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Old 07-10-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Today we went and traded our 1996 Jayco Eagle RK-223 Class C Ford 460 V8 with 26k miles for a 2001 National RV Sea View 8331 Class A Ford Triton V10 with 29k miles.

When we were driving home the RV's generator was running, we stopped on the way and had the propane tank filled (it was on about 10%) and then tested the stove and turned on the hot water heater and pump. While they were filling the propane they had us kill the engine though never said anything about the generator, so we KNOW the generator should continue to run without interuption fter the engine is killed.

However, when we finally got home and wanted to set the unit bult-in leveling jacks. So I followed the instructions for using the jacks given to me by the seller, they said to srt the parking brake, put it in park, kill the RV and then turn the key back to the Run position without starting it. At that time they said the leveling jacks would operate.

Well, as soon as I killed the engine this time the generator went off just a second later, and HASN'T STARTED SINCE. It wont even crank over.
Both the switch on the dash and the switch on the generator itself have no response at all.
I found one of the two circut brakers by the generator tripped (it hadn't been previously as far as I know) and re-set it but no result. I have checked every fuse I could find in the entire coach, starting with the 15 amp one mounted on the front of the generator itself.
All of them are good. Also tree (two house, one starting) batteries are all almost new.

I used a meter and checked and there is still 12v DC power to the cable coming back from wherever it is that it comes from further up in the coach.

We just have NO IDEA what happend.

Also, to top it off, the leveling jacks don't do a thing. Do they rely on power from the engines (starting) battery, from the house batteries (there are two of them), or does the generator have to be running to make them work?

The power indicator light comes on when I press the ON button, and when we bought it I had to press the "retect all jacks" button before we could take a test drive so I know they must have worked before for the dealer to get them deployed.

Anyone have any idea what happend? This is very disapointing to supposedly upgrade from our class C which never had a single problem to a class A with only a 3k more miles (yet 7 years newer which makes up for it) and have it fail as soon as we get home with no sign of what's happend...

I called the dealer but all they had to say was it worked fine when it was there, though they hardly ever started the generator except when someone was looking at it. They are a small dealer specializing in 5th wheel travel trailers and the only motor coaches they carry are used ones like this that they took in on trade so they know very little about coaches so were of no help what so ever. I don't know if it makes a difference but when we first looked at this coach on Saturday the batteries were all DOA dispite being almost new, they and us chalked it up to a previous customer leaving stuff on while looking at it, they jump-started it for us and then we test drove it, when we agreed to buy it and pick it up today they charged for us before we picked it up. I that had caused damage I'd think that the generator wouldn't have started in the first place today
when we picked it up and as far as I know everything worked all day on the way home, at least until we got home and the generator died right after I killed the engine, then the leveling jacks of course didn't work.


Help please, I've spent HOURS checking everyhing and am at a total loss.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:50 PM   #2
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Today we went and traded our 1996 Jayco Eagle RK-223 Class C Ford 460 V8 with 26k miles for a 2001 National RV Sea View 8331 Class A Ford Triton V10 with 29k miles.

When we were driving home the RV's generator was running, we stopped on the way and had the propane tank filled (it was on about 10%) and then tested the stove and turned on the hot water heater and pump. While they were filling the propane they had us kill the engine though never said anything about the generator, so we KNOW the generator should continue to run without interuption fter the engine is killed.

However, when we finally got home and wanted to set the unit bult-in leveling jacks. So I followed the instructions for using the jacks given to me by the seller, they said to srt the parking brake, put it in park, kill the RV and then turn the key back to the Run position without starting it. At that time they said the leveling jacks would operate.

Well, as soon as I killed the engine this time the generator went off just a second later, and HASN'T STARTED SINCE. It wont even crank over.
Both the switch on the dash and the switch on the generator itself have no response at all.
I found one of the two circut brakers by the generator tripped (it hadn't been previously as far as I know) and re-set it but no result. I have checked every fuse I could find in the entire coach, starting with the 15 amp one mounted on the front of the generator itself.
All of them are good. Also tree (two house, one starting) batteries are all almost new.

I used a meter and checked and there is still 12v DC power to the cable coming back from wherever it is that it comes from further up in the coach.

We just have NO IDEA what happend.

Also, to top it off, the leveling jacks don't do a thing. Do they rely on power from the engines (starting) battery, from the house batteries (there are two of them), or does the generator have to be running to make them work?

The power indicator light comes on when I press the ON button, and when we bought it I had to press the "retect all jacks" button before we could take a test drive so I know they must have worked before for the dealer to get them deployed.

Anyone have any idea what happend? This is very disapointing to supposedly upgrade from our class C which never had a single problem to a class A with only a 3k more miles (yet 7 years newer which makes up for it) and have it fail as soon as we get home with no sign of what's happend...

I called the dealer but all they had to say was it worked fine when it was there, though they hardly ever started the generator except when someone was looking at it. They are a small dealer specializing in 5th wheel travel trailers and the only motor coaches they carry are used ones like this that they took in on trade so they know very little about coaches so were of no help what so ever. I don't know if it makes a difference but when we first looked at this coach on Saturday the batteries were all DOA dispite being almost new, they and us chalked it up to a previous customer leaving stuff on while looking at it, they jump-started it for us and then we test drove it, when we agreed to buy it and pick it up today they charged for us before we picked it up. I that had caused damage I'd think that the generator wouldn't have started in the first place today
when we picked it up and as far as I know everything worked all day on the way home, at least until we got home and the generator died right after I killed the engine, then the leveling jacks of course didn't work.


Help please, I've spent HOURS checking everyhing and am at a total loss.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:31 AM   #3
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It certainly sounds like the only time power is available is while the coach engine is running. Recommend you check all grounds and battery cables to be sure of good connections. Make sure you have lights inside the coach; this will let you know the house disconnect is working. If you have 12 volts at generator it should at least turn over. Once you have the generator running then try the jacks; again you will need good battery voltage for them to operate on. Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:32 AM   #4
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Is the battery disconnect turned off now? You may have inadvertently hit it when checking out the systems after the propane fill. Are there any loose wires under the dash? Sometimes when people sell their rigs they hastely remove radios or other items they added to the coach and don't tie off the wires very well. You may have pulled or pinched them when setting the parking brake. Is there 12 volt power to the generator? If not then the bypass relay or switch may be weak. Try jump starting the generator using the main 12 volt terminal and start switch located on it and see what happens. It may kick the relays back into position so you can start the coach.

Ley us know how you make out.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:52 AM   #5
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I would suspect the batteries still might be your problem. Most generators start and run off the coach house batteries. Also the jacks run off the house batteries. If they were dead previously they might have internal problems. If you haven't done so already plug the coach in to AC and let them charge for a few days. Make sure the battery cable's are clean and tight on their connections. Do you have a DC multi-meter? If not you might get one and then check the batteries and be sure they've charged up good. Recently recharged batteries will be somewhere above 13 volts. Try starting the generator and watch the voltmeter while you do. See if the battery voltage drops real low or not. If they do and the gen set doesn't turn over you have one or more dead cells.

Another thing is to remove the batteries and have them load tested at your local Autozone or Pep Boys. Then can see if their good.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:09 AM   #6
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It sounds like a loose or dirty connection on the wiring. On the jacks,Start the engine up and release the emergency brake.
Turn the engine off,reset the brake and try the jacks. You shouldn't have to turn the key to run,leave it in the off position.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:31 AM   #7
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I received several responses up to this point so I'll try and answer them all in one post to save a bunch of individual post...

I have tried turning the disconnect on and off with no difference. The house batteries show 13.6 volts, the starting battery shows 13.7 unless the engine is running in which case it shows 13.85 volts.

Ther is also a switch labeled "Compartment" near the "Disconnect" switch, I'm not even sure what this one does, it seems have no effect but it's red (has a light in it) unlike other switches on the pannel. The Disconnect switch isn't red itself but has a light above it labeled "Battery" which glows when the Disconnect switch is in the Off position.

Also on the same panel are switches labeled "Porch" which turns on the outside light, "Celing" which turns on one of the inside lights IF the switch on the light itself is on, and "Step", which is SUPPOSED to turn off the automatic steps when the door is opened/closed but most of the time they continue to work no matter what position the switch is in. Also on this pannel is the Key that moves the slide out that has IN, OUT, and OFF and it seems to work fine.

BTW: There is an "AUX" switch up on the dash near the remote switch to the Generator Starter and I can not figgure out what on earth it does, it seems to have no effect on anything.

I do have 13.58 volts back on the main large red wire that connects to the silonod on the side of the generator.

I have tried connecting the power to the coach to electricity which powers everything in the coach OK but still wont make the generator crank over.


Two people answered by question about the Jacks, one said they run off of the house batteries, and one and said they should work whith the Key off. The power light will not light up if the key is not in the Run position, so somehow they need the run circut to be on to have any power, though that could run a relay which then lets them get their direct power from the house batteries, though having the "Disconnect" turned off or on seems to make no difference, the power light will illuminate as long as the ignition is in the run position not matter if the engine is running or not, though the manual to them does say it has to bae in Park or Neutral and the EM Brake has to be set so I assume there are sensors tied into them for that.
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:46 AM   #8
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A few answers......the Compartment switch energizes the lights in the basement compartments. I found out the hard way by tearing onto one fixture looking for power when there wasn't any, only to find that switch.

The Aux switch goes to a solenoid that connects the house batteries to the chassis battery to assist in running out the slides or jacks. My slides work with the key off but the parking brake must be on adn the jacks only work with the key on.

Ya gotta read all the manuals, I Know....LOL
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:01 AM   #9
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Your disconnect switch will glow when the power is on not off.

The compartment switch is for lights in the storage compartments.

The AUX switch is for dash fans or anything that my be added.

Also check inside you front engine access door for a light mounted up inside, this one has an on and off switch and is not controlled by any other switches. Left on it will eat your BAT. up in no time.

It sounds like you have had the Bat. Disconnect switch turned off, hope some of this helps.

PS. we have National RV forum on this web site
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:36 AM   #10
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Do you have the owners manual for you motorhome?

In your 12 volt distribution panel inside one of storage compartment ther should be a 150 amp cir/braker it should have a reset lever or button on it. This is for the generator and the jack pump.

I have a manual from my 2001 SurfSide that has the details for the 12 volt system. As far as I know the Surf Side and Sea View were the same in 2001.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:42 PM   #11
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Thanks, once again I'll address several answers I got all in one email to keep it simple.

On the compartment light - thanks that answers that one and now I know it can't have anything to do with the problems.

On the Aux switch, I got two different answers but I can use my multimeter to find out which is correct, if the house batteries have a voltage change or equilize with the starting batter when the switch is thrown then I'll know it connects them.

As far the the manuals, the thing came with a virtual Library of manuals but each one covers a single item, awings, fridge, stove, A/C units, etc. There is one for the Ford "Chasis" that the unit started life as but it has nothing to do with anything to to with any of the RV systems, it could be a Dump Truck as far as that manual is concerned.

There is NOTHING that even remotely resembles an operators manual for the RV in general at all, nothing that describes any of the systems in it unless the system has a book of it's own.

Such as there is a Generator book but it seems to think if you have 12v at the in side of the solinod and the 15amp fuse on the front it then all is good and it should start unless your starter is out which I really don't believe.

Keep in mind that the generator was RUNNING and quit, it's not a case of me trying to start it when it was off and it simply not cranking. It actually WAS running and died just after I killed the engine, which it shouldn't do. Once it's running it should be self-sustaining until you kill it or it runs out of fuel.

Oh, there is also a manual on the power leveling system but it only says the parking brake is set and that it also has to be in neutral or park and then you can turn on the power to the system with the key in the run position, no mention of if it matters if the engine is running or not. The people at the sales place seemed to think you had to kill the engine first and then turn it back to the run position withOUT starting it. I have tried it both ways and either way the main power light WILL light up, but nothing happens when you press the any of the "Jack Down" buttons. Have tried it with the AUX on the dash and the Disconnect switch in all of their possible combinations with no luck.

I did find the power distrubution panel, a fancy circut board with lots of fuses, only one was blown (15amp) and they're not labeled and there is no manual showing this thing anywhere so I have no idea what it went to but nothing seems to have changed.

There are also several black-box stle circut breakers (the kind common under any car hood) but none seem to have any kind of reset on them.
One the circut board there is even printing saying "Reset in Upper Right" on one side and "Reset in Upper Left" on the other side, whatever the heck that means, there is nothing in the upper right nor left, not anywhere else anywhere near there that resembles a reset of any kind.

I'm bumfuzzled.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:19 PM   #12
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Send me a E mail rsnapphome@cox.net the I can send you a scaned page with with fuse panel details.
Richard
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:02 PM   #13
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The purpose of the dash mounted Aux Switch on motorhomes is to connect the house batteries to your chassis battery temporarily so you can start your engine if the chassis battery is dead. Most of them are a push and hold, they normally don't switch and stay switched.
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:11 PM   #14
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You may want to call National RV with some of your questions, since the dealer obviously has no knowledge of National products or even motorhomes in general. We owned a NRV product before and customer service was always helpful - hope its still the same way.

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