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Old 09-14-2017, 08:19 AM   #1
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Ocean Springs , Mississippi
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Burning smell from Converter

I have a 25' RB Flying Cloud 2012. Recently, I noticed a "Hot" burning smell from the electrical panel under the bench after we hooked up to shore power. The cooling fan in this panel did not come on and feeling around it seemed that the top of the unit was hot. I flipped the 20a breaker that goes to the converter and the problem stopped. So I assume that my converter is failing and I am afraid that it might catch fire. Anyone else had this problem and what to do?
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:08 AM   #2
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I would unplug shore power and disconnect the batteries from the system. Pull the converter (4 screws) and visually inspect for signs of heat damage (melting wires, brown/black discoloring anywhere on the unit, etc..).

If you see anything just replace with an upgraded unit like a progressive dynamics converter.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:23 AM   #3
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If you have it out just replace it and not with the same unit but a 3 stage progressive. That will require some modifications to fit but do it.

Airstream uses the cheapest convertor they can find and they are a problem.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:51 PM   #4
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Thanks all for the information.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:48 AM   #5
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If your rig is 2012 then I assume that the converter is out of warranty. Therefore, if you have it dismounted from your rig, you should be able to open it up and visually inspect it (if you open a new one yourself, you'll void the warranty). You should check to see if it has "burned out a trace", which would literally be visible as a burned path across the circuit board. This type of event can result in a number of immediate and longer-term effects, which could potentially culminate in a fire, depending on what happened and how it's progressing.

We had an almost-new 3-stage Parallax converter fail on us. We are very lucky that it didn't set our rig on fire. Parallax admitted fault and replaced it under warranty, but by that point we were thinking, "We Are Done with this consumer-grade crap" and my husband (an engineer) proceeded to develop our own lithium system which has worked flawlessly since being installed (knock wood).

You can read about our converter failure in this thread if you are interested in seeing if trace burn might be your issue. This other thread is lengthy but it talks about why circuit boards sometimes burn out in the first place. It does so within the context of refrigerator failures, but the principles are the same.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:02 PM   #6
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I pulled my Parallax converter out and did not see any damage but I replaced it anyway with a Progressive Dynamics unit that is specifically made as a replacement. The job took me about 30 minutes and I replaced the DC board as well. The unit works flawlessly and no more burning smell.
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