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Old 05-17-2020, 08:53 PM   #1
XeroPhane
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Lost power to 12v bedroom and bathroom lights

The 12v lights in the bedroom and bathroom turned off all of a sudden. Thinking it may be a fuse, and my tester wouldn't fit, I pulled the fuse to visually inspect. It looked fine so I went to plug it back in. Upon doing so there was a larger spark, which burnt one of the fuse ends, and now the whole fuse circuit seems dead. The fuse board has a blackened spot, and the red light that usually indicates a bad fuse isn't lit. Not sure if I killed the fuse board in the process. I realized later the switch in the bathroom that toggles some 12v circuits but the 2 lights still won't work. I'm not sure if discovering the toggle switch sooner would have saved this from happening.

I may also have a bad battery but at the time this happened, I had 2 batteries hooked up (so I think it's separate from this issue but providing as much detail as possible).

A little after this all happened, and after i switched to 1 battery, my son came back in, turned on the radio and after a minute decided to play with the slide (definitely off limits bit we just bought the trailer so we're learning the rules). I told him to stop and he let go, and then something else dawned on me. So I had him press the slide retract again. While he had it pressed, the radio had a hard time keeping power. I do think this radio issue is related to my potentially bad battery but again, I want to provide as much detail as I can.
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:54 AM   #2
flybouy
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Welcome. Let's see if we can "unpack" some of this as I'm confused (not unusual for me). Your post seems to go in several directions so a few questions.

Are you plugged into shore power? Is this new camper new to you or new as in a 2020 model? Speaking of model, what model is your camper? What amperage is the fuse you reference? You said "did have 2 batteries" connected, still connected? Do you have a battery disconnect switch and is it turned on?

"experimenting" or "playing" with the playing with the slides is not a good idea, especially if the battery(s) are not connected or fully charged. The bathroom "toggle" switch (I assume you mean the rocker style switch) should only operate the bathroom light or fan and not the bedroom lights.

Last question. When you purchased this camper did anyone go over the operation of the systems with you?
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:48 AM   #3
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Thank you! and Thank you for getting back to me!

I wasn't plugged into shore power while all this happened. This is a 2016 Keystone Passport. It's not brand new but it is new to me. We bought it a few days ago from a private party. When we toured it and bought it, 1 battery was connected although 2 were provided. Last night I had them both connected in a series before everything happened. I reverted to the original 1 battery during testing. On that note, while touring I did note the lights were very dim. The previous owner said that battery needed a charge. When I connected the 2 batteries the lights came on and were as bright as I would have expected to the normal (noticeably brighter than with just the first battery connected).

Another note on the 1 or 2 batteries: when all this happened, I also lost the RP detector. I found it was spliced into the fridge circuit. The fridge worked just fine but the detector wouldn't come on. When I removed/replaced its fuse, the red light would blink for a few seconds and then... nothing. After I removed the second battery, the detector came back on with solid green light.

When I mentioned "playing" with the slide please be aware my son is 8 years old. That switch (all switches really) are off-limits. However, he did see how I operated the slide, and while I was crouched over the breaker/fuse panel he wanted to give it a try. That's when I immediately told him not to touch it - except of course when I noted the radio issue.

I thought so too about the bathroom toggle. Yes it is the rocker switch. However, we did find the radio turns on and off with it somehow.

When I purchased it, the previous owner went over some things but not the electrical system apart from pointing out where the battery is, and where the breaker/fuse panel is.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeroPhane View Post
Thank you! and Thank you for getting back to me!

I wasn't plugged into shore power while all this happened. This is a 2016 Keystone Passport. It's not brand new but it is new to me. We bought it a few days ago from a private party. When we toured it and bought it, 1 battery was connected although 2 were provided. Last night I had them both connected in a series before everything happened. I reverted to the original 1 battery during testing. On that note, while touring I did note the lights were very dim. The previous owner said that battery needed a charge. When I connected the 2 batteries the lights came on and were as bright as I would have expected to the normal (noticeably brighter than with just the first battery connected).

Another note on the 1 or 2 batteries: when all this happened, I also lost the RP detector. I found it was spliced into the fridge circuit. The fridge worked just fine but the detector wouldn't come on. When I removed/replaced its fuse, the red light would blink for a few seconds and then... nothing. After I removed the second battery, the detector came back on with solid green light.

When I mentioned "playing" with the slide please be aware my son is 8 years old. That switch (all switches really) are off-limits. However, he did see how I operated the slide, and while I was crouched over the breaker/fuse panel he wanted to give it a try. That's when I immediately told him not to touch it - except of course when I noted the radio issue.

I thought so too about the bathroom toggle. Yes it is the rocker switch. However, we did find the radio turns on and off with it somehow.

When I purchased it, the previous owner went over some things but not the electrical system apart from pointing out where the battery is, and where the breaker/fuse panel is.
Are you sure that you "connected them in series" ???
If so, with two 12 volt batteries connected in series, the output to the trailer electrical system would be 24 volts and if you "only have a light problem on one circuit, you're extremely lucky !!!!! The comments about "lights seemed much brighter and the LPG detector blew the fuse and wouldn't come back on until I only had one battery connect sure sound like you connected the batteries to provide 24 VDC to the trailer (series) rather than 12 VDC to the trailer (parallel).
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:08 AM   #5
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Both batteries “in series” would put 24V into a 12V system. A pair of 12V batteries should be parallel, positives together and negatives together with trailer leads on opposite batteries. 6V batteries need to be hooked up in series to achieve 12V.

You may have just burnt out the lights in the bedroom, but without a Volt meter, there’s no way of knowing what’s going on.

Looks like John was quicker this morning
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:11 AM   #6
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Before this goes any further, (I can see Marshall right now with his head in his hands!) please tell us all that your statement "Last night I had them both connected in a series before everything happened" was meant to read parallel versus series. If not, you may be in more trouble than you know.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:18 AM   #7
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Maybe this will help. https://www.google.com/search?q=rv+b...CytMPrOi1kAE36

Slow to respond now, can't type with my face planted in my hands.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:54 AM   #8
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Yep. Looks like I did it incorrectly. I did do it in series. In my defense, when the previous owner pointed out the battery, he said "here's a 12" extension cable in case you want to hook them up in series." And yes, just 1 cable was provided. Excuses aside, now I understand that I messed up. What should I look at first to see how badly?
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:44 AM   #9
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EVERYTHING you tried to turn on or operate while connected to 24 volts.
Hopefully it won't be too $$$$ painful.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:50 AM   #10
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I would leave those batteries disconnected and pull open everything you turned on or switched to see if anything was melted, burned or opened up when it was hit with the 24v. I would pull the light fixtures etc. then connect the batteries and start reconnecting one at a time to make sure nothing is shorted. Isolate each item one at a time or you will just have to start undoing one at a time after something causes it to fail upon hookup. I wouldn't be surprised if the awning motor and converter aren't toast as well.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:06 AM   #11
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Yep. Looks like I did it incorrectly. I did do it in series. In my defense, when the previous owner pointed out the battery, he said "here's a 12" extension cable in case you want to hook them up in series." And yes, just 1 cable was provided. Excuses aside, now I understand that I messed up. What should I look at first to see how badly?
Couple questions..... do you know anything about electricity? Do you own a VOM and know how to use? If no, get some help, as in someone that's experienced. Not being a jerk here just no reason to chance compounding the problem.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:08 AM   #12
XeroPhane
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I don't know where you all stand faith wise but I said a small prayer before just coming back out to test everything. I had blown light bulbs in both the affected rooms. I replaced those and everything in the whole camper works normally. Believe me I tested everything and all systems are fully operational. Even the red light on the fuse board works again when a fuse is bad or removed.

This seems to me like a REALLY close call and I'm thankful it wasn't more costly than a few bulbs. Thank YOU ALL for the insight and advice. I've learned this lesson!

If there's anything else you think a noob like me can learn from I'm all ears haha. Such as after everything I plugged into house power to recharge the battery. Anything I should be aware of there other than house outlets not being the same as true shorepower, voltage loss over cord length, 30 vs 50, etc?

Thank you!!!
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:11 AM   #13
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Couple questions..... do you know anything about electricity? Do you own a VOM and know how to use? If no, get some help, as in someone that's experienced. Not being a jerk here just no reason to chance compounding the problem.
I do. I understand I don't have any credibility here after such a stupid slip but I grew up around cars, and have been doing house electrical since my Granddad taught me when I was young. Great point though and I may consider a professional assisting me in the future.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:20 AM   #14
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I do. I understand I don't have any credibility here after such a stupid slip but I grew up around cars, and have been doing house electrical since my Granddad taught me when I was young. Great point though and I may consider a professional assisting me in the future.
The question wasn't disparaging but intended to get an idea what you were comfortable doing. As for faith I believe you had an angle on your shoulder on this one. You could have literally caused thousands of dollars in damage.

I'd suggest looking closely at those batteries and at a min pull them and have them load tested. I'd replace them both as it's suspect why one was not connected at time of sale. If you are going to dry camp a lot consider getting 2 6 volt batteries and connecting in series now that you know how. Sorry, couldn't help myself.

As for plugging in at home.... If the trailer is 50 Amp then wire a 50 Amp receptacle. That way you can use all the available air conditioners etc. If your going to go the 15 Amp route the fewer adapters the better and about all you can run inside is the converter and the fridge on electric, no air conditioners or water heater on electric.

I know it's easy to spend other's people's money (I should have gone into government work), but those two recommendations may save you money and headaches long term.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:21 AM   #15
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OP, yes, you had an angel on your shoulder and congrats on the repair being successful. I would have suspected worse damage and hopefully nothing was damaged that starts to appear later - but keep in mind this incident if funny things start happening related to 12v items.

Like Marshall suggested, I would just buy 2 batteries. It's always better to have 2 batteries in the same state of wear/age than mismatched batteries because the bad one will cannibalize the good one. With the way it sounds this played out; one battery not connected because ??? and the other already in a state of discharge (who knows how much) I would suspect the batteries aren't up to par. To that end I would just replace them to avoid another "what the heck is going on?" moment. Good luck.

Edit: Forgot to add that since it is new to you and a '16 model be SURE and check those tires. Look at the manufacture date. It matters not what the tread looks like, they age out first. If they are the OE tires they need to be replaced. You don't want another "holy cow" moment when you take it on the road.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:44 AM   #16
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Xero, you are what my little grandson would call a "lucky duck!" Don't change that to dead duck; take Danny's tire advice to heart! (And the battery advice also)
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:00 PM   #17
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Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate the advice and patience.

Marshall and Danny - I will definitely look into those recommendations. Great to know (both battery and tire-related)!
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by XeroPhane View Post
I do. I understand I don't have any credibility here after such a stupid slip but I grew up around cars, and have been doing house electrical since my Granddad taught me when I was young. Great point though and I may consider a professional assisting me in the future.
Donít sweat it. Iíve seen seasoned techs do the same thing. Iíve seen new techs hook up a pair of 6V batteries in parallel and then wonder why nothing works.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:02 PM   #19
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I'd also highly recommend 2 other additional pieces of equipment,
#1 a surge protector/EMS, hardwired or portable
#2 an adjustable water pressure regulator, not the little restrictor the original owner may have thrown in the deal.
Appears all of us should work for the government the way we're spending your $$$.
Too bad we can't just print more!!!
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:04 PM   #20
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I'd also highly recommend 2 other additional pieces of equipment,
#1 a surge protector/EMS, hardwired or portable
#2 an adjustable water pressure regulator, not the little restrictor the original owner may have thrown in the deal.
Appears all of us should work for the government the way we're spending your $$$.
Too bad we can't just print more!!!

Well, in MY defense, I didn't work for the government but I DID spend the night at Holiday Inn Express once!!
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