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Old 12-01-2021, 10:46 AM   #1
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Solaris T-264 SR Electrical/Converter Problems

My electrical knowledge is very limited so please bare with me as I am trying to explain my situation with my trailer that I am currently living in. I am gonna start at the electric service pole. I have yellow Romex wire that comes out of the box and goes to a receptacle that I plug my trailer into. I don't know if my problem starts there or if it is just part of my problem. No major issues for awhile but the other day my converter (WFCO WF-8955AN w/plastic) started making a sizzling sound. I unplugged a full size refrigerator that was plugged in to my outside elect outlet on the trailer and I also turned the orange knob on the outside frame to off (someone had taken my battery and also cut the red and the white wires and took the connectors).
The sizzling stopped and everything was ok for about a day. Then all the light bulbs blew and will not work now. Along with the radio. Every now and then I hear a chirp coming from what I guess is the carbon monoxide detector thats mounted under the bench seat. Someone looked at my converter and said I had some circuits or something burned out of the board. Where do I begin to fix this problem. If I plug in a heater and turn it up over the minimum I can hear a noise in the converter. Oh also the fan on the converter is not working. Where do I begin to try to fix the problem? I don't want to put a new converter in just to have it go bad because I didn't fix whatever that was causing it to go bad. Does any of this make a sense to anyone?
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Old 12-02-2021, 12:25 AM   #2
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Hi Teresa,

Sorry to hear about your battery.

It is good you turned off the battery disconnect switch near where the battery used to be at. If the red wire end touches metal with the switch on, it can create problems with tripping the battery charge circuit breaker and maybe blow fuses in the power converter fuse panel.

Your camper has two power systems in it.

A 12-volt DC system that the battery used to be connected to which runs the lights, radio, furnace, the tank panel red lights, water pump if you are using the water pump, LP gas detector, the controls part of the roof AC unit, the fridge and the water heater all need 12 VDC to work properly. The power converter when you are plugged into shore power, transforms the incoming 120 VAC to 12 volts DC to charge the battery if there is one, and to power these 12 volt items in the camper.

A 120-volt AC system, this higher power comes to the camper through the main power cord you plug in at the campground. We also call what you plug into at the campground power post, "shore power". This 120 volts AC system powers the microwave, the high power part of the roof AC unit, an electric heating element in the water heater and in the fridge, and the all the wall outlets.

A few questions on where you are now.

You said this,
Quote:
The sizzling stopped and everything was ok for about a day. Then all the light bulbs blew and will not work now. Along with the radio.
When you said the "all" light bulbs blew, do you mean the bulbs turned black and the tiny little wire element inside the bulb broke open? And I'm assuming "all" bulbs meaning any light bulb that was on when this event happened?

If you did actually blow out light bulbs dead, multiple bulbs at one time, this points to your power converter going bad. It sent a large voltage spike into the 12-volt DC system.

The WFCO converters have gone bad before. From what little we know by your description, and yet to get confirmation on the light bulbs, your converter is now bad.

You mentioned this,
Quote:
Every now and then I hear a chirp coming from what I guess is the carbon monoxide detector that's mounted under the bench seat.
Under the bench seat, is there a device that looks like this? With the letters "Protechtor" made by Atwood on it?


If so, that is an LP gas detector, not a carbon monoxide detector, that is unless someone changed the original Sunline installed to a combo, LP & carbon monoxide detector. That device runs on 12-volts DC, or try's to. If your power converter is weak and putting only only marginal voltage or over voltage, it might be creating a fault in the unit making it click, if it is still working at all.

And you said this,
Quote:
If I plug in a heater and turn it up over the minimum I can hear a noise in the converter. Oh also the fan on the converter is not working. Where do I begin to try to fix the problem?
The heater is running off the 120 volt AC system, it does not need any 12-volts DC to run. And, if the power converter still has power to it, it may be dyeing quickly if it is partly working.

At this point, I'm not sure if you have any lights working in the camper and how you are seeing in there. Maybe flashlights etc?

I'm not sure where you are at with the camper right now, but I would recommend if you have to be in the camper with 120 volt power on, to turn the circuit breaker off that feeds the power converter to shut the power converter down. It is unpredictable and can cause more damage to the DC items depending on how it fails when powered up. There could be a fire hazard depending how the converter fails.

Your fridge will go out too, or already has, as there is no 12 volt power to run the fridge controls. Not sure if you have food in there and what to do with that. (an ice chest?) I'm more concerned of the converter having power on it until an electrical person can correct the problem and check out the rest of the system.

To turn off the converter, there is a 15 amp circuit breaker in the power converter box. See this pic below. This is from a 2007 Sunline and has already had the WFCO power converter removed due to failing and a Progressive Dynamics 9200 series power converter installed in it's place. They only changed out the bad converter part and left the fuse blocks etc.

Sunline normally puts the power converter on the "General Purpose" circuit which will also cuts off power to most of the wall outlets other then the one outlet next to the sink with a GFIC in it. That one next to the sink should still work. Look at the sticker in the power converter for General Purpose and see which slot that circuit breaker is in.

See this pic, The top black circuit breaker switch counting from the top, number 1 is marked 30 (Main), the 2nd 20, (Air Cond) and the 3rd it would have a "15" marking on the tab of the switch (General Purpose). Turn the 3rd one from the top, off.



Any noises should stop coming from the power converter then and the LP gas detector. If the noises keep going, flip off the 4th one down, it still should be a 15 amp. Maybe yours is wired different so check the label in the panel for the General purpose slot and that it is in the 3rd or 4th slot.

From what you described, if the power converter did fail, (to be confirmed by the local electrical tech) it does explain what went wrong in your camper. There may be other 12 volt system problems once a new power converter is installed, and they need to be checked and corrected pending the findings.

If you need the wall outlets to be on until a new power converter comes, have your electrician unwire the power feed to the converter to make it dead, and bring that circuit back up. While the wall outlets will work, the 12 volts is still dead. (Do not try to do this yourself, get the electrician, the electricity in that box can hurt you if this is not done right)

As a stop gap measure, If someone can help you, get a fully charged 12 volt deep cycle battery to put back in where it is supposed to go, it will power up the 12 volt system and the fridge can work. The lights can work too but unless you are on LED lights, the original 921 light bulbs will drain the battery down real quick, and the furnace running will also drain it down quick. (quick is 6 to 12 hours) You may make it 1 to 2 days using the 921 lights sparingly. With no lights or furnace the battery can keep the fridge going and the water heater for maybe 3 to 4 days and it needs again to be charged. This is only a stop gap measure until a new power converter can be installed.

Hope this helps and let us know how you make out.

John
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Old 12-11-2021, 08:06 AM   #3
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I am on my third converter on my 2001 Sunline. They do go bad.

Sorry, and good luck!
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