Shore power not working

I have a 2019 Tab 400 BDL.  It appears that my shore power isn't getting to the trailer.  I'm currently plugged into an outlet in the garage, which has verified power.  The Progressive EMS is cycling through the following readings:

119
0 A
60 H
E 0

I assume this means that it's reading 119 volts at 60 Hz, but no current is being drawn.  The E0 code is "normal."  

The 110 outlets in the trailer aren't reading anything when I plug my multimeter in and my battery seems to be draining when the refrigerator is on.  The battery switch is "on."  Everything seemed fine this afternoon, when it was bright and sunny on the solar panels - in fact, I hadn't even bothered to connect to shore power then.

Any help on why I'm not getting juice from the EMS to the electronics (and hence not charging the battery, among other things) would be appreciated.  Is there a fuse or breaker somewhere to check?  It seems like the Tab 400 has lots of fuses, all over the place. Everything on the main fuse panel looks good.  

Thanks in advance,

-Tres
2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry

Comments

  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    edited May 2
    Is your EMS external or a hard wired one in the TaB? 
    If the EMS is external. Is the red light on yiur trailer 30 amp power cord on?
    Is the main circuit breaker in the TaB tripped?
    What size outlet in the garage, 15 or 20 amp?
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    @Denny16

    The EMS is internal.  The light on the power cord is green, and yes, it is on.  I don't think the main breaker to the Tab is tripped because lights, fans, the fridge, etc. are working, they're just working off battery - but perhaps I don't understand the wiring.  I'll check the breaker panel again.

    Thanks!
    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,295
    @Michigan_Mike

    Michigan_Mike  Posts: 2,151Administrator
     December 2015  edited December 2015
    If I were checking it I would probably test as follows:

    1.  With trailer unplugged from shore power - measure/record the trailer voltage via the cigarette style plug receptacles or at the battery using an LED meter, etc.

    2.  Plug the trailer into shore power and repeat the above process.

    3.  Unhook trailer from shore power and unhook the battery.

    (a)  once the battery is isolated from the system, plug the trailer back into shore power and measure the DC voltage at the cigarette style receptacle.  The voltage output should be around 13.3 -13.6 volts DC.  

    That should give you a pretty good idea whether the WFCO is working properly and providing a good charge to your battery or not.  

    Sent from my iPad
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 4,388
    @TresK3, You are correct that battery power will confound your diagnoses because it will continue to run the lights, fan, and other 12V devices even in the absence of 120V shore power.

    So, start by turning the battery OFF while plugged into shore power. Now you are relying on the converter to provide 12V power.

    If the lights and fan continue to work, then it confirms that the converter is receiving 120V shore power and is working properly. In this case, the problem with your 120V outlets is probably limited to that particular circuit.

    On the other hand, if nothing works that suggests the problem is general 120V power supply issue, which could occur for a number of reasons.

    Check it out and report back!
  • monamona Member Posts: 182
    Could possibly be a bad 30amp receptacle on the trailer itself. Had to have mine replaced.

    jeannie
    2015 [email protected] S Max  white with silver trim. 2018 GC Trailhawk. 
  • lkc001lkc001 Member Posts: 583
    I have had to use a different receptacle in my garage. The first one I tried powered other things but would not work for the trailer.  I also use an external EMS & a heavy duty extension cord plus the adapter plug.   Don't know why one receptacle will work & another one won't.
    2016 Nissan Frontier SV V6 4x4
    Finally!  New Owner of a 2017 Tab 320S! 
    Woohoo!
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    edited May 2
    Perhaps on is 20 amps, the other 15 amps, and the trailer power load exceeds 15 amps, so the EMS shuts down power to the system.  Also, the EMS does not pass through the power to the TaB instantly, it takes a few minutes for the system to check the power source and determine it is good enough for the load. If the load exceeds the power source, the a EMS will not pass through the power.  

    Also, there is a 30amp main circuit breaker in the converter panel that is the main 120VAC feed, if this trips, the 120 VAC circuits (120VAC outlets, power converter, and AC or Alde electrical heating will not work on AC.  That is why I suggested checking this first.  Scott also has an excellent suggestion for working out what is working and what is not.
    cheers


    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    Thanks everyone.  I will try these ideas and report back.

    @mona - How did you discover that the 30 amp receptacle was bad?  (I assume you are referring to the input, into the trailer).  Also, if that is bad, wouldn't it show up in the EMS readings; in other words, wouldn't a bad receptacle prevent power from even getting to the monitor?

    @ScottG - I'm still trying to understand what the battery switch actually controls.  I thought that it stopped current flow from the battery to the 12V circuits in the trailer, and also stopped current from the shore power receptacle to the battery. If that's correct, then shouldn't the trailer circuits be dead if the battery switch is off?  If that's not right, then what does this switch control?  I guess what I'm asking is: does the 120 V system bypass the battery, on its way to the trailer circuits?

    @Sharon_is_SAM - I don't have a multi-meter to fit a 12V cigarette plug. Is there anyway to use my standard meter?  Can I just put the leads carefully into the 12V outlet?

    @lkc001 - We'll be at a campground tonight, I think with electric.  I can effectively check a different circuit while there.

    -Tres (somewhere west of St. Louis, on I-70)


    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 4,388
    TresK3 said:
    ...
    @ScottG - I'm still trying to understand what the battery switch actually controls.  I thought that it stopped current flow from the battery to the 12V circuits in the trailer, and also stopped current from the shore power receptacle to the battery. If that's correct, then shouldn't the trailer circuits be dead if the battery switch is off?  If that's not right, then what does this switch control?  I guess what I'm asking is: does the 120 V system bypass the battery, on its way to the trailer circuits?
    ...
    You are correct regarding the battery switch--it completely disconnects the battery from the converter/distribution panel. This means that the battery will not power the lights, fan, etc. and that the converter will not recharge the battery.

    However, it is not the case that power from the converter/distribution panel needs to pass through the battery in order to reach the lights, outlets, and other devices.

    A little more detail that may help...

    When plugged into shore power, circuit breakers in the converter distribute 120V power the outlets (including those that serve, the fridge, Alde, and air conditioner). This is just like in your house, and has absolutely nothing to do with the battery.

    In addition, when plugged into shore power, the converter converts 120V power to 12V power, which is distributed to all the 12V circuits (lights, fan, etc.) via the 12V fuse panel.

    So, even if the battery is disconnected, everything should still work normally when you are connected to shore power.

    In your case, the problem is that when the battery is not disconnected it can confound your ability to diagnose whether the issues stem from a specific problem with one of the 120V circuits, or a more general problem of 120V power not reaching the converter at all. 
  • monamona Member Posts: 182
    @TresK3 I actually didn’t know there was a problem. I had taken it to the factory for some maintenance work. Austin tried three different power cords, and the trailer never had power with any of them. He changed the trailer 30 amp receptacle and voila power. 

    Jeannie
    2015 [email protected] S Max  white with silver trim. 2018 GC Trailhawk. 
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,295
    @Michigan_Mike

    Michigan_Mike  Posts: 2,151Administrator
     December 2015  edited December 2015
    If I were checking it I would probably test as follows:

    1.  With trailer unplugged from shore power - measure/record the trailer voltage via the cigarette style plug receptacles or at the battery using an LED meter, etc.

    2.  Plug the trailer into shore power and repeat the above process.

    3.  Unhook trailer from shore power and unhook the battery.

    (a)  once the battery is isolated from the system, plug the trailer back into shore power and measure the DC voltage at the cigarette style receptacle.  The voltage output should be around 13.3 -13.6 volts DC.  

    That should give you a pretty good idea whether the WFCO is working properly and providing a good charge to your battery or not.  

    Sent from my iPad
    @TresK3 Half my post went missing (posting from the car).  My post was from an old thread that Mike posted on.  That was his way to troubleshoot the converter.  You can use a multimeter to check for 12v, but not sure if you can use it on a 12v socket.  I think Mike was suggesting to use one of those plug in 12v meters.  Sorry.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    TresK3, you can use a regular multi meter, hold the neg, probe on the outer ring of the 12VDC plug and then holding the hot/ positive probe by it plastic handle, and make contact with the center contact inside the plug.  This should give you a voltage reading at the plug.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    @Denny16 That makes sense.  I'll probably draw out my understanding of the circuit tomorrow - that will help me make sense of it.  I can also try connecting to a different shore-power source, which will rule out (or in) a problem with my outlet at home.
    Tomorrow night we should be outside Denver.  I'm hoping to get this worked out by then.  The ability to easily heat water will be clutch.

    (at Weston Bend State Park, just north of Kansas City)

    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    Good luck @TresK3, hope everything starts working OK.  Have fun too.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    @Denny16, @ScottG, @Sharon_is_SAM, et al.;

    I was able to connect to a different shore power source this morning.  It is still behaving as before: there appears to be fine power going into the EMS, but from there it doesn't get to the circuits in the trailer. Solar, of course, is making it harder to diagnose.

    At the battery switch, there is a 30A fuse and what looks like a breaker of some sort.  The fuse is good, by both visual inspection and pulling and testing with multi-meter.  The breaker is a black box with a red button and a red lever.  If I push the red button, the lever pops out.  I presume this is a "tripped" breaker.  Resetting the breaker doesn't seem to affect the issue.  I don't think the core issue resides with the battery circuit - the solar system charges the battery and the battery can run the 12V system after dark.

    When I measure DC voltage at the 12V plug, it actually reads about 20V.  This reading may be off because my multi-meter is pretty old and the calibration could be off.  Regardless, there is power to the 12V system.  Last night, after dark, I turned the battery switch off and the 12V system went dead.  As long as the battery is charged, it sends power to the 12V system.

    I'm trying to understand how the WFCO distribution panel works.  I assume that the converter (120V AC to 12V DC) is part of the panel. Yes?  My diagram has AC power going into that panel, then out to the 12V circuits, the 120V system, and the battery.

    So... it seems like the issue is either from shore power to the converter, or the converter itself.  Are there fuses or breakers from shore power to the converter?  Where are these physically located?

    I think I can use the instructions @Sharon_is_SAM provided to test the converter, after dark when the solar is off.  Question, though: is setting the battery switch to off (step #3) the same as disconnecting the battery?  And I'm not certain what this will tell me, that I don't already know.

    As a sidelight, I don't understand how the solar system figures in.  It acts like it bypasses the panel altogether.  I say that because if I turn the main breaker off, I still have power to the fridge (at least, the fridge light is on).  How (where?) does the solar feed the 12V system (and battery)? Related to that, is there any way to take the solar system off line entirely?  Is there a switch, breaker, or fuse that I can disconnect?

    Thanks for your continued help!

    -Tres (not far from Hays Kansas, continuing West on I-70)

    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,295
    edited May 3
    @TresK3 - turning the battery switch off isolates the battery from the trailer circuits and results in the same effect as pulling a battery fuse or removing a battery cable(s) - it interrupts the circuit to the battery.  The instructions are from 2015 - before TaBs came equipped with battery switches.

    Your solar panels are connected directly to the battery.  If you turn the battery off, they should still charge your battery, but with the switch off, your battery will not supply power to the TaB.  So, solar feeds the battery only - it is not designed to run appliances or feed the 12v system.  You can get a solar controller that operates small loads, but, I am not sure if the Victron controller can run any loads.

    When you say “ if I turn the main breaker off, I still have power to the fridge ...”.  Which breaker are you referring to?  Main breaker in the WFCO panel, near the battery?
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,295
    Can you get a mobile RV tech to help you?  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 4,388
    edited May 4
    TresK3 said:
    ...
    I'm trying to understand how the WFCO distribution panel works.  I assume that the converter (120V AC to 12V DC) is part of the panel. Yes?  My diagram has AC power going into that panel, then out to the 12V circuits, the 120V system, and the battery.

    So... it seems like the issue is either from shore power to the converter, or the converter itself.  Are there fuses or breakers from shore power to the converter?  Where are these physically located?
    ...
    @TresK3, "converter" is a general term people use that refers to that brown box that controls all your power. It's more accurately called a power center because it includes a 120V AC circuit breaker distribution panel, a 12V DC fuse distribution panel, a "smart" battery charger, and of course the converter itself, a device that converts 120V to the 12V needed to run most (but not all) of the devices in the camper.

    The actual converter receives 120V power from one of the120V AC branch circuits (on my 320 it's the same circuit that powers the 120V outlets in the cabin).

    Other than the breaker or fuse protecting the circuit in your house to which you are connected, there are no fuses or breakers between the shore power supply and the main 30A breaker in the power center
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    edited May 3
    @TresK3, the battery circuit breaker and fuse are for the  battery 12VDC circuit only, nothing to do with your AC power.  Have you opened the front of the power converter, located under your wardrobe locker?  Push the panel in and release, and it should fall open.    On the left side of the panel is a row of household style circuit breakers.  The top one labeled 30 is the main breaker (red arrow on photo below).  The two below it are the AC outlets (blue arrow).  If the main 30 amp breaker is tripped or off, nomAC power will go to the trailer, including the converter.

    You press the top middle of the closed cover and release, then the cover will open like this.

    How long did you wait after connecting the trailer to shore power, it takes the EMS several minutes, (3-4 min.) to do its power check of the incoming AC current, before it sends power to the trailer.   Did you install the EMS or someone else?  The EMS display shows the Power coming in, and once connected and supplying power to the trailer, it will show the amperage load placed on the shore power circuit. 

    Please check this panel and let us know the status of the breakers.  If you can not tell if one is tripped, turn it off (click to the left) and then back on.  Wait a minute s d see if it trips, if so is will click and the lever shifts to the left part way near the middle position between off and on.

     Has the AC power worked since you installed the EMS?  If all the AC breakers are on, and the GFI in the galley is not tripped (red button in the middle of the AD outlet, push it to trip and the black button to reset.  If there is no current to this outlet, the GFI red button will not trip it, if this is the case, no piwer is geeting from the  converter to the outlet.  
    If this is the first time trying the AC since the EMS was installed, and all the breakers are not tripped, and turned on, and you still do not have power, there is an issue with the EMS not letting the power go to the converter 30 amp breaker.  Either there is a wiring issue between the EMS and converter when it was installed, or the EMS is defective. 
    Good luck. 
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    @Sharon_is_SAM, thanks for the info on the battery fuse & breaker; that's pretty much what I thought, but it's good to have confirmation.  The main breaker I'm referring to is the one in the WFCO distribution box (the red arrow in @Denny16's helpful photo, below).  I suppose I could get a professional to help out, but what's the fun in that?  :)  This way I'm taking a whole college course in 12V systems, with a lab component. And the 12V system is working fine, which is mostly what we are relying on.

    @ScottG, that's helpful, to know that there are no breakers or fuses between the EMS and the power center (that's a useful way to describe it).  When I was using the term converter, I was thinking of the actual device that turns 120 V alternating current into 12 V direct current. 

    @Denny16, Thanks for the photo. That looks exactly like our power center. None of the breakers were tripped, nor any of the fuses blown. The EMS was installed at the direction of the previous owner, whom I trust implicitly; I'm certain it was done correctly.  The entire electrical system has worked fine for as long we've had the trailer, including a 3 week trip to Florida over Christmas.  Everything seemed fine when I put the baby to bed on December 27th.  The trailer was plugged in for several hours at home, before I began to suspect anything was wrong.  I'll definitely put my meter on the input to the distribution center to confirm power is getting that far.  There's a troubleshooting diagram in the WFCO operator's manual that shows the location of the outputs, as well.  What I can't tell is how to get to that part of the panel.  Does anyone know if I can access it by removing the entire black plastic front to the panel?

    We're ditching our plans of camping in the mountains west of Denver tonight. They say they have 6 - 8" of snow on the ground with more coming overnight.  The road to the campground is a "plowed" dirt road.  It may be a week or more before we're at another campsite with access to shore power, so I have plenty of time to think this through and plan my next moves.

    Thanks, everyone!

    -Tres (just passing the I-70 exit to Bovina, CO.  Outside temp is 39F.  Still 150 or so miles from Denver. ).

     


    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    Good Luck.  You might start by metering where the EMS is connected to the WFCO, then start working you way to the other test points.  Your battery will run your DC systems and the solar panels will,charge the battereis, even when using the two way fridge on DC.  I went three days in or Jan 2018 TaB 400, same model as your TaB, and the solar kept the battery charged.

    Did you try tripping the GFI outlet in the galley whilst you were plugged in?  The other AC outlets on the galley side, are tied into the GFI outlet, and if it is tripped, the other outlets will not work.  You can also meter the fridge AC outlet in the pax side rear storage compartment, just inside the door.

    You can pull then30 amp main breaker out, and meter the hot buss bar, to see if it is getting power.  The neutral buss will get you a negative connection, positive meter probe to the hot bus.  Be careful, wear rubber or leather gloves, and hold the meter probes by the plastic bit.  Good luck.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,588
    @TresK3, please only perform testing where you are confident of your skill level. Some of the above mentioned testing could put you at risk of being shocked by 120V of electricity, not 12V, but house current level of electricity. 
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost
    [email protected] Administrator
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    Good point Verna.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    @Denny16- good thoughts. 
    @Verna - I will be careful. I've done a fair amount of my own house wiring; mostly troubleshooting and moving circuits. In spite of what I said to @Sharon_is_SAM about learning, I'm not afraid to call in a professional when I'm out of my depth.


    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Administrator Posts: 2,727
    At your Progressive EMS, try flipping the small switch on the side of the unit to bypass it.  Check your 120V voltage receptacles inside the trailer.  See if you get voltage.  
    Mike 
    Howell, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2021 Chevy Silverado LTZ
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    Excellent suggestion, I didn’t know the hard wired model had one.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,928
    edited May 5
    Note that the Alde, fridge, and A/C unit each has it's own separate breaker in the power center. Are these three circuits dead as well as your basic receptacles circuit? This would be easy to check - try these appliances on ac.

    If these appliance circuits are ok, then it's only the one 'misc receptacles' circuit, possibly your GFI outlet (needs reset or replacement), or a loose wire at one of the screws in a receptacle (these receptacles are daisy-chained - if one wire is loose, the outlets downstream all lose power). Either scenario is very plausible, GFI receptacles can go bad, and vibration over bumpy roads can easily loosen a wire.

    Also, your solar can easily be disconnected through the Victron Connect app. Under your controller's settings, use the "Charger enabled" switch. This disconnects your panels from the system.

    If you disconnect your solar, you can try running your fridge on battery for a bit, to observe the Progressive's output indicator. If the Progressive still indicates zero amps with the solar disconnected and a 12v load on the system (the fridge), then you have no connection from the Progressive into the Load Center, ie: it's not charging the battery, or powering the 120v receptacles. Otherwise, it's strictly a 120v output problem, and that is simpler.
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl 
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,013
    edited May 5
    ChanW you can test the load on the Progressive by turning on the CoolCat to heat pump or cool mode, it will put a bigger load than the power converter in charge mode, and is a quicker test.  Also, the TaB400 (which the OP has) has two AV outlets circuit breakers, directly below the Main 30-amp breaker, see my photo above.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom Outback, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TresK3TresK3 Member Posts: 59
    We're boondocking between Bryce Canyon and Zion NPs right now, so not much chance to test the electrical - nor any need to use 120V.  So far we've had sunny days and the solar has kept our batteries charged.  Lots of hiking means we're going to bed early, which helps conserve the juice, too.  :)

    I'll post again, when I get a chance to delve into it more.
    2019 Tab 400 Boondock Lite
    2017 Dodge Durango AWD with Tow Package IV
    A can of Skyline Chili in the pantry
Sign In or Register to comment.