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Old 12-18-2015, 09:16 AM   #1
rfdbrown32166
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HELP -URGENT

I am 5th wheel living full time in B.C. Canada. Today it is -4 (just below freezing for my American friends). This morning my 12 volt system quit working. My 110 volt system is okay. Problem being of course is that my propane furnace is 12 volts as are all but three of my lights. So I have no heat other than one 1500 watt electric heater and the heater in my electric fire place.

I checked my battery and it is dead only reading .09 volts. I took out the battery an had it checked, they said it appeared fine but needed to be charged. I have it on the charger and the battery repair depot said to leave it on charge foe 3 hours then bring it back for a recheck. They said it sounded like my inverter wasn't cutting in or maybe it quit working.

So I am trying to determine where the inverter is located. I can see where the wires run from out of the front storage compartment on the driver's side into the 'basement' storage area but that is where I lose track of them.

Any help would be appreciated, the electric heaters are keeping up but I'll soon need the forced air heating to keep warm.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:27 AM   #2
steves
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Put your battery back in and connect a battery charger to it and you'll have 12 volt power back to the rig. Sounds like your converter is bad.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:45 AM   #3
rfdbrown32166
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So it is ok to leave the battery connected with a charge connected to it until I figure out the converter problem?
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:49 AM   #4
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If your battery had less than one tenth volt it is shot to. You just as well buy a battery.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:05 AM   #5
steves
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Yes....if you then don't get 12V power or you don't see the battery taking a charge you may need to replace the battery. Watch the meter on the charger to see if the battery is getting charged.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:06 PM   #6
rfdbrown32166
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Thanks Steve. You were right on the mark. I had to replac the battery, it had a dead cell. But I think the converter/inverter is also blown. Any idea where that might he located?
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:35 PM   #7
steves
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Mine is under the stairs leading to the bed room. The stairs are held in place by about 4 screws on the edge buried in the carpet.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:53 PM   #8
rfdbrown32166
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I'll check there but my top stair lifts up to reveal my laundry basket so it's most likely not there. In my 'basement' storage there appears to be a removable wall. I'll have to check there but will wait a few days as it is supposed to warm up a bit and we got our first dump of snow last night.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:31 PM   #9
Rondo
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Rick-- We had our converter go bad on our old unit(2004)while in Florida three years and our was behind the wall in the basement as you suspect. If you don't have that much experience with the electrical system in your unit and you can get a mobile RV tech to come in I'd recommend that. If it is hooked up wrong you can really have a problem. IF you have an extended service plan, like we did through Good Sam, they paid for the whole thing except for the deductible.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:43 PM   #10
rfdbrown32166
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Thanks for the additional info Rondo. We have an RV tech in town here. I'll check behind the white removable wall and see what I can find. I don't have an extended warranty, it's coming out of my recreation fund (aka pizza & beer money) lol. Hopefully it's not too expensive. Isn't it always the way though, just before Christmas. Geez.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:51 PM   #11
Irlpguy
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Hey Rick sorry you are having problems just when the weather is getting colder up there. I just came back from Creston 3 weeks ago and will likely be heading up at Christmas sometime, if I get a chance I will run out and say hello.

You certainly have some kind of problem with your "converter", either it is toast, has tripped the 110V breaker that powers it or it may have blown the reverse polarity fuses. If it was working it would make no difference if the battery were not taking a charge it would still run the 12V system, (lights, furnace and fridge).

You can certainly connect a charger to your new battery which will keep up with the draw on the 12V systems until you can sort out the issue with the converter. Don't know where yours is located but mine is combined with the circuit breakers for all the 110V as well as the 12V fuses for that part of the system. Where is your 110V breaker box located, it very well may be combined in the one compartment as many are.

If it were me I would do as I suggest and run a charger to your battery for the time being, that will get you by until you are fed up with Pizza and Beer and can afford to replace the converter if needed.

Merry Christmas anyway, will try to visit when I am up next.



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Old 12-18-2015, 04:52 PM   #12
h2ojocky
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If you have a multi meter, you can check your battery while connected to shore power and also while disconnected. Should read more volts while connected.
If you don't have a smart charger you might want to get one. It keeps the battery from being over charged. You can do a search on MOC for Iota smart charger.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:08 PM   #13
rfdbrown32166
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Hi Ed. Yes do stop in. My breaker box is in my beside my steps in the kitchen. So far my charger keeps cutting out. It is a 30 amp charger. Might hsve to find a larger one tomorrow or locate the converter.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:01 AM   #14
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We have an 06 3400 RL and the converter is located in the wall space between the entry closet and the bathroom. Access via removal of the fuse panels.
Have you looked at the converter fuse on the 110 V panel? It may have tripped after the battery failed.
Good luck finding the solution.

-Steve
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:56 AM   #15
rfdbrown32166
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Well it turns out it wasn't a problem with the inverter after all. There was a 30 amp fuse which of course was hidden the way he couldn't find it. Once I replace the 30 amp fuse everything was working like a charm. Thanks for all your help that's why I like being a member of this forum merry Christmas to everybody and happy new year.
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
Irlpguy
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Great news Rick, pizza and beer for supper...Eh!

Curious as to where this 30 amp fuse was located, I am assuming it was in the positive line between the battery and the converter.
You might want to check your model of converter and see if it is equipped with the smart charge system, this prevents a lot of problems with overcharging batteries, but even so one should check the water level in the battery/batteries every 6 months or so.

The wife took a shift at work at the hospital although she is retired, so it will be pizza and RUM for me, too lazy to cook and too cold for beer....

Have a good...warm... weekend.

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Old 12-20-2015, 04:28 AM   #17
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The converter in my 3295 is located behind the fuse panel in the toilet room. Lays on top of the washer and dryer closet. Not hard to change once you have a replacement.
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Old 12-20-2015, 04:38 AM   #18
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I'd like to know the location of the fuse as well. Ya never know when you'll need to know!

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Irlpguy

Curious as to where this 30 amp fuse was located, I am assuming it was in the positive line between the battery and the converter.
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Old 12-20-2015, 05:41 AM   #19
rfdbrown32166
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Lol. Ok I'll tell you the location of the fuse. But it is somewhat embarrassing. I'm 60 years old now and my eye sight isn't what it used to be. I can't see dark writing on a black background. So ... I located my converted beside the furnace behind the removeable panel in the 'basement'. It was an IOTA DLS-55 but it didn't have the IQ4module. There were no fuses on the unit like it shows in the PDF manual I downloaded. I got to thinking thst ccouldn't be right, no fuse? So I traced the wires from the converter and they went through a hole in the wall right behind my breaker box. My breaker box in right a floor level on my entry stairwell, to look at the breakers I have to get down on my hands and knees. Not an easy task itself. Well I did that, on my hand and knees with a flash light and screw driver I removed the cover panel of the breaker box to see where the 12v wires went. They came into the box cavity then went up through the top of it. Now here is the old age bad eyesight embarrassing part. It was then that I realzed there is a 12v fuse panel in top of the braker panel but it is behind a snap in plastic cover and doesn't look like a removable thing. It is clearly marked but it has a brown lettering on black plastic. So it was totally invisible to me until I got right up close to it, took off my glasses (I wear trifocals and they don't work worth a damn in those kind of situatiobs) and shined my flashlight on it. So I popped off the panel and lo and behold there were all my 12v fuse and the one 30amp fuse marked Main was blown. After a few innapropriate expletives I replaced the fuse and now everything is fine.

So the ordeal which took me two days to resolve and a lot of crawling around in the basement could have been resolved in just 5 minutes if I'd had better eyesight or a bloidy users manual which wasn't a generic RV users guide.

Oh well, on the positive side I discovered how mice have been getting in, I replaced the battery which had a defective cell which led to the 30amp fuse blowing and I am once again much more knowledgable about my Montana thanks the great help I get from the users here and my crawling around in the basement. It sonewhat reminds me of a movie I saw in my youth ... Farenhight 451. Books were banned so the collective knowledge of the world was preserved by a group of people that lived in the forest, each of them had remembered a book word for word. lol.

And after researching the converter online I think I will switch this one out for a unit with the IQ4 modual, the smart charge system. It maintains a constant voltage of 13.4v unless it detects the battery is discharging then it switches to 14.2v to quick charge the battery. The unit I have installed doesn't work that way. The system it has is laughable to say the least. On the top of the converter is taped a plug that you can plug into what looks like a phone jack on the front of the converter so that the converter will switch over to 14.2v. Right ... not going to happen in this old mans lifetime. So I going to get an IOTA DLS-55 w/IQ4 which does all of that automatically.

Again, thanks again to everybody for all your help and when you quit laughing ... have a rum and eggnog on me. lol

Here endeth the epistle of Richard the poor sighted.
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:21 AM   #20
DuneBuggyBuilder
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Wait a second. Rather than replacing a perfectly good IOTA DLS-55 with another one which has the IQ4 module, why not just buy the IQ4 module itself? The IQ4 just plugs into the exiting DLS-55.

$20 vs $200 - I know what I would do.
http://www.amazon.com/IOTA-Engineeri.../dp/B0030G7ZHM
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