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Old 10-07-2020, 02:18 AM   #1
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Weird electrical issues

Hello all, we have a 2007 Dutchmen Express. This is our first venture into the rv world, so still learning how to make things work, however, we have a really weird electrical issue. The lights flicker randomly, and when running the furnace, it surges. The first night we noticed this we were plugged in at a campground (30 amp) and it did it just a little. Next night, different campground, plugged in once again it it did very frequently. Tonight, different campground, plugged in 30 amp., air conditioning works fine, lights have not flickered a single time and all is well. We do not notice any of those symptoms on battery or generator power.

Is it us, or is it them?
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:32 AM   #2
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Flickering and surging at two campgrounds followed by no flickering. Plugged into 30 amp shore power...

Flickering lights and surging furnace fan indicates a 12 volt issue. Both items operate on 12 volts.
Running on shore power means converter is supplying 12 volt power.
Possibly there is a faulty converter.
Possibly there is a loose 12 volt positive connection.
Possibly there is a loose 12 volt ground connection.
Do the surging and flickering happen at the same time?
Did lights flicker when furnace fan was not running?

Air conditioner running fine means no 120 volt AC issue.

No problem with lights at third campground when furnace is not running? It still could be a loose connection.

Check for loose connections at battery, converter, and anything in-between. Check both ground and positive cables. Check main converter fuses for secure insertion and signs of heat. Visually search for corrosion and discolored or melted insulation near connections.

Reset converter 120 volt breaker by turning it off then on again. Switch off main breaker and check converter 120 volt breaker wire connections.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead.!
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:16 PM   #3
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I agree with Persistent as this is probably a loose connection. Since the flickering is on different 12Vdc items check the converter (correctly called the "main board assembly") connections in the power center, make sure they are clean and tight. You will need to remove the cover to the power center to see these connections. Disconnect both your battery negative connection and shore power before opening up the power center. Your unit probably has a WFCO power center; the MBA 12Vdc output consists of a white (??) and red (??) wire, usually 4 gauge so they are large and easily identified. The 12Vdc positive connection will be connected to a lug identified as VCC + on the circuit board; the 12Vdc negative will connect to the same lug point as the negative battery connection. These connectors are near the top in my power center to the right of the circuit breakers. You can find a wiring diagram on line using the power center model number found on the door of the power center. Also, insure that the cables are tight on the batteries. Electrical issues need to be fixed as they can cause a fire in addition to damaging equipment. Take the unit to your dealer or a qualified RV technician if you are not comfortable working on electrical systems.
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:40 PM   #4
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Persistent, in answer to your questions, Do the surging and flickering happen at the same time? Yes
Did lights flicker when furnace fan was not running? Yes
Also, our luck ran out this morning when the furnace kicked on, same problem, third campground.
Persistent and kjlarson, thank you both for the helpful information. We are home and will be checking your ideas out. If I can't figure out what is going on, it'll be going to the service center.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:08 PM   #5
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Loose connection

What happens if you unplug shore power? I agree it’s probably a loose connection some ware. I am a commercial electrician and flickering is a big concern. If the lights dim when furnace starts thats less concerning.
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Old 10-15-2020, 04:05 PM   #6
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Larrypride, it only seems to happen when plugged into shore power.
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Old 10-15-2020, 04:45 PM   #7
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Weird issues

It is probably a bad or loose connection. Probably on the12 volt side. You could start by checking all connections for looseness. Hot and ground. Meaning connections to trailer body. It gets complicated beyond this point. I would figure out which circuit connects the furnace and the lights to see if there different circuits. This might tell you if itís one circuit or the total 12 system. If itís one circuit it would be easier to find problem. Keep us posted.
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:40 AM   #8
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Another issue could be a weak or bad battery, does the battery have proper amount of water, does the battery hold a charge with the unit unplugged and for how long, if there is a battery issue the converter cannot figure out what the charging rate should be therefore tries to charge battery at different amps causing lights to flicker or dim
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:40 PM   #9
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larrypride and RDJ, will be checking these things out, thanks!
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