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Old 06-12-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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electrical issues w/ 1999 newmar mountain aire

i have a 1999 newmar mountain aire. having problems with power. would like info on 1) basic info on how inverter interconnects with batteries, land power, and generator, 2) wiring diags for the coach, 3) wiring diagrams for the Spartan chassis. main problem is i'm not getting amps.... sometimes if i have too many overhead lights on my electric toilet (was there when i bought used!) won't work. i recently purchased a new inverter, but have not installed it as yet. i also have no battery power when not connected to land power.... does the inverter charge the batteries, and if it is faulty, could this be the issue with no battery power. i know this is long winded, but i'm looking for any guidance from anybody. thanks.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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You do have lots of questions. Sounds like to me if you did not get the factory manuals with your coach you might be able to get them from Newmar but I doubt it. If you don't have fair knowledge of 12v DC, and 120V AC sustems, you will save yourself a bunch of headache if you find a good mobile RV tech to access your issues before you start replacing parts, Or hopefully find an owner of a coach like yours that has time to go through things with you on the phone. Good luck
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:34 AM   #3
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Hi there, do1999, I have a 99 Dutch Star on Freightliner, that is in storage at the moment, I hope to have it in my yard later this week, if you don't start getting info from other sources, maybe I can scan some of my manuals through to you. I'll start with a few question to see how similar our units are. Is your convertor/battery charger in your power cable compartment ? Battery tray in rear on the curb side ? Invertor mounted next compartment forward of batteries? Brand name of the convertor ? Invertor? If you look on the underside of the bar below the battery tray , are there 2 wiring junction bars; multiple posts with wires bolted on ? If so all these conection need to be checked for corrosion or any power drop across the terminals. In the cable compartment on the top right hand corner of the back wall are there two large relays, and lower down a B.I.R.D charge controller ? There are multiple fuses and circuit breakers in this area on my coach. If you haven't checked them, thats the first place to start. Brand name on the electric toilet ? Can you find a web site for them? I'll keep track of this post and try to help if I can .
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:24 AM   #4
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Long answer short - you need to get the battery bank checked to be sure it is good and then get it connected to the house 12 vdc distribution panel. There are fuses, conductors, terminals and solenoid between the batteries and distribution box. One loose connection can stop the flow of electrons. More information as to which inverter you have will be helpful in diagnosing the toilet issue but I suspect it may be dirty dc due to the battery bank being out of the circuit
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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Your existing inverter may also be a battery charger, but we need to know the brand and model to be sure. And the one you bought as a replacement may be different.

Generally, if the inverter was factory equipment, it will have a charger integrated and it supplies 12v power for the house and for charging whenever shore power or generator is on. There will be a 30A breaker that provides power to the inverter/charger and the inverter doesn't know or care whether it is the shore cord or generator that supplies the 120v. If neither shore nor generator is on, then the inverter draws power from the batteries to produce its own 120v power, and 12v power comes from the batteries only.

Newmar may be able to supply wiring and plumbing diagrams. Maybe chassis too, but you could call Spartan about that (have your VIN handy).
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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My unit sounds similar in layout... it is currently in the shop getting general maintenance on the engine, but I'll check everything out this weekend. I'll keep in touch. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:41 AM   #7
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Mike, I have asked the mechanics to check all my batteries while in the shop this week and should know if they are good by tomorrow. Thanks for the info. FYI - this is my first time doing this, so I'm not sure I'm responding correctly. Don't hesitate to give me tips as to how to use this site.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:43 AM   #8
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Thanks, Gary. Original inverter is Heart Freedom 20... the new one was ordered from Xantrex and should be a match (according to their tech).
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by do1999
Mike, I have asked the mechanics to check all my batteries while in the shop this week and should know if they are good by tomorrow. Thanks for the info. FYI - this is my first time doing this, so I'm not sure I'm responding correctly. Don't hesitate to give me tips as to how to use this site.
There in lies the problem.
If you r paying a pro ti fix this, who r we to argue....

If you want to learn to fix it yourself, we can help
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
There in lies the problem.
If you r paying a pro ti fix this, who r we to argue....

If you want to learn to fix it yourself, we can help
Some of us are pros and like to help fellow RVers and members of the iRV2.com family.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:51 AM   #11
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the shop time is for a new radiator for the engine... just having them check the batteries while there.... I plan to do the inverter myself when I get the unit back.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:50 AM   #12
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How the inverter connects with the rest of the system depends a lot on which of several optional inverters you have but I will outline a few different systems.

First Generator/shore power

The generator is able to run EVERYTHING in your RV. There are two Generator transfer systems. Modern units usualy have automatic transfer switches.. Shut everything off, fire up generator, wait one minute, turn on and it works.

Older systems used a manual transfer (Poor man's transfer) Unplug from park, plug into Generator outlet on coach, (After starting) and it works.

Now the inverter.

Some coaches have a small inverter, This powers normally the front entainerment center and not much of anything else (If anything else)

Some coaches have larger (IE 2KW) inverters, On these coaches you will usually either have TWO breaker panels (Main and Sub) or your breaker panel will have 3 "Legs" (L-1, L-2, and Inverter) that is the sub panel is built into the main panel.. I think Progressive Dynamics once made one like this but I've not been able to re-locate it.

IN these the inverter is always connected to the house batteries by very heavy cables, (Think 1/2 inch or larder in diamater) and usually nearby as well.

These inverters come in two types, "Stand alone" and "Pass through" or "Inline" Your cholice on the last.

The stand alone type feed an auto transfer switch which if it senses generator or shore power will switch to "Mains" (Generator/shore) and if it is lost switch back to "Inverter" of course, This kind is actually kind of rare.

The pass through type have this switch built in, they also charge the batteries when mains power is present.

In all cases they feed ONLY the circuits in the sub panel

Many times there are circuit breaker(s) on the inverter... They are always "live" on a pass through type so if inverter powered systems do not work, and you've checked the sub panel.. check for breakers on the inverter.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:09 AM   #13
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Thanks, wa8yxm... pretty sure I have the pass thru type... it has a 30 and 25 "pop-out" breakers on its face. It is original (12 years old). Microwave use often pops the 30 amp breaker. My house batteries are no longer being charged. I'm pretty sure I have issues with the inverter, as it is original equipment.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:47 PM   #14
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We have a 1998 newmar dutchstar and our electrical problem was the charging wire was not connected to the battery banks_it was broken by the previous owner and just taped off. In the way of checking werdered a downloadable manual from Newmar(we didnt have one either) and checked the inverter and BRD relay. Both were ok. It took a rv place that serviced newmar to figure out the battery problem.
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