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Old 12-09-2018, 04:07 PM   #1
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Issue with switching from Battery to Electrical power supply

Hi. Please forgive me for any ignorance on my part, I am a new rv owner and so I have 0 experience with the ins and outs of power conversion.

My fiance and I bought a used 2014 Sunset Trails Model ST30RK rv. When we bought it a few months ago, the technicians walked us through everything and at that time, everything worked, power turned on, etc. We had an electrician come out to update our electrical panel at the house, including a 50 amp service line for the RV.

In the meantime, the RV has been sitting in the driveway since and we are gearing up to go on a trip in a few weeks, but we can't seem to get the power to turn on. We think we may have left a light on and the battery is depleted. I vaguely remember the technician telling us how to switch between using the on board battery and an external 5pamp power cable service line at the power converter box in the kitchen, but we can't figure it out.

Could anyone give me some tips? I'm sure its something simple we are not doing correctly. The rv is plugged in but there is no power to the RV. Thank you.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:27 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome.

Open your power center/converter door and look for a breaker labeled converter. Check to see if it is turned off if it is turn it on and you should have lights and your battery should start charging.

You said that you may have left a light on? If the camper has sat for a while not plugged in there are things that will drain the battery - the radio - gas detector - the refrigerator if it was on needs battery to light. Some people install a battery shutoff to prevent this while the camper is in storage and not connected to 110.

Should you find the converter breaker is turned off leave it turned on . The lights/radio/TV booster/12v igniter on the water heater and refrigerator/Bathroom exhaust fan/slide motors all are 12 volt and run from the battery or the converter when plugged in and the converter charges the battery.

Not sure why they told you that it is necessary or that you should switch from 110v. to 12v. the converter does that automatically.

Hope this will get you started to a solution. If you have more questions please ask. There are a lot of good people with decades of experience on that will help. We all were NEW at one time!
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:50 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, there is a lot of helpful people here, they will get you going.
The convertor converts 110 volt `shore power', as it is called, to 12 volts for your lights and many 12 volts devices in your RV, as well as charge and maintain your battery.
A quick way to confirm you have 110 power, look at your microwave, the panel will be lit. Make sure all the breakers are turned on. Also, in the same panel, there are 12 volt fuses. They are usually blade type automotive fuses. My 2015 has LEDs next to those fuses, if they are blown (or out), the LED lights up.
Let us know if you are getting anywhere. We are here to help.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:23 PM   #4
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Thank you for the replies.

So the outside of the circuit breaker box panel has a switch (located on the front and bottom-right side, below the circuit breaker access door), this is the only thing that seems to have any power, is it has a small digital screen (like the kind that read out the timer on microwaves), it reads out OFF when switched in one direction, and switched the other direction reads
E 3
PE6
L 1
243
L 2
44
OR (or) OA 0A DA (?)
60H (?)

The 243 has gone up to 249 since we plugged the RV in a couple of hours ago, and the 44 has gone up to 48. I left the switch on this setting.

As for the circuit breakers themselves, all are ON at the breakers, including the circuit labeled conversion. I turned all off and then all off just in case something needed a reset. Still no signs of power elsewhere in the RV (including microwave).

To the left of the circuit box is a wall outlet with an unlabeled switch, cant tell what it does. Nothing happens when switched. Seems totally unrelated to the circuit box but i am not sure, it is outside if the circuit panel on the wall and a bit to the left.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:17 PM   #5
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Ok so with the latest info I believe that you have a "on board or hardwired surge protector" which is good. If I am correct the bad news is your 110v connection at your house is wired for 240v. L1 =243 volts. It seems to me the electrician put in a 240v 50 amp service like for a dryer or welder and the surge protector is in protection mode.

Just to be sure I went to "progressive industries" and they list error code "E 3" as 240 volt and it will not allow any power to the camper. If you have any paper work see if you have anything on a surge protector.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:30 PM   #6
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Sorry I'm not totally following, are you saying that the supply at the house is not adequate somehow? Not sure if it helps but the RV is 50 amp, at least thats what we were told when we bought it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:43 PM   #7
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When the electrician wired your RV receptacle it was wired for 240 volts not 110 volts both can be 50 amp but are wired differently. That is why you are showing "L1=243" and "L2 44" both these readings are volts. Both should be 110 -120.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:47 PM   #8
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A easy way to check for 30 amp or 50 amp is to look at the plug 3 "prongs" is 30 amp and 50 amp has 4 "prongs". Hope this helps.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:00 PM   #9
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Ok - seriously, thank you so much folks (and dagst1, thank you)

Plugs are definitely all 50amp. We have unplugged the power cord to RV at the house side and are calling the electrician tomorrow to have the line they installed looked at. I will keep you updated!
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:03 PM   #10
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Good call dagst1.
Here is a link to a document that does a nice job of explaining 50A RV wiring:

http://www.janeandjohn.org/docs/50am...stallation.pdf

I hope this helps.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:20 AM   #11
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Wow...Been reading this and it seems a bit scary to me. What would have happened if there had been no surge Protector and the RV was plugged in??? Not trying to point fingers, just trying to learn.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Wow...Been reading this and it seems a bit scary to me. What would have happened if there had been no surge Protector and the RV was plugged in??? Not trying to point fingers, just trying to learn.
If the was no surge protector all 120v appliances etc that were on would be fried including the converter.
Had the same thing happen to me and I'm an electrician. Bought a new house with rv hookups and plugged the trailer into it without checking with a meter and they had wired the plug for a dryer instead of an rv
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dagst1 View Post
Ok so with the latest info I believe that you have a "on board or hardwired surge protector" which is good. If I am correct the bad news is your 110v connection at your house is wired for 240v. L1 =243 volts. It seems to me the electrician put in a 240v 50 amp service like for a dryer or welder and the surge protector is in protection mode.

Just to be sure I went to "progressive industries" and they list error code "E 3" as 240 volt and it will not allow any power to the camper. If you have any paper work see if you have anything on a surge protector.
I agree with dagst1. Electrician must have wires to 240. Get that taken care of and you should be good to go. Welcome to the forum
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Old 12-13-2018, 03:58 PM   #14
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Also check breaker at the house. Maybe electriction left it off.
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Old 12-13-2018, 04:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TNTINC View Post
Also check breaker at the house. Maybe electriction left it off.
Good thought except his surge was giving an E3 warning.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:28 AM   #16
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Hey everyone, I just wanted to give you all a final update. The RV has been repaired and is now in working order. This will probably be a bit lengthy but I really appreciate this forum and maybe posting this will save someone else some time, stress, and $$ down the line. In sequential order, this is what went down:

1) We bought a used Crossroads 2014 ST30RK RV

2) We paid an electrical company to come out and update all electrical wiring in the house and add a 50amp RV hookup to the side of the house.

3) We plugged in the RV and got error codes suggesting that the electrician wired the RV hookup for 50 amp / one leg 240v service (rather than 50amp with two legs of 110-120v)

4) I posted on this forum seeking advice

5) We called the electrician back out. He puttered around the house and almost set it on fire when toggling the wires at the RV hookup spot. The lights in the house were flickering like a horror movie, and every surge protector we had plugged in (in the house) was fried. Strong smell of electrical equipment burning. He got the house sorted and claimed that he "fixed" the RV hookup.

6) We plugged in the RV again - and this time, no lights, no error code, literally no indication that power was entering the RV (i.e. things got worse).

7) We hired an RV technician to do a house call. He took a look at the on-board surge protector and the power cable for the RV and deemed both fried. He also looked at the electrical hookup at the house and indicated the following: a) there were only three wires, and there was no ground-neutral (black) wire at the plugin; and b) all of the wires were very loose.

8) We called the electrical company and had them talk to the RV tech. We sent photos. The owner of the electrical company (it is a small locally owned business) came out that evening and admitted that his employee wired the house badly. He did a lot of adjusting (apparently all of the wires were loose at the circuit board), and he reinstalled the wires for the RV hookup. He (electrical company owner) told us that the employee in question had previously encountered problems with RV hookups. He told us he would reimburse us for all costs to repair the RV, and for the replacement surge protectors in the house.

9) We had the RV technician come back out to install the new surge protector once it arrived (via Amazon); he indicated that the surge protector was working, as well as all the on-board appliances (via battery power), but that the power converter in the RV was also fried.

10) we ordered a new converter via Amazon and when it arrived, the RV technician came back out and installed it. Everything is now working perfectly.

Total cost:
Replacement surge protectors (inside house only): $150
Replacement RV Power Cord: $230
Replacement RV On Board Surge Protector: $230
Replacement RV Power Converter: $145
RV Technician House Calls/Labor (3 trips): $720

The electrical company owned their mistake and cut us a check for these costs. We documented everything heavily and provided receipts, and were very kind about the problems encountered - I believe this was vital in getting reimbursed. I am glad that everything is working now, we were not able to take the trip we had planned but are happy that the damage was fairly limited, i.e. none of the on-board appliances or circuitry were damaged (aside from the power cord, surge protector, and converter obviously), and our house did not catch fire in the process.

Thank you for reading, and to everyone who helped navigate these issues - bless you for being such kind, compassionate people.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:33 AM   #17
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Wow. Happy to hear that it is fixed and now it is SAFE. That could have ended badly. Good thing you had the surge protectors or it would have been much worse.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:30 AM   #18
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What a horror story! I'm glad it has finally been resolved and you now have a safe environment again.
Thanks for coming back and updating us.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:51 AM   #19
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Glad they reimbursed you for your loss. Still doesn’t make up for your loss time and aggravation. I know how that can be so frustrating but at least your repaired and problems were resolved.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:23 AM   #20
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After reading this a surge protector is on my short short list. I like the hard wire one but if I would trade campers I would have to buy another one so the in line one mite be better. Either way I am going to get one.
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