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Old 04-28-2012, 06:56 AM   #15
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O.k. so all my frustration this week came from running the chassis battery low. So maybe I will invest in one of these automatic jumper deals. Anyone know of a good brand?
Weak/dead batteries cause many problems for RV'ers. I see it nearly everyday. Learn about battery maintenance.

Most all booster boxes are good. The bigger and heavier they are, the better (more storage capacity). Just read and follow manufacturers instructions!

Also, a 6A-10A slow charger might be a good investment.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #16
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When putting jacks down and slides out have the engine running so that the alternator can assist with the voltage and current draw.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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Most RV's of your vintage do not have a way to keep the chassis battery charged while the RV is plugged into shore power. Some have an optional small solar panel on the roof - but it doesn't help much. Many people add a float charger from WM ($20) plugged into an AC outlet near the battery compartment to keep it topped while parked. Others add a Trik-l-start device ($50). Either device keeps the chassis battery topped when it's just sitting in the driveway connected to shore power. Or at an RV park. When you're plugged into shore power, the 'Converter' keeps the house batteries charged.

While the engine is running, the RVs built in BCC (Battery Control Center), measures the voltage across the chassis battery while the alternator is charging it. When it reaches sufficient voltage, it closes a solenoid to allow the alternator to charge the house batteries.

There are many parasitic loads on the chassis battery, which is why most of us add one of those devices.

Servicing the batteries is very important so you should do that before you leave on a trip, then carry a gallon of distilled water (WM - $1.50), a squeeze bulb to aid adding the water to the batteries, a tool or two, rubber acid resistant gloves, etc.

Have fun out there!
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:47 PM   #18
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Sorry if I missed somewhere along the line, but what kind of coach are we discussing here?
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:41 PM   #19
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When you have a power problem always check fuses and Circuit Breakers right away.

You normally have Coach Batteries(2 6v) and engine batteries 2 12v.

Usually you have battery disconnect switches of some type. Make sure they are in the right position.

As a new RV buy a voltmeter and get a friend to show you how to use it. You can not only check your battery voltage, you can check to see if the charging circuits are working.

Also some coaches have a feature that if engine batteries are low you can transfer power by a dash switch from coach to engine to start the engine.

Anyway let us know what you have.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #20
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When putting jacks down and slides out have the engine running so that the alternator can assist with the voltage and current draw.
You know that isn't possible with a lot of different coaches. My engine is running the air bags and filling.

Slides and levelers should run off of the house batteries. Chassis batteries will usually provide power for things that are involved with moving the motorhome down the road.

Quite possible that the chassis batteries are dead because they aren't being charged.

Another problem can be the cables between batteries can become lose and not make proper connections. Really all sorts of possibilities. Finally found another post where the OP talked about what she had in terms of levelers, which are Power Gear, which she needs power for both up and down. One of the problems with not putting information about rig in signature line is that if you don't include it in every post then people are guessing about what one has and incorrect information may be given.

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Old 04-28-2012, 10:36 PM   #21
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You know that isn't possible with a lot of different coaches. My engine is running the air bags and filling.

Slides and levelers should run off of the house batteries. Chassis batteries will usually provide power for things that are involved with moving the motorhome down the road.

Quite possible that the chassis batteries are dead because they aren't being charged.

Another problem can be the cables between batteries can become lose and not make proper connections. Really all sorts of possibilities. Finally found another post where the OP talked about what she had in terms of levelers, which are Power Gear, which she needs power for both up and down. One of the problems with not putting information about rig in signature line is that if you don't include it in every post then people are guessing about what one has and incorrect information may be given.

Barb
No argument Barb. A person needs to do what their manual states. In the case of the OP she decided to start another thread than to continue it on in the original thread. I the original she stated that her unit was a 1997 Pace Arrow. I really thought someone with that year and manufacturer would chime in and give some good advice.

All any of the rest of us can do is offer our opinion in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, it can be applied to there situation. If their jacks cannot be operated with the engine running it is a moot point to even try it. However... well, maybe, just maybe. That is all we can do is offer a suggestive opinion.

Thanks for bringing that to light.

Happy trails to everyone.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:14 AM   #22
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O.k. so all my frustration this week came from running the chassis battery low. I think???? We jumped our battery with our neighbors automatic jump starter thingy and the jacks worked. I am confused however on why the slide went in and out and the front jacks went down but the back ones would not budge. Maybe I used up all the power putting in and out the slide and putting down the front jacks and then it had no more juice. Hmmm. Hopefully. So maybe I will invest in one of these automatic jumper deals. Anyone know of a good brand?
I don't mean to come across as too harsh, but I would suggest you not leave your driveway without a little better understanding of how your coach works? That it is functioning properly? The problems you are writing about are not the type you want to discover a few hundred miles from home.....

You think you're frustrated now, something happening away from home can be REALLY frustrating.... and VERY expensive!

See if you can completely set up and break down a few times right there in the driveway. Then, spend a night there. That accomplished - move the coach to a local (within 25 miles?) campground and try it all again there. THEN, you're more likely to be ready for the road....
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #23
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Barb, my owners manual says the engine should be running when leveling and when putting out the slides.

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Old 04-29-2012, 09:50 AM   #24
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:14 PM   #25
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I would never take a coach out without going through it which if anyone has read my posts know we have.

Also I read everything in the manual I can and my husband goes over things with me too.

I found a couple of manuals for Pacbrakes and something else I didn't have online and printed them out to add to my books. I added and dated all the new items we bought and cleaned out the old ones.

I still need to get weighed when all loaded. I have my tire inflation chart printed out from Michelin and the pressures and weights. Even after all the preparation I'm sure there are items I've missed.

No these are big machines and have so many components you need to check anything and everything particularly on a used older one. The newer ones can have issues too but a lot of the real old ones have issues from just sitting. Of course you can't catch everything, that's when you have Coach Net or Good Sams one of the others for your safety.

Hubby has oiled and loosened up lots of stuff on ours.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:27 PM   #26
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I would never take a coach out without going through it which if anyone has read my posts know we have.

Also I read everything in the manual I can and my husband goes over things with me too.

I found a couple of manuals for Pacbrakes and something else I didn't have online and printed them out to add to my books. I added and dated all the new items we bought and cleaned out the old ones.

I still need to get weighed when all loaded. I have my tire inflation chart printed out from Michelin and the pressures and weights. Even after all the preparation I'm sure there are items I've missed.

No these are big machines and have so many components you need to check anything and everything particularly on a used older one. The newer ones can have issues too but a lot of the real old ones have issues from just sitting. Of course you can't catch everything, that's when you have Coach Net or Good Sams one of the others for your safety.

Hubby has oiled and loosened up lots of stuff on ours.
Agreed and well stated. It is, however, easy to for a rv owner to be chomping at the bit to try out their new/preowned rig as we have all been there at one time. Hard to be patient sometimes but you gotta pace yourself.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #27
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As other people stated above only your house batteries will be charged when you are plugged in but not your chassis batteries. Your chassis batteries will only be charged when your motor is running.

You should invest in a Battery Tender to keep your chassis battery/batteries charged when not in use similar to this.

Battery Tender Plus - Batterytender.com

You can find them at most auto parts stores locally.

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Old 05-01-2012, 01:13 AM   #28
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While you're on this subject ..... if your "jacks down" light stays on too long due to a problem, it can burn out the soledoid valves. We replaced all 4 on a coach last week (about $185 ea).

Some things can cause this are low fluid level, weak springs, or (if equipped) a bad "up" sensor or broken wire.
Not sure about this. The Jacks Down lamp is only lit by the fluid in the hydraulic tank when is gets below the level sensor. Which happens naturally when you are extending the jacks.There is no voltage to those solenoids unless you (or an automatic leveling system) call for it and run the pump...which most people can usually hear running. There is only one hydraulic solenoid that's active when you press 'Retract' and that one, and all the other hydraulic solenoids, are only powered when you are pressing a button. I suppose you could have shorted components in the control, but you would have had other symptoms. It's unlikely you needed 4 new solenoids.

Perhaps I misunderstand your comment.
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