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Old 09-09-2018, 11:03 AM   #1
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99 Tradewinds Electrical Issues

Hey there. We have our 99 Tradewinds and actually enjoy it. But late last year it started to have issues that I have had no luck in fixing.

It has three electrical issues, and I think they all might be related.

1. when I turn on the cab A/C, it will run for about 5 minutes and then the RV will shut down while driving. If I quickly turn the A/C off, it fires up right away with no problem.
2. when I turn on the driving lights, the same thing happens, after about 5 minutes the dash lights up and the RV shuts down. I turn off the driving lights and all is well.
3. I replaced the alternator and now it is showing almost 18v on the dash.



I think it is all related to a faulty ground, but I have had no luck. I took it to a dealer ($$$) and they couldnt find anything wrong of course. I have taken it to a local RV shop and they couldnt find anything wrong as well. But every time I drive it and turn on either the dash A/C or the driving lights, the vehicle shuts down.

I don't want to drive it with the dash showing close to 18v so I dont damage the batteries from overcharging.



Any help!!!!!


I's been parked for almost a year because I can't figure this out!
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:25 PM   #2
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Pic of dash

Picture showing dash voltage reading
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:41 PM   #3
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The 18 volt charging could be a bad battery isolator, if equipped. That or the wrong alternator.

Look and see if you have one and jump or move the 3 terminals together and see if the charging voltage regulates to 13 or 14 volts.

Looks like this. It may not be blue.


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Old 09-09-2018, 06:18 PM   #4
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Have you measured the voltage output directly on the alternator? When I look at the photo you posted of your dash cluster hereís my interpretation:
The bottom of the scale is 8 volts and the top of the scale is 18 volts which is the value assigned to the upper limit of the red arc.
The mark at the middle of the gauge (12 oíclock position) is half way between the two extremes and interpolating would suggest it represents 13 volts at the 12 oíclock mark. Interpolating where the needle is pointing I would estimate it is showing a charge of about 15.5 volts. Thatís still a little higher than usual, but less than 18 volts. I believe 14.5 volts would be the upper end of normal. It would be worth checking your chassis and house batteries (unloaded) to make sure you donít have one or more bad cell. Iím not positive but I think a faulty battery can cause the alternator to output higher voltages. In this case I would most suspect the chassis battery if the isolator is doing its job. Long story short, check your battery voltages each individually to determine if you have a bad cell. If that doesnít reveal anything then check the alternator output voltage at the alternator.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:08 PM   #5
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I have all batteries replaced about one year ago, now I know that doesn't mean much as batteries can fail almost anytime. I will check each battery, and check the output of the alternator right at the source.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:10 PM   #6
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Here's a picture of the typr of alternator I have. I'm guessing you're talking about the battery isolator that appears to be mounted to the alternator.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:12 PM   #7
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When I replaced the alternator, I put the wires exactly where they came off the old one. The original one failed due to salt water corrosion from being to close to the shore line at Pismo Beach while camping. I replaced the wire ends due to corrosion as I wanted good connections.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by injuredvet View Post
Here's a picture of the typr of alternator I have. I'm guessing you're talking about the battery isolator that appears to be mounted to the alternator.


What you see attached to the alternator is the regulator. The isolator is separate and will typically be located in an electrical bay likely near your transfer switch. It looks like or similar to the photo posted by twinboat.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The 18 volt charging could be a bad battery isolator, if equipped. That or the wrong alternator.

Look and see if you have one and jump or move the 3 terminals together and see if the charging voltage regulates to 13 or 14 volts.

Looks like this. It may not be blue.

Attachment 218353
On a 99 National RV Tradewinds DP the battery isolation should be integrated on the Battery Control Center (BCC) made by RV Custom Products, Santa Fe Springs, CA.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:36 PM   #10
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You didn't mention the alternator high charge issue in your post in the Freightliner chassis forums .

Ok , is your engine Cat or Cummins ?
Are you sure that the 18 volts shown on the gauge is accurate , have you tested at the batteries with a volt meter ?
A poor connection between the alternator and the batteries could be causing the alternator/regulator to think the batteries require more charge than they do.

Freightliner , no longer supports our vintage of chassis with wiring diagrams and schematics , I've been told in previous attempts to aide National/Freightliner owners that my diagrams don't match their coaches , but an item that is common , is a frame mounted circuit breaker , within 3 feet of the chassis batteries ( 135 amp ) that protects the run of the main cable from the batteries to the front of the coach and dash . A bad connection there or weak circuit breaker could be the cause of your shut down .
Picture below is taken from the ground looking up , behind the RR wheel on my chassis ,on a plate on the frame rail , there are the starter relay and two high amp circuit breakers , one chassis and the other for the coach battery power cable to the front of the coach.

EDIT , BTW: the gauge reading in your picture is not 18 volts ; 18 volts would be pegged to the top of the scale, in the red zone. The portion of the gauge in white arc is 10 to 14 , I'd put your gauge reading at 13.8/14 volts . If any of your batteries , chassis or coach are not fully charged , I would consider that charge rate normal .
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:51 PM   #11
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Info on the volt gauge scale ; page 6 of this document.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by injuredvet View Post
Hey there. We have our 99 Tradewinds and actually enjoy it. But late last year it started to have issues that I have had no luck in fixing.

It has three electrical issues, and I think they all might be related.

1. when I turn on the cab A/C, it will run for about 5 minutes and then the RV will shut down while driving. If I quickly turn the A/C off, it fires up right away with no problem.
2. when I turn on the driving lights, the same thing happens, after about 5 minutes the dash lights up and the RV shuts down. I turn off the driving lights and all is well.
3. I replaced the alternator and now it is showing almost 18v on the dash.



I think it is all related to a faulty ground, but I have had no luck. I took it to a dealer ($$$) and they couldnt find anything wrong of course. I have taken it to a local RV shop and they couldnt find anything wrong as well. But every time I drive it and turn on either the dash A/C or the driving lights, the vehicle shuts down.

I don't want to drive it with the dash showing close to 18v so I dont damage the batteries from overcharging.



Any help!!!!!


I's been parked for almost a year because I can't figure this out!
You may want to contact Theberrys he has a 99 Tradewinds also and has collected a lot of information for it. He will give you a link to his cloud storage. Send him a private message (PM).
iRV2 Forums - View Profile: Theberrys
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:31 AM   #13
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My 2000 tradewind dash looks the same as yours. My guage runs the same as your pic shows. Try checking the 12v plug near the trans pad and see the volt. There my volt is normal. Like these dash guage tend to read/show little high.


A/c kicking out could be, low on gas, high on gas, plugged line, plugged/bad exp valve, plugged drier, bad binary switch, condenser fan not running, bad cold control switch.

Pretty sure you need 3.5 lb 134a in that system also. You must weigh this charge, do not try guages to get correct charge.
My coach came with a factory defective compressor suction hose elbow.(minute pin hole under the hose nut only visable with the hose off) it also came with a reciver/drier that had internally explode & PLUGGED.
Hope this helps
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:57 AM   #14
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I will check the circuit breakers today along with the alternator output and battery voltage. I have had the dash A/C checked by a professional air conditioning center and all checked out good. I'm more inclined to think it's electrical since the A/C does work for those first few minutes before shutting off the vehicle, and the driving lights has the same effect. I have no issues when using other dash items like wipers, radio and such. I have had new batteries, new battery cables done just over a year ago by the dealer. Had the generator completely checked out by a generator service center, replaced the electrical convertor last year as well.
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