Help please!

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by RSH, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. RSH

    RSH Member

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    Hi all. I pulled into our campsite last night (2008 Fleetwood Utah) and set up only to find the electrical system doesn't work. It worked fine last weekend. I plugged the camper cord into the 30 amp outlet and the lights flickered, and then everything went dark. No breakers were thrown either in the camper or on the post. Well, I flipped the 30 amp breaker on the post, flipped it back on, and the same thing happened. Again, and again. Lights flicker and then go dark. No breakers thrown. So I put a 20 amp adapter on my 30 amp cord and plugged into the 20 amp socket. Same darn thing happened. I looked under the trailer to make sure the chassis ground wire was tight and it was. I'm not an electrician so I haven't messed with anything else. Any ideas? Thanks, Robert
     
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I'm not electrical savy myself so can't help with your problem. If you have a heavy Gage electrical cord with you that's long enough, you could try and see what happens if you use your neighbors post. At least to narrow things down a little more. A multimeter will probably also be very helpful if you have one. I have been to many campgrounds where the campground posts are the problem so first want to rule that out. Good luck, I'm sure someone else here could help more.
     
  3. TRR

    TRR Active Member

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    Do the 110v outlets in the camper work when you plug something in? If so, that might indicate an issue with your 12v converter. Your lights are 12v. Check the 12v fuses. Also check the wires that run up to through the canvas to the ceiling. The connection there may simply be loose.
     
  4. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    use a corded appliance in the PU to determine if the 120v outlets work while the PU is plugged into shore power, if they do then move on to the 12v side, kill switch under sink (IIRC, the porch light is not wired to the kill switch), wires/plug running up to roof, ...
     
  5. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Your lights should run from your battery, with the shore power unplugged... if I'm understanding you correctly, the lights work until you connect 110, then go out?

    If you can repeat this cycle over and over then I would begin to suspect your converter... or, just maybe, are your battery connections solid? And, silly as it sounds, the right way around? (Non-LED lights don't care which way round you connect the battery, but the converter does)
    If your battery post connectors are loose or corroded, that may be the issue
     
  6. RSH

    RSH Member

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    First, let me say thanks to you all for responding to my message. I checked all the connections and fuses - nothing out of place there. Then I flipped off all 4 breakers in the camper (30 amp, 20 amp, 2 15 amps), flipped the main breaker on at the post, then flipped the 4 camper breakers back on one at a time. Voila. Now I have power. I'm still not sure what the problem is/was but I will have it checked out when I get home. We never use anything but shore power - don't even have a battery installed. I suspect one of those breakers is bad or maybe it could be the converter??? -Robert
     
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    It may be as simple as a loose wire going to the breakers.
     
  8. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Doesn't the Utah have electric brakes? You might want to check on that...
    If it does, you need to have at least a small battery to enable the breakaway braking - and I believe that's a legal requirement in many places,
     
  9. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    Nice re-boot. [:D]
     
  10. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    Our Niagara manual says that a charged battery should be connected when using shore power. I believe it protects the converter.
     
  11. Canufixit

    Canufixit Member

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    From what you described - your wiring in your camper sound fine. Perhaps running high on the amp draw though. I'd say a few things to check first.

    1.) Breaker at the pole is lower amp than your panel.

    2.) Breaker at the pole is defective.

    3.) Voltage at the pole is low (low voltage = higher amp draw).

    4.) You have a high initial draw in your camper (i.e. Fridge and AC and heaters/fans are all on but once started are under max amp of the Pole breaker
     
  12. RSH

    RSH Member

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    I've isolated the problem to the 12V circuit. I was able to do this because the propane detector and the overhead lines started acting up simultaneously. I took out the 30 amp fuse on the battery circuit side so they no longer make noise/blink. All of the 110V stuff works just fine. I bought the camper without a battery and just figured I didn't need one. But from these posts it seems I may have been wrong. I guess I may have to invest in a new converter and a battery when I get home. Does anyone know if such a converter is even available given that Fleetwood went under? Or will another make/model work? Thanks again, Robert
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Converters are one of the items that are not brand-specific. Many brands use the same converters
     
  14. RSH

    RSH Member

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    How complicated is the installation of a converter? And about how much do they cost? Any suggestions on brands?
    Thanks, Robert.
     
  15. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    Install a battery and hard wire a 12v smart charger into your 110v circuit.
     
  16. JT105

    JT105 Member

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    Our old PUP had a flaky breaker and I had to reset it after plugging the cord int the campground power.
    Not having a battery could cause an issue with the charging part of your converter but shouldn't effect the 12V outputs. If the 12V output is flaky, it is either a loose connection or it may be time for a new converter. They do go bad after a while.
     
  17. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    From WFCO http://wfcoelectronics.com/faq/ I ass-u-me you have a POWER CENTERS: WF-8700 SERIES

    Does the converter need a battery to operate?
    No. The battery works in conjunction with the converter to supply DC power to the RV. A battery is typically only necessary if you do a lot of dry camping or have slide-outs and/or a leveling system.

    electric brakes need a battery when the brakeaway pin is pulled as all @#$% breaks loose!
     
  18. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Active Member

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    Boy Robert, I'd be doing a lot of checking before I pulled the trigger on a new converter. Especially on an '08.
    I would say Canufixit is spot on with his suggestions and I'll add Ohms law says higher resistance equals higher amperage. In other words a loose / corroded connection. Now that you know exactly which circuit your dealing with, make sure everything is tight and clean.
    If you do buy a new converter, I might take your old one if your just going to throw it in the landfill. [;)]
     
  19. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    I agree with "H Daddy." We have had a ton of electrical issues that have been mainly due to grounds, loose and frayed wires, and a faulty GFCI. Keep it simple and work through the obvious easy things first (ground, wires, and fuses, and breakers). We added two new grounds that have helped a lot. One is at the current limiter for the lift motor, and the other is on the tongue off of the battery. At one point, I was convinced it was our converter, but I was schooled to go throughout the basics first, and I am glad I took the lesson. Start simple and be thorough.
     
  20. TRR

    TRR Active Member

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    Just a thought but have you located the wires that would connect to a battery if you had one? Is it possible that they are touching each other or that the positive lead is intermittently grounding to the frame? If they're just flopping around loose that could certainly seem to cause some funkiness on the 12v side of things.
     

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