Why Are All The Lights Inside My Travel Trailer Going Dim?
by Brent Colborn
(Idaho Falls, ID)
I own a 2006 Gulfstream Innsbruck travel trailer. The last two winters while hunting I have ran into an electrical problem. I wake up in the middle of the night to very dim lights and a cold trailer. The furnace is barely running as well. My generator is running but the batteries show no charge. My microwave and T.V. still work as well. I initially thought I tripped a breaker or blew a fuse but everything seems to be working. The only fix that works on occasion is to flip the main breaker for a short period of time and flip it back on.
I use the trailer mostly during hunting season and this is when I notice the problem. I have unplugged directly from the generator to no avail. My converter will kick on as soon as I flip the breaker. I also had the batteries checked and the passed inspection. Sometimes the problem goes away when I go back up to my trailer and plug in the batteries and start the generator.
I think there may be a bad connection between the batteries and the converter, but again this doesn't happen every time I use the trailer. I recently tried the flip the breaker trick and it did not work. Now I am at a loss as to what to do.ANSWER:
Greetings Brent thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.
From what you have described it does not sound like a bad connection. It sounds like a problem with your Converter. Even though it appears that your Converter is providing 120 volt electricity to your appliances such as the TV and Microwave it does not appear that it is providing 12 volt power and your 12 volt system is running purely off of the house batteries.
We can eliminate the generator as being the problem because your appliances are running so we know that the power from the generator is making it to the converter. This may be an intermittent problem with your converter, so that is why sometimes it seems to work fine and other times it does not.
You said that you have already checked for blown fuses and you have found none. You have had your house batteries checked and they are fine. The only thing I can suggest is double-check the connections at the battery and make sure that all connections are clean and tight.
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The bottom line is that if it is an internal problem with the converter you are going to have to take your trailer in and have a Qualified RV Technician diagnose and repair the problem. I do not recommend that you attempt any repairs on the Converter yourself as you could cause severe damage to your RV's electrical system.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you.
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