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Old 01-09-2015, 03:54 PM   #1
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Electrical Problems

Hi Folks - I am a newby to RV's and this site. Went out to my RV to crank it up and charge the batteries and found that the starter would not engage but just ratched. I have a 2007 - 33 foot National Surfside with a V10 for power. My parking was not close to any 110VAC and the batteries were old. Replaced the batteries with new ones and nothing changed as far as starting and noise was concerned. Checked all circuit breakers etc and found no problems. I am at the point of removing the starter and having it checked out. One other problem I found today was the new batteries were drained over night - even with the DC power (switch inside the door) turned off. I am at a loss and would appreciate some good advice. I too need some maintenance manuals as what I do have are all the manuals for the coach when it was first purchased. I may be able to help someone else in that department. Thanking you in advance - - Bob
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:27 PM   #2
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I'm a bit confused. When you say the "new" batteries were drained overnight, do you mean the new chassis battery you replaced was drained overnight? ...or did you replace both the chassis and house batteries with new ones?
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
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The "ratcheting noise" is likely the starter bendix not engaging properly, perhaps due to cold weather, age, and/or low amperage.
The new batteries is another problem. I think the starter solenoid is suspect at this point too. Do you have or can perhaps rent/borrow a clamp-on DC ammeter? This clamps around a battery cable and reads amp draw. Many years ago I had one that just layed on a cable to read DC amperage draw.
It doesn't solve anything, just supplies you with information needed to troubleshoot the problem.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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Couple of thoughts. First new babtteries are not always charged fully. Second the DC switch only turns off some things, not all. Do you have a battery disconnect at the battery? There are several things not wired that continue to operate like co monitors, inverters etc. That might be partially to blame.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:42 PM   #5
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Could you provide a bit more information. Were you trying to start a generator or the engine of the RV. Which batteries did you change, coach or chassis. What was clicking? Starter on generator or on the RV engine. Just a little more information will help the folks on this forum with your problem..
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:13 AM   #6
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Yes, the main battery for the motorhome V-10 went overnight in below freezing temperatures. I replaced the battery and checked for shortages on the negative side of battery installation and all was clear. Battery was very good the previous day. In addition, I had to replace the chasis batteries as well. Still have no completed circuit to the generator for starting. In fact, no current is supplied to the main DC shut-off switch inside the main door entrance and yes, the emergency brake is set on. Generator starting remains my main problem at this point.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:26 AM   #7
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I had to replace all batteries for the chassis and the coach. My only remaining problem is getting current through the DC shut off switch for all other interior DC functioning as well as generator starting. There are no DC interior lighting as well. All this came about after warming up the motorhome and charging the batteries with complete shut down. Nothing else was done for these anomalies to come up. Weather is warmer today and I am going to continue research. Thanks for your interest!!
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:58 AM   #8
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Hi Outlaw14,
Welcome to iRV2. I see you are from SC. My coach does not like cold weather. Strange things happen to the electrics when the weather is cold. I have learned to wait until the weather warms up. The gremlins always disappear.

This is not to say there is no problem with your coach. And you may not be able to ignore the problem until the weather warms. But, if possible patience may pay off.

I can not provide you any specific technical assistance. I do not own the Brand of coach you own. Unfortunately, they are all different.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:27 AM   #9
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I think I would bypass the salesman selenoid - they go bad and no DC -I left mine bypassed because I never used it and probably won't, then remove the neg. wire from the battery and either a test light or volt meter to check for a short. if there is pull one fuse at a time till you find the circut. Hope that helps
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:05 AM   #10
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Hmmm - I would really like to see the theory of testing for a short with a trouble light or voltmeter after having removed the negative wire from the battery. Just curious.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:47 AM   #11
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If you have a battery drain - Pull off ther Neg cable and there will be a voltage draw with meter connected between cable end and neg battery post. very little small short ( or radio memory) 12 volts big short.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libero View Post
Docsdock

Hmmm - I would really like to see the theory of testing for a short with a trouble light or voltmeter after having removed the negative wire from the battery. Just curious.
clamp the ground wire of the test light to the negative post of the battery (with the Neg cable off the post) put the pointed end of the test light on the negative(unhooked cable)-use vice grips to attach the pointed end ,if needed.

If the test light stays lit-there is a draw- pull fuses or disconnect wires- 1 at a time- until the light goes out- when the light goes out-that is the short.

things like clocks or memory for radios will never go out- they are small drains-so figure out where they are & ignore them.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
The "ratcheting noise" is likely the starter bendix not engaging properly, perhaps due to cold weather, age, and/or low amperage.
The new batteries is another problem. I think the starter solenoid is suspect at this point too. Do you have or can perhaps rent/borrow a clamp-on DC ammeter? This clamps around a battery cable and reads amp draw. Many years ago I had one that just layed on a cable to read DC amperage draw.
It doesn't solve anything, just supplies you with information needed to troubleshoot the problem.
Ray,IN
I too suspect the OP has a starter problem.
However discharged chassis batteries will often cause "a rapid clicking of the starter solenoid when the key is turned to start" and a "no starter crank" problem.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:17 AM   #14
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HMMM. Salemans switch does not do anything for chassis batteries. Just house batts. New batteries are not fully charged so need to be. 2007 will have significant phantom loads on the chassis battery because some of the computers never shut off.

FWIW If I could not get 120 VAC to the MH I would look at taking a small generator and battery charger and charging both sets of batteries from an external generator. It will take 4 or 5 hours to run in a good charge. THen see what happens. The starting issue can be the cold plus low battery. Leaving batteries run down in near zero weather can result in freezing and destroying the batteries.
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