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Old 10-01-2015, 04:15 PM   #1
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Southwind / Workhorse isolator issue?

A few months ago our house batteries died. While dry camping the chassis battery would also be dead. This led me to believe the isolator/solenoid wasn't doing it's job at disconnecting the house from chassis battery while parked. I replaced the house batteries and because there's no voltmeter on the dash I wanted to install one. I wanted it to be ignition on and show me the voltage at the house battery. I did a little testing with ignition on and off and found the highlighted post on the attached wire schematic on the solenoid was hot when ignition on and cold when ignition off. It also didn't go hot right away with ignition on motor on indicating the motor must be on, "self test", then charge the house batteries from the alternator.

Now the problem is the voltmeter won't turn off after shutting off the engine. This supported my original theory that something was wrong when the house batteries died. When we went dry camping again it's drawing from both house and chassis batteries. I learned to disconnect the main and aux batteries from the panel, turn them back on, voltmeter is off and all is good. Start the gennie or engine and voltmeter is on.

Solenoid/isolator wire diagrams say this post is to a switch or ignition source to turn the solenoid/isolator on. While Fleetwood has a great wire schematic it doesn't show where this wire goes.
1) Could the solenoid/isolator be bad causing the circuit to stay open? or
2) Where does this wire go? Could that switch be bad?

Sorry for the long post, i tried to be detailed to provide as much info as I thought was needed. Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:00 PM   #2
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Could you post the wiring diagram? For certain you are not isolating the chassis battery and that voltmeter idea, while sounding good, can be problematic is it has a low input resistance. Voltmeters operate in parallel with whatever is under test; their input resistance is measured in ohms per volt; too low a resistance (read cheap meter) and you have a significant draw on the battery being measured. Anyway; that's my electronics tech background speaking; having the diagram would be a huge help.
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:29 AM   #3
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If we knew what year your coach is it would help others to help you. A lot of people put that and more good information in their signature line. The charging of house and chassis batteries is going to be controlled by some device made by others than Fleetwood. Mine is a RV Custom Products battery control center. You can get drawings and detailed diagnostic instructions for it.
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