inverter help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
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inverter help

hey all ,

was in my trailer this weekend doing a few things and i noticed a problem , my interior lights do not work off my battery , actually nothing works off my battery , now being a mechanic i thought it was a simple fix but after running some diagnostic i've concluded a few things :

1 the lights and such are hooked up to 12 v power at the inverter

2 everything works off 110 volts through the inverter

3 the ground wire for the interior lights gets hot when plugged into 110 volts ( which leads me to believe i have a short ) but not when 12 v is hooked up and 110 is not

I'm kind of at a lose as i've never worked with an inverter before , by the way this is in my 1980 17 ft boler

thanks
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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Have you checked to see if the battery is charged?
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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Are you sure your you don't mean your convertor?
A inverter converts 12 volt dc to 110 v ac.
A inverter will be hooked to the battery/12v and 110 v ac will plug into it.
A inverter wouldn't control your 12 v lighting.
Now I'm really confused!
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:00 PM   #4
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As Mike so astutely points out you seem to have Inverter and Converter confused,I think?

They do EXACTLY the opposite thing.

As you are a mechanic I presume you have a digital multi-meter?
Read the converter output and make sure of polarity with the battery unhooked.
Then connect the battery so that it is the same polarity as the converter.
I have a feeling 1 of them is wired in reverse.

Your lights would lite either way powered from the converter but if the battery is backwards it will not be charged and would not light anything?

The positive lead should go hot when plugged in either way but the wiring color code might not be what you expect or are used to.

Of course this also should be after you check the battery to see if it is even holding a stored charge.
If the battery is wired in reverse then it will not be charged by the converter anyway and you have a dead battery probably too but it might come back once all is wired correctly?

Make sense?
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:25 PM   #5
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battery is fully charged and has proper polarity , what if the converter is wired backwards how would i tell ? and yes ed you are correct the wiring color code is not what i'm used to , the converter in my trailer is original and has three wires going in red , black and white , as far as i can tell the black and white are for the lights , i'm not sure what the red wire is for

also the 110 comes into the breaker panel for the plugs then goes into the converter , the breaker on the converter does not work when pushed in but if you disconnect the wires at the rear the lights will go out , when on 110 volt ( i'm replacing it as it doesn't work ) just listing all the info that i have , electrical is not my strong suit and am in very unfamiliar territory
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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The converter can't really be wired backwards on the input side,I mean it can but it will still output either way.
But if the converter output is backwards to the loads then it will still work the lights on AC power but then the battery will be reversed and not work the lights.

If you read the polarity of the converter output to finds its Positive then connect the battery positive the same way,I still think they are just not connected the same way?

Since you said the lights DO WORK on the converter it seems to be OK? It is putting out 12vdc for the lights,right?

So if you disconnect the converter and connect the light load directly to the battery do they work?
I am betting the converter has reverse polarity protection for the battery but if the converter is bypassed and the lights wired directly to the battery they will work.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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You say the convertor is hard wired? So you have three wires coming from your ac breaker panel to the convertor. So, one wire should be (hot red of black) one should be neutral/ white, one should be earth ground/ green.
Determine which wires are which from panel. Now you should have three lugs in the convertor, now determine where the wire are going in the convertor.
The wires coming from the convertor will be + & - 12 volt.
Which will be your lighting circuits.
One set of wires should run from this some point to your battery.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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there is no real a/c breaker panel , just one braker for all a/c power and there are only 2 wires from the 110 side not three on the inverter side there are no input and out put wires just three wires attached to the whole thing other than the 2 wires for 110 volts
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:44 PM   #9
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Here is my understanding ab your hook up: 1/ 120VAC goes into main breaker then from there goes into your converter (to convert from 120VAC to 12VDC). Is that correct? 2/ Your converter is supposed to have 4wires, not 3, look at it carefully again: Red, white, Black and GREEN. If you pay attention, they are clearly labelled in the converter housing. Let's say no lavel at all, in my understanding, there are a lot of converters with this kind of set up and they are: RED for charging battery, BLACK is +12VDC and White is for-12VDC or COMMON BOND. GREEN is GROUND and connected to FRAME-this is also ground for your 120VAC. As I guess, your wiring has possible wrong connection or wrong GROUNDING. That means the white wire is connected to frame or in short with GREEN wire as common bond in a combination of electrical circuitry: 120VAC, 12VDC form converter outputs and 12VDC from battery itself. In my suggestion, the WHITE wire as a common bond and SHOULD BE FLOATED,i.e no connection with frame. Try to separate it from other common bond(green-frame/chassis) to see how it works. Hopefully it helps. Just my thought....One more thing, to assure conducting of electrical, make sure ground frame is truely GROUND-treat frame as true conductor-sanding to shiny bare, bolt it tight then GREASE it)...
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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thanks guys i'll try to sort this out but i can't get to my trailer for a week , so it'll be a while for an update
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:05 AM   #11
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If your lights run with the converter on, but on battery power, my best bet is a fuse is blown. FG trailers often have multiple 12v fuse locations: a main panel plus a single fuse where the trailer wiring harness comes in from the tow vehicle, and another fuse at the battery.

Lots of people miss the tow vehicle's umbilical fuse. It's usually located under the front dinette, just behind the wall where the wiring harness comes in.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vette_boy View Post
hey all ,

was in my trailer this weekend doing a few things and i noticed a problem , my interior lights do not work off my battery , actually nothing works off my battery , now being a mechanic i thought it was a simple fix but after running some diagnostic i've concluded a few things :

...
thanks
The first question is "did they before?"

If so then the box has probably failed. If not (you never tried) then more troubleshooting is definitely required.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post
If your lights run with the converter on, but on battery power, my best bet is a fuse is blown. FG trailers often have multiple 12v fuse locations: a main panel plus a single fuse where the trailer wiring harness comes in from the tow vehicle, and another fuse at the battery.

Lots of people miss the tow vehicle's umbilical fuse. It's usually located under the front dinette, just behind the wall where the wiring harness comes in.
In some trailer there's a fuse inside the battery box, that fuse and holder can get corroded over time. This will stop things from working that are powered from the battery. I had to replace mine after I misdiagnosed the problem and replaced the battery and I should know better.
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