Wacky electricals - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2010, 11:51 PM   #1
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Question Wacky electricals

Our Boler 1700 is a joy, but we had lots of electrical issues on our recent trip. Not sure if they are all related somehow. We charged the battery, but didn't have it charging all winter. (Now we hear that's probably an oops!) First night-lights were fine. We were in a campground with old electrical supply, so neighbours were losing their power, and frequently flipping breakers to turn things back on. Gradually over the week our lights died. Then we noticed that the 2 20 amp fuses on our converter were blown. Replaced them, and then we moved to another campground a few hours away, with no hook-ups, so flashlights were the order of the day. Checked a few days later and the fuses were blown again. When we are driving, isn't it truck 12 volt, to trailer 12 v, so no converter necessary? Then when we were 20 minutes from home, after a 12 hour drive, at dusk, a trucker yelled at us "Ya got no lights!" And we noticed all the trailer lights were out. Is a good battery necessary when you are plugged into the truck? And the brake controller in the truck seems to not work when the trailer battery is dead. I wonder if the dead battery is the cause of some of our problem, but don't understand about blown fuses on the converter. Looking forward to hearing from the voices of experience! Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:52 AM   #2
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A dead battery will not blow fuses, blown fuses are caused by a circuit being over loaded or a short. Not having taillights, electric brakes or lights inside the trailer sounds like a couple of things. Possable grounding issues and also a bad battery would be my first guess. Although the battery has nothing to do with your braking issue or the trailer towing lights, I would say to check your grounds on the trailer.

As for the blown fuses, somewhere something is shorting out.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:12 AM   #3
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I would suggest having your converter checked, as I suspect it is probably bad. If it is bad, then replacing the unit would be your recourse. Your 120 vac as well as your 12vdc loads are all distributed through the RV's converter. Even the power to your 120vac outlets comes through the converter first. They are not powered directly from the shore power outlet to the on-board 120 volt outlets, but are powered through the converter. If you are blowing the main 20 amp fuses, it's telling me that your converter is most probably shorted out internally. This is not an uncommon problem with converters, especially older ones, but brand new ones have also been known to crap out shortly after being installed.

I would also have the battery tested again...they do go bad, and when they do, it's usually "right now".

Your trailer lights (i.e. tail lights, brake lights, turn signals,) and your alternator's battery charging output to the trailer battery (while towing) derive all their power from the towing vehicle while you are underway and electrically connected to the truck (I say truck, but whatever vehicle you tow with). First, I would suggest having the towing vehicle's plug-in outlet checked, (if you aren't comfortable doing this yourself, any hitch shop can do this usually for a nominal fee,) to make sure all the power and indicating circuits are functioning properly to this point. If your truck's plug checks out ok, then I would suspect the problem to be in your trailer's wiring, usually caused by poor grounding. This would also contribute to a whole lot of 12 vdc power problems. These would be good things to check first, as they are generally the causes of many power problems with rv's.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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....just my two cents worth, but it might be possible that the electical supply at the campground you were at where everyone was re-setting breakers MIGHT have also sent out a power surge that could have affected your converter????

This thought brings to mind a thought about plugging into a good surge protector when at a campground. Good time to find/buy one????
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Doug Mager View Post
....just my two cents worth, but it might be possible that the electical supply at the campground you were at where everyone was re-setting breakers MIGHT have also sent out a power surge that could have affected your converter????

This thought brings to mind a thought about plugging into a good surge protector when at a campground. Good time to find/buy one????



Would be a good idea.
I wonder if they make an outdoors one ??<_<
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:56 PM   #6
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If'n 'they' dont', I can't imagine it'd be too much of a re-wiring job to connect one up in-line but inside (under cover) our glass eggs. Wonderin more if there's one out there that'd be able to handle the 'load'???
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