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Old 12-17-2018, 11:30 AM   #1
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30T electrical issue

On our way south this year we encountered an interesting electrical issue. We were plugged in at an rv park in 15 degree overnight temps. The furnace ran fine all night but as we were getting things put away our interior lights started going dim and furnace wouldn't cycle. I checked the coach batteries and they were all at 13.6v (still plugged in) but the 12v side of the control panel only had 9.5v to it.

Went to start the coach and no luck-just clicking. Tried the battery boost switch but no luck-held it for about 30 seconds before attempting to start. Was able to get a jump from the park manager and bingo we had lights and furnace again with the engine running and charging the chassis battery. Have had the chassis battery do this a few times before and since it was the original ford battery with the coach I have since replaced. We overnighted at a Walmart after that and all was fine even with temps in the teens again.


My question is it would appear as if the chassis battery may control some of the power supply to the 12v control panel. This seems strange to me as I thought coach and chassis were separate except for the battery boost switch. Maybe that is sticking and stealing power from the chassis battery?


There are two wires from the chassis battery positive which is shown in the wiring info for our coach as starter and chassis battery disconnect so that appears correct. We are parked and plugged in now and all batteries are same voltage so all charging.


Any thoughts on this are appreciated
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:50 AM   #2
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Without the schematic it's hard for me to say exactly how you're hooked up (obviously).
You could start by disconnecting the chassis battery and taking your readings. It's hard to believe the lights, furnace, etc need the chassis battery.
Do you have a genset? Does it run off of the chassis or house batteries?
Are you calling the "coach" batteries the chassis or house batteries?
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:52 PM   #3
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Here are the 2012 Vista 30T Wiring Diagrams.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:15 PM   #4
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The house batteries are tied together to double amp hours-both 12v agm-so fairly easy to distinguish from chassis battery-unless the selling dealer screwed up when when they swapped out my coach batteries from my lid coach. The chassis battery was wet cell motorcraft. When I removed to replace no lights in the coach or furnace either. I know this is strange so believe when a shop repaired an electrical problem a few years ago if they screwed up some how and the chassis battery is tied in wrong somehow.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:12 PM   #5
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I don't feel like wading through the schematic but the symptoms lead to fairly obvious conclusions.

The reason the house lights went dim was the house battery was low. There is also a low voltage point where relays will stop actuating.

Cold causes reduced battery capacity. It can also effect control boards and relays outside the heated shell.

That has me thinking the system connected the house and engine batteries together to charge the engine battery. The furnace and whatever other 12 VDC loads then drew more current than the converter could supply so the batteries drifted down. The frozen control board or relay failed to disconnect the engine battery so everything dropped too low to work.

Once you jumped the system and got the engine alternator into the picture it charged up all the batteries to the point where things started working again. Anything caused by the cold or any frost in the circuit boards or relays went away and things went back to normal.

It's the kind of problem that I would not get too excited about for a one time occurrence. If it happened again the easiest answer would probably be to get some heat to the batteries and control boards. It probably would not take a lot to get a 15-20 deg rise in temperature.
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:52 AM   #6
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Thanks northermark. That does make sense as far as a relay getting stuck. What did surprise me was when I removed the starting battery the coach had no lights, furnace etc. Think i'll send an email to Winnebago to see what they might have to say. Thanks to all and Merry Christmas
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