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Old 04-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #1
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Electrical question

I took the sunline out, for its maiden voyage and have a few bugs that need to be worked out. The main problem is the electrical. I installed a new deep cycle battery, but the interior lights only work when hooked up to 30 amp service or a generator. Also, the fridge does not get cold at all and I'm wondering if the issues are connected. I haven't tried to run the fridge on propane because the light does not work, on the control panel and I'm not quite sure how to tell if its working, while on propane. This is my first camper so I'm alittle lost.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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Did you remember to turn the battery on? Our 1950 & 2499 had a battery switch....???
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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As Kathy said, battery disconnect switch is the first place to look, if you have one. I don't have one on my 2002 vintage 2363, I think it was added in 2003. Also there is usually a 30amp fuse or thermal disconnect located (hidden) in a box inside where the 12 volt cable from the battery enters the coach. My converter also has a 30 amp fuse where all the other 12 volt dc fuses are that connects the battery to the 12 volt buss that feeds all the other 12 volt fuses. There is a second 30 amp fuse next to it that protects the converter feed to the 12 volt buss. That fuse may fail if the battery is installed backward.

The fridge needs 12 volts for the control board to operate, even when running from 110 volts ac.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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Hi Starmadav5,

We need a little more to help us help you better.

What year/model Sunline do you have?

If you follow the power cord that you plug into the shore line power (120 volts AC) where it goes into the camper it hooks up to a power converter or at least it use to when it was shipped from Sunline.

What brand and model power converter do you have?

When you said the lights work when plugged into 30 amp service, are these lights mounted in the ceiling of the camper or are they plugged into a standard home looking wall outlet?

Since campers are new to you, (and this is A OK) you may not know what was in the camper originally and if a prior owner modified it. And in this case, nor do we. So we need to figure out what it is you have and then can help trying to get it to work.

H'mm, tell us about anything else in the camper that uses power. A water pump? A LP detector, A radio built in, a tank panel that shows tank levels, A TV roof top antenna booster? Baisally anything that uses power. What does and does not work?

On battery or on 120 VAC

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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The camper is an '85 2261. Thanks for the help, so far. Pretty much everything plugged into an outlet works, when plugged in to power. The lights are all ceiling mounted, and original (I believe) to the camper. The panel that shows battery level and water gauge also works. When unhooked from power, none of those things work. I guess I need to find and check all fuses first.

Also, behind the fridge, there is a 3" vertical pipe that heats up when I turn it on, while its plugged into power, which makes me think its doing something. It's just not cooling inside.

I'll have to check the model numbers of everything but the camper did come with all the original paperwork and maintenance logs, receipts, etc. since new and there was no mention of changing anything other than the water heater. So, I'm thinking everything is original.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
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If the pipe on the fridge is hot that means it trying sounds like you have an issue with the fridge. The converter when plug in supplies power to your 12 volt stuff lights etc. and all of your 120 volt outlets A/C etc. When it is unplugged the battery supplies power to the 12 Volt side only. There are a few things that can cause a problem, battery switch (if installed) bad battery connections dead battery and I think your converter is old enough to have a change over relay inside. The converter charges the battery and lights the lights at the same time they had 2 circuits one to charge the battery and one to light the lights when plugged in the battery was disconnected from the system via the relay some times with age the relays stick at the contacts so when you unplug the relay does not switch back and reconnect the battery. If you can find a number for the converter we can determine if that is so.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:21 AM   #7
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I am having the same fridge trouble on my 85 t2100. I'll check the wiring again and let you all know how I make out. Thanks for all the info!
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starmadav5 View Post
The camper is an '85 2261. Thanks for the help, so far. Pretty much everything plugged into an outlet works, when plugged in to power. The lights are all ceiling mounted, and original (I believe) to the camper. The panel that shows battery level and water gauge also works. When unhooked from power, none of those things work. I guess I need to find and check all fuses first.

Also, behind the fridge, there is a 3" vertical pipe that heats up when I turn it on, while its plugged into power, which makes me think its doing something. It's just not cooling inside.

I'll have to check the model numbers of everything but the camper did come with all the original paperwork and maintenance logs, receipts, etc. since new and there was no mention of changing anything other than the water heater. So, I'm thinking everything is original.
As Mainah stated, we need the model/make of your converter. If you have one like he describes this helps us tell you better what to expect.

The fridge, an RV fridge actually cools by heating. Odd I know it sounds this way. They are absorption fridges. Here is good write up on the basics
How a Propane Refrigerator works : Absorption Refrigerator : Propane Gas Refrigerators : Ammonia Refrigerator : WareHouseAppliance.com

They take "time" to work. It is common they will take 8 hours to cool down the fridge/freezer. And then if you put your hand in the fridge it may not feel cool. Best way to tell is put something in the freezer to freeze and a jug of water in the fridge and a thermometer and let it work.

However, since yours is very old there is caution until you know it is in working order. Some times the tubes rust out and let all the gas inside out, many times leaving a pile of yellow residue by the gas burner area from the tube splitting open and spilling out. If you actually can see the yellow residue, then do not trust it blindly. You will over heat the unit doing nothing and it can create fire problems in extreme situations.

If you want to feel for it working, the chimney area will get warm. That is where the boiler is. Then after 30 minutes to an hour the tubes heading back to the boiler area should be getting warm that are heading down from the top of the unit. If they are stone cold, then the liquid inside is not moving, clogged or a tube cracked has leaked it out. Before I would fire it up on gas I would clean and check the burner area and make sure mud daubers did not build a nest in there plugging it solid. It is common on gas units left alone for a period of time. Seems they like the smell of the gas.

There are some old units still working, so it is not impossible it is still OK. Before you trust it, get it checked out. These RV fridges are not like home compressor types that have low risk sitting in a garage for years and then plugged in.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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I did not get to my fridge troubles today. I was trying to fix the stupid truck instead. I do have one question: How can I tell what make/model my fridge and battery converter actually are? Most of the factory stickers in my trailer are either missing or unreadable. I am wondering if someone here has any way to identify what type of battery converter may be in my camper. I have a 1985 T2100 if that helps.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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For the fridge, open the door inside the camper, look on the hinge side of the inside, there "might" be a sticker there.

The converter, well, how about some pics? We may be able to spot it.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:09 PM   #11
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Well, I went down to the camper this morning and found a blown 30 amp fuse, off the battery. I didn't have time to replace it but I will put a new one in and see what happens, Thursday. I also found other fuses, under the couch, that appeared to be fine.

I'll update the post as soon as the new fuse goes in. Thanks for all the help, so far.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #12
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Cool 1989 saturn, T-1700--converter or not

Hello,
Just joined and already feel at home. Thank you, one and all. I just bought this Sunline Saturn 1989 T1700 and I have little knowledge of the electrical system. The owner had it hooked up to house power and no battery just wires so I'm not sure where the converter or inverter might be to check it before starting the DC electric to check all the lights and the fridge.
I hope this is not too burdensome, newbie questions can get exhausting I'm sure.

Thanks in advance, I having so much fun just cleaning and waxing the outside and it looks so good already I'm excited to go camping in the spring.

Thanks to all.
Emmett & Kathleen
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:05 AM   #13
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If it was powering the lights etc. plugged in the converter is there and working. It is inside the door under the fridge. It's an older style converter/charger and does not need the battery to work.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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location of converter

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
If it was powering the lights etc. plugged in the converter is there and working. It is inside the door under the fridge. It's an older style converter/charger and does not need the battery to work.
I FOUND IT!!!
It was just where you said it would be.
I'm surprised they put it there, there are a few water lines running through the cabinet, as well as, what I believe, is the heating duct for the bathroom but if they put it there I guess they are ok with the location plus it worked all summer for the gal who lived in it.
All that said, I want to thank you John for your kindness and immediate help.

Thanks and God bless you and yours.
Emmett & Kathleen
emarr@optonline.net
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