Electricity problems!

cdeleeuw12

Member
Jul 16, 2014
13
Hi all,
I'm posting on behalf of some friends of mine. They have a 2001 Starcraft Constellation Orion. They are having issues with the electricity. The first time, they called the previous owner and he said the battery has to be connected to complete the circuit. Since that first weekend, it has never worked without doing something different every time. They bought a new battery and such and we can't figure it out. The battery keeps dying and it won't charge when plugged into 110amps, only when plugged into the 'turbo charger' they bought. So weird. It's almost like the camper is still running on only battery and not on Shore Power when plugged in. Does anyone have this model camper and know what they are doing wrong?


Thanks in advance folks!
 

CamperMike

Super Active Member
Sep 27, 2012
1,015
Do the Outlets work? If not the ac connection isn't working. If they do work it sounds like either a fuse is our for the converter or the converter is faulty. 12v items should work if plugged into a/c power regardless of whether a battery is connected.
 

WeRJuliIan

If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?
May 15, 2014
906
Sarasota, FL
When they plug into Shore Power, do the any of the 110V outlets work?
If not then power may not be getting through from the external line.

The power "hub" is the converter, usually tucked away under something inconvenient.. check that all the fuses are good, and the breakers set.

When the battery has been charged, do the 12V appliances like lights, and so on, work? That will eliminate things like the battery fuse and most of the 12V bus.

Please be careful when working with 110V.. I know it's a pain having to unplug it, make a connection, go back and plug it in again, then go back and check to see if it made a difference, then unplug it again, then... But it will also really spoil your day if you wake up with a couple of paramedics looking down at you...
 

russjbeck

Active Member
Jun 2, 2014
223
Sounds like there is a short somewhere. Since the Shore Power isn't working very well either it may be in the converter. If there is that much drain it can only be a short somewhere. Start by tracing the wires to make sure they don't have damaged jackets that are contacting the frame somewhere. Check the wiring inside. Smell the converter. If it has a burnt smell it is definitely one of the problems. As a caution, when power is on do not touch the converter and any other metal.
 

Keith Hawkins

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2015
1,336
Like others have said, if the plug outlets are working then it is pulling from Shore Power. If not, then it is running off the battery still. As of the battery charging from the power converter, make sure they have a converter which actually charges the battery (some do not).
 

Carlsbad

Active Member
Aug 19, 2014
134
A basic voltmeter should be in every owners toolbox. A non-contact voltage sensor is also a huge plus. All of these campers, cheap or expensive, use the same cruddy connections. My buddy has a high-dollar Lance and they use many of the same connectors as the cheap guys.

Plug in the Shore Power. Using a voltage sensor or MM, confirm power at the outlets. Then test the voltage at each circuit on the converter. You can pull the fuse and test the voltage while it is running. If you have 12v at each circuit, start tracing backwards toward each load. The switches are a good starting point. They often press-clip in. Just pry them out and test for voltage at the pins. It's trial and error but not difficult.

My experience has been that there is usually a loose connection due to a cruddy fitting or a bad ground. Find the ground wire attached to the trailer, unscrew it, rough up the area with a little emory cloth, and tighten it back up. If there is a star washer, replace it.

Look for corroded wires poking out of connectors. This is another common problem.

Good luck.
 




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