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Old 08-02-2019, 08:53 PM   #1
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THOR #16209
Furnace and refrigerator not working

Hi everyone. I'm new here and hoping to get some help. I own a 26' Thor Four Winds travel trailer. It is permanently parked being used for a Airbnb rental. It is hooked up to shore power. The furnace and refrigerator both stopped working. I know they require 12v. I don't think they are getting 12v. I do have 12v coming out of the convertor but not at the furnace or refer. I cannot find a reset or a inline fuse. The 12v fuses in the box are good. The trailer has been parked so I doubt a wire came loose. I've checked everything I can think of. They don't work on just the battery alone either. I live near Denali Park Alaska and the nearest RV dealers or service shops are 150 miles away. Anyone had this issue or have any ideas? If someone can solve my problem I will give them a free nights stay in one of my rentals if you ever visit Alaska.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
Well sitting stationary means the smaller critters can climb aboard and chew wires if they have a mind to do so and the opportunity. I don’t know if your furnace and fridge are in the same side/area of the coach, but if yes maybe you have some closely run wires chewed up....or some near the 12v fuse panel.


You say you don’t think the fridge and furnace are getting 12vdc. Best way to be sure is use a voltmeter and check the outside access of each appliance (refer to manuals/schematics you should have).



The other much simpler way perhaps:
Fridge: Any lights on the fridge control panel at all (if equipped)......and is it set to auto mode so when connected to shore power it “should” run automatically on 120vac. Still needs 12vdc for controls as you said.
Furnace: when you set the thermostat to call for heat does the blower start at least? Hear any mini relay clicks inside the thermostat when there is a call for heat?


Are these appliances the only ones not working.....what about 12vdc lights, fans etc?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the thoughts. There are not any small critters where I live to worry about. The fridge and furnace are side by side. The converter has 12v going out but I do not have 12v at the fridge or furnace.

There are no lights working on the fridge no matter where I set it. The RV has been is use for the last 3 months. The blower on my furnace does not come on until the furnace is lit. So no it does not come on. The air conditioner fan blows. Everything else works as it should. I turn off the shore power and the lights and all still work on 12v. I still think there must be a relay or fuse I am missing somewhere. When I turn the thermostat up I can hear the click in the furnace. So the thermostat is working.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:41 PM   #4
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So since both furnace and fridge are side by side it would not surprise me that the 12vdc feeds to them are possibly a common fused feed from your DC fuse panel. I think you said all fuses looked good. I would be tempted to pull the fuses and re-seat them again in case you have a poor connection(s). I would also be tempted to open the failed appliance outside that is closest to the DC/converter fuse panel and see if you can identify the 12vdc feeder wire and trace it back as far as possible just to see where it goes and that it is in good condition. You may find an in line fuse long that path or may also find a multiple/splice (if it exists) that goes to the other failed appliance as well. Sorry I can’t suggest something else, but it just seems that those two closely located appliances failed at the same time......sounds as you said like an open fuse somewhere. The other thing is could they have a common ground wire that is not making good contact to chassis somewhere?



Others may have better suggestions for you.
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:20 AM   #5
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You know that ground idea is a great one. So often it is a grounding problem. I have guests in it for the night so it will have to wait till the AM. I have pulled all of the fuses and since I had them I replaced all of the fuses. I used my meter on them as well.

I have done as you suggested and opened the panels. That is where I checked for 12V at both the appliances. All the wires look good but they go into the wall fast. There is a Tyco 10 amp fuse. It is one of the black square ones. It does not seem to be blown. The white end is not popped out. It is located on the furnace next to the on/off switch. If I lived near town I would go buy one anyway and mark that off the list. I think I may order one and have it mailed down tomorrow.

I have a electric heater and coolers for the guests to use tonight so they are good. I just hate to tear into something chasing wires if it is something simple. I turned all power off to the TT today for 2 hours hoping maybe something would reset. No luck.

I guess I was hoping someone might have the same trailer and have had the same issue. Thought there may be a hidden fuse somewhere. I have not found my on/off switch from the battery anywhere yet. But the RV has been working fine as is. I have not had a battery in the RV until today when I hooked a battery up to try to get the fridge to work on 12V and gas.
Thank your for all of the thought and ideas! Keep them coming. I will check for a grounding issue tomorrow. I should of thought of that!
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:02 AM   #6
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get under the fridge and find the junction of the 12 volt wiring to both. It my also include the range hood. Loose wirnuts and joints are common in the RV world. 4 or 5 things can be controlled by the same ciercuit.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:11 AM   #7
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I agree cavie. There is nothing under the fridge though. Everything is accessed from the outside panels. I did untwist the two wire nuts I seen while the power was off. No corrosion or dark burn marks. It has to be something like that?
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cantwell Troy View Post
I agree cavie. There is nothing under the fridge though. Everything is accessed from the outside panels. I did untwist the two wire nuts I seen while the power was off. No corrosion or dark burn marks. It has to be something like that?
Now go find the connection for the furnace. If it only has one pair of wires you must find where the fridge and the range come together. If that looks good follow the wiring back to the next joint.
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:12 PM   #9
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I didn't see any mention of the propane level.
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:52 PM   #10
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I didn't see any mention of the propane level.
Doesn't apply to the problem of not 12 VDC control power.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:32 PM   #11
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New Information ! Here is what I found out this morning. I have 12V power at the back of the fridge and furnace if both the furnace and fridge are turned to OFF. If I turn the fridge to auto or gas, or if I turn the thermostat on I lose 12v power at the back of the fridge and furnace. I am at a loss but I bet one of you guys might have the answer now that I have better information.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:10 PM   #12
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Very strange. I am not sure any of the following will be helpful, but.........
So if “either” the fridge or the thermostat are turned “on” you lose 12vdc to both appliances, but don’t blow any fuses (so not shorted). Sounds like these loads are dragging down the 12vdc feeder source voltage somehow though. It is unlikely both appliances present an abnormal load (failed at the same time) so I wonder how solid the 12vdc feeder wire source is? Do you read any DC voltage across each appliance when either one is on...... or is it zero volts DC on the feeder or some other low voltage value DC?
If you leave the appliances off and put a small 12vdc load (like a 12v fan) across the same 12vdc feeder wire, does the fan run OK or does it also drag down the source voltage (might depend on load current too)? If it also drags the voltage down I am wondering if the 12vdc source is actually somehow abnormally coming through some other load (like a 12vdc light bulb), so as soon as the appliance is turned on more current is drawn through the feeder wire, the voltage splits between the “on” required appliance and the “other load” in series with the normal fused feeder. How would this happen.......not sure.....bad grounds or other wiring issues can cause currents to flow through incorrect paths and other loads sometimes.
Tracing the feeder wire all the way back to the converter fuse panel.......or where ever it splices to get its 12vdc would be best, but probably very difficult. You could try running a temporary new appropriately sized feeder wire from a spare appropriately sized fuse on the converter fuse panel to the appliances. (also temporarily disconnect the original appliance 12vdc feed wire and tape it.)......then try operating the appliances on a known good 12vdc feeder. I don’t want to burn up your coach either so make sure you use proper electrical solutions if making any changes etc. Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:24 PM   #13
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You have a very high resistance connection to your appliances. When turned off, no current is drawn which allows your multimeter to read the 12 VDC available. When turned on and current is drawn the entire 12 VDC is dropped across the high resistance connection so o VDC will be read at the load terminals. Think of it like a water hose with a spray handle on the end. When the spray handle valve is shut it has full pressure to the sprayer even if there is a kink in the hose. But squeeze the trigger to allow the water to flow and the pressure diminishes to zero with almost zero flow due to the kink in the hose.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:41 PM   #14
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I can make the fridge work by wiring a 12v battery directly to the back of the fridge. If I hook only the positive wire up it does not run. If I hook up both the positive and negative wires from the battery the fridge runs.

The positive wire going to the fridge from wherever is hot until I turn on the fridge or furnace then I lose all power on that wire.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:56 PM   #15
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You have a very high resistance connection to your appliances. When turned off, no current is drawn which allows your multimeter to read the 12 VDC available. When turned on and current is drawn the entire 12 VDC is dropped across the high resistance connection so o VDC will be read at the load terminals. Think of it like a water hose with a spray handle on the end. When the spray handle valve is shut it has full pressure to the sprayer even if there is a kink in the hose. But squeeze the trigger to allow the water to flow and the pressure diminishes to zero with almost zero flow due to the kink in the hose.
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I can make the fridge work by wiring a 12v battery directly to the back of the fridge. If I hook only the positive wire up it does not run. If I hook up both the positive and negative wires from the battery the fridge runs.

The positive wire going to the fridge from wherever is hot until I turn on the fridge or furnace then I lose all power on that wire.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:11 PM   #16
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Ok I understand your example but not where the high resistance connection may be. DO you mean literally the connections on the wires or something going on in a control board?
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:21 PM   #17
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It's either in the + 12 VDC supply wires or the ground connection(s). Since you have 2 appliances affected that I assume have separate ground connections but a common + connection I would suspect the positive supply wire and its connections.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:30 PM   #18
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Thank You ! I guess it is time to tear into things and chase some wire out.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:00 PM   #19
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Did you try just connecting the negative or ground wire???
The fact that the positive alone didn’t fix the problem leads me to believe the high resistance is on the ground side... and not the positive side.
And adding a ground wire is easy fix!
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:01 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cantwell Troy View Post
I can make the fridge work by wiring a 12v battery directly to the back of the fridge. If I hook only the positive wire up it does not run. If I hook up both the positive and negative wires from the battery the fridge runs.

The positive wire going to the fridge from wherever is hot until I turn on the fridge or furnace then I lose all power on that wire.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Did you try just connecting the negative or ground wire???
The fact that the positive alone didn’t fix the problem leads me to believe the high resistance is on the ground side... and not the positive side.
And adding a ground wire is easy fix!
He was using a separate battery NOT connected to the coach. In order for it to supply the fridge both sides of the battery had to be connected.
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