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Author Topic: Did we buy a lemon?  (Read 799 times)

Corgi50

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Did we buy a lemon?
« on: April 27, 2021, 01:45:15 PM »
Looked at a 2013 DBS on Saturday.  Everything worked, very well-kept and clean - it is exactly what we wanted for downsizing from a 10,000 pound toy hauler so we don't have to have a diesel truck and will be able to pull with a Toyota 4Runner.
Brought it home last night (150 miles).
Towed great - didn't know it was back there, up and down steep mountain highways.
Halfway home we stopped and used bathroom (isn't this why we bought it - to have a mobile bath?).
At that time, we discovered bathroom Fantastic fan was on - left on by seller who wanted to show us it worked properly.  We turned it off.
Parked it, hooked up to house power, very excited.
Except, nothing works except microwave clock.
It has a fancy solar system, an amenity that we liked, but do not understand.
We do not understand how it could go from everything working as it should to being totally dead (with one tiny microwave clock exception).
We checked all the fuses - they appear fine
Flipped all breakers (we think we flipped them all) they appear fine.
Checked shore power - plugged into regular outlet - not 30 amp, but we always ran the TH on the same shore power unless we needed air.
Does anyone have a clue?
Thank you in advance for any suggestions.




Merlin

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2021, 03:11:11 PM »
Iíll bet it can be figured out. Calling @DavidM 
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Corgi50

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021, 04:28:27 PM »
One more thing - batteries are completely dead.  We are in process of charging them.

Merlin

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2021, 08:37:48 PM »
Are the batteries charging ok using shore power? 

This is all a puzzle so far. The clock on the microwave and the dead batteries are a clue,  but not enough to diagnose a problem.

Iím curious about the solar system and itís installation. Does it have a switch to turn it off or disconnect it?  If you know what the previous owner installed in the way of solar equipment, there are some folks on here that can walk you through how it works.

Assuming the batteries charge ok, are they new or old and how many? 

Once the batteries charge, does everything work?

A bit of background:

The fuses are for all the 12V devices like lights, pump, 12V outlets and such. The circuit breakers are for the 120V devices like the outlets, A/C, and microwave. There is a converter that takes the 120V shorepower and converts it to 12V to charge the battery(s) and run the 12V devices.

If the clock on the microwave works, the camper is getting 120V power through shore power. HmmmmÖÖÖ..
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GrampaKilt

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2021, 08:56:10 PM »
Not sure if this is done, but suggest a PM to Merlin? DavidM? Some other guru? Then arrange a phone call consultation. If and when the problem is solved, please update the Forum about this mystery. GK

Corgi50

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2021, 10:29:15 PM »
Thank you - this is all incredibly edifying - especially for those of us who are not electricians.

We've worked on this all day, trying to solve the riddle and so far, nothing.
The batteries began to charge and then stopped and then lost all their progress.
We have limited information about the installation.
The installation looks very professional given the equipment on the wall, monitors, wiring, etc.

At 5 p.m. we called a mobile RV repair person who has great ratings.
We're hoping he can help.
As soon as we have any answers, we will post them here.
Thank you again to everyone.

Merlin

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 11:13:43 AM »
I'll bet the tech takes a careful look at the converter and its connections, given the battery charging issue. I'm trying to imagine how a bad battery or cable could be causing this, so I wonder if that's a possibility too? I hope it's not the solar installation causing the problem.
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Powder Hounds

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021, 11:25:43 AM »
Hello,

Locate your outlets with any GFIís and re set them. Years ago we had one trip and it basically shut us down, we went through the hole process of fusses and breakers until we figured it out.

Maybe Gremlims?

Good luck!

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2021, 12:15:09 PM »
The solar and the shore power converter should be isolated from each other - you charge from one or the other, to avoid potential damage to either.

On shore power, even with a dead/damaged battery, you should have 12v. That suggests the converter is bad, or isolated/disconnected as would be the case if it was switched to feed from solar.

But then your solar should be putting out 12v for that side to work, and it isn't.

That you don't have 12v from your batteries (ie. no solar, no 12v from the converter) suggests a dead or disconnected battery. Swing by to batteries plus to check its charge and its ability to take a charge.

When you got it home and did your testing, was it night time ? That would explain the fan running while it was being shown and you were traveling - it was pulling from the solar 12v. You got home in the dark, or parked it in the barn so no more solar.

I'm betting the solar is on, and the battery is either dead or disconnected.

If it wasn't dark, then you are back to looking at the converter, the circuit breaker (110v) it is on, the isolation switch between the converter and the solar charger, the cabling between the converter and the battery, and of course the battery itself. In that situation, your battery is connected and you just ran it dead, and the converter is not charging it.



Corgi50

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2021, 12:53:35 PM »
Quick update.
Everything totally dead this morning in spite of being plugged into extension cord (same one used for TH which always worked)
So, we moved camper close enough to hook up to 30 amp breaker box (as opposed to the extension cord we were using)
A miracle occurred.
Shore power now working great.
Batteries are re-charging (hope I'm not jinxing them)
We are not calling off the expert - hoping he has some clue as to what happened so we can avoid disasters on the road, plus we're hoping he can school us up further on the solar arrangement.
Thank you again to everyone for trying to help us.


Merlin

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2021, 05:50:52 PM »
Ahh, that helps a lot. I'm now with Pinstriper and suspect bad batteries or disconnected (bad connections) wiring to/from the batteries. Maybe just corroded terminals. If you left the engine running while using the bathroom on the road, the camper does get 12V power from the tow vehicle. I wonder if the batteries will charge and stay charge. I bet not?
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DavidM

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2021, 07:17:13 PM »
Just got back from a weeklong trip with my new motorhome and just saw this. I suggest you do keep your appointment with the mobile RV guy. It is very difficult to diagnose these electrical problems long distance with limited internet imput.

Have him figure out why a 30A circuit worked but a 15A circuit wouldn't. Have him show you how the solar is connected. Is it's wiring protected by a fuse near the batteries. Is the wire size big enough? Why didn't it keep up the charging?

Your batteries at best were damaged by this even, maybe ruined. Ask the tech guy what he thinks.

I have to disagree with Pinstriper. Multiple charging sources: converter, solar, 7 pin trailer connector do not have to be isolated. They all coexist just fine together all hooked up to the same battery bank.

The Camplites are very simple electrically. You should see the complexity of this motorhome I have with its POS electronic touchscreen display that turns on and off everything with a touch of the display including the slide, the water pump, ....

David
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 07:19:34 PM by DavidM »

Pinstriper

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2021, 12:15:46 PM »
Ahh, that helps a lot. I'm now with Pinstriper and suspect bad batteries or disconnected (bad connections) wiring to/from the batteries. Maybe just corroded terminals. If you left the engine running while using the bathroom on the road, the camper does get 12V power from the tow vehicle. I wonder if the batteries will charge and stay charge. I bet not?

Tow vehicle could be wired to always put out 12v even with the ignition off. Not a great idea, but could be the case (factory setup would never be this way but a DIY could well be).

Pinstriper

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2021, 12:17:50 PM »
Just got back from a weeklong trip with my new motorhome and just saw this. I suggest you do keep your appointment with the mobile RV guy. It is very difficult to diagnose these electrical problems long distance with limited internet imput.

Have him figure out why a 30A circuit worked but a 15A circuit wouldn't. Have him show you how the solar is connected. Is it's wiring protected by a fuse near the batteries. Is the wire size big enough? Why didn't it keep up the charging?

Your batteries at best were damaged by this even, maybe ruined. Ask the tech guy what he thinks.

I have to disagree with Pinstriper. Multiple charging sources: converter, solar, 7 pin trailer connector do not have to be isolated. They all coexist just fine together all hooked up to the same battery bank.

The Camplites are very simple electrically. You should see the complexity of this motorhome I have with its POS electronic touchscreen display that turns on and off everything with a touch of the display including the slide, the water pump, ....

David

The charge controllers see charging voltage of 14+ and decide to stop putting out, so you don't get the additive effect from multiple sources. Depending on the circuit protection (or lack) in the controllers you could get damage.

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Re: Did we buy a lemon?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2021, 10:23:56 AM »
I will add but I do not think it is related to this situation.  My truck required a relay and fuse to be connected to provide 12VT to the trailer.  Both were in a bag in the glove box.  Just required me to plug them in.  Always good to check to make sure your trailer is charging when traveling with the TV.  Adding a battery disconnect, via the ground, switch is a good idea too.  David they have gone to far with the touch pads.  The electronics on new vehicles are crazy including our new ladder truck at the fire house.
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