View Full Version : Power issues

05-30-2013, 09:36 PM
Now living in my camper while moving to DC for the military. Prior to this we had issues with the front landing gear legs barely moving and the hot water heater not heating the water. Dealer said it was the "neutral switch" on the converter or inverter (don't remember which, but had something to do with 12v power and shore power.

We took the camper home and with new battery installed the landing legs still did not work correctly. I took the camper to a new dealer and they ended up replacing the landing leg motor. They work great now. However, now that we are living in the camper for the next two months, we have found that the water heater still does not heat the water when using electricity (we are switched to gas for now), the fridge is cold, but takes a longtime to freeze ice, and if I shut down shore power the battery is showing not fully charged.

Not sure if these are related or not, but it is leading me to believe that something happened to my converter/inverter when they "repaired it".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I have a 2008 Heartland Cyclone 3795 with a Progressive Dynamics 9200 series converter.

05-30-2013, 09:48 PM
There are 3 fuses on the converter 30 amp. Check them first, the converter is behind the wall in the basement.

05-30-2013, 09:49 PM
Just a quick general note that there is an off/on switch on the hot water heater itself. I think usually dealerships turn this on so the hot water works with the inside switch. But maybe it was left in the off position.

You have to take the outside cover off to see it.

Good luck!

05-30-2013, 09:57 PM
Hi NewCyclone,

We have a couple of owner written user and troubleshooting guides that you might find helpful.



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05-30-2013, 10:00 PM
Checked outside switch and it is on.

Thanks for the trouble shooting guides, I will dig into the tomorrow.

05-31-2013, 05:24 AM
On the Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide, bottom of p7, the 110V components may actually be on the left side.

05-31-2013, 05:53 AM
A couple of other things now that I notice you have a 2008 unit. We had a unit of the same year and our outside switch went bad internally. It's"sounded and felt" good but was not making contact on the inside.

So you can try:

1. Simply cycling it of and on a few times.

2. Pry it out and directly connect the wires. Since you still have the switch inside your OK.

3. I got to the bottom of my problem by calling suburban and they walked me through trouble shooting over several phone calls. I am always amazed at the customer service at RV type companies.

05-31-2013, 07:28 AM
Is your water heater working ok on propane? If it is just not heating when on electric check the switch inside the coach. There is one switch for propane and another for electric. The electric switch looks like a light switch and will lite up red when on. There is also a reset switch on the outside. You have to remove the panel to get to it. The outside switch on my unit burned out just a few days after the one year warranty expired and I had it replaced for about $135.00. I have been told that the heater has its own 2 year warranty so I will have to contact sunbeam regarding a reimbursement.

05-31-2013, 11:02 AM
Under some black covers on the hot water tank are your temperature thermostats one for AC (120 VAC) and one DC (12VDC) for LP. You can first see if you are getting voltage to the element using a multimeter, if you are not, check the thermostat. You can tell visually if is bad, but check to see if you have power there. This is what feeds AC power to the element.

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05-31-2013, 05:53 PM
Well, figured it out. Apparently we are generating 156v on one side, and 90v on the other. The appliances that I am having issues with (refrigerator and water heater) are not getting enough voltage. This is while plugged into shore power. When I start the generator, the voltage on both sides return to normal.

I think it is the transfer switch. Thoughts?

05-31-2013, 06:03 PM
Floating neutral at your power pedestal.

05-31-2013, 06:17 PM
Floating neutral at your power pedestal.

Not sure what you mean by this. We checked the plug that we plug into and it showed ~120v each side.

About 3 months ago he camper went in for the landing gear issues as well as water heater. The shop said the replaced a neutral switch? I assumed they were talking about the transfer switch.

05-31-2013, 06:57 PM
Maybe a loose neutral in the breaker box, but your loosing the neutral somewhere.

05-31-2013, 07:28 PM
Since the voltage returns to normal when using the generator, could it be the transfer switch? The problem has got to be between the pedestal and the transfer switch.

05-31-2013, 07:43 PM
Meter voltage hot to neutral on both sides of the transfer switch. You should have 120V going in and coming out on both legs. If you don't have 120V on both legs coming in, it's on the shore. If it's good on the "in" and not on the "out" defective switch. I just went through this and had to replace a transfer switch.

05-31-2013, 08:22 PM
I don't see how a transfer switch can generate power... might reduce voltage due to bad connection.. but I would unplug from shore power and have park check the pedestal. You will end up loosing some appliances with that high voltage and also the low voltage will cause problems.

If things are normal and you get hot water and fridge works on generator... then you know the problem is with the shore power.

05-31-2013, 08:52 PM
I don't see how a transfer switch can generate power... might reduce voltage due to bad connection.

There is no "generation" of power. That would be a neat trick.

Voltage is measured usually reference to neutral which usually should be very close to ground potential. Most times the neutral is bonded to ground potential and you should measure 0v neutral to ground. If your neutral has lost its electrical bond to ground, it is "floating" and can end up at some random voltage. The two hot legs, usually will measure +120v and -120v to neutral, and 240v between the two hot legs.

NewCyclone is measuring 156v to ground on one leg and 56v to ground on the other. (That's 246v leg to leg) That means your neutral is currently floating some 36v off from ground. You should be able to measure that, as well.

NewCyclone is correct. Since everything measures fine at the pedestal and when on generator, the problem is occurring between your shore power plug and the Utility line side of your transfer switch, or the transfer switch itself. ScottyB's recommended test will confirm the integrity of the transfer switch or the wiring from there to the pedestal.

Good Luck - Be Safe.

06-09-2013, 08:35 PM
Well, it wasn't the transfer switch. I recently had surgery on my thumb so my wife plugged the cord into the side of the camper this time.

Before checking the in and out voltage on the switch I decided to check to power cord itself to make sure it wasn't the cord (wire coming loose on either end). It checked out fine and when I plugged it back in I noticed it twisted more into the locked position. Turned power on and everything checked out.

Still having water heater issues with the electric, but I think our heating element is just going out and needs to be replaced.