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Old 10-29-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
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Question coach electrical power problem..transferswitch maybe?

I recently purchased a used 1995 Triple E Embassy 31' Motorhome on an F53 Chassis. I seem to have an electrical problem in the coach. I have owned 3 C class motorhomes prior to owning this one and have never experienced this kind of problem...I start up my onboard 4kw onan generator..everything works fine...shut it off ..no power in the coach!! Sometimes if it sits for a few minutes ...all of a sudden the power from the batteries will light things up again. My coach batteries are A-1. If I start up the vehicle..still no power to the coach! On my other motorhomes once I started up the vehicle power would be restored to the coach even when the coach batteries were drained.sometimes when I am plugged into shoreline power ...the same thing happens when I unplug.Is there some kind of transfer switch that transfers the power back to the batteries? sometimes when the power does transfer i hear a Zapping noise. I am including photos of my power box.What if anything do I need to replace?
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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Welcome chetflyer to irv2.
Do you have power switch's on Gen that have to be operated for power?
Do you have a power box on ceiling of power bay that you need to plug in power cord for power supplied by Gen?
Do you have 12V lighting in coach if your battery disconnect is on?
If you plug into shore power will your converter operate your 12V lights?
This all should happen without a transfer switch.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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to operate the generator I simply start it with a switch on the dashboard of my RV. Yes I have a power box in power bay that i need to plug power cord into for power supplied by gen.not sure exactly what you mean by 3rd question. yes my converter operates my 12 volt lights when plugged into shore power
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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not sure what you mean exactly by battery disconnect?
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #5
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I just can't figure out why my coach will not power up when the engine is started...shouldn't this trip over to the engine charging system? Also...why are the coach batteries not kicking in when the generator is shut off ...or the unit is unplugged from shore power? Like I said...sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!!!
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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Without the shore power plug in your should have lights working off batteries if your battery disconnect switch is operated on for 12V power from batteries..
From what you have just posted, you do not have a transfer switch, you do the transfer manually when you plug shore cord into the outlet in power bay.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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so if it is operating properly it should automatically revert to battery power when the power cord is unplugged from shore power or the recepticle from the generator right? so what could possibly cause this not to happen? would it be anything to do with my converter box?
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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Well, I see it is a magnetek 6300 and my standard advice for owners of that converter is: UPGRADE. If by "no power" you mean the 12 volt systems are not working let me describe one of the differences between the 6300 and a real converter like the IOTA with IQ-4 or the Progressive Dynamics with Charge Wizard or Xantrex True Charge or a host of others too long to type.

The 6300 has a 3 wire DC hook up.. Ground (They all have that) Battery (They all have that) and "non-filtered loads" (Mostly lights, water pump and such, The radio connects to the battery side)

The charger is small, Just a few amps,, and it does not know when to shut off so if your batteries are not big enough to shrug off the overcharge they either never get completly charged or boil dry rather quickly.

When you run on AC your lights are connected to the non-filtered, non-regulated side of the "converter" .... They are getting rectified AC, this is not the same as DC.

When you unplug a relay,,, drops out, this relay causes the lights to switch over to the battery lead. The relay is, for some reason delaying dropout.

Now, How real converter/chargers do it: First the output is both filtered and regulated so your radio can run off the converter by itself .. I have run my Kenwood TS-2000 off my Progressive Dynamics 9180 with wizard and to be honest could not tell the difference between the converter and fully charged batteries.

Second they only have two wire output (or 4 in some cases, more on that in a second) Positive and Negative, No "unfiltered" it's all filtered, they operate in parallel with the batteries, kind of like another battery.

The ones that have 4 output connections,, Two "Positive" in parallel, and two "Negative/Chassis ground" in parallel (This is to provide more peak current)

Randy at Best Converter

Can give you even better information.. Where as I'm an electronics specialists and General "handy type" he specializes in converters. Many praise his prices too.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Well, I see it is a magnetek 6300 and my standard advice for owners of that converter is: UPGRADE. If by "no power" you mean the 12 volt systems are not working let me describe one of the differences between the 6300 and a real converter like the IOTA with IQ-4 or the Progressive Dynamics with Charge Wizard or Xantrex True Charge or a host of others too long to type.

The 6300 has a 3 wire DC hook up.. Ground (They all have that) Battery (They all have that) and "non-filtered loads" (Mostly lights, water pump and such, The radio connects to the battery side)

The charger is small, Just a few amps,, and it does not know when to shut off so if your batteries are not big enough to shrug off the overcharge they either never get completly charged or boil dry rather quickly.

When you run on AC your lights are connected to the non-filtered, non-regulated side of the "converter" .... They are getting rectified AC, this is not the same as DC.

When you unplug a relay,,, drops out, this relay causes the lights to switch over to the battery lead. The relay is, for some reason delaying dropout.

Now, How real converter/chargers do it: First the output is both filtered and regulated so your radio can run off the converter by itself .. I have run my Kenwood TS-2000 off my Progressive Dynamics 9180 with wizard and to be honest could not tell the difference between the converter and fully charged batteries.

Second they only have two wire output (or 4 in some cases, more on that in a second) Positive and Negative, No "unfiltered" it's all filtered, they operate in parallel with the batteries, kind of like another battery.

The ones that have 4 output connections,, Two "Positive" in parallel, and two "Negative/Chassis ground" in parallel (This is to provide more peak current)

Randy at Best Converter

Can give you even better information.. Where as I'm an electronics specialists and General "handy type" he specializes in converters. Many praise his prices too.
so you figure that it is the relay in the converter? This is what I was suspicious of. So the whole converter should be replaced? Would this also be a reason for no power to the coach lights when the engine of the motorhome is running?
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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Battery Disconnect switch lower left corner yours may be brown instead of black.



Could be on kitchen cabinet wall as you enter your coach.
You said batteries were A-1 condition so your converter maybe OK.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:13 PM   #11
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Battery Disconnect switch lower left corner yours may be brown instead of black.



Could be on kitchen cabinet wall as you enter your coach.
You said batteries were A-1 condition so your converter maybe OK.
I don't think I have a battery disconnect switch in this unit...
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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so you figure that it is the relay in the converter? This is what I was suspicious of. So the whole converter should be replaced? Would this also be a reason for no power to the coach lights when the engine of the motorhome is running?
what unit would you suggest to replace the 6300 that would be easy to wire and would fit in the same space?
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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I will agree that the Magnetec 6300 is not a great converter, but it has to be working if the shore power or generator power even supply 12V because in both cases, they only supply 120V-ac to the 6300 and it then supplies the RV. If it is wired like the one that I used to have, it's output is simply attached to the battery posts and so are all of the RV loads. There are some converters that have a relay that separates the battery charging circuits from the RV loads but the 6300 is not one of them.

As an electrical tech, I am puzzled by this delay issue. Have you tried checking, cleaning, and tightening all connections to the battery and the converter and I would trace all wire between the two and check and tighten everything.

When it is not supplying power, you could use a meter to trace the voltage back to determine just where the voltage from the batteries gets lost. Of course, the problem must be there when you are trouble shooting.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #14
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I will agree that the Magnetec 6300 is not a great converter, but it has to be working if the shore power or generator power even supply 12V because in both cases, they only supply 120V-ac to the 6300 and it then supplies the RV. If it is wired like the one that I used to have, it's output is simply attached to the battery posts and so are all of the RV loads. There are some converters that have a relay that separates the battery charging circuits from the RV loads but the 6300 is not one of them.

As an electrical tech, I am puzzled by this delay issue. Have you tried checking, cleaning, and tightening all connections to the battery and the converter and I would trace all wire between the two and check and tighten everything.

When it is not supplying power, you could use a meter to trace the voltage back to determine just where the voltage from the batteries gets lost. Of course, the problem must be there when you are trouble shooting.
thank you for your reply...so you think that the converter is functioning ok...but I may have a bad connection somewhere? Many times when it converts back to the batteries after it has been running on the generator I hear a real zapping noise like a bad connection....that is...the times when it does convert back
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