Bigfoot Power Centre - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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Name: geoff
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Bigfoot Power Centre

I just blew my budget having a new fridge installed, and now that I have the Bigfoot back home, the battery won't take a charge from the AC.

The battery is new, and charges when connected to the car or my solar panel, but the Power Centre doesn't supply 12V power to charge anymore. Everything else seems to work - we were in Echo Valley Provincial Park this weekend and had all the 120V receptacles working.

I've traced the black wire from the battery: it connects to another black wire (from the 7pin plug), then a 30A circuit breaker, then the fridge is spliced in, then it connects to a red wire coming from the back of the Power Centre. Using my voltmeter, it would seem that there is not 12V coming out of the Red wire, which I assume there used to be. (the fridge works as long as the battery is hooked up and charged).

I have checked both of the 20A fuses, and the Power Centre circuit breaker.

Does anyone have, or could make, a wiring diagram for the Power Centre shown in the picture? Is there another wire that I could try instead of the Red...? All the lights, fan, water pump seem to be getting power from the 120V?

I understand from the service tech at the dealership that replacing the Power Centre is not easy, and, according to him, the whole trailer would have to be rewired as the new power converters are entirely different!

My next question is, failing to repair it, Can I simply hook up a trickle charger to the battery while the camper is plugged into AC?

Thanks!
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:11 AM   #2
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My 1980 Bigfoot has the same power centre. It does not charge the battery. I don't know if it's a defect or just the way the system was designed. I simply rely on my old battery charger to do the job.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Tom, so do you connect the charger while plugged into shore power?

Geoff

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #4
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The Power Centre takes 120 volt AC and converts it to 12 volt DC. If plugged into shore power, the battery is doing nothing and all the 12 v. is coming from the Power Centre. The battery can be disconnected and all the light, etc. still work. I charge the battery once a month for 24 hours with the battery charger. We do not boondock so the battery see very little use.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
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Ahh. The new Dometic fridge in our Bigfoot was wired to require the battery power at all times. Either I rewire the power to the fridge and risk voiding my warranty or I have to make sure the battery never dies. And I suspect that the fridge needs a heavier guage wire from the Power Centre than the lights are on.
I ordered a waterproof Battery Tender today from AdventureRV, so that may be my solution.

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Old 08-12-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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If your Dometic is AC/propane, it requires a tiny bit of electricity to run on propane. You should never let your battery die in any event.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:07 PM   #7
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It's a new 3 way fridge, and even running on AC it requires 12V power (it draws about 0.1A on AC) for the control panel.

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Old 08-14-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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Contrary to your RV repairman's comments, installing a new power chassis isn't that big a deal and you won't have to rewire the entire trailer to do so. At the most the 120 VAC input may have to be rerouted slightly. I usually retrofit Progressive Dynamics PD-4045's in less than about 5 hours.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:49 PM   #9
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Thanks, that's good to know, it may be something I attempt in the future.

As to my charging problem it, well, resolved itself. On removing and inspecting the Power Station I learned that it does not have the optional 5 amp charger built in. Apparently, the battery never should have been charging off the the shore power. To keep this short, I had rewired the water pump a couple weeks ago, and my theory is that the way it had been previously wired had been running 12V back to the battery when plugged in to 110V. This may explain why the previous battery only lasted one year.


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Old 08-15-2014, 05:26 AM   #10
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What does the optional charger look like in the Power Center? I just bought a Bigfoot with the same power center but I am not sure if it has the charger. The fridge wasn't working on 110 so I pulled the Power Center and found a 4amp fuse blown... replaced it and had a look around. Not sure what the charger looks like though. I will have to hook up a multimeter to the battery and see if it is charging when plugged in but is there a wiring diagram somewhere for that Power Center pictured above?
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:26 AM   #11
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I don't know what the charger looks like, but there is a plate on the back side of the Power Centre which has check boxes for "Without Charger" and "With 5Amp Battery Charger." It also indicates that the Yellow wire is for charging, mine does not have a yellow wire.
Hope this helps.

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Old 08-18-2014, 03:10 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info Spartacus! I'll pull mine out again and take a peak.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #13
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pd 4045

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Contrary to your RV repairman's comments, installing a new power chassis isn't that big a deal and you won't have to rewire the entire trailer to do so. At the most the 120 VAC input may have to be rerouted slightly. I usually retrofit Progressive Dynamics PD-4045's in less than about 5 hours.
Hi Bob.
Did you install a power centre in a Big Foot?
Do you have a picture of where you installed the 4045 power centre?
Thank you
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:30 PM   #14
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The last one I did was in a Lil'Bigfoot, under the left dinette seat.
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