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Old 06-21-2021, 06:59 AM   #1
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2017 30' International
Merritt Island , Florida
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3
converter/Charger 2017 30 International

As newbies in RVing word our 2017 International serenity that we just got a couple of months ago got an issue with the electrical system on our second camping trip. When the disconnect switch is in the STORE position and plugged into shore power the lights do not work, no refrigerator and no red light at the switch. When the switch is in the USE position the lights work, refrigerator works and the red light is on the switch, but batteries lose power. There is also a distinct sound from a relay when the switch is moved.
Since we are on a camping trip have purchased a battery charger and using it to charge the batteries and set the disconnect switch to USE.

Am I correct, assuming that the converter is not working with shore power? Is there another possibility?
anyway to test the converter?
Thanks
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Old 06-21-2021, 08:36 AM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,537
Hi

Welcome !!!

Since this is a "new to you" trailer, the previous owner may have modified things. There is a very simple mod that can be made to the use/store that cuts the battery charger out when in the "use" mode.

On a typical trailer, the use / store works as you have described in terms of the lights and fridge. Shutting down the major electrical demand in the trailer is what it's there for.

Some trailers are setup so that the converter / charger works in both modes (use and store). Others are set up only to charge in one or the other setting. There is a wire you move between a couple of lugs on the relay to make this change.

First thing to check is the breaker that runs the converter charger. It may be tripped. Cycle it full off and back to on again to be sure it is correct.

Next thing to do is grab your multimeter ( everybody has one ... right ). The one that costs $20 on Amazon or close to that at Lowes / Home Depot will do just fine.

First up check the 120V into the converter / charger. The breaker may be bad or a wire may be loose.

Next check for voltage on the output of the converter / charger. If it's up above 13V, the charger is probably working ok. If it's down around 12V more investigation is needed. If it's zero volts the charger has an issue and there is something else wrong as well.

If the converter is up at 13V, check on the battery posts. If they are also around 13V, the battery should be charging.

If the converter is at 12V, cycle the breaker to turn it on and off. If the voltage stays the same both on and off, it's a good bet the converter is bad.

If you have zero volts, there is an open wire of fuse between your (blown) converter and the battery.

If your converter is working and the batteries die quickly, check the water level in the batteries. (only works for flooded cells not AGM's). You may find a dry cell.

One further complication in a modified trailer: There may be a full battery disconnect switch somewhere. This is a switch in series with the battery. It fully cuts off everything in the trailer. If it's in the "off" position, that's only for long term storage. It should be "on" any time you are using the trailer and whenever you are towing it.

So, lots of twists and turns. Indeed there are a few unusual ones not mentioned above. Hopefully this will get you moving.

Bob
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:19 AM   #3
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2017 30' International
Merritt Island , Florida
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply.
Failed to mention that the disconnect switch had a red light in either position prior to this incident.
The breaker #6 supplies power to the converter at 120 volts. Verified. The output from the converter is 0 volts. Measured voltage between big red wire and white wire on converter.


When the switch is in the USE position, there is voltage at the converter output posts about 13, the same as at the batteries.



I do have AGM batteries and two solar panels.
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:42 AM   #4
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,537
Hi

Dead converter, time to replace.

You can replace it with what's in there right now. Most folks do an up grade when they do the replacement. There are a lot of outfits selling converters that will work. I would strongly recommend buying it from an outfit you can talk to on the phone. This is not the sort of thing I'd buy blindly from an unknown seller on Amazon.

Price wise, they start out around $200 delivered and go up from there. You can get fancy combo inverter / chargers for quite a bit more. Unless you are planning an inverter upgrade, there is no real need to get that fancy.

If DIY on electrical is not on your list of fun things to do, most competent RV shops should be able to do the swap. This is not something that is highly Airstream specific.

Bob
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Old 06-21-2021, 01:00 PM   #5
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2017 30' International
Merritt Island , Florida
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3
Thanks so much for your advice. If it's a direct replacement, I may be able do it myself.

Much Thanks
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Old 06-21-2021, 02:03 PM   #6
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,537
Hi

Even with a "stock" unit, the drop in process isn't all that crazy. You hook up the AC power to one side. The 12V hooks up to the other side. Normally there is enough room to fit this or that in the space.

Bob
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