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Old 07-05-2007, 09:12 PM   #1
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smalinowski
Frustrated with the Power!!!!

OK< we are beyond frustrated with the power in our 2000 Sunline Solaris. We have been out twice in it and the last time we came home, we hooked it up to electric only to have the lights and fridge not come on. The microwave and outlets worked just fine. After researching the problem, going through every thing ten times, I opened a cabinet under the sink and a pot fell on the lights came on. Damn, I fixed it, but HOW? Then it dawned on me, jump on the floor and see what happens, well the lights went out again. I immediately though, "short" and unplugged the camper. A fellow senior RVer told me to change the battery as it was wearing out. I changed the battery and poof, everything came on again with it hooked up to electric. Now, it the lights will still go off if you jump up in down in the trailer. I have checked the fuses and the breakers. Everything seems to be in order. What is wrong here?
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
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Stacy,

I can see how you are beyond frustrated! I hate trying to diagnose electrical problems. I successfully installed three new outlets today and felt proud of myself!

I don't know what your problem could be, but I'd suggest replacing your converter. Funny things seem to go on inside there that are beyond the knowledge of most members here. Instead of stressing out trying to repair the old one (if it's even possible), just replace it.

If you use the TT in the meantime, at least you know a solution to get the lights on!

Good luck,
Jon
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:49 PM   #3
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Before you tear out all of your hair, here's a thought that may be an easy fix....

Your coach has a master fuse on the 12vdc line. Mine is located in a little wooden box that is screwed to the floor under the couch in the front of the trailer. It is rated at 50 amps, and is a fusible link. This thing is only about a foot or less away from the front wall of the trailer, and all 12vdc goes through it for the entire coach. You did say that the 110vac stuff works, but not the 12vdc, right?

I discovered the existance of mine by accidentally shorting out the + and - at the trailer to truck connector when trying to jumper the marker lights on while base camping. (Dumb, but actually useful to find the coach in the wee hours of the night.) The only way I found out about this fuse was to call Sunline's customer service, and they told me of its existance and location. It is called: BATTERY AND CHARGE LINE FUSES on the detailled layout drawing of my coach. A quick trip to the auto parts store for another 50 amp fuse, and I was back in business.

My point is that it is just a standard heavy duty automotive fuse holder, and if yours is loose in some way, jumping up and down on the floor of the coach may be just enough motion or vibration to make or break the connection. And, it is a good first step before swapping out converters, etc.

Your '00 and my '99 are probably virtually identical in stuff like this so check it out. If memory serves, all you will need is a #2 phillips screwdriver and/or a #2 square head driver.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:32 PM   #4
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Stacy,

The more I think on this, the more I am convinced that this is going to come down to a loose or slightly corroded connection somewhere in your main 12vdc line.

First, like I said above, find that Battery & Charge Line Fuse and make sure all connections are tight and corrosion free. If there is a problem there, from your description of the vibration symptom, just wiggling the fuse holder should give you an immediate answer. Make sure the fuse itself is good. If it is one of the old glass tube ones, it may have a hairline crack or the metal ends may be loose. Easy to diagnose, and just as easy to replace. I never knew I needed a 50 amp fuse in my coach, but there you have it.

Second, Sunline was always real good about not splicing wires in mid line, so you probably won't find any in your coach. (A bad or corroded splice can be a real problem child.) But it won't hurt to try to trace the main 12vdc line from the battery to the convertor and make sure there's no rubs or cuts in the wire. Same for the ground wires.

Third, check the convertor's 12vdc connections. Drop the front panel, and you will see a whole bunch of wires going into screw connectors. Make sure that each one is tight and corrosion free. One or two of them are grounds; make sure they are tight, too. The main 12vdc into the convertor is probably a real thick red wire, single conductor. That one you need to double, double check. Same goes for a similar sized white or black wire which should be your main ground.

Fourth, check all your grounds. There are a couple of places on the main chassis where they connect a ground wire. (This will mean crawling under the trailer.) It's just a standard electric connector but it could be broken or corroded or the screw fastening it to the chassis may be broken. That part is easily replaced from your local hardware in their electric dept. It's just a standard ground clip.

Fifth, check the battery connections. You may have a loose terminal, corroded connection, or a bad crimp in a wire connector.

From what you describe, it seems to be all of your 12vdc either works or doesn't, so you will want to concentrate on areas between the battery and the convertor. Once the 12vdc gets split in the convertor into the various circuits, each with its own fuse, anything on a specific circuit pretty much can't interfere with a different circuit.

As you said, jumping up and down, or dropping a pot was enough vibration to turn the 12vdc on or off. Since all of the main line 12vdc from the battery to the convertor lies just under or just on top of the floor, that tells me that the problem is in the main line and is most likely a loose connection.

Some general safety tips: If you are comfortable with electricity, you may know how to do this stuff safely with the battery connected.

However, if you are not experienced with this, disconnect the negative (ground) at the battery, make sure you're not plugged into a tow vehicle, and disconnect the 110vac shore line. In other words, make double, double sure the unit is 100% electrically dead before touching anything. Then you can safely tighten connections, etc.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:59 PM   #5
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Stacey

I think Steve is on the right track.

You said:

The fridge light won’t work. It's 12VDC
The fridge will not work. The circuit board is 12VDC.

If all the 12 VDC power goes on and off at once, many lights on and many lights off, then this points to the main feed or the DC power bus feed.

A few big picture steps to try to isolate this in additions to Steve’s.

Unplug the shore power. We will just try the 12VDC off the battery. This takes the converter "mostly" out of the equation.

Do you have any lights? Yes/No. If no it is easier to troubleshoot if it is broke then on and off.

If no, then this points to possibly the main battery feed or ground. You said you changed the battery and things worked for a bit and then stopped. Well are the battery terminals corroded, or did you accidentally make the ground cable start working to the frame?

If you have a DC voltmeter, start at the battery posts. Obviously you should have 12 volts at the posts. Then you know the battery is good.

Then try the 12 volts from hot post to TT frame to check the battery cable ground, Is this still there? If yes proceed on if not the ground cable has issues.

Then go inside where the main feed runs into the converter. Try to see if you have 12 volts there. 12 VDC Hot to ground. If yes then it is not the main feed line. If no, well have to back up and figure out why it is not getting there.

My 2004 has a main big fuse like Steve was talking about but it in a plastic junction box outside next to the battery. This may be a newer design change on the location.

And like Steve said, if you are not comfortable doing this type of troubleshooting then don't, shorting a battery can cause ills. However you thought fast on your feet to think” short” and turn off the power. So somewhere along the way you have some of this troubleshooting skills.

From what you describe I agree it sounds like the main feed line. From the battery or inside the converter on the main DC bus. If you have power to the back side of the converter, then inside on the main bus there may be something loose.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:29 PM   #6
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I'd put a little Orange Cone on the floor with a sign that says "DONT JUMP HERE" and you should have your problem fixed

On a serious note, that's a perfect scenario for a loose wire. If you can, try and follow the wires leading from the batteries to the panel and check every connection. I check mine about once a month, and have found a few that were able to be tightened up.

Pat
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