sovereign panel has TWO breakers mounted on the right side of the fuse panel.

BOTH of these fuses need to be operational for the power jack to function with the TV voltage. Breakers are automotive type from any auto parts store.

The breakers in both the picture and the schematic are on the far right side, mounted one above the other.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:46 PM   #5
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If I only had one...

I wonder if I have a distribution panel like that...I've torn apart the whole dinette, no luck. The only fuses that I have are the 4 120 volt ones, + the 4 fuses (that I replaced with a new fuse block) that were attached the orginal univolt (I have an IP now).

Thanks anyway, I'll keep plugging along.
Marc
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:56 PM   #6
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Rivet In-Line Breaker ???

This picture will show a breaker of sorts (self-resetting) that is within an access panel on the belly skin just aft and outboard of the 'A' frame on my '65 Safari. (see edge of spare tire on right)

It is connected to the main power supply of the TV through the umbilical. The larger blue on left (held in hand) is 'in' from the TV ... where it goes from there - I just haven't got that far in my restoration.

Do you possibly have something like this under your rig? If so, it may have died or one 'out' lead may have failed.

That's my best shot!
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:20 PM   #7
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Ah HA!

I'll go take a pic - I do have something like this inline with my maze of wires at the A-frame, but it's encased with rubber. Does it have a switch to reset, or does it reset by itself? I did fiddle with this a bit, and then the jack worked... but I didn't think this was it. It may be! What kind of amperage is it, and how would I test it.... or replace it.
Marc
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Old 07-27-2005, 05:06 PM   #8
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Is this it?

Is this the resetting circut breaker? How does it reset?
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Old 07-27-2005, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
Is this the resetting circut breaker? How does it reset?
It is supposed to be a self-resetting breaker. If it doesn't, it needs to be replaced.
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Old 07-27-2005, 06:33 PM   #10
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Rivet Complete circuit ...

You can test it for continuity, or jump the terminals to complete the circuit. Yeah?

Also, if the breaker tests good, the wires may be shorted somewhere along their run.
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by driftwood
You can test it for continuity, or jump the terminals to complete the circuit. Yeah?

Also, if the breaker tests good, the wires may be shorted somewhere along their run.
Normally, the breaker will trip and reset rapidly if there is a short. you will be able to hear it clicking merrily away in there.
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
Does it have a switch to reset, or does it reset by itself? I did fiddle with this a bit, and then the jack worked... but I didn't think this was it. It may be! What kind of amperage is it, and how would I test it.... or replace it.
Marc
It will reset itself once it cools, unless it is defective. Normally this would be a 20 or 30 amp breaker. Most of the big box auto parts stores will have them. Cut it out, crimp on ring lugs and re-attach the wires. Re-casing in rubber coating, no clue what to use.
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:12 AM   #13
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Thanks!

Would it overheat if the amperage draw was large and the battery close to dying? Not sure why it would trip, as the jack runs well.... well, as well as I've know it too. I'll replace it before my trip!

You guys know all the answers!

I found out I had two problems actually
1) The tripping breaker and
2) After much chasing (and swearing, mostly at my stupidity), I was on the right track with the "bad battery cable" theory. But the sad reality was that I had pushed the negative battery lead in to far into the Intellipower. I think I made intermittent contact with the back of the socket, but the hold down clamp in the socket was actually pushing down on the insulated jacket of the wire. Hard to conduct electricity this way.

DOOOHHHHHH!

I'm the dufous...with new battery cables too!
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Old 07-28-2005, 05:45 AM   #14
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Rivet ???

3Ms75Argosy,

Was the breaker we found bad ... or was it tripping as it was supposed to?

Hey, at least you didn't discover the problem @ 2 PM Friday afternoon - the day of departure!
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