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Old 02-28-2021, 11:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy No power

We just purchased a 2013 Dutchman Kodiak camper and can not identify the electrical short in the system. Previous owner had plugged into 110v at house and used with 30 amp at deer camp/campground just fine. We have checked the currents on all the exterior sources and have even replaced the surge protector in the bathroom. We had a second of power (was excited) then died completely out. Additionally we replaced the battery at the trailer tongue and it is completely drained after one night with seemingly no power sources on??? Related items? Fuse or breaker at inverter needs to be replaced we are hearing possibly but what of power to coach from main power source? Any ideas from seasoned camper owners?? We are as green as any camper owners could be.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:30 PM   #2
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I am not sure I understand your issues here.

Did the previous owner have no issue with power when plugged in to shore power? And all of a sudden you do have issues? Seems really odd. Do you know the previous owner?

As far as battery goes that is likely a completely different issue. I would check for a parasitic draw. Disconnect the battery and put a volt meter between the battery and the cable and see what it is drawing. Any number of things could be drawing power such as fridge, hot water heater, heater, interior lights, etc. but for a battery to go flat it would likely be something that generates heat at that is the generally the biggest power draw. Does your water heater work on electric or propane? Also check thermostat in your trailer and make sure it is set to off. Running the thermostat on heat overnight can drain a battery easily. Two battery systems with good, healthy batteries can handle it but the fans draw a lot of power.

As far as the shore power problem I wonder if the prior owner installed a surge protector that went bad. Normally the shore power is a direct pass through to everything and it will work the instant it is plugged in. All your lights and the appliances I mentioned above run on battery but the outlets are a direct pass through. The fact you had a flicker of power also points to a surge protector. And not talking a lot the GFI switch but and actual heavy duty protector on your 30 amp circuit. It will be between the connection on the trailer and the breaker panel. When it goes everything goes. Could also be a short in your main cord. Try moving the cord around and inspect for sharp kinks or wear. Can you try a different 30 amp power cord? What about plugging in someplace else. Even a standard 15 amp outlet with an adapter to see if you get any power. Just donít run microwave or air conditioner to be safe on the 15 amp.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:04 PM   #3
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Going to check those items.
30 Amp surge protector is that also called "converter" or "inverter"?
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:38 PM   #4
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Electrical Power Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneil@hargray.com View Post
We just purchased a 2013 Dutchman Kodiak camper and can not identify the electrical short in the system. Previous owner had plugged into 110v at house and used with 30 amp at deer camp/campground just fine. We have checked the currents on all the exterior sources and have even replaced the surge protector in the bathroom. We had a second of power (was excited) then died completely out. Additionally we replaced the battery at the trailer tongue and it is completely drained after one night with seemingly no power sources on??? Related items? Fuse or breaker at inverter needs to be replaced we are hearing possibly but what of power to coach from main power source? Any ideas from seasoned camper owners?? We are as green as any camper owners could be.
"can not identify the electrical short in the system":
An electrical short means the electrical circuit hot wire is connected to the neutral wire. Current flows unimpeded and trips a circuit breaker. I assume you mean 120 volt appliances do not work.

There are many different RV power systems. Some are modified by owners. The only way to know for sure is to get make and model of the power system components. Look for labels on individual components.

Your Dutchmen has at least two electrical systems. It has a 12 volt system that operates lights, water pump, furnace, and other things. It has a 120 volt system that charges batteries, operated 120 volt outlets, runs microwave, runs air conditioning, and other things.

The 120 volt system may have a surge protector. The previous owner may have installed it. They are sometimes added to 30 amp 120 volt systems. Surge protectors turn power off when incoming power source is defective. The symptoms you describe could be the surge protector turning things off. Find the make and model number on the surge protector and post it. Make and model will be on the device somewhere.

The Dutchmen probably has a converter/charger. The converter provides 12 volts to lights, water pump etcetera when plugged in to shore power. The charger function recharges the house batteries when plugged in. Get make and model if you think it is not working. Make may be WFCO. Model will be on a label at the circuit breaker and fuse panel.

I could be wrong, but I am assuming your Dutchmen does not have a built in generator, inverter, or transfer switch.

Please post make and model of electrical thing you replaced.

Lead acid batteries must be stored fully charged for long life. Normally the converter/charger in your Dutchmen would keep yours fully charged, however, with no 120 volt power it can become deeply discharged. Do not allow it to stay that way for more than a couple of weeks. Otherwise its life will be shortened.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneil@hargray.com View Post
Going to check those items.
30 Amp surge protector is that also called "converter" or "inverter"?
.

Surge protector protect appliances and things on the circuit from a power surge or sometimes under currentóboth of which can break things. RVís almost never come with them from the factory but they do all come with circuit breakers on various circuits in the RV.

A converter converts the shore power or 110 volt AC power to 12 volts of DC to charge your batteries and run 12 volt systems, mainly lights, etc., but noting that plugs into the electrical outlets.

An inverter takes power from your batteries and ďinvertsĒ it to 110 volts of AC. Those also rarely come on an RV but are frequently installed by those that dry camp or boon dock and want to be able to use their 110 volt systems without a generator or shore power. They typically require a significant investment in batteries and hardware that donít typically make much sense unless you camp for large periods of time within shore power or a generator to provide power.

You probably donít have an inverter and if you have a surge protector it should be easy to find because it will be big and would have lights to indicate it is working correctly and possibly a reset switch in case it is tripped.

It sounds like you might have to take your trailer someplace and hopefully a skilled or experienced person will be able to find the problem quickly. Or if you are near an RV campground try asking around there.

Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:47 PM   #6
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I had a similar issue the first year I took my camper out plugged into the 30 connection I would lose all power with the AC fan on. Used an adapter to connect to the 15Amp connector and it worked fine. I would shut all the breakers off and then check and see if you have power at the panel, if so flip the breakers on one at a time and see if you lose power.

Good luck
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:42 PM   #7
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Thx will try ...
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:49 AM   #8
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That isn’t a surge suppressor in the bathroom that’s normally a GFI or GFCI. I’ve been a electrician for 40 years and I’ve only seen a couple fail. You got lots of good advice from the other members. First you need to remember that your A/C and D/C is two different systems. I would start with the 120 volt shore power first.
Start at your supply where you are plugged in. Make sure your power is good there, if you don’t have a meter plug a light or some thing into it. If it’s 30 amp plug you will need a 30 amp adapter so you can test service. You could skip that part and go straight to trailer panel.
Turn all breakers off and turn one breaker at a time on. If one breaker causes a faulty or trip’s the breaker then you can figure out what doesn’t work in trailer and try to isolate your problem. Every thing I just explained was already posted , there is a lot of knowledgeable people on this site. If the problem started when GFI or other work on rig was done that’ can cause other problems. If you post more info like what does or doesn’t work maybe we can help more.
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