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Old 10-26-2004, 05:10 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Low battery power

I am new to this, so please forgive the obvious type of question. I have a '75 Tradewind. I believe it has a new inverter, I will have to check. I was working inside with most of the lights on as well as the heat. I am plugged into campus power, after 6 or so hours, the battery power had reduced the lighting to about 10%. Is this normal? Wouldn't the inverter be able to handle the drain on the battery. I have a 2002 Coachman and had and never experienced a drop in battery strength while plugged into AC?
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:26 AM   #2
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somethin's wrong

If you are plugged into shore power, first suspect for me would be the convertor. It should be able to produce enough power to run what you've spoken of. If it is OK, then the batteries would be the next question mark. Are they maintained (full of electrolyte), are they full of sulfation, are they old, etc.
Check the power distribution panal to ensure clean contacts. Check the power cord to ensure clean contact at both ends, does the trailer have a convertor shut off switch, and has it been turned off to quite the hum?
jerry
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:55 AM   #3
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jerry has some good tips.

in addition, there are two fuses that could be causing your problem. one on the positive 12 volt output of the converter and one on the negative. the negative fuse is usually near the converter on the black lead on its own fuse block.

you need to get or borrow a volt ohm meter so you can trouble shoot it properly. (and hopefully some help from someone who knows how to use it if you do not.)

perhaps you will get lucky and it will be something easy like a switch or a corroded fuse holder!

good luck!

john
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:12 AM   #4
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Lightbulb

I pulled out the back, shelve to look at the wiring, It has a new 60 Volt converter sitting on top of the original. I checked all the fuses and connections. All seemed OK, there were a couple of wired to the terminal block that were not as snug as I would have liked. (snugged them up) The battery is less than 1-year-old heavy-duty marine. I have not yet checked Ohms (want to see if tinkering with the wires has any affect first)

There is a 50 DC fuse near the original converter box, odd that is has a new style prong fuse inserted with the original fuse in as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
jerry has some good tips.

in addition, there are two fuses that could be causing your problem. one on the positive 12 volt output of the converter and one on the negative. the negative fuse is usually near the converter on the black lead on its own fuse block.

you need to get or borrow a volt ohm meter so you can trouble shoot it properly. (and hopefully some help from someone who knows how to use it if you do not.)

perhaps you will get lucky and it will be something easy like a switch or a corroded fuse holder!

good luck!

john
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:44 AM   #5
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are the original glass fuse holders still in use?

if yes, spray them with wd 40 and try to rotate them, with age they can loosen the grip on the fuses causing problems also.

check each fuse to see if they are ok as well (this is where the ohm meter comes in handy)

john
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:44 AM   #6
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Time to redo?

If it were mine, and you seem to have the ability to work with things, I would go through the e;ectrical box and redo everyone of the connections with new ones. I would also replace the old fuses with new, and I would take the old convertor out completely, wiring the new one in as to manufacturers instructions. After this is all done, then if it doesn't work right, I would troubleshoot it. Especially if you guys are using this trailer, BRING THE ELECTRICAL UP TO SNUFF!
jerry
By the way, if the new convertor has malfunctioned, it can ruin a brand new battery. (Speaking from experience)
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:52 AM   #7
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I'm having some battery problems too. I put a brand new Trojan battery in,my Sovereign came back a week later and it only had 3.45 volts in it. Had it recharged and connected the positive terminal and then put a volt meter between the negitive post and the negitive battery cable to see if there was a draw on the battery. It regerested o volts. What are the indications of a bad inverter?
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Old 10-27-2004, 07:22 AM   #8
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A converter, such as a Univolt, contains a full-wave bridge rectifier to convert AC to DC voltage. The rectifier is nothing more than four diodes. If one of those diodes were to go bad, it could drain your battery. There may also be some capacitors in the circuit to bleed off noise. They too can go bad & drain a battery.

The easiest way to see if your converter is draining the battery is unplug shore power, disconnect the converter from the battery, and measure the resistance between the two wires coming from the converter. It should be infinite.

Jack - In your case, either the converter is good & you have a bum battery, or your converter has an intermittent problem. If I were you, I would charge the battery, and leave it disconnected for a few days, then check the voltage. Intermittent problems are the worst to resolve.

Tom
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Old 10-29-2004, 05:39 AM   #9
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Lightbulb Low Battery

Next check. Sorry, but I like to do one thing at a time. SO, I disconnected the battery to ensure the shore power would run the DC lighting with no effect. Turned all the lights on one at a time, each work well with the exception of the Bath light, center bulb seemed to flicker (may be a ground issue in the socket or weak bulb). Looks like the battery input may be too high, I'll check the resistance to see what the output is. Once I find my paperwork on the Inverter I should be able to make an adjustment to allow the inverter to be the lead and the battery to be the lag. I will remove the Original Inverter as well, no need to leave it where it is, the new inverter is too close to the closet platform to allow good ventilation. (more to come)

Thanks for your input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
A converter, such as a Univolt, contains a full-wave bridge rectifier to convert AC to DC voltage. The rectifier is nothing more than four diodes. If one of those diodes were to go bad, it could drain your battery. There may also be some capacitors in the circuit to bleed off noise. They too can go bad & drain a battery.

The easiest way to see if your converter is draining the battery is unplug shore power, disconnect the converter from the battery, and measure the resistance between the two wires coming from the converter. It should be infinite.

Jack - In your case, either the converter is good & you have a bum battery, or your converter has an intermittent problem. If I were you, I would charge the battery, and leave it disconnected for a few days, then check the voltage. Intermittent problems are the worst to resolve.

Tom
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Old 10-29-2004, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
...Turned all the lights on one at a time, each work well with the exception of the Bath light, center bulb seemed to flicker (may be a ground issue in the socket or weak bulb). Looks like the battery input may be too high, I'll check the resistance to see what the output is. Once I find my paperwork on the Inverter I should be able to make an adjustment to allow the inverter to be the lead and the battery to be the lag...
Keep in mind that the battery smooths the output from your converter, and that the lights will be dimmer if it is not in the circuit. I do not quite follow you on adjusting your converter. I thought all of them nowadays were non-adjustable.

Would you mind quoting a sentence or two out of your paperwork regarding this adjustment when you get a chance?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:31 PM   #11
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Lightbulb Lo Bat poewer

I removed the original Inverter (is it worth keeping?) Checked all the wiring connections. I still need to pick up something to check the voltage. We went to the White Mountains for the weekend and had no issues with power. The camper was hooked into shore power. As it was 26º Friday night the furnace was getting a good work out.
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Old 11-02-2004, 07:54 AM   #12
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Lightbulb Low Battery Power

I do not have the manual for the Inverter, as it was installed by the previous owner. I am searching the Net for it. However, typically there are 2 "pots" (potentiometer adjustments + -) Once I gather more information on output and the rate of drain I will go that route. Now that I have re-done the wiring this may no longer be a problem…

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
Keep in mind that the battery smooths the output from your converter, and that the lights will be dimmer if it is not in the circuit. I do not quite follow you on adjusting your converter. I thought all of them nowadays were non-adjustable.


Would you mind quoting a sentence or two out of your paperwork regarding this adjustment when you get a chance?

Thanks,
Tom
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