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Old 05-24-2024, 01:36 PM   #21
VicentesMustache
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Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
I would open up the Giggy box next. Remove the positive power wire that feeds the trailer from it's post. Then check resistance from it to ground. If you still get the low resistance then that wire has likely melted or pinched the insulation until the wire shorted to ground.
OK…did that. Resistance from the 50 amp feed to trailer ground is 4k ohms. Resistance from the two 30 amp feeds is open.

Turns out old converter is working properly. Output is 13.65v on a 13.6v spec. Neither one of the two 35amp fuses is blown.

All breakers inside the Giggy Box appear to be in tact.

The 20amp fuse in the Giggy Box (lime green cable) is in tact.

All fuses and breakers in the power center are in tact and working properly.

House breaker is not tripped and GFCI is not tripped.

The only thing that seems off is resistance across the DC output cables that connect to the back of the converter. Those feeds go up to the Giggy box and then feed the various appliances, lights, etc…correct?

Edit: I realize that the converter feeds the DC side of the power center.

Arrrrrrrrgh!!


One more update. Pulled the positive output cable from the DC side of the power center (converter output and this cable are on the same buss, and this cable runs into the floor) and checked resistance to trailer ground (via the bus screwed into the floor) and got 0ohms. So, I guess I have a short somehwere between those two. In the floor. Which is sealed from above and below.

I’ll take any last guesses of places to look and then I think I need to go to the dealer.

#itbeatme
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Old 05-24-2024, 02:30 PM   #22
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Maybe this overly complicates things but...

When you run continuity "through" the trailer as a whole, you're running current through a lot of always-on items: the CO detector, the fridge board, the water heater board, the HVAC gateway, the thermostat, the furnace board, any lights you left on, etc. The resistance values you get are chop suey. You want a binary result: no, I have no short, yes, I have a short.

Take all the fuses out of the fusebox. (Turn off the breakers for good measure.) Now run continuity through the trailer. You had better get a total open (well, modulo the CO detector, which I think isn't fused, so maybe it's worth cutting temporarily and recrimping later). If you don't see an open, you know the short is in the trunk feed.

Now put the fuses back one by one (taking out the previous fuse as you put in a new one) and see if the resistance is way lower than it ought to be (there's some guesswork here, obviously).

To eliminate the guesswork, do a live test. Starting with all fuses out and shore power on, listen to the Giggy box and test the voltage at the battery. If it's clicking, or the battery voltage doesn't improve, you have a main trunk problem.

Otherwise start putting in fuses one by one from the top, taking the previous one out, to see if one of them causes the bad behavior. If not, then put them in one after another until you fill the fusebox or see the bad behavior. If the bad behavior occurs, take them out one by one from the top until the bad behavior stops. You can put it back in and remove the ones in the middle to see if that does or doesn't also change things.

But aren't fuses specifically to prevent exactly this type of short?

I once had a homebuilder run a GFI loop from the breaker box through the kitchen and then back to another breaker in the breaker box. Lucky I decided to make "good" labels for the breaker box that associated every outlet (using a radio) to every breaker, and discovered it -- it was a wicked fire hazard, as wel as defeating the GFI.
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Old 05-24-2024, 02:35 PM   #23
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Check the giggy box for moisture.
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:21 PM   #24
VicentesMustache
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Originally Posted by LHaven View Post
Maybe this overly complicates things but...

When you run continuity "through" the trailer as a whole, you're running current through a lot of always-on items: the CO detector, the fridge board, the water heater board, the HVAC gateway, the thermostat, the furnace board, any lights you left on, etc. The resistance values you get are chop suey. You want a binary result: no, I have no short, yes, I have a short.

Take all the fuses out of the fusebox. (Turn off the breakers for good measure.) Now run continuity through the trailer. You had better get a total open (well, modulo the CO detector, which I think isn't fused, so maybe it's worth cutting temporarily and recrimping later). If you don't see an open, you know the short is in the trunk feed.

Now put the fuses back one by one (taking out the previous fuse as you put in a new one) and see if the resistance is way lower than it ought to be (there's some guesswork here, obviously).

To eliminate the guesswork, do a live test. Starting with all fuses out and shore power on, listen to the Giggy box and test the voltage at the battery. If it's clicking, or the battery voltage doesn't improve, you have a main trunk problem.

Otherwise start putting in fuses one by one from the top, taking the previous one out, to see if one of them causes the bad behavior. If not, then put them in one after another until you fill the fusebox or see the bad behavior. If the bad behavior occurs, take them out one by one from the top until the bad behavior stops. You can put it back in and remove the ones in the middle to see if that does or doesn't also change things.

But aren't fuses specifically to prevent exactly this type of short?

I once had a homebuilder run a GFI loop from the breaker box through the kitchen and then back to another breaker in the breaker box. Lucky I decided to make "good" labels for the breaker box that associated every outlet (using a radio) to every breaker, and discovered it -- it was a wicked fire hazard, as wel as defeating the GFI.
Hmmm…my current run through the trailer was with no shore power, no batter, giggy box off, and the feeds disconnected from the converter the first time, and disconnected from the power center completely the second time.

Proceeding to live test as I think that’s logical.
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:22 PM   #25
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Check the giggy box for moisture.
Dry as a bone, but appreciate the help.
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:26 PM   #26
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Both your AC and DC circuits share a ground. There should be a ground wire to the frame at the converter and breaker box.
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Old 05-24-2024, 04:08 PM   #27
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Both your AC and DC circuits share a ground. There should be a ground wire to the frame at the converter and breaker box.
Yes sir. 14 AWG comes out of converter to a small bus screwed to the floor. Several small wires tied to the bus, but also 14 awg that goes to the fuse box, and another 14 awg on that bus that I assume goes to the frame up front. All VERY securely fashioned.
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Old 05-24-2024, 04:12 PM   #28
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Maybe this overly complicates things but...

When you run continuity "through" the trailer as a whole, you're running current through a lot of always-on items: the CO detector, the fridge board, the water heater board, the HVAC gateway, the thermostat, the furnace board, any lights you left on, etc. The resistance values you get are chop suey. You want a binary result: no, I have no short, yes, I have a short.

Take all the fuses out of the fusebox. (Turn off the breakers for good measure.) Now run continuity through the trailer. You had better get a total open (well, modulo the CO detector, which I think isn't fused, so maybe it's worth cutting temporarily and recrimping later). If you don't see an open, you know the short is in the trunk feed.

Now put the fuses back one by one (taking out the previous fuse as you put in a new one) and see if the resistance is way lower than it ought to be (there's some guesswork here, obviously).

To eliminate the guesswork, do a live test. Starting with all fuses out and shore power on, listen to the Giggy box and test the voltage at the battery. If it's clicking, or the battery voltage doesn't improve, you have a main trunk problem.

Otherwise start putting in fuses one by one from the top, taking the previous one out, to see if one of them causes the bad behavior. If not, then put them in one after another until you fill the fusebox or see the bad behavior. If the bad behavior occurs, take them out one by one from the top until the bad behavior stops. You can put it back in and remove the ones in the middle to see if that does or doesn't also change things.

But aren't fuses specifically to prevent exactly this type of short?

I once had a homebuilder run a GFI loop from the breaker box through the kitchen and then back to another breaker in the breaker box. Lucky I decided to make "good" labels for the breaker box that associated every outlet (using a radio) to every breaker, and discovered it -- it was a wicked fire hazard, as wel as defeating the GFI.
Live test complete. All fuses out, all breakers off. Hook up shore power, battery is properly connected, turn Giggy box on…and we get clicking. Again, all fuses out and all breakers off, even the main. Turned the main and the converter breaker on just to see if that would change anything, and it did not.

When Giggy box clicks, all of the red lights on the fuse panel flash. Or at least all of them with something connected to them. Also get faint green/blue light where feeds come out of converter.
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Old 05-24-2024, 05:39 PM   #29
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The battery cables "twitching" is an indication of a direct short to ground somewhere.
We briefly had a similar situation last year, but our EMS shut everything down before we could explore much. Turned out it was a short in the DC line to our slide/refrigerator. That wire was suspended by a screen door spring, held up by several zip ties. Unfortunately, the zip ties slid into the spring and didn’t ‘retract’ the wire away from the tires. A one hour trip to the campground from home was enough to let the wire bounce into the tread and open up about an inch of insulation. It was damp enough that it shorted out the first night, but the next day when we tried to troubleshoot, everything worked fine. It wasn’t until we were packing up and slid back in that we noticed the wire and the abrasion.

If I recall, we had similar clicking noises before EMS shut it down, so if you have a slide, this could be a culprit that suddenly appears…
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Old 05-24-2024, 06:21 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by VicentesMustache View Post
When Giggy box clicks, all of the red lights on the fuse panel flash.
The red light means "this fuse is blown," which, since the fuse is out, is proper operation. But this does tell us the clicking is something making and breaking the entire 12V feed to the trailer. Not having a Giggy box, I'm not familiar with it, but it sounds like there is some protective component in there that has suddenly gone overprotective.

Can you localize the sound to the Giggy box itself? Or elsewhere?

Your battery voltage, though atypically high, isn't high enough to trigger a well-calibrated over-voltage protector. (When I'm towing, the TT battery charge level reads about 14.2V, much higher than my converter, and nothing complains.)
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Old 05-25-2024, 06:21 AM   #31
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OK…did that. Resistance from the 50 amp feed to trailer ground is 4k ohms. Resistance from the two 30 amp feeds is open.

Turns out old converter is working properly. Output is 13.65v on a 13.6v spec. Neither one of the two 35amp fuses is blown.

All breakers inside the Giggy Box appear to be in tact.

The 20amp fuse in the Giggy Box (lime green cable) is in tact.

All fuses and breakers in the power center are in tact and working properly.

House breaker is not tripped and GFCI is not tripped.

The only thing that seems off is resistance across the DC output cables that connect to the back of the converter. Those feeds go up to the Giggy box and then feed the various appliances, lights, etc…correct?

Edit: I realize that the converter feeds the DC side of the power center.

Arrrrrrrrgh!!


One more update. Pulled the positive output cable from the DC side of the power center (converter output and this cable are on the same buss, and this cable runs into the floor) and checked resistance to trailer ground (via the bus screwed into the floor) and got 0ohms. So, I guess I have a short somehwere between those two. In the floor. Which is sealed from above and below.

I’ll take any last guesses of places to look and then I think I need to go to the dealer.

#itbeatme
Zero resistance men's a dead short and that is your issue. Until that's rectified further testing is uncalled for and could likely cause more damage. At this point I respectfully suggest that this is beyond your experience. Seek a qualified service center or mobil tech and have this repaired before any further damage inadvertently occurs.
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Old 05-25-2024, 08:36 AM   #32
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I think you are correct, and am pursuing that now.

Thanks all for your help!
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Old 05-25-2024, 10:08 AM   #33
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Fixed!!

Called my neighbor over. Heavy equipment and A&P mechanic. He checked all my work, called it good. Opened up the Giggy box and figured out how to turn it on with the cover open. Chased the “click” to the charge wire from the seven pin connector. Began chasing that back and found the problem.

I had thrown the seven pin cable over the tongue jack, like I have for years. In the process of loading the trailer we had jostled the cable just enough so that the charge connector on the cable made contact with one of the mounting bolts on the tongue jack. It shorted, welded itself to the bolt, and tripped the breaker in the Giggy box. The click was that autoresetable breaker resetting itself and then tripping again. Pulled the cable off the bolt and…boom everything is A-OK.

I imagine you could throw that cable over the jack a million times and not hit that connector on a bolt. One of the other six, maybe. But that specific one…unlikely.

So, we are going to try to salvage the weekend. Thanks again for everyone’s help!!
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Old 05-25-2024, 10:47 AM   #34
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That’s a 1 in a million scenario. Glad you got it fixed.
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Old 05-25-2024, 11:04 AM   #35
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I suggest you replace that 7 way cable and plug. That kind of arcing will undoubtedly cause pitting and corrosion on that connecter. With the high amperage coursing thru that cable bundle so many times there's no telling if any of the insulation inside is compromised with using a high-pot to test it. Better to replace it now rather than have it fail on the road.
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Old 05-25-2024, 02:34 PM   #36
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While you are at it, this is a PERFECT time to install an EMS. This would have sensed the power issue and shut the entire system down before you cooked something. Not a surge suppressor, but an EMS (Electrical Management System). I had mine ordered before I even picked up the new camper. Installed within a day or two of getting the camper home. I can monitor from my phone and get alerts if anything is amiss.
That Hughes Watch Dog EMS is an exceptional device.

BTW: They cover the replacement of a cooked module up to three years. As a precaution as I'm nearing that timeline I ordered a spare and keep it on board, along with the spare water pump, and spare water heater control module, as well as Thermo Fuses for the refrigerator stack.
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Old 05-25-2024, 04:22 PM   #37
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While you are at it, this is a PERFECT time to install an EMS. This would have sensed the power issue and shut the entire system down before you cooked something.
Ironically, I suspect this is one of the few situations where the above is not true. The entire cockup was on the 12V side of the trailer. I suspect it would have been entirely undetectable by any protective gear on the 120V side.
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Old 05-25-2024, 04:56 PM   #38
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Ironically, I suspect this is one of the few situations where the above is not true. The entire cockup was on the 12V side of the trailer. I suspect it would have been entirely undetectable by any protective gear on the 120V side.
True, but what is wrong with adding an EMS???
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Old 05-25-2024, 08:18 PM   #39
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True, but what is wrong with adding an EMS???
I highly recommend them. Mine saved my bacon at least once [LINK].
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Old 05-30-2024, 05:35 PM   #40
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I've plugged into 15Amps at home for decades without issue. I have a hard time believing that the 20A service is an issue. However, trying to run too much on 20A can be problematic. However, it shouldn't damage any electrical components in the trailer. If it's too much draw it should just pop the 20A breaker.

It sounds like something else is going on like a faulty 20A connection, faulty cable, faulty converter, faulty...something. Generally speaking, the connection to a 20A outlet should be fine, unless that 20A outlet is a GFI plug. That can cause issues. So, yes, multimeter and EMS and start chasing connections and output.
I would expect that neither one of the 2 amperage breakers would be adequate to run the ac, fridge, and voltage converter simultaneously. A given size breaker cannot sustain its full stated capacity continuously. De-rating 20% (3 amps for the 15, and 4 amps for the 20) will allow continuous operation without eventually tripping. An extension cord that has conductors too small, or is excessively long will also cause problems.
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