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Old 08-07-2009, 11:37 PM   #1
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06' CCD low power - dimming lights, fans?

Hi guys/gals,

I tried to search but didn't quite find what I'm looking for, here's the issue I'm having.

I pulled my 06' International Bambi trailer out of storage today as we're heading away for the weekend. The stream is kept indoors/heated over the winter (never below freezing) and has been hooked into shore power since last summer. My batteries (Lifeline - no maintenance - 12V x 2) were connected through the winter (again never below 5-10 degrees C)

I first noticed that my electric jack was running very weak and sluggishly. I had to use the manual crank!!! OH THE HORROR.

When i got it home and plugged it back in expecting that things would be relatively charged the jack motor was sluggish (if working at all) and all power was off in the trailer. Once connected to shore power, the lights are dim, and if I try to run my fantastic fans the lights flicker up and down and the stereo shuts off.

The converter indicator shows solid red (converting), the solar panel charger shows 7.2V in the battery and 0% remaining and doesn't appear to be charging. The fuses seem all to be fine, no breakers tripped.

So, would dead batteries cause this even while connected to shore power??

If I do have to replace the batteries, do I need an RV/Marine specific (read bent over by the dealer) or will any similar spec 12V batteries work?

Confused and would love some help!

thanks,
Brad.
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:24 AM   #2
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Our "06 Bambi batteries went bad this year as well, couple of years is probably all you can expect out of them. Went to Costco, bought a couple of deep cycle replacements, all is well. Also changed out all the bulbs to led's and can't believe how long the batteries hold a charge now. I expect these batteries should last longer than two years as I intend not to let them go completely dead as the dealer did...
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:12 AM   #3
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Does the kill switch work?
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:40 AM   #4
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If you are charging the batteries through the internal charger, such as a univolt or whatever, the power from shore has to pass through a breaker before it arrives at the univolt and then onto your batteries. If that breaker is tripped or is bad it will not allow the current to get to the univolt to charge the batteries. This happened to me this summer. Check your breakers. If this is indeed the problem you should have no power to any 120 V outlets on that line. It would probably be the GFI breaker and kitchen/bathroom/univolt lines.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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Hi everyone, thanks for the reponses.

Johnco - I tested the batteries last night (disconnected from shore) and they both tested fine assuming I did it right. The needle went way past green when testing both sides.

Lynn - yes the kill switch still works.

tlavergne - I checked all the GFI's this morning and they tested fine. I also plugged in a flood lamp into one of the outlets and it had no effect on the systems in the trailer. Meaning the lights did not flicker when I plugged it in and it shone brightly. If I turn on the trailer lights, both front and back, they dim even more and all power to the stereo is gone.

2air predicted this to be the case and suggested I look into replacing my Parallax 7300 series converter. He seems to be on the right track from what I can tell.

Is there anything else I should test/check?

Can anyone direct me to a DIY for upgrading/swapping out the Parallax unit (preferrably with a xantrax).

Thanks all,
Brad.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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Are you getting shore power to the converter? Test power going in and then test power going out. That should confirm your suspicions of the converter failing.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlavergne View Post
Are you getting shore power to the converter? Test power going in and then test power going out. That should confirm your suspicions of the converter failing.
Going to check that once I get back to the house and will report!

Thanks,
Brad.
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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Hi Brad,

2air' also assisted me when I had similar symptoms which indicated that the Parallax 7300 Converter was not putting out adequate voltage to adequately charge the battery.

See how I tested and diagnosed the problem:

Battery at 45% even though connected to shore power

And how I replaced the Parallax with Xantrex myself:

Parallax Converter Replacement with Xantex

I am very happy with Xantex as it consistently works perfectly and quietly.

Bill



Quote:
Originally Posted by bradk View Post

2air predicted this to be the case and suggested I look into replacing my Parallax 7300 series converter. He seems to be on the right track from what I can tell.

Is there anything else I should test/check?

Can anyone direct me to a DIY for upgrading/swapping out the Parallax unit (preferrably with a xantrax).

Thanks all,
Brad.
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:52 PM   #9
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Check the Ground

My story is identical to Johnco's. Except I might add to check the ground both with the connections at the batteries and under the left front where the two ground wires connect. (I took them off and sanded them and tightened the connection. That solved a similar problem I had last year.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:40 AM   #10
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Updates:

We're in site right now and hooked into 30A power. The trailer seems to be working fine on shore power, no light flicker, everything runs. Weird.

The battery has come up to about 65% since yesterday afternoon and the inverter has some fan noise coming from it. So....I'm slightly buffaloed as to what's been going on. I did replace a ring terminal for one of the battery cables as it was loose.

A few have asked if I had the trailer in "store" mode and I can't be sure which way I had it. I'm going to pull the shore power in a bit and see what happens to the batteries.

If I had the trailer in "store" mode that would explain why they're dead. Is it possible I just had it hooked into a bad outlet at my house causing such low power response?

Thanks for the help,
Brad.
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