2017 300TQ Converter Location - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 07-27-2020, 01:36 AM   #1
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2017 300TQ Converter Location

Just bought a new to us 2017 300TQ, on the first trip out the lights started to dim and eventually went completely off and indicator light showed a completely dead battery. Fast forward to an hour of trouble shooting and I thought that I narrowed it down to a bad battery. Hooking up to my truck made everything work fine so thatís what I did for the 1 night trip and just idled my truck to supply dc power.

Bought a new battery and went out on second trip, did the same thing on the second morning so I think itís the converter. Can anyone verify that is the issue based on my problems? And if so recommend a new converter. Location and picture of the converter would be awesome as well.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:53 PM   #2
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The converter is located beneath the AC breakers in the electric control panel on my camper.

But I mainly wanted to ask about why you suspect it is the converter. Was your camper plugged in to shore power between trips?
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:01 PM   #3
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Yes I have a 30a plug at home that it stays plugged into to maintain the air conditioning and for the fridge and to charge my battery bank. I have an electric tongue jack and it seemed to be struggling when I went to hookup to my truck (did not have 7 way plugged into my truck), when I plugged it into my truck the jack moved with ease. Drove an hour to the camp ground and hooked up to shore power (fully disconnected from my truck). After about a half hour I noticed my interior lights had dimmed and we’re almost completely off. I checked the battery level and it showed an empty battery. Hooked my truck back up with the 7 way plug and it showed full battery. Dis connected my camper battery and put it on charge for about 2 hours till it said it was full. Hooked camper battery back up and disconnected my truck and about an hour later the battery had completely died again.

I purchased a new battery when I got home, on the next camping trip basically the same thing happened except I idled my truck the entire time to maintain a charge on the battery once my battery level indicator dropped down to 1/3.

Not sure what else the problem could be other than the converter being bad. All breakers and fuses are in tact.
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:50 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're on the right track then! Do you have a multimeter or other way of measuring voltage? A check of voltage on the battery terminals while plugged into shore power (trailer 7-pin not connected to tow vehicle) will confirm if you converter is working or not. The converter will also have some fuses on them for protecting in case of reverse polarity that are worth checking, in addition to the AC breaker that provides power to the converter.
If it is a WFCO OEM converter gone bad, it is not worth any life saving measures to bring back to service! Replace with another brand.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:25 PM   #5
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Yes I do have a multi meter. I’m guessing that I should plug in my camper to shore power only and then take the terminals off the battery and check them with the meter. I should be checking for amperage, right? Also already called a local camper dealer near me and he gave me a rough estimate of $250-$500 for a new converter but couldn’tsay for sure till I could give him the model number off mine. Do you have an recommendations for a new one? This is my first camper but I’ve owned boats all my life and I know they jack up the prices when I can typically get close to the same thing off amazon for much cheaper.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:05 PM   #6
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No need to disconnect any cables. Just plug into shore power without the trailer plugged into tow vehicle and measure the voltage across your terminals. If it reads >13V, then the converter is working. 13.6V is the voltage your converter will pull the batteries to, meaning it is doing what it is supposed to do. There is a chance it could read 14.4V if your converter is really working well, but if it is a WFCO brand then it will almost certainly read 13.6V. A functioning converter will have no problem holding steady at 13.6V with your battery bank, despite whatever 12V loads you may have operating at the same time.

$250 to 500 sounds a bit high for a replacement converter, unless that quote includes labor.

This website is often suggested for reputable advice and pricing on a replacement converter. Talk to Randy is what "they" say
BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

If you will be boondocking and needing to recharge via generator, then you would be looking for a replacement converter that reliably starts charging in bulk mode for getting the best charge you can in the shortest amount of time. This means the converter tries for a 14.4V or higher setpoint while in this charging mode. The OEM WFCO converters are supposed to do this, but typically don't in practice which is why I say they aren't worth investing in if you'll be using a generator for recharging. Despite me talking bad about them, I've never replaced my WFCO. If I did, I would probably get a Progressing Dynamics or a Boondocker.

If you will not be relying on a generator for recharge while boondocking, then this bulk mode scenario won't really matter to you.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:11 PM   #7
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Good advice above.

Check 12 volt fuses first. I expect either the 30 amp or 40 amp fuse is for the converter.

Next check the 120 volt circuit breakers. You want the one for the WFCO converter charger. Switch breaker "off" and then reset it.

Loose or corroded terminals and connectors on either 12 volt or 120 volts sides of the converter could cause the problem.

If you need to replace the converter charger and you want to fast charge, a bigger capacity converter/charger may allow 14.4 volt fast charging. Larger wire and fuses would also be required. Same size drop in replacement will cost much less.

Modern electronics are relatively cheap and reliable. I have not had any trouble with my WFCO. The reason many owners do not see 14.4 volts when the WFCO starts charging could be:
1) Batteries are not discharged enough.
Batteries discharged to 12.4 volts should not be charged at 14.4 volts. Partially discharged batteries will not charge faster at 14.4 volts. They will "boil". Boiling batteries are actually venting hydrogen. In flooded cell batteries that will consume water. In AGM batteries that will cause venting which permanently limits battery capacity.
2) Charger is under size for the battery bank.
A 30 amp charger will limit the voltage so no more than 30 amps is delivered. If batteries can absorb more than that, voltage will be below 14.4 volts.

On a group 24 battery (maybe 60 amp hours) discharged to 10% state of charge, a 30 amp WFCO will reach 14.4 volts soon after charging begins. On a 200 amp hour battery bank discharged to 10%, the WFCO will never reach 14.4 volts. The 200 amp hour bank will take the full 30 amps for 6 or 7 hours. Voltage will slowly rise to 13.6 volts as batteries slowly reduce demand on the charger.

The WFCO times the charge. It will not supply 14.4 volts after the first 4 hours of charging. By that time 14.4 volts would start to produce more hydrogen and would not charge faster. 13.6 will provide all the charge an appropriately sized lead acid battery can absorb.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead.
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