WFCO converter apparently crapped out... - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 08-24-2015, 10:55 PM   #1
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WFCO converter apparently crapped out...

But that didn't stop me from camping! I typically check my battery periodically to see if it has water and what the state of charge is. Trailer usually stays plugged in at the house between trips. We were loading up to head out for an overdue weekend at the lake. Checked the battery and it was down to 12.17 WTH? Quick check with the VM shows no 12v coming from the converter. Don't have time to mess with it. Put the 10 amp charger on the battery overnight and rolled for the lake the next day. Pulled a battery cable and the lights go out. That tells me the converter isn't charging for whatever reason. Pulled fuses all are good, flipped breakers, they all seemed to reset properly. Hooked my portable solar panels up and spend the weekend enjoying myself. I will pull the POS converter when I get the chance. Buddy of mine is on his 3rd WFCO converter in 4 years. If this one is bad I will give it one shot at warranty replacement, if I get any hassle I will upgrade to the Progressive Dynamics ASAP.

Aaron
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:15 PM   #2
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So how did your solar panels do? I remember when you bought them, and am considering getting a set in the future.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:21 AM   #3
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So how did your solar panels do? I remember when you bought them, and am considering getting a set in the future.
Did great, got the battery topped back up in less than an hour. We had 120v power so the A/C, microwave, fridge, etc were fine. I have the Renology 100 watt suitcase kit. It has gone up in price a bit since I bought mine.

We probably barely stressed the battery. Only thing drawing on it was the fridge control board, LP detector (75MA?) and what 12v lighting we used. I was checking the battery and I don't think we ever dropped below 80% by the voltage measurement. If we keep this trailer a whole lot longer I will consider a dual battery setup, and possibly a rooftop solar array. I have a buddy with a 200 watt roof top setup and he never worries about whether his batteries are charged or not. FWIW he is running a set of high dollar Lithium Ion RV batteries, another buddy has 160 watts on two Group 27 and is happy with his set up.

If we decide to upgrade trailers solar is going to be on the short list. I have been using my portable panels around the farm to keep tractor and other equipment batteries topped up. I plugged it up to our backhoe the other day and went off to take care of some other stuff. It brought that beast back from 30%+ discharged to full in about 3 hours. The alternative would have been to jump start it, and drive it down by the house where we have power to put the battery charger on it.

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Old 08-26-2015, 01:32 AM   #4
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Got into my converter tonight. By all indications it is toast. I have zero output on the 12v side. Nix, None, Nada. I have the warranty paperwork for WFCO but am wondering if I even want to mess with them. Apparently you have to ship it to them, then THEY determine if they want to replace it or not, turn around time is 304 weeks. May just bite the bullet and buy a new Progressive Dynamics PD4045. Much better built unit and gives me some extra circuit space to play with too.

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Old 08-26-2015, 04:20 AM   #5
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The PD looks good, and not too expensive. But are you trading soon? BTW, I'm guessing you meant 3-4 weeks, not 6 years! LOL
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:04 PM   #6
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The PD looks good, and not too expensive. But are you trading soon? BTW, I'm guessing you meant 3-4 weeks, not 6 years! LOL
Ooops Just seems that long sometimes.

PD is a whole lot better built than the WFCO and if memory serves me is made in the USA vs offshore somewhere.

I don't know when we are trading, maybe a few years now, maybe never. Life around here seems to be a moving target. Every time we make plans for something, the target moves even further in an unexpected direction. So I am going to go ahead work on, and make modifications like it is going to be here for the next 20 years. Some may never get done, but at least I will have something that I enjoy using.

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Old 08-26-2015, 12:40 PM   #7
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Just saw this and thanks, headed out tomorrow and now I have to check my battery because i'm paranoid.

It's chugging away at 13.65
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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I am going to get a disconnect switch on mine... one of these days. I typically check the battery about once a month just because. Got lucky this time. I would guess that the converter crapped out at least 2 weeks ago. Funny part is with the LED lights you don't notice them dimming until the battery is almost dead. My wife unplugged the trailer 2-3 days before, because of a series of thunderstorms moving through. Whole house electrical surge protection is also in the works. Seems we have been getting more and more severe thunderstorms recently. In the meantime we disconnect or turn off the high dollar stuff, like A/C and electronics. So far it has paid off.

One feature I like about the PD converter is that there is a place to hook the battery disconnect up to the converter.

Aaron
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:49 PM   #9
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Funny part is with the LED lights you don't notice them dimming until the battery is almost dead.
Aaron
Or the fan running. With my old lights when you turned on 2 lights the fan would crank up, it hasn't made a peep since I changed to leds.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Ooops Just seems that long sometimes.

PD is a whole lot better built than the WFCO and if memory serves me is made in the USA vs offshore somewhere.

I don't know when we are trading, maybe a few years now, maybe never. Life around here seems to be a moving target. Every time we make plans for something, the target moves even further in an unexpected direction. So I am going to go ahead work on, and make modifications like it is going to be here for the next 20 years. Some may never get done, but at least I will have something that I enjoy using.

Aaron
PD says, Designed and engineered in the U.S.
Assembled in the U.S.
Tested in the U.S. prior to sale
Provided with warranty service after the sale

All that is great, however, that leaves the circuit boards and discreet components. The guts of the converter may come from Korea, Japan, China or any other place outside of the US.
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