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Old 01-25-2024, 09:12 PM   #1
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
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Serious Electric Issues! HELP!!!!

Hi,

2019 25' FC

So I heard a pop and then noticed Starlink out. The 15 amp converter was tripped and I reset. A minute later the same. Opened up compartment and the converter (a 65am Boondocker) was smoking and the fan seemed to be not turning but wiggling like it wanted to.

So I pulled it out and put in the original WFCO (I had "upgraded" to Boondocker when I bought it) Made 100% sure right connections. Turned on breaker at pedestal and waited for Progressive surge protector to come on after checks and when it did. Sparks and LOTS of smoke! Looked like more from the panel than converter but so much smoke I couldn't say for sure! Way more smoke than the initial problem.

Removed that converter and separated wires and turned off shore power and on battery right now.

The GFCI had tripped this time. One to the right.

Where to start to fix. Probably hire a pro as I'm in Tucson for gem show and only have a couple days. Any clues on a good repair guy in Tucson?

Am I OK leaving battery on?

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2024, 01:08 AM   #2
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It may be “OK” to remain on battery (since the GFCI CB popped, it’s most likely only in the 120VAC circuit)..…but it’s poor advice to do so with a known major problem. You need a good electrician, hopefully with RV experience…this sort of thing can’t be diagnosed except in-person.
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Old 01-26-2024, 06:09 AM   #3
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I think I’d start at the pedestal to be sure it’s wired properly, then work my way into the trailer from there. First thing I’d check is to be sure your 110V 30A supply isn’t wired for 220V.
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Old 01-26-2024, 06:48 AM   #4
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Lazy Days in Tucson

I agree with the above, check the supply side
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Old 01-26-2024, 06:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbs View Post
Lazy Days in Tucson

I agree with the above, check the supply side
No error codes on the Progressive surge protector...everything was normal when I shut it down...

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2024, 09:05 AM   #6
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With the problems you described, and not seeing any wiring diagram, pictures, setup, etc, the help you will get is limited. My suggestion would be to take it to a service center where it can be properly diagnosed. Unless someone is there with you, I would be cautions on taking advice from a text-based forum. Stay safe.
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Old 01-26-2024, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
Hi,

2019 25' FC

So I heard a pop and then noticed Starlink out. The 15 amp converter was tripped and I reset. A minute later the same. Opened up compartment and the converter (a 65am Boondocker) was smoking and the fan seemed to be not turning but wiggling like it wanted to.

So I pulled it out and put in the original WFCO (I had "upgraded" to Boondocker when I bought it) Made 100% sure right connections. Turned on breaker at pedestal and waited for Progressive surge protector to come on after checks and when it did. Sparks and LOTS of smoke! Looked like more from the panel than converter but so much smoke I couldn't say for sure! Way more smoke than the initial problem.

Removed that converter and separated wires and turned off shore power and on battery right now.

The GFCI had tripped this time. One to the right.

Where to start to fix. Probably hire a pro as I'm in Tucson for gem show and only have a couple days. Any clues on a good repair guy in Tucson?

Am I OK leaving battery on?

Thanks!
The ONLY shop i trust in Tucson is Oasis RV on Benson highway, a rough looking little spot but Ritchard the tech really knows his stuff.. Years ago we had a back pannel replaced at Lazydays and when they put the rig back together they reversed the wiring on the indicator and brake lights !!! - we figured it out the next day, and got it fixed, but it could have been dangerous.

That was 9 years ago, we live in Tucson, and have never gone back to Lazydays - I like to know the tech working on my rig, and develope a relationship, I think it leads to better accountability and outcomes.
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Old 01-26-2024, 09:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
No error codes on the Progressive surge protector...everything was normal when I shut it down...

Thanks!
Did it have a voltage reading?
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Old 01-26-2024, 10:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
Did it have a voltage reading?
Yes...everything was like 119v 0a......

I have an electrician coming over but want to do as much as I can since they charge so much! I bought a new breaker and same WFCO converter that came with the rig.

Panel looks fine....not burnt or loose wires....

Service centers are weeks out for repairs and with Tucson Gem show EVERY space rented for next few weeks. Plus I'm a full timer so dropping off poses same problems with every motel room booked for weeks as well. Just bad timing and spot...

Thanks!

BTW ever see a breaker break? It should have quit the current at first sign of overload right? Even tripped oit ewas still popping and smoking!
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Old 01-26-2024, 11:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
Yes...everything was like 119v 0a......

I have an electrician coming over but want to do as much as I can since they charge so much! I bought a new breaker and same WFCO converter that came with the rig.

Panel looks fine....not burnt or loose wires....

Service centers are weeks out for repairs and with Tucson Gem show EVERY space rented for next few weeks. Plus I'm a full timer so dropping off poses same problems with every motel room booked for weeks as well. Just bad timing and spot...

Thanks!

BTW ever see a breaker break? It should have quit the current at first sign of overload right? Even tripped oit ewas still popping and smoking!

Are you certain you hooked up the replacement converter properly? AC side black is hot, white is neutral, green is ground. On a newer trailer the DC side should be red is plus, and black is negative. Older trailers the DC side was wired to AC standards, i.e. Black was used as positive, white was used as negative. If a good converter wired properly smoked, I'd look for a short on the DC side wiring, or reversed polarity.

Do you have solar? If so maybe the charge controller failed and put panel voltage on the battery/converter wiring.

Popping breaker sounds like a direct short across the AC line, could happen if you reversed hot and neutral on the converter.

Al
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Old 01-26-2024, 12:19 PM   #11
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While you're waiting, you could purchase a solar generator and extension cord. Expensive but so are overbooked motel rooms. It could get you the power you need for awhile.
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Old 01-26-2024, 12:23 PM   #12
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Make sure the white AC and DC wires are connected to the correct bus bars.
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Old 01-26-2024, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
No error codes on the Progressive surge protector...everything was normal when I shut it down...

Thanks!
A surge protector doesn't catch many issues. For over voltage you need an EMS. For example, if the pedestal is wired for 220V instead of 110V, an SP will not trip. Basically, I would *not* conclude that a normally acting SP indicates a properly wired pedestal.
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Old 01-26-2024, 02:39 PM   #14
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I agree that this could be a pedestal issue, could be wired wrong or could be a problem in the park. Is the park full, and is anyone else having issues? Is your Progressive an actual EMS or just a surge protector? As Merlintiaga said, a surge protector may not be enough to save you in every scenario.
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Old 01-26-2024, 04:10 PM   #15
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I agree that this could be a pedestal issue, could be wired wrong or could be a problem in the park. Is the park full, and is anyone else having issues? Is your Progressive an actual EMS or just a surge protector? As Merlintiaga said, a surge protector may not be enough to save you in every scenario.
So....EVERYTHING checked out fine. Two RV techs and I spent 5 hours taking apart the bed platform nd checking from power inlet to converter to inverter and that 12V Box....No lose or burnt wires. Correct current etc. Left shore power plugged in all day with no issues BUT I chickened out at the last minute and did NOT try to install a new convereret since there obviously was a problem and we could not find it. I have solar and we just capped the converter wires and I wont charge batteries from shore power till I can get "home" and not be rushed.

BTW BOTH converters had exploded capacitors! Blown right open! Suggesting a power spike???? My Progressive in Surge and EMS and flashed no codes.

Pedestal was was...KOA and the techs all checked it and perfect operating conditions...

Replaced the breaker since I had it and am suspecting it may have been that but want to track down some more information about that.

Lastly I AM OK running shore power with no converter right? Does this suggest any risks? As I said we had it on all day with not one glitch whereas with converter it was a no go.

Thanks and any further hints appreciated!

Oh one other thing...The 65amp Boondocker held up longer than the 55amp WFCO whose failure was more dramatic. Should I opt for another 65amp converter when ready to go again?

Trav
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Old 01-26-2024, 04:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
So....EVERYTHING checked out fine. Two RV techs and I spent 5 hours taking apart the bed platform nd checking from power inlet to converter to inverter and that 12V Box....No lose or burnt wires. Correct current etc. Left shore power plugged in all day with no issues BUT I chickened out at the last minute and did NOT try to install a new convereret since there obviously was a problem and we could not find it. I have solar and we just capped the converter wires and I wont charge batteries from shore power till I can get "home" and not be rushed.

BTW BOTH converters had exploded capacitors! Blown right open! Suggesting a power spike???? My Progressive in Surge and EMS and flashed no codes.

Pedestal was was...KOA and the techs all checked it and perfect operating conditions...

Replaced the breaker since I had it and am suspecting it may have been that but want to track down some more information about that.

Lastly I AM OK running shore power with no converter right? Does this suggest any risks? As I said we had it on all day with not one glitch whereas with converter it was a no go.

Thanks and any further hints appreciated!

Oh one other thing...The 65amp Boondocker held up longer than the 55amp WFCO whose failure was more dramatic. Should I opt for another 65amp converter when ready to go again?

Trav
After having everything checked and trying it for a while it should be OK. Under normal circumstances it would definitely be fine as long as you have some way to charge the batteries.
With all the problems people have had with the WFCO auto-detect converters not recognizing lithium batteries I wouldn't trust it.
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Old 01-26-2024, 04:42 PM   #17
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A circuit breaker can't really cause what you described, what can cause it is a temporary spike or if they were working on the electrical system and they inadvertently lifted a loop neutral, but your neighbors on the same loop likely would have had issues as well if that were the case.
You can run plugged in with no converter, I do it all the time in storage, I leave the converter breaker off. The only problem you might have is you will be running off the batteries for all your 12 volt needs so you'll want to charge them some way and if the solar doesn't keep up you could pick up a battery charger.
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Old 01-26-2024, 04:47 PM   #18
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A circuit breaker can't really cause what you described, what can cause it is a temporary spike or if they were working on the electrical system and they inadvertently lifted a loop neutral, but your neighbors on the same loop likely would have had issues as well if that were the case.
You can run plugged in with no converter, I do it all the time in storage, I leave the converter breaker off. The only problem you might have is you will be running off the batteries for all your 12 volt needs so you'll want to charge them some way and if the solar doesn't keep up you could pick up a battery charger.
Well if it sticks open and allows more current than rated....wouldn't that do some damage?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
After having everything checked and trying it for a while it should be OK. Under normal circumstances it would definitely be fine as long as you have some way to charge the batteries.
With all the problems people have had with the WFCO auto-detect converters not recognizing lithium batteries I wouldn't trust it.
Yes I'll probably talk to Randy at Bestconverter and at least another Boondocker.
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Old 01-26-2024, 05:18 PM   #19
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Well if it sticks open and allows more current than rated....wouldn't that do some damage?

In your first post I understood you to say the 15 amp breaker for the converter tripped.
If the breaker was welded closed I suppose it wouldn't trip but that would mean a dead short in both converters. Then I've never seen a modern circuit breaker stick closed, even the old FPE's that were notorious for jamming were 2 pole and thermal trip only. I've seen some old breakers that didn't trip as quickly as a new one under a short circuit but they still tripped in under 1 second.

In my electrical career I can say that I only once found a circuit breaker that didn't open, it was a 100 amp 2 pole main that was probably 30 years old and had gotten weather in it, when we opened it only one side opened.

Of the very few circuit breakers that we did find failed they were all failed in the open position and would not reset. This can happen to a circuit breaker that has been repeatedly closed into a short, eventually it will cease to close.
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Old 01-26-2024, 07:05 PM   #20
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In your first post I understood you to say the 15 amp breaker for the converter tripped.
If the breaker was welded closed I suppose it wouldn't trip but that would mean a dead short in both converters. Then I've never seen a modern circuit breaker stick closed, even the old FPE's that were notorious for jamming were 2 pole and thermal trip only. I've seen some old breakers that didn't trip as quickly as a new one under a short circuit but they still tripped in under 1 second.

In my electrical career I can say that I only once found a circuit breaker that didn't open, it was a 100 amp 2 pole main that was probably 30 years old and had gotten weather in it, when we opened it only one side opened.

Of the very few circuit breakers that we did find failed they were all failed in the open position and would not reset. This can happen to a circuit breaker that has been repeatedly closed into a short, eventually it will cease to close.
Is there a way to check them? Maybe take apart and see some sort "damage"?
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