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Old 02-16-2017, 11:41 PM   #1
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How do you check if a power converter is working OK?

I pulled my 2013 CR ST 5th wheel out of storage last Sunday and loaded one of my auxiliary deep cycle marine batteries along with the main trailer battery into the rig. After each trip, I pull the set of deep cycle marine batteries and the 12 volt main trailer battery and put all three on trickle chargers. Yesterday, my wife was in and out of the trailer loading groceries and clothes. She smelled nothing unusual. This morning I opened up the trailer and was hit with the powerful and awful smell of rotting eggs.

I initially thought that maybe the gray and black water storage tanks were off-gassing up through the plumbing since it has been about 5 months since we last took the trailer out of storage. I also checked all the gas connections to the fridge, stove top, oven, water heater, etc. All checked out with no leaks and all operated normally.

This evening I decided to check the battery water levels and found that the deep cycle marine battery had cooked itself dry and this was the source of my odor. This is a 3 year old Walmart battery so I suspect it reached the end of its life and gave up the ghost. The main trailer battery was fine and was holding at 12.6 volts. I installed by second deep cycle marine battery and checked its charge. It was 12.5 volts. I also noticed when I hooked up the second marine battery that the power converter inside the trailer did not start up like it usually does when I hook up a battery.

How do you check to see if your power converter is working properly? Here is a picture of the power converter CR installed in the unit. I suspect from the name that it came from China.
Any thoughts or suggestions?

D.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:07 AM   #2
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Some posts on the topic.
I learned something on converters back then, and these threads were a good refresher course for me.
http://www.crossroadsowners.com/foru...ters-9822.html

http://www.crossroadsowners.com/foru...-out-9816.html

http://www.crossroadsowners.com/foru...rter-2209.html
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:13 AM   #3
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Our converter doesn't seem to be charging. I read the trouble shooting from progressive's website. It seems to be ok. Took both batteries to parts house. They had to charge them to be able to test and one was bad. I reinstalled the "good" one but after their charge wore down back to the same problem of no 12v even with onboard generator running. It was the maiden voyage and it hasn't been noticed plugged in at home. had to use another car with jumper cables to get slides in and the legs up. Could both batteries have been bad and one tested good? Should I start with 2 new batteries and try that? I ready the links above at I do have voltage at the charger/ converter, I guess I'm wondering if it thinks they are charged and drops to a lower charge rate even if they are not charged? I never did see above 13.5v even when they were dead enough to not run lights. Am I supposed to see 14v?
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:31 AM   #4
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The converter should put out about 13.6V if the batteries are good. That is what it will put out also if no battery and no load (lights, etc) is connected to it's output. If you have a battery disconnect switch, then it is ez to check the converter voltage level at the 12v DC fuse panel with a voltmeter. I have a cheap 24v display wired to the fuse panel so it always shows health of the 12v DC system. When hooked to shore power it will show 13.6V, when not it will show 12.5V and drop as the battery is depleted.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:30 PM   #5
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With the gen running, I should be able to disconnect battery, and still have 12v lights, etc. ?
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by s.atkeson View Post
With the gen running, I should be able to disconnect battery, and still have 12v lights, etc. ?
Technically yes, but it's not good practice. The converter is expecting to be connected to a battery, which serves as a surge protector on the output side. Running a converter on shore power subjects it to fluctuations, and much more so on generator. So if you are connecting a fluctuating input to a problem converter, and don't stabilize the output across a good battery, you might damage the converter.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:27 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I wouldn't run without batteries connected just from a troubleshooting​ standpoint. I couldn't get much troubleshooting help from crossroads or the dealership so I called progressive dynamics directly. They were great. 30 mins on the phone and he seems to think I have a loose ground to the converter. Which makes sense, it worked great up until our maiden voyage ( 10 hour drive or so) and may have worked loose. I do electrical for a living and hate working on cars! ( Or 12v anything really) lol but I'm on the right track now I hope. I will let you all know good news soon hopefully.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:37 PM   #8
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Loose connection somewhere is inevitable...these guys assembling these rigs are not licensed electricians like is required for a house and they tighten just enough so they can go the the next trailer ...and so on , then go home early...Plus no quality assurance in plant or even end of the line testing.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:52 PM   #9
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Found the bad connection! All is well now.
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Old 03-29-2017, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Found the bad connection! All is well now.
That is good news to hear!

D.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:25 PM   #11
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What did you find out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donjamin View Post
I pulled my 2013 CR ST 5th wheel out of storage last Sunday and loaded one of my auxiliary deep cycle marine batteries along with the main trailer battery into the rig. After each trip, I pull the set of deep cycle marine batteries and the 12 volt main trailer battery and put all three on trickle chargers. Yesterday, my wife was in and out of the trailer loading groceries and clothes. She smelled nothing unusual. This morning I opened up the trailer and was hit with the powerful and awful smell of rotting eggs.

I initially thought that maybe the gray and black water storage tanks were off-gassing up through the plumbing since it has been about 5 months since we last took the trailer out of storage. I also checked all the gas connections to the fridge, stove top, oven, water heater, etc. All checked out with no leaks and all operated normally.

This evening I decided to check the battery water levels and found that the deep cycle marine battery had cooked itself dry and this was the source of my odor. This is a 3 year old Walmart battery so I suspect it reached the end of its life and gave up the ghost. The main trailer battery was fine and was holding at 12.6 volts. I installed by second deep cycle marine battery and checked its charge. It was 12.5 volts. I also noticed when I hooked up the second marine battery that the power converter inside the trailer did not start up like it usually does when I hook up a battery.

How do you check to see if your power converter is working properly? Here is a picture of the power converter CR installed in the unit. I suspect from the name that it came from China.
Any thoughts or suggestions?

D.
This happened to my battery this morning. Just 1 year old. So was your Power Converter bad? Autozone tested the battery and said it was good. I caught it before it cooked all the water out.....but it was really warm. Want to test Power Converter.....just check the output volts at the battery terminals with a volt meter tester? Any advice would be great! Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
So was your Power Converter bad? Autozone tested the battery and said it was good.
Turns out mine was a bad battery, not a bad power converter.

D.
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:33 PM   #13
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This happened to my battery this morning. Just 1 year old. So was your Power Converter bad? Autozone tested the battery and said it was good. I caught it before it cooked all the water out.....but it was really warm. Want to test Power Converter.....just check the output volts at the battery terminals with a volt meter tester? Any advice would be great! Thanks!

There is some good info on this thread.

http://www.crossroadsowners.com/foru...sue-10390.html
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