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Old 09-14-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
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HELP! No Power in 1998 Dolphin Class A RV

We're getting ready for a trip to the coast of Maine this weekend and I just discovered that we have no power in the RV even though it's hooked up to external power from our garage. The batteries are all dead and the RV won't start. I did not leave any lights on in the RV (as far as I know) but that still doesn't answer why I have no 120v power from outside.

The manuals say that there's a 50amp main breaker but I can't find it - only the breaker panel in the bedroom that has a 30 and a 15amp breaker.

In addition I can't even find the batteries to recharge them! We're new to RVs and this motorhome in particular and the manuals don't seem to be helping. Does anyone have any idea what I should do?

Why don't I have shore power even though the receptacle is live from garage? Where is the 50amp breaker? Where are the batteries and how do I get to them?
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:24 PM   #2
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Why don't I have shore power even though the receptacle is live from garage? Where is the 50amp breaker? Where are the batteries and how do I get to them?
gordonpond, Can you start-up your generator and run that to see if you can get power into the coach?

It would be unlikely that your main-breaker is open but I would find the AC voltage circuit panel and look for the breakers. If you've plugged in your power cord and have used RV dog bone adapters the power should be getting to where it needs to be.

What you need is to find someone that can do a PDI with you and take you through all the basic stuff. Wish you were here!
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #3
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gordonpond,
If you have a generator on board... and IF it has a separate battery for cranking, you may be able to power-up and begin charging the batteries.
If your generator won't start, you may be able to "jump start" the generator or the engine cranking battery to begin the process of charging your batteries ...depending upon how your system is set up.
Then, you can go on to diagnosing why you have no shore power.
It would be a very good idea to have someone do a training and orientation with you before setting out on a long trip. Otherwise, you are at risk of being seriously stranded ...and you will be at the mercy of unscrupulous shops.
Check back with this thread... help will be forthcoming.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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Check back with this thread... help will be forthcoming.
Jim, Looks like we both offered pretty much the same advice!
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #5
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Jim, Looks like we both offered pretty much the same advice!
Yep! You don't know me, but that should really scare you!!
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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gordonpond,

I see you are on the site now. I have a 2008 Dolphin and the batteries are under the entrance steps. There should be a strap there to pull up the step cover.

You may not have an automatic transfer switch so if you want to use the generator for power, you need to connect your 30/50amp cord into the generator output receptacle.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:32 PM   #7
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If you do not have a transfer switch you should see a outlet in your power bay to plug shore line into. When using generator.
If you have a volt meter take a reading of your batteries for 12v.
The Generator needs the 12v to start.
Your power cord would wire into your load center which has your 110 circuit breakers.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:50 AM   #8
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Found the problem

Thanks for all you help. I found the main problem - it was a faulty 30amp extension cord to the garage. I plugged in another and it worked just fine. I now have shore power to the RV.

However, the batteries are totally drained. I actually got the RV started last night by using the battery assist on the console but I didn't let if run long enough. Now it doesn't work to start the RV any more. I tried to recharge the batteries (I found them under the steps) but it started overloading my battery charger and I had to stop. Because the two main batteries are seemingly old (no date on them and both have to have water added), I think my best bet is just to replace them.

Thanks again for all you help, everyone. I know the guy I bought this from showed me all of this stuff but I suffer some memory and physical problems from a tick bite I got in 2005 that put me in a coma and almost killed me with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I look at it from the viewpoint that I'm still looking at the daisies from the top down.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:59 AM   #9
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If you charge existing batteries or replace with new use a 12v battery charger before installing in coach also clean all battery connections for batteries and a ground cable from - on battery to chassis frame.
It will take to long with your converter or engine alternator.
Welcome to RVing.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:31 AM   #10
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All Fixed!

I replaced the batteries yesterday with new ones and replaced the extension cord to the shore power and everything works just fine! I'm a couple of hundred dollars poorer for the batteries, but we're all ready for our trip to the coast of Maine this weekend!

Thanks to everyone for the help!


Rachael
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