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Old 05-19-2020, 06:54 AM   #1
cmaeran
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Fan running at Power Center

When we plugged in our travel trailer this spring, we noticed a noise that sounds like a fan and traced it to the power center control box. Cannot determine why it is running. Any ideas?

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Old 05-19-2020, 07:03 AM   #2
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The converter, which converts shore power to battery power & charges your batteries, has a cooling fan that runs when the converter is under a load.
Unless you disconnected your batteries during storage they are likely very low, once you plugged the RV into shore power the converter immediately went to working hard to charge them back up. Be sure to check the water levels (should be done at least a couple times a year) in the batteries, if when removing the caps you can see the plates add distilled water to cover them.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:45 AM   #3
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Like Danny said, most likely the battery. If you let it set uncharged, in the cold the battery may be damaged beyond just filling with distilled water. I'd suggest removing the battery and have it load tested by a competent person. If the battery has a shorted cell it can damage the converter.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for your help. We had the trailer connected to electricity most of the winter, only had it off for about 30 days. The service panel indicates the battery is fully charged, the water levels were good, when we checked and the slide operated fine. Fan is still running. Hubby is going to put the battery on a trickle charge to see if it needs charging.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaeran View Post
Thanks for your help. We had the trailer connected to electricity most of the winter, only had it off for about 30 days. The service panel indicates the battery is fully charged, the water levels were good, when we checked and the slide operated fine. Fan is still running. Hubby is going to put the battery on a trickle charge to see if it needs charging.
The converter, if working properly, will charge your more efficiently than a trickle charger. Unplugged for 30 days with only the factory disconnect off, if it was, your batteries were most likely very low with the parasitic draws from CO/LP detector & the other items that do not get disconnected by the factory disconnect.
If you are running several lights, the fridge, the water heater or any other 12 volt item the fan will run til the converter cools down.
If it seems to be very noisy it's possible it's full of dust or if the previous owner had pets could be hair.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:24 AM   #6
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If you're plugged into shore power, the battery level indicator is going to show you the voltage being applied to the battery by the converter, not the charge on the battery.

The converter (and batteries) also provide power to all the 12V DC items in the trailer. This includes the lights, the furnace, the water pump, etc. If you have a large DC load, the converter will have to work harder and the fan will come on.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:31 AM   #7
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What all do you have on when the converter fan is running? Have the batteries ever been depleted? That fan motor typically indicates the converter is trying to supply power to "something" whether it's trying to replenish depleted batteries or supply power to something else and the batteries.

Our converter used to run a lot from just turning on a lot of lights when opening up the trailer. They were all incandescent at that time. Replaced them all with LEDs and that stopped that. With an 18 I don't know what kind of lights it came with.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:46 AM   #8
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Yet the converter charge the battery. It's far more powerful and sophisticated than an inexpensive trickle charger. After it's had had a chance to charge (may take 24 hrs), then keep an eye or ear out. If there is nothing on inside (i.e. lights, fans, fridge) than the fan should shut off. I'd still recommend having the battery checked. It only takes one deep discharge to greatly reduce the capacity and the life of a flooded lead acid battery.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:48 AM   #9
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Yet the converter charge the battery. It's far more powerful and sophisticated than an inexpensive trickle charger. After it's had had a chance to charge (may take 24 hrs), then keep an eye or ear out. If there is nothing on inside (i.e. lights, fans, fridge) than the fan should shut off. I'd still recommend having the battery checked. It only takes one deep discharge to greatly reduce the capacity and the life of a flooded lead acid battery.


got it! Good info - thanks. We'll check out the battery capacity.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:50 AM   #10
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thanks for the info! We turned off everything including the fridge and the fan kept running. Checking out the battery charge.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:52 AM   #11
cmaeran
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If you're plugged into shore power, the battery level indicator is going to show you the voltage being applied to the battery by the converter, not the charge on the battery.

The converter (and batteries) also provide power to all the 12V DC items in the trailer. This includes the lights, the furnace, the water pump, etc. If you have a large DC load, the converter will have to work harder and the fan will come on.

Good to know! thanks for weighing in. All the responses are very helpful in our learning curve. This is only our 2nd season.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:03 PM   #12
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If it's a WFCO converter the fan runs based on load. See the attached from WFCO.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cmaeran View Post
Thanks for your help. We had the trailer connected to electricity most of the winter, only had it off for about 30 days. The service panel indicates the battery is fully charged, the water levels were good, when we checked and the slide operated fine. Fan is still running. Hubby is going to put the battery on a trickle charge to see if it needs charging.
Whenever you're plugged into shore power, your batteries are going to read full.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
Our converter used to run a lot from just turning on a lot of lights when opening up the trailer. They were all incandescent at that time. Replaced them all with LEDs and that stopped that. With an 18 I don't know what kind of lights it came with.
We notice frequently while camping that we can turn on a single LED light (in addition to anything else DC that may be going on in the background, like the fridge board, the thermostat, etc.) and that fan will start running; turn the light off again, and the fan stops. We just accept that the fan is doing what it's supposed to.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:13 PM   #15
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We notice frequently while camping that we can turn on a single LED light (in addition to anything else DC that may be going on in the background, like the fridge board, the thermostat, etc.) and that fan will start running; turn the light off again, and the fan stops. We just accept that the fan is doing what it's supposed to.

I would think one LED fixture would not kick in the converter on its own. When I replaced the incandescents in my old trailer (38 if I recall) it made a huge difference. Prior to changeout if I turned on one light the converter kicked in. After changeout I could turn on all of them in the living room and bedroom and it never kicked on. Of course that was on fully charged batteries and nothing else running but the "background" stuff.
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:28 PM   #16
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For what it is worth the fan in the converter has been running for 3 years straight. The battery electrolyte level is OK and it provided the energy for a complete level operation 30 days ago. At this time nothing is on with 60 deg. F temps outside. About time I tear this one apart and give it a good cleaning.
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:55 PM   #17
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I would think one LED fixture would not kick in the converter on its own.
It probably didn't. It was just the proverbial straw, on top of whatever else was going on that wasn't obvious (like the turned-off radio, the charging phone, etc.)

I'm used to computer fans, where a slight increase in load means a slight increase in the fan speed. Not so with this converter -- the fan is either full on or full off.
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Old 06-06-2020, 06:40 PM   #18
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From the WFCO website: https://wfcoelectronics.com/faq/#tab-5edc3de847991

Should my fan run all the time?
No. The fan is controlled by the load. The fan will start running at a low speed when you have approx. 3.0 to 6.0 DC Amp draw. It will increase in speed as you add more load until you have approx 14.0 to 15.0 Amps draw. At this point, the fan is at its maximum speed and will stay there even if you add more load, Should amperage drop below 3.0 to 6.0 DC amps, the fan will shut off.
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Old 06-06-2020, 06:45 PM   #19
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Interesting. So far, as far as I have been able to tell, my converter has two settings: annoying noise, and no annoying noise. I haven't heard any gradations in fan speed other than "on." Or perhaps I just don't have enough equipment to demand a DC load over the first step. I'll have to pay more attention to the annoyance on our next trip and see if I can detect different levels.
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:15 PM   #20
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If you have a converter that's NOT a WFCO, it may not function like the above. If it's a WFCO, it's a variable speed fan. If your fan is "annoyingly loud" you might want to dig into the converter and clean the fan. If you've got pets (or if Keystone didn't clean out the sawdust) you may have some debris on the fan blades causing them to "wobble" which makes them far too loud to ignore.....
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