Need help...No power to ac power outlets...need help!!!

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by Poorric, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. Poorric

    Poorric New Member

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    Need some help...just started a 2 week trip and into day3 I lost all power to outlets on my 99 coleman cheyenne...air works well...interior lights strong...I replaced gfi,checked for breakers being tripped...no sign of power to gfi or breaker and don't have a meter to test for power...no problem for the first 3 days...converter seems to work except ac power....even checked switch on stove console...got me stumped and frustrated...need all the help and wisdom on this one---breaker???...converter???...short???...gremlins???...or just COLEMAN?...any ideas will be appreicated... [:O] [RTM]
     
  2. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    I feel for you. I hate when stuff breaks away from home. It will be very hard to help you without you having a voltmeter. Consider buying a cheapo from walmart or Harbor Freights if there is one close by. Next thing we need is your converter make and model.
    Generally speaking:

    Power comes from the pedestal via 30 amp cable.

    There is a breaker in the converter for the 120vac that goes to the converter transformer and the low voltage power feeds. since your interior lights are working fine I should assume you are getting power to the converter. Since it is working I would only worry to id the breaker for the convertor by tripping it and see if the 12vdc stuff dies. (make sure the battery is not connected when trying that)

    The other breaker/s will feed the AC if it is not powered by its own drop cord to the pedestal. Being that the AC is a high wattage consumption apliance it will more than likely has it own breakers not shared. Since it is working I would only worry to id the breaker for the ac by tripping it and see if the ac dies.

    That will leave the remaining breaker/s as your problem.
    Now, if whatever is hooked to your GFI is in fact grounded then the GFI will constantly trip and not reset. Make sure to disconnect everything then when powering up again use a good working appliance to test... Breakers do burn and wont work but I think most breakers you cant return.

    That is my guess, but without a voltmeter it will be very hard to trace.

    Lastly, get a drop cord with multiple outlets, bring it in thru one of the zippers from the bunk section and use that until you can get home. If I could not trouble shoot it while on the road I will just do that.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Poorric

    Poorric New Member

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    wow...thanks for your reply...magnatek electronic series 6700 ...got 4 or 5 voltmeters at home...will pick one up...not that i really know how to use one though...would appreicate if you would check in for a while so maybe we can solve this delemma...found air breaker...gfi won't reset as you said...you are a lifesaver my friend...even if we don't fix it...at least I don't feel so alone in these scarey ole woods...hardy har har... [?:~{]thanks ps...I found 3 fuses...1 air/2 ?/3 ?...WILL TRY YOUR INSTRUCTIONS AND GET BACK TO YOU...have a great nite
     
  4. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    There are many that can help. I'm at work until midnight eastern time, then I am off to finish up my preparations to leave for a fishing trip tomorrow morning. I'm sure other can chime.

    I could not find a lot of information online, went to parallax power supply website for the info.

    http://www.parallaxpower.com/archived-tech-docs#,
    that might not help you but might whoever comes to help after me.

    Now, if the gfci outlet will not reset and this is a new properly installed outlet then there is something in the line that is causing a ground fault. Something got wet or some cable insulation is gone. In that case, I would probably save the voltmeter money and just get a drop cord to power up whatever is that you need to power up then try to find the problem later at home.

    However, if you want to trouble shoot it the first thing to do is to remove everything and anything hooked to the outlets (except the AC). then try to reset the breaker. If that works then it is one of the things that you had connected to the outlets. Start plugging the stuff back until the breaker trips again and there it is your problem.

    If the above dont work and you want to proceed trouble shooting make sure you understand what you are doing AND make sure that 30 amp cord is disconnected every time you can come in contact with the 120vac. Last thing you need is to end up in a hospital. Understand that I do not know what your level of knowledge is and I am assuming that you know how to deal with 120vac and are just stuck in an unfamiliar situation...

    If you disconnected all appliances and still cant reset the gfci outlet then the problem is in one of the lines coming off the gcfi outlet. You would have to take the GFCI outlet out of the enclosure after disconnecting the 30 amp cable (lockoff/tagout, im assuming you are related to that). The gfci outlet has connections for 2 circuits. One is the LINE or LINE IN circuit (should be labeled as such) which is the 120vac line coming from the converter breaker and the other circuit is the LOAD circuit (should be labeled as such) which is where the other outlets will be connected to and these outlets draw the 120VAC from the GFCI outlet. Disconnect the cables connected to the LOAD circuit and cap them off if you have wire nuts or electric tape, if not bend them out of the way but I strongly recommend capping them off. Put the gcfi outlet back in the enclosure and connect the 30 amp cable again. See if it resets. If it does reset then you know the problem is one of the cables or outlets that were hooked to the LOAD circuit. To be double sure you have disconnected the proper wires connect one appliance to the now working gfci connector and make sure the appliance works. If it works then you will have to trace your cables hooked to the LOAD circuit to see which one is causing the ground fault. Try adding one outlet at a time, if you have a voltmeter then you can just check for resistance between the live (black wire) and the ground (green wire), which should be wide open for a good working circuit. Keep in mind the problem can be an outlet or the cables leading to the outlets. If it has been raining I would start guessing any outlet that is exposed to the elements.

    Here is a diagram:

    [​IMG]

    Good luck and be very careful.
     
  5. Poorric

    Poorric New Member

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    Thanks Nandy,great info...hope you catch a bunch of fish...you may be right,may be a job better tackled at home...I will check the obvious spots and listen to advice,but till then work off of extention cords...Happy trails my friend...untill we meet again... [Guitar]
     
  6. mschepac

    mschepac South Jersey

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    As listed above. We had our GFI go bad on us. For the week that I camped I just pulled it out and wire-nutted the supply and load sides together until I could get to the store to get a new outlet.
     
  7. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    One last possible reason you are having trouble.....look on the front of the converter/electrical panel, is there a black switch that says "batt.-off-conv." If so then when you are connected to shore power that switch must be in the "conv." position...if in the "batt" position you will have interior lights as long as the battery has juice but you will not have power at the outlets
     
  8. Poorric

    Poorric New Member

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    [LOL]Well back home and did a little exploring...found out my waterproof exterior outlet wasn't very waterproof...filled up with water and when I open it,it poured out [:O]...it did hold water though...It just poured the first 3 days of our trip,water over our ankles at our site [KK]...will test gfi again when it is dry...has anyone added a separate 110 line and 20 amp breaker for their popup that runs off separate cord so it doesn't run through your converter??? I think I will do that...hate to fry my converter...I thank all that came to my rescue and can only hope I will be of some help when they need help :wink:
     
  9. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Back from my vacations, glad to read you found your problem. That GFCI sure did its job. Caulk around that outside outlet.
    Why do you hate your converter? Im not sure it is on your benefit to change it or not since I do not know what is your problem. Also, keep in mind that your 120vac does not go THRU your converter so to speak. Your converter is there to provide 12vdc for the 12vdc equipment (lights, pumps, radios, etc) and to charge the battery if so equipped. Your 120vac breakers resides in your converter box as the converter user the 120vac as well and it is very convenient to have all breakers and fuses in the same spot. Anyway, yes, your converter can be removed but there is some work to be done in order to get a camper fully working. I for one would not spend the money replacing a converter. Most provide dirty 12vdc not adequate for today's electronics. This is what you can do to replace your converter, you will have to provide a way to deliver 120 vac and 12vdc...

    For the 12vdc part you will need a 6A (or larger) battery charger and a 24(or larger) class Hybrid or deep cycle battery. The battery will have to be protected by a fuse close to the battery physical location. I use a 25amp fuse for mine and if I recall right I used 12 ga zip cables from the battery to the 12vdc fuse distribution block which in your case should be close to the converter that way you can just tap from the existing 12vdc cables to load your panel.

    The inline fuse holder is similar to this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-Inline-12AWG-ATC-Blade-Fuse-Holder-40A-fuse-for-Car-Boat-Light-Video-Audio-mh-/321029262377?pt=US_Car_Audio_Video_Fuses_Fuse_Holders&hash=item4abed5cc29

    I got an ATC 6 fuse panel similar to this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Buss-ATC-6-Fuse-Panel-15600-06-20-P05-New-On-Shelf-RV-Camper-Trailer-Car-Truck-/251153295784?pt=BI_Circuit_Breakers_Transformers&hash=item3a79e729a8
    I used that to protect my circuits. I would use the same fuses rate as what you have now.

    For the 120vac my camper already had a 4 breaker sub panel. You can get you something similar.

    [​IMG]
    Sorry for the fussy picture but it is not mine and it was the closest thing I could find quick. Keep in mind, the larger the box the more expensive it is. Also, check the breakers. Depending on the box they can be very expensive.
    Just like the 12VDC panel, you will locate this one close to where he converter box is so you can tap the cables in and out of the panel more easily.

    I think you can do this under $100 if you look in the net real good.

    Good luck!
     

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