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Old 03-16-2017, 08:04 PM   #1
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12 Volt problem solved, not sure exactly how...

First, I apologize for the long post. I am posting so that anyone who may have this problem in the future may gain from my experience and also to gain knowledge from anyone that desires to comment.

In getting my Tiffin, 2006 Allegro Bay 37DB, 8.1L Chevy, Workhorse W22 chassis ready for travel, I was checking my Onan 7000 generator and tried to start it from the switch on the generator. It turned over normally a few times then went dead. Nothing… I had run it about three weeks before and had started it with the remote switch on the dash with no problem.

Now (During the problem):

120 VAC seems to work ok.

12 VDC only operates with engine running.

Interior lights will only operate with chassis engine running, even when on shore power.

Onan 7000 Generator will only start when chassis engine is running.

Generator will run about 10 minutes after I turn off the chassis engine then it shuts down.

Slides are designed to not operate with chassis engine running. If I turn off chassis engine with generator running and try to operate the slides it kills the generator.

Both house batteries are new as of Oct. 2016 (Costco Interstate 6V) and when problem first occurred about a week ago they checked at 6.43 and 6.45 volts. Now they check at 6.35 and 6.37 volts. MH has been on shore power all this time.

I called Tiffin and described the symptoms to the service tech. He immediately said that it sounded like the 250 amp fuse at the battery bank was blown. He described how to remove and replace.

I took pictures of the wires so I would know how to hook everything back up when I put it back together. Then I unplugged from the 120 shore power and turned off the 12 volt system. I proceeded to unbolt the wires and remove the fuse.

I had tried to check the fuse continuity with a multimeter when it was in place but got varying results. With the fuse out I hooked it up to my portable battery jumper and the fuse checked out ok.

Not knowing what else to do, I put it all back together again figuring I would take the MH to the Tiffin Service Center at Red Bay. (About a three hour drive.)

As I finished putting it back together, tightening the battery cables I heard an electronic beep. As I looked around the MH all the proper lights were on and the 12 volt system seemed to be working.

I decided to try the ultimate test; start the generator without the chassis engine running. I primed it for about three seconds and hit the starter. It started immediately.

Somewhat in shock at the generator running on its own the next ultimate test would be to operate the slides. They both worked…, no problem.

I have two possible conclusions. The first is that there was a loose connection, probably where the wires were bolted into the 250 amp fuse. The battery cables were clean and tight and the fuse connections seemed to be tight also. I really didn’t see any evidence of a loose or corroded connection.

The second possibility is that with everything disconnected something reset into its proper position…

I really don’t know, but if this happens again the first thing I will do is remove the wires from the fuse, lightly sand, and replace.

Although the problem seems to be fixed any comments or enlightenment would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarrytheBear View Post
First, I apologize for the long post. I am posting so that anyone who may have this problem in the future may gain from my experience and also to gain knowledge from anyone that desires to comment.

In getting my Tiffin, 2006 Allegro Bay 37DB, 8.1L Chevy, Workhorse W22 chassis ready for travel, I was checking my Onan 7000 generator and tried to start it from the switch on the generator. It turned over normally a few times then went dead. Nothing… I had run it about three weeks before and had started it with the remote switch on the dash with no problem.

Now (During the problem):

120 VAC seems to work ok.

12 VDC only operates with engine running.

Interior lights will only operate with chassis engine running, even when on shore power.

Onan 7000 Generator will only start when chassis engine is running.

Generator will run about 10 minutes after I turn off the chassis engine then it shuts down.

Slides are designed to not operate with chassis engine running. If I turn off chassis engine with generator running and try to operate the slides it kills the generator.

Both house batteries are new as of Oct. 2016 (Costco Interstate 6V) and when problem first occurred about a week ago they checked at 6.43 and 6.45 volts. Now they check at 6.35 and 6.37 volts. MH has been on shore power all this time.

I called Tiffin and described the symptoms to the service tech. He immediately said that it sounded like the 250 amp fuse at the battery bank was blown. He described how to remove and replace.

I took pictures of the wires so I would know how to hook everything back up when I put it back together. Then I unplugged from the 120 shore power and turned off the 12 volt system. I proceeded to unbolt the wires and remove the fuse.

I had tried to check the fuse continuity with a multimeter when it was in place but got varying results. With the fuse out I hooked it up to my portable battery jumper and the fuse checked out ok.

Not knowing what else to do, I put it all back together again figuring I would take the MH to the Tiffin Service Center at Red Bay. (About a three hour drive.)

As I finished putting it back together, tightening the battery cables I heard an electronic beep. As I looked around the MH all the proper lights were on and the 12 volt system seemed to be working.

I decided to try the ultimate test; start the generator without the chassis engine running. I primed it for about three seconds and hit the starter. It started immediately.

Somewhat in shock at the generator running on its own the next ultimate test would be to operate the slides. They both worked…, no problem.

I have two possible conclusions. The first is that there was a loose connection, probably where the wires were bolted into the 250 amp fuse. The battery cables were clean and tight and the fuse connections seemed to be tight also. I really didn’t see any evidence of a loose or corroded connection.

The second possibility is that with everything disconnected something reset into its proper position…

I really don’t know, but if this happens again the first thing I will do is remove the wires from the fuse, lightly sand, and replace.

Although the problem seems to be fixed any comments or enlightenment would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.
Thanks for posting this, I am glad it all worked out for you, and you are up and running.

Along with other mechanical devices, computers, etc. maybe you were right, when disconnecting and reconnecting the batteries, it reset everything.

But as you mentioned maybe their was some corrosion on the cables connecting the 250 amp fuse.

Guess what ill be doing this weekend

Thanks again.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:11 PM   #3
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I have had many things start working again after I take them apart and reassemble. Corrosion?
Of course some things never worked again after I worked on them.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:23 AM   #4
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Not knowing Tiffin setups this is what I would think. There is most likely a BIRD (Bidirectional Isolator Relay Device). There are many different types across different manufacturers. These can be temperamental and problematic. It's a my SWAG that it has something to do with this. Disconnecting and reconnecting items may very well have reset something in it.
May find more and better information in the Tiffin Owners forum as it is most likely specific to that manufacturer.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:58 AM   #5
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I am not at all familar with what the inside of one of those 250 amp fuses looks like or whether it could have a loose connection. I do know they are not very expensive so I would order two and throw the old one away and keep the other new one for a spare. It may Not have been the fuse at all but who knows for sure at this point in time.

Here is one place that carries the fuse.https://www.delcity.net/store/MEGA-F...19019.h_819018
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:19 AM   #6
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My guess is the battery connections were weak. 12v is just that, 12v. The potential voltage is small compared to the current demanded. Ever take a 3v flashlight and shake it to get a brighter flashlight. If you measure the voltage on the D cell battery it is 1.5v but the amount of current from the battery is small until you get it to make a good connection. It is all to do with the connection. I have had cars completely die when I tried to start them and then I tap the battery connection and away she goes. Battery maintenance is very important and every connection is important when dealing with 12v.

When I first took possession of my coach, a day later, I had 8.45v in the house and 12.65v on the batteries. Turns out it was a loose connection on a post in the back of the battery bank. Tightened it up and now 12.65v in the house. I believe a loose connection was your problem.
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

I have ordered a new 250 amp fuse just like the one that is in there so I will have a spare.

If I have a BIRD (Bidirectional Isolator Relay Device) I need to research the location because it does sound like that could have been potentially been the problem.

The battery connections are attached by wing nuts on the top of the batteries and did not appear loose and there is no visible corrosion. I know it doesn't take much to compromise the connection. I did not sand any of the connections when I reconnected the wires. I wish I would have.

Everything is still working today!
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Old 03-17-2017, 05:27 PM   #8
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It's not the BIRD ! That only cross connects the two battery banks. When the engine was running, it did it's job.

As mentioned by billdreamlv, it was most likely a dirty battery connection.

They can look clean and still give you problems. Wire brush or sand paper will clean them.

Throw away the wingnuts and replace them with stainless steel hex nuts.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarrytheBear View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I have ordered a new 250 amp fuse just like the one that is in there so I will have a spare.

If I have a BIRD (Bidirectional Isolator Relay Device) I need to research the location because it does sound like that could have been potentially been the problem.

The battery connections are attached by wing nuts on the top of the batteries and did not appear loose and there is no visible corrosion. I know it doesn't take much to compromise the connection. I did not sand any of the connections when I reconnected the wires. I wish I would have.

Everything is still working today!
If you have a BIRD, if was put on by the PO, my 2005 AB 37DB, does not have a BIRD


I also agree with Twinboat, about it not being the BIRD if you have one.


I also have hex nuts on the battery connections as well
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CJ7365 View Post
If you have a BIRD, if was put on by the PO, my 2005 AB 37DB, does not have a BIRD


I also agree with Twinboat, about it not being the BIRD if you have one.


I also have hex nuts on the battery connections as well
Good point about the BIRD. There is a chance that it's a IRD, Isolation Relay with Delay.
They only work in one direction, charging the house battery from the chassis battery, but not maintaning the chassis from the house, while on shore power.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:17 AM   #11
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I also concur with Twinboat. Corroded battery connections will create all types of strange anomalies to occur....and cause parasitic resistance that will expedite battery drain.

One word of caution when replacing the wing nuts, confirm your battery terminal post are standard or metric before purchasing hex head
nuts.
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