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Old 12-07-2015, 01:41 PM   #29
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My Southwind had the transfer switch behind the breaker panel under the fridge. Looked like an old time voltage regulator with the house romex wires

Bob & Elaine McClelland and the spoiled pup Izzie
2008 Monaco Diplomat
Desert Hills & Parker Az
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:58 PM   #30
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Puzzle solved, all is well and working fine.
The solenoid switch was beneath the floor of the closet. I removed the floor and saw the electrical box on the other side underneath the drawers.
I am not sure what I did to cause it to stop working, but I popped it back and forth a few times then fired up the genny and after 30 seconds or so they snapped closed and I had 120 Volts!
My electric steps started working again too!
Heading out in the AM for a 4 day work week. This should be a good test!

Thank you all for you assistance and I don't look forward to needing to ask more of you, but I will!

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Old 12-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #31
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Some general information.
One The Generator on many motor homes (I think most) is a "HOUSE" item, thus it starts off the HOUSE (or Aux) batteries. same ones that run the HOUSE lights. so if the HOUSE lights are dimming, No joy on the generator unless you suppliment power.. Starting the main engine, will do that.

The Generator does NOT charge the batteries.. it powers the Converter (or the charger module in an inverter/charger) and THAT charges the batteries.. Same as shore power.. In fact the generator does everything "Same as shore power".

IF you have a Large inverter (1500 watts or more) It likely powers TVs and Microwaves.. SOMETIMES if the batteries get run down too far it can "Forget" how to do it's job.. The solution is to remove all power (Both shore/generator and Battery) for a minute or two and then with the batteries charged... RESTORE power Also, on MY inverter the master OFF switch is a true OFF, when OFF nothing works. even if I have shore power.

Running engines (Both house and generator)

Generator is recommended at least 1/2 hour under 1/2 load every month.. In the summer use the AIr Conditiooners.. Winter I use space heaters but .YOU need to set them on LOW (which means you may need 3) and limite one heater to one circuit breaker So find out which outlets are hooked to which breakers

I put in a couple of outlets that can handle them on HIGH.

With the main engine.. If you start it, You should DRIVE it, at least 30 miles and at freeway speeds. Just ideling may not warm it enough.. NOTE, I know this is true with modern Diesels. Not so sure on Gas engines, but it needs to get up to NORMAL operating temps. And that usually means LOAD.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:43 PM   #32
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I enjoy hearing from someone that nails down how things operate, fine job sir!

I call the humming apparatus in the breaker compartment of my RV a transformer but it is probably an converter? It is run by 120 volts and converts power to 12 volts to run the lights and water pump.
I have nothing to run my 120 Volts items from the battery standard on my RV. I bought a separate inverter, I think a 1000W, just to play my TV a little. I guess I will find out how fast that will run down my old house battery.
I have the meters to measure the charge rate, and how much charge is left but I have to let the batteries set with everything off for about 10 minutes to get an accurate measure.
The RV does have a set of meters to measure the water levels, volts and I can put them all on off with the push of a button.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:15 PM   #33
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The converter should also charge both the house batteries and the chassis batteries when plugged in. The older converters will cook the water out of your batteries if connected all the time. The newer intelligent converters you can leave powered up all the time and they will vary the charge rate to keep the batteries charged but not boil off all the water. From all you have said I suspect your house battery is on it's last legs.
Your making real progress Good Job
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:33 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by z3406 View Post
The converter should also charge both the house batteries and the chassis batteries when plugged in.....
I've had a Pace Arrow and two Winnebago MH's and none of them charged the chassis battery with the converter. When running the main engine, the alternator DID charge both house and chassis batteries. That's why my current solar setup is with a Morningstar Duo controller that charges ALL of the batteries. Love having fully charged batteries anytime after setting in storage for sometimes extended periods of time!
Ken & Jeannie
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:43 PM   #35
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Big Oil
I've had two coaches now both relatively recent. Both would charge both sets of batteries whenever plugged into shore power or running on the gen. The first one had an intelligent converter the second one a inverter/converter. Both coaches used the battery control center to connect to both sets of batteries I have no idea when they started putting separate BCC's in coaches..These things seem to evolve all the time. I just leave my coach plugged into shore power and that keeps the batteries charged. I do have the advantage of keeping my coach at the house when not on the road.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:29 PM   #36
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I did replace my trailer battery today with two 12 volts. First time I have had two, only used one before! Got up this morning and my batter was so low! My refrigerator had also stopped running (on gas). I don't think the low battery had anything to do with that though. Today while I was at work, I came over to check and the gas was off again. This may be a refrigerator switch problem.
If it is plugged into shore or the gen is running, all of my batteries are being charged by the converter (transformer in the unit). Well I am not sure about the main engine battery.
Everything else is working great, nice to have the gen fire right up and operate my microwave, then watched TV for a while last night before going to bed!
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:47 AM   #37
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The new batteries probably needed charging. The refer most likely requires a good 12 volt source to run the electronics. If you watched tv and the furnace ran during the night then two batteries without a full charge to start could certainly be very low.

You will need to run your generator a couple of hours in the morning and a couple at night if it is cold out and you are running heaters, tv's etc. Lights draw a lot of current as well.

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generator, need help

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