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Old 10-06-2017, 10:55 AM   #1
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Unhappy Lights Out!

I am new to RV and this forum so I definitely appreciate the opportunity to learn from Y'all. I recently purchased a 1999 Ultimate Advantage and it has been running great for the year I have owned it. I was stranded yesterday on the way home from an 800 mile trip. One of the two chassis (starts the motor) batteries died and the motor home dash dummy lights came on. I pulled over and shut the RV down, checked the batteries and I had to replace a dead battery... it started back up and got us home. After getting home and shutting down the motor home the 12vdc lights in the cabin will not come on. I can not start the generator from any of the three switches. And even when I plug into a 20 amp commercial power circuit the lights will not come on. Additionally the fridge will not turn on either and the Main System Monitor Panel will not light up. The Freedom Heart Interface Inverter Remote Panel lights up with the power switch turned on showing AC INPUT and INV/CHG status lights lit up, the DC Voltage is showing 13.0, and DC Amps showing <10 but the Main System Monitor Panel will not show any status lights.


I have checked all the DC circuit breakers in the bathroom cabinet, all the AC circuit breakers in the bedroom breaker box, the INPUT 20Amp and the INV/CHG 30 Amp circuit breakers on the Freedom 15 INV/CHG in the battery compartment

and all the DC automotive fuses in the front above the generator. None show to be tripped or blown. I can start the motor home with out a problem but still no power to the cabin or the generator start switches.

Am I missing something I can check? I have pulled up the wiring schematic but got lost. Is there another circuit breaker or fuse I am missing? It seems or feels like something has tripped... I also disconnected the three cabin batteries and checked them when I replaced the dead battery before I got home. Could this have affected the inverter? Is there a fuse or something in the inverter that would prevent voltage to the DC circuit?

Sorry for the lengthy post... any help or direction would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:06 AM   #2
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Do you have a battery disconnect switch near the entrance? It sounds like your house batteries aren't hooked up. There also most likely a large amp circuit breaker or fuse in the house batteries and the disconnect solenoid that may be tripped. Using a test light or meter I'd check each step possible between the batteries and the house fuse panel.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for the prompt response BFlinn181... I have looked everywhere I can for some kind of a disconnect or "master" fuse or breaker to no avail. I will look deeper though. I'm not sure what or where the disconnect solenoid is but I will definitely research that...
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:58 AM   #4
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Lights out

Check circuit breaker I
On your inverter. Toggle it back and fotth and reset. Good luck. Rkl
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKL View Post
Check circuit breaker I
On your inverter. Toggle it back and fotth and reset. Good luck. Rkl
The OP said he checked the breakers on his inverter/charger. Also, a tripped breaker on the inverter/charger (or converter/charger) wouldn't cut off all 12v power to the RV, it would continue to be powered by the house batteries until the discharge.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:38 PM   #6
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What are the voltages on the house batteries?

It sounds as if they may be flat. If so, some inverter/chargers will refuse to recharge them. In that case, you'd need to put a separate battery charger on them for long enough to get the voltage up over the floor for the inverter/charger.

The next step after that would be to check if you reconnected the chassis-to-house battery charging system back up when you replaced the chassis battery, or if that system is faulty. That system would have charged the house batteries as you were driving, but didn't. A simple test would be- if you have one- to start the engine and activate the "boost" switch, then try and start the generator (this assumes the generator starts off the house batteries- not all may).

It could be as simple as a cable on the chassis or house batteries that didn't get reconnected, or is loose.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reply's! I have verified the battery connections are correct. I have verified the voltage on the house batteries at 13.4 vdc. I do have an aux bat switch on the dash but it has no effect when I toggle it. I do wonder if the switch has gone bad though, and if I can figure out how to check it without pulling the dash out. I have researched online electrical drawings but can't find a battery disconnect or master fuse coming from the batteries to the house. In my reasoning I would think the batteries get charged from the INV/CHG and the batteries output 12vdc to the coach lights, switches, etc. through the 12vdc circuit breaker panel in the coach. Because my house batteries are holding a charge I would think there has to be some disconnect between the batteries and the 12vdc circuit breaker panel that has no voltage. I'm so confused.... I will continue to dig and if all else fails I will take it in. either way I will update what the problem and fix was when I get there....
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:55 AM   #8
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There is a master battery disconnect switch on your Ultimate. It is likely not labeled "House Batteries" but it does disconnect only the house bank. It will be inside the coach rather than at the batteries. On my 03 it is located on the control panel by the entry door.

Beyond that, I know you said you checked, but I still would be looking for something not properly connected when the batteries were swapped out.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:47 AM   #9
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In this simplified 12v House wiring diagram, you'll see that there are two paths to the DC fuse panel. One goes through a circuit breaker and battery disconnect solenoid, the other path goes from the inverter/charger to the fuse panel.

You've said you have house 12v when on shore power, none when on battery only. You also said the battery is charged. This would happen if the breaker in the line from the battery or the disconnect solenoid were off. A disconnected cable in the first path from the battery to fuse panel would also be a possibility. The fact that the fuse panel is powered when inverter/charger is on, and the battery seems to be fully charged points to the second circuit, is connected.

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Old 10-09-2017, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for the schematic BFlinn181! That is how I thought it should be wired but was unable to locate the disconnect or circuit breaker in the manufacturer wiring diagrams. I may have mis-stated the DC service when hooked to shore power. I show DC Voltage and Current status on the "Freedom Heart Interface Inverter Remote Panel", but I still do not get DC voltage to the DC circuit breaker inside the motorhome in any case. I believe I recognized the disconnect solenoid as pictured under the hood in the front next to the fuse panel. I will check the voltage to and from it today... thanks again for your advise and help!!
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:23 PM   #11
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similar problem

I have a similar problem, if I can inject into this thread. But I didn't change any batteries, only switched all my lights to LED. My lights, inverter, and generator only work when I plug in. When unplugged my house switch goes off and nothing works, no lights, inverter or generator. If I press and release the house switch (near the door), it glows for a 1/2 second and fades to off. If I press and hold the switch, everything works. Using the schematic above, bflinn181. I have power all the way through to the battery disconnect. My disconnect is in the propane bay. I opened the fuse panel but can only move it 6". In the Winnie schematic for the box (see attached), I see a relay battery disconnect coach (on right side of drawing. Is this the disconnect you're talking about? If so, it'll be a real pain to check. Thanks
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ht4cae View Post
I have a similar problem, if I can inject into this thread. But I didn't change any batteries, only switched all my lights to LED. My lights, inverter, and generator only work when I plug in. When unplugged my house switch goes off and nothing works, no lights, inverter or generator. If I press and release the house switch (near the door), it glows for a 1/2 second and fades to off. If I press and hold the switch, everything works. Using the schematic above, bflinn181. I have power all the way through to the battery disconnect. My disconnect is in the propane bay. I opened the fuse panel but can only move it 6". In the Winnie schematic for the box (see attached), I see a relay battery disconnect coach (on right side of drawing. Is this the disconnect you're talking about? If so, it'll be a real pain to check. Thanks
On the solenoid circled, if you disconnect one of the large gauge wires on one side of the barrel, and connect it to the opposite large terminal, you'll bridge the solenoid contacts and eliminate the solenoid from the circuit. If you now have House power from the battery when no shore power or generator running, you know your solenoid is bad. Replacements on Amazon and most any RV parts places. If you post someone at the solenoid when pushing the disconnect button at the entrance, even if you hear clicking, it would mean the solenoid coil is good but the contacts fail to close. No repair, just replace.
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:22 PM   #13
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I'll give it a shot and let you know. Thanks for the quick response. We're trying to leave next weekend.
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:59 PM   #14
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It appears to be solenoid

I unplugged the power cable and disconnected the batteries for safety. I used a jumper cable to connect the terminals together. When I reconnected the batteries, I got lights. Just for grins, I conducted the test twice. I ordered the Intellitec battery disconnect relay (0100055000) from Amazon for $57 prime. It'll be here Tuesday. So we'll see if that does the trick. Thanks again for the help.
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