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Old 04-14-2016, 09:26 AM   #1
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Cross wired house batteries

When I replaced the house batteries I crossed wired them by mistake.(A big one I know) Then I did two things.

1. Tried to start the RV
2. Tried to start the Gen.

A few things happened after that.

1. Fire under the back of the RV. (from the starter wires)
2. Buzzing and beeping from the console. (smoke ect....)
3. Power inside RV went out.
4. The inverter breaker popped

What I did next.
1. put fire out.
2. Disconnected the batteries and reconnected correctly.
3. Separated the wires that burned. Have not taped them yet
4. reset the breaker.
4. Tried to crank the RV, and it did crank.
5. Tried to start the Gen. it did not make a sound.
5. Drove it from Memphis to Houston TX. (battery died half way bought new starter batteries)

Made it to Houston TX... Shore line power only power sockets.

After so more checking I found that both fuses (30amp) on the convertor were blown alone with the fuse (15amp) on the Gen (7500 onan) was blown. After replacing them full power was restored to the RV from shore line but the Gen want turn over. I am getting 36 error code.

First questions: What do I need to check? How do I clear this code?


The plug in the back compartment by the started battery is burned and not working, that is where the trickle charger plugs into.

Second question: Do I really need to repair this now? Any recommendation on a good place in Houston Tx to get it checked out.

I am heading on a 4K to 5K summer trip so I need to be sure. RV stills starts without a problem I will need AC on the road.

1998 Chieftain Winnebago
Class A 36 feet.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:12 AM   #2
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Engine alternators usually do not like to have their polarity reversed. I believe that it blows the diodes inside of the alternator. Is your engine charging its battery?

If you have a voltmeter in your dash, this should indicate about 14V with the engine running. If you do not have one, check the voltage across the battery with a hand held voltmeter. It should be about 12.7VDC with the engine off and about 14V with the engine running.

I would fix this problem first.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:49 AM   #3
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Back in my flying airplane days, I preferred (understatement) to have everything working BEFORE I took off. I still prefer to have everything possible working now before I leave for a trip in the RV more than a week or so. So to answer your question, I would fix everything before I left on a 5k mile road trip.
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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Sorry for your troubles...

Been there, done that, sort of thing with electrical failure and fried components. Although mine was not as severe as yours yet still very costly and time consuming.

A voltmeter is a must in a MH and like said before, I would check without engine running and with. Isolate one issue at a time and that Alternator is a good place to start.

Where you put out the fire I would be especially interested to see what chemical you used if any and where it was dispersed. That can cause issues also.

I would also replace the burnt wires and check continuity of as many components as possible.

You checked all the fuses and breakers I take it?

I would also be prone to open up the transfer switch inside and see what it looks like.

Sorry for your troubles. Your not the first and won't be the last. When I cleaned up my battery compartment. Everything including cables were colored appropriately, labeled so hopefully whoever is working on the coach does not make that mistake.

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Old 04-14-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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I would suggest you hire a good mobile tech to come out and work thru everything. This will prevent doing any additional damage.

If this was mine, I'd first isolate all of the systems, so each one could be individually repaired, and then begin hooking them together so they ultimately work in the integrated fashion they are supposed to.

Separate (pull fuses, cabling, and/or cabling), so you can work individually on these systems and verify that each is working independently:
- the 12 v chassis system, so that chassis batteries, engine starter, engine alternator, coach exterior lights, and any chassis 'always on', and 'key switch' on devices are working. This may include slide pumps and leveling pumps, if they run off chassis batteries in your coach.
- the 12 v house battery systems. (Make sure separated from chassis ie no charge solenoid connectivity, separated from the inverter/converter, and generator starter/control circuitry). Keep the batteries charged with an external battery charger if need be, while you verify all house 12v devices are working or repaired.
- the 120v shore power, thru the EMS and transfer switch, to the circuit breaker box. (Keep isolated from inverter/charger). (Keep generator output to the transfer switch isolated as well). Verify all 120v circuits are functional and working, any devices repaired if need be.
- Next I would work on the connectivity between the 12v chassis, and 12v house, which is typically thru a charge solenoid and your aux start switch. Make sure polarities are correct, and replace fuses and verify that the engine alternator now charges the house batteries when engine running.
- I would now work on the converter functionality, which has input from a 120 VAC circuit breaker, and makes 12vDC. Verify that the control/monitoring circuitry is working correctly, and the converter will charge the house batteries.
- Next work on the inverter functionality, and verify that it will take 12vDC, and make 120VAC and feed your inverted circuits, which I assume in your coach is handled by a subpanel off (or part of) the circuit breaker box. Repair as needed.
- Lastly there are two functions of the generator, the start function using the 12v to turn the starter with it's control circuitry. The second is the generation of the 120v, and distribution to the transfer switch (and then ultimately to the circuit breaker box.

Disconnecting and separating everything, lets you work on the individual pieces and get them fixed.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:14 PM   #6
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One more thing....

A lot of good tips. I find patience is important with working these issues. I have taken on projects that have taken me days others perhaps could do in a fraction of the time.

If you are in a Camp Ground, you might be surprised with some of the knowledge you can tap into from others. Or a neighbor at home who also has MH experience. Me, I would try to solve as many issues on my own or with help from others first before I would call out a tech. Most of those guys are in the $100 an hr range and the $$$ can run up quite quickly.

If you do go that route, have them give you an estimate of the costs before you agree to any work. If you have a RV shop in mind, ask around if any of those guys do work "off duty". I know a really good auto mechanic that does this and his rates are 1/2 that what the dealership he works at from 8-5.
Also, sometimes on Craigslist you can find a certified tech at a discounted rate. Wish I could be there to help you what little help I might be. Good Luck!! James
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsorbill View Post
Back in my flying airplane days, I preferred (understatement) to have everything working BEFORE I took off. I still prefer to have everything possible working now before I leave for a trip in the RV more than a week or so. So to answer your question, I would fix everything before I left on a 5k mile road trip.
Well, with an airplane take offs are optional, landings are mandatory. Not so with an RV!
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:52 AM   #8
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How hard is it to get to the transfer switch? I was reading something about that online. Also if the shore line power is working ok and the converter is working does that mean the transfer switch is ok?
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:47 AM   #9
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In response to your question.

In response to your question on the transfer switch.

Mine is in the same compartment as the shore power. It is nothing fancy looking. Mine is a silver metal looking box I'm guessing 9" X 12". It says Automatic Line Switch. I think mine is a ATS 5070.

I recommend any time you are exploring or assessing any electronic component, make sure your unplugged and the disconnect switch is off. I'd even disconnect the ground on my coach battery bank so there is no power coming in to the switch.

They unbolt and covers will come off. If anything in there is fried you will be able to see burn marks.

As for it working when plugged into 110. I think mine also worked when the transfer switch was bad but I could be wrong. I am simply suggesting if you can examine any of your components and visualize damage it might help in the repair costs. IF your transfer switch shows damage, AND you decide to replace it yourself. TAKE PICTURES of where all the wires to to where and I even go so far as make myself a diagram. I label the ports/studs on each and then write the corresponding number on a painters tape to the line so I make sure everything goes back to where it is supposed to be and take my time. It never fails, if I see something easy and I don't photo it or write it down, just sure as the world when I go to put humpty dumpty back together again, I end up with a case of CRS..... good luck, take your time!! James
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:37 PM   #10
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Hello to anyone out there that may guide me. I've been researching my 2005 Cross Country Coach and have a problem with my chassis batteries not charging while on Shoreline or Generator. They will charge however with the coach running. I was wondering if my Transfer Switch is bad because it does make a buzzing sound when the Shoreline is plugged in. I did have new batteries installed recently when the jacks would not operate properly, the garage said they were corroded and needed replaced. Wondering if they screwed something up???
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:41 PM   #11
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Well, with an airplane take offs are optional, landings are mandatory. Not so with an RV!
A good landing is one you survive.

A great landing is one for which you can reuse the equipment.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:47 PM   #12
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Hooking batteries wrong should not effect the ATS.

to test just fire up the genny and see if it works.

Reverse polarity will damage everything that is electronic and connected.

SOME devices targeted for consumer use and or consumer installation have "crowbar" protection built in which usually is just a diode backwards across the power connection sized so it will blow the fuse without damage.

Works great if properly fused....

Locate all fuse panels and check all fuses and replace any blown ones but try a smaller one first.

If they flash the device connected is toast.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dorloski View Post
Hello to anyone out there that may guide me. I've been researching my 2005 Cross Country Coach and have a problem with my chassis batteries not charging while on Shoreline or Generator. They will charge however with the coach running. I was wondering if my Transfer Switch is bad because it does make a buzzing sound when the Shoreline is plugged in. I did have new batteries installed recently when the jacks would not operate properly, the garage said they were corroded and needed replaced. Wondering if they screwed something up???
Did the chassis batteries use to charge on shore power? Many coaches don't unless something like a echo charger is added.
You might want to start a new thread this is an older one that is not really related.
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Old 08-22-2016, 04:00 AM   #14
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This is why you own a cell phone with a camera. Take pictures, lots of pictures, from every angle and direction. Besides having them in you cell phone for when you hook up the batteries again, store the pictures on you computer also in case you have questions about some when the MH is in storage and you're miles away from it.

Take lots of pictures - they're free, and in this case they save money in addition to being free. This is why I bought I first Polaroid camera........

Bill
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