Living with a faulty converter (I think)

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by RonCC29, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    Hello All-

    New member here and new pop-up owner of a 1997 Flagstaff Pop-up that I am currently restoring/renovating. The previous owner had no battery in the system and converted the trailer from 7-pin to 4-pin. I am now wanting to go back to 7 pin but noticed that the wires coming from the converter to what would be a battery (haven't purchased a battery yet) is only putting out 0.9V when plugged into shore power. The converter manual says it has an auto breaker reset so there is no fuse to check as far as I know. Because everything else seems to work fine my plan is to live with the defective converter, assuming you all agree it is defective. Here is my plan and a subsequent question about tow wiring...

    Plan-buy a low amperage (800ma) battery trickle charger and just plug that into one of the outlets so I can get a trickle charge to the battery when plugged into shore power. Would this not just bypass the issue and still give me an effective system or is there a problem with this theory?

    Question about 7-pin in my circumstance- Because the system is not putting out enough volts from my converter to the battery to charge when towing, would the 12v auxiliary, battery positive, and converter positive all come together on the same binding post for my trailer wire junction box so the battery and fridge can run off of my tow vehicle when driving? I worry that this would leave the 12v aux jack live when not in use but I am not educated here. My understanding then is the negative battery would ground to the frame, converter is already grounded, and 7-pin would ground to the frame, all independent of each other. Do I understand this correctly?

    Thank you all so much for any help you can provide.
     
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Can't help you much on wiring, but it's actually your vehicle that will charge the battery when towing. However you may have to verify you have that fuse on your vehicle. Found on my vehicle the fuse to the tow plug was blown so once I got that replaced it worked.
     
  3. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    The DC output should be about 13.5 so, I would say you have a bad converter. I would just replace the converter. They are about $150 and you're done.
     
  4. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that an 800ma charger is going to give you enough to overcome the load on the battery, especially if your going to run the fridge on 12v while towing. It will barely keep up with your LP leak detector. I wouldn't spend money on anything less than 10 amps.
     
  5. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far... I suspect I did not explain my plan well enough. My plan is for the 800ma charger to work for me when I am on shore power at a campground or at home maintaining the battery. I also understand the argument for replacing the converter but that is something I plan to do next year just due to the costs already incurred.
     
  6. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    Perhaps, I can ask this another way. Do you need to have a 12v battery installed for the refridgerator to run while towing on a 7-pin connection or is the tow vehicle supplying the power? I thought the battery supplied the converter and subsequent appliance and the tow vehicle maintained the battery but perhaps I am wrong?
     
  7. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Some vehicles may be able to handle that load. I could probably do it in my Silverado but I wouldn't even try it with Debi's Escape.
     
  8. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    Do the positive leads from the converter, battery and the 12v aux from the 7pin all join at the same location, in my case being the 7 pin junction box ?
     
  9. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Again, an 800 millawatt charger will not keep up with the loads your pup will see while camping. As posted above get a 10 amp charger
     
  10. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    Thank you for your response. I think there is something fundamental I am overlooking here. If I am camping on a powered site, doesn't the amperage of my charger become moot because I'm switched to grid power? And if off-grid wouldn't it also become moot because no charging is occurring?
     
  11. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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  12. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Well-Known Member

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    Because your converter is only putting out .9V, your battery will be drained by the 12v items in your PUP....lights, furnace for example. If you use a trickle charger, you wont be replenishing the battery as fast as you are using it.
     
  13. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    I am struggling to understand why their would be loss when plugged into shore power. Are you saying that when on shore power and the converter set to pull from shore power, not battery, that the battery will still be draining because the converter isn't pushing >= 12v to the battery?
     
  14. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Well-Known Member

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    When plugged into shore power, the outlets, air conditioner, and fridge will be powered by ac. The converter normally steps the ac power to 14v dc. This powers your interior and exterior lights, radio, smoke detector/CO detector, furnace and exhaust fans (if equipped). With your converter only creating less than 1v dc, your battery will be drained. Using your trickle charger likely won't replace the power from the battery that you're using. When in storage, with the battery disconnected from the camper, the charger will properly maintain the battery and keep it healthy.

    Now, if you don't have any 12v uses in the camper except for a couple of led lights, a fully charged battery will comfortably get you through a camping trip before needing to be recharged.
     
  15. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Do you inside lights work when plugged in to shore power? If they do then the converter is working and you are measuring something wrong.
     
  16. RonCC29

    RonCC29 New Member

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    They do work, yes. I just discovered that the previous owners had the fridge set to run on 12v, not 120v so this may have affected something. I have adjusted this and am running another test now. Thanks for the reply.
     
  17. WingmanHG

    WingmanHG Member

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    So i understand what you want to do I did something similar. Now as far as i can tell my coverter in my '95 Coleman Cape Cod works the way its designed. It powers while on shore power my 110v system and my 12V lights and plugs. But it doesn't charge my battery neither does my TV while I tow. Once again from what i can tell through manuals and whatnot this is how it was designed. So i got a marine box put in a switch between the + battery and the + terminal on the box allowing me to disconnect the battery from my trailer. I got a 3 stage tricke charger wired it to the battery with a switch between the + of the charger and the + of the battery allowing me to disconnect it from the charger. I then wired it to a 110v plug in the trailer running the cord under the frame then up into the wall of the trailer. I can send you links to the parts i bought on Amazon if you want.

    Now one question raised by other posters is if your whole 12v system has a problem or just the charging of ur battery. If your 12v lights work while on battery power and while on shore power but with the battery disconnected then my solution will work for you

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