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Old 09-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
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Anything that run on DC seems to be at partial power

We have a 2005 19' Bambi that has been at a year round campground in Western Maryland. It is always plugged into shore power and appliances like the refrigerator are always on. The inverter is a Paralax Electronic 7300 series.

This last weekend power seemed to disappear on anything that uses 12v DC. All the lights were dim. The more lights you turned on, the dimmer they got. The fan of the bathroom and the Max Air fan seemed to be running slow. The water heater would start to call for heat, but it wouldn't fire up. The radio would come off and on. Again anything on 12v DC was squirrely .

I checked and pulled all the fuses. None were blown. I disconnected from shore power and powered down everything, a hard reboot. No improvement.

I did not have a multimeter with me to test anything.

I believe the problem was only with 12v and the 120v AC stuff because the computer, heating pad and coffee maker were fine.

I started to play with the load to see what would happen. The radio was fine as long as it was the only thing on. Turn on a light or a fan and presto, it would shut off. The water heater would work as long as there was only one light one. The furnace would work as long as it was the only thing on. So on so forth.

There also seems to be a real faint high pitched whine from the inverter.

Does anyone have any experience with this one or any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Chris
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #2
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Battery, jim
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
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First it is a converter not an inverter.
Converter changes 120V AC to 12V DC.
Inverter changes 12V DC to 120V AC.

Either your converter is not working or your battery(s) is dead and taking all the power from the converter.

On many trailers there is a "light switch" to turn the converter on and off.
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Most likely, your battery is dead.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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Disconnect the negative battery cable, taking the battery out of the equation. If everything works normally, then it's a dead battery. If things do not work normally with the battery disconnected, then it's the converter.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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With that said, that is an easy enough check! Thanks for the tips and I'll let you know what it was!

Thanks for the tips!

Chris
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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If our RV is on shore power 24/7, and as a test I can disconnect the negative from the batteries to test to see if it is the batteries or converter. Assuming it is the batteries, is there a way to simply replace the batteries, so they are there, but not hook them up?

I've heard that RV's that are on constant shore power tend to cook the batteries and to frequently check the water levels in the batteries. I've checked water levels rather religiously and I've always maintained good water levels.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Battery, jim
Battery, Jim.... it's dead Jim, I'm a doctor Jim, not an electrical engineer (McCoy)
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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If not the batteries, the converter/charger is probably bad. Even if you replace the batteries, the problem will still be there, that is the batteries will eventually be overwhelmed by the Paralax 7300, which is a single stage charge unit.

You should, in any event, plan on eventually replacing the Paralax 7300 with a Progressive Dynamics 4600 series, which is a true 3 stage converter/charger and will be much kinder to your batteries.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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If you have a modern intelligent converter and don't plan to travel. You do not need a battery in the trailer at all. Just tape off the battery leads to prevent any contact with the metal in the trailer.
If you plan to tow the coach. You need a good battery. Because it powers the breakaway switch. Buy a battery and install it when you get ready to tow.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #11
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If you have a modern intelligent converter and don't plan to travel. You do not need a battery in the trailer at all. Just tape off the battery leads to prevent any contact with the metal in the trailer.
What exactly is do you mean by 'modern' and 'intelligent'?

As a carpenter, modern for me is anything post WWII and intelligent is, well very subjective.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:15 PM   #12
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"Modern"-"Intelligent"
A multi stage converter such as a Progressive Dynamics 9245.
There are many brands of similar converters on the market.
They are designed not to overcharge the battery. Multi Stage means they change the charge level, based on the charge in the battery.
These converters can supply all of the DC requirements of your coach without the use of the battery.
I always remove the battery from my coach while is storage. The coach has been plugged in the whole time in storage. That way we have use of all systems in the coach.
It's been 4 years and we have had no problems with the converter operating without a battery.
As noted. I install the battery for travel.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:47 PM   #13
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If your 7300 series is similar to my 7400, it should supply a range of power between 13.2 or 13.6 in the low range (depends on the model) and 14 vdc on the high end. Also it varies due to the load being used at the moment you check. My meter shows mine generally puts out between 13.6 and 13.7 vdc while charging, a few lights are on, and the fridge is on propane. You should be fine without a battery.

http://www.parallaxpower.com/7300/7300pwrcntr.pdf
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
If your 7300 series is similar to my 7400, it should supply a range of power between 13.2 or 13.6 in the low range (depends on the model) and 14 vdc on the high end. Also it varies due to the load being used at the moment you check. My meter shows mine generally puts out between 13.6 and 13.7 vdc while charging, a few lights are on, and the fridge is on propane. You should be fine without a battery.

http://www.parallaxpower.com/7300/7300pwrcntr.pdf
YOU SHOULD BE FINE WITHOUT A BATTERY as long as you're hooked up. You DO need a battery when traveling to operate your 12 volt lights, and keep the control board of the fridge working.

Paula
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