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Old 03-26-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
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i am a first time motor home owner. just acquired a holiday rambler imperial 33 foot. it a 1985 chev chassic with a 1986 coach. at lease the best i can tell. previous owner is not available and no local dealer.

i have been told there should be a electronic transfer switch somewhere. i cannot find it. would greatly appreciate and help as to where to look.

second problem --- when i turn on the 110 volt main circuit. the converter/charger starts to "hum" and then one of the 20 amp circuit breakers trip. converter/charger unplugged from wall recepticle and breaker does not trip.


my e-mail is s2riddick@aol.com<a href="mailto:s2r...ck@aol.com</a>

thanks for any help/advice available

steve
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Old 03-26-2007, 06:28 PM   #2
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i am a first time motor home owner. just acquired a holiday rambler imperial 33 foot. it a 1985 chev chassic with a 1986 coach. at lease the best i can tell. previous owner is not available and no local dealer.

i have been told there should be a electronic transfer switch somewhere. i cannot find it. would greatly appreciate and help as to where to look.

second problem --- when i turn on the 110 volt main circuit. the converter/charger starts to "hum" and then one of the 20 amp circuit breakers trip. converter/charger unplugged from wall recepticle and breaker does not trip.


my e-mail is s2riddick@aol.com<a href="mailto:s2r...ck@aol.com</a>

thanks for any help/advice available

steve
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:38 AM   #3
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Steve, welcome to iRV2/com. Congratulations on your new to you HR Imperial motorhome. If you do not see a receptacle inside the power cord compartment then indeed there should be a transfer switch someplace. It literally can be anywhere. Look under bed, drawers, behind power distribution panel. Hopefully some other member that has or has had an 86 Imperial can tell you exactly wheere it is. As for the triping breaker, is the battery in good condition? If the charging section of the converter is bad you can replace it with a a better design than was originally installed. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 03-27-2007, 02:56 AM   #4
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yes, the land line power cord goes into a box with a 30 amp receptacle.

someone had suggested that there might should be a power cord running from generator to a receptacle for a manual switch over.

i had decided this was not the case since generator appears to be wired directly to electrical system for the coach thru a junction box located within the generator compartment.

coach has two marine deep cell batteries they were strong enough to start the generator when i first discovered breaker problem. i have since had to charge them.

is there a way to test converter/charger for proper operation?

thanks for the reply --- steve
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:12 PM   #5
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Hi, Steve,

I have had a 30' 1987 Presidential HR for about 5 months now. They would be very similar to each other, I'm sure.

All my electrical service stuff is under the bed, including my generator transfer switch. My guess is that you don't have one and that you plug your shore power cord into the 30 amp recepticle that you described as being in your power cord compartment (seems logical).

I am living full-time in my rig and am enjoying it immensely. If you want to discuss more about our rigs, I'd be very happy to do that.

As far as testing the converter goes... you might disconnect its attachment to the batteries at one end or the other and fire it up to see what happens. If it still trips, then there's several things you can do in the upgrade department.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:27 AM   #6
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Brian Ingoldbsy, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and look forward to reading of your adventure and experiences. Thanks for jumping in to help Steve with his Imperial. I know you will enjoy this website and hope that you will be an active participant. Good luck and take care.
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:53 AM   #7
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brian, thanks for replying!

only thing under my bed is clean water tank and a hot air blower.

i still think there has to be an electronic transfer switch somewhere. generator is supplying current to roof top a/c units, with out the land line cord hooked up or plugged in to anything. i am thinking the transfer switch must be stuck. motor home has been unused for serveral months before i acquired it.

thanks again --- steve

land line cord goes into the "junction" box as i call it, and goes out top of box into frame/wall structure of coach. this box also contains the 30 amp receticle refered to.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:38 AM   #8
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Steve, with a volt meter check teh prongs on the power cord with generator running. Make sure you do not have voltage on these prongs. If you do, then you indeed have a transfer switch problem or someone has wired the generator and shoe power cord together. This is very dangerous and can ruin your generator. Let us know what you find.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:43 AM   #9
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Steve,

Welcome. It's been a while since I had a rig without a transfer switch, but if memory serves me... I had a 30 amp cord in a side compartment. This cord had to either be plugged into an external ac outlet (like in a campground) or into a 30 amp receptacle in the compartment where the cord was stored. If it was plugged into the campground outlet (shore power), I got power from the outside source. If it was plugged into the RV receptacle, I could get power from the generator if it was running. If the cord was not plugged in at all, I got no ac power. My airconditioner, microwave, outlets would not work. I don't recall if dc items such as inside lights and furnace worked, but I believe they did, directly off the house batteries. I added a transfer switch replacing the 30 amp receptacle in the power service compartment and now do not need the cord to be plugged in, except to receive shore power.

(By the way, the manual for my used motorhome said there was a transfer switch installed, but that proved not to be the case.)

If the cord is plugged into shore power the switch senses that and selects shore power to power my appliances. If the generator is cranked, the switch senses that and switches the source from shore power to the generator. I can then unplug the cord and everything keeps working. Is this what your unit does?

I also seem to recall the generator cranking should be powered from the battery that starts your engine, not from the house batteries.

Maybe someone with more immediate knowledge of RV electrical systems will chime in and see if I'm close describing how this stuff works.

Can you tell what the 20 amp breaker that blows is supposed to be serving? It sounds like something is miswired or shorted. The converter will most likely hum if it is an original. Mine does and gets louder whern the internal fan comes on.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:57 AM   #10
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Check the receptacle when the generator is running.I think You plug the land line into that receptacle instead of a transfer switch.
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #11
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Steve and all,
If you have a 30amp shore cord that you have to plug in to an outlet in a compartment, then you do not have a transfer switch. If you have 2 roof a/c units, the rear unit is wired directly to the generator normally. The front one will run either from the generator while the cord is plug into the coach outlet or while connected to the campground 30amp outlet. Now some coaches had a selector switch which allowed you to run either the front or rear a/c unit from shore power. If no switch then you can only run the front a/c unit from shore power and the rear only while the generator is running.

What size is your generator? It is possible to do a rewire and add a transfer switch. Look for the output breakers on the generator, you will probably find one 30amp and one 20amp. The 20amp is just for the rear a/c. Hope this info helps.
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Old 04-03-2007, 01:51 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If no switch then you can only run the front a/c unit from shore power and the rear only while the generator is running. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While this is quite true, I decided to (one way or another) find a way to power the rear AC when I wanted it without having to start the generator. After cooking up some pretty complex schemes on paper, involving switching relays and the like, I finally just got into the junction box at the generator where the power is sent off to the respective services (including a seperate circuit to the rear AC). I got a 25 foot extension cord (12/3) and cut off the female end with a little cord attached and connected that to the wires coming from the generator 20 amp feed to the rear AC. Then I wired the plug end with the rest of the extension cord to the wires going to the AC.

I can now pull out that cord and plug it into an outlet on the pedestal and run the rear AC. Or I can plug the two ends together inside the generator compartment and feed the rear AC from that if needed. Kinda like the shore power/generator power switching without a transfer switch unit.

Brian
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