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Old 12-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #15
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What happens with the switch in the off position when you are plugged into shore power? If you have 12VDC lights with that switch off, then your converter is supplying the power to your interior while being disconnected from the batteries……. as it should. If not, your disconnect switch may be mis-wired and is cutting off all of the 12VDC, when it should only be removing the batteries from your circuit.
Thanks Lewster,

When I turn the light switch behind the curtain to off while connected to shore power the lights, radio etc... quickly dim to off.

When I leave the switch on and cut shore power, the lights, radio also quickly fade out....


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Old 12-29-2013, 09:30 PM   #16
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:30 PM   #17
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so bryan, how do you think i learned about the switch my first night? lol

time to invest in a volt/ohm meter. you might have voltage but not amps because the batteries were deeply discharged.

i'll also toss in the possibility of a corroded connection. in my 94 there was a water issue and the wiring behind the gaucho was corroded in a few places and caused a bad connection. you can see if any connections are rusty or loose. that meter will help you trace the voltage going from the batteries to the disconnect switch. you can test it while just on batteries and see if the voltage starts ok and then drops.

first load test the batteries to verify they are good and follow the wiring from there.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:33 PM   #18
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Sounds like switch is miss wired and also

1 - Batteries are actually dead or
2 - batteries are wired in parallel and I need to knock my RV dealer over the head... I'm no electrician by any stretch but that looks parallel to me.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:34 PM   #19
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so bryan, how do you think i learned about the switch my first night? lol

time to invest in a volt/ohm meter. you might have voltage but not amps because the batteries were deeply discharged.

i'll also toss in the possibility of a corroded connection. in my 94 there was a water issue and the wiring behind the gaucho was corroded in a few places and caused a bad connection. you can see if any connections are rusty or loose. that meter will help you trace the voltage going from the batteries to the disconnect switch. you can test it while just on batteries and see if the voltage starts ok and then drops.

first load test the batteries to verify they are good and follow the wiring from there.
thanks Richinny...see new pics above to add to the conversation.

Bryan
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:55 PM   #20
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now might be a good time to go to school.

highly suggested reading: Books i believe you can also download the book.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:43 AM   #21
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Interesting looking DC breaker box……...…especially the top right breaker that is jumped with a 20 amp fuse…….……maybe a bad breaker there??????

Regardless, I think that you need to do a little investigating.

• check your battery wiring. IIRC, you mentioned that you have a pair of 6VDC batteries? These should be connected in series, meaning that the positive terminal of battery #1 should be connected to the negative terminal of battery #2. That should leave you with a free positive terminal on battery #2 and a free positive terminal on battery #1 where the trailer should be connected. This gives you 12VDC from your two 6VDC batteries, essentially making them one big 12VDC battery.

• check the output at the terminals of the converter. It should be putting out a minimum of 13.6VDC, even with no battery connected.

• follow the positive and negative wires from the converter output. They should be connected to the 12VDC distribution block, and then from there to the batteries. Your battery cut-off switch should be in the positive feed from the DC power box to the batteries.

This connection path will allow you to cut-off the batteries to the trailer, but will still allow your converter to power all of your DC loads while connected to shore power.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #22
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Lewster, check your last post, should be a free pos & free neg
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #23
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I'll do some investigating today but in this pic you can see the battery boxes on the left and right and the two reds meet in the middle. I think this is wired in parallel and the RV dealer didn't bother to check when they sold me the batteries. Me not knowing any better trusted them to do what needed to be done.

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Old 12-30-2013, 06:01 PM   #24
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Lewster, check your last post, should be a free pos & free neg
OOPS! ..OF COURSE!!!!! That should read a free negative terminal on battery # 1...

Thanks for catching that one! Sometimes the fingers do not type what the mind creates!
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:04 PM   #25
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Wow, I had no clue leaving the camper plugged in would damage the batteries. I've been plugged into shore power for at least 8 months and as of a month ago, my batteries still showed a full charge.

What kind of time frame are we considering harmful? I won't be able to unplug her for at least another month. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:13 PM   #26
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when plugged in my meter shows the voltage of the converter. try running just off the batteries and see how long they last. check the water in the batteries monthly.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:54 PM   #27
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Wow, I had no clue leaving the camper plugged in would damage the batteries. I've been plugged into shore power for at least 8 months and as of a month ago, my batteries still showed a full charge.

What kind of time frame are we considering harmful? I won't be able to unplug her for at least another month. Any advice is appreciated.
I see that your trailer is a 1977 model. I don't know how long you've owned it, but perhaps the converter has been upgraded. If you have a converter that was designed to maintain the battery properly, then there may be no problem. However, leaving the batteries in the trailer for that length of time with no periodic inspections is trouble asking to happen. The first thing that pops into my mind is a converter malfunctioning and overcharging the battery to the point that the batteries boil over and spill sulphuric acid wherever it will flow. I know in the case of my trailer it will spill out the battery box drain and run down the side of the trailer, probably destroying some aluminum. Depending on where your trailer is stored, another scenario is possible. The power to where your trailer is plugged in could fail. The batteries will eventually lose their charge. A discharged battery has a higher freezing point than a charged one. If the battery freezes, it could easily crack the case, and when the weather warms, the water/acid solution will leak out of the case.

I'm not trying to alarm you, but I hope there is some way for the batteries to be checked periodically.

Ken
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:47 PM   #28
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I see that your trailer is a 1977 model. I don't know how long you've owned it, but perhaps the converter has been upgraded.... I hope there is some way for the batteries to be checked periodically. Ken
Thanks, Ken, I've only had the AS since 2010 and I really doubt it has anything fancy installed; everything looks pretty stock to me including the 8-track, CB, and shag carpet :0) I'll figure out a way to check on everything more often. Greg
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