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Author Topic: Battery hook up required?  (Read 4410 times)
ColoNewbie
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« on: May 16, 2011, 08:04:23 AM »

1998 Jayco Eagle. New to pop-ups. I have the camper hooked up to 120v land power but i have no furnace, refrig or interior lights. A/C and power outlets are fine. Does the battery need to be hooked up along with land power in order for the converter to supply 12v to appliances and interior lights?
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1998 Jayco Eagle 12 UDST
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 08:27:09 AM »

Welcome to PUX.

No battery is necessary for 12v power as long as the converter is up and running. If you've got electric brakes, you may want to get a small battery to power a breakaway switch just in case.

Since your new to PUPs, you might want to put your specific model and yr. in your signature. That way if you have future questions, members will know exactly what you've got. Could come in useful to answer your question(s). Here's a good site that offers a lot of useful info. This may prove informative on your 12v system.
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austinado16
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 08:37:58 AM »

Welcome!
Some campers have a safety switch that kills power to the 12v features so that they aren't left operating when the roof is in the down position.  These switches are typically either mounted where the galley is, or, in a spot where the roof edge touches the camper body.  Typically, the galley switch either isn't getting fully pushed down, or is knocked out of aligment/bent/broken, so it no longer works even when the galley appears to be in the correct position.  So see if your camper is set up like this.

The other possible cause is that the converter isn't automatically switching over to 12v internally, or has a blown fuse, or a popped circuit breaker, etc.  Some converters have to be switched from "off" to either "batt." or "conv."  positions in order for them to function, but yours being a '98, may be auto switching.  I have to switch mine manually.

So do a bit of looking around and see what you find.
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BPRescue
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 09:14:11 AM »

I have this same converter.  It is auto switching.

If your components arenít working, you can confirm polarity on the fuses located on the converter itself.  if no volt meter, you can inspect them visually; its usually pretty easy to tell if they are bad.  You can also just insert new/know good fuses in...

Have you tried a test with a 12v battery, rather than trying to use the converter/120V?  Do the lights work here?  Also, keep in mind there is a 20AMP fuse located in the frame on the tongue; generally underneath the battery tray.  If this fuse is dead, you will not be able to charge the camper battery from the vehicle while in tow, and it can cause 12v issues here as can a bad battery.   So, I would confirm that fuse is well, as are the fuses accessible by opening the hinge face on the converter.  Simply unhooking the negative lead on the battery will confirm if the battery is causing the issue.  If the converter is working properly, removing the negative lead on the bat will still shoot power to said systems.  So, if the lights go off as soon as you reconnect the battery, it is your issue.  Keep in mind the battery is not powering items in this scenario, however if it is bad, it can still impact your 12v system per a short.   

All the systems you indicate are working are 120V and do not require/use the converter; but the breaker panel does; so make sure they are on/not tripped (can also reset them).  Itís a good idea to look at the converter to see which items share certain fuses.    This can help troubleshoot as well by confirming all such devices do not operate.  Also keep in mind, as austin said, there is a sensor on your trailer that will shut down the furnace, and interior lights when the top is down (the external light will still work).  On mine, this is on the back side of the camper, above the galley, just under the roof.  If this is bad, you could have an issue as well.

You also have a 3 way fridge, so if it is not working on 12v; a quick redirection to 120V will resolve your imediate issue.  The toggle is located in your external access point compartment on the outside of your trailer.  This is the same compartment where you light the pilot for the fridge as to use propane as well; which is my preferred method.  Really no reason to use 12v on this; other than traveling to the site, and or if you run out of propane adn the fridge is critical.  The fridge really eats up the battery, so unless the tow vehicle is charging it, I never select 12V.  My fridge is secondary, I only store soda's and water in it anyway.

Anyway, I am interested to know if this works through your battery.  If so, then its time to direct all focus to the converter.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 09:23:04 AM by BPRescue » Logged

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austinado16
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 09:26:04 AM »

Just a minor detail.  The 12v feature on the fridge is only for use when towing.  It'll completely drain a 12v battery in 3-4hrs, so it's not a back-up for propane or 110v, nor is it even efficient.  It's just for maintaining the cold you created on 110v or LP.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
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Brian
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 09:37:42 AM »

Just a minor detail.  The 12v feature on the fridge is only for use when towing.  It'll completely drain a 12v battery in 3-4hrs, so it's not a back-up for propane or 110v, nor is it even efficient.  It's just for maintaining the cold you created on 110v or LP.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.

And if I could be allowed another minor detour, many of us just leave the fridge on Propane all the time, other than extended stays at electric sites, in order not to deal with the hassle of the 12V operation, i.e. running down the tv battery by leaving it hooked up with the tv turned off, electrical fires from using too large of a wire gauge (OK, that last one might be just me Blush), etc.


Brian
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ColoNewbie
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 12:26:47 PM »

Thanks for the reply folks. I do have a safety switch mounted just inside the roof edge. According to my manual that kills power to the ceiling lights to avoid heat damage to the tent when the top is down. I assumed a 12 volt battery would NOT be necessary for the 120v power and converter to provide 12v power to appliances, but wanted to ask the question anyway. Time to dust off the voltmeter and see what i can find. all fuses in converter are good and both circuit breakers in the "on" position as well. I'm beginning to suspect the converter at this point. My LP detector does not power on either.
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austinado16
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 02:07:42 PM »

Okay, if I may be allowed one more minor detail.  "Some" of us can't keep our fridges light on propane while towing, so we have to use the 12v option.

Fire from too large of a wire gauge?  Do you mean "too small" of wire diameter?
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Brian
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 02:47:04 PM »

Fire from too large of a wire gauge?  Do you mean "too small" of wire diameter?

Well, Yes, sure at some point. Evil But the 8 gauge running off of the 40 amp CB at the Quest's battery seemed fine until somewhere around the 7 pin connector we built up a "bodacious" amount of resistance (and smoke) in the back of the van Shocked.

Anyway, (without completely hijacking this thread) since the battery lasts several days running lights and furnace blower, and our fridge does stay light while towing, I have been "banned" from further electrical experimentation.

It's probably for the best. Smile


Brian
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ColoNewbie
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 06:57:27 AM »

Yep, just hook up the battery and everything works fine. Guess it's needed to complete the 12v circuit. Wish the manual had been more clear on that. Thanks for the replies everyone.
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 07:11:28 AM »

Yep, just hook up the battery and everything works fine. Guess it's needed to complete the 12v circuit. Wish the manual had been more clear on that. Thanks for the replies everyone.

There's absolutely no reason at all that your popup should require a battery to "complete the 12v circuit" ... I'd be looking deeper into this for an explanation as to why this seems to be the case with your particular trailer.  FWIW, I owned a 1998 Jayco Eagle 10UD that had no battery when I bought it and I never added one to it as it had no brakes (and therefore no break away system) and we never dry camped with it yet it's electrical system of course worked just fine without a battery.  We replaced that camper with a 2000 Fleetwood Santa Fe which I ran for the first five years without a battery, only adding one in 2005 because we were headed out on a long trip west during which I knew we'd be doing some dry camping and would require battery power.  In summary, if your trailer will only function properly with a battery connected then you've got some other issue somewhere and you'd be best to identify just what it is.  From what you've told us so far I'd suspect your converter is toast.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 07:12:54 AM by Oz and Us » Logged

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rabird
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 07:22:47 AM »

Yep, just hook up the battery and everything works fine. Guess it's needed to complete the 12v circuit. Wish the manual had been more clear on that. Thanks for the replies everyone.

If the converter has become disconnected from the 120v supply internally, then this makes sense. You got 12v from the battery and not from the converter.

Happy camping.
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beemerphile1
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 08:24:16 AM »

Yep, just hook up the battery and everything works fine. Guess it's needed to complete the 12v circuit. Wish the manual had been more clear on that. Thanks for the replies everyone.

Now you are operating from the battery.  You still need to diagnose why the converter isn't working or the battery will run down in short order.
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ColoNewbie
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 05:59:16 AM »

Yep, converter is fried. Had it out yesterday after the battery ran down. It has obviously gotten wet at some point. Love the smell of fried electronics. Thanks everyone for your advice.
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1998 Jayco Eagle 12 UDST
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