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Old 10-19-2014, 08:59 PM   #1
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1985 Jamboree Rallye Electrical Question

Hello all, just used our 26 Rallye on the Ford E350 chasis this weekend for the first time. It was dry camping and it was amazing. I am going on 40 years old and have 4 kids we have been wanting something like this for almost 15 years and can finally enjoy it. So my question is this. We did dry camping for 1 overnight and used the lights off and on. When we got there everything seemed ok. The second day when we where ready to drive home it was dark and the kids wanted to play some games so they went to turn on the inside lights and it seems like only a few of them were working. The RV sat for 13 years before we bought it so I assumed maybe some wires were corroded. After driving for about 20 minutes one of the lights that we left on while trying them all to see which ones were working turned on, then another. We got home and didn't think about it anymore until this evening that I went to work on a couple other things and noticed that only 3 of the 12 lights inside would turn on. I took the house batter apart and cleaned all the terminals, the batter connectors, and the brass disconnect. That did nothing, so I connected the RV to 110 and voila! all the lights worked. I disconnected the 110v and the lights that were not working earlier are now working. Some are flickering a little and if I try to turn on more than 3 or 4 lights then one will turn off.

So what I am assuming is that after being out there for 24hrs or so the battery was drained a little and the lights that did work on the way home are the closest or the ones that the system is setup to allow to run on a low battery? As the batter charged on the drive home it allowed more lights to turn on. After sitting all night the batter drained a little more and that is why tonight I was not able to turn the lights on. After plugging them in to 110v something happened? What is that?

Also there are 3 lights that worked yesterday after camping for 1 day and also tonight. Its the overhead in the bedroom area, the 2 over the dinning area. Not the outside light or the one that turns on with the switch by the door.

The other idea I have is that there are multiple circuits for the lights and the one that runs the lights that are being a pain is having trouble, maybe corroded or loose? Any thoughts would be very helpful. I like knowing what is happening so that I can either fix it or be aware for next time. Thanks all, look forward to many more nights of camping and maybe even being helpful here to someone else.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:06 PM   #2
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You need a multimeter to test things out. Your '12 volt battery' should actually be about 12.6 v fully charged. If it drops to 12 v, it is approximately 50% depleted. To have some lights work and others not points to bad circuits, not a weak battery. If the battery was low, all the lights would be dim or out, not some. Find the 12 house fuse panel and pull and clean each fuse. Check voltages at the fuse panel and at the lights. Also check that ground wires are firmly attached. You might use a jumper wire firmly connected to a ground source and check each light by grounding with the jumper. If the lights then work, you know the (+) side is good, it's the ground side that needs to be re-done.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:10 PM   #3
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Thank you BFlinn, 12v fuse panel? There is the panel under the dash for the car itself. Then under the bed there is what I am thinking is the transformer with lots of 110v wires and a another 5-6 fuses bus fuses that look just like the fuses for the car. Would those be the 12volt fuses for the RV? Those are all good as far as I can see.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cessna1466u View Post
Thank you BFlinn, 12v fuse panel? There is the panel under the dash for the car itself. Then under the bed there is what I am thinking is the transformer with lots of 110v wires and a another 5-6 fuses bus fuses that look just like the fuses for the car. Would those be the 12volt fuses for the RV? Those are all good as far as I can see.
The 'transformer' is your Converter/charger. It converts 120 v AC to 12 v DC for house use and also charges your battery when plugged in to shore power. The fuses are the ones that protect and power all the 12 v house functions. Furnace, water heater, thermostat, refrigerator, lights, fans, water pump, etc. If the fuses aren't labeled, take some time and pull them one at a time and see what they control, then make a list. If all the fuses are good and contacts clean, it really points to bad ground wires.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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lights not workig

the lights that do not work are thay florescent tubes as aposed to regular bulbs? I am wondering if the lights that stopped working might be florescent and need higher voltage to work maby weak batteries
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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I think I found the problem! Thank you BFlinn and hometool. No they are not florescent bulbs, they are all 1176 bulbs. The problem I think was this. I opened up that panel as Bflinn suggested and there was a very old small piece of paper in there with writing that was hard to read but after a few tries I figured it out. It said, circuit 1 hall lights, reading lights and bedroom light. Circuit 2, loft lights, entry lights, outside lights. Circuit 3 furnace. Then something else that I cannot read. I tried to remove the fuse for circuit 1 since that was the one that gave me a problem and as soon as I touched it the lights flickered. I noticed that the the incoming wire from the transformer to the fuse was pushed in far enough to touch the fuse. That was not the problem itself, what was the problem was that they pushed the wire in far enough that they ended up screwing down the terminal through the protective jacket of the wire. It cut the jacket and made contact but not perfect contact. I cut the wire and stripped off about 1/2" and then re-insert it back into the fuse holder and screwed it down. The lights are now solid with no flicker. I turned on all the lights (16, 1176 bulbs) and nothing happened. None of them turned off and none of them flickered. I will have not way to know for sure this is the problem except for time and trial. Thank you both for the responses, I knew I would find answers here. I look forward to being able to help someone else here soon. Thanks
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:01 PM   #7
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hi, I just bought an 85 jamboree, trying to figure out this part as well. where is the 12 fuses located in the rv?
is it the one under the bed in the back of the rv, or the one by the driver side seat?
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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hi, I just bought an 85 jamboree, trying to figure out this part as well. where is the 12 fuses located in the rv?
is it the one under the bed in the back of the rv, or the one by the driver side seat?


Typically the fuse panel under the dashboard is for the driving functions (dash heater, lights, wipers, etc.) and is powered from the chassis battery. The fuse panel under the bed is powered by the house battery and converter/charger. That fuse panel powers the refrigerator, thermostat, furnace, water pump, etc. If everything is working, it's a good time to pull the fuses one by one and figure out what circuit each controls. Better now, in daylight, than the middle of the night.

To understand the general idea of how RVs are wired, you might want to read this:

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:08 PM   #9
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They are underneath the bed inside the converter. If you have any other questions feel free to ask I have gone through found many answers
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