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Old 05-03-2021, 01:32 PM   #1
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Exclamation Converter Clicking, No hot water pressure

Hi All,

I have a 1996 sunline solaris travel trailer.

I recently bought this from someone who owned it for several years.

After hooking up to shore power I started hearing a clicking noise coming from the converter box area. I removed the cover and the fan is not working, it was pretty gunked up with lint and dust which I have cleaned out.

The clicking occurs about every one minute or so. The lights flicker when clicking. Unsure if this is normal, overheating because the fan isnt working (although didn't feel very hot holding hand in front of it) , or something wrong with the thermal sensor/breaker?

None of the fuses are bad and no breakers tripped. I checked the battery as well with a multimeter which was reading 12V
Can't get lights to run on just battery though if not plugged in to shore power

I can't seem to find any manuals on the RV.

Also unable to get hold water via electric, can get it using propane but water pressure dies to a trickle after a few seconds.

I don't really anything about RV's yet, still figuring it out so any help appreciated.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:40 AM   #2
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Welcome Kscacc01!

You may have several things going on to cause all the issue you are seeing. I'll do an easier one issue first, or at least to check that is.

The water heater on electric, please provide a model number of the heater so we know exactly which vintage you have. The model tag is outside behind the drop down white door.

1. There is normally a dedicated 15 amp circuit breaker in the power converter for the water heater. Check if that is on. It will not heat without that on when plugged into shore power.

2. Your vintage heater may have a small on/off rocker flip switch on the back of the water heater itself. That switch is in a real hard place to get to many times, it has to be on to get the electric element to work.

3. Sometimes prior owners upgrade the water heater electric switch to have one of their own out in an easy location as it can be really hard to get to the little switch on the back of the heater. Not sure if yours was ever converted, but something to check, it would need to be on.

4. The actual electric element is burnt out. This is a common issue as if the water heater was empty, (no water inside it) and someone accidently flipped the switch on, it would burn out the element in short order. A few minutes or less. Once burnt out, the element has to be replaced and that can be a job all by itself pending where the heater is mounted. That element can be froze (corroded) in place and a real bugger to get out. If this happened to the prior owner, they may have just left it and only used the gas as it can be hard to change it. The element itself if not that costly, assuming you can get the old one out and not damage the tank threads. If the tank threads are damaged, then the whole heater can be bad.

Have a look for the first 3 items, they are the easy ones to correct. There is a way to test with a volt/ohm meter if the element is burnt out, this takes someone with electrical background to do on 120 volts AC.

The power converter, again here is is good to post the brand and model you have. Pictures really help too. We and you have no idea if a prior owner changed out the original to some other brand. Sunline changed models/brands as the years went by so do not exactly know which you may have.

I'll give some big picture things that may help, the fans in the converter may be on a thermal sensor and will not turn on unless the converter gets hot enough to need the fan. Not all converters are like this, but many are. So the fans not working could be normal.

The clicking, again needing to know the brand and model. That clicking could be a problem that the converter is not working. And you said the lights inside do not work on battery alone, but do work when the converter is plugged in, yet you get clicking.

One other very important part, the battery voltage. We need to know the exact voltage number with at least one decimal point. When the converter is working and connected to the battery, the voltage should be at least 13.3 volts and could be 13.6 volts. If the voltage is truly 12.0, the battery is very discharged. 12.7 volts is 100% charged, 12.10 is 50% discharged and 11.51 volts is 10% charged or 90% discharged close to dead. As you can see, we need the exact number your meter reads.

By knowing the voltage, at the battery, we can tell if the converter is even working. If the converter is connected to the battery and working, the voltage will be 13. something

It may be your type of converter has a relay (a high power switch) inside it to control the charging to the battery and allow the battery to supply power to the camper. This is where the brand and model come in. The newer power converters do not have this older relay feature and are more automatic. Relays do go click and can chatter when they get told to turn on and something keeps turning them off.

Give us some more to go on, pics of the converter, make/model and the exact voltage at the battery and we can help more.


Manual

We have copies of the owners manuals here on our site, when you are logged into the site, you can download a copy for free from our files section.

In case you have not yet found our FILES section, there is a lot of great resource info in there. Including most all of the sale brochures from way back when, owners manuals, appliance manuals and other good stuff.

The sales brochure has a lot of good info on your model camper that is hard to come by in one organized spot. Just scroll to your year and download a copy. Same for the owners manuals.

To get to the FILES section, you have to be logged in. Look up top along the forum for the words "FILES". That is a tab, click it. Then select the area you want to go to can read on for hours, days, maybe even weeks...



A heads up, RV camper owners manuals are not like an automobile owners manual that gives exact instructions on most everything in your auto. The camper owners manual talks more in general and things to help you along the way. For the actual appliances, there are owners manuals with very details info on them from the manufacturer of the appliance. We have many of those in the files section too. If your model is not there, give us the make and model no. on the appliance and we can help search for it too, then add it to our files section for future help to others.

The water pressure, We need some more info on this. Does the cold water have good pressure at all the faucets and the toilet? Are using using the onboard water pump with water in the fresh tank, or are you connected to city water?

We are here to help and we know you do not yet know all what to give us as this is all new to you. We understand, you work with us and we will try and help.

For the future, try and pick one area not working per post. It can be easier to get good info one at a time. The trouble shooting can get pretty deep sometimes and it is easier and more clear if one topic at a time is being discussed.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:32 AM   #3
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A clicking converter generally is reversed battery terminals. Lighting will work because it is not dependent on polarity. Correct that first and see what happens. The battery terminals are not the same size the smaller diameter post is negative.
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:42 AM   #4
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Thank you! I will get all this info. Do you know how I find the converter name and model? I had removed the cover and looked inside but didn't see any written info, will take another look for sure.

The cold water pressure works great in all faucets and shower, pump on, hooked up to city water.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:42 AM   #5
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To add to what mainah stated on the battery terminals being backwards, check the wire colors of the battery wires too.

If yours has a red wire and a white wire, the white is negative (-) and the red is positive (+).

If yours does not have those colors, or you just want to confirm the colors are correct, follow the negative wire starting at the battery and follow it under under the camper. It should be attached to the bare metal frame and could have several other wires attaching to the bare metal frame like the LP gas pipe.

The positive wire would not be attached to the bare metal frame. On a 1996 vintage, that positive battery wire usually goes up into the camper through the floor, joins to the power converter wire and the 7 wire cable to the truck in a wooden junction box up inside in the front area on the floor. It may be inside a cabinet or under the coach pending the floor plan. But is usually is close to the front wall on the floor with a little wood cover over it. It may even say 30 amp fuse inside for the 7 wire truck cable that feeds the battery charge line from the truck.

John
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kscacc01 View Post
Thank you! I will get all this info. Do you know how I find the converter name and model? I had removed the cover and looked inside but didn't see any written info, will take another look for sure.

The cold water pressure works great in all faucets and shower, pump on, hooked up to city water.
The power converter "usually" has some kind of tag on the door/cover, outside or inside. Or it is inside the door area on a sticker.

If all else fails, post pics of it with the door/cover closed and with it open showing all the fuses and circuit breakers and we may be able to figure it out. Anything with printed words, include them where ever you find them.

On the water pressure, being a trickle, since the cold works all good, then it points to the water heater not allowing hot water to leave it. This is assuming, "all" the hot water faucets do not work, bath sink, shower and kitchen sink, outside shower if yours has one? is that right or is it just one faucet? If one faucet it could be the aerator screen in that faucet is plugged with minerals on the hot side. A common problem.

Assuming is it "all faucets do not work,

This could be that the winterizing by pass valve is flipped the wrong way and not allowing water to come out of the heater. This sort of all depends on the type of bypass valve you have. There are a few different setups, some contain a check valve and that check valve gets stuck or the spring keeper fly's off the check valve stem and the plunger blocks the hole not letting water get out.

This is where pictures come in handy. Post a few pics showing the back side of the water heater, all the pipes and valves and we can figure out what you have and suggest where the problem could be.

Again, prior owners may change things and we have no idea what they may have changed.

Hope this helps

John
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