Help please with 12V electrical question on 2001 Viking 2480 ST???

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by ScootinZ, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. ScootinZ

    ScootinZ New Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    Hi Everyone,

    Brand new here so thank you in advance. Someone from RV.NET sent me this way.

    I have a pretty clean 2001 Viking 2480ST that I have had for maybe 5 years. I bought it slightly used and it's really in nice shape. We have only used it a few times and it has been great. I keep it open in a heated building and yesterday I noticed the interior lights were not working. Outlets (110V) and A/C is fine. Long story short I think maybe the 12V power supply/converter is bad OR I have a bad ground, but I am not sure I understand the wiring here.
    When I went to look at the wiring under the seat coming out of the converter I saw a few loose wire nuts and really shotty work from the factory. I looked everything over and the only thing I am not sure of is on the output of the supply there is four 12V circuits (Brown, Purple, Orange & Yellow) and a Red that says 12V Batt Positive. (see pics below) Literally when I went to grab the wad it fell apart and 2 nuts fell right off. I removed the tape but the wires were kinda all over the place so I am not sure what goes where. The red and yellow were bare. The only stray I had was a pink that goes thru the floor and seems to run all over the trailer. I did trace it over to the 12V switch for the fridge so I assume it's just another 12V line that would go to the open yellow? That said,what goes to the Batt Positive Red? There is a place for a battery on the trailer but there is no battery in there or any other stray wires by the converter. What would go to this red wire since I have no other strays in this wad of wires?

    I can't really get under the trailer too well BUT I was able to see up at the front drivers side corner under the trailer where they bring all the chassis grounds (whites) together and crimp and blot them to the frame and they really don't look to good. Wire is stripped way too far back and excess exposed wire is looking bad, but wiggling it to see if I could get lights to flicker did nothing, I read in the camper manual that the lights are run on the 12V only reguardless of how the camper is hooked up. All the outlets work and if I flip the 15 amp the outlets go out. The 20 amp I assume is the 12V stuff? (See pics below) I have no heat or CO detector as well. If these white 12V chassis grounds are bad would ALL the 12V outs from the supply be out? I stuck a meter in the 4 colors and I have no 12V at these outputs. I would assume with the chassis ground wires crappy that MAY be my problem but I'm not convinced since I am not sure I get how the 12V works? I mean I know the 120 comes in and the converter converts it to 12, but do the grounds from the frame need to be therte to complete the circut? I could see the lights not working but I would think the 12 would still be at the plug coming out of the converter. Can I ground the ground bar on the converter and bypass those chassis ground wires to see if this is my problem? I am not able to hook up my truck to it the way it is stored. I need to move a bunch of stuff but I would be curious if they work off the truck. If so, what does that tell me? I'm just not sure how to test this converter to know if it is working. All fuses check good, but I read there may be one internal. This is a bit more of a job to rip it out. Should I have 12V at these outputs even if the chassis grounds are bad? I also have no CO detector or water pump, so everything 12V is out. This seems simple yet I am not sure why I have no 12 coming out and what was going to this red Batt Positive wire.

    Thank you for any help!

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  2. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    The 20 amp may be a main breaker or be the breaker that feeds the DC side of your power center. It might be the air conditioner power too (it needs 20 amps). Your power center is not a brand I'm familiar with.

    Before, we get too deep into the converter wiring, have you checked the safety switch that prevents the lights from coming on when closed up. Usually it is under a flip up galley or sometimes attached to the slide out beds. Lots of times a wire will come loose there.
  3. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2015
    Based on your pictures I can see how this was intended to be wired.

    If you don't have a battery the red wire should remain unconnected and be capped to ensure it doesn't short.

    The label in pic 2 shows only 3 dc circuits are used, 1 through 3, but based on pics 3 and 4 it appears to actually use 2 through 4. Not important but good to know.

    The 20 amp breaker should power only the air conditioner. The 15 amp breaker powers the rest of the trailer, including the converter.

    The ground connections to the frame are extremely important to proper function and usually the first thing to go bad. There should be a connection under the converter and another at the tongue. Make sure both are good clean connections. I would also expect to find a connection point near the converter where all of the interior 12 volt grounds, white wires, come together and are connected to the converter.

    Once you've verified the grounds you should be able to do a simple test using a multimeter or unpowered test light. Pull any fuse from the fuse panel, with the black probe of the multimeter touching bare wire at the ground point, mentioned above, probe each end of the fuse slot with the red probe. If you get power at either end you are getting power from the converter, if not, something is wrong inside.

    A quick glance through the web shows that this converter, not built since 2001, was low quality and prone to failure. I've never had to use them but the people at are reputed to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

    BTW, the screw on wire nuts were originally designed to be used with solid wire and are not the best connector for use with the stranded wire in 12 volt systems. A better alternative would be to use crimp style connectors.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  4. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

    The lights operate on 12VDC power which the converter should supply. Since everything onAC power is working, locate the DC output and using a voltmeter determine if the converter is outputting DC voltage. If it is then you need to follow that line and/or find the "kill" switch and make sure it is engaged. I believe but don't know for sure as I do not have a Viking that the kill switch is located under the front pull out bed and is engaged when the bed is fully pulled out or at the roof line on the front pull out and is engaged by the canvas when it is in place
  5. ScootinZ

    ScootinZ New Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    Did not know it even had one but like I said they've always worked and the campers been set up for a couple years in the building. I'll try to find the switch you're talking about but like I said they have always worked. I have a feeling I may have killed the converter by leaving the 110 plugged in for a few years here. Even though nothing was on I'm sure the converter was still running. I have read that these are low quality. Thanks for your reply
  6. ScootinZ

    ScootinZ New Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    Great information. Thank you! I'll grab my meter after checking the grounds and check for 12 volts at the fuses. Didn't even think of that. And yes all the white wires do come to the converter. There's a block at the back of it. I didn't take a photo of it. There's also like a hard-line ground which I haven't been able to trace yet that goes through the floor. It's almost like a copper flexible tube. I'm assuming it's some sort of ground as well as it's on the same block on the back of the converter. Maybe this is the one that goes to the tongue. Like I said I got to drag this thing out once the weather breaks here and get underneath it. We actually got some snow yesterday again but it's supposed to be 70 by the weekend so I'll probably dig into this deeper then. Also, yeah I know the wire nuts or not the best thing to use for stranded wire. I'm going to redo all this so it's done right after I go through all the grounds. I don't like how it was wired at all. I'm possibly going to sell the camper and I obviously don't want to let it go like this.
    So quick question, it has a spot for a battery on the tongue yet when I bought it it didn't have a battery and I've never put one in it. I figured that was an option but wouldn't there have been a wire run up through the floor to the converter and hooked to that 12 volt line for the input from the battery? There's no stray wire there and I would assume it would have been wired into the camper from the factory if it was ordered with that option?
    For the record, yeah I read as well that this converter is not the best of quality either and I have a feeling I killed it by leaving the 110 plugged in all the time even though no lights were on I have a feeling that converter has been running the whole time and even though there's no load on it it's still converting the 120 over to 12 and that's probably what killed it. Lights have always worked every time I went in it and even though the grounds up at the front of the frame don't look the greatest it's not like they're broken off and wiggling them did nothing which I would assume even if they were marginal I would have got some flickering of the lights or something?
  7. ScootinZ

    ScootinZ New Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    I had mentioned in the original post that the four outputs from the converter are not putting out 12 volts but I'm not sure if that's because of bad ground or what. Everything that is AC in the camper does work I understand that all the lights are 12 volts DC which is coming from the converter. I have a feeling I may have killed the converter leaving the camper plugged into the wall for a couple of years and even though no lights were on that converter was still on converting. I would assume if the 120 is coming into the converter and I'm showing no 12 volts coming out at the connector on the side of the converter then it's dead. I am going to go over grounds just to be certain. I'll try to look for this kill switch to but wouldn't all the AC be out as well? The green light is on on the converter so I don't know if the whole camper goes dead when it's folded up or what.
  8. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2015
    The battery is dealer installed and the manufacturer has no way to tell whether an individual trailer will be sold without a battery, so yes, all trailers are built with that wiring intact. Possibly the PO thought he was disconnecting the brakes when he cut that wire. I would not be surprised if you find the other end of the wire when you get under the trailer
    I'm sure you're right. This may be attached to the frame right below the converter or it may go all the way to the tongue. I would expect the first. Typically the frame is used as a ground buss for the entire 12 volt system, both the house circuits and the trailer running lights.
  9. ScootinZ

    ScootinZ New Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    Yeah I kind of want to get to the bottom of that. I'm going to toss a battery in it and see what the wiring is up by the battery cuz I know there's some there. It's kind of hard to get in there right now where it's parked with the bunk pulled out. Once I roll it outside I can get to everything. I just wish the darn weather would break already. Appreciate all your input. Once I get out of this thing I'll have a much better idea of what's going on with the grounds
  10. 2001-2016

    2001-2016 New Member

    Sep 26, 2016 we are new to this used pop-up camper, 2001 Viking, and we are also having problems with the interior lights. I have searched EVERYWHERE for help, and finally remembered that I had visited this website when we first bought the camper.
    1. It has the same style PCL 12c Battery Charger/Power Center, (different number), and looks the same. We cant't find any wiring on the tongue that would connect the battery to the wiring system. Should there be something?
    2. We will be using electricity at the camp site, but need lights. Can both systems be on at the same time? The PO said they couldn't get the furnace to work, so they gave up, and used a small heater.
    3. YOU PEOPLE ARE SO KIND TO SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE! This is such a cool thing in this day and age!
    ANY help would be greatly appreciated! We want to get some good use out of the camper, and it just needs a little LOVE!
    THANK YOU!!!
  11. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    First off ......
    Greetings from the Connecticut shoreline.
    When plugged in you should have both 110VAC power to the household type outlets and 12VDC power to the lights, etc.
    You will need a testlight (looks like an ice pick with a bulb inside the handle and will have a wire with a clip) or a voltmeter. Cheap ones will do to start. With the camper plugged in and the testlight wire or voltmeter - lead connected to the the metal camper frame ....check for power at the fuses and or the 12 volt wire connections.
    You really should start a new Post so other can say hello to you also.
  12. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2018
    First thing I would check, after I followed Rayce’s advice would be the male/female connection at the lift post. They can come apart. On my ‘08 Viking that was Driver’s side front. Wires are often run Inside a sleeve sewn into the canvas.

    And yes there should be wiring run from the camper to the battery. On mine it ran under the floor, attached to the frame out to the tongue. It will branch off the 7way connector with a positive and negative wire.
  13. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Active Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    Welcome to the Portal from South Carolina. I suggest you start another post, so your advice does not get crossed with the advice for this post. Sometimes it can get confusing who is responding to which issue.
  14. ScootinZ

    ScootinZ New Member

    Apr 9, 2018

    That converter is garbage. Bought a new one through it in and done. The new ones much nicer to. I don't remember the brand but it was referred to me in this thread. Easy install... had to make the opening a little larger but other than that super easy and much nicer. Sounds like your 12 volt circuit took a crap like mine did. Below is the post somebody had made about my old converter and when I did a search on the web I found a lot of failures with these. Just go to best converters talk to Randy he will set you up.

    "A quick glance through the web shows that this converter, not built since 2001, was low quality and prone to failure. I've never had to use them but the people at are reputed to be very knowledgeable and helpful"
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018 at 9:03 AM

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