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Power Converter Functioning?

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#1 jtreilly

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 09:16 PM

My 2015 Casita Travel Trailer is equipped with a Parallax Series 7100 Power Center.  It seems that the converter has stopped functioning. While I get 120v throughout the trailer, the 12v devices seem to rely on the battery which weakens quickly.  It does not appear to be recharging through the power center, only through the tow vehicle's power source.  I've had to start the engine in the middle of the night. 

 
Is there a simple way to check whether the converter is functioning?  Circuit breakers and fuses seem to be intact.
 


#2 NW9836

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 10:13 PM

One way would be to disconnect the battery, plug into 110 volt shore power and check to see if the lights and furnace fan operate.

.


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#3 Mark Watson

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 02:45 AM

Your not traveling with the fridge in DC mode, or trying to use the fridge in DC mode while parked are you? That has been known to cause low battery output. Do you have a battery monitor? If so, plug it into the cig lighter plug in the rear curb side of the trailer and note the battery voltage level when your not connected to shore power. Then plug into shore power and the voltage should jump up to about 13.4 volts. That would indicate the converter is working.

I have the used the water pump with plenty of water in the fresh water tank and a faucet open and not connected to a shore water faucet. When I plug into shore power I immediately hear the water pump run much faster and louder. The water pump is good to use because it is right there near the power access door and is easy to hear. 

If you have no battery monitor you can use a 12 volt dc motor such as the roof vent fans. Simply turn on a fan when disconnected to shore power and note the sound level of the fan. Then plug into shore power and you should immediately hear the fan turn faster resulting in a slightly louder operation. If fan noise is louder the converter would appear to be working. 


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#4 Euphoria

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 08:16 AM

While it is not unheard of for a converter to go bad, I would first check the two large 30 Amp fuses on the converter just to make sure that they are still good. If there was ever an inadvertent cross connection, such as a reverse polarity condition, it would most probably have blown those fuses, (and it is also the reason that they are there.) Physically pull them out and test them, you can't tell if they are good or not without pulling them. Next, be sure that your 120 vac circuit breaker for the converter is on or not otherwise tripped. Be sure to push the circuit breaker completely, and forcefully, to the fully off position before resetting it, or else the thermal element won't reset. While you are at it, check around for loose or broken wires (the obvious things) and then if none of these are the culprit, then you may well have a converter which has gone south on you.

 

If you do find that it has gone to the other side, there are better units out there which can be a "drop in" replacement for the bad lower half of the converter.

 

Link: http://www.bestconve...ml#.VkS7E9KrQdU


Edited by Euphoria, 12 November 2015 - 08:21 AM.

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#5 jtreilly

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for all of your helpful comments.  

 

Turns out to be a faulty converter/charger.  Parallax Power (Connecticut Electric) is shipping a new unit ASAP. Their policy is to then wait for the user (me) to return the unit in question for inspection.  If they agree that is faulty then they won't charge my credit card for the replacement unit and say they will pay 80% of the RV Mobile Repair labor costs I incurred (we'll see).  Anyway I should be back in business very soon.

 

For now, Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield, CA, is a fine place to be stuck for a few days.

 

 

 



#6 C.FiberglassFreedom

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 05:40 AM

Thanks for all of your helpful comments.  

 

Turns out to be a faulty converter/charger.  Parallax Power (Connecticut Electric) is shipping a new unit ASAP. Their policy is to then wait for the user (me) to return the unit in question for inspection.  If they agree that is faulty then they won't charge my credit card for the replacement unit and say they will pay 80% of the RV Mobile Repair labor costs I incurred (we'll see).  Anyway I should be back in business very soon.

 

For now, Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield, CA, is a fine place to be stuck for a few days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Well gosh only 80% labor reimbursement for their faulty product and they hold you by the short hairs until they 'verified' you aren't being dishonest aren't they just a peach.    It certainly encourages my idea to replace my converter with something better whenever mine decides to crap out or I find a bundle of money whichever comes first.


Edited by C.FiberglassFreedom, 14 November 2015 - 07:06 AM.


#7 jtreilly

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 07:10 PM

It gets worse...  I got a check today from Parallax Power (Connecticut Electric) for $90 labor reimbursement.  That's exactly 25% of what I paid the electrician to come out, diagnose the problem, remove the faulty converter, come out again when the replacement arrived, and install the new converter.  They also reimbursed the cost of my shipping the faulty product to them ($22), but not the cost of 3-day shipping to me  ($35-- I was already delayed an extra week in Bakersfield due to this repair!) 

 

What's sadder is that the converter had a faulty thermistor, a $1.30 part.  We all could have saved ourselves a lot of money and aggravation with a simple repair, as opposed to their strict warranty policy requiring return of the part so they could deem it faulty ... or if they offered a better product to begin with. 

 

 



#8 mcguinnorders@comcast.net

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 08:28 AM

We have a parallax converter that overcharges the battery.  Older model.  Can't recall the model.

What are you all using if you replace the converter?  Same or different model?

We have a battery cutoff switch already, so my question is about the converter.



#9 Euphoria

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 10:28 AM

The Parallax converters are not "smart chargers" to begin with. If your converter is shot, you generally only need to replace the lower unit. Best Converter sells a "drop in" replacement that is also a better charger because it has 4 stages. Other chargers out there, (including Parallax,) only has 3 stages and will overcharge and ruin you battery if left on for extended periods of time. Here's a link to the one I upgraded to. Look for the PD 4645 upgrade unit.

 

Link: http://www.bestconve...Kits_c_133.html


Edited by Euphoria, 16 May 2016 - 10:31 AM.

"If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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#10 Wally Z

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

Mine doesn't over charge my battery and I leave it plugged in 24/7 when at home.  I have a battery monitor and it shows zero amp draw when battery is fully charged. When the battery needs charge the monitor shows amp draw which gradually decreases as the battery charges until it reaches zero amp draw. Been hooked up for better part of two years. Only added water to battery twice in that time and didn't really need to.  Just part of my periodic maintenance. Don't know about earlier converter models having issues, but mine seems to work just fine.


Edited by Wally Z, 16 May 2016 - 11:00 AM.

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#11 mcguinnorders@comcast.net

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:09 AM

Greg and Brenda,

Is the converter difficult to change out?

How is customer support?

I visited the link, and it said this:  Want to know how important this is, if you know.  Thanks.

 
"4.27.2016  We will soon have a Charge Wizard Pendant that does not require splicing.  It will plug directly into the main board of all 4600 series converter upgrades. It's purpose is to interact with the Charge Wizard remotely and note the status indicator LED without having to open the flip down door of your power center.  It can be purchased separate with your new 4600 or added to existing models at any time."


#12 Don

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 08:04 AM

After the OEM unit fried the second battery in 2010, I replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics, Inc, Inteli-Power 4600. (I know we all have our favorite products - this is just what I used).

 

My 'how to' pictorial for this install can be viewed at:

https://www.flickr.c...57624153813246/

 

PS0182_cr.jpg

 

 

Other units might not install exactly the same but should be similar. Not difficult but a little time consuming.

 


Don & Sherian, 2017 GMC Canyon, SLT, crew cab, short bed, 3.6 V6, 8 speed auto trans
factory brake controller and anti-sway control. Made in USA. Custom Casita graphics.
07 Casita 17' SD w/HLA (Egg Motel, room for 2 - to go), also made in USA
Photos of our mods and other stuff: http://tinyurl.com/2dz93g

#13 mcguinnorders@comcast.net

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 09:29 AM

Considering installing an AGM battery.  Have read that an AGM battery should not be equalized.

Do you know if the equalization setting can be permanently turned off on this upgrade?

 

Plus, thank you for the info and invaluable pictures of your install. 



#14 Don

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 05:52 PM

Here is a link to the Installation and Operation guide for my unit. I found no mention of equalizing in the document. At the bottom of the first page is their contact info if you wish to get the straight scoop.

http://www.progressi...ation_guide.pdf

Don

Edited by Don, 19 May 2016 - 05:53 PM.

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#15 Dermodad

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:24 PM

Word of warning of changing this out. On my 2015, The DC converter unit cage is spot-welded/riveted into the larger cage that houses the fuse and breaker panels. The entire power center must be liberated from the fiberglass cutout and pulled out to get to the rivets/welds, which are easily defeated with a drill. Adds a small challenge to the relatively easy exchange I see documented in this forum. 







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