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Author Topic: Electrical questions (Palomino/Elixir)  (Read 1723 times)
clemlaw
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« on: June 10, 2012, 01:29:53 PM »

I had the Palomino Pony open yesterday to replace the water pump, and while I was working on it, I decided to fix what I thought was a burnt out bulb on the outside "porch light".

The new bulb didn't fix the problem, and upon checking, it turns out that both bulbs were fine.  I checked the voltage to the fixture, and it showed 12 volts!  (I don't remember right now whether it was 12 volts, or the 13 or so volts that the converter would be putting out, since it was plugged in.)

With the bulb back in the circuit, this voltage showed zero.

Today, I checked it again.  This time, the trailer wasn't plugged in, so it was just running off the battery.  This time, the open circuit voltage was 1.5 volts, and with the bulb in the circuit, it was once again zero volts.

I checked the short circuit current with an ammeter, and it showed 1 mA for a couple of seconds, and then went down to zero.  This seems suspiciously like a capacitor discharging:  There's not enough current to run any meaningful load, but it will show a DC voltage until it discharges.

Upon closer inspection, it looks like the porch light is fed off the same circuit as the heater.  I attempted to turn on the heater, and, indeed, it is also dead.

I had previously assumed that there was a direct connection between the battery and the camper's three 12 volt circuits, with nothing in between other than fuses.  But the only explanation I can think of for this weird behavior is that there is some electronics between the battery and the three circuits, and that this electronics is shot in one of the three circuits.

I really won't get a chance to fix this until our next trip.  And if necessary, we can live without the heater and light.  If my guess is right, then what I plan to do is simply move those items to one of the other circuits.

Here are my questions:

1.  Does anyone know for sure whether there's any electronics between the battery and the three circuits?  It's an Elixir converter, and yes, I know I should get a more reliable one, since I replaced this one three years ago because of a different, but equally strange, malfunction.

2.  Does anyone know which circuit is which on the Palomino Pony?  Or better yet, does anyone have a complete wiring diagram?  I'm hoping that there is one circuit which operates nothing but the 12 volt refrigerator.  Since I've never used the fridge on 12 volts, I'll just swap those two.  But if something else is on the same circuit, that will make the job slightly more complicated.

3.  Are Elixir converters unreliable?  Oops.  I already know the answer to that one.  Smiley
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Few brews left
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 05:36:50 AM »

I found the manual for the elixer el30 that i recently replaced.

http://www.livinlite.com/pdf/Elixir12_30Manual.pdf

Having previously replaced yours, you probably have this manual. Just in case here it is.

I have been looking for more detailed schematic including details of the resistors and capacitors,  With no luck. The manual only breaks it down to the color of the wires and the "dc appliance" feed. I am goint to split the old convertor that i replaced apart to do some exploring. I have found the resistor color codes online to test each one of those individually. I have heard that to do a real test on the components they have to be removed from the circuit. But i am no electronics GURU.

I believe my jayco has only 5 dc items the radio, lights, furnace, waterpump, refrigerator. I will look this afternoon to see which components they combined. I think it is odd combined your furnace and an exterior light. Normally one would think the furnace  would be a dedicated circuit for safety reasons. You would think that the larger appliances would be on their own circuit.

I did find a new elixer el 30 on ebay for about $120 new with free shipping. A lot can be said about installing a stock part with out modifying anything.

I had to replace mine because of the charging side of the battery. It was putting out 15 volts at the battery! Yikes. Mine was brought on because i did not check the water in the battery. Lesson learned! The new one is putting out a steady 13.47 volts. Yeah!

I will look this afternoon to see which components are combined on the jayco. Not that it will be the same. It might help though.

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clemlaw
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 06:15:14 AM »

Thanks for checking!

As far as I can tell, the furnace and porch light are combined simply because they are so close together.  What I'm hoping is that there is one circuit for nothing other than the refrigerator.  Someone posted a Coleman diagram, and that's the way it was wired up.  If so, I'll just disconnect that one (which I have never used), and put the furnace on it.

It's very frustrating that this particular failure of the converter means that we can't even use the battery to run everything!

Yes, if you have an old converter, it would be helpful if you could trace the wiring for the three output circuits, and confirm my suspicion that each of them has some electronics between them and the source of the juice (either battery or converter output), rather than being simply hardwired together (before the fuses).

I won't be able to tackle this until our next trip, so I'll either disconnect the fridge and hook the furnace to that circuit, or else leave it alone and go withot a furnace for now.  When I do a permanent repair, I think I'll go with another brand of converter.  The first one lasted 3 years, and now this one lasted three years. 

And yes, three years ago, they told me so.  My thinking was the same as yours--that way, I could be sure that it would fit in the same hole without drilling or cutting.   But I have my doubts now.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 07:21:54 AM »

Well i checked the jayco. Itwas a learning experience. Ibelieve the brown wireis theone that feeds the refrigerator. I pulled the individual fuse from left to right. The first fuse (blue wire ) feeds the furnace and the waterpump. That is a suprise . The third fuse ( yellow wire ) feeds the lights, radio, and the propane detector. The brown wire goes to the refrigerator. Position 4 The red wire is the 30 amp fuse that feeds the battery.




 Strange thing found with the brown wire though. There are two brown wires. I don't know if one comes from the elixer and one directly from the battery. further testing needed. Both brown wires plug into the refrigerator 12 volt+ terminal. It is the blue connector behind my finger pointing out the two brown wires. Sorry the quality is not the best.



 Maybe it will help

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« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 07:24:57 AM by Few brews left » Logged
Tenttrailer
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 07:47:51 AM »

I think you may have two diffrent problems:

1) The first sounds like bad ground for the lights and furance.  With the light turnd off measure the resistance from the none votage side of the switch to frame ground, it should be less than an ohm. Make sure shore power is is un-pludes and the plus battery wire is disconnected.  If you have a bad ground, I would frist look at the gound connection to the trailer frame near the light, than look at frame ground connection near the converter.

2) battery: Check votage across battery (post to post), make a note of it. Now check the battery votage at the connection to the power converter, it should be about the same.  If not you have a problem with the battery plus wire or battery ground? 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 08:04:21 AM by gemini » Logged

Trailmanor pulling a Toyota Sienna

Art & Joyce - - Columbus, OH via MI, PA, NY, IN

Nights camped too many to count - - - Camped 31/50 states & Canada.
clemlaw
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 08:03:16 AM »

I think I checked the ground, but since it's so easy, I'll double check it.

I checked the resistance to the door frame, but now that I think about it, there's a chance that the light fixture and the door frame are connected together through the metal siding, but there's no connection to the chasis.  I hope it's that simple!

The battery is definitely good, since it powers the other circuits with no problem.
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Tenttrailer
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 08:10:02 AM »

My experience is when trailers gets a few years old, ground connections all start to go.   I end up cleaning the grounds and add redundent grounds.  I also put a little grease on the connections I clean.   
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Trailmanor pulling a Toyota Sienna

Art & Joyce - - Columbus, OH via MI, PA, NY, IN

Nights camped too many to count - - - Camped 31/50 states & Canada.
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