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Old 08-23-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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Invertor / Charger question

I searched this forum using the search tool and could not fine the answer to my question,so here goes. When I bought my coach 2 months ago every time I turned on an interior light the invertor would come on and run until I shut the light off. I took the coach in for some work at camping world and had the house battery's checked and they were both bad so I had them replaced with new deep cycle battery's to the tune of $300.00. Now the same thing is happening every time the 12 volt lights are on the invertor / charger comes on. Is this normal or is there something else going on? I have 3 overhead lights that have LED bulbs in them and when they are on this don't happen. Thanks in advance for reading and assisting me with this issue. This is my first coach,not camper, but coach so I know a little about these things but am not quite sure on this one. I have a 98 Adventure Winnebago BTW.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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Our inverter has a separate switch to turn it on or off. We leave ours off all the time unless we want to run something while going down the road. I think the invereter should only work when you request 120v. If you turn it off, your 12v systems should still work just fine. If not, I would suspect something is miswired.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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So when you turn on 12 volt accessories the inverter section (the light) turns on? If it was the converter section turning on and then the converter cooling fan that would make sense under certain conditions i.e. hot compartment, recently plugged into AC, recent heavy 12 v use etc. Have you verified the converter is charging the batteries? Sounds like a logic problem (bad circuit board) in the converter/inverter.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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It is the fan that comes on and runs. Just turning on one light will cause it to come on. Not the LED ones as stated. My panel says the battery is in a good state of charge but it said that with the bad battery's as well. So I don't thank its good as well.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Your converter may be fine then. It is possible that it's just not that sophisticated and the fan will run under most any voltage drop. Also bad lead acid batteries can read OK (voltage which is a poor check) when there no load on them. Since you've gone through the expense to get fairly pricy batteries ($300 for two) I'd have the inverter checked regardless. If it checks fine then maybe replace the thing with a modern multi-stage model that will run cooler (more efficient) with less noise. Or try acoustic insulation, re-orientating the unit etc.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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Thanks. I agree they were pricey battery's but they had me by the nads as we found this out while they had the RV.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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If you are reading the battery condition while on shore power, you are actually reading the converter output voltage, not the battery voltage. You would have to disconnect shore power and wait a few minutes to get a battery reading. To get the true condition you would have to wait 24 hours or read the specific gravity.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:33 PM   #8
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Thanks John.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:42 AM   #9
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Our former coach was a '99 adventurer.

It had a small inverter that powered only the TV and the DVD/VHS player. The inverter was up in the front overhead compartment ... on the right side as I remember. There was a switch on the front of the inverter to turn it on.

The Adventurer had a separate converter that was on the floor underneath of the refrigerator (maybe it was the stove, can't remember ... I know I removed a drawer to access it).

So it sounds to me like your converter is coming on to charge your house batteries every time you turn on an incandescent light ... that must mean that your converter has a very sensitive setting for voltage drop before it turns on to recharge you batteries.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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I have found that I have to vacuum/blow the dust and pet hair from the converter once a year or so. The fan is controlled by temperature and too much crud reduces the heat sink efficiency and causes the fan to run a lot.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:23 AM   #11
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The converter is actually on whenever you are on shore power. The fan is thermally controlled. When there is a larger load on the converter it generates more power measured in amps. You will be able to see it on your Energy Management System. When you turn on the incandescent lamps the converter puts out more power and you can see this as more power measured in amps going into the converter. The fan is thermally controlled. As the converter generates more power it generates more heat and the fan comes on. It will come on sooner in hot weather and may not come on for lighter loads when it is cool.

I don't think there is anything wrong with you converter or batteries.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDC View Post
I searched this forum using the search tool and could not fine the answer to my question,so here goes. When I bought my coach 2 months ago every time I turned on an interior light the invertor would come on and run until I shut the light off. I took the coach in for some work at camping world and had the house battery's checked and they were both bad so I had them replaced with new deep cycle battery's to the tune of $300.00. Now the same thing is happening every time the 12 volt lights are on the invertor / charger comes on. Is this normal or is there something else going on? I have 3 overhead lights that have LED bulbs in them and when they are on this don't happen. Thanks in advance for reading and assisting me with this issue. This is my first coach,not camper, but coach so I know a little about these things but am not quite sure on this one. I have a 98 Adventure Winnebago BTW.

Maybe give us the model of the "inverter" you are referencing. If you mean the converter, the stock one you may have could be a Magnatek (which are junk). We need to help you replace that or you will fry your new batteries soon anyway. As mentioned by someone, the actual inverter is up by the TV in the overhead compartment.
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