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Old 10-05-2014, 06:56 AM   #1
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Sudden flickering, converter going?

Not sure what are the symptoms of a converter (infamous Paralax 7300) are in it's death throes, but maybe this: plugged into shore with batteries in store, and returning at the end of the day, lights would intermittently dim and furnace fan throttled way back. Don't think the 125v circuit was affected, but the 12v circuit was acting like it was on it's last legs, if I ran the water pump, the lights would flicker in sync with the pump and kept dimming and powering back. Placing the battery in use mode seems to have eliminated the flicker and dim. I't been a while since we've been off shore power (when battery is in store), so I used a trickle charger a couple days ago to make sure batteries were up, and at the terminals, voltage went from12.54 to 13.1 over about a day. Now, two days later having been back on store again, the battery tested at 12.5v and lights are flickering on store (1st time ever). On store this morning, batteries show 12.2v (and lights again dimmed, flickering). I am guessing I've reached the end of the batteries, but thought that in store mode the 12v circuit would operate through the converter's shore power? Any insights or similar symptoms that would shed light? We're traveling full time; replacing converter myself seems a bit (maybe several bits) beyond my comfort zone. Figured I'd switch out anyway when the batteries gave out, but wondering what exactly is going on. Any RV service recommendations in the Knoxville TN, Asheville, NC area to have work done?
Thanks for what I know will be good advice (and comismeration), Al & Robin
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:26 AM   #2
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It could be the converter, or it could be a simple loose connection at the main power buss. If it's a loose connection, it should be easy to find by simply checking all the connections trying to move them. Since you have a volt meter, check the voltage at the output wires of the converter when you are getting the flickering in the lights. If the problem is the converter, you will most likely see the voltage fluctuating at that point.

I've changed several converters, and other than the physical difficulty of getting down on the floor and into that small space, there is nothing difficult or very technical to it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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Had the same exact problem at the start of this season. You don't mention how old the batteries are; but, sounds like they are toast. The original equipment converter is very hard on batteries and they are probably sulfated so they will take, but not hold a charge.

I was in a hurry this spring and didn't want to tackle installing a converter. Checked and replaced the batteries which failed a load test and a mobile RV tech checked the converter and it was marginal. He replaced the converter with one that will do a tapered charge and has a lower voltage "store position".

Given the age of your trailer, suspect you may have the same situation.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #4
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Appreciate the confirmation. Switching between use & store & trickle charger doesn't seem to have been the best method to maintain. Some of us just need a more idiot proof method, I think. Did you find the converter drop off on the 12v circuit (in store, but not when switched to use) was part of a converter failure? Thought an isolated battery circuit wouldn't have had any effect.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:26 AM   #5
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Ignorance is not bliss

An added wrinkle, because I don't understand how the brakes are powered in towing... plan is to limp into Asheville, going through the Smokies, to have converter replaced. As I understand the converter/battery relationship, all the power (12v or 125v) is routed through the converter. If it IS on the verge of total failure, is the trailer towable if the converter outright dies? Or does the TV umbilical power provide enough juice to operate brakes and running lights? If the power for brake operation comes from the batteries and the charging circuit from the converter is crapped out, am I risking driving mountain roads without brakes?
Ignorance probably is bliss, but knowing enough to know what you don't know is anything but...
Thanks, Al & Robin
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:32 AM   #6
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You are safe to tow the trailer. The power for the brakes come from the tow vehicle, except when there is a brake away, and then that power comes from the batteries.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:30 PM   #7
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Steve is correct and the converter is doing absolutely nothing if you are not plugged into shore power. Your dealer is likely going to recommend another Parallax and I would question that if he does.
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