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Old 10-15-2016, 12:23 AM   #1
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Power outage while on batteries (Flipping use/store switch restored power)

We are wild camping (no shore power, just batteries hooked up to a 200W solar panel) right now and had a strange experience with our power tonight. We experienced what seemed like a power outage, just like what happens when loosing power in a house (everything going out at once). We had a few lights on, plus the fridge - nothing major. One of our cats was near the store/use battery disconnect switch so we thought she might have tripped it. Resetting that switch restored everything back to normal. Another outage happened again, about an hour later after our furnace had been running for about 10 minutes. Flipping the use/store switch restored everything again.

We checked the battery connections and everything looked fine. We also checked our converter - no tripped breakers or blown fuses.

One other consideration related to our electrical system (related/unrelated to this issue???)... We had been using a space heater on cold nights when hooked up to shore power. After feeling the cord one day and noticing it was hot, we discontinued the use of the space heater but possibly not before doing damage to some components of our electrical system.

Have any of you experienced a similar problem or do you have suggestions about what might be wrong? We appreciate any advice.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:34 AM   #2
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What is your battery voltage? If it is too low, the relay won't stay closed.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
What is your battery voltage? If it is too low, the relay won't stay closed.
I think by "relay" you are referring to the Use/Store switch, in case that is not clear to TwoSporks?

Welcome to the forum TwoSporks! In addition to battery voltage issues possibly, sometimes the switch itself goes bad IMO.

Peter
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:43 AM   #4
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Hi Peter and Terry -

Thank you for your comments, which helped us with troubleshooting. We realized that our fridge had the E4 error message, which means fluctuating voltage. After a lot of investigation, we narrowed the problem down to our battery monitor, a device that is attached to one of the batteries and then communicates with a phone app via Bluetooth. After disconnecting the battery monitor, which apparently has failed, our problem was fixed.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:03 PM   #5
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Or not... We are having the same issue again today (happening right after I posted my reply above). I would welcome any other ideas for troubleshooting our problem from other forum members.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:58 PM   #6
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As Terry asked the other day, what is your battery voltage per the trailer's own monitor panel? Are all the 12-volt lights, appliances, etc. all working correctly, including the furnace? If not, what error messages are you getting on the fridge and heat thermostat?

PS -- Your use of the space heater while on shore power should not have contributed to this problem IMO, but as you noted, if the power cord got hot better to unplug it. If the heater has a switch which lets you choose Hi/Med/Low power, you could try it again on Low power IMO, if the amperage draw is within the limits of the circuit you are on. What is the rated amperage of the heater? Were you plugged into a good 30 Amp shore power stand?

PS2 -- I don't think the add-on battery monitor is part of the problem, but experts may have some ideas on this.

PS3 -- There was a recent thread on a Use/Store switch going bad. Try these search results, and I will look some more too:

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...bad&gsc.page=1
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:52 PM   #7
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Remember that the Use/Store switch is a "slave" switch. That is, the slave switch commands the "real" power switch located out of sight under and behind the living space.

When you flip the slave switch you engage or disengage a relay. You will hear a "thump" of that relay when you work the slave switch. If you don't hear that thump when the power fails, I suggest that you are loosing all battery power because either that power relay contacts are not staying closed or the ground or positive lead from the battery to the relay are loosing contact.

Just the vibration of that relay working may be enough to restore the connection. So check the battery post and if you can get to the relay and power distribution board where the relay is located, wiggle the wires and I bet you will find your issue.

Hopes this helps.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:30 PM   #8
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Could be the converter overheating depending on the watts it is. I have a 2500 watt and never a prob. years ago when I had a 1500 watt I did have the same prob.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:44 PM   #9
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The use/store relay is a mechanically latched relay. That said, it can and will go bad (at the worst possible time) and not make reliable contact.


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Old 10-18-2016, 09:53 AM   #10
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Wow, Same problem this month, we were at the Balloon Fest in NM and lost all power when turn on one light.

Took to dealer for a electrical chase down, and guess what, its the converter.

Under warrantee, but I did not want the cheap one that AS put's in, I upgraded to a 3 stage to get away from these problems.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:15 PM   #11
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Hi Sarah,

Just wondering if you got this sorted out? Also I just remembered seeing your photos earlier this year. Nice work!

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- edit -- Here is another thread about replacing the relay Use/Store switch.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...er-153708.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoSporks View Post
Or not... We are having the same issue again today (happening right after I posted my reply above). I would welcome any other ideas for troubleshooting our problem from other forum members.
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