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Old 06-02-2021, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default 12v to 110 having trouble on my hi lo camper

So I just got a 1992 hi lo camper. There must be an easy way to switch the electricty from running through the cable that works with a generator to running from the 12v battery I have. I canít seem to turn the inverter on. And the ac outlets donít run or the lights inside
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:10 PM   #2
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Welcome, HiLocamper - Your questions are confusing me.

What cable "that works with a generator" are you talking about? Is it possibly the "shore power" cable that comes out of the lower section on the street side? Yes, you can plug that into the 120V outlets of a generator if you'd like, or, the 30 Amp outlet at a full service campground.

If that cable is receiving power, you'll have 120V AC power at the wall outlets in the trailer and you COULD run the refrigerator, hot water heater and the air conditioner off AC power if you have the full 30 Amps at the outlet.

The interior lights, water pump, furnace, fans and so on all use 12 V DC battery power. For them to work, the Master Switch (located near the Raise/Lower switch) HAS to be in the "camping" position, which is opposite the position it is in when you raise or lower the camper top. It is a 3-position rocker switch and the center position is the traveling position - which sends 12 V DC power ONLY to the refrigerator.

There is NO inverter that I know of that is standard equipment in a HiLo. There is a "Converter", which bypasses AC 120 V power and also converts it to 12 V DC to charge the battery.

You should look at ALL the HiLo videos you'll find in this link: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-youtube-1233/ Go to post #3 for the entire list and review them in order. They are not for any particular model year and almost everything in them will apply to your trailer.

- Jack
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Old 06-03-2021, 03:22 PM   #3
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Jack, thank you so much for this detailed response. I was speaking about the shore cable. Wasn’t sure what it was called. That works for my generator.

But yes, the 3 setting switch is acting weird. It’s in the middle and I’m not getting power to the fridge. And when I press the opposite position, it just clicks back to the middle position. It doesn’t hold. Could this be due to a fuse issue not holding the power through it?
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Old 06-03-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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No, the switch not staying where you are putting it has nothing to do with fuses. It sounds like you may be playing with the "Raise/Lower" switch instead of the "Master" switch. The R/L switch is also 3-position, but it is spring loaded to return to the center (off) position. Pushing it on the lower end should lower your top (if you've pulled the release cable and have the Master Switch in the Raise/Lower position). Pushing the upper end should cause the lift motor to operate (but again, the Master Switch must be in the Raise/Lower position.

Now, the Master switch is also a 3-position rocker witch, but it is NOT spring loaded to any position. In the center position, the only thing that works is DC power to the refigerator. This is the "traveling position". In the "camping position", the top will not raise or lower, but you will have 12 V DC power to all interior devices that use it.

Did you look at the videos? I think one of them covers use of the Master Switch and the Raise/Lower switch.

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Old 06-03-2021, 04:57 PM   #5
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Jack, that is exactly what I was doing lol. I was messing with the raise lower switch. I couldn’t sift through the videos to find the master switch one. Do you know where it’s located or which video shows it?

I am so grateful for your help!
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:08 PM   #6
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My trailer is 1992 and I saw you posted on a previous thread that some campers don’t come with a master switch. Could this be possible?
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:12 PM   #7
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Great! It's Video #5. I think in the video, the Master Switch is black and the Raise/Lower (Lift) switch is white. They are right next to each other. Your colors may be different and some Master Switches have the "Camping" position at the bottom, and others have it at the top.

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Old 06-03-2021, 05:16 PM   #8
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Eek. I only have the hilo switch
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:19 PM   #9
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Hereís the switch
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File Type: jpg ED54A790-506D-47A4-97C0-D1D329907A52.jpg (232.4 KB, 7 views)
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:35 PM   #10
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Well poo! I suspect a prior owner has removed the Master switch or relocated it. So, I guess from your posts that the top goes up and down fine, which is half the battle. If you don't have power to the interior lights, etc., then the Master Switch is somewhere else, either inside the trailer or inside the battery compartment.

All I can say is look for a 3-position rocker switch that is NOT spring loaded to center. If you find it, flip it to the "opposite side". If your interior lights work, you found it.

Possibly, someone else will have better thoughts about this.

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Old 06-03-2021, 08:34 PM   #11
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Default Cannot find the master switch in my 1991 HiLo Campet

Hello all. Have been looking all over my camper for the master switch and cannot find it. Currently my camper works on the generator with the shore cable. But I cannot seem to get it to work off of my 12v battery. The water pump and the raise/lower system work because they are directly attached to the battery. But the interior lights, fridge, and outlets all donít work.

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:27 PM   #12
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Hilo, I merged your latest post with your existing thread because it has complete information about your issue. Multiple threads on the same topic can lead to confusing responses due to incomplete knowledge and this can waste your time or cause you to spend money you shouldn't.

I've just located the Owner's manual for the 95-96 TowLite Models and surprise! The wiring diagram does NOT show a Master Switch. It does, however, show a light that tells you if the safety bar has engaged, which I don't think you have. And, it looks like the circuit to the water pump goes through the Circuit Breaker that you should see in the battery compartment. So, the breaker should be good.

Looking at the picture you posted, the Lift switch and safety bar release looks "factory" too, so I think your wiring is very close to what I found and you never had a Master Switch.

This makes me think that possibly the remaining fuses you see in the fuse block have blown. You would replace them with 15 Amp fuses of the same type.

But maybe your water pump is NOT wired through that Circuit Breaker, so, it is possible that the Circuit Breaker (CB) has tripped and needs to be reset. Some of them do it automatically when power is removed, but others have a reset button you press to reset them. See if the CB has a reset button and if so, press it to reset it.

If you have a multimeter (which you should buy if you don't), you can use the continuity function to see if there is a complete electrical path across the two terminals of the CB, if so, we'll have to look further. If not, you've found your problem and perhaps you just need to replace the CB with a new, 30 Amp CB. You can find them on the internet and you can get one that automatically resets too.

The HiLo manual I found is here: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-towlight-621/ and the wiring diagram is on Page 19. I suspect it is very close to the wiring you have in your trailer.

I know this all seems very complicated, but it IS something you can fix if you have a basic understanding of electricity. 12 V DC power is quite safe too, so you don't have to worry about being shocked when troubleshooting it. I'd unplug the Shore Power cord though, so you would not have 120 V AC power present.

- Jack
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Old 06-04-2021, 12:11 AM   #13
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Sorry - I've studied that wiring diagram more now, and scanned a bit of the manual. I am NOT used to that era trailer, so some of my observations were probably confusing (since I was confused).

It appears you have a "manual" (push to reset) CB, but if the lift motor works and the water pump work, I'd say the CB is fine.

That leaves two fuses in the fuse block, which may be located in the vicinity of the Converter, that may have blown or are missing.

The wiring diagram only shows 12 V DC circuits and your refrigerator should run electrically off 12 V DC. Hopefully, it also works off propane, or 120 V AC, which are MUCH better sources of power. According to the diagram, the power to the refrigerator does not go through the fuse block but there IS a 15 Amp inline fuse, probably behind the refrigerator, that is accessible once you take an access panel off of the lower section from the outside. That may have blown. You won't hear anything when the refrigerator is running, and it takes several hours for it to cool to the point you would feel it, especially on 12 V DC .

Your interior 120 V AC outlets are a whole different problem. There should be CBs in the Converter that may have popped and that can be reset (they are just like the ones in your home) or, the outlets may be GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) protected. If so, you'd see a pair of buttons in one of the outlets - one is a test button that trips the GFI and the other is the reset button that you push to reset it if it pops.

There should also be a CB on the Converter panel for the refrigerator if it can be run on 120 V AC power.

Hope this helps. I wish someone with a trailer close to your model year would join the discussion and give better advice.

- Jack
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:41 PM   #14
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My '94 doesn't have a master switch and the circuit breakers for 120 is under the couch on the street side or driver side. And the converter is located in an access from outside.
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:58 PM   #15
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FYI - My 1988 22ft Funchaser also does not have a master switch. The 110 volt breakers on my unit are located under a floor level door between the sofa/bed and the refrigerator.
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