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Old 10-07-2016, 11:04 PM   #1
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weird weird weird. 12v goes dark. click.

2008 25' - Trailer has been sitting for about a month. Replaced my gopower PCM solar charge controller with a victron 100/50 unit the other day - straight swap. Now I can read solar charging state and voltage on my smartphone - yeah.

Now comes the funky behavior in the trailer... (may or may not be related) I am in the trailer on battery power this afternoon (12.8v showing on the victron) playing the radio with sub woofer and have a dozen LED lights on... run the faucet and the water pump kicks in. After a few moments the LED lights start to dim/flicker. Then all of a sudden all 12v power goes dark / turns off. click. A second or 2 later the power comes back on, radio turns back on, internet router reboots, pump kicks back on, etc..

Let the trailer sit a while, went back in tonight. Turn everything back on, showing ~12.5v on the victron (cold out) and same behavior... lights flicker a little / dim and power cuts out after the pump runs for 10 seconds or so.

Again, I am on battery power (not shore power) so the converter is not in play. no fuses are tripped.

I am thinking I may have a bad battery disconnect solenoid switch perhaps? Perhaps it doesn't think it is seeing enough voltage all of a sudden and automatically shuts down the main 12v circuit?

Batteries are 2 group 27 lifelines installed about 5 months ago.

I boondock about once a month and in 8 years have never had this happen before.

I'm going to juice of the batteries overnight on shore power and see if I can reproduce in the am... in the mean time -


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Old 10-08-2016, 01:01 AM   #2
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weird weird weird. 12v goes dark. click.

Not a lot of information to go on,,,, but,

It makes me think of a few things....

Are all battery terminals clean and tight?

Are the other ends of the battery cables clean and tight, including the chassis ground?

Is there a main auto reset circuit breaker in front of the trailer load? If so, does it trip when this behavior happens?

Is it possible that the water pump is failing or otherwise shorting out? (This may run in conjunction with a main circuit breaker tripping)

(Although,,,,, if the pump is shorting or failing, it SHOULD blow the fuse/breaker to the pump before tripping a main breaker. )

Gradiens super tenui glacie.

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 10-08-2016, 11:03 AM   #3
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I agree with J. Morgan. Most likely you disconnected the battery cables before starting your work on the controller swap. I'll bet if you go back and clean the posts, clamps and apply a light coat of grease before reconnecting your problems will go away.

I've had cars that everything worked fine until you tried to start them and as soon as you turned the key, everything went out. Cleaned the clamps/posts and it was good again. It's either dirty connections or you have a bad cable in the mix.

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Old 10-08-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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weird weird weird. 12v goes dark. click.

Thanks guys. Connections at the battery are super tight and clean.

I went ahead and swapped out the water pump this morning for a new unit (like for like). Sureflow 3gpm 4008-101.

New pump is certainly a lot quieter which makes me think it is drawing less amps at a minimum.

I charged the batteries overnight (2 group 27 lifelines) with my progressive dynamics 3-stage converter.

Turned on all the lights, bath fan, hood fan, my inverter, internet router, Wilson booster, blasted the stereo / sub woofer and ran the water pump continuously.

The lights dimmed just a bit once but the power did not cut out. Voltage was reading down to 12.2v with everything on.

Trailer has sat now for 30 minutes and voltage is reading 12.75v with no accessories draw (battery disconnected). It's 65 degrees out.

I am going to check the cable connections at the main bus and battery disconnect to make sure they are solid.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:47 PM   #5
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Just a thought, check to see that the fridge is off or on LP. When I rewired for solar I did not isolate the fridge 110V circuit. If the fridge is on "auto" the fridge will switch to 110V service when it sees the power from my suresine inverter. I kept hearing a clunk and seeing the lights dim and about a 14-30 AMP power draw. My lights didn't go out but we ran the batteries to minimums (50%) in one evening of watching movies. I thought my lifelines were toast until i figured out that the fridge was switching to 110v and the inverter dutifully pulled a ton of amps @ 12V to keep up. I now run the fridge on LP all the time til I can wire the fridge 110V outlet through my "Shore / Inverter" switch.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:59 PM   #6
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weird weird weird. 12v goes dark. click.

Good call. When my inverter was originally installed it was indeed powered by an outlet on the inverter. Have since installed a new 110v outlet that is shore power only / on an isolated circuit.

I will double check however that it is plugged into the "non inverted" outlet.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:25 PM   #7
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Sounds like the battery has low Amps, don't know why this would happen, but it can and does on aircraft that have not been charged in awhile.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:30 PM   #8
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weird weird weird. 12v goes dark. click.

Checked all connections (+/-) in the trailer at the battery bus and everything was perfect.

Have not seen the behavior since the batteries have been fully charged. Suspect the battery disconnect solenoid saw low voltage and flip-flopped.

Plan to boondock for 2-3 days next weekend will provide an update after that outing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:14 AM   #9
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Maybe related, maybe not. I have replaced the several years old battery with a new one and replaced the controller. Sometimes the battery is fully charged when I bring the trailer from the storage facility other times it is completely dead. There does not appear to be anything connected when parked.


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