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Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 13462
Experience:  18 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Have used 1997 Alpenlite Cypress 34RK. Previous owners had

Customer Question

Have used 1997 Alpenlite Cypress 34RK. Previous owners had no information manuals. Need info on refrigerator operation (doesn't work gas or electric). Also inverter... without battery usage, inverter kicks off and I lose power.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is Robert....

When you are plugged into power the power converter will take the AC voltage and make the DC voltage, when you unplug you are running off of battery power. IF you are getting no DC voltage then the lights, furnace, fridge etc will not work. To me it sounds like the converter might not be charging the battery, OR you have bad batteries, when you are plugged in you should see about 13.5 volts at the battery then maintain around 12.8 volts. IF the voltage is not in that range then the converter is not working properly. Sometimes on the charge line from the converter to the battery you will find a breaker, below is a picture, most have a tiny tab that pops out when they trip, as a general rule they like to stick them 18" from the battery.

I would also have the battery load tested to make sure it is good, they can get to the point where they will not accept a charge and then you will start getting low voltage or no voltage. Most auto parts stores can load test them for free. I might start with having the batteries tested then look for a tripped breaker and then troubleshoot the converter.

Normally we do a question at a time and the fridge would be something else I may or may not be able to help you on, I would need to know the make and model of that..

IF you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.... Robert

Breaker.....

Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

IF you actually have an inverter please let me know, not to many 5th wheels have them, an inverter will also charge the battery but then would allow you to have AC power when you are unplugged it takes the DC battery voltage and makes the AC voltage. Where a power converter will do the opposite.

IF you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me, follow ups are included.

Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have bad batteries. It seems that I should continue to have power as there is a permanent connection to 110 through my local PUD. What does inverter have to do with it? Didnt know inverter is suppose to charge batteries; do I understand correctly? If I do not keep a battery charger connected, batteries fail quickly and inverter shuts down. No power until charger is reconnected.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've been told that there is a way to by-pass the inverter? Since the trailer is permanently placed as my residence and I will not be moving it around, there is no need for inverter? By using permanent connection to regular power, power for trailer equipment will work accordingly as in any usual residence?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What will be the result if I just purchase new batteries?
Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

YES, your electrical system is split, AC voltage which is 110 and DC voltage which is 12 volts DC, when you are plugged in the AC items would be the outlets, microwave etc. The DC items would be lights, water pump, fridge, AC unit, water heater etc. Some of the 110 items require 12 volts to turn on such as the fridge and AC unit.

SO I suspect all the outlets are working but you are missing ALL the DC power, if the battery is not getting charged when the power goes out then you will not have that DC voltage.

The converter will take the AC voltage and charge the battery..

IF you purchase new batteries it should take care of the problem however you need to verify that converter is working, when you plug in you should see the battery voltage rise, as long as they are charging then you are set....

Hope this makes sense, if you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me, IF you are satisfied with my efforts please feel free to select a rating, it is the only way I get credit for helping.... Robert

Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

I would get this working the way it should, as you need a good source to charge the batteries, the power converter or inverter would be that source.

IF you can get me the make and model of the power converter or inverter I might be able to send you some troubleshooting, if the batteries are not being charged it could be something simple such as a tripped breaker near the battery. IF the batteries are bad I would replace them and then get a volt meter and see what the voltage is when you plug in, it should go up to around 13.5 and then maintain around 12.5 volts if the converter is working.

Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Inverter is Trace Engineering,. DR Series Power Inverter/Charger. Its in a 97 Alpenlite Cypress 34RK. I'm pretty sure I understand what your saying, but not positive. Hopefully I can understand enough, and/or get hold of my helper, Tom, to check it out for me. I will call him, relay your info, and see what he thinks as to an evaluation of your information and rate you then so you can get paid. Please respond.
Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

OK

So you do have an inverter.

The thing you need to know about an inverter is it will allow you to have AC power when you are unplugged but it takes your DC battery voltage and makes the DC voltage. SO if the batteries are bad the inverter will shut down for low voltage. On most inverters they will have two breakers on them and sometimes you will find a large fuse bolted to the frame that is on the charge line from the inverter to the battery. Many times you need a very large battery bank to run an inverter, when on inverter you are also limited to how much you can run, it would be OK for powering some outlets but not running anything like the AC or even the microwave, it will drain the batteries down very fast.

Really sounds like the batteries are the issue. I would replace them and then make sure that inverter is charging when plugged in.

Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** I said, i'll get hold of my helper Tom, ASAP, to get his' thoughts. He does work on RV's, not what you'd consider a professional, but is good with his' understanding of the systems involved (which I'm not). And he is my resource. I've bookmarked this page so I can come back with a rating so you are credited as soon as possible. If this works it will be well worth it.
Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good...

In a sense you could bypass the inverter but the batteries would still need a way to be properly charged so when the power goes out you have the DC voltage working. I am thinking the batteries will take care of the issue, if not got to check the inverter charging circuit. Robert

Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

Hi.... Was just checking in to see if my answer helped out? IF you still have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me...

Robert