More Electrical Problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-17-2016, 07:52 PM   #1
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: UHAUL CT-13
Texas
Posts: 15
More Electrical Problems

Hi all,

So, after a couple weeks working on the electricity, I had all my appliances running, three led lights and a stove fan. I decided to test out the converter so I plugged into the shore power and tried to turn on the appliances one by one. Nothing worked. I figured the converter was bad, so I unplugged the shore power and tried again to run the lights and fan off of my battery and nothing worked. I was getting a little power to the led light I had installed in the range hood, but it was extremely dim. I checked the fuses and they are all good and I am getting 12 volts coming out of the fuse box. Could a bad converter mess up the wires or possible the appliances? Any thoughts or anyone have any similar experiences?
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:51 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17 ft DLX SD & 21 ft SOB
NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Daniel the Texan View Post
Hi all,

So, after a couple weeks working on the electricity, I had all my appliances running, three led lights and a stove fan. I decided to test out the converter so I plugged into the shore power and tried to turn on the appliances one by one. Nothing worked. I figured the converter was bad, so I unplugged the shore power and tried again to run the lights and fan off of my battery and nothing worked. I was getting a little power to the led light I had installed in the range hood, but it was extremely dim. I checked the fuses and they are all good and I am getting 12 volts coming out of the fuse box. Could a bad converter mess up the wires or possible the appliances? Any thoughts or anyone have any similar experiences?
Was the battery disconnected when you connected to shore power?
If your battery is good and hooked up properly the lights should work regardless of whether you are connected to or disconnected from shore power.
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Old 12-17-2016, 09:13 PM   #3
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: UHAUL CT-13
Texas
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Was the battery disconnected when you connected to shore power?
If your battery is good and hooked up properly the lights should work regardless of whether you are connected to or disconnected from shore power.
Hi Steve,

Yes the battery was disconnected when I hooked up to shore power. I had disconnected it to test and see if I was getting power to my 12v system from the shore/converter. When nothing came on, I connected the battery and still nothing came on, which was fruestrating because just minutes before, when I was hooked up to the battery everything was working fine. Again I checked the battery and the fuses and they all seem to be good. Could a bad converter somehow fry my wires and/or appliances? I haven't gotten to checking them out yet but that is my next step.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:10 AM   #4
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
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Have you taken your electrical tester, (set to DC scale,) and checked the converter's charging current output right at the battery connections, (with the battery disconnected,) just probe the ends of the charging wires (+ and -) coming from the converter that feed the battery. If you are reading about 13.5 volts DC present across those two lines, then the problem would most probably be that your battery is toast. A dead battery can wreak havoc with your charging system and the trailer's electrical system as well, so I'd recommend that you take the battery up to any auto parts store and have them "load test" it on the bench. They will generally will do this for free. If your battery is bad, obviously it will need to be replaced. If you don't have a charging current reading of around 13.5 volts, going to the battery, then your converter is probably shot.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:30 AM   #5
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Many of the better converters limit current by "folding back" the voltage to limit current.
They also often have "crowbar" high voltage protection that basically shorts out the output to limit voltage.
Resetting the breaker might well fix the problem.
Checking with a meter would be the first step.
These systems are not really complicated, but if you don't understand electricity it can be pretty daunting.
Think of the wires as little tubes that have water (electrons) flowing through them both out to the load and back through whatever the negative return might be (frame or wires).
The voltage without the battery load might have gone high enough the trip the high voltage protection circuits
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:42 AM   #6
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Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Many of the better converters limit current by "folding back" the voltage to limit current.
They also often have "crowbar" high voltage protection that basically shorts out the output to limit voltage.
I think you may be talking waaaay over his expertise here JD. "KISS" comes to mind. He's, self-admittedly, not electrically inclined, and probably has no idea what you're talking about.

Having no idea how old his rig is, whether it is an older or newer unit is an unknown. If it is an older unit, it probably wouldn't have those features. Knowing the age of it would definitely help.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:29 PM   #7
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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OP has a Uhaul, so it has to be an '84, '85, or '86. In my opinion those original converters, if his trailer has it, are outdated technology. Mine would actually discharge the battery. It went to the scrap yard. Originally those trailers had one little 15 amp breaker mounted on the only outlet in the trailer, at the end of the upper cabinets. There was a small fuse panel in the converter.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
OP has a Uhaul, so it has to be an '84, '85, or '86. In my opinion those original converters, if his trailer has it, are outdated technology. Mine would actually discharge the battery. It went to the scrap yard. Originally those trailers had one little 15 amp breaker mounted on the only outlet in the trailer, at the end of the upper cabinets. There was a small fuse panel in the converter.
Sounds like it might be a good time for a completely new converter upgrade. I agree, that if it was made back in the '80s, it definitely doesn't have any "state of the art" circuitry that modern converters have.

If you're interested in an upgrade unit, this is a good place to start looking for one:

LINK: http://www.bestconverter.com/Progres...ters_c_81.html

Lots of good information there too. I bought my Progressive Dynamics 4645 upgrade kit from them to replace the original Parallax unit that my trailer came with.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:23 PM   #9
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
Posts: 511
Electrical problems can be daunting if you aren't knowledgeable in this area. While most applications follow a basic format, some are complicated. Attempts to make fixes can seriously damage circuitry resulting in expensive repair costs, electrocution hazards and even fires. I recommend advice from an electrician. You make be able to do some of the fixes yourself and minimize costs under his direction but be careful not to make a minor problem a major one.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:49 PM   #10
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Typically there is a master 12v switch in UHauls. Could it have been flipped off ?


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Old 12-18-2016, 04:43 PM   #11
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Georgia
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Oh, and maybe check that the system is properly grounded. I have had really strange things happen with a poor ground.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:25 PM   #12
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: UHAUL CT-13
Texas
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Hi all,

Thanks for the advice. So first off my rig is a 1986 Uhaul CT13. I believe it has the original converter. I've read enough to know that these old converters are probably junk, and plan on running off solar at least for the time being, until I can get around to buying another converter. Back to the problem at hand, it seems that I am getting some power to my appliances just very little. My LEDs will turn on but are very dim. The fan which requires more amps will not turn on. Fast forward 30 minutes, and all of a sudden everything works fine. 30 minutes later nothing works. Since, it is something that is affecting all of my appliances, the problem must be before the distribution panel and not in the wiring going to the individual appliances?

At first I suspected that there was some battery cutoff switch I was missing, but I couldn't find one. Anyone know if the original Uhauls had one built in? Now, that power is coming and going I think it may be something as simple as a bad battery lead. I am going to replace the two and see if my problem goes away (they need replacing anyways). Finally, and excuse me for my ignorance, but can someone tell me a good way to check for a good ground with my multimeter? All the circuits are tied into a common ground, a bolt in the corner of my of my fuse box. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:29 PM   #13
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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I don't recall any battery disconnect on my Uhaul. I suspect the converter is bad. Before installing a new converter, for a quick fix I removed the fuse panel from the original converter and used only it, threw away the rest. Kept the battery up by using a standard automotive battery charger that I would connect occasionally.
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