Electrical problems - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by leahdan, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

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    We have a 2006 Rockwood 2270 that we have had for a year and today, has an electrical problem that I am looking to solve - we leave this afternoon for a weekend trip. It's 15 amp with no AC. I plugged it into an extension cord connected to our house yesterday afternoon and switched the fridge on to pre-cool it for our trip. When I checked it this morning, the fridge is warm and the fault light is on under the fuse box. I've reset the 15amp breaker, the GCFI outlet and checked the fuses, replacing one that was questionable - still no dice. We are boondocking this weekend so the fridge will eventually be on propane, but it would be nice if we could use the water pump and my shiny new LED lights.

    Any ideas or suggestions on what I could try? We've had this happen a couple of times before but it was always just a burned fuse.
     
  2. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    Hi leahdan,

    Check to make sure that all of your fuses fit snug in their receptacles. If any of them "jiggle" take a pair of needle nose and gently crimp the receptacle to establish a tight fit for the fuse. A loose fuse can cause shorting.

    Check all of your grounds. Make sure that they are clean and securely fastened. If this is a reoccurring problem (as you indicate), you can add a ground off of your negative battery post; take it to a clean spot on the tongue/frame. I have learned that many electrical problems are related to insufficient grounding (dirty and/or loose grounds or not enough grounding).

    Check every wire connector that you can find. Make sure all of them are secure with no loose wires. Check the wires that run up into the roof inside the tenting jackets (usually zippered or velcroed tenting material at the front and rear posts). Also check under the unit. I actually have changed most of ours to wire nut connections. It's helped solve a number of our connectivity issues.

    Make sure all of your wires have all of their insulation. Check to be sure that none of them have chaffing/scuffing that is leaving the wire exposed. Start at the tongue with your TV harness. Follow it back to the converter, and then move through out the unit inside and out, underneath and up above.

    Verify that the GFCI and all of your receptacles are wired securely. It is also possible to have a bad GFCI. They can get where they lose their resistance to the current, and they pop off for no "apparent" reason.

    Be patient and methodical; you will find the culprit. I will watch your post today. Let us know how it's going. We want you to get on the road - Totally know how it feels.
    Martin
     
  3. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    You're certain you switched the fridge to 120v and not 12v power, right?

    Unplug the fridge from it's 120v outlet and plug it directly into your extension cord. That'll help you determine if the problem is with the fridge itself or if it's somewhere else in the system but I'm thinking it could be a burned out heating element.
     
  4. dion

    dion Member

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    Yeah, that would be my first suspicion.

    For background, the fuses only affect the 12V side of things. You should be running the refrigerator on 120V when you have shore power available, so the converter and fuses shouldn't be involved.

    But if you try running the fridge on 12V, it may try to draw more current than the converter is capable of supplying. That could cause the converter to overheat and shut down, or if the overload is extreme, it could cause a fuse to blow. Exactly what happens depends on the relative ratings of the converter and the refrigerator's 12V heating element -- it might work for some combinations of converters and refrigerators, but it won't work for all of them. The fact that some sort of fault light is on under the fuse box makes me wonder if the converter didn't shut down due to overload.

    Maybe that guess is wrong. It's possible that the refrigerator heating element is burned out or something else about the refrigerator is causing it to malfunction on 120V. Plugging the refrigerator directly into a shore power extension cord is a good diagnostic step.
     
  5. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    +2 Unplug the fridge from it's 120v outlet and plug it directly into your extension cord to an outlet at the house. See if the GFI still trips in the camper. If not the problem is with the fridge. If it does the problem is somewhere in the wiring of the 120V outlets in the camper.

    If problem is with fridge. Disconnect the two connector from the 120v element from the 120 controler of the fridge and plug the fridge back into the fridge outlet in the camper. Trun the fridge back on to 120V and see if it trips the GFi. If not it's the elements. If does trip the problem is with in the the fridge 120 wiring or 120v controller.

    I had the same issue. I had a bad 120 heating element. The fridge worked fine if plugged into an none GFI outlet. For a short while, until I could ordered the element and replace it. As a work around, I brought an extension cord and plugged the fridge into the none GFI 120 15/20 amp outlet at ther CS. The element was around $120 and an hour to replace it.
     
  6. jdirosa72@gmail.com

    jdirosa72@gmail.com Member

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    Also check ur fuse to make sure it is good, fuses don't always show signs of being bad but can in spots u can't see, it may not be blow but the filliment may be broke. You can check by use a volt meter and just check for continuity thru the fuse .


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  7. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! We have made troubleshooting progress! Because we were boondocking and the fridge is working on propane - we went anyways and tried to troubleshoot on site. We replaced all the fuses in the converter and tested the battery power (not great but it was a relatively short drive). We initially thought the battery needs replacing (and still may) but we also found that the fuse box (with 20amp fuse) or the conecting wire between the battery and camper is causing the problems - photos attached. Thank goodness for the propane detector - it's a good tool to see when power is cut! And beeps an alarm whenever that wire is touched. Not sure why this would affect the fridge on 120v but hopefully it would explain our low power all weekend!

    I've plugged the fridge directly into an extension cord but my suspicion is that our shore power runs through the battery/converter because when our fuses have blown in the past (due to a backwards battery) our outlets and fridge did not work.

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  8. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    This makes no sense to me. The power center has both an 120v AC distribution (breakers) and 12v DC distribution (fuses).

    Shore power is distributed to the 120v outlets, 120v is feed to the internal converter to make 12v power for the lights etc, fuses (12v) should have no effect on the 120v outlets, the breaker does.
     
  9. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I removed my 30 amp main fuse at the battery and replaced it with a self re-set circuit breaker cost about 5.00 at the auto parts store.
     
  10. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

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    Bupkis - it makes no sense to us too! The fridge is also working fine when plugged in directly - so it's a power problem not a fridge one.

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  11. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    If you hooked up the battery backwards, you may have fried your converter. Sure, the fuses will have blown but it may have been too late. [2C]
     
  12. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

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    We have solved 1/2 the problems - turns out the GCFI was tripped and was a little trickier than our house ones to reset. Our local rv parts place suggested a couple of tricks too reset it and it worked. 120v issue solved! I picked up a new inline fuse holder and that will be rewired tomorrow which will hopefully solve the 12v problem....

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