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Old 04-19-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Wiring issue

So my quest in finding the cause of my 12V loss inside the coach has landed me here:

- Battery is fine
- Converter is fine
- Disconnect switch is fine (it's ON and connecting)


The positive wire from the coach battery to the converter seems to be disconnected somewhere on its path (underneath the RV and then into the RV under the bed). These are some very hard to access wires.

What is the best way to tackle and find the disconnect? Anyone else ever go through this?

Is there a particular voltage tester that makes this easier? I'm going to have to poke holes into the wiring to find the disconnect I guess. RIGHT?

Could the cause be something else?
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:36 PM   #2
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Step one is to check for voltage at each end of each wire,, also if you find any "Device" (Fuse, Breaker, Terminal block) at both terminals.

IF you narrow it down that way.. You have a good start.

I like to use a test lamp

But you say Converter is OK,, You checked for voltage (at least 13) at the output terminals?

Question: If you plug in, then lift the NEGATIVE lead off the batteries do the house lights go out or stay on.

Question 2: IF you re-connect then unplug do the house lights stay on.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:09 PM   #3
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wa8yxm,

I connected a separate battery directly to the converter (bypassing all the wiring underneath the RV) and everything worked just fine. That led me to suspecting the wiring issue.

I haven't checked for the two scenarios you posted. What is the significance of them?

Come to think of it, I would say if when I'm plugged in, everything works fine without the battery being connected at all. There is no voltage change at the battery head when I'm plugged in which leads me to believe the battery is not connected.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:35 PM   #4
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Wires seldom fail, connections do. Even the crimped, eye connector, could be bad.

Did you find a circuit breaker near the battery end of your wire, to the converter? Should be one. (Small black box, with lever ). All battery leads need protection.

That wire from the battery to the converter may go thru the disconnect switch, or 1 side of the boost solenoid (just as a junction point ),and then to a breaker.
Start at the battery look for the size wire, that ends at the converter.

If all looks good, look near any suspension parts, that may have cut or rubbed thru the wire.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthetic View Post
So my quest in finding the cause of my 12V loss inside the coach has landed me here:
- Battery is fine
- Converter is fine
- Disconnect switch is fine (it's ON and connecting)
The positive wire from the coach battery to the converter seems to be disconnected somewhere on its path (underneath the RV and then into the RV under the bed). These are some very hard to access wires.
What is the best way to tackle and find the disconnect? Anyone else ever go through this?
Is there a particular voltage tester that makes this easier? I'm going to have to poke holes into the wiring to find the disconnect I guess. RIGHT?
Could the cause be something else?
Synthetic
One of these can be extremely helpful: Cable Tracker
Mel
'96 Safari
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:00 PM   #6
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Somewhere in the circuit between the battery and the coach there should be a 250 to 300 amp fuse. The positive cable from the coach battery should be hooked to it very near the battery. May not be your problem but just a thought.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:04 PM   #7
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Wires seldom fail, connections do. Even the crimped, eye connector, could be bad.

Did you find a circuit breaker near the battery end of your wire, to the converter? Should be one. (Small black box, with lever ). All battery leads need protection.

That wire from the battery to the converter may go thru the disconnect switch, or 1 side of the boost solenoid (just as a junction point ),and then to a breaker.
Start at the battery look for the size wire, that ends at the converter.

If all looks good, look near any suspension parts, that may have cut or rubbed thru the wire.
I did find the small circuit breaker and tested it. Works fine when it's between battery I brought into the coach and the converter. I attached the battery directly to it (with jumper cables).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
Synthetic
One of these can be extremely helpful: Cable Tracker
Mel
'96 Safari
Thanks Mel. Aren't these strictly for AC circuits? I've been searching for a no-contact DC tester but I don't think one exists. Only for AC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabrooks View Post
Somewhere in the circuit between the battery and the coach there should be a 250 to 300 amp fuse. The positive cable from the coach battery should be hooked to it very near the battery. May not be your problem but just a thought.
This is the first time I hear about a 250-300AMP fuse between the battery and the converter.

I've looked very closely at the wire from the battery all the way to where it enters the coach. Found nothing other than wires. I'm surprised by the lack of a visible fuse or breaker box or solenoid myself. The manual for the RV does not indicate the existence of such a thing either.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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At this point, instead of testing the wiring underneath the RV, am I not better off just running a single cable from the battery to the converter? The wires are heavily mashed together and covered with all sorts of piping/tape.

What wire should I use if I go this route?
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Synthetic View Post
So my quest in finding the cause of my 12V loss inside the coach has landed me here:

- Battery is fine
- Converter is fine
- Disconnect switch is fine (it's ON and connecting)


The positive wire from the coach battery to the converter seems to be disconnected somewhere on its path (underneath the RV and then into the RV under the bed). These are some very hard to access wires.

What is the best way to tackle and find the disconnect? Anyone else ever go through this?

Is there a particular voltage tester that makes this easier? I'm going to have to poke holes into the wiring to find the disconnect I guess. RIGHT?

Could the cause be something else?
Although these coaches are similar in design, if you are asking for assistance on a problem, it would be very helpful to go into your signature and add your make, model year etc. the more information, the better.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:54 PM   #10
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IF lights work with CONVERTER plugged in then the converter is likely working

IF they do not, Then not (Epically after the test you ran)

IF lights work with CHARGED batteries connected,,Then they are good
Since they do not the problem is between batteries and power panel (Fuse block)

Possible Suspects are fuses, breakers bad connections (Often at the battery or the ground end of the negative cable (Chassis end) or the actual disconnect device.

on my rig it was the control switch for the disconnect.

If you are in S.E. Georgia (In/Near McIntosh County) I can assist.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:44 PM   #11
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Thanks Mel. Aren't these strictly for AC circuits? I've been searching for a no-contact DC tester but I don't think one exists. Only for AC.
Synthetic
No.
They are: "designed for use with telephone lines, alarm cables, computer cables, intercom lines, speaker wires, and thermostat wiring"...but they also work on RV wires and cables, (both AC and DC).
Mel
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:04 PM   #12
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I did find the small circuit breaker and tested it. Works fine when it's between battery I brought into the coach and the converter. I attached the battery directly to it (with jumper cables).



Thanks Mel. Aren't these strictly for AC circuits? I've been searching for a no-contact DC tester but I don't think one exists. Only for AC.





This is the first time I hear about a 250-300AMP fuse between the battery and the converter.

I've looked very closely at the wire from the battery all the way to where it enters the coach. Found nothing other than wires. I'm surprised by the lack of a visible fuse or breaker box or solenoid myself. The manual for the RV does not indicate the existence of such a thing either.
They inject a signal into the cable and that is what is detected.
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