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Old 01-22-2018, 06:29 AM   #1
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1997 National Tropical Battery Disconnect

Good Morning!

Just bought a 1997 National Tropical built on a Ford 460 chassis as a first RV to see if we'll like RVing. Have two questions about the battery disconnect.

1) Do the batteries charge when connected to shore power if the disconnect is in the STORE position?

2) The light that shows this switch engaged has failed but the switch seems to still work OK. Is this light replaceable?

Thanks!

Jack
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:47 AM   #2
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#1, That depends on the charging system.

If the rig uses a converter to charge them it may well be on the cut off side of the switch and not charge the batteries when in store mode.

If it has an Inverter/charger, they are typically NOT wired thru the use/store switch. Try will charge the batteries in store position.

Quick test. Turn the switch to store, while on shore power, and see if lights stay on. If they do, you have a converter. They power lights without batteries.

An inverter/charger will charge the batteries, but the power won't get past the switch, to light the lights.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:48 AM   #3
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1997 National Tropical Battery Disconnect

Good Morning!

Just bought a 1997 National Tropical built on a Ford 460 chassis as a first RV to see if we'll like RVing. Have two questions about the battery disconnect.

1) Do the batteries charge when connected to shore power if the disconnect is in the STORE position?

2) The light that shows this switch engaged has failed but the switch seems to still work OK. Is this light replaceable?

Thanks!

Jack
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:26 AM   #4
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Jack-

Welcome to iRV2!

I notice you posted identical posts in two other fora (forums). While this gives you a greater chance of having someone respond, it is generally better to post in just one forum. You can ask the moderators to merge the two other posts with this one. You do that by clicking on the little white-and-red exclamation point icon at the bottom of the yellow area on any post. This will open a box in which you can type your request.

Also, you may find it helpful to add a signature to your user profile. The signature tells folks what coach you have, and anything else you want people to know. The iRV2 "system" appends the signature to each post you make, eliminating the need for you to type that info into future posts. Instructions for adding a signature are here.

On your second question, if you post a picture of the switch(es) and light(s), we can advise on replacements.

If you are unfamiliar with 12V RV electrical systems, these two Web pages provide a basic education:

The 12-volt Side of Life (Part 1)
The 12-volt Side of Life (Part 2)

Again, welcome to iRV2!
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:32 AM   #5
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Suggest you ask this question in the National RV owners section of this site. Somebody will have direct knowledge and can answer. Generally the answer to the charging question is no, but some few makes and models do provide for that.

Probably easier to replace the whole switch than the light, which is usually built into the switch body.

National RV Forum:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f105/
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:35 AM   #6
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I leave my disconnect switches on and let my converter charge my batteries when hooked up to shore power or generator. I turn the disconnect switches off before storing the RV for a period of time. Best way to check is with a volt meter at your batteries. You should see 13.6-13.8 volts to your chassis battery and around 6.5 to7 volts to your coach batteries if 6 volt. Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to your forum. Tom
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:02 PM   #7
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I can't really answer whether you can charge batteries when the disconnect switch is in store position, but I can tell you how to find out. Get a multimeter and experiment.

First, take readings at house and chassis batteries with disconnect switches on and shore cord unplugged. Fully charged, healthy batteries should read 12.7v. If less than that, remove and clean all battery connections, including connections to ground.

Next, plug in shore cord and take readings at both house and chassis batteries. Reading at the house battery should now be over 13.4v, showing the converter/charger is working. If you also see a voltage increase at the chassis battery, that's good news, your chassis battery is also charging when plugged into shore cord. Now turn off the battery disconnect switch and see if the charging current is still flowing from the converter/charger to the battery.

Disconnect the shore cord and start the engine, you'll now test voltage to see if the engine alternator also charges the house batteries when on the road. If all batteries again show charging, that's a good thing.

There may be a delay in the charging across both battery systems, many relays have built-in delays to allow the chassis battery to recover a bit before connecting to the house batteries.

How to test the isolator solenoid.

If you have solar panels charging when parked, you'll have to disconnect them for testing.

If you store the RV and have access to even just a 15 amp outlet, your shore cord (with adaptor) can keep batteries charged, according to what your testing discovered. If storing without shore power, turn the disconnect switches off. However, often some things are still connected to the batteries and can cause issues over time. The chassis battery will probably still be connected to the engine ECU, the stereo memory presets/clock, etc. and can run down the battery. The House battery might still be connected to the CO or LPG detector, a bedroom radio memory presets, etc. If you leave the TV antenna amplifier on, that can also cause 'phantom draws' on the house battery.

You can test the phantom drains that don't get disconnected through the disconnect switches by removing a battery cable and bridge the gap with either a test light or multimeter.

The 'light' on the disconnect switch may be a small bulb or LED, it will depend on whether it's soldered into a circuit board or just a socket. It could also be integrated into the switch or a separate socket. Look up the make and model of the isolation remote switch board.

Good luck learning about your 'new' RV!
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:39 PM   #8
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Much appreciated. Sorry for the double post and I will try to get a signature done too. Once again thank you!
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:40 PM   #9
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Thanks very much for your reply. I shall go test as you suggested. Once again thank you very much.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:50 PM   #10
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I will do that. Thank you very much for your reply.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:24 PM   #11
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I suggest you call RV Custom Products the manufacturer of the 12V Battery Control Center (BCC). Ask for the information/documentation for your board. The information will tell you how the cross charging system works and a troubleshooting guide. They will email it to you.

RV Custom Products
14000 Anson Ave, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(562) 921-8353
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:45 AM   #12
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Hey All,

I'd just like to thank everybody for their replies. They were quite informative and they have helped a lot. I think the Sumo shocks are going to be something that we'll put on and thanks for the tip on the circuit board. I called that manufacturer and they're sending me schematics
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F4Jock View Post
Good Morning!


2) The light that shows this switch engaged has failed but the switch seems to still work OK. Is this light replaceable?

Thanks!

Jack
If it is just the light you want to replace try this link:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...28Pack+of+5%29
I replaced my dash light for my generator with this and also need to replace the "battery" light sbove my disconnect switch. I just ordered this 5 pack so i'll have spares from now on. But, i also am needing to replace my disconnevct solenoid which just went bad. It's on the way though and so is more artic temperatures!
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:10 AM   #14
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This diagram may be of help.
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