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spade117
06-12-2020, 02:26 PM
Trailer has been sitting in driveway connected to shore power since I de-winterized it about 6-8 wks ago.

Battery is reading 13.4-13.7 volts.

Today, I went to put one of the slides in before mowing the lawn and nothing happened. Tried moving the other slide and nothing. The stabilizers and tongue jack did not work either. I ended up plugging into my truck and all of the devices would work.

After cutting the lawn, I put the main slide back out while still connected to the truck. It moved very slow, but I was able to get it back out.

I disconnected from shore power and checked a few other things: lights worked fine, water pump worked.

Based on this info, I feel it may be an inverter/converter issue, but I don't know for sure and if it is, this is where I feel I lack in knowledge and need help.

Ideas? What else can I test to know for sure?

travelin texans
06-12-2020, 03:13 PM
Sounds like you're batteries are toast or you have the battery disconnect in the "store" position & not being charged while connected to shore power.
If you have 13+ volts when connected to shore power I'd say your converter is working as it should.
Have you checked water levels in your batteries? If plugged in continuously they should be checked/topped off with distilled water regularly.

Canonman
06-12-2020, 03:56 PM
The batteries are reading 13+ because they are connected to shore power via the converter. Remove the shore power. Wait about an hour and take another reading. If the batteries are less than 12.2 VDC they are basically discharged. Check the water levels. They may have boiled off during storage. If the batteries won't hold a charge you can get them tested at the auto parts store.
I'm a bit perplexed since the slides wouldn't operate even with shore power but that might be the case with your Springdale. The converter might be overtaxed charging the batteries to provide enough power to run the slides and jack.

spade117
06-12-2020, 04:06 PM
Water levels are good in the battery, I do check them regularly.

I did check the battery voltage with the shore power unhooked, but it wasn't after an hour, so I will do that and check back.

spade117
06-12-2020, 05:20 PM
I did check the battery voltage with the shore power unhooked, but it wasn't after an hour, so I will do that and check back.

After about an hour and 10 minutes with shore power unhooked, voltage reads 13.1.

Canonman
06-12-2020, 06:15 PM
Batteries appear to be OK. Have you tried the slides again? With no shore power attached?

spade117
06-12-2020, 08:48 PM
Batteries appear to be OK. Have you tried the slides again? With no shore power attached?

I did try them again. Slides, tongue and stabilizers all have no reaction (no sound, no nothing). Lights still work fine with no shore power.

JRTJH
06-13-2020, 04:37 AM
It sounds like one of the mini-breakers (there's two) that are wired next to the battery. On travel trailers, usually on the A frame bulkhead and on fifth wheels, mounted next to the battery. It may not be the "actual mini-breaker" it may be a crimp on one of the ring terminals attached to it. But the symptoms look like it's in the electrical distribution "at the battery wiring"....

Canonman
06-13-2020, 05:16 AM
You've got a real brain teaser here. Since the tongue jack is having the same symptoms as the slides, the problem is likely at the common point where they connect. If you can connect the truck and have the slides/jack work with that power source, I'm with John and suggest tracing the wiring back to the distribution block. I'd bet the slides and jack connect at the same point. If the resettable breaker is good, then check from the breaker back to the battery.
I'd meter at the jack first. Should have 12vdc there at the switch. If not then back to the resettable breaker. If no power at the input side of the breaker then it's got to be the wiring back to the battery. The charge lead from the truck may be on the "fused" side of the breaker and that's why it was able to operate the slide/jack (just guessing here)

spade117
06-13-2020, 05:58 AM
I left shore power unhooked overnight, and checked the battery again this morning. 12.9-13.1 volts still.

Since this is a weak spot in my knowledge, I've attached 2 pictures to see if that helps in directing me to correct spots to check based on the last 2 posts.

I also changed out the 2 fuses that were easily accessible to see if that changed anything, but it did not.

JRTJH
06-13-2020, 06:24 AM
Looking at your top photo in post #10, it looks like there is a red wire connected to one side of the mini-breaker and there is a red wire AND a white wire connected to the other terminal on the mini-breaker.

My guess would be that the battery power comes into that mini-breaker from the other mini-breaker and the white wire goes to the tongue jack. If that side of the mini-breaker is not receiving power, then there's also no power to the other red wire on that breaker (which probably powers the slides).

So, I'd first measure for voltage (13.1 VDC) on the terminal on that mini-breaker with two wires (1 red, 1 white). If you have voltage there, then measure the other terminal on that mini-breaker. If you don't have power on those terminals, then look at the connection on "the primary mini-breaker" (the other one in your photo)

I'd suppose that you won't have voltage on that mini-breaker, or if you do, that it's not 13.1VDC.

Canonman
06-13-2020, 06:36 AM
Excellent! Picture #1 is very helpful. Yes, these are the resettable breakers. You can see from the battery a heavy gauge cable connected to the top position on the left. Open this cover and meter for 12vdc at the top connector. One leg of the meter to the connector and the other to the frame ground located next to the breaker. If you don't have 12vdc on the top connector check the crimp connector on the cable from the battery. These are not always done real well. If you have power there then check the bottom connector. If no power there, the breaker is popped or bad. Hopefully it's that simple:)

spade117
06-13-2020, 06:59 AM
For some reason the top picture rotated, but yes, the white wire goes to the tongue jack. So top=right and bottom=left, and the primary mentioned is left and the one leading the tongue is on the right.

To confirm that I am checking properly, where exactly do I place the leads on either end of the voltmeter prongs?

spade117
06-13-2020, 07:05 AM
Canonman, I did not see your post before my last reply, but I seem to be getting different readings, so I want to make sure I am doing this correctly.

Canonman
06-13-2020, 07:14 AM
Red lead from the meter to the top post on the left breaker where the battery lead attaches. Black from the meter to the frame ground located just to the left of the breaker.
If you have good voltage there, then move your red meter lead to the bottom post. voltage reading may drop by a little, like a 1/10 or so but should be close to what you measured right at the batteries.

spade117
06-13-2020, 07:32 AM
All of this is with shore power still unhooked.

Ok, depending if I touch the top of the screw holding the terminals or if I touch the metal being held by the screw, there is some variation. All of these readings are with the black probe on the frame ground:

Top left reads about 13v
Bottom left 12.8-13v

Top right starts at around 9.5 and continues to drop if I hold it there
Bottom right starts around 8 and continues to drop if I hold it there

Canonman
06-13-2020, 10:36 AM
OK Is the white wire on the top right post going to the jack or is it from the connector to the truck? The larger red wire on the bottom post likely feeds the fuse panel in the trailer and carries power back from the converter to charge the batteries.
I'd suggest removing the white wire and take reading with it off. If the reading changes back to 12+vdc then we know there is a drain on that lead. If it doesn't change then remove the large red wire on the bottom post and and take another reading, If the reading comes back to 12+ vdc then try the slides/jack.
All the above is based on how our Cougar is wired but it looks very similar.

flybouy
06-13-2020, 01:17 PM
Looking at the second photo that ground bolt and terminals look very corroded. I'd suggest removing and cleaning or replacing to ensure a proper ground.

spade117
06-14-2020, 09:39 AM
Looking at the second photo that ground bolt and terminals look very corroded. I'd suggest removing and cleaning or replacing to ensure a proper ground.

Yes, that was the plan following the Canonman's last post.

As I was trying to remove the nuts, the corrosion was bad enough that a stud on both mini breakers broke and the wire lug ring terminal to the tongue wire snapped.

Ran up to the RV store and got replacement mini breakers and terminal.

Redid the crimp on the terminal, cleaned all the others. Put everything back together and the slides and stabilizers now work. Tongue jack still does not work. Checked the terminal that I replaced and it is showing 13.6v, so I do not know why the tongue jack will not work. The light on the jack does work, bur nothing happens I when press the retract/extend buttons.

CedarCreekWoody
06-14-2020, 12:51 PM
Check the white wire going to the tongue jack and see if it has an inline fuse. Good that you replaced the corroded parts.

spade117
06-14-2020, 01:09 PM
Check the white wire going to the tongue jack and see if it has an inline fuse. Good that you replaced the corroded parts.

It does have an inline fuse, which I replaced before taking everything apart. I doubled checked after reconnecting everything and even tried the original fuse that I replaced. Neither worked any differently.

I also hooked the trick up again to see if that did anything, but no, tongue still didn't work.

Canonman
06-14-2020, 01:17 PM
Is it possible to access the power lead to the jack? Power there would confirm a bad switch.

CedarCreekWoody
06-14-2020, 01:19 PM
Remove the inline fuse and check for power. If yes, check the switch in the jack. If no, check the power feeding the white wire.

flybouy
06-14-2020, 01:31 PM
I would also check the 3 bolts that secure the tongue jack to the frame. That's where the jack is connected electrically to ground. Pull one bolt out at a time and thoroughly clean the threads in the frame and the bolts before replacing.

spade117
06-14-2020, 02:23 PM
Remove the inline fuse and check for power. If yes, check the switch in the jack. If no, check the power feeding the white wire.

Fuse has power.

It looks like I have to remove the head of the jack to be able to get inside to check the power to the switch.

I don't have a long enough phillips head that is skinny enough to fit into 2 of the 4 access points for the screws to remove the top cover portion, so I am on hold for the moment.

sourdough
06-14-2020, 03:43 PM
You didn't say what kind of tongue jack it is. The LCI has a circuit board inside as well as a Stromberg Carlson. Something could have compromised it.

If the connections on that ground lug we saw were problematic it might be that the grounding accomplished through the jack bolts to the frame could be an issue but there are 3 and it seems unlikely they all lost connection to the frame...but, it could happen. Pull them one at a time and clean them. If you've got power thru the fuse to the jack head and a good ground it goes thru the switch, the board and motor. To me the ground is the one I would pay attention to the most, switch may or may not be accessible, board/motor assemblies? I'd buy a new jack.

Canonman
06-14-2020, 04:41 PM
I'm betting on the switch or the control board being the problem. Spade seems pretty capable and can find his way around a meter. I'd say give it a shot. Danny could be right if the cost of a replacement switch or board is $$ maybe a new jack is a better option.

CedarCreekWoody
06-14-2020, 04:44 PM
Fuse has power.

It looks like I have to remove the head of the jack to be able to get inside to check the power to the switch.

I don't have a long enough phillips head that is skinny enough to fit into 2 of the 4 access points for the screws to remove the top cover portion, so I am on hold for the moment.

Before that do as Flybouy suggested and check those mounting bolts. You may have just lost the ground, even more likely considering the corrosion you found earlier.

spade117
06-14-2020, 05:42 PM
Model is 3500 lb electric tongue jack from lippert.

The 3 ground bolts show no signs of corrosion on top or bottom.

I felt the wire was still good because the light on the jack would still work.

I was able to get the last 2 screws out, but ran out of daylight to remove the top cover. As I was putting the jack head back on the pole for the night, I checked the extend/retract button again and it worked, so now I'm thinking something is loose within the cover.

I will get back to it tomorrow after work.


For future reference, what else can be done/what have others done that can minimize the corrosion on those mini circuit breakers and ground stud, since obviously the red rubber gasket cover didn't help much and the ground stud has no protection?

flybouy
06-14-2020, 07:22 PM
I use CRC 05046 Battery Terminal Protector on my battery and exposed terminals. Spray a little on every 3 months or so.

CedarCreekWoody
06-15-2020, 02:14 AM
A dab of dielectric grease can help protect the terminals. Apply a bit to the slide on terminals inside the head as well. If you don't find a loose wire then remove and reinstall the mounting bolts. They can look ok but still be intermittent.

JRTJH
06-15-2020, 04:35 AM
The only way I know of to "prevent water damage" to those mini-breakers and the connections is to remount them inside a waterproof box that's mounted in the same location. Remove them, mount the box, route the wires through access holes in the box, reinstall everything and then seal the wires where they enter the box and put the cover on it.

That makes for difficult "accessibility" to the mini-breakers, so plan your "future troubleshooting" accordingly.....

Honestly, with the number of RV's on the road, almost all built and wired like yours and the minimal number that have "mini-breaker problems", it's not as much of an issue as you might think... Having the problem, it looks (to you) like a disaster, but it probably only happens to one in a thousand trailers during the first 3 or 4 years, so if you decide to "fix yours against future corrosion" understand that you might never see any corrosion for the time you own the trailer, even if you leave it like it is with a little di-electric grease applied to the contacts during assembly. It's the "defective crimps on ring terminals" that I find most problematic, and they're done by those "great RV workers" at the factory or dealership....

Canonman
06-15-2020, 05:40 AM
It looked like to me you have your batteries in boxes. why not these connections as well?
The location of these breakers on the front of the trailer invites weather, water and corrosion damage. I'd recommend a weather tight box like this:https://www.polycase.com/wh-02?gclid=Cj0KCQjwuJz3BRDTARIsAMg-HxXPLDmwQc2b2j5VuiPd13b-RX6Udj6bEGFkNV6AzNLAr0IuWecXGRsaAgjbEALw_wcB
Large enough to work in yet compact enough to fit your space. I think it'd be a pretty simple mod and help keep these breakers out of the elements.

spade117
06-15-2020, 08:17 AM
We do a bit of work at my place with NEMA enclosures, so I may be able to finagle one from here. Thanks for the tip.

spade117
06-15-2020, 01:56 PM
Well, I got home from work today and finished removing the jack cover. Nothing seemed loose but I made sure all were seated anyways. I took out the 3 ground screws and cleaned them up although they were in pretty good shape. Everything seems to be working now.

Hopefully it stays that way. I appreciate all your help. I was able to gain some more knowledge as well.

Canonman
06-15-2020, 02:46 PM
Good news!! Thanks for letting us know.
Happy Camping

Third Degree
06-18-2020, 07:39 AM
I know others have commented to clean up those ground wires because they look really bad. Have you done that yet? You posted they the ground looked good, but those do not.

spade117
06-18-2020, 07:56 AM
I know others have commented to clean up those ground wires because they look really bad. Have you done that yet? You posted they the ground looked good, but those do not.

Yes, I cleaned up everything and all seems to be working now.

bbells
06-18-2020, 08:51 AM
Put your volt meter on the battery. Disconnect from shore power. Have someone hit the slide button. I am sure you will see the voltage in your battery instantly drop from 13v to 10v or even less. This means your battery is fried. One or several of your plates are coated and cannot put out the amperage you need. If this doesn't happen, disconnect your batter wires and brush the contacts clean. It seems your battery cannot put out the amperage you need for the slide. If, that does not fix it you have a corroded wire somewhere. The easiest fix is to simply run a new wire to your junction and run a new wire from the junction to the converter. Cheap and a lot less messing around than trying to follow the wires.

moparmad
06-18-2020, 07:41 PM
ground wires didnt look all that good either in the picture from what i was seeing. need good clean contacts to frame, and looked like a bit of green color to one of the wires. what i see in every camper is butt connectors, crimp eyelets and spaded connectors even at the the brake drums. In my line of work i have seen well over thousands of bad connections because of just that. To this day i dont know why these manufactures cant solder and seal the connections. My suggestion would be to replaced every single connection with a solder crimp and heat shrink if your planning on keeping it for a while, because you WILL have more problems in the future. I've seen electric brake failures, power to slide outs fail, lights, and just about every intermittent problem can be chalked up to connection issues. What i also come across frequently is too many circuits on one circuit breaker. Manufacture should have added more but that would cost too much. For example all the lights on, refrigerator on and then use the slides and the breaker would trip. From the picture looks like you have two 25-30 amp wires coming off one post off a 30 amp breaker. I would also paint it after completion. helps from corrosion.

JohnP
06-19-2020, 04:00 AM
I think you are correct about the inverter being taxed thus the slow slide out .

bergmanst
06-25-2020, 05:09 PM
Dose this look like it's connected correctly?

moparmad
06-25-2020, 08:15 PM
from the picture what looks like, but kind of hard to tell is a black 4awg and a white 8awg wire on one post and just a single load on another breaker. I would move the white wire to other breaker or better yet add another breaker, a 25 amp, It would be the same size physically but rated smaller and put the white wire by itself. and the battery jumper wire is long enough to split and add a couple of eye loops to hook it all up. breakers are really cheap. that way no chance of tripping the breaker just by having everything on. I don't know what's all hooked up but that black wire can easily trip the breaker itself. then seal it all up with a good heavy duty battery terminal sealer. water is not your friend there. That is what I would do. It would also make it easier to diagnose any problems down the line if something were to happen, your not sharing a breaker. if one keeps tripping you will instantly know what circuit is the problem. Just my opinion.