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Old 09-03-2016, 07:46 PM   #1
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Intermittent coach power, weird one!

Ok, so about a month ago, I picked up my rv from getting inspected. I noticed that the automatic step was only retracted halfway. When i started the rv, i expected it to go it all the way, but it didnt. i tried opening and shutting the door, thinking something was wrong w/ the activation switch, but nothing. After turning the main disconnect right inside the rv a few times, i tried slamming the door shut, then the step retracted.

A few days later i went to start the generator while sitting in my driveway. nothing happened from the remote switch inside. i went outside to the panel and just got a clicking sound. i assumed it was the battery, so i plugged it in to shore power and tried it and it started. after another couple of days, i started the rv and the leveling jack system started beeping and lit up the "parking brake not set" light, even though the parking brake WAS on already. after sitting there idling like that for a bit, i decided to try and reset the 50 amp 12v breakers outside. when i turned one of them off and back on, the beeping stopped. After taking it to an rv park, i tried putting the levelers down, and nothing turned on, not even the control panel. i again tried resetting the 50 amp breakers, and then i had power and was able to put them down. after a week of being plugged into shore power there, i unplugged and went to move the power drivers seat back, and nothing. wouldnt budge. i messed w/ the master switches, started the engine, etc, and eventually the seat moved under power again.

Today i had the same thing happen, after being parked and plugged in for a week. Now here's where the weird part happens...i managed to manually start the generator only after having to start the rv engine. after it kicked on, i tried to put out one of the slides, and the generator turned off! a while later, i restarted it, and was going to let it run for 30 minutes or more thinking it will charge the batteries enough. well, the wind blew the screen door shut, and when that happened, the generator turned off again! I think because it tried to retract the power step but didnt have enough power to do so. Everything so far sounds like bad/dead coach batteries, but im confused as to why trying something 12v related would actually cause the generator to shut down. btw, when i got it home, i plugged into shore power and tried the slide outs, and the power driver's seat, and they worked fine, as well as the step, and all interior lights, fridge (on gas), etc. its 9 pm here, so havent had a chance to check the coach batteries. will do that tomorrow. just wondered if this happened to anyone else before? i replaced the coach batteries about 4 or 5 years ago, and just replaced the engine battery this week, thinking that was the culprit, as it was the original one that came w/ the rv (13+ years old)

rv is a 2003 gulfstream sunvoyager class A w/ a ford V10 chassis, with only 3500 miles on it. im hoping its just the coach batteries that are bad, but not ruling out the inverter too. ill know more when i can put a voltmeter on them w/ and w/o being plugged into shore power.

the generator reaction is what really baffles me, as i wouldnt have expected that.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:01 PM   #2
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Oh dude. 13 years on the coach batteries might be a record. You got your monies worth. Usually when the generator is running the DC charging system puts out enough power that even bad batteries won't cause a shut down. BUT, if you ignore systems, things can interact. Without seeing what you got, here is a wild ass guess. Seat and some things you are talking about are run from the coach batteries. They may be low, need water, need terminals cleaned, etc. When you start the engine they get enough current to allow the functions they power to work. Like driver's seat. The House batteries power other functions. They also need attention, like water, clean terminals,a charge. And if you ignore them long enough, it's like a bush you peed on too often. They're gonna die.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:43 PM   #3
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I would suspect bad house batteries/connections, based on all of symptoms you are getting.
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Old 09-03-2016, 11:04 PM   #4
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Yeah, what he said.
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Old 09-03-2016, 11:49 PM   #5
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Would also recommend checking for a loose ground wire and/or loose connections at disconnect switches. Generator shutdown sounds like bad alternator on gen set with bad positive wire from battery.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:05 AM   #6
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The coach batteries were replaced about 4 or 5 years ago, as i was having issues w/ the slideouts stopping momentarily while extending and retracting them. i thought it was the batteries, but after replacing them, found out that the hydraulic pump motor was going bad. it was the chassis battery that i just replaced last week and was 13 years old. the coach batteries should have been kept charged while i was plugged into shore power all those weeks though right?

also, i store this in my shed for the winter (dec-april). should i keep it plugged into shore power even though i dont plan on using it during those months?
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DblDuce View Post
The coach batteries were replaced about 4 or 5 years ago, as i was having issues w/ the slideouts stopping momentarily while extending and retracting them. i thought it was the batteries, but after replacing them, found out that the hydraulic pump motor was going bad. it was the chassis battery that i just replaced last week and was 13 years old. the coach batteries should have been kept charged while i was plugged into shore power all those weeks though right?

also, i store this in my shed for the winter (dec-april). should i keep it plugged into shore power even though i dont plan on using it during those months?
There is nothing weird about your generator stopping if you are loosing power from the house batteries. The gen needs 12V for the ignition circuits. Shore power will only keep the house batteries charged if you leave the Disconnect Switch ON (Batteries connected),

I agree with others, you have a bad connection (or bad batteries) in the house battery system.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
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Do your interior lights dim at all when trying so run slides? Read your voltage, with a voltmeter, across your batteries as your running some accessories like slide, then check voltage at, say slide relay. This will tell you if batteries are low or you have a voltage drop before relay or bad connections
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:57 AM   #9
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yep, that was the problem. i put a voltmeter on each house battery. at first i was getting 12.65 volts, but i sat there and watch it conitunually drop in voltage, about .1 vots per second. i unhooked them and took them out and read them again. by that time they were 10.x volts. i checked the water and they were practically dry. i attempted to fill them with water and put chargers on them for a few hours, but again the volts kept dropping slowly. i went and bought 2 new house batteries and everything works fine now. guess ill have to add "check battery water level" to my list of spring items when i get it out from winter storage. thanks everyone!
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:24 AM   #10
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I am more concern with you. Not once in all of your issues, did you FIRST take a meter and look at the voltages. Especially the batteries, which should be both the coach and the chassis.

By the way, once the coach batteries are drained, they are almost shot after that.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:10 AM   #11
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If you would have read the last paragraph i wrote, i said that i didnt have a chance to put a voltmeter on them yet. we were at a football tailgate, and i didnt have a voltmeter in the rv. we didnt get home until 9 pm that night, so i didnt really feel like fooling around in the dark w/ a flashlight just to check the batteries, when i had the rest of the weekend. i eventually used the voltmeter the next day and found the issue. just wanted to know if something else needed checked, as i never heard of a generator shutting itself off when 12v items were being used that way.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
. guess ill have to add "check battery water level" to my list of spring items when i get it out from winter storage
You should be checking your batteries monthly.........
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:21 PM   #13
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I hope you use distilled water
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