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Old 07-08-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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Power converter problem

Hi, my camper is plugged in. Has new converter. Battery is good. Turned air conditioner on and when it got close to the desired temp. it would shut off and then turn on to try to keep the temp. it cause the circuit to trip. When i turned it back on the lights were dim. Does this mean i somehow managed to blow my new converter? Is it normal for the air conditioner to trip the breaker when the compressor engages frequently?

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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Where do you have it plugged in? 12-20-30 amp??? What is your TT? make/model? Do you know the size/make of your ac?
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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It sounds like you have a lack of power. If you are using a extension cord or a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter You most likely don't have enough power to restart the A/C it takes a great deal more power (amps) to restart it then it does to run it. The lighting runs off of the converter and the converter runs off of the power plug so it is normal for the lights to dim of there is a high power demand while your plugged in. The breaker will trip if there is a voltage drop due to long or too small extension cords etc.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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2001 Sunline Solaris SR T267 is the make of the camper. I am currently plugged in to a 30amp that I have designated for the camper on its owner circuit. I had just installed a progressive Dynamics power converter because my original centurion was having problems with the fans etc... I just got back from camping and was having A/C problems so i figured i'd let it run at home where i knew it had sufficient power because sometimes campgrounds themselves are the problem. It tripped at my house and now it seems like the power converter isn't running the lights as it should. Checked every fuse known. The converter fuses, circuit board fuses, even the ones under the bed and none are blown. I think i might be in over my head.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Sounds like low power to me too. They will run on less, but the initial start draws more amps and will trip an insufficient system.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:21 AM   #6
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Since you installed a new converter I assume you can use test meters and know how to safely test 110V and 12V power supplies. If not have someone else test your power supply.

It might be a good idea to double check the power at the 30Amp outlet. With all this hot weather the power company might be delivering low power at times. If you see good power at the 30Amp outlet then move to the lines going into the circuit breaker panel. Sometimes outside plugs/cords get problems.

In the 110V circuit breaker box double check the power entering and leaving the breakers. This should check your breakers to make sure full power is being delivered thru them. Sometimes ants like to follow wiring and clog contacts.

In the 110V circuit breaker box you should have a dedicated breaker for your 12V converter. Since your new converter ties into the 110V, 30Amp circuit like a TV or other appliance you can turn the converter off and still have A/C power. Turn the converter off and try to run A/C. If A/C runs good with converter turned off it could be how the new converter is wired.

Good luck finding your problem.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
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If it has it's own 30 amp circuit I'll assume it's a #10 wire and 30 amp breaker in the house so the next thing I would check is the connection in your camper breaker box (power off of course) and make sure the power connections to the buss bar show no signs of being hot or discolored. I would not think there would be an issue with the converter because if it's tripping a 30 amp breaker there would be some thing really bad inside and it most likely would not do any thing. The A/C unit has a starting cap. for the compressor if it's bad the compressor will draw a lot of power trying to start far more then normal.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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I think A/C units have harder starts after running for awhile and trying to cycle. The compressor will have lower pressures in the refrigerant lines to overcome starting the first time but once pressures are built up the compressor has to overcome line pressures.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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What do you think needs to be done to the A/C in order for it to work without blowing circuits because the A/C does come on and function but after about an hour or two it will blow circuit. I am going to have a mechanic come to my house to finally solve all the problems but it helps to be informed in order to not get taken for a ride.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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It is normal for the A/C to draw more power after it has first started as the head pressure is higher but certainly not so much as to trip a breaker. I'm guessing it trips on a restart?
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
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Exactly, it usually trips when it reaches the desired degree. It only takes a couple of restarts and then it blows. What is scary, is that my wife just came in the house saying that even though the light is on in the front of the fridge that it is not actually working and the stuff left in there was all warm. Hopefully the repair man calls back soon. Thanks for the help though, at least now i can chat with him like i know what i'm talking about.

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:13 PM   #12
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Is the breaker being tripped the Air Conditioning breaker or the main breaker that feeds all the other breakers? If the main breaker goes then the converter will stop, the lights will dim, and the fridge 110 volt element will stop even though the 12 volt DC light shows the fridge being on. If the water heater is also on the restart load would be too much for the main breaker. If the air conditioner tries to restart within about 3 minutes the pressure load may be too much, most just don't do that.

Breakers DO go bad. Once you safely make sure all connections are tight, see if the breaker gets warm or hot while the air is running. The restart load on a hot breaker will trip it.

I had a similar thing on my water heater. After running about 10 to 15 minutes the breaker would be hot and trip. I spent the whole summer running it on LP until on a hunch I replaced the water heater breaker. The breaker never even gets warm now.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsfam View Post
2001 Sunline Solaris SR T267 is the make of the camper. I am currently plugged in to a 30amp that I have designated for the camper on its owner circuit. I had just installed a progressive Dynamics power converter because my original centurion was having problems with the fans etc... I just got back from camping and was having A/C problems so i figured i'd let it run at home where i knew it had sufficient power because sometimes campgrounds themselves are the problem. It tripped at my house and now it seems like the power converter isn't running the lights as it should. Checked every fuse known. The converter fuses, circuit board fuses, even the ones under the bed and none are blown. I think i might be in over my head.
Hi Jared,

Reading your post it sounds like you may be suffering from low voltage/power on the 120 VAC side. This will raise the amps up higher and aggravate the problem.

Gene hit on a good point, what else is turned on 120 VAC in the camper?

I do not know which PD converter you have but they are a smart charger and protect themselves. Here is just one that maybe you have. I doubt you hurt the converter as it try's to protect itself.

The Intelli-Power 4600 Series Upgrade or Replacement RV Converter/Charger with built-in Charge Wizard is the Brand of choice by leading RV manufacturers.

They have built in low voltage protection and stop working to protect itself if the input voltage gets down to the 105 VAC area. If it shut down on low line voltage then your running off of battery and if long enough the battery will drain down giving dim lights. This low voltage also fits the AC issue.

Now what can be causing the low voltage?Tthis one needs to be checked 1st at the source voltage and then inside the camper. If the source is low, that is problem 1. If the camper is pulling it down it will show up on the voltage inside the camper and back at the source when everything is running.

We where just at a SP a few weeks ago that is known for low voltage. We where down to 108 volts. To get this up to run the AC unit at 110 volts I had to shut down the fridge on AC and go to gas and run HW as well on gas. I could see on my meter the voltage go up in the camper for every little device I turned off expect the AC unit. And in my case it is not the shore line cord as I upgraded to a no 8 awg SOOW cord.

Please report back so we too can learn what was found.

Thanks

John
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:41 AM   #14
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As the voltage falls the current climbs exasperating the problem. I think it's safe to say your converter is not the problem but the effect. Either there is severe voltage drop or you have an A/C unit problem. A clamp on amp meter will tell right away if the A/C is drawing too much current and a volt meter will measure voltage drop. When measuring voltage drop there must be some load on the system (some thing using power)
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:11 AM   #15
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Hi, you guys are on the right track because I charged my battery with my charger and connected it to the camper and plugged in the camper and everything works. The power conv. is a PD converter like the one EMD and John B installed. Right now everything in my camper is working perfectly. The fridge, lights, micro, internal / external plugs. My hot water heater is only gas and has no electric option but it is electronic. I believe my air conditioner is the main problem and maybe even my converter may be installed incorrectly since my father in law did it when i was at work, not that i could have done a better job but it was not professionally installed. Although it is functioning properly now. I think it shut down due to the a/c and i saw the light on the fridge on and micro light on and thought the electric was on with the lights were dim when in fact it was all running off the battery. Overnight the battery died, Converter won't work without battery so the next day nothing worked.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsfam View Post
Overnight the battery died, Converter won't work without battery so the next day nothing worked.


Well almost. If you have the PD9200 it is new enough/smart enough it does not care if there is a battery in the camper. It is more like a 12 volt power supply with a charger built in. It will power up the entire camper with no battery at all. I do it all the time.

Again if you have the PD9200 I do not know how you can hook it up wrong, well almost. It has 120 VAC coming to it. And then 12 VDC leaving it. It even has reverse polarity protection. However that said you can accidentally reverse the + and - on the 12 volt output. The converter will shut down and not kill itself but your battery will never charge. Maybe check that to be sure.

Here is the current check mainh was referring to if you have someone check this.

This is normal running current on a 15,000 btu unit. Yours may be slightly less or more if it is a dirty unit. Dirty meaning the cooling coils have a lot of dirt in them.


Here is the inrush of starting. This is what takes out small generators.


Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #17
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I still wonder which breaker is tripping. If it is the breaker for the air then it would not affect the converter. If it is the main 30 amp breaker then the converter would lose power as well as all 110 volt items.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:44 AM   #18
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Hi..Just my female 2 cents worth..is it the breaker for the AC tripping or the main breaker? Have I missed that info in your post?...just check and see if the water heater is on by any chance--too much on the circuit! I have done that myself. Also, is it a dedicated circuit back to your supply or is there something in the house running with it? If your fridge is off also,then I am assuming it is the main breaker flipping...
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:30 AM   #19
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The last time it happened the A/C shut down after trying to restart and there was a clicking sound. My circuit board in the camper showed no blown circuits and the one designated circuit from the house was not blown. Everything just stopped working and the lights went dim. It was like the A/C shut the camper down without blowing a circuit of any kind. The lights at this point were dim and i notice that the fridge lights and microwave lights were on so i assumed the electric was still working. The next day nothing worked at all. I check to see if the camper was getting power by putting a 30amp adapter to the house plug and plugging in a drill and it worked. I checked the camper battery and it was now dead. I unplugged everything and charged the battery with a separate battery charger. The next day i put the battery back in and connected, plugged the camper back in and everything works fine. I don't know what this means or what is happening but this is what happened. I have a mechanic coming thursday to double check the new installation of the power converter, to check the air conditioner and also to check on a separate issue i have been having with my bump out. I have a camping trip the week after so i hope he can make something happen. I think if i just stay away from my A/C for the time being I will be fine. If anyone has experienced this problem i would love to hear what happened. I was amazed when a circuit didn't blow, thats what made me panic to be honest.

Jared
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:01 PM   #20
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Hi Jared,

After reading your last reply and going back and reading all the rest again, what you are describing is pointing to 1 of 2 areas. Both stem from low voltage.

Here is one possible scenario.

1. You stated you are plugged into a 30 amp supply that is dedicated circuit. That supply may have issues. Something may be creating high resistance dropping the voltage. If this is the cause then this may be what occurred.

The AC was running and was actually OK, however due to the low voltage at the supply, the 120 VAC circuits in the TT now drops. It drops below 105 volts, at this point the PD 9200 convertor shuts down to protect itself. The AC keeps working but now you are running off of the battery and no charging is going on. After enough time, the 12 VDC starts dropping. If the 12 volts drops far enough due to a low battery, then the fridge will stop working at it needs enough 12 VDC to run to keep the control board working. So the fridge is now getting warm and the lights in the camper are getting dim from the dying battery and no convertor running

The microwave light, if you meant the light inside the micro wave, that is a 120 VAC light. There is no 12 VDC at all on it. For that light to get dim, it lines up with low 120 VAC volts. The AC as it runs longer pulls more current and eventually it will shut itself down on low voltage on the 120 VAC side OR the 12 VDC from the battery was so low it could not keep the 12 volt DC control board working and the control board shut it down. Again the dying battery can kill the AC unit as well as low 120 VAC supply as the controls are from the battery. The AC unit is on a 20 amp breaker. The AC voltage was low but not low enough to create 20 amps. Again we do not know what killed the AC unit. The 12 volt supply dying or low 120 VAC being too low. Since the AC unit is the largest power user in the camper, this situation would not degrade this bad from a low voltage 30 amp plug until you created a large enough draw in the camper.

While scenario 1 may not be the problem, it at least puts an answer of a possibly cause that can create all what you are describing. If this is right then there is nothing wrong with your camper. The problem is all at that 30 amp camper circuit you are plugged into.

One thing you did not tell us was, how long a time did this take to happen? Meaning how many hours elapsed from the time you turned on the camper plugged into that 30 amp supply and the camper fridge and or AC unit was on? It takes time to kill a good fully charged battery.

Scenario 2 is there "might" be a problem in your AC unit. But it does not fit the pattern as good as no 1 above. If the AC unit has an issue creating a large voltage drop, then one would think it also would create a very high current draw and potentially trip the 20 amp breaker in the camper. The compressor eventually shuts off due to reaching temp which is where the more likely problem would be. The voltage in the camper should of then spiked back up, and the convertor start working again. I do not think the fan motor can create a large enough draw to pull down an entire 30 amp supply.

If I was to to make an estimate from what we know, I'm sticking with scenario no 1. Before your RV repair guy puts a lot of time trouble shooting the camper, an amp probe and volt meter on that 30 amp supply at the receptacle while the camper is trying to run will tell him a whole lot.

Hope all this helps and please report back what you eventually find out.

John
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