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sundancev

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About sundancev

  • Birthday 10/01/1943

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Florida
  • Interests
    Business, Stock Market, Offshore Game Fishing, RV traveling throughout the US
  • I travel
    Full-time

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  1. We had a similar issue. Freightliner indicated we had a 160 amp alternator. The Electrical expert at Lazy Days in a forum discussion we attended some years ago, stated the standard 160 amp alternator installed at the factory might not contribute a significant amount to house batteries due to the load of modern Diesel setups in today's motor homes. After installing an 18 cf Samsung Fridge running off the inverter, we noticed voltage was becoming an issue on a frequent basis. We likely also had an issue with the existing alternator in addition to the load from the new Samsung. One day we actually had to run the Onan Generator to help recharge chassis batteries as we were driving on I-75 in Florida. The chassis battery voltage had dropped to 11 volts on the dash indicator. I went to TRS Starter/Alternator repair in Orlando and had them rebuild the Alternator to 200 amp. Money well spent. No more problems. TRS is a splendid outfit with very experienced and competent folks. We had read about them previously in these forums and found them to be the place to go in Florida for Alternator/Starter service on big rigs.
  2. sstgermain, I actually had that one installed and used for several years. It worked sporadically. That was the part that actually started the fire on top of the battery so I decided to try it without the lsl toad charger now. I had thought of using 10 gauge wire initially but decided the lsl toad charger had the diodes and went with that. I want to try it now without a diode, hence the question to you kind folks. I also think the 10 amp fuse is a good one. My reason for 20amp was in case the battery was really down, perhaps a 10amp fuse would not allow the downstrread charge in enough amperage without blowing. In any event I thank you all. Paul
  3. Hello all. I developed a problem today and due to a passerby caught it before it became serious. I had purchased a toad charger apparatus several years ago as we traveled from coast to coast and often dry camped while doing so. The toad charging apparatus allowed us to maintain a charge from our 350HP Fleetwood Providence to our Ford Explorer for some time without problems and without running the Genny. Recently the apparatus failed to do the job and we would often have to use jumper cables to start the Explorer after a day's drive. I sanded connectors and terminals as much as feasible thinking that might be the problem. In any event, sporadically some days it seemed to work and some days not. If I thought about it in time I would run the Genny for a half hour before we stopped and the additional voltage almost insured the Explorer (Toad) would crank ok. Today, I stopped at a rest stop to make a phone call and a passerby beat on our door telling me he thought we had a fire. Sure enough, we did have a fire on our battery in toad that melted through the top of the battery. I was able to put out with a fire extinguisher and cut the charging wiring from the toad battery post and disconnected the motor home side of the charging cable. I stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up a new battery. Tonight all is well except I no longer have a toad charging system I still have #10 gauge wire from motor home to a toad connection that is also #10 wire and I am now thinking of just getting rid of the toad battery charging apparatus completely and just keeping the #10 wire and putting in 20amp fuses at each end of the positive circuit and leave it with a simple plug that can be unplugged each time we disconnect the toad from the motor home. The plug that we use is a trolling motor connect/disconnect that is really heavy duty. The apparatus previously installed included a diode(?) that purportedly kept the Toad from back feeding to the motor home if both were running. Not sure how important that is, but it was the selling point when I bought. I did go heavier in the wiring department when I installed initially by using #10 wire connecting to my house batteries which are in turn connected to the chassis batteries through a relay of some sort I think. Does anyone have thoughts as to safety of such a hookup if I install 20amp fuses on each positive wire (one for motor home end and one for toad end.) Thanks in advance for any advise you may have. Paul
  4. Hello all. For those interested, here is the rest of the story. Wayne wrote about the hot side of the GFI and how the hot wire had to be wired there etc. When I installed the two new GFI circuits I had blindly followed wire by wire installation. I would take black wire out of defective GFI and put in same slot in new one, then the white wires etc. After reading Wayne's missive I started dreaming abouit the problem during the night and woke up realizing I had never actually volt tested the wires coming into to the GFI outlet box to see if I was hooking up the correct wires to line feed and the correct ones to load feed. I simply followed what had worked for almost 8 years on the original install. Turns out somehow the original install had worked despite being installed backwards. The original GFI had panel wires in holes for load rather than for line. Rookie mistake even though I am still a 75 y/o rookie, I knew enough to put hot line wires from panel to line holes etc. Good lesson for me after spending hours checking wiring, duplex outlets, lights and fridge. Never assume anything even if it seemed to work in the past. I was very lucky in more ways than one. Many thanks to you all for your advice. Once again FMCA forum posters streered me in the right direction. Everything is working well at this point Fridge is down to 37F on Inverter. Paul
  5. Standby for the rest of the story????? I have things working for the moment??????? If it continues to work for the next 8 hours I will tell you what I did.
  6. Thanks to you Wayne and Carl. I was very careful when I installed the new GFI duplex outlets to insure the wires went back the same way. I even pulled one wire at a time and installed in the new GFI in the same spot to insure I did not reverse the polarity. My plan this am is to disconnect power, reset the GFI and run test wire to all the outlets in each circuit for continuity in an attempt to trace the problem that way. After sleeping on it all night, and wondering if the Inverter connection has any thing to do with it, I am also going to disconnect the downstream wires from the inverter and then turn the power on. If the GFI does not trip, I sort of think the potential inverter wiring problem is eliminated from this particular issue. I also mentioned to Brett via message this morning, I have one other concern after sleeping/dreaming about the problem all night. Two weeks ago a friend helped me install a new 3/4" plywood floor for the new fridge to sit on. The old floor was about 4" short of allowing the new fridge to fit all 4 wheels on. When we sat in a camprgound in S Miami all winter not moving, it was no problem. While traveling in the NE, we noticed the very bumpy roads seemed to allow the new fridge to move around a little so we decided to pull the fridge and install a new thicker and longer floor for the fridge to sit on. One of my old friends living in Cape Cod helped move the fridge and fasten the new floor. He had some long sheet rock screws that he was using to fasten the new floor to some 3/4" firring strips that was part of the old floor foundation. I was concerned with all the wiring under the floor that ran from the rear of the motor home forward, we might hit one of the wires if we embedded the longer screws to deep. After we screwed the floor down everything worked great. The fridge foundation was level with all four wheels down and was very solid. Most important the fridge continued to purr. This week we went through NY and PA and hit some terribly bumpy roads. At the same time we had lots of non stop drizzling rain. I am now wondering if the bumpy roads has been just enough to have an extra long screw penetrate an otherwise benign wire sitting near it. The cavity under the fridge floor is not very deep, perhaps 3-4" but has lots of wire and furnace duct (flexible). All of your thoughts and suggestions are helpful. Paul
  7. Thanks guys. With absolutely nothing plugged into any of the outlets on the GFI Circuit in question, the GFI trips within 2 seconds of having breaker turned on so do not think amperage has anything to do with this particular problem. I deliberately did not plug anything in to the outlets in order to test the GFI.
  8. Byron thank you for the reply. Since I have used now three GFI's receptacles with same outcome, it must be improper ground based on your reply. Can you suggest what I can do to fix i.e. add another grouind wire to the GFI from another point on the coach. I assume since it has the copper wire ground and the ground on the duplex fitting side opposite the hot side of the duplex, that perhaps those two ground points are not working. That said, I did put my volt meter on the black and white wire at bottom of the GFI and recorded 117 volts so it must be ok to that point??? Thanks Paul
  9. Rich, thanks so much for the reply. Actually the refrigerator works fine on the shore power and the inverter when unplugged from shore power as long as it is not plugged in to the circuit with the GFI that keeps tripping. There are at least 3 circuits fed by the 30 amp inverter breaker in the Main Panel. Another circuit on the same 30 amp Inverter breaker for the microwave runs the fridge just fine. In addition another circuit under dining room table that only seems to have duplex outlets attached will run the fridge fine if I use extension cord to plug the fridge into that outlet. So problem seems to be in the GFI (locate at the bathroom sink). The outlet for fridge is also in line with (same circuit downstream.) Problem may well have nothing to do with inverter. I just saw a reference to inverter on one of Brett's reply to an electrician who had a similar problem with one of his GFI circuits that ended up being tied to the 15 amp breaker on the Inverter. My inverter has a 20amp breaker and a 15amp breaker. To get by until I can find the problem, I am plugged into the microwave duplex outlet temporarily. Since fridge ony draws 3.8 amps I am not overly worried aboiut drawing to much on that particular circuit although I do want to remove it from there as soon as I can find the solution to the circuit with the GFI problem. When we installed the new Samsung residential fridge, we plugged it in the old icemaker circuit which is adjacent to the old frdge duplex outlet. We used the icemaker outlet since the icemaker outlet worked off the inverter. I hope I am not making things overly complicated by introducing to many subjects into the conversation. The problem I have to solve immediately seems to be the GFI Circuit that originates in the bathroom and runs the old icemaker outlet, an outlet over the kitchen sink and an outlet alongside the kitchen cabinetry next to a love seat. There is one other electrical junction I have found over the microwave space where lots of wiring comes together. Unless I drop the microwave I cannot easiy access that box (which coincidently is attached to the roof of the slide). I plan to drop the microwave to access that box, but it is some degree of work and I thought I would wait to hear from you experts prior to taking that step in case it has something to do with the inverter issue that Brett had mentioned. Thanks again. Paul
  10. Earlier I sent this to Brett due to a forum post he had posted in response to an electrical problem posted by an electrician. I had forgotten how to post to the forums but while reading Brett's response to the electrician's problem I found I was able to message him directly. As I continued to read other postings, somehow the light came on and I found I could create a new topic post, hence this posting with apologies to Brett for writing him directly. Recently while traveling through PA, we ran into all day rain storms. We operate our fridge from the old ice maker circuit powered by the inverter when traveling. That night after a very long day driving, Marcia mentioned the fridge (Samsung 110 volt residential) was not working, then noticed the microwave was also not working. A little detective work later, I found the 15amp Circuit breaker on the Xantrax Inverter was tripped. I reset and some of the 110v ciruits came back but the fridge did not along with a couple of other circuits. A little more detective work later, I found the GFI in the bathroom tripped. I reset and the circuits were on for a few seconds and then GFI tripped again. I stopped at Lowes and picked up a new GFI and installed. After installing and turning power back on, the new GFI tripped. I thought perhaps with all the rain we had been in some may have leaked into one of the duplex fixtures. I started taking all the duplex fixtures out one by one and inspecting to see if water was present. I assumed the only reason for a GFI tripping was due to water. I have found no evidence of water in any of the duplex outlets downstream that I have been able to find. After reading the forum post related to GFI issues I found one posted by 120 VAC Wiring Problem: 2004 Sportcoach Elite in which the writer who was an electrician, indicated he had read a February Post from you about an Inverter Breaker perhaps causing the problem. I cannot find that article. Could you give me some advice on how to find. I sort of think it may have been in 2016. We are near the Fleetwood service center but their earliest appointment availability is July. I am pulling what little bit of hair I have left out. Our 2004 Fleetwood Providence has been good to us, but alas, perhaps it is telling us it is getting old. Since we live in it full time, we may be putting much more age on it than normal anyway. Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated. I have the fridge plugged into the Microwave outlet for the time being in order to keep it operating. It does not appear to be a GFI protected duplex. The wire that I have been able to see in the pulled duplex outlets look surprisingly good. The wire looks to be very good quality (size and rubber coating.) I am wondering if the 15 amp circuit to the Inverter could be causing the problem and if so how to check it. Thank you to all the responders in advance. You do us a wonderful service .Sundancev
  11. Based on numerous conversations with the good folks at FMCA, Verizon and others, it appears to me, the FMCA/Verizon mifi data plan will only work if you have another separate phone plan either with Verizon, Cellular, Tmobile or someone else. The FMCA/Verizon mifi plan stands alone. We could not find a good deal with Verizon on phone plans (the Verizon 2gb/4gb/unlimited phone plan still costs excessively when you add the $49.99 FMCA/Verizon mifi data plan. We stuck with a three phone $60 per phone with unlimited data. Could have saved a little with a 2 or 4 gb per phone line plus the FMCA/Verizon plan but the give/gets in there started to get messy for us.
  12. OK Bill, I am on Verizon site now and came to that conclusion also. Their data plans are horribly expensive for 1 or 2 phones at minimal data.
  13. Thank you Mike. Do you also have a separate phone plan with Verizon? If so can you tell me the cost(s) please>
  14. Thanks for reply guys. Still not at the root of my question. I currently have a 24gb plan that can be used either through Iphones, Ipad Mini or Mifi. I pay $110 for the data plan. Data plan is not separately assigned to any specific device. My question is if I change to the FMCA/Verizon Plan at $49.99, will the data plan continue to allow us to use our IPhones/mini pad while away from our Mifi. The FMCA lady seemed to think if we went to the new FMCA/Verizon plan we would no longer be able to use our phones/mini pad for internet service unless we were close enough to connect to our MIfi. I was hopeful of keeping everything the same except reducing my cost from $110 to $49.99 and increasing my data plan from 24GB to unlimited. My question should have been directed to those FMCA members who are already under the new plan as they can tell me how their Iphones and other devices are treated once they are away from the mifi. I know what I hope the answer is but wonder if the answer is in fact as hoped or as the FMCA rep suggested. Thank you again. Paul
  15. With reference to Fleetwood RV's service and factory help. We have owned our 2004 Fleetwood Providence (39' Diesel Pusher, 4 slides) for some 7 years now. We have 170,000 miles on it with us being responsible for 135,000 of them. We have crossed the country East to West and North to South many times. We have been extremely impressed with the overall quality and serviceability of the Providence which we understand is a little bit of an upgrade over the same size Discovery. The Fleetwood factory repair center at Decatur, IN is simply superb. The quality of service, the pricing of the service and the very gracious welcome is second to none. We have met many folks with very high end coaches in our travels. All have had similar problems to ours over the years with similar mileage. Very high end Tiffens have had good years and bad so we have been told. Same with Newmar. Same with Monaco. The Cummins 350 HP ISC has proven to be very good, although if repaired and serviced at a Cummins or Freightliner dealer it is very expensive (nothing to do with Fleetwood.) The typical minimum charges from Freightliner and Cummins are simply not supported i.e. $285 minimum diagnostic charge for a diode in the Alternator that was already diagnosed by telephone with Cummins rep or $300 minimum charge to change Strut bushings, which local tractor dealer took care of in 30 minutes for $50. Back to the subject. Oftentimes when we had trouble on the road, we were many miles or many days wait from a Fleetwood Dealer or competent mobile mechanic. I found in every case, a phone call to their Customer Service Center in Decatur IN would put me in contact with someone who could diagnose the problem and give me a quick and possibly at times temporary solution to get us back on the road. The folks at their call center are simply fantastic. We are lucky enough to be able to afford a possibly higher end product if we so desire. Frankly the help provided by the Factory Repair center and their Call center in Decatur will insure I continue to do business with Fleetwood. Are there higher quality products, undoubtedly so, however, for the money I will stay with them forever. Hope this helps. Paul
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