Possible Converter Problem? Help Please!!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
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Possible Converter Problem? Help Please!!!

Dear Casita Owners,

I just got back from a trip and all went well. Just getting my Casita ready for another trip and found out all my 12V lights/pump or fan inside/outside the Casita does not work from both Battery or Shore power. Unfortunately my 120V outlets inside/outside the trailer does work from Shore power. I've checked all my fuses from last trip. One of my 30A fuse burned, so I replaced that. I also checked all the other fuses, all were good condition.

Few things..
1. from my inspection, feels like the converter doing AC - DC conversion for 12V is dead.

2. 2008 Casita (all orignal setup).

3. Can i by pass, tap into the general lighting and get my 12V direct from batteries (2x-6V setup) to get my Casita lighting back atleast for this immediate trip?

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RV1 View Post
Dear Casita Owners,

I just got back from a trip and all went well. Just getting my Casita ready for another trip and found out all my 12V lights/pump or fan inside/outside the Casita does not work from both Battery or Shore power. Unfortunately my 120V outlets inside/outside the trailer does work from Shore power. I've checked all my fuses from last trip. One of my 30A fuse burned, so I replaced that. I also checked all the other fuses, all were good condition.

Few things..
1. from my inspection, feels like the converter doing AC - DC conversion for 12V is dead.

2. 2008 Casita (all orignal setup).

3. Can i by pass, tap into the general lighting and get my 12V direct from batteries (2x-6V setup) to get my Casita lighting back atleast for this immediate trip?

Thanks in advance
I don't know if Casita does this or not, but Scamp has an in-line fuse coming from the battery which, if blown, will yield the symtoms described, Also check the voltage at the battery and check for a broken or corroded connection at the battery.
While you are at it check to be sure that your converter is plugged in or receiving shore power.If not, you could have just run you battery down not knowing that the converter was off line.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
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I don't know if Casita does this or not, but Scamp has an in-line fuse coming from the battery which, if blown, will yield the symtoms described.


Yes, it does have something like what you describe. That was one of my issues last fall....... Thankfully, Larry and Debbie from http://www.littlehousecustoms.com/ were camped across the street from me, and he knew exactly what/where to fix the issue within 5 min of me pulling in/plugging in and having no power.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:38 AM   #4
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Thanks Floyd & Robin,

I will check first thing in the morning.

Not sure if the 30A fuse i replaced got to do with anything with the possibility that it disconnect the shore power to be converted (Converter offline), hence possibly the battery get drained over time without getting recharge.

I will check and/or call Casita in the morning as well to see if the in-line fuse near the battery (if they have such fuse) so i can replace or reset. I am sure terminals are new/clean, since I just setup on my previous trip.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:46 AM   #5
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Hi All,

After talking to the Casita support person.. they concluded that my Converter was dead. So will need to get a converter replacement.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #6
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I would heartily recommend the Progressive Dynamics PD4645 as an upgrade replacement unit. It is designed as a "drop-in" converter upgrade, and it is also a "smart charger". The factory installed converters only have a single stage battery charger in them. A multi-stage charger will be much kinder on your battery, and help it live a long time.

I bought mine at Best Converter. Real good service , prices, and they know just about anything about rv/trailer power systems.

PD4645 45 Amp Converter Upgrade Section
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
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Thanks Greg,

Just a few questions.
1. When i upgrade to the PD4645 45A converter.. do i need to swap out all the cables? as the old one was rated 30A.

2. Also, do i need to swap the circuit (control board w/ the fuses) or still be able to use the old one? and just swap the controller only?

3. If cables/fuses need to be replace.. would it make sense to upgrade to the 9200 series w/ 55A or 60A?

Thanks
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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Here's a reply from PD to me:

Yes the wire should be rated for the full amperage of the converter and fuse (which should be close to the battery to protect the wire) whichever is higher.

I cannot recomend wire sizes due to liability issues.

Wires should be sized according to the RVIA / NEC codes.

For a rough guide see:
http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm?nowritefs for voltage drops using different
gauges verses distance/load


Service Department
Progressive Dynamics
8A.M-12PM & 1PM -5PM EST
Phone 269-781-4241
FAX 269-781-8729

I ran 4 gauge wire with a 50 amp marine breaker.



I'm not quite sure what you're asking on the rest. I have a pd4045, it replaces the ac breaker, dc fuses, and the charger/converter.

I can't imagine ever needing more power than what it provides.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:05 AM   #9
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Thanks Greg,

Just a few questions.
1. When i upgrade to the PD4645 45A converter.. do i need to swap out all the cables? as the old one was rated 30A.

2. Also, do i need to swap the circuit (control board w/ the fuses) or still be able to use the old one? and just swap the controller only?

3. If cables/fuses need to be replace.. would it make sense to upgrade to the 9200 series w/ 55A or 60A?

Thanks
...Here is my opinion: If you were happy with the power usage supplied by the old converter, when replacing with a new, more capacity one, you wouldn't need to change wire gauges, fuse ratings for your circuitry. And this way your new converter will be safe, otherwise is protected better and always working under it's capacity. If you want to utilize max capacity of new converter like it's design then using the right size of wires and correct ratings of fuses should be done....Just my thought...
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #10
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The PD4645 kit will run perfectly on all the existing wiring which is already installed for the original Parallax unit it will be replacing, so you don't need to change any of the existing wiring.

It also comes with a new "drop-in" dc controller board and everything you need to do the conversion installation. It's a complete kit and it comes with very good instructions for step-by-step installation. That's the beauty of this kit. It was designed to be a no-hassle replacement for the Parallax unit. All your AC side remains the same, this kit only replaces your defective dc side of the unit. It also gives you a multi-stage "smart charger", which the Parallax unit doesn't have.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:08 AM   #11
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Don't make this to complicated....

Either the PD-4045 power center or the PD4645 upgrade kit will fix the problem.

However, the upgrade kit will still use a lot of the old parts in the existing unit and, I believe, only provide about 8 DC circuits. In addition, I don't know if the PD-4645 provides a smart-charger.

The PD 4045 provides an all new chassis with 12 DC circuits and space for about 6 A/C circuits, as wellas a smart charger, and everything is new.

The 45 amps refers to the DC converters output and that's more than enough for almost anything on this site. Even at full load the DC side will still draw less than 6 amps on the A/C side.

And, although you have a 30 amp cable, isn't the main circuit breaker 20 amps? If it is 30 amps you can carry that over to the PD-4045 as well.

I have installed both of these, and although it does require moving a few wires, IMHO I think that the PD-4045 is a better choice for the needs of 98% of all FGRV's.



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Old 06-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #12
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Back to your original questioon.... If you do want to install a temporary jumper from the battery for the lights, be sure to include an in-line fuse in that circuit as well.

When it comes to RV electricals it "No Smoking Allowed".....



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Old 06-14-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
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The PD 4045 is a complete converter/charger unit. If only your 12vdc side of your converter is bad, then the PD4645 unit will replace the 12 volt side of the house without completely replacing the entire ac/dc/converter unit. The main circuit fuses are still the same 30 Amp ones which are used on the Parallax units. There are no circuit breakers on the 12vdc side of things. The "breakers" are strictly for your AC loads, and if you install the PD 4645 upgrade, you won't be messing with anything on the AC side of the house. And yes, the PD4645 is a "smart charger" as well.

Either one would work, but do you really want to go through all the work of completely changing your entire electrical distribution system, or just upgrade your DC/Charger section to replace the blown charger portion?

And if you run a temporary "jumper wire" from the battery to your 12vdc loads, how are you going to recharge your battery without a new converter charger? I suppose you could hook up an external battery charger, but then you'd have to keep a pretty good eye on it to keep from overcharging your battery, because most home/garage chargers are truly "dumb" chargers and they will cook your battery if you don't keep a good watch on things.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:44 AM   #14
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Gireetings,
I am asking this PD4045 related question on this thread as it has the most recent posts related to the topic and i didn't believe starting a new thread would benefit the gang.

Some system background before my question;
In my 2013 Parkliner i have the stock PD4045. For a little over a month i have had a XANTREX LinkLITE battery monitor that i have taken readings on every few days and especially before/after hooking up to tow vehicle and also before/after hooking up to 30amp service.

What i have seen in the past on monitor; before 30amp service battery would be typically in the 12.6 to 12.8 volt range. After plug in i would see 13.6v for ~a day then drop to 13.2 and remain there (this was observed after the two prior 5 day adventures.) And ~14.5 volts from TV before heading out from camp to home typically ~5 hours away.

Here is my question;
Is there a reason that the PD4045 would not automatically begin a cycle (just plugged into 30 amp service) at the charging voltage of 13.6v? rather than 13.2v?


When returning from our last outing, the XANTREX showed using ~20AH from our two optima batteries (110AH bank) which is normal for our ~5 day adventures. I took the reading before leaving camp. Plugged in TV and monitor was reading ~14.5v which i expected. I finally got around to plugging into shore power a week after returning and notice right away that the XANTREX was reading only 13.2v. Out of curiosity i downloaded and read the PD4045 manual though nothing in the trouble shooting section really gave any tips as to why it would not be automatically starting out at 13.6. I kept it plugged in now for 2 days and still the monitor is showing ~20AH down and amps in at ~0.1>0.3 at 13.2v

Tomorrow we will hook up the tv to PL and take a reading to see what is coming from tv just for more data.

Thanks in advance for any tips/insights.

Thom
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by accrete View Post

What i have seen in the past on monitor; before 30amp service battery would be typically in the 12.6 to 12.8 volt range. After plug in i would see 13.6v for ~a day then drop to 13.2 and remain there (this was observed after the two prior 5 day adventures.)
Thom
Thom nothing but a guess on my part but I have always been told that the reading of a battery are not accurate if the battery has not been allowed to rest after charging it up. Have been told that the most accurate battery measurements are after the battery has rested at least 4 hours and even better 24 hours.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by accrete View Post



Here is my question;
Is there a reason that the PD4045 would not automatically begin a cycle (just plugged into 30 amp service) at the charging voltage of 13.6v? rather than 13.2v?

Thom
Hi Thom, I suspect the charger "thinks" your battery is fully charged. I have the same charger and had an interesting experience. My battery was at 12.3v. Shortly after plugging in the charger the power was interrupted.. When plugged back in the charger would not go back into what PD calls " boost" mode. Here's what I think happened. The charger software initiates when you plug the charger in and evaluates the condition of the battery, probably by terminal voltage. It then chooses the appropriate subroutine. If it sees a low voltage, say 12.3 v., it goes into what PD calls "boost" mode and you will see about 14.4v across the battery. In my case when the power was interrupted the battery had enough charge to fool the charger, so it never went back into boost mode but rather went to "normal" mode (13.6 v.). The next time I charged the battery it worked as advertised so my charger is fine.

You could try unplugging your charger and run your fan for a while to reduce the battery voltage then try charging just to see what happens. While not necessary it might answer your question. Raz
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:06 PM   #17
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: ) Thanks for the thoughts and replies.

Hi Carol, yes on what you said on readings. Funny thing is in this case i did not plug it in until a week had passed. I would have thought that first thing out of the charger would have been the charge mode at the ~13.6v. The first two trips i plugged it in right after getting home and the TV had been sending its ~14.5v for the 5 hour trips back home.

Hey Raz... Yea i thought of the _think_ part too! So i did unplug it yesterday and ran the fan for some time but might not have been long enough to bring the bank down more than 1 or 2 AH. Tomorrow we will hook up the TV and take both rigs to the car wash and clean them up then plug back in and see what happens.

I'm going to try to contact PD tomorrow and see if they have any words of wisdom.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:23 PM   #18
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I bought mine at Best Converter. Real good service , prices, and they know just about anything about rv/trailer power systems.
I agree with Greg. I replaced the stock converter in my 10212 Escape 19' with an upgraded PowerMax converter from Best Converter because the stock one wasn't fully charging the batteries. The stock one just wasn't designed to take the charge voltage up high enough (14.6 volts) then cycle downward (4-stage) after the boost charging phase. The new one was a drop in...maybe 10 minute job and I'm totally satisfied with it.

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Old 07-11-2013, 04:54 PM   #19
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...Tomorrow we will hook up the TV...
On Wednesday we did plug the Parkiliner into the van and i checked the voltage/amps on the monitor...it read ~14.6v but only ~1amp... i believe this was a lower reading than before. I ran it for just a few minutes and then unplugged from TV. I decided not to plug the PL back into the 30amp service (this was at about 1330). For my notes i took a reading 24 hours after (Thursday@~1400) any _charging_ and the monitor is showing 13v and -0.1ah.

I've decided that i will simply go about our business next week and take notes during our Mt.Rainier adventure and plug in once back home and see what takes place at that point and make any further action as needed.

Thanks again for the replies and insights.
Thom
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:39 PM   #20
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Update after our Mt.Rainier trip on PD4045 converter status:

Plugged Parkliner into our 30amp service after 6 days off grid. XANTREX showed bank down an additional 20AH which is average for our trips so far.

XANTREX showed 13.6v but only 1AH charge rate. I checked the next morning and still at 13.6v but only 0.1AH charge rate. Dosn't seem right. I'll make a call to PD on Monday or Tuesday and hopefully get some ideas on how to proceed.


On a happy note...we sure got some pretty pictures of Mt.Rainier!



Thom
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