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Old 05-26-2005, 08:48 AM   #1
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My dad has a 1989 Elite 33' coach, which I'm in the process of preparing to take from Florida to Nevada.

Today when we picked it up out of storage, we discovered that the 12v system isn't working. The batteries are good, as I've tested them and also all of the wiring coming out of them and into the coach.

The converter works, and everything works fine when plugged into shore power. But unplug it from shore power, and everything is dead again.

We don't have much in the way of manuals on it, no schematic or anything to follow, so I don't know if there are fuses back there or what. The converter is located in the left rear of the unit inside a storage compartment with fairly limited access. The converter is working nicely for what it's worth.

Anybody have any idea where to look next? Thanks!!

Rob
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:48 AM   #2
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My dad has a 1989 Elite 33' coach, which I'm in the process of preparing to take from Florida to Nevada.

Today when we picked it up out of storage, we discovered that the 12v system isn't working. The batteries are good, as I've tested them and also all of the wiring coming out of them and into the coach.

The converter works, and everything works fine when plugged into shore power. But unplug it from shore power, and everything is dead again.

We don't have much in the way of manuals on it, no schematic or anything to follow, so I don't know if there are fuses back there or what. The converter is located in the left rear of the unit inside a storage compartment with fairly limited access. The converter is working nicely for what it's worth.

Anybody have any idea where to look next? Thanks!!

Rob
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
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Did you turn on the "coach power", or "house" switch? On an 1989, I'd say it was on the dashboard.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:55 AM   #4
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There is a rotary battery selector switch by the driver's seat that has Off, 1, 2 and Both. 1 is for the engine battery, 2 is for the pair of coach batteries, and the rest are self-explanatory. We set it to 1, 2 and both and none do it.

My dad has owned this thing for about six years and it's worked great up until we picked it up this morning.

Rob
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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How about your gnds off battery bank to chassis frame or off the switch plus there maybe a fuse off batteries to switch. --"007"
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:21 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RobG:
"The batteries are good, as I've tested them...." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Batteries can seem OK showing a surface charge if they have recently been charged by the converter, the batteries may still be at fault. Try performing an open-circuit voltage test if the battery has not been charged within the past 24 hours. With the open-circuit voltage test, the voltage will read 12.6 or higher if the battery is charged 100 percent, 12.4 at 75 percent, 12.2 at 60 percent, 12.0 at 50 percent, 11.7 at 30 percent and 10.5 at zero.

The best test for battery charge is to check its specific gravity with a hydrometer. The specific gravity level will read 1.265 if charged at 100 percent, 1.225 if charged at 75 percent, 1.190 if charged at 50 percent, 1.155 if charged at 25 percent and 1.120 if discharged.

You might try substituting (or jumping across) a known good battery and see if that makes any difference. Or take the batteries someplace and have them tested if you don't have the tools and equipment to test them yourself.

Good luck and let us know what you find the problem to be.
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:27 AM   #7
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One other possibility, a stuck solenoid (or blown fuse on the side of solenoid). The "tin can" solenoids are often in the battery compartment, but could also be nearby the "1,2, both" switch you have. While flipping the switch to different positions, you should be able to feel a 'clicking' inside each solenoid can.
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:42 AM   #8
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I had this exact problem last October. It was the battery solenoid. In my case, it was a mechanical solenoid and a wire had been burnt in it from years of switching. Maybe you could search the forums for postings with my name to find the thread. What caused me problems was that the solenoid had absolutely no identifying marks on it. It was only after searching ebay for "battery solenoid" that I found a picture of what the replacement part for mine was. I think it cost about $18. That was after I spent $200 on a converter (that did not fix the problem).
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:02 AM   #9
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Look for a tripped circuit breaker near the battery for the house location. It may appear to look just like it is a small terminal blocck but if tripped will have a small button on the side. You can also plug into shore power and check with a volt meter to the sie of the switch to determine if you have power from the converter to the switch and if either batter voltage increases as a result of a good circuit. If it is high on one side of the switch and lower on the other then the switch is bad.
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Old 05-27-2005, 05:47 AM   #10
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You also could find the battery solenoid and check for continuity when you are unplugged from shore power. Alternatively, you could check for voltage on each of the solenoid terminals. To do this you would have to put one lead on a good ground and the other to the solenoid terminals. If you have 12V on one side but not the other, then the solenoid is not switching. This would mean either a bad solenoid, or that the solenoid is not getting the input signal that tells it to switch. My system has two solenoids, one for the coach battery and one for the chassis battery.
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