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Old 07-27-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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No AUX power - 1987 Chieftain Winnebago

So, after 2 weeks of storage I tried to turn on my refrigerator with the house battery and lp gas, and got nothing. I started the rig and it turned on. I thought I had drained the house batteries so I left it running to charge up and drove around but when I shut off the engine, I still had no power from the aux batteries. So I plugged in to shore power, all of the accessories/lights/outlets worked, but not when I unplugged. So we tested the batteries, they were dead. We replaced them with new ones, but still nothing. I cleaned all of the contacts to be certain it wasn't something simple. I lurked on every forum thread I could find about similar problems but am still uncertain of what the issue is. When I turn on the ignition and switch to "dual" I get 12volts, I otherwise I get no power. I can hear a solenoid click when I switch to "dual." Also, the light next to the "AUX on/off" switch isn't coming on at all. Is my solenoid shot, or is it a bad battery isolator, or just a bad aux battery switch?
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:16 PM   #2
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My '92 Allegro on Chev. P32 chassis had a solenoid mounted on the front of the firewall that controlled a portion of the 12 v. power to the house and dash area. It failed on me that's how I learned about it. It was wired to energize when the ignition key was turned on. A little testing with a test light might help you if you find a solenoid. If you find a solenoid that has failed and it's wired to energize with the key turned on, make sure you replace it with one that is designed for constant duty. Some solenoids are only designed to be energized for a short time and will burn out if you wire them to stay energized a long time.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:40 PM   #3
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The Winnebago web site only has manuals back to '88, but that' close to your '87. Check starting on pg. 30 for battery information. It suggests that the battery isolation solenoid is in the battery compartment under the step.

http://www.winnebagoind.com/resource...ago-Itasca.pdf
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Also, the light next to the "AUX on/off" switch isn't coming on at all. Is my solenoid shot, or is it a bad battery isolator, or just a bad aux battery switch?
If you have a AUX ON/OFF switch, then you have a Battery Disconnect Relay. It isolates the House Battery from the rest of the rig. The large B+ cable from your House battery should lead directly to it however, like 1990, it might go via an isolated stud. The DUAL Battery Solenoid and converter output is on the opposite side of the Battery Disconnect solenoid which is why you have power with engine running (DUAL selected) or shore power connected.

Battery Disconnect Relay looks like this:


1990 has it located in a box forward of the drivers seat you access from the front engine access hood. Not sure if it is in the same location in 1987.

The DUAL battery select relay (below) will be most likely be beside it.



Dave
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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Okay, so since I have power when the engine is running that means my battery disconnect relay (isolator) is causing the issue? The manual says you can jump start it if your house battery is dead. My hose batteries are brand new, but I thinking of putting the jumper cables on there to see what happens. If that doesn't work, is there any way to test the battery disconnect relay before I try to replace it?
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:27 AM   #6
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Using a multimeter, test voltage of batteries disconnected and when engine is running. Charged 12 v batteries should be about 12.6 v. When engine is running, (or on shore power or generator running) a battery being charged should now read at least 13.5 v) If you don't see an increase in voltage, then the battery isolation relay isn't connecting the house batteries to the engine alternator. Note: there may be a delay in connecting, often it's set up to charge chassis battery first before adding the house batteries to the charging circuit. The healthier the chassis battery, the faster it will connect.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:42 PM   #7
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Jumper across battery disconnect relay:

Engine OFF, Shore Power and Generator OFF.

Using battery jumper cables, place positive clamp of one end on large post on left large post. Place other positive clamp on right side large post


See if you now have 12VDC in coach. If Yes, then there is a Disconnect Solenoid problem. Could be a fuse on the solenoid itself (one on each bottom side in the picture), main solenoid contacts burned, bad relay coil, mechanical latch in solenoid bound up, bad switch, or wiring to switch.

This style of solenoid does not require constant voltage from the switch in order to stay latched in either the ON or OFF position. Latching in ON or OFF position is a mechanical function. Only a short 12VDC pulse across the 2 small posts causes the solenoid to change position. Direction (ON or OFF) is controlled be reversing the polarity of the single across the 2 small posts. The mechanical latching mechanism keeps the relay in the ordered position.



Dave

PS: Sorry for delay in posting. I work a regular 40Hr job and can only access this site in the evening if I am not working on my rig.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great info. I'll try some of your suggestions and I'll let you know how it's going.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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Well, I replaced the battery relay and was starting to charge the house batteries, I thought if fixed my problem. I was getting juice to my handrail iv levelers for the first time since the house power went. Then, I started to smell rotten eggs. I fried one of my new house batteries. I'm pretty bummed. Thinking of just taking the rig into the shop. Have someone with more know-how take a look.
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