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Old 07-27-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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6v system woes

Ok, here we go. (1st time on forum). Have 1992 Pace Arrow 35' gas 460 Ford.

Problem: Engine will start with key but I have no power to 12v items inside unit. Both disconnect switches are on and I can hear the click(s) when pushed. When I start Onan gen. or have shore power hooked up, all 12v items operate. Hmmmm.

I was told my 2x 6v batteries were no good sooooo I purchased 2x 6v batteries from Costco two days ago. When facing the batt. I have 3 wires, one small and two large connected to the neg. Then the obvious single wire connecting pos. to neg. to the other 6v then off the pos. on the 2nd battery, 3 wires going somewhere near the 12v engine battery. As you can readily tell I am not mechanically/electrically inclined.

I read on one of the forums that there should only be one wire connected to the negative on the 6v and the smaller wire needs to go to the pos. post. I tried that and it was 4th of July. Needless to say I immediately removed the wire. I also tried putting just one wire at a time on the neg. post but had no power unless wires were attached.

If you can answer in layman terms it would help. If not, oh well. Thank you.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:11 PM   #2
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First of all, it does indeed sound as though your batteries are either dead or were miswired. The converter/charger is supplying 12v to the coach when you have generator or shore power, but the batteries are not supplying power when there is no other source.

You need some help from someone else who has a early 90's vintage Pace or similar Fleetwood coach (Southwind, Bounder, etc.). Something that will have the same battery wiring.

Normally there would be just one wire, the chassis ground, connected to the negative terminal and other wires would go to the positive. The question here is which one is the ground? usually it can be traced fairly easily, since it is normally a fairly short wire that goes directly to a bolt on the frame. I suggest you try to figure out which wire of your set is the chassis (frame0 ground wire and clearly mark that. Odds are the others go to the positive terminal, but some help from another older Pace owner would be of great assistance.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Gary. In between raising 3 young grandkids I will try and "sneak" out to MH tomorrow and trace the wire. The problem was that the two larger wires could only reach the neg. post as they were tied together close to the neg. post.

Do you know of another forum for older RV's or is this a hit and miss. Again thanks...Dave.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:58 PM   #4
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If the wire is a ground wire you should have continuity between the wire and your frame.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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Welcome to irv2 David.
Here is a thread with pictures and other links to explain your power systems in your coach.
Your not the first to have this problem.
You need to identify your battery leads any going to chassis frame will be negative.
Positive's would be to fuse panels, converter and Gen.
Its a good time to clean all connections both pos. & neg.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1David View Post
Ok, here we go. (1st time on forum). Have 1992 Pace Arrow 35' gas 460 Ford.

Problem: Engine will start with key but I have no power to 12v items inside unit. Both disconnect switches are on and I can hear the click(s) when pushed. When I start Onan gen. or have shore power hooked up, all 12v items operate. Hmmmm.

I was told my 2x 6v batteries were no good sooooo I purchased 2x 6v batteries from Costco two days ago. When facing the batt. I have 3 wires, one small and two large connected to the neg. Then the obvious single wire connecting pos. to neg. to the other 6v then off the pos. on the 2nd battery, 3 wires going somewhere near the 12v engine battery. As you can readily tell I am not mechanically/electrically inclined.

I read on one of the forums that there should only be one wire connected to the negative on the 6v and the smaller wire needs to go to the pos. post. I tried that and it was 4th of July. Needless to say I immediately removed the wire. I also tried putting just one wire at a time on the neg. post but had no power unless wires were attached.

If you can answer in layman terms it would help. If not, oh well. Thank you.
maybe this resource will help.

Electrical Tutorial
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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Try the Fleetwood Owners Forum on this site. You need to identify the wires, and the only way is to trace them out as 007 describes (frame vs fuse panels) or get another 92 Pace owner to tell you how his rig is wired. It is pointless to try to compare anther brand or even others years of the same brand - wiring practices change.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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As was said.u need to get a diagram for your coach and identify the wires.

The diagrams might be available on fleetwood's website, or, there is an email service link, they generally are very good and will email you the diagrams.

Not unusual to have multiple wires on each terminal. We had a 99 f53 chassis pace arrow, it had a bunch of wires going to. Both the coach and the chassis batteries.

The key, at least on my 99, was the box under the hood. All the big coach wires went in there, genny and battery. There was a board from rvcustom products with A bunch of fuses, the solendoids for the coach, chassis, and boost were in there too. If you have that box and board, I can email u the diagram.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:58 PM   #9
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Took MH in for water leak and asked them about my electrical issue(s). Turns out the disconnect solenoid in the battery box under the hood was the culprit.

Thanks to everyone that contributed. Gary, Kix, 007, Dan & Jim. It was great to get such quick feedback.

Regards.........David
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:59 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback David its always good to hear about a good outcome.
Happy RVing.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:44 PM   #11
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Now I am dumbfounded. I finally got around to replacing my disconnect solenoid. Had it checked out at my local auto supply store. It was bad so I bought another one. The guy at the auto store checked the new solenoid out of the box and it was good. After installing the new one I STILL have the same issue.

Just as a reminder. Originally when I had the disconnect solenoid checked out, the mechanic at the RV place put a meter on the solenoid posts and at one point after bypassing some wires on the solenoid, he asked me to check the housecar lights and lo and behold they came on. When he took the meter off the posts, the lights would not work. According to him, it was that test that indicated the solenoid was bad.

I checked fuses again including the chassis disconnect not knowing what its purpose was. I pulled that fuse, a large Boesh (sp) and took it to the auto shop where it turned out to be good. I reset the fuse but still no 12 volt lights inside.

FYI: Before I pulled any wires off the solenoid I took pictures just to make sure I put the proper wires back in place.

The one thing I did notice is the name on the new solenoid box said starter solenoid. I called the salesman up thinking I was handed a wrong one and he said they are also used as disconnects.

When I called up a couple of RV shops I was quoted between $77 and $85 for their solenoids. The auto place price was $25. Is it that the RV shops rip us off when we can go to a regular auto store and get the same thing for less???
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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This can be a can of worms without a good understanding of what's out there that could be used to do what you require.

First, you would want to make sure that the solenoid you were sold is rated for constant duty. If not, it's not designed to be energized/held closed continuously. It'll get warmer and warmer until it overheats and burns out the coil. 3-4 hours of constant power will do most of them in. In any case, it'll be a question of when it lets go, not if. (If going automotive, we used to ask for solenoids that might be used for engaging the elec. hydraulic pump used for snow plows.)

Second, there are identical appearing solenoids used in automotive applications with different internal wiring that don't match what you had. These, when wired in exactly as the original was, won't connect the 2 big terminals when turned on. Hopefully you can hear the solenoid you have "snapping" open and closed to eliminate this possibility.

Third, understand that the proper solenoid, one that's rated for constant duty, requires power to hold the contacts closed. Many don't care for that idea as it's not the most efficient use of 12v power if you're wanting to conserve wherever possible. There's a different type of relay, called a latching relay, that only require power when actually being switched on or off. These are likely the more expensive ones that an RV dealer might supply.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #13
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AHicks,

Thanks for the info. I will check tomorrow where I bought the starter solenoid to see if it's rated for constant duty.

Also I do get the clicking sound when I push the disconnect switch from inside the MH. I recall that before I replaced it, my old one also clicked.

Regards.......Dave
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:59 AM   #14
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Is this a Battery Boost relay or a Battery Disconnect relay? From your original description (no voltage inside) it does sound like a Battery Disconnect relay.

A Battery Boost relay is a constant duty solinoid that cross connects the chassis battery with the house battery system. It typically looks simular to a Starter relay but as ahicks indicated it is designed to stay engaged for extended periods. A Starter relay will burn out in a short time if engaged for an extended period. Before diode isolators and BIRD systems Mfg's like Winnebago used to manually control the relay with Dual/Norm/MOM (momentary) switches in order to charge the house batteries with the engine. Actually a BIRD system is a modern day automated version of the DUAL/NORM position of the switch with a Boost mode switch performing the function of the MOM position.

A modern Battery Disconnect relay is simular to a Battery Boost relay but is designed differently. If you used a Battery Boost relay as a Battery Disconnect relay then you would have to have the relay energized all the time when you want the battery connected to the system. Keeping the relay energized would be a large drain on the system. If you remove shore/generator power the relay load itself would drain the battery. To prevent that, modern Battery Disconnect relays are designed to switch back ond forth (ON to OFF, OFF to ON) without requiring voltage to be constantly applied to the relay to remain in EITHER position. They do this by reversing the voltage (+ and - leads). Once it switches to the ordered position it remains there with no load on the battery.

The first picture at this link demonstates a typical setup with just a constant duty isolation relay (Boost mode relay). The picture below that demonstrates a system with disconnect relays and a boost relay.
Daves Place - RV Electrical Systems

Note: There have been dozens of differrent ways Mfg's have implimented these features. The drawings are only intended to demonstrate the basics of a concept, not to represent the exact configuration of a certain version of motorhome.

Dave
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