Gulf Stream Owners RV Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-16-2014, 11:13 PM   #1
03heritagerider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Default Electrical problems

I'm not sure how much more I can handle...the whole travel for relaxation thing is getting lost on me.

After spending several weeks in December trying to figure out the reason the rig would not run for more than 20 seconds at a time (see topic under Class A Board titled "RIG WON'T START" dated December 16, 2013) we now have a new set of issues to deal with.

Here is the story (grab a cup of coffee...or better yet, a beer. This is going to be a long story and I apologize in advance for that)...

December 26th as we prepared for our 3 month winter trip, I noticed the adapter plug that takes my shore power cord to a 15 amp plug, which I use at home, is scorched. I go to the store and get a replacement.

On the 27th we leave SW Pennsylvania for warmer climes. About 200 miles into the trip we pull over at a rest area and I notice liquid leaking from the compartment that houses the shore power line and the Xantrex Freedom 458 Inverter/Charger. It was a bottle of distilled water I was storing on the floor of the compartment, under the Xantrex for use in my house batteries. It seems the bottle began to melt from the heat coming out of the Xantrex.

A couple hundred miles later we pulled into a campground for the night and I plugged in the shore power to the 50 amp post. The Xantrex was very hot and the power did not come on in the coach. I unplugged the two Phone type plugs marked "REMOTE" and "TSC" and the power came on. I plugged the "TSC" cord back in and the power in the coach went out. I unplugged it and the power came on. Then I plugged the "REMOTE" cord in and the fan on the Xanterx came on.

Next morning we began noticing an odor as we continued on out way. The smell of burnt plastic. When we reached our first destination, we noticed the cap for the cable TV connection in that same compartment had melted from the heat build up.

We stayed at this location for a week and there were no electrical issues.

Upon leaving for our next destination about 175 miles away, there were no issues other than an obvious heat build up in the compartment. But it seemed that running the generator started the cooling fan, so I ran it for about 10 minutes every hour.

We stayed at this location on 50 amp shore power for two weeks with no issues.

When we left this morning, our next destination was about 300 miles. Soon after leaving, the battery light on the dash illuminated. The gauges on the dash all read normal and stayed in the normal range (Engine temp, oil pressure and volts). The battery light would go out every time the engine RPM's dropped, as when descending a grade. As soon as I accelerated, the light would come back on. I continued to run the gen every hour.

All 12v systems were operating normally. Furnaces were cycling on and off with the interior temp. Fridge went on gas when the gen was off and A/C when gen was on. GPS and phone charger lights plugged into power ports were all on.

At about 250 miles into this leg, we stopped for a comfort break and the heat was really building up, so I turned the gen on and left it running.

20 miles from our destination, I noticed the volt gauge was beginning to drop, but all 12v systems were O.K.

5 miles from our destination, we exited the interstate. As I pulled away from the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp the dash lights and all the gauges shut down, as if I had turned off the ignition switch, but the engine was still running. I turned off the gen at this point. When I released my foot from the accelerator, the lights and gauges would come back on. As soon as I accelerated, the were all out again. Approaching a turn, I realized I had no turn signals. At this point I assumed I also had no brake lights as well.

1 mile from the campground the rig started to run rough.

I pulled into the campground and shut the engine off while I went in to register. When I came out to start it, there wasn't enough power to turn it over (Engine batteries were installed December 20th). I pushed the jumper button and it started. The half mile to the camp site the engine was running rough. We parked, plugged in and all seems normal. Panel inside the coach is reading 50 amp shared power and batteries charging.

Now the questions...I would have difficulty believing the Xantrex issue and the engine battery issue and the dash indicators are unrelated, but how?

What should I be checking? (Remember I'm a dumb guy so no techno talk)

I'm calling Xantrex in the morning to see if they can offer any advice, but you guys have always been a big help. Any info would be greatly appreciated. We'll be in this location for two weeks, so there is at least that much time.

Thanks in advance.
__________________
'03 41' Friendship & 24' trailer with HIS '03 H-D Heritage Springer, HER '15 H-D Freewheeler Trike, and '08 Smart Car.
"Adventure is found in the journey, not the destination."
03heritagerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
03heritagerider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Default Re: Electrical problems

Called Xantrex this morning. The tech determined, from my description of symptoms and a few things he had me check, that my inverter/converter is bad. I ordered a new one ($850.00) and it should be delivered within a week. Fortunately, we're booked in this location for 2 weeks.

Keeping fingers crossed.
__________________
'03 41' Friendship & 24' trailer with HIS '03 H-D Heritage Springer, HER '15 H-D Freewheeler Trike, and '08 Smart Car.
"Adventure is found in the journey, not the destination."
03heritagerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 07:16 PM   #3
Frutza
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 133
Default Re: Electrical problems

Dont you have a Xantrex display that shows how many amps? ac and dc? Is your inverter tied to the chassis batteries?
My Xanterx has a display that shows Hz ,Amps , Inverter on or off, charger on or off, and it runs off the coach batteries?
Good luck
__________________
Mike & Becky
2005 Crescendo 8356
Frutza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
RayChez1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,054
Default Re: Electrical problems

I also have the 458 Xantrex inverter and it charges the house batteries only. Has nothing to do with the chassis batteries. But it should not get that hot in the inverter compartment to start melting stuff. Has to be a bad converter.

But also the drop in your voltmeter on the dash and your chassis batteries going dead tells me you also have a alternator problem. Could also be a lose alternator belt and is slipping. Wow! That was a night mare of a trip. I always keep the inverter turned off unless I want AC power to charge a cell phone or something while I am driving. The fridge I always run it on propane while driving. Fact I very seldom use the invertor. If I want to use the microwave while driving, I turn the generator on for a few minutes while the wife does what ever on the microwave.
__________________
2002 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser
2018 Buick Envision Essence
Neway Freightliner chassis
Aventa II Blue Ox
RayChez1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 09:47 AM   #5
03heritagerider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Default Re: Electrical problems

The Xantrex rep had me check the panel and that is when he determined the inverter was bad. The panel read DC volts were good at 13.5 but the DC amps reading was <10.

As far as the dash light, I suspeced a belt issue. Last winter we had a belt break that caused the engine to overheat and blow a hose fitting. After being towed into a shop (AAA covered the tow for the MH but had to pay extra for the cargo trailer). They said the air conditioner pulley was frozen and the friction caused the belt to break . $800.00 later we were on our way. I have a spare belt, so I'll change it before we leave here.

That's why I said I'm not sure how much more I can handle. Seems every winter some major event happens that costs us time or money or is potentially dangerous.

Two winters ago, our cantalievered power awning roller separated from the arms, fell down the side of the coach hanging on by the fabric, and the arms extended on I-95 in Georgia. Think about what a disaster that would have been if the roller came off or those arms extended as I was passing a truck.
__________________
'03 41' Friendship & 24' trailer with HIS '03 H-D Heritage Springer, HER '15 H-D Freewheeler Trike, and '08 Smart Car.
"Adventure is found in the journey, not the destination."
03heritagerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
RayChez1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,054
Default Re: Electrical problems

Heritagerider: So can you bypass the invertor until you get back from your trip? I hardly ever use the invertor, but I do need the charger in the invertor to charge the house batteries. I had a transfer board in the invertor that had a lose connection when I was in Oregon a few years back. I pulled it out and had it repaired for a couple of hundred dollars. I was in the RV park at Seaside TTrails. So I just unplugged the invertor and drove on the toad to Portland where they fix Xantrex invertors. Nothing to it, just watch how the wires are connected. Those two wires that look like tv line connectors can be mixed up if you do not pay attention. It happened to me that is why I know. But it did not take long for me to figure that out. A brand new Xantrex 458 Freedom costs around $1400.00 for the 2K watt. Little more for the 3K watt.
Xantrex should be able to tell you where shops are around the area where you are at. Just curious! You mention that something will cost you $850.00. What is costing you that amount?
__________________
2002 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser
2018 Buick Envision Essence
Neway Freightliner chassis
Aventa II Blue Ox
RayChez1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 10:05 PM   #7
03heritagerider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Default Re: Electrical problems

Ray. I ordered a new Xantrex 458 2k on line. $850 & free shipping. It should be here in a week and I'll replace it myself.
__________________
'03 41' Friendship & 24' trailer with HIS '03 H-D Heritage Springer, HER '15 H-D Freewheeler Trike, and '08 Smart Car.
"Adventure is found in the journey, not the destination."
03heritagerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 12:28 AM   #8
RayChez1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,054
Default Re: Electrical problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03heritagerider
Ray. I ordered a new Xantrex 458 2k on line. $850 & free shipping. It should be here in a week and I'll replace it myself.
Wow! You got a real good deal.
__________________
2002 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser
2018 Buick Envision Essence
Neway Freightliner chassis
Aventa II Blue Ox
RayChez1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 08:41 AM   #9
03heritagerider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 389
Default Re: Electrical problems

Ray,

I ordered the Xantrex from EPAL Marine Supplies http://www.shopepal.com/p-16637-xantrex ... 7Aodgh8A2g

BTW...When it comes to changing the belt...

Since I suspect it is slipping, based on the fact that the battery light would go off whenever the engine RPMs dropped (like when coasting down a hill) how do I check the alternator to see if it is putting out the correct voltage?

Do I put a meter on the batteries before changing the belt and then after (with engine running)? Or do I have to check at the alternator.

I put a meter on the chassis batteries yesterday and they read 13.5v. Engine has been off and we're on 50 amp shore power since arriving here on Thursday.
__________________
'03 41' Friendship & 24' trailer with HIS '03 H-D Heritage Springer, HER '15 H-D Freewheeler Trike, and '08 Smart Car.
"Adventure is found in the journey, not the destination."
03heritagerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2014, 10:34 PM   #10
RayChez1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,054
Default Re: Electrical problems

You should be able to tell if your alternator is charging just by watching your voltmeter on the dash. If your chassis batteries are reading 13.5, there is nothing wrong with your alternator. That is a fully charged 12 volt battery.

If your coach is like mine though, the invertor/charger only charges the house batteries, not the chassis.

Why the alternator light is going on is puzzling. It could be several things like a direct short in the system, a defective alternator, but the batteries would be low in that case. Lose belt.

You do have a analog type voltmeter gauge on your dash, don't you?
__________________
2002 Gulf Stream Scenic Cruiser
2018 Buick Envision Essence
Neway Freightliner chassis
Aventa II Blue Ox
RayChez1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nothing electrical gilbertd@windstream.net New Member Introductions 6 07-26-2017 09:02 PM
12 volt electrical problems in 2016 Gulstream Conquest DaveS Electrical 2 06-12-2017 11:26 PM
electrical christopher Electrical 1 09-14-2010 09:18 AM
Electrical problems on Yellowstone 34FBR djbcs 5th Wheels 4 10-11-2009 09:31 AM
12v electrical problems Jobuha Electrical 11 11-13-2007 09:47 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.