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Old 01-09-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
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Who turned the lights out???

3 week old infant, here. New to the WHOLE RV thing, but my long-time RVing brother and all of you here posting daily, have walked me every step of the way.

Mine is a 20-year old Holiday Rambler 1000, bought so that I wouldn't have to spend so much money on hotels while working out of town. Many upgrades were already completed in the last 4 years of the previous owner. I have also been upgrading a few things, since I not only know construction but I am also a pretty good mechanic.

All in all, everything has been great...and easy. Then, this morning while getting ready for work, my lights went out. Most of my 12V stuff is out, except for the water pump and the steps actuator. Was on shore power most of the night, but was fully un-connected from everything this morning when it happened...about 10 minutes after unhooking from power.

All fuses are good: checked chassis, coach, and other distrubution fuse panel. All connections seem tight, also.

Any other ideas from you vets?

Thanks!

LDDP
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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House batteries? Dead or disconnected
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:15 AM   #3
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House batteries show 13.2 direct touch while disconnected from system. OHMS do not seem to indicate a draw or ground-out.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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Is maybe one the GFI's tripped?

We were just sitting here over the weekend and the front half the coach went dead except for the LED lights. Looked over all the breakers inside and out at the pole. Nothing. Then he happened to be in the kitchen and was bending down to pick up some tools to go out to look at the inv/char, surge guard and transfer switch when he noticed that the GFI right there was tripped. He hit the reset and we now had power again. Not sure why it tripped but could just be age. Oh well its working now and we may just replace to be sure it does not happen again.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum.

I'd first check the GFI switches... then, just double check to make sure the house battery cut off switch is on... then plug it back in to shore power and see if you have 12v via your inverter/converter.

Your batteries are reading 13.2v when not connected to the system? This sounds a touch high to me. Hmmm.....

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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How about the 12V "Salesman's switch" by the front door?
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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You folks are awesome. Ok, I did (finally) locate the only GFI. It was not tripped. A correction on the batteries. I discovered that, for some reason, turning the battery disconnect to OFF does not isolate my house batteries. So my 13.2 was apparently the from the Alternator (had the motor running) because the clown that put the new batteries in right before I bought it made sure they would always have charge from alt. So, once isolated FOR REAL, they barely show 2V. Hooked back to shore power, my brand new converter is doing great powering up inside. But it is not trickling charge to the house batteries.

It's raining, so I'm not able to troubleshoot that back yet. Would rather not sit idling that 460 with the garden-hose-size fuel lines running to it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
How about the 12V "Salesman's switch" by the front door?
Hmmm...you'll have to point a little harder on that one. The only "switch" I know of is the leveling system switch and controls....

??
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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The salesman's switch is just your 12v house battery cut off switch and is usually located by the front door.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
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My MH has a battery cut-off switch in the electrical bay outside and also has a "salesman's switch" right inside the door.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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GFI has nothing to do with the 12 volt light system unless the charger is run through one but you measured 13.2 volts across the bank so need to find the path to the lights which as suggested probably goes through a solenoid that is controlled by a switch. If you can post some pictures of your battery compartment and find your DC electrical panel where you should find some large devices with heavy wires connected take a few shots there. Since you are handy with a voltmeter you may already know what a solenoid looks like. Find them and measure the voltage on each connector where a large wire goes. If you find one that has voltage on one side only then check the control wires going to it. You should have 12 volts going to a small terminal. If it has two small terminals one is ground and you can find that with the ohmeter. If you find no voltage on the little terminal that is supposed to be hot then use a jumper to it from the cable that is hot. Just touch it momentarily. If the solenoid goes clunk you should then have voltage on each side. The all you have to do is find why there is no control voltage there. You can put in a jumper temporarily or just stack the two large wires together.

If the solenoid is engaged and no voltage is passing through the large terminals then give it a hard knock with the back end of a screwdriver and see if you can temporarily knock some sense into it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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http://www.metrotrekkers.org/utility/electrical.htm

Go to this site and play with the settings. You should get a great visual even if it is not exactly your setup.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:22 AM   #13
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I always love thse "Check the GFCI" posts on 12 volt issues.

While it is true that some companies do put the converter on the GFCI Chain. Fact is if that were the case the lights would not go out suddenly, they would get dimmer and dimmer and dimmer over time.

On my coach I have, occasionally, accidently disabled the converter.. This has the same effect exactly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
My MH has a battery cut-off switch in the electrical bay outside and also has a "salesman's switch" right inside the door.
Joe, is the one outside for your chassis battery or do you have two for the house batteries?

Rick
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