Hello everyone! Glad I found this place! Today, I'll be doing some more work on my new rig, dubbed the Arcus Corvus Mk II, so I can move in. I currently live in a '90 Bounder, but the engine is shot, so I went and found the winnie, and got a deal at $2,500. Her engine, engine electrical, and exhaust are all newly rebuilt, and she runs great. I had new rear brakes put on, and I need to swap out the water heater and tank, because it's cracked. I might be hitting everyone up for advice on electrical issues as well, unless I solved the problem with my tinkering yesterday.  There's lots to do to fix up the interior as well. One thing: The combination stove vent/control panel (where you can see water/sewage/propane levels) seems glitchy, so if anyone has fixed one, I'd appreciate the info. 

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Okay. My batteries suddenly won't stay charged, and the GFCI breaker on the Power Control Center (converter/charger) suddenly won't "test" when you push the "test" button. Meaning it won't pop out the way it used to. Does anyone know if these two issues are connected? Does it mean I need to get a whole new Power Control Center, or just a replacement GFCI breaker? Any help would be appreciated. 

Looks like you need to check your AC power at the converter.But water or condensation that's across any part of the circuit after a GFI will trip it.

No water in the rig yet, so it's dry. After talking to Randy at Bestconverters.com, I decided to go ahead and order a 4 stage replacement unit for it. a href="http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4645-45-Amp-Converter-Upgrade-Section_p_351.html#.VCYVpfldX-0>" target="_blank">http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4645-45-Amp-Converter-Upgrade-Sectio...;

$187 plus shipping. OUCH! I'm bleeding money out faster than I'm making it. Hopefully I won't have to replace the batteries now, too, and hopefully it will solve the problem. :(

  The DC output portion/function of the Converter/Charger (which charges your batteries) isn't related to a 120 VAC GFCI failure UNLESS the unit isn't getting 120 VAC input power so it can operate.

 Those GFCI's can go bad, Id try a new one. Far as I know the self test feature may not operate if the green/bare equipment grounding conductor is open, HOWEVER the GFCI can still operate and fault trip because that depends on the Hot and Neutral return imbalance only.

 Even though the self test of the GFCI isn't working, is 120 VAC still being supplied to the Converter/Charger 120 VAC Input??? If so it should still work and charge the batteries UNLESS it went bad OR the batteries are shot. Id take the batteries to a shop for a voltage and load test and the Hydrometer reading. Even a perfect charger cant charge bad batteries!!!

 HOWEVER even if the OEM Converter/Charger was okay, YOURE STILL BETTER OFF IN THE LONG RUN WITH A NEW SMART 3/4 STAGE CHARGER. I went that route to protect my over $400 investment in four new deep cycle 6 volt golf cart batteries. I left my Converter/Charge all intact as it also had the 12 VDC distribution panel BUT I turned off the breaker that fed the Converter/Charger. My Smart Charger output is simply connected direct to my battery bank...

 I went with a Progressive Dynamics Intelli Charger Smart 4 stage unit.

 CHECK THAT GFCI it may be bad or the bare/green equipment Grounding Conductor may be bad or open  

 John T

Thanks John T,

New converter/charger should be here by Wednesday, so we'll see what happens once the new unit is in. I haven't had the rig plugged into shore power for a couple of weeks (no room for me to do that here, so it's been parked across the street). However, I'm pretty sure the converter/charger went bad, because I never had an issue with the batteries maintaining a charge before this, and then literally overnight they were drained, with no load on them, rig parked, ignition off, and "Dual/MOM" switch in the off (center) position. When I jump the rig, she starts and runs fine, and I put the "Dual/MOM" switch into "Dual" to charge the house batteries and drive around a bit until the batts all read in the normal range again. Then park it and shut everything off. Then the next day, everything's dead again. It's like something in the converter/charger is draining them. 

  That don't sound good, no idea what's discharging everything so bad, but I doubt its the fault of the Converter/Charger. Like I said, however, you're much better off with a new 4/5 stage smart charger anyway, so now to see if it continues even with the new unit????? WE BOTH HOPE NOT 

 Im a bit confused as to why the engine cranking battery is also discharging?? With a relay/solenoid isolation switch (in OPEN) or even a solid state dual battery switch the house and engine batteries are isolated and separate so any house battery or charger problem shouldn't also discharge the engine battery? Similar if the engine battery or its circuitry had a problem which may discharge it, if the relay/solenoid that connects the house batteries is open they shouldn't discharge just because the engine battery did??

 A puzzled John T

You and me both, John T. I have no clue, and electrical is not my strong suit by any stretch of the imagination. All I know is, one day everything was working fine, then the next day it was as I've described. At any rate, the old converter/charger made me nervous, with it's loud fan always coming on and with how hot it was, so it needs to go. 

After doing some more reading on the subject, it occurs to me that what MIGHT have happened is the old converter/charger/power center may have overcharged or "boiled" the batteries, and so now they won't hold a charge. Maybe. 

 In one sense overcharging is worse then undercharging as it outgasses excessive and electrolyte boils over and the level gets below the plates and the batteries get cooked, maybe plates are warped, and ruined. A good voltage and hydrometer and load test, however, will tell the story as to battery condition. A smart 3 or 4 stage charger will extend battery life.

 John T




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