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Old 10-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern British Columbia
Posts: 21
Lights only work on gen or shore power?

I have a 1981 Winnebago that I bought a few years ago. I have it to the point that everything works on it (bit of a challenge there), we have taken it on 3 trips from Northern BC to south BC in the last couple of years,
Now a new problem showed it's face.
I went to winterize it last week, and when I went out all the batteries were dead. Boosted it and it started right up - but now the interior lights and pump only work with the gen-set and shore power. They will not function on battery.
I replaced all the fuses under the dash (2 blown), and checked the breakers under the sink. Did not fix the problem.
On top of that, there is now a drain on the batteries - they will drain within a day.
I'm having a hard time diagnosing this problem, been trying for the last week - relays??
Any help that anyone can give me would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance


1981 Winnebago Brave
(New to me)
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
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Vintage RV Owners Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Evendale, Ohio
Posts: 102
Check your disconnect relays, one for the MH and the other for the engine. The converter will work the lights when on shore power and generator but won't charge the batteries without the batteries being in circuit with the converter battery feed. Also, check if you have any 12v CBs that may have tripped between the batteries and the disconnects. My guess is that maybe your disconnects are locked in circuit and item(s) are causing a drain of the batteries. I wired a 12v light bulb in each circuit so I know when the disconnects are working properly.


1988 Fleetwood Limited MH - John Deere Chassis
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Posts: 1,504
In the early 80's Winnebago typically used either a Progressive Dynamics or Magnetek (6300) AC/DC Power Control Center. Both types have a battery/converter output selection relay inside them. I suspect the selection relay is no longer working. In order to determine the path forward, you first need to identify the type of power center installed in your rig. The information should be listed on the unit itself. The battery drain may or my not be related to this issue.

Dave in Virginia
1978 Winnebago Chieftain
Dodge M400 - 440-3
Classic Winnebago Site: http://www.classicwinnebagos.com/forum/index.php
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,574

Check this site out to improve your mental picture of the setup. You may have a "house battery" switch that is turned off.
Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:32 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern British Columbia
Posts: 21
Thank you everyone for your responses. I have been working 15-16 hour days the last few days and have not had a chance to reply or check your suggestions. Hopefully I can this weekend.
I will keep you posted.

Thank you again.

1981 Winnebago Brave
(New to me)
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lights, power

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