Inverter Problem? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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Name: Mark
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Inverter Problem?

Hi,

I have a strange issue with my 13' Scamp.

It is a 1990 but is new to me. When I bought it (a few weeks ago) everything seemed to check out.

However, I have discovered the following electrical problem.

It did not have a battery when I bought it so I put in a run of the mill deep cycle battery.

Now, the inverter seems to continuously cycle on and off (I am not sure what else to call it). On 12V a relay clicks every 30 seconds or so, the lights dim and then it clicks again and the lights go back. The same thing happens when plugged into 110.

This causes things like the refrigerator and furnace not to work properly. (the fan will run but it will not ignite, it will work with the battery disconnected and hooked to 110 though)

I have tried by-passing the inverter and just running on 12V (nothing dims but the furnace will still not fire up).

Could it be the battery? Inverter? Furnace?

Please help!

Mark
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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An INverter changes your battery power to 110/120 V household AC power

A CONverter goes the other way and only works when you are actively plugged in, making 12 V out of household (shore power) current - think of a humongous battery charger - not an exact comparison, but.....)

So - it seems from your description that you had no issues until you put in a battery. I am therefore assuming that any power you had B B (before battery) came from being plugged into 120V. Correct?

So - first question: Is it a CONverter or an INverter that you have?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:15 AM   #3
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I have a similar last winter. The difference mine was cycling at 1 to 2 seconds. Every thing worked ok, and I had been running ok on just battery for a couple months. In my case the fix was simple. I have a breaker panel where all 120 stuff goes through, I turned off the breaker that goes the CONverter. No more problems. The battery gets charged from the tow when moving, or if in one place more than a couple days the portable solar panel comes out. On the rare occasion I'm connected to shore power I have a small battery charger that will do the job, but it usually easier just pull out the solar panel.
I did figure out part of why it's happening, and came to the conclusion it's not worth the cost and effort to correct.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:16 AM   #4
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That clicking sound is a resettable circuit breaker opening and closing. You have a high current draw/short circuit problem. Locate the breaker and follow the wires to find out what's happening.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
That clicking sound is a resettable circuit breaker opening and closing. You have a high current draw/short circuit problem. Locate the breaker and follow the wires to find out what's happening.

Good point.
Is the battery hooked up backwards?
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:42 AM   #6
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Start with simple tests. Check your battery voltage.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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It is a converter. Sorry in my haste to post I mis-spoke.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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On my Scamp of the same age, the only time I hear the click is when I plug it into shore power and the circuit breaker changing over. Never hear it when running only off of battery. As others have suggested sounds like something isnt correct in regards to wiring. Not uncommon for the battery in RV's to be install incorrectly - I understand that some may be opposite of how you would install in a car.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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The click some will hear when connecting the shore line is the change-over relay in the power chassis changing the 12VDC circuits over from Battery to Converter power so that it can charge the battery while running off of the converter.
Later systems are solid state and use electronic devices to eliminate the need for this relay.

One click = change-over relay. More than one click = (usually) circuit breaker overloading and tripping.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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One click = change-over relay. More than one click = (usually) circuit breaker overloading and tripping.
Yup mine is in the same age group as the orignal poster and only one clickwhen being plugged into to power - if I hear it do it again after its been plugged in I go out and check to see who pulled the electrical cord out as thats the only time you will hear it.
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