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Lights in camper are dimming randomly

Kalob3211
Explorer
Explorer

The rv is a 2016 so not new but new to me.

The converter is giving the proper voltages, the battery terminals are clean, the batteries are giving the proper voltages, the 30amp socket is giving proper voltages, the batteries are holding a full charge, none of the fuses are blown, the converter fan is running fine, the plug is getting slightly warm but there's no burning on the terminals or any other signs if damage on the plug itself, and I've been using the camper without this problem since I got it a year ago. However as of a few days ago the camper lights have started dimming randomly during my normal use. Could this be a sign something is going bad, or am I just drawing too much power at points throughout the day and making the lights dim? 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

opnspaces
Navigator
Navigator

I would suspect the converter is not able to keep up with the load when the charger kicks on.

What is the voltage when the lights are bright and what is the voltage when the lights are dim?

.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

View solution in original post

11 REPLIES 11

MNtundraRet
Navigator
Navigator

I would look for a bad grounding near the battery(s). 

If you are plugged in to an outside outlet on a camping site, have you checked the outlet for correct wiring and voltage. This could cause a brown-out condition. 

 

Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29

opnspaces
Navigator
Navigator

I would suspect the converter is not able to keep up with the load when the charger kicks on.

What is the voltage when the lights are bright and what is the voltage when the lights are dim?

.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

Ahh crap I didn't mean to do that, I can't check the voltage when it dimes because it only dims for a fraction of a second each time but the non dim voltage is 12.6

if your voltage when the lights are bright is 12.6 it means your converter isn't working at all if you are plugged in.  what is starting that causes it to dim, the battery can only handle so much especial when it is down to 12.6v already.  you threw me off as in your original post you said the converter is giving the proper voltage but 12.6 when the converter is on isn't proper, not even close.  

2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Just checked again, is 13.6 more accurate?

When full charged (and the charging stops), the battery should be at 12.7v (+-0.1). When charging, it should be somewhere on the order of 13.2-14.6 (modern chargers have different charging stages with different voltages). 

What type of lights do you have? (LED or Incandesant) 

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Yes 13.6 is definitely a sign that the converter is working.

If the dimming only occurs when you're on shore power the voltage is probably briefly dropping to 12.6 or battery voltage. It could be the converter is starting to age. Or it could be a loose or corroded ground. A loose connection would allow the meter to read 13.6 volts. But it might not be able to keep up with a sudden demand for power.
Since not everybody (myself included) have a plethora of fancy testing equipment I always try to think of different ways to test a theory. If you're dimming is kind of predictable then I would try something like connecting a standalone battery charger to the batteries. Then with a second source of higher voltage in the system see if the dimming occurs less frequently or even stops.

.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

I was told 12.6 was what the output should be when plugged in I take it to mean that's not the case. ok, what should the output voltage actually be? And would this mean there's a problem with the converter or the batteries? 

pluggted in your converter supplies the power, and depending weather it is in bulk, adsorb or float.  Also depends what battery type it is set for and what brand/model the converter is.  at any rate it will be over 13V when plugged in, when not plugged in you will be running off the battery power so the highest you will see is 12.8V on a fully charged flooded battery, LifePO4 batteries will be higher.

2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator

Does this happen when other 12v items turn on, like a water pump or thermostat?


Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

Yeah