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  1. #1
    Left The Driveway
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    Bad converter - WFCO 9855 (Imagine 2800BH)

    I just wanted to share my experience with diagnosing and replacing a bad converter, hoping it will help someone in the future. This is on my 2021 Grand Design Imagine 2800BH, with a WFCO 9855 converter.

    Short story - we had a bad converter, and I replaced it at my cost. Grand Design is sending me a new converter to replace the bad converter that I pulled, so now I'll have an extra on hand in case it happens again.

    We had no issues with electrical for our first three camping trips, but on the fourth, the converter went out on the second night. We woke up to beeping from our thermostat with the code (I think) "lb" for low battery. None of the lights would come on, and the fridge was dark. The control panel showed 1 red light for battery (almost dead). I started up the truck and plugged in the 7-pin, which started charging the battery and providing 12 volt power for the trailer. We had a lot of food in the fridge so I wanted to get that running again for a while. Then I started investigating. First I double checked to make sure the battery disconnect wasn't unplugged. It was not. I also checked the breaker for the converter, to make sure it had not tripped. Then I shut down the refrigerator, disconnected shore power, and pulled the battery disconnect so I could safely move the breaker box. Once the breaker box was out of the way, I could see the converter mounted to the deck behind it and behind a rat's nest of wiring. In case you don't know how it works, the converter gets 120 volt power into it by being plugged into the back of the breaker panel. It converts the voltage to 12 volts, and sends that back via black and red wires to the 12 volt fuse panel which is to the right of all the breakers. From there it can run all the 12 volt in the trailer, as well as charge the battery. So I plugged in shore power, and then used my multimeter to check that the outlet that powers the converter was hot. It was, with a reading of 120V. Then I disconnected the red and black wires from the output terminals on the converter. I attached my multimeter to the output terminals, and I got a reading of 0.01 volts. So it was still plugged in and getting 120 volts in, but putting out only 0.01 volts of DC. I turned shore power back off, and then pulled the 2 fuses that are on the converter. They both had continuity. Following the troubleshooting flow chart in the owner's manual for the WF-9855 converter, I have a defective converter. So I pulled it out (that took forever) and went to a nearby dealer. I was able to buy the identical converter from the dealer for $300. Amazon had it for $156 but I couldn't wait 2-3 days for my trailer to have 12 volts again since we're 2 days into a 5 day vacation. Installing the new unit was difficult, but everything has worked okay since.

    Now that I'm back home, I have a good converter installed in the trailer, and a defective converter sitting on my workbench. I called WFCO, and they said I can send in the bad converter (I have to pay the shipping), and once they receive it, they'll send a replacement within a week or two. But he suggested that I try calling Grand Design tech support first. I did, and they are shipping me a new converter immediately, including a return label, and I am to use the same box to return the bad converter. So hopefully I will soon have an extra converter with me in case this happens again.

    One more thing - I did call my dealer about this while I was on vacation. Two things of note:
    1. They said they've been seeing this a lot, and have had to replace a lot of bad converters recently
    2. They offered to have me bring in the trailer to have it swapped out at no charge. They're pretty far away, and I don't need the new one installed, so I'm having GD send one instead.

    I hope all of this was clear, but feel free to ask questions. And if you have suggestions for what could have been done differently, especially anything that may help others in the future, please post them.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Long Hauler geotex1's Avatar
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    Man, nothing like a middle of the night headache! The WFCOs are pretty infamous for hit and miss and sudden death. Glad you got yourself sorted. One thing for the future, you can always save your fridge by carrying an extension cord. The 120VAC cord is plugged in to an outlet just behind the lower exterior vent. Pull it out and connect it via extension to the power pedestal to relieve your stress. I know you're ok with having a spare, but do know GD, while under warranty, will reimburse you for emergency repairs that would be covered under the warranty. Just keep all receipts.
    Rob & Nikki + Cloverfield
    2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3350RL
    2015 RAM 3500 Longhorn Laramie Crew Cab, Long Bed, 4x4 Dually Cummins/AISIN

    Mountains of Pennsylvania

  3. #3
    Fireside Member
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    I am having to replace the WFCO 9855 on my 3000QB. No power going out of the 12v side, so battery went dead, and thermostat and fridge need 12v (even when on shore power... how goofy is that?).

    I’ve got the fuse box out, and the converter loose and can reach the fuses and lugs. Fuses were good, until I went to put one back in and shorted to the box. No 35amp fuses in town, so I had to order on Amazon. Still no love....

    Now I am ready to pull the wires from the 12v side. How the heck do you get to the screws through the plastic? The hole thru which you would put a socket or nut driver is smaller than the nut head itself!
    I’m open to suggestions... what a pain!
    John Wood and Pat Shackelford. Corpus Christi, Texas
    2022 RAM 2500 4x4 ..Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate
    2020 Grand Design Imagine 3000QB
    4(!) Australian Shepherds and RETIRED!

  4. #4
    Left The Driveway
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    Not sure I’m following you - are you talking about removing the 12v wires from the converter? If so, they’re held in with hex head screws so grab your Allen wrenches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Fireside Member
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    Here is what tech support sent me....
    Hi John Wood -

    The heavy DC lugs on the fuse board would use a flat blade screwdriver or an #2 square bit. The smaller output lugs would use a flat blade, Phillips or #2 square bit.

    Thanks and regards -
    Name removed...
    John Wood and Pat Shackelford. Corpus Christi, Texas
    2022 RAM 2500 4x4 ..Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate
    2020 Grand Design Imagine 3000QB
    4(!) Australian Shepherds and RETIRED!

  6. #6
    Fireside Member
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by RV_Texas View Post
    Not sure I’m following you - are you talking about removing the 12v wires from the converter? If so, they’re held in with hex head screws so grab your Allen wrenches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sure enough... an optical illusion! Allen wrench did the trick just fine! What I was seeing as on ‘outie’ was in fact an ‘innie’.

    John Wood and Pat Shackelford. Corpus Christi, Texas
    2022 RAM 2500 4x4 ..Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate
    2020 Grand Design Imagine 3000QB
    4(!) Australian Shepherds and RETIRED!

  7. #7
    Seasoned Camper
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    in the future carry a battery charger.. I have for decades.. this way if the converter fails with the battery charger you can power all your DC items plus charge the batteries and get a converter when time permits... ALso Progressive Dynamics is a much better unit that WFCO... But I am on my 8th season using my OEM WFCO...

  8. #8
    Fireside Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper02 View Post
    in the future carry a battery charger.. I have for decades.. this way if the converter fails with the battery charger you can power all your DC items plus charge the batteries and get a converter when time permits... ALso Progressive Dynamics is a much better unit that WFCO... But I am on my 8th season using my OEM WFCO...
    Yep... Learned that lesson. I was also told to hook it up to the tow vehicle, and it would also charge the battery(s). I also doubled the house batteries, which should keep the thermostats functional for a couple of days!
    John Wood and Pat Shackelford. Corpus Christi, Texas
    2022 RAM 2500 4x4 ..Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate
    2020 Grand Design Imagine 3000QB
    4(!) Australian Shepherds and RETIRED!

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