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Old 04-05-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
1969 31' Sovereign
Ft. Worth , Texas
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Converter Mystery...help!?

Where's the guy who tutored me through both years of physics!?#@ I'm so confused and would love any shot in the dark (or light) anyone might be able to offer.

Keep in mind, 99% of the time, we are plugged into shore power.

We have an '07 27FB Safari showing signs of battery or converter issues. A few days ago, the overhead lights inside began to dim and then brigtened back up. We took it for a surge of some sort and dismissed it. Then, the TV nearest the door began acting up -- shutting itself down within about five minutes of being turned on -- the one in the back was fine. Fuses looked good. Breakers weren't tripped. Next step was to check the batteries. Unhooked from shore power and tested charge by using status panel. 1/8. Bummer. When we plugged back into shore power, they appeared to have charged back up slightly. Must be the batteries. So off we went to Sam's on the hunt for gel batteries, and sure enough, the original deep cell RV Marine batteries were both almost dead. Bought the new gels, replaced the old.

Fast forward to today. Once we replaced the batteries, the TV would stay on and the indicator light on the CO2 detector returned to a flashing green rather than a green, then orange.

About an hour ago, the TV turned itself off. Wondering if the issue was with the new Samsung (or new DVD CD player installed to replace the other which had been acting erratically), I plugged the TV directly into a 110 plug with an extension cord, and wah-lah, it's working fine. Although, the CO Detector is back to green, then orange.

Finally, one might think the battery kill switch might have been accidentally switched to "store" mode. We don't think so, but the red light that usually indicates one way or the other has been burned out since we purchased it. No big deal. Maybe there's a way to know for sure?

Also--forgot to add -- there is a red light on the other panel that remotely operates the converter/inverter -- whatever the heck the thing is.

If you can take a crack at the problem, or even explain what the heck it's used for, we're wide open for suggestions. Is there a dummies manual?

Help...
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:34 PM   #2
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Sounds like your converter is telling you goodbye.
BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics sells Intellipower replacements, give them an email.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Guido! Hopefully, we're still under warranty, purchased April of last year. Anything we should do while hooked up to shore power to minimize further damage to anything? Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:41 PM   #4
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If your converter is going away, the only thing you can do to prolong the inevitable is not use any 12v devices that you can get away without. I think there is a 12 volt board on your water heater, and there is a 12 volt board on your fridge, and, of course, the LP monitor. I'd try to use nothing else but those until the dealer can take a look at it and make a firm determination.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:52 PM   #5
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yikes, well we're fulltimers and can't get to the dealership until tomorrow. Can we disconnect the gel batteries from the Airstream, recharge them with a battery charger, reconnect and hope fridge, shower, etc. will hold out until tomorrow?
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
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By the way, there are two red lights on the converter/inverter. They're both blinking.
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #7
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Scratch that. Now power status is orange and input level is red. $#@! And the status level on the battery is at 1/2 now. Appears as if it's charging, but if you turn on 12-volt lights you can hear them buzzing. Guido does this still sound like converter that's crapping out?
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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you need to get a volt meter.

the 12v lights should dim if you turn the converter off and get brighter when it is turned back on.

i hope others will chime in here but i think that relay for the battery inverter will not turn on if the battery voltage is too low.

you might have a problem with the shore power supply from the site you are at. (one more reason to get a meter)
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:02 PM   #9
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When our 19-foot Bambi was new in 2005, we had some problems with the batteries and converter. The electrical was fine when connected to shore power, but the batteries never got fully charged by the converter and would drain quickly when AC power was disconnected.

After some troubleshooting, I found that the screw on the power lead going to the bus bar, where the power comes into the trailer from the batteries, was only finger tight. All of our problems went away after I tightened this connection securely. (This was loose from the factory.)

Also, as a result of the troubleshooting, we installed a PERKO battery isolater switch like the one on our boat. This allows you to isolate the two batteries, so that you can run off of one, the other, or both; and you can completely disconnect them from the circuit. This keeps the batteries from overcharging (or draining), and you can run them one at a time when boondocking, or connect them together if both are nearly dead. Also, you don't have to worry about the propane detector or a light draining your batteries when in storage (if you remember to turn the switch to OFF). You can get this switch at any marine supply store like West Marine, etc., for about $35 (if my memory serves).
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful suggestions and recomendations. Seems the mystery's been resolved. A new converter remedied all of the issues. It's possible that only the charger was a fault, but to be certain, we sprang for the whole enchilada. I love our Airstream family!
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