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Old 01-14-2021, 07:17 PM   #1
bigbill21
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Replaced Converter, still no good

I recently replaced my converter, (old one stopped working).
Now with the new one, I have the 13.6 on the converter, and both of the reverse Polarity fuses are good, but I do not have any voltage going to my Battery. With the Cable disconnected and using the frame for ground I cannot find positive voltage.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:22 PM   #2
Carl n Susan
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I am betting the old converter was fine. Either the disconnect switch is isolating the batteries or one of the 50 amp breakers is shot. Use a VOM to check the voltage on both sides of the breakers and at the switch.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:34 PM   #3
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There are two 12 volt "automatic reset circuit breakers" mounted on the bulkhead at the front of your trailer (between the A-frame members). My guess is that one of them is corroded and no longer allowing the charge voltage to get to the battery cables.

You'll probably need to remove your propane tanks to get access to the area, unless you can lay on a creeper and slide under the A-frame.

If you decide to take them off, TAKE A PHOTO before you start disconnecting them. It's very easy (far too easy) to get them "miswired" on reconnection.

On some trailers, the mini-breakers are inside the front passthrough, but usually they are on the bulkhead.

Here's what you're looking for on the bulkhead. There will probably be a red plastic cover over the terminals.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:40 PM   #4
bigbill21
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thank for your reply, but I am confused...

what and where would the disconnect switch be located?

Either the disconnect switch is isolating the batteries or one of the 50 amp breakers is shot. Use a VOM to check the voltage on both sides of the breakers and at the switch.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:43 PM   #5
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OK that is going to be next for me. I do have ONLY ONE of those, but it is right where you described it.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbill21 View Post
thank for your reply, but I am confused...

what and where would the disconnect switch be located?

Either the disconnect switch is isolating the batteries or one of the 50 amp breakers is shot. Use a VOM to check the voltage on both sides of the breakers and at the switch.
Not all RVís have a disconnect switch, mine doesnít. Look for and check the circuit breaker John mentioned.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:53 PM   #7
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No idea what year or what model trailer you have, so it may not have come with an OEM battery cutoff switch. If it has one, it will look similar to this photo. Where it might be located is anybody's guess. I'd start near the battery, possibly in the front passthrough. Also here's a photo of my battery compartment with the battery cutoff switch shown.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:52 PM   #8
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Thanks for the additional info
My camper is an outback 21.

I will check the auto reset breaker in the morning. Iíve pretty much been all over this camper and havenít seen anything like that, but I will look some more.

I had basically ruled out the auto reset breaker because I tested both poles and didnít see any voltage. (Using the trailer chassis for the ground)
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:06 AM   #9
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Today I removed the auto reset breaker.
Across The two poles are zero ohms,
But I knew that already because when the battery is connected everything (lights refrigerator etc all work).

Another question would be shouldn’t all that work off of the converter when there is no battery connected?
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbill21 View Post
Today I removed the auto reset breaker.
Across The two poles are zero ohms,
But I knew that already because when the battery is connected everything (lights refrigerator etc all work).

Another question would be shouldnít all that work off of the converter when there is no battery connected?
If your plugged into shore power and the battery isnít connected, yes you should have 12V at the fuse panel.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bigbill21 View Post
I recently replaced my converter, (old one stopped working).
Now with the new one, I have the 13.6 on the converter, and both of the reverse Polarity fuses are good, but I do not have any voltage going to my Battery. With the Cable disconnected and using the frame for ground I cannot find positive voltage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbill21 View Post
Today I removed the auto reset breaker.
Across The two poles are zero ohms,
But I knew that already because when the battery is connected everything (lights refrigerator etc all work).

Another question would be shouldnít all that work off of the converter when there is no battery connected?
If I understand this correctly you have output voltage from the converter but nothing works unless the battery is connected. Sounds to me like the circuit from the converter is broken somewhere. My first inclination would be to check the converter ground of the 12v DC side to the frame for continuity.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:43 AM   #12
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Converter will have a heavy gauge wires for positive and negative that go to the DC fuse panel. Battery should have leads that go to the DC fuse panel. Converter will have an additional ground to the frame.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:53 AM   #13
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You should have at least two, possibly 3 or 4 "mini-breakers" in the supply wiring from the battery to the converter. They usually are all in the same area with a heavy gauge cable connecting the + ends as the 12VDC runs from one to the other. The various functions will "tap off of individual breakers" as the electrical distribution narrows to each area that is powered.

Here is a photo of one such "bulkhead breaker arrangement". Yours may be similar or you may find "the rest of the breakers located nearby, but not adjacent to the one you found....

There will be a "main mini-breaker" and then one or more "branch mini-breakers. Typically, the "onboard battery cutoff switch" will turn off power to the "branch feed breakers" but leave power to the main breaker (which supplies power to all of the safety monitor devices like the LPG detector, slide motors, landing gear, tongue jack, etc).

Depending on "where in that mini-breaker chain" your converter is connected, any interruption of breaker continuity between that point and the battery + cable will interrupt your converter charging capability.

ADDED: IN THE FOLLOWING STEPS, REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL PROBABLY ENCOUNTER UNPROTECTED CONNECTIONS THAT WILL HAVE 120VAC. THOSE EXPOSED CONTACTS CAN BE DEADLY IF YOU HAPPEN TO TOUCH ONE AND ARE GROUNDED IN ANY WAY. SO USE EXTREME CAUTION AROUND ANY EXPOSED CONNECTIONS OR COMPONENTS WHERE 120 VAC MAY BE PRESENT...

I'd start by removing/disconnecting the battery, then plugging in the trailer to shore power. Measure the voltage output of the converter (should be 13.6VDC) then start measuring that power presence along the trailer distribution. It should be 13.6VDC at the power center DC distribution buss bar where the DC fuses are located. One of those "may protect the charge line". Check for DC power availability on each of the fuse locations to be certain the fuses are conducting "through the fuse" to deliver power. I can't begin to count the number of "visibly good fuses" that were actually "bad".... So, an ohmmeter or verifying power "THROUGH" the fuse is important. Then, since you say you do not have 12VDC on the + battery cable, start tracing the "charge line from the converter/DC fuse panel as far as you can, when you reach the point where the cable goes "into the dark void of the basement" then go to the battery cable clamp and start measuring for voltage going to where that end of the cable "goes into the dark void of the basement".... From the converter, if you find a place where you "lose" power or from the battery, you find a place where you "gain" power, you've found your issue.
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:14 AM   #14
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Thanks for the additional info
My camper is an outback 21.
I have a 2014 210TRS. On my trailer, there are two of those autobreakers on the frame right near the battery box. One is the main one, and the next one in line is for the slide. My trailer is in storage right now, so I can't get pics. My rig did not come with a battery shutoff switch.

I had a problem with the main ground on the trailer last year. Lights would dim more than they should have when a large load(slide) was applied. I checked everything else out, and verified I seemed to have the right voltage everywhere.

However, when I was checking the voltage the meter, I was using a spot other than the main ground as a ground. When doing that, voltage read fine on the meter, but things were still not right... That's when I decided to unscrew the main ground from the trailer, and I found a lot of corrosion at that connection. That was the wire from the battery to the frame. I cleaned everything up really well, and my problem was solved.

You have gotten lots of good info here. I won't try to rehash it all. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:06 PM   #15
bigbill21
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Success! At long last

With much thanks to JRTJH, and all the other folks trying to help me out.

Ran down the problem to find the ground from the converter was off the chassis.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:10 PM   #16
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Both those lugs appear to be aluminum and should be replaced with copper lugs while you are doing repairs.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:08 PM   #17
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Both those lugs appear to be aluminum and should be replaced with copper lugs while you are doing repairs.
Bob.. I think they are CU-AL approved for copper or aluminum. We use them in our shop.
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