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Old 07-06-2009, 03:44 PM   #1
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2002 Solaris T-2053 Electrical/Converter Question

Hi There~!

We are new owners of a 2002 Solaris Lite Model T-2053 Travel Trailer. All electical components worked when we first got it.

We are trying to get it up and running at a new permanent location. After plugging it into AC Power, most items worked until we turned the Air Conditioner on. At that time, we lost power to everything except the Microwave.

We have tried the reset buttons on the GFCI outlets. We have also checked fuses and didn't find any blown.

Any suggestions and or advice would be so appreciated.

, Suzie Phillips
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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Re: 2002 Solaris T-2053 Electrical/Converter Question

Hi Suzie and Welcome

Do you know what brand and model converter you have? I know in 2003 thru 2005 Sunline used American Enterprises. Then they switched again. I do not know how far back they went with the American.

However what you are describing sounds like is a 120 VAC problem, not a DC problem.

Are you plugged into a 30 amp 120 VAC supply? If you are only plugged into a 15 amp supply and try and run the AC system depending on what else is on you can for sure trip out the circuit breaker trying to start the AC unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncmtngirl
We are trying to get it up and running at a new permanent location. After plugging it into AC Power, most items worked until we turned the Air Conditioner on. At that time, we lost power to everything except the Microwave.
You said “most” things worked. Does that mean all you tried worked or some did not actually work. Trying to figure out what else may have not worked before you tried to turn on the AC unit.

The AC system uses circuit breakers generally unless you have something special. The little fuses are for DC. Resetting all the circuit breakers and resetting “both” GFI’s should bring it back alive for another try. One GFI is in the kitchen and one in the bath.

Tell us what does and does not work.

You also said you lost everything when the AC uint was attempted except the miceowave, what was actually on that you lost?


Do the lights work?
Water pump?

Can you plug into something in the 120VAC wall outlet and it work?

Trying to figure out what does and does not work to better help point you where to go looking.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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Hi John,

Thank you so much for your welcome & quick response-!!

- The converter is a Centurion CS 4500.

- Yes, we are plugged into a 30 amp 120 VAC supply.

- What works is the AC, Microwave and a small lamp plugged into the 120 VAC wall outlet works.

- What does not work is the radio/cd player, all lighting & refridgerator/freezer.
(And these worked prior to the AC compressor coming on).

We don't have plumbing set up yet, so I am unable to verify whether the hot water heater is functioning.

Can you tell me John, if the 12-volt lighting works off of the battery directly or the converter, where you would only use the battery as a back-up?

We suspect the battery or charger may be damaged as we were unable to charge it today. The camper has be unused for some time, so the battery is probably down.

We plan to try another battery charger in the morning to determine if that is our culprit.

I'm sorry if I'm not very clear in communicating the situation here-! I'm trying!

You are so kind to offer your help- Thanks again, so much!

- Suzie
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncmtngirl

- What works is the AC, Microwave and a small lamp plugged into the 120 VAC wall outlet works.

- What does not work is the radio/cd player, all lighting & refridgerator/freezer.
(And these worked prior to the AC compressor coming on).

We don't have plumbing set up yet, so I am unable to verify whether the hot water heater is functioning.

Can you tell me John, if the 12-volt lighting works off of the battery directly or the converter, where you would only use the battery as a back-up?

We suspect the battery or charger may be damaged as we were unable to charge it today. The camper has be unused for some time, so the battery is probably down.

We plan to try another battery charger in the morning to determine if that is our culprit.

I'm sorry if I'm not very clear in communicating the situation here-! I'm trying!

You are so kind to offer your help- Thanks again, so much!

- Suzie
H'mm OK now we know that the DC is out. All the things you listed here are 12 volts DC.

What does not work is the radio/cd player, all lighting & refrigerator/freezer.
(And these worked prior to the AC compressor coming on).

The 12 VDC comes from 2 places.

1. The 12 volt battery if it is good and charged and turned on if yours has a disconnect switch on the front

2. The actual Centerion convertor.

Since you have no lights and you suspect the battery is dead, then your converter may also be dead OR those older ones had to have a battery attached in order to work. The newer convertors can run without a battery but the olders ones, some cannot.

If you put a known working battery in, even if the converter is not working, the lights should work inside, unless the 30 amp fuse or circuit breaker on the main feed line is tripped. And that main fuse/breaker is sometimes hidden. On the 2003 and newer ones there is a box on the front of the camper with a self resetting circuit breaker in there. On the older units it had a fuse. I do not know what years they changed.

This is what a unit in 2003 built like
Up on the TT frame area




And the convertor







Now those are actual 2004 model pics but my T310SR was built in Oct of 2003. And it is an American convertor. Some where along the way, Centerion I "think" went out of buussiness and American replaced them. I may be wrong on that but I know American makes exact drop in replacements for the Centerions.

What we need to find out is if your converter, battery and main feed fuse is working at all. It could be when the AC unit came on it put a small surge in the AC line and killed a dying convertor and your battery is dead on top of this. Or maybe not, don't know yet.

You can try this 1 of 2 ways.

Un hook your actual camper battery in case it is bad. Tape or hold the cable ends apart so they do not touch. If your TT has a battery disconnect switch, turn it off.

Pull the 120VAC shore line power so you have no AC in the camper. Plug the 7 wire towing electrical cord into your truck. The truck should power the lights inside if the camper is wired like the new ones
and the main feed fuse is not blown.

Or you can try a different battery hooked up and no truck. If you leave the AC unplugged and the DC lights work, then that tells us a lot about the connections from the battery area and inside the camper is at least working.

The convertor gets more complex to test. Do you have acess to a volt meter? If you are running on pure battery, the DC voltage in the camper will be at or below 12.7 volts. If the convertor is actaully working, the DC inside will be 13.25 volts or higher, like 13.65 volts if it is charging.

Hope this helps and glad to help anytime.

John
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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.
I know I keep repeating myself John, but thank you again & again, , for your willingness to help me with this trying situation-!

To update you, I went to Walmart where I purchased the battery and found out the battery was indeed dead. I was able to exchange it for a new one having just purchased it 7 months earlier for the camper.

I was pretty excited leaving Walmart thinking I was on my way up & out of the great mysery. Would come home, hook up the new battery, and woo-lah, most of problem solved. Not! No inside lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
If you put a known working battery in, even if the converter is not working, the lights should work inside, unless the 30 amp fuse or circuit breaker on the main feed line is tripped. And that main fuse/breaker is sometimes hidden. On the 2003 and newer ones there is a box on the front of the camper with a self resetting circuit breaker in there. On the older units it had a fuse. I do not know what years they changed.

John
So now it's time to locate ( ), the possibly defected 30 amp fuse or tripped circuit breaker on the main feed line, hopefully replace the fuse or untrip the breaker and THEN come back and tell you John, the problem is solved!

Hopefully!
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:59 PM   #6
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Suzie,

Sunline didn't always place the main 30 AMP fuse in an electrical box on the A-frame. Older models have it inside the trailer. My '99 is that way, and I am not sure when they changed over to the A-frame location.

If there is no electrical box on your A-frame, here is the info to most likely find it. Your 2053 should have a front dinette with bench seats on the curb (passenger's) side and street (driver's) side of the coach. The main fuse should be in a little wooden box on the very floor of the trailer at the bottom of the driver's side bench seat. You may have to remove a drawer or the top panel under the seat cushion to get at it, but should be very easy to open up that area. On the floor you should see a small wooden box that looks like this:

This box is about 6" square. Remove the two screws, and you should see:

The actual fuse is in the lower right hand corner of the box in this picture. It is a standard automotive fuse (ATC-30) available at any auto parts store. (A lot of the bits and pieces in our trailers are readily available at auto parts stores or home improvement centers. It's my experience that the same items from an RV dealer are much more expensive.)

You may need an #2 square head driver of some kind to remove those screws. Bits in that size and shape to fit a 1/4" drive handle or drill driver are readily available at any hardware store or home improvement center.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
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The wooden box, it's THERE-!! Right where you said Steve!

Thank you SOOOO much!

I'll report back as soon as we check the fuse and replace it if necessary-!!

This is becoming FUN!

How wonderful to be able to come here and get instant answers to what would take me forever to unveil~!

My Owner's manual isn't as forthcoming as you wonderful members are!

I'm SO excited-!
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:33 PM   #8
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The plot thickens

We replaced the defected fuse.

After unplugging the 110 AC, we hooked the battery up.

We got allot of feedback, (sparks), from both battery leads.

We also found the new 30-amp fuse blown.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncmtngirl
The plot thickens

We replaced the defected fuse.

After unplugging the 110 AC, we hooked the battery up.

We got allot of feedback, (sparks), from both battery leads.

We also found the new 30-amp fuse blown.
H'mm OK a real dead battery, 30 amp main blown, new battery, hook up AC and poof again 30 amp main blown.

At this point it seems we may have 1 or a few problems and need to eliminate them 1 at a time.

Please confirm.

1. You put new battery in, put new fuse in, and things where OK at that point, no sparks yet? Yes/no?

2. While on the new battery and before the sparks flew, (plug in AC) did you try any of the lights?

3. Do you know for sure that the heavy red wire at the battery was connected to the + (pos) terminal and the white to the – (neg) terminal?

4. Can you trace out the heavy white battery wire and make sure it goes to trailer ground, the frame? It may go to the convertor and then the trailer frame depending on how your is wired.

The heavy red wire should show up in the wood box with a 30 amp fuse in line with it. (Steve, I can’t tell from your pic it is so small and fuzzy. It looks like the 7 wire for the TV cord enters that box as I see the tail lights and directional wires. But I cannot tell if there are 2 fuses in there. It looks like 2 green ones which are 30 amp, but not sure. 1 for the main battery connection , the other for the TV charging. Is this correct?)

5. Where did the sparks fly? At the fuse box up front, at the battery or in the converter panel?

Now to what happened. If we knew 1 thru 5 above it would help drill down closer.

The “might” be’s

1. Battery hooked up back wards by accident causing a polarity mix up when the converter came on line.

2. The converter itself is toast and has some type of heavy dead short in it.

3. Since I’m “assuming” the answer to question 1 way above was YES, then this sort of rules out a skinned wire shorting to ground as it would of blew the 30 amp main fuse as soon as the battery was connected.

4. Since your other battery was dead and only 7 months old, it may point to a bad converter not charging right or draining the battery internally.

5. Does hubby or someone know electrical and has a volt/ohm meter and knows how to use it? Before you put a new fuse in and power up the 120AC again, need to pull the fuse or unhook the feed wire applying the 120 VAC to the converter and unhooking the converter from the 12 VDC buss so there is no tie to the converter. Then power up the battery and new fuse if question 1 was a yes and if your battery is connected right. If question 1 was a No, then stop.

When the battery comes on line the DC should be on running from the battery and things inside work, just off the battery, no convertor. This step should only be done if the person doing it knows about normal home or car electrical and the hazards that can come with it. If the converter is bad it can bring down the DC system. We can test the converter but that means you have a volt/ohm meter and the person using it knows how to use it. I caution doing this until we know someone is electrically friendly.

Hope this helps.

And yes our forum is unique and very helpfull. A questin gets posted and we try the best was can help. Each of us has somethig to offer and learn.

Tonight I learned the 2002 unit do not have a A frame junction box.

Suzie if you can, post some pics of the convertor where we can read the words and see as much as possible. This will help tell us better what you have

John
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
The heavy red wire should show up in the wood box with a 30 amp fuse in line with it. (Steve, I can’t tell from your pic it is so small and fuzzy. It looks like the 7 wire for the TV cord enters that box as I see the tail lights and directional wires. But I cannot tell if there are 2 fuses in there. It looks like 2 green ones which are 30 amp, but not sure. 1 for the main battery connection , the other for the TV charging. Is this correct?)
John, you are correct. There are two 30 amp fuses in there. One on a red wire (8 or 10 awg.) which goes straight out to the battery + terminal. The other is on a black wire (8-10 or maybe 12 awg.) which goes right into the 7 wire cable out to the tow vehicle connector.

I tried using a 320x240 pic to save space and time. Even the full size 1.3 meg pic is fuzzy. I may have to take a better one...

Presuming that the fuse that is blowing is the battery side, then the problem is further into the unit....

(Side note: I am not thrilled with the main battery fuse located that far away from the battery so I am thinking I might install a fuse right at the + terminal on the battery. I now understand better why Sunline moved that junction box out onto the A-frame.)
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:27 PM   #11
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Hopefully this can help. I had it already uploaded from a discussion a while back about the location of it. It's from my '98 270SR.



Jon
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB

H'mm OK a real dead battery, 30 amp main blown, new battery, hook up AC and poof again 30 amp main blown.

At this point it seems we may have 1 or a few problems and need to eliminate them 1 at a time.

Please confirm.

1. You put new battery in, put new fuse in, and things where OK at that point, no sparks yet? Yes/no?

No. Things were not OK as sparks flew immediately when hooking up the new battery. New fuse blown at that time.

2. While on the new battery and before the sparks flew, (plug in AC) did you try any of the lights?

We tried the lights after hooking up (w/ sparks) to the new battery, no lights.

3. Do you know for sure that the heavy red wire at the battery was connected to the + (pos) terminal and the white to the – (neg) terminal?

Yes.

4. Can you trace out the heavy white battery wire and make sure it goes to trailer ground, the frame? It may go to the convertor and then the trailer frame depending on how your is wired.

Will try this.

The heavy red wire should show up in the wood box with a 30 amp fuse in line with it. (Steve, I can’t tell from your pic it is so small and fuzzy. It looks like the 7 wire for the TV cord enters that box as I see the tail lights and directional wires. But I cannot tell if there are 2 fuses in there. It looks like 2 green ones which are 30 amp, but not sure. 1 for the main battery connection , the other for the TV charging. Is this correct?)

Ours only has one fuse, I believe to the heavy red wire in the wooden box.

5. Where did the sparks fly? At the fuse box up front, at the battery or in the converter panel?

Sparks flew at both battery terminals.

Now to what happened. If we knew 1 thru 5 above it would help drill down closer.

The “might” be’s

1. Battery hooked up back wards by accident causing a polarity mix up when the converter came on line.

Battery hooked up correctly so this doesn't apply.

2. The converter itself is toast and has some type of heavy dead short in it.

Possibly.

3. Since I’m “assuming” the answer to question 1 way above was YES, then this sort of rules out a skinned wire shorting to ground as it would of blew the 30 amp main fuse as soon as the battery was connected.

Answer was 'no'. So it could possibly be as you suggest, a skinned wire shorting out to ground.

It blew the 30 amp main fuse immediately when the battery was connected.


4. Since your other battery was dead and only 7 months old, it may point to a bad converter not charging right or draining the battery internally.

What we fear.

5. Does hubby or someone know electrical and has a volt/ohm meter and knows how to use it? Before you put a new fuse in and power up the 120AC again, need to pull the fuse or unhook the feed wire applying the 120 VAC to the converter and unhooking the converter from the 12 VDC buss so there is no tie to the converter. Then power up the battery and new fuse if question 1 was a yes and if your battery is connected right. If question 1 was a No, then stop.

When the battery comes on line the DC should be on running from the battery and things inside work, just off the battery, no convertor. This step should only be done if the person doing it knows about normal home or car electrical and the hazards that can come with it. If the converter is bad it can bring down the DC system. We can test the converter but that means you have a volt/ohm meter and the person using it knows how to use it. I caution doing this until we know someone is electrically friendly.

Sounds like it's time to find a travel trailer repair specialist.

Hope this helps.

Most definitely.

And yes our forum is unique and very helpfull. A questin gets posted and we try the best was can help. Each of us has somethig to offer and learn.

Tonight I learned the 2002 unit do not have a A frame junction box.

Suzie if you can, post some pics of the convertor where we can read the words and see as much as possible. This will help tell us better what you have.

Will do so tomorrow~


John
Thanks Again, so much-
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncmtngirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB

H'mm OK a real dead battery, 30 amp main blown, new battery, hook up AC and poof again 30 amp main blown.

At this point it seems we may have 1 or a few problems and need to eliminate them 1 at a time.

Please confirm.

1. You put new battery in, put new fuse in, and things where OK at that point, no sparks yet? Yes/no?

No. Things were not OK as sparks flew immediately when hooking up the new battery. New fuse blown at that time.

This is problem 1. If you blew the fuse and sparks flew as you hooked up the new battery then there is something shorting out the DC system from the get go.

2. While on the new battery and before the sparks flew, (plug in AC) did you try any of the lights?

We tried the lights after hooking up (w/ sparks) to the new battery, no lights.

If the fuse blew immediatley, then all power is gone inside.


3. Do you know for sure that the heavy red wire at the battery was connected to the + (pos) terminal and the white to the – (neg) terminal?

Yes. Good

4. Can you trace out the heavy white battery wire and make sure it goes to trailer ground, the frame? It may go to the convertor and then the trailer frame depending on how your is wired.

Will try this. Please confirm in case something is not wired in a conventional mannor.

The heavy red wire should show up in the wood box with a 30 amp fuse in line with it. (Steve, I can’t tell from your pic it is so small and fuzzy. It looks like the 7 wire for the TV cord enters that box as I see the tail lights and directional wires. But I cannot tell if there are 2 fuses in there. It looks like 2 green ones which are 30 amp, but not sure. 1 for the main battery connection , the other for the TV charging. Is this correct?)

Steve, thaks for clearing that up

Ours only has one fuse, I believe to the heavy red wire in the wooden box.

H'mm, only 1 fuse?? A picture here would help on why they only used 1. Also to note in Sunline Fans pic he has a circuit breaker. He also has a slide unit. The circuit breaker is most likley for the slide motor.

5. Where did the sparks fly? At the fuse box up front, at the battery or in the converter panel?

Sparks flew at both battery terminals.

OK understood.
Now to what happened. If we knew 1 thru 5 above it would help drill down closer.

The “might” be’s

1. Battery hooked up back wards by accident causing a polarity mix up when the converter came on line.

Battery hooked up correctly so this doesn't apply.

2. The converter itself is toast and has some type of heavy dead short in it.

Possibly.

3. Since I’m “assuming” the answer to question 1 way above was YES, then this sort of rules out a skinned wire shorting to ground as it would of blew the 30 amp main fuse as soon as the battery was connected.

Answer was 'no'. So it could possibly be as you suggest, a skinned wire shorting out to ground.

It blew the 30 amp main fuse immediately when the battery was connected.


4. Since your other battery was dead and only 7 months old, it may point to a bad converter not charging right or draining the battery internally.

What we fear.
At this point, an ohm meter is needed to find the short.

All power to be off the TT. Pull the shore line plug totally unhooking the 120 VAC and unhook both battery cables.

1. Check White battery wire to ground. Is it a ground wire?

2. Connect meter across battery lead wires and see what resistiance is there. If an open circuit, then install 30 amp main fuse if it is blown.

3. If once main 30 amp fuse is installed and you have very low ohms indicating a dead short they have to start unhooking things to figure it out what is causing the short.

Remember this method will be showing resistiance thru each light blub the LP detector and maybe the fridge. Need to know what is good (normal) resistance and what is a dead short. You can check across a light bulb to find out what it's internal resistance is.

I would start at the AC power converer and unhook the DC leads from the DC bus and see if the short goes away. If no shift in ohms, still leave it unhooked and then start pulling DC fuses to isolate it down to a specific circuit and taking away the normal system resistance, thru light bulbs etc. For a dead short, a continunity checker can be used too.

Sicne the main 30 amp fuse is blowing, odds are it is something with a heavy short. If it was in one of the secondary feeder lines that are 15 amp protected, that smaller fuse would of blown long ago before the 30 amp main

It is a troublehsooting misson on to find the short.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Can you tow the trailer or do they need to come and make a house call?

Wish you where closer would come over and help.

John
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:35 PM   #14
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Well Guys, Suzie is waving the white flag today! I've got a call into a local RV repair person.

I do so appreciate your willingness to help me.

When learning the problem might be a heavy short on into the unit or possibly an expired converter, I'm not ashamed to tell you, it is over my head here!

I will report back to you in a few days, (after he has been), and let you know what he found AND what I spent to fix it.

LOL.

-Many smiles for you both, Suzie
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