Power Problem on 1995 Coleman Utah

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by jlspence, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    During our last camping trip to Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World in January we popped the AC circuit breaker a couple of times due to running a couple of ceramic heaters. No big deal. Then one night we lost all power to the camper. After checking the breaker in the popup (not tripped) I thought that perhaps the breaker on the campground source might have tripped. Checked it and it was fine. Checked the fuses in our camper and they were fine. In the end, I ended up running an extension cord directly from the campground source to the heater in the camper. What could be wrong to affect all of the AC outlets on the camper? Also, I found a replacement for the power converter but when I try to remove the original one through the cutout, it won't come out. Is there a way to remove that back panel or do I have to make the cutout bigger? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Jeff
     
  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Just a thought: did you check the outlets to see if a GFI had tripped? Generally, the first outlet on the circuit has a GFI and all the rest are connected through it so if it trips all the others are cut off too.
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Mar 3, 2006
    TX
    I did this exact thing.
    My outlet under the sink is GFCI and I din't know it since the button are white on white.
    I almost had the 'power center' apart when while sitting on the floor I noticed the GFCI. Reset the GFCI and power was back to the outlets!

    Now I use the air conditioner 20A outlet for one heater! The coffee maker is on the 15A circuit.
     
  4. jim1999

    jim1999 New Member

    I don't know what converter your camper has but on the 94 Jayco I used to own it had what amounted to a GFI circuit with a push reset button on the power center/converter. It was hard to see since the power center sat under the dinette.
     
  5. jnavin

    jnavin New Member

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    Jul 11, 2009
    PA
    Jeff, I'm interested in how you made out. My converter is bad too, and the last few times I've camped, I've ended up running extention cords into the trailer.
    The converter looks like it would be a pain to change out.
     
  6. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    When I looked in my Owners Manual I saw a reference to the GFI outlet being installed so I tried to check that when we got back from our camping trip but for the life of me I could not find the GFI. Pretty sorry for an engineer, right? After seeing the replies to my post here, I went back out and checked the camper again this weekend and there it was staring me right in the face. What threw me was the receptacle was all white and the "reset" and "test" buttons (again white) were flush with the receptacle body. So, unless you got right up on the socket, you couldn't tell it was any different than any other in the camper. Anyway, I hooked power up to the camper again, reset all circuit breakers, rechecked the fuses and tried alternately hitting the "reset" and "test" buttons. Nothing. It seemed to me that the GFI was tripped and when I tried to push the reset button it would just click. So, I'd already made an appointment with the local RV service shop to check the electric brakes so I just added the electrical problem to the list of things for them to check out. I'll let you all know what the outcome is.
     
  7. cruising usa

    cruising usa New Member

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    Aug 19, 2006
    When I removed my failed converter it would hang up on a strain relief. I enlarged the hole slightly to remove converter. Replacing the converter was fairly straight forward. Biggest issue was making sure the wire nuts were tight.
    Happy camping
    Ken
     
  8. bkline1322

    bkline1322 New Member

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    May 12, 2010
    I just replace my converter in my 1992 Coleman. I had to take some of the plywood walls apart and had to make the hole a little bigger for the new converter. All in all it took a couple hours.

    My new converter has 5 12volt circuits. I ran a spear pair of wires out form the converter. My plan is to wire a bar of 12 volt outlet for the kids Ipods and such.
     
  9. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    Finally got the popup back from the repair shop. The electrical problem was traced to the converter, which was a Magnatek 6612. The repair shop wanted $300+ for a replacement converter but I found a Parallax 6730 online for ~$125 instead. :) They also installed a 30A cord with it as well. I hooked it up yesterday at the house and ran everything (lights, A/C) for about 20 minutes and everything worked fine.
     
  10. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    Well, the Parallax 6730 converter worked for a couple of camping trips but apparently failed during our week-long trip to Fort Wilderness campground at Disney World. We had no power to the DC camper lights. At least the AC plugs continued to work so we could keep the ceramic heater running during the cold nights. The 30 amp battery fuse was intact. I checked the connection along the rear lift post to make sure it was still good and also looked at the galley switch to make sure it was OK (it was).

    I figured I'd just run the camper lights off battery power and run the heater off a direct 15 amp extension cord from the campground supply box so I bought a new battery (existing battery was dead) , hooked it up and all that would happen is the 30 amp battery fuse would burn out. My original Magnatek converter, had a "Battery" "Off" "Conv." selector switch, the Parallax 6730 doesn't, so I thought perhaps for the converter didn't like being hooked to the battery and campground power at the same time so I unplugged from campground power and I still burned out the fuse.

    So, is there something else I should check before replacing the converter?
     
  11. bconrey

    bconrey New Member

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    Sep 5, 2010
    I'm going to make a guess here. Might be way off-base, but what is the possibility the converter is wired into your 12v circuit backwards? Might explain why 1)12v lights were dead, and 2)12v shorts out when a good battery is installed...?
     
  12. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    I'll take a look at that. I've wondered myself about whether or not the RV dealership that installed the replacement converter wired it up properly.
     
  13. bconrey

    bconrey New Member

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    Sep 5, 2010
    I asked only because I experienced something similar at a local RV dealership here. I brought my PUP in to have the fridge recall addressed, and when I picked up the PUP afterwards, they accused* me of wiring it backwards, stating that they had to power the fridge with their own 12v battery during testing because my trailer was wired backwards and it wouldn't work.

    When I got home, I metered out the entire thing and found that everything was wired correctly and working properly, but it occurred to me that the PUP white and black are backwards compared to what one would expect with residential wiring (white is hot, black is neutral), and normal 12v automotive wiring (black is always ground). I have no knowledge of how RV chassis are wired so I don't know what they're normally used to, but it was the best guess I had for why they reacted the way they did.



    *Accused is a strong word, but they were accusatory and unfriendly throughout the entire transaction. I've never had a worse customer service experience than this. If you're in San Diego, avoid Funday RV in Oceanside.
     
  14. Erwin

    Erwin New Member

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Rochester, NY
    In general the AC electrics (110v) in a RV follow housing standards. Black=hot, white=neutral, green or bare copper=ground
    The DC electrics (12v), though there are some standards, sometimes seems to be whatever colors the manufacturers have on hand. You really need look and test carefully if you are hooking something up.
     
  15. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    Checked the connections on the converter with multimeter and the hot and neutral were correct. I found a 6700 series troubleshooting guide on the parallax website, disconnected the battery, replaced the 30 amp fuse and measured the voltage between the red and white DC output leads. Should have measured 13.0 to 14.2 and it measured 0. Confirmed proper incoming AC voltage and all breakers on, which takes me to the "Replace Unit" block on the flow chart. I did note that the RV dealer put the air conditioner on a 15 amp circuit versus the 20 amp circuit. That explains why it was tripping back in September. I'll order another unit and wire it myself this time now that I've figured out how to get to it.

    http://www.parallaxpower.com/6700/Flowchart_6700_Tshoot.pdf
     
  16. RayT38

    RayT38 It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission

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    Jun 9, 2006
    Glenburn, Maine
    White in both 120 and 12 volts are considered to be the grounded conductor, the green or bare is the grounding conductor. The black wires or brown are the fused conductors. Everyone is right, check the GFCI for trip or defective. Evevn with a dead converter, you should have 120 volt outlets, unless the main breaker, or GFCI is dead.
     
  17. jlspence

    jlspence New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    I did have the 120 V outlets, so to have light in the evenings I had to get a plug in lamp versus using the campers DC lights. Parallax replaced the converter, which was still under warranty, and I installed it today. Works like a charm. [:D]
     

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