Electrical issues - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #29
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Name: George
Trailer: Waiting for the Sprinter van and designing the converion modules.
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Originally Posted by Andy B View Post
This statement is misleading. With most converters the entire 120 volts AC gets converted to 12 volts AC (alternating current) with a transformer and then changed to DC (direct current) to charge the battery. The first 12 volts does not charge the battery with 108 volts left over that is turned into heat. There is an efficiency loss for the conversion that will vary with the converter design and load and most of that loss ends up as heat, but that loss comes equally from every one of those volts and is relatively small, certainly not 108/120 or 90% as was implied.
I am sure you know that Byron, and you did offer to explain in more detail, but some people do not have a very good understanding of electricity and might take it the wrong way.
Ditto,
George.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #30
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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Originally Posted by Clankster View Post
Hello,
I have a 1995 13' Scamp that I just bought. Everything seems to be in good condition. However, there is a problem that I just recently noticed. The battery will not charge off the 120v power source. It will only charge when hooked up to the car. .
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Are you sure that you have a converter? Not all trailers of that vintage came equipped with one. Without one, 110 power won't operate your 12v lights. If you DO have one, it may require that you manually switch between battery and 110 power.
Also, even if you have a converter, if it has no charging function it won't charge your battery.


Francesca
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Originally Posted by Clankster View Post
It very well may be the case that I don't have a converter. That's what I'm beginning to think. I have looked everywhere and this is the only electrical box I can find.

Is a converter a separate unit?

Thanks for your help.
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post

Looks like shorepower to me! I think that's your 110v circuit breaker.
A converter is a separate unit that "converts" 110v AC power to 12v DC. Your 12v lights/pump/whatever-you-have won't work off shorepower without one.
Some, but not all, converters also charge the trailer battery. I think you can buy a combined converter-charger for less than $200.00.
My Trillium came to me with a converter only- I had to add a charging module to it.

Francesca
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
If my Scamp didn't already have a converter I wouldn't pay for one.
From my experience and a couple others on Yahoo Groups it's felt that a converter probably isn't worth the cost.
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
You can't run 12v fixtures off shorepower without a converter.

Francesca
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Why not?
You run them off the battery.
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
It works the opposite of what you're thinking. It draws off the battery until the battery voltage drops below some voltage then the converter kicks in to keep the battery charged at that point. The cut off on my converter is 12.2 volts.

I hope this is clear, if you have question I'll be happy to answer them.

Byron
Electronic Engineer, retired
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
So as has been suggested there is no big loss if one decides to go without a converter as long as you have another option for charging the battery.
I realize that this thread has turned to a discussion of solar panels instead (?) of shorepower, BUT
If there's anybody out there that's still interested please take a moment to review the above excerpts from the thread, beginning with the Original Problem, which was, and I quote:
" THE BATTERY WILL NOT CHARGE OFF THE 110v POWER SOURCE "
It appears that our friend "the Clankster" would like for his battery to charge off 110v power. A discussion ensues. It's established that Clint doesn't have the equipment to CHARGE THE BATTERY OFF THE 110v POWER SOURCE, perhaps the one at the RV park that he's paying $30.00 or more a night for. Those of us sympathetic to the notion that one ought to be able to Get One's Money's Worth when paying to park describe the systems we have that enable us to do so. Early Trilliums didn't come from the factory with batteries unless specially ordered. Their 12v systems ran from the car battery when connected to the car. And each was supplied with a converter whose sole function was to convert 110v power to 12v power for the use of the trailer's systems. Many new trailers today come with a similar setup, a battery being an option only necessary for storage of power.
In point of fact, one can (and many do) camp ONLY with shorepower, no battery at all. But since most RV electricals (pump, heater fan etc) are 12v, they must have a converter to do so, hence my (controversial?) observation that "you can't run 12v fixtures off shorepower without a converter".
And if, like Clint, one wants to CHARGE THE BATTERY OFF THE 110v POWER SOURCE , the converter must be equipped with a charging function, also 12v.

Whew!

Francesca
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:54 PM   #31
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No need to yell Francesca dont think the discussion has become about solar panels although they have been offered up to Clint as an option to purchasing a converter. I dont recall him actually stating that he wanted/must be able to charge off the 110V system - although he obviously tried to - he only asked why it was not charging.

I am also pretty sure that anyone following the topic has been clear all along as to what the orginal question was and the debate that developed as a result of the answers given. Clint was correctly advised that if he wanted to charge his battery off his 110V power source he needs a converter.

I suspect the confusion within this thread comes from the following statements:

"The battery is a 12v power supply, happily exactly the voltage needed by a 12v fixture. Shorepower ("hookups") is 120v, which is 10 times more voltage than a 12v fixture needs unless one is trying to set it afire. Barring that intention, it's necessary to reduce 120v power to 12v, which is ordinarily accomplished by running it through a converter." and this "the power in the battery STAYS THERE, all ready to be used when hookups aren't available." and "you can't run 12v fixtures off shorepower without a converter".

I suspect I was not the only one who came away with the impression from the above that you felt that when his trailer was plugged into power, that a converter was necessary to be able to use the 12V system. As Clint indicated he had a battery and a seperate 120V box it was correctly pointed out that his 12V system will contiune to work off the battery regardless of whether or not he was plugged in. As the 12V system is drawing off the battery so the power will not as indicated just "stay there" in the battery regardless of whether or not he is plugged into shore power - this would be the case even if he had a converter that was recharging his battery. As he does not have a converter connecting his 120V system to his 12V system nothing will fry up when he plugs in. The only issue is how do you keep the battery charged up without a converter which brought the topic around to alternatives to converters.

Sorry if you felt we were not listening to you.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #32
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I'm not touching this one.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:29 AM   #33
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Chicken!
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:04 AM   #34
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Name: George
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Chicken!
Me too,
George.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #35
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I think this discussion has run it's course.
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