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Old 10-20-2018, 01:12 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help me find the emergency start solenoid on my 2001 Cruise Master DS

Hi guys, after some technical errors, I'm finally able to post on this forum as a new member. I have already read through hundreds of posts when finding answers to other problems I've had, however this one is bugging me.

You guys like stories? (if not scroll down)

I recently purchased this 2001 Cruise Master about a month ago and it has been great.. I knew the batteries were older and would need to be replaced soon.

It all started one colder morning (60) (hey it's Texas) , the engine batteries did NOT want to push enough amps to get 'er cranked. I pressed the emergency start button to try to get her cranked and it still was not enough (my house batteries weren't that great either.

That's when I realized when I turned around all my DC equipment was off... After using my meter to test where the problem started it turned out the 175amp DC fuse blew trying to push power from the 3 house batteries into 2 very dead power sucking engine batteries. I replaced the fuse. I bought 2 new engine batteries and she started like a pro.

That's when other problems started. That night, I pulled into a Walmart parking lot and leveled her, and because it was a cool night I decided to leave the genny off and just use the vent fan to keep cool. I woke up the next morning to the Carbon Monoxide detected beeping a faint low battery chirp... I got up and found that the voltage had dropped ALL THE WAY TO 5 VOLTS. Ok yeah these house batteries definitely need replacing too.

I started the engine quickly and easily with the new engine batteries.... But... Nothing else came on this time, no backup camera screen, no radio, no cigg lighter port, and most importantly noting, that meant the house batteries weren't charging. It wasn't until now that I discovered that the house batteries powered all the accessories... Well, until now.

I pressed the emergency start solenoid button to try to connect the batteries together.
Nothing.

I looked for the solenoid in the house batt fuse panel located right above the steps, to the right of the inverter. All voltage on those solenoids tested 5v, showing only the dead house batteries, I couldn't any strong 12v wire coming from the engine batteries.

I checked all related fuses in that compartment, and the fuses in the outside compartment below the driver door area , which gets it's feed from the engine batteries.

I know that the house batteries used to charge before, when the engine was started.

Couldn't start the genny to charge it, couldn't lift the jacks... I was STUCK, unless I pulled one of the engine batteries temporarily.

I was initially looking for a fuse for the solenoid, but now I'm thinking it's the solenoid itself. Not sure. It all started when I blew the 175 amp fuse that morning when trying to start the engine with dead engine batteries 😂.

I ended up using a jump starting pack from Walmart to start the generator and lift the jacks and go from there. However I don't want to run the generator all the time to keep my house batteries charged 😂

If you scrolled down, or have gotten to this point, the summary is I need to know WHERE the battery boost solenoid is. I looked online, in the manuals, I can see the wiring schematics, but not the physical location. If you have a Cruise Master please chime in, or if you're quite sure where it may be. Does it have a fuse? Or am I looking at replacing the solenoid??

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:31 PM   #2
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Cruise Master was a model of RV built by Georgie Boy. They were built on Ford, Workhorse, and Freightliner chassis. It makes a difference as to where the solenoids are located. If a Ford or Workhorse, they are likely under the hood in a box containing many of the relays and fuses for the chassis electronics.

If the solenoids are working, they can often be tracked down by following the 'clunk' sound of the contacts switching. Battery disconnect and the battery isolation solenoids are often in the same location, so try them all and use your ears.

A 12v battery should be incapable of being discharged to 5v. Either the battery has multiple dead cells or you have very bad connections. I'd start by cleaning all battery connections, including ground connections. Then take voltage readings directly at the battery posts.

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Old 10-20-2018, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post


Cruise Master was a model of RV built by Georgie Boy. They were built on Ford, Workhorse, and Freightliner chassis. It makes a difference as to where the solenoids are located. If a Ford or Workhorse, they are likely under the hood in a box containing many of the relays and fuses for the chassis electronics.

If the solenoids are working, they can often be tracked down by following the 'clunk' sound of the contacts switching. Battery disconnect and the battery isolation solenoids are often in the same location, so try them all and use your ears.

A 12v battery should be incapable of being discharged to 5v. Either the battery has multiple dead cells or you have very bad connections. I'd start by cleaning all battery connections, including ground connections. Then take voltage readings directly at the battery posts.

I agree about the battery being incapable of reaching 5v, I believe there are def dead cells. It only lasts a short while after being removed from the charger.

This is a Freightliner chassis. There are 3 house batteries in the front in front of the firewall, and 2 engine batteries in the back next to the engine..

The solenoid used to work... I remember hearing the clunk (I think), but when I pressed it, I def could see the difference in voltages. Now it does not work.

Is it possible that the solenoid is in the engine bay? I was hoping not to get too nitty gritty and wanted to make sure first.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:05 PM   #4
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Is the solenoid you are looking for operated off the engine or house batteries? If it is off the house batteries then the low battery condition will keep it from pulling in.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:25 PM   #5
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As I said, start by cleaning all battery and ground connections. Then if possible, plug into at least a 15a outlet and let your converter/charger charge all batteries. Then take voltage readings and/or specific gravity readings of all batteries. Any that don't read in good condition, you could pull them out and have them load tested to verify they're toast. Replace all batteries that are paired together, you don't want to mix a new battery with old.

As nothermark said, could be the solenoids are O.K. but bad batteries would prevent them operating. Get the batteries charged and go from that point to determine if the solenoids are bad.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:41 PM   #6
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I'm not familiar with that rig so can't help there. Just noticed that you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:05 PM   #7
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Assuming you have good grounds on your battery banks, you could take a heavy duty (trucker's) jumper cable and simply manually connect from the +12VDC or you chassis batteries to the +12VDC of your coach batteries.

Disconnect the jumper when you get the rig started.

That way, you can start with a dead battery bank and not worry about having to find the darned solenoid until you're home...

Just saying - KISS - all you're trying to do is jump from one bank to the other = as we all have done with cars for years. The only difference is that you already own the "other" batteries!
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domo View Post
Assuming you have good grounds on your battery banks, you could take a heavy duty (trucker's) jumper cable and simply manually connect from the +12VDC or you chassis batteries to the +12VDC of your coach batteries.

Disconnect the jumper when you get the rig started.

That way, you can start with a dead battery bank and not worry about having to find the darned solenoid until you're home...

Just saying - KISS - all you're trying to do is jump from one bank to the other = as we all have done with cars for years. The only difference is that you already own the "other" batteries!
OP said his house batteries are in front of the windshield, his chassis batteries are near his engine in the rear. Are 'trucker's jumper cables' 30+ feet long?
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
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On my 2000 Georgie Boy Landau (36ft Cummins Diesel, Freightliner chassis) Shared a lot of layout and electrical with the Cruise Master. Fuses and relays were in the compartment under the drivers door.
Is it possible you tripped the "Use/store" switch (Battery disconnect)or it's relay.
Here is schematic that may help.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:00 PM   #10
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Also found photo of the relays in that compartment.I believe the large relay lower front is battery disconnect and upper right is emerg. start but honestly not sure. The circuit breaker on the far left side, yellow label is for the leveling jacks. It can be reset.
Hope this helps.. and welcome to IRV2

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Old 10-20-2018, 10:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
Is the solenoid you are looking for operated off the engine or house batteries? If it is off the house batteries then the low battery condition will keep it from pulling in.
I was assuming that it was powered by the house batteries...but when I got the house batteries back to optimum voltage, still nothing.

I am still reading through replies but I found out the issue was a 175 amp fuse in the engine bay, next to the engine batteries , that connected to the solenoid. (Still not sure where the solenoid is, but once I replaced the fuse, all was good!)

So the solenoid must indeed be in the front, as the wire from the fuse from the engine batteries ducked under the coach heading to the front.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domo View Post
Assuming you have good grounds on your battery banks, you could take a heavy duty (trucker's) jumper cable and simply manually connect from the +12VDC or you chassis batteries to the +12VDC of your coach batteries.

Disconnect the jumper when you get the rig started.

That way, you can start with a dead battery bank and not worry about having to find the darned solenoid until you're home...

Just saying - KISS - all you're trying to do is jump from one bank to the other = as we all have done with cars for years. The only difference is that you already own the "other" batteries!
Yeah I got er started, cause I had good engine batteries in the back, but couldn't get the jacks up cause of bad house batteries in the front, and didn't have a 30+ foot jumper . As mentioned my best route was to jump the Genny and have it charge the house Batts back up. It was a burned out 175 amp fuse in the engine bay by the way, that led to the solenoid
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
Also found photo of the relays in that compartment.I believe the large relay lower front is battery disconnect and upper right is emerg. start but honestly not sure. The circuit breaker on the far left side, yellow label is for the leveling jacks. It can be reset.
Hope this helps.. and welcome to IRV2






Thanks,

On my initial testing with the meter I was only seeing the house voltages (low) in that compartment. I'm going to have to check again in the future as I'm sure I must have missed something. Especially since I found the issue to be a blown175 amp fuse from the engine batteries , that had to have lead to the solenoid.

It wasn't the disconnect switch, (I wish it was that simple),

Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:08 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone! As mentioned on the replies it was a fuse indeed, found in the engine bay going to the solenoid.. which I'm assuming is up in the front compartment, I must have missed it... All is good now.

Here's the weird thing, when I was running really*** low voltage on the house batteries, even the cab A/C blower was blowing very slow (but cold). At some point, the low voltage must have caused an issue with the a/c unit/condenser/compressor? (Not sure how the cab A/C works on this unit, being so far from the engine)

The air is no longer cool . I removed the front panel, the tubes aren't cold, or hot, I can tell there's no freon flowing. The fan for the fins is still running. I haven't had a chance to check all the fuses, but a brief overlook of the fuse box diagram and I couldn't find any burnt fuses relating to the a/c... Well actually I couldn't find anything related besides the blower itself...

Anyone have an idea what to check specifically?

PS I now know that I should have set my thread notifications correctly to instant instead of once per day, I didn't know so many people replied.
Thank you!!!
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