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Old 03-18-2014, 10:18 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer Power Issues

Okay...dumb question for you experts out there. Getting ready for our first season. Problem is that my battery is not taking a charge. I have had the battery tested and it is bad.

Regardless of a bad battery, shouldn't I be able to draw power off of shore power...at least limited power anyway...say, enough to turn on the lights?

I've checked the inline fuse and it is okay. I have also pulled my fuses and they seem to be okay. Breakers are on and everything looks okay.

In short, will a bad battery muck up the whole works?
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:20 AM   #2
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If the battery is shorted, it may prohibit anything else from working. Disconnect it and try the lights.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=JasonE;
In short, will a bad battery muck up the whole works?[/QUOTE]

If I had to guess, I would say , yes.
You have to buy a battery anyway, so why not go get one and put it in and find out?
My experience has been that bad batteries don't take a charge.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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I was headed out to buy one today as I am in town and live out in the middle of nowhere. As long as I was in town, I was trying to think of anything I could be missing.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:51 PM   #5
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You didn't hook it up backwards and fry anything did you?
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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I had a Blue Ridge fiver that had a battery disconnect switch. Apparently, that disconnect separated the battery from the inverter, but not the loads from the battery like you would think. The first two times I used the furnace, it worked great for a couple of hours, then quit firing. I thought that because I was on shore power, it didn't really matter whether the disconnect was closed or not. I couldn't have been more wrong. What was happening was that the furnace blower was still running off the 12V battery, but the battery was not charging. As the battery ran down, the blower was slowing down and moving less air across the sail switch that is interlocked with the gas valve to the furnace. I took it back to the dealer twice and had a cornbread fit before a guy on the Forest River Forum explained to me what he thought was happening. He was right. I always made sure the battery disconnect was closed from that point forward and never had another minute's trouble with the furnace. I say all that to say that RV wiring isn't always as you would think. I thought the whole purpose of a battery disconnect was to take the load off the battery to keep from draining it in storage, but apparently that isn't how that particular Blue Ridge was wired.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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I installed a battery disconnect on our trailer so that when I am hooked up to shore power at home I do not overcharge the battery and all our 12 volt still works when disconnected.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:11 AM   #8
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Disconnect the battery when on shore power and if things work okay, the battery is the cause. I have been full timing on shore power for six months with no battery installed. This all assumes your 12 volt converter is working properly.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Well folks, at the end of the day it was the converter. I should have known as the fan on the converter wasn't kicking on....and Carl's point above. Duh.

Thanks for all the help guys.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:04 PM   #10
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Been there done that. Sorry to hear tho, they're not cheap. If you are handy enough, troll the internet for a good price and install it DIY.

Also, since mine died while on a trip, I always carry a portable car battery charger. When my converter went I hooked it up to the battery and it carried me through the week until I could get another converter.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:32 PM   #11
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Thanks Mark. Got out of it fairly painlessly. $390 installed in less than 24 hours. I learned the same lesson. Went into the closest town that we were camping near and bought a small trickle charger. Saved the day!
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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I've been told that you shouldn't run the inverter without a battery installed because there is no load and the inverter will over heat and burn out. Not sure if this is true or not...
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:31 PM   #13
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st.rodder2,

Do you mean converter (120v->12v)?

If yes, that's good to know. Actually I've heard stories where trailers were wired so that the current 12 volt lines is cut if a battery is not connected.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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I always called it a converter but the service tech would correct me and say it is a inverter. Just looked in CW and they call it a converter. So what ever it's called, I was told not to run it for a long period of time without a battery connected.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:56 AM   #15
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I have a WFCO 8900 Series converter and I contacted WFCO Electronics asking if a battery was required to be connected to the converter when using it to power the RV. The answer:
Our converters do not require a battery for them to work.


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Old 04-30-2014, 07:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st.rodder2 View Post
I always called it a converter but the service tech would correct me and say it is a inverter. Just looked in CW and they call it a converter. So what ever it's called, I was told not to run it for a long period of time without a battery connected.

No worries, just didnt want you to get the wrong thing. Inverters are pretty cool if you have the batteries to support it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:18 PM   #17
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I mix them up too. Easy to remember:

120v AC->12v DC = Converter
12v DC-> 120v AC = Inverter
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:13 PM   #18
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The battery only supplies supplemental power when using heavy 12 volt loads. This would include slide, landing gear, jacks, etc. Also could apply if using every 12 volt device in the unit.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:35 AM   #19
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carl,

Your right, and the way I understand it if you install an inverter, it pulls from the batteries. Too pricey for me and I question how long you can run anything 110 off one or two deep cycle batteries.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:09 AM   #20
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Inverters of any size are usually coupled with a multiple battery bank. Other wise they would be pretty much a waste of money.
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