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Old 01-15-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
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Help! No 12V inside trailer!

We've been happily living/traveling in our as for about 6 months now relatively problem-free. We just pulled in and leveled for boondocking and discovered we have no 12v inside the trailer. We have an AM Solar install with a BlueSky charge controller. The charge controller is the only thing inside that has power. That, and the inverter. The light next to the battery disconnect switch doesn't even light up. Outside, the power jack is powered and all of the running lights work. Charge controller shows battery at 100%.
We checked all the fuses on the converter and reset the breakers. Any tips on what we should be looking for or doing?
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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How about the battery disconnect switch.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Battery disconnect switch does nothing when pushed and does not light up. It was on and working correctly this morning before we left our last place ( where we were hooked up to 30amp, if that adds any clues).
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KerriO
Battery disconnect switch does nothing when pushed and does not light up. It was on and working correctly this morning before we left our last place ( where we were hooked up to 30amp, if that adds any clues).
Also, we did just read another thread that the rocker for the disconnect switch can go bad. We did unscrew the plate and it "looked" fine, but I'm not sure how we'd really tell.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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I know I'm not offering any solutions but since the battery reading is good, and your inverter is working (which gets its power from the batteries) it does sound like the 12v power is simply turned off (as opposed to dead batteries), which would be the result of having the disconnect switch in the "save" (or off) position while not on shore power. The light for the battery use/store switch would be off in this scenario...but should come on when you put it in the "use" position to access 12v poser from the batteries. It sounds like the switch might very well have gone bad. If you're up to it you could try to bypass the switch to see if the power is restored...if you bypass the switch and the 12v power comes back on, then it's the switch itself.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #6
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Have no further suggestions beyond maybe a loose connection. Check the battery cables to make sure they're tight and not corroded.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #7
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TNRich, all that makes sense. How would we go about bypassing the switch?

Connections all appear ok and definitely no corrosion, at least near the exposed areas.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Check your ground. Especially at the ground bus bar. I had a very similar problem during the winter at Yellowstone. Mine had vibrated loose and just a couple of strands of wire were touching the ground bus so it kind of worked. Take a long wire and connect it to the ground bus and then back to your inverter. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:16 PM   #9
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If there are only two wires on the back of the switch simply pull off the wires and touch them together and see of the power comes on.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #10
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Yes, what Jeff/Cindy said... OR if there are more than two wires coming into out from the switch, disconnect them and then connect the like wires directly, bypassing the switch.

Of course if this is the problem you will eventually need to put a new switch in, but you will be good to go until you do that. Just tape or otherwise cover the wire connections so they can't touch each other or any metal. Our switch is in the "use" position all the time, since it is always plugged in at home and we never shut the rig down completely.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:55 PM   #11
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I agree with the previous posts, but your jack works because it is wired directly to the batteries. The running lights should be powered from the tow vehicle.

Sure sounds like the battery disconnect switch, or 12 volts is not getting to the 12 v. fuse panel for some other reason. Do you have a voltmeter that does 12 v. DC? If so, check whether you have voltage coming to the battery disconnect; you'll need to check each lead and connect the other side to a 12 v. ground (the aluminum body should work). If volts in, but not out with the switch in both positions, you have found the problem.

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Old 01-15-2012, 09:28 PM   #12
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Thanks all. I realized what a silly question the switch question was after I asked it. The electrical is always our weakest point in terms of knowledge, so when something electrical goes wrong, I go blank. Gene, I knew the voltometer would come into play, and we needed one in our kit anyway, so went to town to get one (plus ice for the fridge and a couple of gallons of water since we can't use the pump... and dinner). We'll troubleshoot more in the morning. Luckily, we're in warm Southern CA right now, so can get through the night w/I power/heat.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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Oh good, I was thinking you might be sitting somewhere freezing.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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Okay, so the switch isn't just simple wires on a switch. It's 5 wires fed into a circuit board. I thought it was more complicated than just a switch!


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When we tested the circuit w/ our new multimeter, assuming we were doing it right -- we disconnected the wire harness from the circuit board and tested each wire-- the white one read as shortz
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