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Old 11-20-2022, 09:32 PM   #1
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First post, old question, doin' the search but...

Good day everyone from this part of Tennessee.

Had the great opportunity to purchase a new-to-me 2021 2108FBS that was itself essentially brand new; used maybe a total of 6 weeks tops then spent the rest of its life in nice indoor storage. We love it.

We took it on its first real shakedown cruise this weekend at a nearby TN State Park where we were hooked to 30A shore, water along with additional power courtesy the factory installed flexible solar panel, GoPower! controller and the single deep cycle marine battery on the tongue. (I'm sure y'all know more about the specs of my rig than I do right now.)

So, before asking the question(s) as I continue abusing the search feature trying to find the answer while I conduct my own bit of "test everything and test it again," let me set the stage:

Friday night we set up for sleep in what would be mid 20s for the outside temp. Shore power hooked up, battery showed fully charged and life was good. On goes the furnace and we settled down warmly for some Netflix and chill.

Fast forward to the morning and we wake up around 0630 to find that when we turn the lights on they were dimmer than we remembered; the furnace would try to kick on but not with the gusto expected and would then quickly shut off; and something "just didn't feel right." Plus, it was chilly.

So, my first thought was shore power might have tripped and I was operating purely on battery and the load from the furnace and fridge and lights and something else was just too much for it. After a quick check the 30A connection is good and no breakers inside the rig were tripped.

Ok then...

After reading through the material in the red Winnebago zipper bag that came with our TT, and listening to my DW who was faster on google than I was, I learned that our furnace is part of the 12V system so I go outside to check the battery and...of course it's nearly dead (as measured by the GoPower!). Being very cold outside certainly didn't help it.

We ended up cutting our trip short a day as DW wasn't liking the idea of another cold night with no "you said this had the winter package" heat.

Now cut to the question(s) as I work to determine that I don't actually have a problem of some sort with the inverter, battery, furnace, or my mental abilities.

- Wouldn't the furnace blower run on shore power alone, provided the inverter is working - regardless of the battery's state?

or

- Does the furnace blower only work if the battery is within spec given that the battery is inline to the 12V system

and, if so

- would I need to disconnect or bypass a dead/faulty battery in order for shore power via the inverter to power the blower (and other 12V systems)?

or

- Why wasn't shore power charging the battery via the inverter if the battery is required to operate the blower and other items in the 12V system?

- Was the draw of the furnace, plus cold temps, greater than the power to charge it? (1 step forward, 2 steps back?)

I hope this makes sense.

We've RVed many times before but this is the first TT/RV we've ever owned. And while I'm not a dummy I'm also not smart.

Like I mentioned, I'm keywording the heck out of this forum's search engine right now but would appreciate any insight y'all might have.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-21-2022, 10:50 AM   #2
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First, I doubt you have an inverter (device that changes 12v to 120v). I am sure you are confusing that with your "converter (device that changes 120v to 12v)."

With that said, if you are plugged in, the converter s/b supply power to all your 12v as well as charging your battery (regardless of the battery's state of charge). You said you checked the shore power connection and breakers inside the TT. How about the pedestal breaker - did you actually turn if off and back on? If yes, I would guess your converter has an issue, as it sounds like it is not providing a full 12v. You can pull the cover off and check the voltage reading using a multimeter (use an unoccupied fuse slot, or pull a fuse for the positive and the 12v buss as the negative.

It really sounds like you lost shore power and were operating off the battery until it died.
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Old 11-21-2022, 10:58 AM   #3
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I agree - when on shore power everything such just work and the battery should be charged or charging.

So, either the shore power quit working (entire campground or your pedestal) OR you converter quit working for some reason. Reasons could be from simple to complex - a blown circuit breaker in the TT's power center or a failed converter.

That's really all there is to it. Everything 12v or 110v works off of the converter when you are plugged in.

Did you test the shore power connection - i.e. did the Microwave work when plugged in?

PS. I doubt you can search for this issue... because you don't know what the issue is you only know the result of the issue.
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Old 11-21-2022, 02:31 PM   #4
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Senior,
12v appliances like furnace, lights, fans, and of course the fridge, if it’s a compressor model, will not work if there is insufficient amperage coming from the battery, no matter if you are on shore power or not. The charger/converter merely supplies ac 110v power to the rv, but it does not provide any 12v power, except that which it send to the battery for charging. And all the amperage that is coming from shore power will not pass through the battery if it is shot. The converter/charger does not send any 12v power directly to 12v appliances. It all comes through the battery. Therefore, of your battery is toast, nothing that runs on 12v will function even if you’re plugged into shore power. When you get back home, I’m sure your battery when tested will confirm that it’s a dead dog. Since it’s a Marine deep cycle, you need to replace it anyway because you’ll never be happy camping with a single marine deep cycle. They don’t have sufficient charge cycles to meet anybody’s needs, and when they are more than 50% discharged, they start exhibiting Peukert effect, which will make your appliances misbehave. Get rid of your marine deep cycle and replace with a reliable true deep cycle battery. There are many options to choose from, and lots of threads that discuss the topic.
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Old 11-21-2022, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
Senior,
12v appliances like furnace, lights, fans, and of course the fridge, if it’s a compressor model, will not work if there is insufficient amperage coming from the battery, no matter if you are on shore power or not.
Jim, I usually agree 100% with your statements. But that comment above about how 12v works on shore power goes against everything I know about converters in RVs. In fact, you can power all 12v appliances in your RV without a battery if you have a working converter and are on shore power.

What you've said is true about 12v on a RV with an inverter/charger - but not converter charger.

A converter reduces 110v AC to 12v DC and supplies all 12v power to the power center when on shore power.

With an inverter/charger and no converter then yes, the batteries supply all 12v power and the charger section of the inverter keeps the batteries charged while they are providing power to 12v loads.
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Old 11-21-2022, 06:29 PM   #6
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Folks, thanks for all your responses - your knowledge and experience are invaluable and I appreciate it.

And yes, I realized I may have used the wrong term: meant the converter not inverter (that's what I get when I try multitasking).

Don't think it was a loss of shore power as the microwave worked just fine that night and I did confirm that the shore power breaker hadn't tripped and all indications pointed to good power from the post.

I'm down to a few things to confirm:

- bad power cord, even though the little red light at the connector was lit, I'm not ruling it out.

- bad receptacle on the TT itself where shore power plugs in. Winnie's are supposed to have that little green light on the cover light up when you attach shore power - mine never did light up but I've read countless accounts where that little LED has failed and it's almost gimmicky. But, if that were the case I shouldn't have been able to use the microwave...?

- converter failed overnight and I ended up running purely on battery.

- drunk gremlins.

Again, appreciate y'all's comments. I'll let you know when I learn more.

V/R
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Old 11-21-2022, 09:03 PM   #7
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With an inverter/charger and no converter then yes, the batteries supply all 12v power and the charger section of the inverter keeps the batteries charged while they are providing power to 12v loads.
Actually, the "charger" in an inverter is a "converter" as it converts the 120v AC to 12V DC to charge the battery(s) and is connected to the positive buss, the same place the battery's positive terminal is connected to. The same is true for the converter. I suppose you can turn the charger off in the inverter so all the loads would be off the battery even while plugged into shore power, but why would you go that? I also suppose you could actually isolate the batteries and let the inverter's charger supply the TT 12v DV loads, as long as it doesn't exceed what the inverter can supply (unless the inverter's manufacture states never to operate the charger without batteries connected).

There are no magic electrons that flow from the "charger" into the battery and then turn around and go back out on the same wire to power a 12v DC light, pump, or other load. The only time you would draw from the battery is when the total load (amps) exceeds what the "charger" produces. If I remember right, the positive lead from the converter attached to the DC positive buss right at the DC fuse panel and the wire from the battery also connects there, but the battery is 25 feet away on the tongue.
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Old 11-21-2022, 09:22 PM   #8
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Senior,

If you decide to see if you are getting 12v DC out of your inverter, you will need to pull the negative cable off your battery before pulling into shore power. The test I suggested will tell you if you are getting 12v, but not watts or amps. My converter puts out 55 amps. I suppose something could go bad in it, making it only put out an amp or two at 12v and my test will not tell you that. If it is only putting out a few amps, your heat fan would suck down your battery power pretty fast!
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Old 11-22-2022, 06:26 AM   #9
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Sorry, I was in fact in my comments thinking inverter/charger. As stated, the converter/charger is connected to 12v distribution bus and battery.
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Old 11-22-2022, 06:35 PM   #10
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When shore power is connected and actually powering the battery charger function, the battery will test approx. 13.8VDC. If you do not test a minimum of 13VDC the charger is not working.
The reason for that can be simply a tripped switch/breaker or as serious as a failed charger component.
With an in-between cause of dirty/corroded, loose battery connections.
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Old 11-23-2022, 07:13 AM   #11
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Thanks, again, for the comments and engagement.

As I continue with my self-taught/self-qualifying Electrician's Mate 101 course, I believe it's coming down to a faulty/failed converter courtesy of a couple of literal stink bugs I found crawling around when I took the panel off the breaker.

It's possible one may have shorted something out in its journey across the circuit board of the converter but I'll know more hopefully today when I can go back with my multimeter and test the ins/outs.

Now I'm wonder the converter is still under warranty or will I need to ask Santa for a new one...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

V/R
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Now I'm wonder the converter is still under warranty or will I need to ask Santa for a new one...
If you replace it, you might want to book into putting in one that is lithium compatible, just in case you get a wild hair to upgrade to that type of battery sometime in the future. Also, you will not need to replace the whole unit, just the electronic portion. Pretty easy swap.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:32 AM   #13
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If you replace it, you might want to book into putting in one that is lithium compatible, just in case you get a wild hair to upgrade to that type of battery sometime in the future. Also, you will not need to replace the whole unit, just the electronic portion. Pretty easy swap.
That's a good idea - I do plan to add/upgrade the batteries and solar. l'll have to do some research.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:53 AM   #14
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Or install an inverter/charger and disconnect your converter if you want 120v off-grid, but that is not so simple. LOL
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:58 PM   #15
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Happy Day After the Fullest Day of Your Life day.

I think I've figured out the culprit and I'm sorta surprised - but while I'm 98%+ that it was the issue, I'm going to run another bunch of tests to see.

I ran my DMM across everything on the breaker panel and distribution bus, tested at the battery again, and at the manual breaker junction on the a-frame and everything showed what you'd expect.

I marked up the attached pic so I've essentially ruled out that my converter is bad. Power in and power out as measured. (The blue 12v actually measured 13v.)

What I think ended up being the issue was the Progressive Industries surge protector that was installed inside the unit. What pointed to this being a/the culprit was when I started powering up systems (fridge, furnace, all the lights) the unit would sound like it was tripping - and all the beeps I had heard on our shakedown cruise were there - it was a "that didn't sound right" sound, even though I wasn't sure what I was expecting to hear.

So, I ended up pulling it out and rewiring the pos/neg/ground wires back to the breaker panel as if from the factory.

I cycled all the power again and turned everything on and...things just ran. Battery didn't seem to be draining either and it showed 12.1v on the Go Power! and on the L F G C scale it was G (I realize that's not the best of indicators but I was checking all the meters) and all the measurements on the breaker in the pic stayed the same.

I suspect the Progressive Industries surge protector was shorting out with a bad ground causing it to continually trip/reset or it's just faulty. Either way, it's outta the rig.

More testing this weekend but, fingers crossed, it's fixed.

V/R
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:33 AM   #16
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Welp, I'm now stumped.

Brought my TT to the house to run off shore power (and to make my trips from my garage to the driveway easier) and started my power test with the furnace running, the lights on and the fridge going. Microwave and TV were all working just fine. Did one more set of testing on my panel to confirm 120v/12v/13v in out and all read fine. Locked her up and went to bed.

Woke up at 0630 to find the battery dead and all things 12v non-functional. Ran the MM on the breaker and it still shows 13v out of the converter, 10.98v in from the battery, 120v from shore power...

All y'all's wisdom has been helpful and I'm going to go back and try (again) a few things you suggested but like I said, I'm stumped.

I'm focusing on the manual breaker/junction box on the a-frame and the battery itself because I don't know where else to focus this growing frustration.

On the manual breaker, when I push the little button in it never felt like it seated properly but I presumed it was fine because power was flowing; I'm wondering now if it should push in, click, and stay "in" and not just push in/out like a spring...?

This is fun.

V/R
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Senior View Post
Welp, I'm now stumped.

Brought my TT to the house to run off shore power (and to make my trips from my garage to the driveway easier) and started my power test with the furnace running, the lights on and the fridge going. Microwave and TV were all working just fine. Did one more set of testing on my panel to confirm 120v/12v/13v in out and all read fine. Locked her up and went to bed.

Woke up at 0630 to find the battery dead and all things 12v non-functional. Ran the MM on the breaker and it still shows 13v out of the converter, 10.98v in from the battery, 120v from shore power...

All y'all's wisdom has been helpful and I'm going to go back and try (again) a few things you suggested but like I said, I'm stumped.

I'm focusing on the manual breaker/junction box on the a-frame and the battery itself because I don't know where else to focus this growing frustration.

On the manual breaker, when I push the little button in it never felt like it seated properly but I presumed it was fine because power was flowing; I'm wondering now if it should push in, click, and stay "in" and not just push in/out like a spring...?

This is fun.

V/R
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When in doubt, check the fuses one more time, especially if you didn't check all of them the first time. I didn't check the 40a fuses.

Both my 40a fuses were blown...

Maybe, just maybe, this might be my problem.

If you've read this far, thanks for sticking around. lol.
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:14 AM   #18
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Dumb Question

Please forgive my ignorance, but WHAT the heck would blow two (2) 40A fuses????

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Old 11-28-2022, 04:20 PM   #19
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A couple of comments: A battery reading 12.1 volt is 60% discharged. I never take a Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) battery (resting state, no charge or discharge for at least 2 hours) to less than 12.20 volts, or 50% discharge. When you are less than 11 volts, the battery for all purposes is fully discharged (capacity wise). Very many times at that level, and the battery is damaged. I like to have a battery monitor, connected directly to the battery terminals, and also one which gives rate of discharge/charge, as well as amps in and out. Something like the Victron Smart shunt, can be read on a smart phone, or the Victon 712, on a gauge and smart phone. (I have also had good luck with the Chinese knock off of the Victron 702, for a fraction of the price.)

With a 21' travel trailer, it will probably be fairly well heated with one of the 1200 watt ceramic cube heater. We have even used these in a 42' RV when heating the "bedroom" area. With our 25' Via, that suffices in temps down close to 30*--thus you are not using the propane up, or consuming the battery as much.

Now you have to find out why the 40 amp fuse is blown. Usually this is a direct short--and some critter chewing a wire can cause that. Also even in a "like new" unit there still can be corrosion. So check all of the main cables, if any corrosion, clean with a brass or stainless steel wire brush and coat with a small amount of dielectric grease when hooking back up.

The usual digital volt meter will read up to 10 amps, with the "10 amp input". You can buy nice clamp on meters which will also. measure AC current, as well as DC current up to 400+ amps. I find this it handy in diagnosing problems in RV's to be able to measure current flow out of chargers and alternators.
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:50 PM   #20
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Please forgive my ignorance, but WHAT the heck would blow two (2) 40A fuses????

cthiggy
I'm dumb and don't have an answer but my suspicion was the dealer-installed surge protector because I'm not convinced that it was properly installed to begin with.

Four of the six screws were missing on the cover when I pulled it out from behind the breaker panel, and when I was uninstalling it, one of ring connectors "attached" to the ground wire going from the inside of the unit to the breaker panel looked like it was crimped on with the strength of my 1yr-old granddaughter, so that could have been a factor.
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