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Old 07-08-2017, 12:18 PM   #1
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1978 31' Excella 500
Huntington Beash , California
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No power to trailer from shore or batteries. Converter fried?

I'm new here to the site and I hoping that some of the great people here might be able to help me troubleshoot my electrical problem. My wife and I inherited a 78 Excella a few years back and have enjoyed it on several extended trips with our family. We just got back from boondocking for two weeks in Utah and Montana. On the first night, I noticed that none of the outlets were working, so I went back and cycled the circuit breaker; still no power to the outlets, so I hit the test switch on the GFCI (I know that it shouldn't be on the front line, but it's an old trailer, maybe someone wired it up wrong). The result; no power at all. No power from shore (generator) or 12V (brand new batteries for this trip and they are good because they still run the tongue motor). No power to the control panel. The fuses all looked good, but I replaced them anyway; still no power. I checked the two fuses on the converter under the front bed (I don't think it is an original Univolt) and they looked good. There was a small town not too far away from the area we were visiting, so I made a stop and bought new circuit breakers; they were all looking pretty old and tired. Installed the circuit breakers, except for the GFCI because the store didn't have one; still no power. While traveling to our second destination, I picked up a new GFCI and installed it, still no power. At this point, I quit troubleshooting the problem and just enjoyed the remainder of the vacation in our 31' metal tent (bucket showers, daily ice runs for cooler food storage, etc.). Just got back last night and I've had a chance to poke around the forums here a little this morning and couldn't find a solution to this. I suspect the converter is fried, but before I pull the trigger on a new one (or upgrade the system in the process), I was wondering if anyone has any other ideas that I may have missed? Is there a "magic" reset button somewhere? Thanks so much for the help, this is a relly great site you all have here.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
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1994 34' Excella
Kalamazoo , Michigan
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Check the shore power at the breaker box with a multimeter. If no power there then you have an open power cord (rare, I imagine) or a problem with the 30A plug, which does happen. Generally, you can take the plug apart and see of there is a loose connection. I'm assuming that you checked the generator breakers and confirmed that the generator is putting out power...
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:15 PM   #3
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
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So you said you had no power from your generator or from 12V. So do you have an inverter, and you mean no AC power from the inverter, which is powered by your battery? What about your 12V circuits like your lights?
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:17 PM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

A multimeter is your friend in this case. If you don't have one already, spend the $20 or $30 the local Lowes or Home Depot wants for one. Best guess is that you have a (possibly hidden) fuse that has blown, or a connector / connection that has come loose. In 40 years of service, stuff happens. Since it's an "all dead" sort of thing it's most likely near the power panel. As noted above, start at the shore power and work your way over to the power panel to see where the music stops.

Bob
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:56 PM   #5
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1978 31' Excella 500
Huntington Beash , California
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Thanks guys. Yeah, next course of action was to break out the multimeter. I was on some rough washboard while I was out, so a loose connection could also be the culprit. I'll post when I figure out whether it's a connection or something else.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:29 PM   #6
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This old if a unit didn't have an inverter unless added by an owner.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:45 PM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
This old if a unit didn't have an inverter unless added by an owner.
Hi

..... who knows what "improvements" may have been made over the years. On a single owner MH, it could still be essentially stock. On one owned by a long line of guys named Bob, it could have a *lot* of layers of changes. Simply sorting down through all of them could take a while.

Bob (off to modify something yet again ....)
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHB View Post
I'm new here to the site and I hoping that some of the great people here might be able to help me troubleshoot my electrical problem. My wife and I inherited a 78 Excella a few years back and have enjoyed it on several extended trips with our family. We just got back from boondocking for two weeks in Utah and Montana. On the first night, I noticed that none of the outlets were working, so I went back and cycled the circuit breaker; still no power to the outlets, so I hit the test switch on the GFCI (I know that it shouldn't be on the front line, but it's an old trailer, maybe someone wired it up wrong). The result; no power at all. No power from shore (generator) or 12V (brand new batteries for this trip and they are good because they still run the tongue motor). No power to the control panel. The fuses all looked good, but I replaced them anyway; still no power. I checked the two fuses on the converter under the front bed (I don't think it is an original Univolt) and they looked good. There was a small town not too far away from the area we were visiting, so I made a stop and bought new circuit breakers; they were all looking pretty old and tired. Installed the circuit breakers, except for the GFCI because the store didn't have one; still no power. While traveling to our second destination, I picked up a new GFCI and installed it, still no power. At this point, I quit troubleshooting the problem and just enjoyed the remainder of the vacation in our 31' metal tent (bucket showers, daily ice runs for cooler food storage, etc.). Just got back last night and I've had a chance to poke around the forums here a little this morning and couldn't find a solution to this. I suspect the converter is fried, but before I pull the trigger on a new one (or upgrade the system in the process), I was wondering if anyone has any other ideas that I may have missed? Is there a "magic" reset button somewhere? Thanks so much for the help, this is a relly great site you all have here.
First off, don't change out the converter. It's not the problem. it's not even electrically in the circuit when you are on shore power. Unless you have an inverter to change 12V dc to 110V ac, the batteries are not in the circuit either. Since you've already replaced the circuit breakers and fuses, the only other thing it could be is a broken wire inside the 30A umbilical cable or a lose connector on same.
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