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Old 08-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #15
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ND,

I think all AS have the breakaway wired directly, not thru the storage switch.

Bob
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:32 AM   #16
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Battery on/off switch

My owners manual says that the battery disconnect switch should only be turned off when putting the trailer away for storage or damage to the system could occur when hooking up to shore power. I'm not sure what damage could occur possible a problem with the univolt system or blown lights. Has any one had any problems tuning off the battery disconnect then hooking to shore power?

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Old 08-25-2011, 11:20 AM   #17
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For what it's worth, on my 2002 ASCL 31' turning the 12 volt battery switch off does not disconnect the converter from its 120 volt power supply, thus if plugged into ground power the converter can still over charge and damage the batteries.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl
For what it's worth, on my 2002 ASCL 31' turning the 12 volt battery switch off does not disconnect the converter from its 120 volt power supply, thus if plugged into ground power the converter can still over charge and damage the batteries.
The converter is always connected to 120V input; the batteries are isolated from the 12v bus via a solenoid controlled by the battery switch. If the battery switch is off and you are plugged into 120v, the converter will drive 12v appliances ( lights, water pump, etc ) but not feed the battery.

The confusing part is the red light - it seems to simply be connected to the 12v bus - if there is any power source driving the 12v bus (converter, battery, solar, or even TV charging line) the light is on. If none, it is off. I have seen times when it is on with battery disconnect off and not plugged in; this is only temporary due to capacitive effect. Turn on a light, the stored charge drains quickly and the red lite goes off.

Seems to me it would be more useful for the lite to indicate the state of the solenoid, and thus whether the battery is actually disconnected or not. Any light in the coach will tell you the state of the 12v bus.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:58 AM   #19
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This is the first thread I have seen where how this thing functions is clearly explained. Thanks to steverino and others.

Sounds like even if the battery switch is off, there still are hot wires from the battery to the solenoid. I, like Bob, haven't noticed the solenoid when I worked in the area, but I'll look for it today when I install a Surge Guard.

I just approach it as if it the switch isn't there and disconnect the batteries at the battery terminals if I want to work on electrical. I also disconnect shore power and solar. Then I test with a multitester to make sure all current is off. I'm not OCD, just don't appreciate strong tingles in my hands.

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Old 08-25-2011, 02:19 PM   #20
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Is it possible that the break-away switch would not be powered if the battery switch is in the off position?

If that's the case, then maybe it is a precaution against forgetting to turn it on prior to pulling, and risking no trailer brakes should the AS become detached from the TV under tow.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:58 PM   #21
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Surge Guard

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Sounds like even if the battery switch is off, there still are hot wires from the battery to the solenoid. I, like Bob, haven't noticed the solenoid when I worked in the area, but I'll look for it today when I install a Surge Guard.
Gene
Gene, where are you placing the surge guard and how are you wireing it? I purchased a Surge Guard and plan to install it in my A/S.

Thanks

Dennis
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankO View Post
Has any one had any problems tuning off the battery disconnect then hooking to shore power?

HankO
Hank,

Your question got me thinking, an occurrence that has proved dangerous in a past Life.
I believe with the Univolt you must have the switch on with batteries connected or risk damage to the converter.

Gene,

FWIW..I wondered at IOTA tech support and got this response...

Hi Bob,
Yes, it is fine to use our converters as a power supply without a battery attached. The IQ4 will not sense a battery voltage so it will simply remain in the float stage, (13.6v).

Let me know if you have further questions.

Jay Settlemyre
Iota Engineering Tech Support

POI...always isolate the cables.

Good to know, now I don't have to fumble around in the dark when the batt's are out thru the Winter.

Bob
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #23
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If you are plugged into shore power, the RED light will be on whether you are in the STORE or USE position. Hitting the USE button while plugged in will allow you to charge your house batteries.

If you are unplugged and you hit the battery STORE, your lights will go out. However, you will also be disconnecting the house batteries and your trailers 12 volt system. All switched 12 volt power will be disconnected, some items such as radio memory and LP detector will still be energized.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steverino View Post
The converter is always connected to 120V input; the batteries are isolated from the 12v bus via a solenoid controlled by the battery switch. If the battery switch is off and you are plugged into 120v, the converter will drive 12v appliances ( lights, water pump, etc ) but not feed the battery.
This is NOT so on my "older" 2002 ASCL 31'. The battery switch cuts out ALL 12 volt circuits inside the coach. There is no solenoid contactor. The converter is plugged into a 120V recepticle behind the front couch and as long as ground power is available it IS charging the batteries.

I found this out the hard way several years ago when I was storing the coach beside my home with ground power plugged in ASSuming that the converter would maintain the batteries. One afternoon I walked by the coach and was confronted by an intense acrid smell. I immediately unplugged the coach and opened the battery compartments. The curb side battery was so hot I had to use gloves to remove it from the compartment.

Later model AS evidently have modified circuitry; on the older ones you have to be careful. I now charge the batteries up to about 12.9 volts whenever the voltage drops below 12.5 volts, unplugging ground power in between.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #25
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withidl,

Thats exactly why I replaced the OEM Parallax converter in our 03 Classic. The IOTA IQ4 has a "float" stage that will prevent overcharging. A not very expensive, but worthwhile investment.

Bob
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:59 PM   #26
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Dennis,

In ours the converter is under the bed and there is no space on the right side because there's storage and an access door. I thought of cutting the door, but decided it wouldn't look right. On the left is the curved edge of the bed frame. I am mounting it there and made a shim to fill the curve behind the Surge Guard. My wife has assured me she won't run into the unit as the bed projects outward and makes it hard to run into the SG—I hope she's right.

Mounting it there was the only way I can see the lights. I thought about putting it on the wardrobe next to the bed, but it would project over the bed about 4" and I'd probably run into it whole sleeping. Snaking the wires behind the drawers below the wardrobe would be another challenge. Only the 50 amp has a remote option and that would have made it a lot easier because I guess I could install the unit underneath the bed, but I am unsure because I don't know what the remote reads. Other models may well have a better path to an easier location, but the 25' FB does not.

Working in this area requires youth, but I used mine up and have nevertheless squeezed into the spaces, arthritis and all.

I found some shields of red plastic at a big box store that are used to shield Romex that goes through metal studs. I drilled 5/8" holes and used the shields somewhat cut down and glued them in place. Tomorrow I will find out if the glue held. I am mounting a 4" square box (2" deep) to attach the wires because the wire from shore power isn't long enough. It was easy to identify the shore power Romex because it attached to the 30 amp breaker and is the only 10 AWG Romex. Working with 10-2 w/G is not fun—the wire is very stiff, but with good linesmen's pliers needle nose pliers it can be done. Getting the Romex into the box in the small space at the base's corner is a struggle. I pre-wired the box with 3 of the 4 wires so it was easier to place in the space and I would only have to bring the line from shore power into the box after I threaded all the other wires into their various places.

There's more to it than this. The space is tight for me and tight for the wires. I used painter's tape to prevent tear out when I drilled the holes through the Formica and plywood bed base. I didn't have the right drill bit in that size and the tape worked fairly well.

Gotta go. This is not a wiring challenge if you are familiar with residential wiring, but if not, think twice before you do it. The space to work in is awful.

Gene
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:15 PM   #27
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Thumbs up

Gene,

You work too hard....I took the EASY way out.

Bob
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:20 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Gene,

You work too hard....I took the EASY way out.

Bob
Yea, so did I, with this


plus a lock and a 4' piece of chain.... No problem seeing the status lights, and the chain provides a measure of confidence that it will be there when I check it again later....
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