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Old 06-16-2012, 06:27 PM   #1
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Question Is the converter the problem?

Recently our voltage monitor showed only 12.2v for the house battery.We are on shore power(50 amp) and the engine battery showed 12.6. We had the usual lights on.
When we turned off the house lights the voltage for the house battery immediately went up step by step to 12.5 or 12.6.

Question: does this indicate the converter went bad and is not working anymore?

Where is the converter located in this 2003 Adventurer 33V. We assume we can replace it our selves. Is there an upgrade or improvement we should look for? Is Campingworld the place to get one or are there other more techical places to check?

We thought it was located under the refrigerator but we looked and only saw the outside radio. In the past we though we heard the fan sound coming from that direction, it must have been the sound from the radio that keeps turning itself on.(another story and I know there is a great thread for that).

I know someone will have a solution or suggestion, you guys are great
Ellen
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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Well it's kinda hard to say. Are you sure the shore power is good, clean, and not reversed? If so then check all your house batt connections and make sure they are clean and tight. Also if you have lead acid house batts check the specific gravity on each cell to be sure your batts are good. Lastly check the output of converter to see if it is putting out a good voltage. If you need to replace the converter (ours is on the wall behind the drawers of a cabinet, Have to take the drawers out and it is a bear to get to.) I would check on an upgrade to one that is multi-stage. Mine runs 14.3 when first charging then drops to 13.2 or so and floats. The original Winnie converters don't do that. You can check your model drawings for the converter location. Usually in the kitchen area and inside the cabinet works somewhere.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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Looking at the wiring diagram for you coach it appears the converter will be under the drawer below the stove. I would pull the drawer out and check. The diagram doesn't give the exact location but says that's where the converter receptacle is wired, so it can't be far away.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy Itasca View Post
Well it's kinda hard to say. Are you sure the shore power is good, clean, and not reversed? If so then check all your house batt connections and make sure they are clean and tight. Also if you have lead acid house batts check the specific gravity on each cell to be sure your batts are good. Lastly check the output of converter to see if it is putting out a good voltage. If you need to replace the converter (ours is on the wall behind the drawers of a cabinet, Have to take the drawers out and it is a bear to get to.) I would check on an upgrade to one that is multi-stage. Mine runs 14.3 when first charging then drops to 13.2 or so and floats. The original Winnie converters don't do that. You can check your model drawings for the converter location. Usually in the kitchen area and inside the cabinet works somewhere.
How can you reverse shore power?
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamguy View Post
How can you reverse shore power?

Incorrect pedestal wiring.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy Itasca View Post
Incorrect pedestal wiring.
That wouldn't prevent the converter from working.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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That wouldn't prevent the converter from working.
OK so don't waste 5 minutes checking the pedestal to be sure. Let's just try to help these folks fix their problem.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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You might also check at the transfer switch. In our case we had the low voltage readings and it turned out it was due to loose connections inside the transfer switch. Which in the end burnt up the switch.
If you do check the transfer switch, make sure ALL electric is disconnected or you may get zapped.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Did you check the circuit breakers? Mine's on the same circuit as the fridge. Is the fridge working on AC?
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:45 PM   #10
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It sounds like he probably doesn't have any AC power problems, only a low battery reading when loaded with the lights. If TV and other AC appliances are working and the battery goes back to normal voltage when loads are removed it indicates a poor connection some place, more than likely the ground. Clean and tighten the battery terminal connections and the connection for the grounds to the frame.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #11
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2003 Adventurer 33ft:
Wiring: Table of Contents
Parts: http://www.winnebagoind.com/service/...GO/3wfg33v.pdf

Your rig was originally supplied with a Magnetek 7445 converter. It is mounted to the floor under the stove (pdf page 4 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_141039.pdf)

Magnetek Manuals:
Owners: http://www.parallaxpower.com/7400/51...%20rev%20H.pdf
Troubleshooting: http://www.parallaxpower.com/7400/Flowchart7400.pdf
Installation: http://www.parallaxpower.com/7400/74...0Guideline.pdf

The converter should output a minimum of 13.6VDC under max load. There are 2 30 amp fuses that should be checked. They are mainly there to protect the converter if the the battery is inadvertantly installed backwards. Still need to be checked.

Output of converter is connected to an isolated stud near the converter. One wire from the stud goes to the 12VDC distribution panel (pdf page 7 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_141037.pdf / pdf page 5 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_141039.pdf). A 2nd wire goes to the 55 Amp Coach 12VDC Power breaker under the steps (pdf page 2 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_141254.pdf). This 55 amp breaker then connects to the Coach Battery disconnect Relay which connects to the Coach Battery. If you have 12VDC to the overhead 12VDC lights when the generator is OFF and the 50 amp shore power is discoonected, then 12VDC power from the coach battery via the battery disconnect relay and 55 amp breaker is OK (sounds like it from your description). It is not unusual for battery voltage to drop if the converter is OFF and loads are turned ON.

Using the fridge in AC mode to confirm AC voltage is available will work as long as you are connected to 50 amp shore power. However, if you are in a load shedding situation, power to the converter is maintained and the EMS system will load shed the fridge (pdf page 3 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_141036.pdf). Still, you should verify 110VAC is available to the converter power recepticle.

Dave
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #12
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Smile

Thank you all for replying so quickly.
Yes indeed the converter is under the stove and it seems fairly easy to get to.
The problem manifested itself when the readings were very low for several days and we had noticed the converter had not been running.

Strangely enough the converter kicked in late last night, just after I sent the message and it has been at 12.8v almost all day. Your long distance magic worked!

We still do have one set of the fluorescent lights in the kitchen area that keep flickering, even with new light bulbs and there does not seem to be a ballast to replace. We thought it might part of the trouble with the converter. What has stumped us is the fact that it is only the one set out of the 3 light fixtures. Could it just be a lose wire? These are the fixtures that are recessed in the ceiling.

This excersize has shown us how much the 2 light fixtures in the bathroom with 6 small bulbs draw down the batteries. Today we removed the top 2 ones and the draw went from .2 to .1 and there is still plenty of light.
Our dry camping days are mostly behind us but it is still good to know what goes on with these lights!

thanks again,
Ellen
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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I thought it was my converter and two shops tested it and said it was ok. But one said maybe under a load it was not working right. after two weeks of checking every wire and relay,etc. I bought a new Intelli Power converter and hooked it up and everythingworks fine. I has a WFCO convertoer before in my Southwind.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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Problem Solved.....

The battery output still was going from 12.7 down to 11.9, depending on which lights were on. My husband decided to go into the cabinet where the converter is located and pull the plug. It seemed the prongs were not as "clean" as new and he scraped each one till the were shiny clean.
When he plugged the converter back in the reading was....13.6. WOW. The reading has stayed above 13.2 constantly now.
Our coach was built in Dec. 2002 so it is almost 10 years old and we never did any maintenance like this, so simple but so effective. Thank you all for your input and putting us in the direction of thinking about flawed current flow. Ellen
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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Check the 12VDC connections at the converter. On an older Vectra we had the converter 12VDC connections were not tightened at the factory. Took months to trace it down as it would come and go.
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