Possible converter issues

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Riveyman, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Riveyman

    Riveyman Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Location:
    NC
    Hey all, could use some advice.
    Went camping for 5 day and on the evening of the 3rd day the lights quit working.
    In the morning of the 4th day noticed the fridge temp was going up, but the green light was on steady. We turned on a light and the fridge green light went out. Lights didn't work. Cleared out the fridge and figured I'd worry about it later.
    Heading home on Sun, the slide out wouldn't go in. I hooked up jumper cables to the battery and got the slide closed.
    So once home and settled, the battery was around 10v. So took it out and put it on a charger. Plugged the camper into the house, 30amp plug, and started checking things out. All the outlets, A/C, microwave work fine. Just no lights, no fridge, no slide out.
    Normally when I'm plugged in at home without the battery, everything inside works.
    Here is what I've got. 20180709_203334.jpg

    And the panel inside is this. 20180709_203343.jpg

    Everything on the left side (breakers) is good.
    On the right hand side, I've checked all the fuses and they are good.
    I used a volt meter on the input wires. I just plugged the camper in and when I checked it was at 6.6v and slowly climbing. I waited a bit and checked it again and it was around 13v, can't remember the exact number. Had my wife flip a light on and the volts dropped big time, but again, as I type this, I can't remember what they dropped to.

    So, I'm guessing the converter has gone out ?
    Any thoughts, input, recommendations would be appreciated!
    Thanks in advance,
    Randy
     
  2. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,254
    Likes Received:
    287
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Raynham, MA
    I have to ask a question. When you went camping for 5 days. Did you have an electric hookup? Or were you off the battery? Your question does not make this clear.

    On a related note. I went camping, and the breaker on the campsite powerpole popped, and I never noticed till my battery died.... Just food for thought.

    Also, check to make sure your battery connections are not grounding to the frame (leads that connect to the battery are just sitting on the metal) that could cause the insides not to work. but you shouldn't need a battery to make things work, so that is abnormal.
     
  3. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,344
    Likes Received:
    983
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    You obviously have a dead battery. If you were plugged in the converter you have would keep the battery charged but it may not keep up if you were running the fridge on DC.
    If you were not getting camp site power none of your outlets would work. The lights are DC.
     
  4. Riveyman

    Riveyman Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Location:
    NC
    We were plugged in. A/C running the whole time. Microwave worked. Never an interruption for those items.
    Just lights died and fridge quit working. Slideout was dead when we went to leave. I jumped the battery with the car to close the slide.
    I flipped the camp site breaker off/on just for kicks. As the A/C was still on and working fine.
    With my limited knowledge, I suspect the converter went out for the 12v stuff.
    Is there a good way to test this before dropping money on a new one?
     
  5. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,344
    Likes Received:
    983
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    The lights died and the fridge quit leads me to believe the fridge was running on DC. The fridge has to be switched over to AC, just plugging in the camper doesn't do that.
    You can test the converter by measuring what it is putting out to the battery. You should have voltage between 13.5 and 14.7. approx..
     
  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    6,709
    Likes Received:
    304
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    TX
  7. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    Messages:
    2,862
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Centerville, OH
    You were definitely running the fridge on battery. My guess is that your battery might be damaged but you would need to do a load test.

    Your converter is an older model WFCO similar to the newer 8700 series. It's an easy replacement. My recommendation is if you decide to replace it, get an 8740. That will be able to keep up with the load if you forget to switch over the refridge from DC to AC at the campground.
     
  8. Riveyman

    Riveyman Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks rabies, the links sent me in the right direction.
    One troubleshooting tip says to disconnect the battery, plug the unit into AC power (the house), and check the voltage at the battery with volt meter. If you get approx 13.6 Vdc the converter is functioning properly.

    Mine read 4.9 Vdc. :sad:

    The second was this:
    Screenshot_20180714-165823.jpg

    So, looks like the converter needs to be replaced .
    I do ok on my own, but really appreciate knowing there is some great help / advice here when I need it.
    Thanks everyone for letting me run this by ya'll.
     
  9. Riveyman

    Riveyman Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Location:
    NC
    Yeah the fridge thing has me confused, it only has a switch that reads Auto or Gas. And the gas part has never worked. We just plug into the house and turn the fridge on. Getting it nice and cold. When we unplug to leave, the fridge light for gas usually comes on and we have to shut the fridge off so it doesn't go to lock down mode.

    Ok, I got the fridge owners manual out.
    The fridge is primarily AC operation and secondary propane. 12 Vdc is necessary to run the control panel functions for the fridge to operate.
    Now it makes sense! Converter was controlling it then died, it went to battery and when the battery died, so did the fridge .
    Thanks for all the feed back. It really helped.
     
  10. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    6,709
    Likes Received:
    304
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    TX
    Once you said you had a light on the fridge, I assumed it was big enough to have a 12v brain and not a 12v heat source.
    Yes, as the converter is dying, the battery picks up the slack for the fridge's brain, lights, fans, furnace, CO/Propane detectors ... till you ruin your battery :(
     
  11. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    528
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2018
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Converter RIP. I opened mine up and disconnected the power to it and ran it through a switch (has big voltage swings) so I can turn it on in emergency. I run off my battery with a battery maintainer/charger to keep battery charged.
    The cost to replace isn't that big, I just choose to use that money on other things.
     
  12. Riveyman

    Riveyman Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Location:
    NC
    Well, ordered a new converter and installed it this weekend. All is back to normal.

    Put the battery on a trickle charge for a few days while waiting for my order to arrive, let it sit for a day unhooked and the volt meter read 12.6v. Is that good?
    Might take it and have it tested.
    Thanks again, y'all have been a big help.
     
  13. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,344
    Likes Received:
    983
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    12.6 is good.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.