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Old 08-31-2012, 09:10 AM   #29
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Thanks for the follow up and additional tips. We finally narrowed it down to a converter problem. A battery charger and some time got us up and running for the last day of our trip! I spoke with the service mgr, who said that they would address the problem w the converter, and offered to check our brand new batteries. I am insisting that they be replaced - since I'm assuming that they won't fully charge once they've been completely drained.

Biltex - in response to your question about switching the relay to "store". That was a fluke, it turned out that it really didn't resolve the problem. What might have happened is that we also turned on the AC or TV. We noticed that the 12 volt system would get more juice when we put some demand on the 120 volt line. Not sure why - maybe it pulled more amps through??

Anyway - it's going back to the dealer this week. Thanks again to all who came to our rescue.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:22 PM   #30
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The batteries should fully charge once they've been drained below 50%, but draining them way down does shorten their life. The more times that happens, the shorter the life is. One time is not so bad, but will make some difference.

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:14 PM   #31
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Thanks, Gene. I thought there would be some impact frim draining them down, but wasn't sure how much. I think I still want new ones, though.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:21 PM   #32
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Thanks, Gene. I thought there would be some impact frim draining them down, but wasn't sure how much. I think I still want new ones, though.
There is a formula of duty cycles, the actual percentage of "life" lost from a cycle is something like 1.5%. One time won't do much.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #33
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I had a very similar problem in a campground after getting new (fully charged) batteries installed. The campground host suggested connecting my truck power cord so the truck could act as the converter. It worked! I subsequently stopped at an Airstream service provider & they said both my batteries and converter were fine, that the converter had to get above a certain level to start working. I don't have a clue about this, just that my truck got it going and the converter started working on its own afterwards.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:08 PM   #34
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You can keep your refrigerator running on AC power by unplugging it from the trailer system outlet inside the refer access box and plugging it directly into shore power with an extension cord. Most campgrounds have an additional 15 or 20 amp outlet in the power box.

Brian
It will still need a good 12V source to run the control boards, won't it?
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:12 PM   #35
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It will still need a good 12V source to run the control boards, won't it?
I was just going to ask that.... went to get Thumper tonight and the texas summer and having not gone anywhere since July had zapped the batteries.

I have it on shore power here at the house, and the batteries have plenty of water, so hopefully by morning they will be recharged...

Dometic booklet says that i have to have 12V continuous supply to refrigerator for it to work.... Brian, have you used the campsite AC option without having 12V working?

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #36
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There is a formula of duty cycles, the actual percentage of "life" lost from a cycle is something like 1.5%. One time won't do much.
Thanks Terry.

That helps to give some idea just what is lost. If a battery has a 60 month lifespan, 1.5% is .9 month or 27 days of a 30 day month. Do it repeatedly, and you lose years.

I know this is based on assumptions and approximations, but it is something to consider.

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Old 09-02-2012, 01:27 PM   #37
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I think Skater had the right idea - the problem is not the battery disconnect switch (which should be on "use", btw) but the converter on-off switch that should be on the wall. Mine is on the street-side, hidden behind the front curtain. If you set it to "on" you should be able to hear the converter hum.

Good luck. Pat
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #38
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Do not think the newer trailers have an off on switch for the converter? Wrong, maybe. Jim
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #39
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Ours does not have an on/off switch and it doesn't plug in, but is hard wired. That saves money on boxes, switches, wire, cover plates—maybe $5 when bought in bulk, plus labor. A switch would be very helpful to prevent overcharging when plugged into shore power for days at a campsite.

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Old 09-02-2012, 06:02 PM   #40
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Gene, you are absolutely correct. I have been confused when posters say unplug the converter or turn it off.! Thanks, jim
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:26 AM   #41
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I always keep a good sized Coleman in the truck in case the fridge poops out. Bags of ice and zip lock bags are good back up. Good Luck. Also tell others who the dealer was. Sounds like they deserve a sound kick in the posterior.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #42
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Oh, well - didn't know there weren't any switches any more. The switch is nice so you can turn off the converter to allow couch-sleepers some peace from the hummmmmm.

Hope it works out. Pat
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