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Old 12-03-2015, 07:53 PM   #1
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Bad converter?

I spent the afternoon getting the trailer ready for our weekend trip and discovered that the 12 volt system isn't working from battery power. I can't figure out what the problem is, but my observations lead me to believe that it may be a bad converter solenoid.

I have the Power Parallax Supply 7345 Converter / Charger in my 2009 19' Escape. Last time I used it what was a month ago when I took it to the beach, where everything worked fine. Here are my observations:

1. System does not work on battery power, but everything works when plugged into 120V.
2. Battery terminals read a healthy 12.6.
3. All fuses and breakers tested and working.
4. Ground lines and connections inspected and appear OK.
5. Terminals from charger to battery read 13.8 when plugged into 120V.

Any ideas, suggestions?
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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Check the battery cutoff switch if you have one. If so, you may have accidentally turned it off.

Also, please clarify what you mean by charger. Battery is typically charged by converter (or solar if you have it). Are you using a separate battery charger?
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:09 PM   #3
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Did you check for 12v in the converter? on the WFCO you can see the + and - 12volt runs or the cables coming in from the battery. If it's not there when disconnected from 120v check the thermal breaker.


Not that I've seen one actually go bad before.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:30 PM   #4
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The cutoff switch has been checked, as well as the inline 30A breaker. Both are fine. At the 12V fuse box, there are + and - leads that connect to the battery and a positive terminal for the converter. These both read 13.8 when plugged into 120V, nothing on battery power.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:44 PM   #5
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The cutoff switch has been checked, as well as the inline 30A breaker. Both are fine. At the 12V fuse box, there are + and - leads that connect to the battery and a positive terminal for the converter. These both read 13.8 when plugged into 120V, nothing on battery power.
You have power on both terminals of the inline breaker, correct? Because if the positive lead from the converter that connects to the battery reads 13.8V when plugged in to 120V, then the issue has to be between that point and the battery itself.

What is this converter solenoid you refer too. Aren't the cables from the battery directly connected to the DC power distribution.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:46 PM   #6
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Then I'd agree converter is bad, you have 13.8 volts from the battery at the converter but nothing out to the 12 volt circuits unless running on AC. Don't see manuals or prints on line so no help there. I'd try calling Parallax in the am and see if they have a tech support.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:54 PM   #7
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If the battery is reading 13.8 when plugged into 120vac, that is the normal charging voltage. That would imply to me that the converter is working properly. If the battery terminals read 12.6, that is close to normal resting voltage (12.7/12.8) for a fully charged battery. It would seem therefore that voltage coming out of the battery is not making it to distribution for the trailer, and per your description, somewhere between the battery terminals and the 12v fuse box, where you say you are getting 0 volts when not plugged into 120vac Did you visually inspect fuses, or test for continuity with a meter?
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:00 PM   #8
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You have power on both terminals of the inline breaker, correct? Because if the positive lead from the converter that connects to the battery reads 13.8V when plugged in to 120V, then the issue has to be between that point and the battery itself.



What is this converter solenoid you refer too. Aren't the cables from the battery directly connected to the DC power distribution.

That's kinda what I thought, and why I'm so confused. It seems to providing a charge when plugged into 120.

I'm not entirely sure what a solenoid is myself, but read somewhere that it's what tells the converter to switch between 120 and 12v. So my guess is that it's just not switching to 12v. But I don't have a thorough understanding of how this power supply works...
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:06 PM   #9
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If the battery is reading 13.8 when plugged into 120vac, that is the normal charging voltage. That would imply to me that the converter is working properly. If the battery terminals read 12.6, that is close to normal resting voltage (12.7/12.8) for a fully charged battery. It would seem therefore that voltage coming out of the battery is not making it to distribution for the trailer, and per your description, somewhere between the battery terminals and the 12v fuse box, where you say you are getting 0 volts when not plugged into 120vac Did you visually inspect fuses, or test for continuity with a meter?

That's what I had initially assumed, but there is not anything in between the 12v fuse box and the batteries except for the inline breaker. I checked for continuity and even bypassed, still nothing. Perhaps I need to get behind the power center to see if a rat chewed my wires or something?
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:16 PM   #10
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Or you could try a direct jump from the battery terminals to the leads where you are getting 13.8v when plugged in. That would indicate if one or both wires are at fault before you have to relocate a lot of stuff to get to the wires if they are "buried."
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:19 PM   #11
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If you find the wires have been damaged by rodents, soak some cotton balls with peppermint oil from a health food store, resoaking them every couple of weeks. Put them in a couple of locations inside the trailer. Mice and rats do not like the smell and will stay away from it.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:28 PM   #12
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There is no converter 12V solenoid. Your converter is almost certainly OK. It sounds as though you have a bad connection, fuse, breaker or switch.

Disconnect from shore power.

Run an external wire from the battery negative through the door to the dinette area. (Be sure it has a good battery connection.) Start where the battery wires enter the trailer and look for 12+V to the external ground.

If you get to the +12V distribution bus in the WFCO with 12+V all the way, move the external wire to the battery positive and trace your grounds the same way.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:11 PM   #13
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Here's where I'd put my money. First time I checked it worked fine, or so it seemed to be. At witts end, I invested five bucks and replaced anyway. Best five bucks I ever spent.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:22 PM   #14
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Here's where I'd put my money. First time I checked it worked fine, or so it seemed to be. At witts end, I invested five bucks and replaced anyway. Best five bucks I ever spent.

That was the first thing I checked, but it's not the problem. My understanding now is that this only protects the battery from the charge current coming in from the the tow vehicle? The battery lead and converter / charger lead are tied to the same terminal, and the positive from the pigtail connected to the other.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:36 PM   #15
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My advice stands. I thought the same stuff as you. My converter's little red fuse indicator lights lit, then dimmed, stayed dark, then lit. When I replaced the 30 amp breaker all these test fluctuations vanished and I was good to go again.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:01 AM   #16
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That's what I had initially assumed, but there is not anything in between the 12v fuse box and the batteries except for the inline breaker. I checked for continuity and even bypassed, still nothing. Perhaps I need to get behind the power center to see if a rat chewed my wires or something?
Hey Sean,

I'd put my money not on rats but that neighbor of yours. Maybe if you'd give her your Christmas present early, she quit sneaking over with her nippers.

Just thought I'd help,

Tom
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:22 AM   #17
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Hey Sean,

I'd put my money not on rats but that neighbor of yours. Maybe if you'd give her your Christmas present early, she quit sneaking over with her nippers.

Just thought I'd help,

Tom
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:25 AM   #18
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I also think the converter is functioning properly. Have you checked/cleaned your battery terminals?

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Old 12-04-2015, 01:40 AM   #19
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Bingo.
Worked for me.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:50 AM   #20
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I'd put my money not on rats but that neighbor of yours. Maybe if you'd give her your Christmas present early, she quit sneaking over with her nippers.


She did scurry off the other day when she saw me...
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