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Old 01-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #1
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73' Sportscoach Dual Battery Isolator Problem

Hey guys, excited to see this forum and learn much on it. I have recently purchased a 1973 sportscoach and everything (surprisingly) runs really well. Although I have noticed a situation I have with my current battery setup.

Like most, the RV has a battery for the startup/engine, and a 2nd battery located inside that is supposed to run the interior lights/furnace fan etc.

I noticed that the "Single/Dual/Momentary Dual" switch on my dash does not seem to operate properly.

I believe my isolator? (not sure if that is the right terminology)... anyway, the device where the batteries are hooked up to, I am afraid it might be broken or not wired properly.

Basically when I turn the RV on, even when my switch is on "Single Battery" when I crank the RV, my house battery momentarly drops from 12+V to 6-8V and then shoots back up to 13, which is telling me my House battery is also being used to start the RV, and then is being charged by the alternator.

Also, when I disconnect my House battery, the interior lights interior appliances still have power (According to my manual, everything on the interior is supposed to run ONLY on the house battery).

Not that big of a deal, but I have noticed that if I leave my house lights on for not a long time, it is draining my Starter battery

The device where the batteries are connected to has a sticker that says "Select" like its the name brand of the isolator, but just try Googling "Select battery isolator" and I cant find a brand name called "Select"

I will try and get a picture of the unit with its current wiring as I have already traced everything back to see where it would lead.

But in the mean time, just wondering if any of these symptoms point to mis- wiring? or do i need to replace the unit itself?

When I purchased the RV the prior owner put a new starter,battery and carb, but did not mention messing with the isolator.

Thanks for your time and help
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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looks like I was using the wrong terminology.

I am seeking help with the wiring of the battery solenoid, not isolator. I dont think I have an isolator....

Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:14 PM   #3
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Go to Napa and purchase a 4 terminal battery isolator and call it good. While a switch may work, its kind of a pain to remember to turn it off. Once you wire up a solid state isolator, you can forget about it. Yes, it may cost a bit, but you do it once and never worry about.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:50 PM   #4
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I would sure like to fix it if possible is this a sign that it could have possibly shorted out or stopped working? I am hoping it was just mis-wired.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:20 PM   #5
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Does the unit have heavy gauge wire to it, or is it light gauge? If it is heavy gauge, then it is just a 3 position heavy gauge switch. If not, then there could be relays that are stuck or miss-wired. If this has heavy gauge wiring to it, then it could easily be replaced with a 2 position switch. It does seem a little weird to have the sequence in labeling, Single/Dual/momentary dual. It would seem when you let off from momentary, that the switch would return to dual, so what would be the point of momentary? As a bare minimum, you only need to be able to short the 2 batteries together for charging when you are driving down the road, or if your engine battery is dead, and you need the house to help start the engine (or vise versa, if the house is dead and you need the engine battery to start the generator) Most Autoparts stores sell inexpensive 2 position battery disconnect switches, which you would wire to disconnect when you shut the engine off, and connect after you start the engine.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:18 AM   #6
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The solenoid has 2 main posts and 2 small posts (one is a ground)

The switch i was referring to is a dash mounted switch. The labeling is not on the solenoid. The solenoid only has a product label of "Select"

Sorry to confuse the two with you.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:11 AM   #7
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OK, so this should be easy. Take a 12 volt light bulb and verify the low voltage input to the relay, relative to the dash switch. That will confirm if the dash switch is working. If the dash switch works, then lift the heavy wire that goes to the coach battery. Then take the light bulb and verify the relay opens when the switch turns off. This way you can verify the solenoid operation.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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I also own a '73 Sportscoach. The dash mounted "Single/Dual/Momentary Dual" switch controls a solenoid located in the right wheel well (on mine). My notes say that the solenoid in mine is a Delco 11880 with silver inlay contacts rated for continuous duty. Your symptoms indicate it's not wired correctly - as you guessed - or it could be stuck closed. Or the original relay may have been replaced with your "Select" device, whatever that is.

The relay should get power in either position of the dash switch, and that power should short the Rv battery and the engine battery together. On ours, the relay gets 12V from the engine battery when "momentary" is pressed and get power from the RV battery when "dual" is pressed.


We love our Sportscoach. It gets upgrades every year of one sort or another. New PSW inverter, new remote water switch controls and new septic hose carrier are this years upgrades.
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