Converter problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
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We have a Parallax converter 6730.Just under two years old.This is the third unit installed.The first two malfunctioned one immediately on install and one a couple of weeks later.Have had no problems with this third unit although its been used only one season.Today I noticed the Fantastic Fan was not closing as fast as usual,in fact it was r e a l l y s l o w.I tried the lights and nothing.However the electric outlet worked.The light and fan on the range hood are not working.The battery was drained so i presume the converter was not working for at least a week.The fantastic fan was running but not at full power.That is the only thing in the trailer that was on and using power.The trailer is plugged into electric.I checked the fuses and all seem OK.I checked the breakers and none were off.Why is the outlet working and not the lights??????I am kind of clueless on how there thing work so any ideas would be appreciated.Pat.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:46 PM   #2
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Pat,

Sounds like voltage problems, take the battery off line and charge it with a separate charger, test the battery after a charge to determine there is no issue with the battery...ie dead cell ect.

When you KNOW the battery is good hook up and test the voltage at the converter with it UNPLUGGED, there should be no drop in voltage at the batter and at the converter 12v connections.

When you know these connections are good plug in the converter to shore power...Measure the voltage and with nothing on in the trailer there should be less than a half volt to one volt increase.


Now turn everything on 12v you can....Wait 30 min and measure the converter out put again at the same point, no less than a 1 volt drop should occur and you should see 13.5 to 14v max... If not these numbers the converter needs trouble shooting itself.

On some designs you cannot test the converter disconnected from the battery, it toasts the converter...Parallax is a Magnetec design.

Since your issues are repetitive I think you may have issues in the trailer that may contribute to a set of circumstances that prey on a flaw in the design of this converter.

One issue is a intermittent loss of ground can fry the converter or a dead cell can too...Converters in the low end tend to have less thought behind them than high end converters...Also not to offend anyone here but some China made subcontracted low end units are coming out of the box with issues.

Working under awful conditions do not make good converters....even if you need a job.

On defective Parallax units I have repaired them myself in the shop, the major issue I have had was the heat sink screws were not installed and no heat sink paste was installed at point of manufacture on power transistors...This lead to a short life under any load.

The cost of repair was 8.00 for my two units, the power transistor is generic.

Most battery vendors (like Batteries Ect, or Batteries Batteries) in my area have an electronic shop they have a relationship with that can point in the right direction should your skill in electronic repair be questionable.


Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Harry
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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Pat,

Sounds like voltage problems, take the battery off line and charge it with a separate charger, test the battery after a charge to determine there is no issue with the battery...ie dead cell ect.

When you KNOW the battery is good hook up and test the voltage at the converter with it UNPLUGGED, there should be no drop in voltage at the battery and at the converter 12v connections.

When you know these connections are good plug in the converter to shore power...Measure the voltage and with nothing on in the trailer there should be less than a half volt to one volt increase.


Now turn everything on 12v you can....Wait 30 min and measure the converter out put again at the same point, no less than a 1 volt drop should occur and you should see 13.5 to 14v max... If not these numbers the converter needs trouble shooting itself.

On some designs you cannot test the converter disconnected from the battery, it toasts the converter...Parallax is a Magnetec design.

Since your issues are repetitive I think you may have issues in the trailer that may contribute to a set of circumstances that prey on a flaw in the design of this converter.

One issue is a intermittent loss of ground can fry the converter or a dead cell can too...Converters in the low end tend to have less thought behind them than high end converters...Also not to offend anyone here but some China made subcontracted low end units are coming out of the box with issues.

Working under awful conditions do not make good converters....even if you need a job.

On defective Parallax units I have repaired them myself in the shop, the major issue I have had was the heat sink screws were not installed and no heat sink paste was installed at point of manufacture on power transistors...This lead to a short life under any load.

The cost of repair was 8.00 for my two units, the power transistor is generic.

Most battery vendors (like Batteries Ect, or Batteries Batteries) in my area have an electronic shop they have a relationship with that can point in the right direction should your skill in electronic repair be questionable.


Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Harry
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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The outlet would normally be connected through the AC circuit breakers, if you have them, which are powered by the external power connection to your house / campground hookup. The converter is not part of that circuit and if the converter failed the outlets would normally continue to work. It sounds like your converter may have failed and the battery lost its charge because the converter was no longer charging it. Who has been installing your converters? There may be a fault somewhere in your trailer wiring that is burning up your converters. One possibility would be the line between the battery and your converter shorting directly to ground. A bad battery could also be the culprit. If you have an electrical tester (multimeter) I could give you instructions on how to test for these faults, but you may wish to have someone more experienced check it out.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
The outlet would normally be connected through the AC circuit breakers, if you have them, which are powered by the external power connection to your house / campground hookup. The converter is not part of that circuit and if the converter failed the outlets would normally continue to work. It sounds like your converter may have failed and the battery lost its charge because the converter was no longer charging it. Who has been installing your converters? There may be a fault somewhere in your trailer wiring that is burning up your converters. One possibility would be the line between the battery and your converter shorting directly to ground. A bad battery could also be the culprit. If you have an electrical tester (multimeter) I could give you instructions on how to test for these faults, but you may wish to have someone more experienced check it out.
Because the original converter is still under warenty(until next month)I am hoping the company will replace the converter.Still waiting for word from them.The same people have installed all three units.I have a feeling also that there is a problem with the way they did the wiring.I certainly am challanged in that area and although I have a multimeter,I am not really sure how to use it.If the unit is replaced under waranty it will have to be done by the same shop that installed the original unless the retailer specifies that another can be used.If they refuse to replace the unit,I will purchace another(don't have much faith in Paralax but was told it was the only one that would work in my trailer,a 1980 Boler) but will definately have it installed by another shop.We have no RV repair shop anywhere near our town.The closest is a two hour drive and they are always booked solid.We are preparing to take a 3,000 mile trip in July.I hope to have a working converter.
I certainly would appreciate it if you could give instructions on how I could test for faults with the multimeter.Thanks,Pat.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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Pat,

Sounds like voltage problems, take the battery off line and charge it with a separate charger, test the battery after a charge to determine there is no issue with the battery...ie dead cell ect.

When you KNOW the battery is good hook up and test the voltage at the converter with it UNPLUGGED, there should be no drop in voltage at the battery and at the converter 12v connections.

When you know these connections are good plug in the converter to shore power...Measure the voltage and with nothing on in the trailer there should be less than a half volt to one volt increase.


Now turn everything on 12v you can....Wait 30 min and measure the converter out put again at the same point, no less than a 1 volt drop should occur and you should see 13.5 to 14v max... If not these numbers the converter needs trouble shooting itself.

On some designs you cannot test the converter disconnected from the battery, it toasts the converter...Parallax is a Magnetec design.

Since your issues are repetitive I think you may have issues in the trailer that may contribute to a set of circumstances that prey on a flaw in the design of this converter.

One issue is a intermittent loss of ground can fry the converter or a dead cell can too...Converters in the low end tend to have less thought behind them than high end converters...Also not to offend anyone here but some China made subcontracted low end units are coming out of the box with issues.

Working under awful conditions do not make good converters....even if you need a job.

On defective Parallax units I have repaired them myself in the shop, the major issue I have had was the heat sink screws were not installed and no heat sink paste was installed at point of manufacture on power transistors...This lead to a short life under any load.

The cost of repair was 8.00 for my two units, the power transistor is generic.

Most battery vendors (like Batteries Ect, or Batteries Batteries) in my area have an electronic shop they have a relationship with that can point in the right direction should your skill in electronic repair be questionable.


Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Harry

I know this is probably a stupid question but I must ask it because it is something I am not clear on.If the battery is disconected or defective or has lost its charge should the converter still be able to work when hooked up to shore power?I think it should but mine is not.However I have taken the batter out and recharged it.It would not hold the charge so I took it back to the store and had it tested.It was defective and they replaced it.We had had it less than a month.I have not hooked it back up again.I will probably do that tomorrow just to make sure everything works off the battery.I do not intend to to leave it hooked up until the converter is replaced as I am afraid of it being drained.This problem with the converter occoured after I hooked up the previous defective battery.Could that have caused the converter to somehow stop working?I am really clueless about anything electrical.Any help is much appreciated.Pat.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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there could be an issue either with the converter or with your wiring,or both a dead batttery should not kill your converter, but it might blow control fuses.

if you have a digital meter here are a few tips:

first put the meter on volts DC and check the battery, it should read around + 13.8 vdc with the red lead on the positive and black on the negative.

next hook up the ground or negative wire to the battery, leaving the converter unplugged.
now put the red lead on positive and the black on the trailer frame, or something you know is bolted to the frame, again you should have around 13.8 volt.

now if you can get to the two terminals on the converter that provide your dc, leave the red probe on the positive of the battery and put the black on the negative terminal of the converter (with the wires connected at the converter end) it should again read 13 volts

You have now proved that the battery has a charge, that the frame is grounded and is a negative ground, and that the negative wiring at the converter is correct.

now, with the meter on continuity or ohms (the little horseshoe) check the positive wire at the coverter end and at the battery end (converter unplugged and positive lead off the battery end.

this proves the positive wiring side.

do you have any fuses that blow on a regular basis?

Joe


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Old 06-03-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
there could be an issue either with the converter or with your wiring,or both a dead batttery should not kill your converter, but it might blow control fuses.

if you have a digital meter here are a few tips:

first put the meter on volts DC and check the battery, it should read around + 13.8 vdc with the red lead on the positive and black on the negative.

next hook up the ground or negative wire to the battery, leaving the converter unplugged.
now put the red lead on positive and the black on the trailer frame, or something you know is bolted to the frame, again you should have around 13.8 volt.

now if you can get to the two terminals on the converter that provide your dc, leave the red probe on the positive of the battery and put the black on the negative terminal of the converter (with the wires connected at the converter end) it should again read 13 volts

You have now proved that the battery has a charge, that the frame is grounded and is a negative ground, and that the negative wiring at the converter is correct.

now, with the meter on continuity or ohms (the little horseshoe) check the positive wire at the coverter end and at the battery end (converter unplugged and positive lead off the battery end.

this proves the positive wiring side.

do you have any fuses that blow on a regular basis?

Joe
Thanks Joe for the step by step instructions.I will try doing them tomorrow.Hooked up the new battery tonight and all is go on the 12v system.The converter sadly is still not working.Hope to hear tomorrow if it will be replaced under warrenty.We have never had any blown fuses.All the fuses are fine.I checked them first thing.One thing I was wondering about.When we have the converter replaced should we not leave it plugged in to our house power?I have done so but someone told my hubby that this is a bad idea because of a power surge.Pat.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:22 AM   #9
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Pat,

Never met a stupid question, or a complete answer covering all the possibilities to any question, I treat everything I say as an amateur guessing at what wiser professionals would not risk with so little facts really.

However with that said and having no real access to the trailer to see for myself I think Joe covered the basics well. (Great Joe )

The real answer to what I think is the good question about the shouda woulda couda converter survive an oops like a battery issue is....Maybe?

The issue being raised is did the converter kill the battery, or visa versa?

And...

Is the converter design using a de-sulfur tech in its design too?
Is it a full wave or half wave rectified unit?
Does it use a feed back voltage or resistance/ impedance in its design to determine state of charge?

I did not look up your model...the s/n would tell me more.

Does it have an internal fuse not known about?

To be honest Pat I have taken a few apart and found that the boards within your brand has been made all over the world in any place they could get it done cheaper...From model year to model year there can be vast differences in the internal control boards and in higher end units the regulation chips. (micro processors)

Its a surprise to me every time I open them up what is there, the site has several Technocrat Magus types who reside in the electronic universe who are good on this board engineering stuff on that question (survivability of unit) who when reading this might weigh in.

I go deeper a little more for the people I work for as I sell a service in private life...This brand has been an issue when something goes out of balance... they fail.

While the company has been very good at exchanges...the exchanges fail too.

I never had issues with the warranty dept like other brands, but these are fickle beasties.

Happy Camping, Safe Trails.

Harry


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I know this is probably a stupid question but I must ask it because it is something I am not clear on.If the battery is disconected or defective or has lost its charge should the converter still be able to work when hooked up to shore power?I think it should but mine is not.However I have taken the batter out and recharged it.It would not hold the charge so I took it back to the store and had it tested.It was defective and they replaced it.We had had it less than a month.I have not hooked it back up again.I will probably do that tomorrow just to make sure everything works off the battery.I do not intend to to leave it hooked up until the converter is replaced as I am afraid of it being drained.This problem with the converter occoured after I hooked up the previous defective battery.Could that have caused the converter to somehow stop working?I am really clueless about anything electrical.Any help is much appreciated.Pat.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:20 PM   #10
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you might not want to leave it plugged in all the time, if the battery charger section is iffy , it could overcharge and kill your battery. I lost a good spiral grid battery by leaving it on an "automatic " charger all winter, thinking it would save me the headache of removing the battery, it didn't.

Joe
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