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Old 11-18-2019, 01:25 PM   #1
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No Power: Inverter or Batteries or?

I opened up the Hill Country HCT32RL on Saturday, turned on the lights and NOTHING. Started checking fuses, then 50amp shore power, all was good. When I flip the inverter breaker, it sounds like a fan spinning up for a few seconds then, it goes quiet again. I checked my 2 new (Sept. 19) interstate batteries which have been rock solid since installed, and they were reading 5-6V - DC.

I put them on a 10amp charger for an hour or so and got them up to 12.56Volts. Lights now working, but if I turn on a bunch of lights, they start to dim or flicker, increasing with the amount of load put on them. Indoor and outdoor AC receptacles read right at 120+/- volts, so they are good.

I don't think the batteries are bad, since they are so new and have had good luck with Interstate.
Could this be a bad inverter ? anything else I can check ?

I plan to put the charger back on this weekend for a good 8 hours and get the batteries good and charged, and then measure if voltage starts to decrease (perhaps something new putting a drain on them.)
In the past, when I turned on 3-4 interior lights, I could hear the inverter fan kick in, but this does not appear to be happening now. Perhaps batteries are to low to keep it going.

Any ideas my RV Gurus out there ? If it is the inverter, what am I looking at $$$ ?

All helpful comments appreciated.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
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Do you mean converter-- not inverter?
Sometimes you can get by with just replacing the board in the converter. That's not to expensive. Here is a couple links for you check out.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/power-converters/
https://www.google.com/search?q=trou...g+rv+converter
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:01 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have a bad converter. As far as cost that would depend on what brand and model converter you have. Can you do the work your self?

I had to replace the converter last year and did it myself. I have a WFCO 8900 converter and found new ones online from a dealer in Indiana. I chose to replace the whole converter rather than just the power part. Because my camper is a 04 i also changed all the breakers. To change out the whole thing you have to remove all the 12 volt and 110 wires. But if you just change out the power part you disconnect the 110 to the inverter and the 12 volt out to the fuse panel And swap in the new one.

Now this is for a WFCO brand so find out what you have as yours may be a different brand. Also when i did mine the complete converter was cheaper than just the power part.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:01 PM   #4
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Thanks Lloyd. Maybe it is a convertor.

My understanding is that I run 50amp shore power, it provides (via the breaker panel) AC voltage to the converter, which in turn powers all 12V devices (Lights, TV, CO detector, etc). So my 120v AC plugs appear to work fine, but just my 12v devices are dim and flickering.

Would this indicate a bad convertor ?
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:31 PM   #5
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If you have a WFCO converter go to their website to trouble shoot the converter.
https://wfcoelectronics.com/

I replaced the board on mine a few weeks ago and the factory rep said Amazon was the best price, about $180 for the 8900 series 65amp.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:38 PM   #6
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You are correct the converter powers everything 12 volt. Before mine went out the lights would dim down slowly then get bright again and the battery would not charge.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:13 AM   #7
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The for sure is the batteries are dead. The converter recharges the batteries.

The fact that the inverter tried to com on sort of indicates it is batteries or converter.

I would plug into an ac plug for two or three days to recharge the batteries fully.

Then unplug and wait for two hours to test with a good voltmeter. Every rv should have a permanent one installed. The batteries should read about 12.6 or 12.7. While charging via converter the batteries will read 14 or so for about 30 minutes if really low. on mine we can hear the cooling fan. Then about 13.5 for a day or more then the voltage will drop to about 13(trickle charge voltage). That pretty much indicated the converter is OK. Fully charging you batteries might take 2-3 days. Then try The fridge. If OK then you pretty much know the inverter works.

Then make sure the battery disconnect is in the off position. In a modern rv the parasitic loads will run the batteries down in days.

Go back in a few days. If the inverter is a no go then it is the batteries or more likely some electrical item mis wired. Or operator error. Like failure to turn the inverter off. On standby they draw a lot of juice.

During the PDI my dealer turned on the light in the closet to demonstrate it. Forgot to turn it off and forgot to turn the disconnect off I think. . When we picked up the fiver a month later. Same deal. Dead batteries.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:43 AM   #8
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The factory battery disconnect DOES NOT disconnect ALL parasitic draws on the battery!!! The ONLY sure way to disconnect everything is to disconnect either the negative cable, this is my chosen procedure, the positive cable or both & move the batteries to your garage, otherwise they'll be dead in a couple of days.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:37 PM   #9
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I can only tell you that my fiver batteries do not discharge much while the disconnect is off when in storage. Being a fifth wheel I could not get the hitch connected if the battery was dead.

The only item that is dc that works on my rv with the switch off is the lifting jacks in the front and brakes. Nothing else.

I would disconnect my battery for storage as they used to do in the old days.

I would assume that if a rvs disconnect was not like mine then it is wired goofy as that was the intent of the switch. All boats have these switches(sleep aboard).
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkatbay View Post
I can only tell you that my fiver batteries do not discharge much while the disconnect is off when in storage. Being a fifth wheel I could not get the hitch connected if the battery was dead.

The only item that is dc that works on my rv with the switch off is the lifting jacks in the front and brakes. Nothing else.

I would disconnect my battery for storage as they used to do in the old days.

I would assume that if a rvs disconnect was not like mine then it is wired goofy as that was the intent of the switch. All boats have these switches(sleep aboard).
The LP/CO detector, some electric slide motors, radio memories to name a few that do not disconnect with the factory disconnect by factory design as per RVIA regulations, at least on my last 2 5th wheels, batteries would be dead in a couple weeks. You'll need to rewire your disconnect or disconnect batteries if you want
EVERYTHING disconnected, may be goofy, but that's the RV industry!
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:57 PM   #11
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I pulled out the convertor, plugged it in isolated and it reads 13.6v output, which is right on spec, I took my 9 month old batteries back and they gave me two new batteries on the spot, no questions asked. even took the convertor to ppl and they tested it said it was good. I hooked it all back up and it still isn't charging, so I bought a new converter, will install this weekend and see if my problem is solved. fingers crossed.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:27 PM   #12
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Is the factory battery disconnect in the on/connected position? If in the disconnect position the batteries WILL NOT charge
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:01 PM   #13
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where might that disconnect be located ? I usually just unhook the battery.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:04 PM   #14
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Well it ended up being the convertor. Hooked up the new one and the fan immediately took off running lights and charging batteries. Upgraded from a 55amp to the 65amp, just because they didn't have the 55amp in stock and I wanted to put this to bed.

So to review:
Had new batteries that were not charging, lights were flickering, dim. Convertor tested good, with 13.6v output, but would not provide necessary amperage to charge batteries nor run lights.
Resolution: Replace converter and all is working correctly again.

Thanks everyone for their comments and assistance.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:06 PM   #15
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Congrats. Isn't it a relief when it comes together.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:10 PM   #16
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One other thing, many of your said you disconnect and remove the batteries, I'm guessing as part of your winterization process. I'm in Texas and always leave batteries in, always have shore power plugged in, and the batteries lasted 5 years. I run A/C and lights monthly just to keep things moving. I do drain hot water heater in November. I read one post that said anytime you are going to plug/unplug shore power, that you should turn off all breakers on the main panel, to prevent voltage spikes and damage to your equipment. Anyone have an opinion on that ?
Thanks again.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:26 PM   #17
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Use a device that protects your investment. Do some research for your specific needs, trailer electrical load, and risk assessment and then contact these folks.
https://www.progressiveindustries.net/


The more you pay up front, the more you'll save if there is ever any problem.


Also buy one of these
https://www.amazon.com/Yeeco-Voltmet...19054131&psc=1
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:42 PM   #18
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If using a surge protector/EMS it won't matter what you have on in the rv, the EMS has a 2 minute delay before anything powers up while it diagnosis the incoming power.
To answer your question, NO, I DO NOT turn all breakers before plugging in & won't start.
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Old 12-20-2019, 12:30 AM   #19
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When plugging in or disconnecting at home or at a campground i turn off the breaker at the pole. Just something i have done for years.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagst1 View Post
When plugging in or disconnecting at home or at a campground i turn off the breaker at the pole. Just something i have done for years.
I've always done this as well, but as I read was understanding they turn off all the breakers inside the the RV, which to me is unnecessary & I know of no one that does this.
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