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Old 04-02-2008, 03:30 PM   #1
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12 Volt Issues of My Own

Well that old 12 volt virus must be contagious. I went out to the coach yesterday after work to get her hitched up for the 4 mile journey to the RV dealer for inspection, and no 12 volt system. I had it plugged in for about 3-4 days to freshen the battery, check the fridge, and other systems, and for general Spring cleaning duties last week. Well when I went out yesterday I had nada, zip, zilch.
Soooo all I really needed at the time was the landing gear motor so I backed the Hauler up to the pin box and plugged the coach in to the truck....no landing gear, well at least not enough juice to power it anyway. So I checked everyting else awhile. I have brakes, brake lights, turn signals, and all the clearance lights (here is the odd part) but the front ones. I checked all the fuses in the truck and they are all good. Next I drug the heavy 50 amp power cord back out and plugged the coach back in again. Still no landing gear. I forgot to check the lights to see it they were working. So I go into the coach and I hear the converter making a weird high pitched whining noise. It's a Centurion 3000 BTW. I immediately pulled the two 30 amp battery fuses and the noise stopped. Weh I put them back in it didn't make any noise. What the heck was that noise??? Is it bad to have the coach connected to shore power and the running truck at the same time??? Do you think that the converter is toast???
So wanting to keep the appointment I dug for the last resort....a manual crank for the landing gear. Talk about a slow boat to China, it took forever to move that thing a few inches. Then to top it all off when I grabbed onto the landing gear foot to put it in the travel position I got a slight tingle from the meatal leg. All bets are now off. I'm not comfortable messing with 110 AC power so I described the symtoms to the RV dealer owner and asked them to look into it. Now I'm asking all the knowledgeable folks here what they think it might be.
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Lowell, Amanda, Marley, and Winnie
1996 T-2053 (First Sunline "Little One")
2001 T-295SR (Favorite Sunline)
2003 F-304SR (Last Sunline "The Big One")
1985 T-1650 (Current Sunline)
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:11 PM   #2
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Sorry Lowell, I can't help, but you brought one thing to my mind. Be glad you don't have one of the older FW's. They only had manual landing gear, no power!

Jon
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1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
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Yeah I'm glad mine has the power landing gear, most of the time anyway. The dry pin weight on my coach is 2,400 lbs when empty, and I have a lot of stuff in the basement. Using the manual override was a chore to say the least.
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Lowell, Amanda, Marley, and Winnie
1996 T-2053 (First Sunline "Little One")
2001 T-295SR (Favorite Sunline)
2003 F-304SR (Last Sunline "The Big One")
1985 T-1650 (Current Sunline)
2004.5 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9 HO Cummins
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:37 PM   #4
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Re: 12 Volt Issues of My Own

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCampers
... when I grabbed onto the landing gear foot to put it in the travel position I got a slight tingle from the meatal leg. ...
Lowell,

Definitely sounds like thereís a short some place. Maybe a wireís insulation got scraped off and the wire is touching part of the frame.

I know with my power tongue jack on ours, if it doesnít have a good connection with the battery, it wonít work at all. But Iím not familiar with how power is provided to the landing gear on your 5th wheel.

Sorry Iím not much help. But I think you did the right thing by letting the RV dealer isolate what the problem is.

Let us know what the outcome is.

Hutch
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:02 AM   #5
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Lowell

Hímm sounds like you have maybe 2 or 3 issues going on.

The high pitch whining of your Centurion 3000. Hímm you have been infected with the dreaded Centurion older fan disease. If it is the fans, it will drive you nutsÖ.. And if it is the fans, American Enterprises now sells an upgraded converter that can drop in. You said you pulled the 2 30 amp fuses and the noise stopped. Well if your converter is what I think it is, those 2 30 amp fuses connect the battery to the trailer DC. It could be when you pulled the fuses you wiggled the converter housing and shut the fan noise up. It may have nothing to do with the fuses. When mine started to do the vibration dance, I would tap the front cover, the fan would move on the shaft bearings and sometimes shut up the noise. And then sometimes the noise would get loaderÖ .

Now to the, no front clearance lights, no landing gear and worst a tingle off the landing gear when on shore power. Did you have a few winter tenants of the chewing varity? The 120 tingle that is not good and has to be fixed. If you take a volt meter from the landing gear to a good known earth ground and have voltage, you have a stray hot wire and it has to be fixed.

Since your dealer is troubleshooting this for you, I will not go into all the details. But is sounds like something chewed or ground thru a wire bundle in the front area of the camper.

To the shore power being on and the truck plugged in and running. While that is not a normal occurrence, I cannot see how it would hurt anything. The truck alternator is regulating the battery charge and so is the Converter. They both have the same DC common so it should not be an issue. If someone else sees a problem on how the 2 power sources conflict with each other, Please point out how. The converter should sense the 13.2 volts from the truck and shut down trying to charge the battery I would think. I cannot see how you toasted the converter from what you told us.

Now a possible on why you have no coaches DC when running off the truck but do have trailer directional and some clearance markers, they are on different circuits. The directional and clearance lights are fed from the truck 7 wire plug and on the same power feed as the truck directional and parking lights. They are not tied to the converter system at all.

The inside camper 12 volt lights and the landing gear can be fed off the battery charging pin in the 7 wire plug. This is separate. If the fuse in the TT charging line from the 7 wire is blown or the truck battery charging fuse is blown, then no inside camper lights or anything will work off the truck.

Hope this helps and let us know what the dealer finds. .

John
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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Well I called the dealer this afternoon for the verdict. Like John suggested there was more than one issue. For starters the converter is toast. Well maybe not toast, but not functioning correctly anyway. They have ordered an Atwood converter that they reccomended for a replacement. I don't know much about it but I do know that I've always had good luck with the Atwood appliances in my Sunlines. So I figure a trusted name in RV appliances, and a reccomendation from the dealer is O.K. by me.
Secondly there was a bad ground that was causing the issues with the clearance lights and the jack not working from the trucks 12 volt power. I cleaned the battery terminals and the connectors but in my rush I didn't check the ground to the frame.
Thirdly I must have imagined the tingle from the landing gear. Well maybe not imagined, but mistaken it's source. They said that there isn't a problem with the 120 system. My assumption is that after I cranked my buns off trying to get the pinbox level with my hitch I immediately dropped to my knees and was pushing on the landing gear legs. The tingle was probably just my muscles, nerves, etc. reacting to the change of motion. Kinda like when you sit on your legs and your feet fall asleep. So I probably jumped the gun on that one .
If I had the time I'm confidant that I could have made the discovery and repairs myself, with some help from you guys, but time is short right now. I'm embarassed because I almost always like to tackle things myself. I think the thought of the AC problem scared me a little. I had a very bad experience with AC shock about 1.5 years ago and haven't been the same about working with it since. Oh, and the shock wasn't my fault. It was caused by sheer stupidity by the guy who owned my brothers house before him. He screwed a metal closet rod directly into the romex feeding the bedroom. We were simply hooking up a washer in the laundry room when I had one hand clamped onto the rod for support, and the other I was using to open the gate valve on the copper water supply line. As soon as I made a complete circuit you know what happened. Both my hands clamped fast onto the rod and water line and I was frozen there. I barely got out a cry for help before I couldn't breathe when my brother came from another room to check on me. He grabbed onto me to pull me free (which could have been bad) and pulled me free after three tries. I swear that I thought I was going to die. It was most definately the scariest moment of my life. I took about fifteen minutes before I could even speak. When I took my volt meter to it there was a full 120 volts going to the closet rod. Someones inept attempt at home improvement could have killed me. I won't even let my wife put the electric blanket on our bed anymore, that makes me laugh though.
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Lowell, Amanda, Marley, and Winnie
1996 T-2053 (First Sunline "Little One")
2001 T-295SR (Favorite Sunline)
2003 F-304SR (Last Sunline "The Big One")
1985 T-1650 (Current Sunline)
2004.5 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9 HO Cummins
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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Lowell,

Glad the problem has been resolved and it's on in the process of being fixed. At least it didn't turn out to be one of those never ending problems that you can't figure out.

Do you think the shock thing you thought you experienced could have been a burr on the jack pad? When you run your fingers over one of those, it could feel like a small shock.

Jon
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:40 PM   #8
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The coach is back in her spot in the driveway. Picked it up on Saturday morning. The converter was shot, this solved the no power problem, and the ground for the front clearance lights came loose and caused that problem. Everything is in full swing for the first trip of the season on the 18th. Spending the $$$ stunk, but at least I didn't loose a good weekend to go camping .
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1996 T-2053 (First Sunline "Little One")
2001 T-295SR (Favorite Sunline)
2003 F-304SR (Last Sunline "The Big One")
1985 T-1650 (Current Sunline)
2004.5 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9 HO Cummins
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