Magnetek converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-31-2014, 02:15 PM   #1
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Name: Russ & Vivian
Trailer: Scamp
Pennsylvania
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Magnetek converter

Model 3220 one thing I didn't check out before I left was the 12 volt lighting(didn't have a battery) friend loaned me one, gave it a full charge. When I went to use the lights and turn the radio on nothing, I checked the fuse which were all good, the little instruction book that came with it tells me the 3220 switches over between 120 and 12 volt via a automatic
relay. Anyone happen to know why its not switching, could the automatic switch be bad, I'm not an electrician. I was smart enough to take alternate lighting and music options.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:38 PM   #2
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You don't mention how old your Magnatek is, but there is an electro-mechanical change over relay in there that does give up with age. In as much as there is no overcharging protection on that unit, rather than repairing it, this might be a good opportunity to upgrade to a modern power chassis, one with solid state controls and a 3 stage charger, such as the Progressive Dynamics PD4045. I have them in all of mine and have installed 6-7 in other RV's. Easy to install and very reliable. About $160 if you shop smart.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:22 PM   #3
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It's in my 91 Scamp 16 ft and it's original, I'll have to get someone to install the new one you suggested if we find out the old one is bad, I'll have my buddy look at it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:41 PM   #4
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Not to beat it to death, but the Magnatek 3220 was obsolete years ago and putting any money into it will not be in the best interest of reliability or battery life.. That design dates back to about the late 60's and is well known for frying/overcharging/undercharging batteries.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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Did you use to be a salesman Bob, I'll be replacing it as soon as I can, thanks again for the advice.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:16 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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Magnetek converter.

I'll add my comments to this discussion. My Magnetek 3220 was overheating and when I pulled it out to replace with a PD9260, I found the floor scorched under the insufficient sized transformer. I recommend replacement.
See:
<http://home.comcast.net/~rabarber/magnetek.htm>
There are also many discussions on this Forum, and on the Web, about it. Do a search on the forum and Google and you'll get LOTS of advice.
Good luck.
Mike
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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I went down to the local RV place and was looking around, one of the service guys cam up to me and asked if he could help( I was looking at the converts) I explained my problem, he said as long as the converter was supplying 110 and charging the battery, which it is, that there had to be a problem in the wiring from the batery back. What do you guys think.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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If it were me Russ I would replace it with a modern unit and call it money well spent.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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I know absolutely nothing about your converter. But if a new relay is required, they are available. In fact, I sell them. I just need to know what your contact arraignment is, the current you want to switch, and if the coil is 110VAC, or 12 VDC.
G2R-[]-S General-purpose Relay/Lineup | OMRON Industrial Automation
Including relay base you are looking at about $25. It may be necessary to do some soldering and find a place to mount the relay. Trouble is, our minimum order is $100. But there are many distributors of Omron.

And while Bob does not sell stuff, as far as I can tell, he almost always advocates for replacement over repair. I am amazed he did not push a Progressive Dynamics PD4045. He loves those.

In this case I agree, fixing an old converter makes less sense then upgrading to one that can do a good job of charging your battery. Trouble is, they cost a ton. Like $200, or more. Putting solar on your trailer is probably a better investment. For $200 you could get an 80 to 100 W system.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:11 PM   #10
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I did recommend a PD-4045, way back in post #2

But, if you call Frank Bear at Teardrop Trailer Parts, he will be happy to sell you one for $154.95 + shipping.

Heres a link to his site: Teardrop Trailer Parts

I have bought all 6-7 I have installed from him and I've yet to find better pricing
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:06 PM   #11
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That is a very good price.
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