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Old 03-04-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
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no interior lights when not connected to shore power or genie

Fist time Poster! Heres my question. I just bought a 1986 Itasca Sunflyer. Everything seems to work O.K. but ( I think) the lights on the interior of the Rv should work off the coach batteries when not attached to the genie or shore power. The Fridge will still run when not connected to shore or genie but the lights wont. BTW the fridge seems to be the only thing that works off the battery but i havent done much investigating yet. First time I have ever been in an RV was the day we bought this one so I am real green. Perhaps this is the way it works, not sure.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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The fridge may be on propane. Do you have a battery disconnect switch, sometimes called a salesman switch ? Sounds like your batteries are turned off. I assume you have checked the obvious things like the batteries are charged.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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Sounds like the battery disconnect switch!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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I have looked for a disconect swtich. Didnt see one, but perhaps! I was wondering if there shouldnt be a relay that detects shore or genie power (since they both enter the RV from the same line) or VDC.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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Hi Jarog,
Welcome to iRV2. I do not know your coach. However, usually there are a couple of ways 12 VDC gets to appliances in the coach.
1. direct from the batteries
2. via the converter or inverter charger then through the batteries

Because the OP states the lights work when connected to shore power, gut feel says the batteries are bad. The battery charging source may be supplying 12 VDC power, when connected to shore power. When not connected, the charging source goes away and so does the 12 VDC power.

The refer will work if there is enough 12 VDC to power the control board. A little above being completely dead is enough to power the refer control board.

If you have a meter, unplug from shore power. Wait a couple of hours and take a reading across the coach batteries.
12.6 VDC is full charge
12.0 VDC is 50% charge
11 VDC is 0% charge
These are approximate numbers.
If you want to go further with the batteries, please post here. If your coach has a built in meter (not the row of lights) to check the VDC of the coach batteries you can us it instead of a meter.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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Just found it. There's a mechanical switch that switches the RV from shore power to coach battery power when engaged. The plunger doesn't shoot out when engaged. Thinking of replacing it with a 120v NC relay. Any thoughts
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarog View Post
Just found it. There's a mechanical switch that switches the RV from shore power to coach battery power when engaged. The plunger doesn't shoot out when engaged. Thinking of replacing it with a 120v NC relay. Any thoughts
Poor idea. Replace it with a proper transfer switch made for that use.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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I hear what your saying. BUT..... When were talking about 27 yr old technology , technology that was kinda awkward in its original design. Shouldn't I consider a solid state solution? Hope u don't mind a little debate here. I have found a very elegant solution to the problem - all be it slightly more costly - with a 120acv 30 to 50 amp normally closed (NC) relay. Where in while connected to shore power or genie , the connection to the battery would be broken. And upon removing external power the connection would be remade. Btw , when shopping for a solution , the description of this relay said aka transfer switch. It costs 71$ where as the transfer switch was 23$. Love to get your input here! Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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One thing the modern transfer switches do as opposed to a simple relay is introduce a 60 second or so time delay before switching from shore power to generator. This allows the generator to come up to speed and stabilize.

As I recall the transfer switch I bought last year cost about $40 or so.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I hear what your saying. BUT..... When were talking about 27 yr old technology , technology that was kinda awkward in its original design. Shouldn't I consider a solid state solution? Hope u don't mind a little debate here. I have found a very elegant solution to the problem - all be it slightly more costly - with a 120acv 30 to 50 amp normally closed (NC) relay. Where in while connected to shore power or genie , the connection to the battery would be broken. And upon removing external power the connection would be remade. Btw , when shopping for a solution , the description of this relay said aka transfer switch. It costs 71$ where as the transfer switch was 23$. Love to get your input here! Thanks for the input.
My Xfer switch is original and 12 years old. The solenoid has characteristics not found in relays. Do yourself a favor and spring for the proper part.
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