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Old 09-01-2018, 11:33 AM   #1
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Newbie needs advice

We recently bought a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 4025 on a Spartan chassis with a Cummings engine and generator. Currently trying to understand how things work (or perhaps don't work). When we brought it home we put the motorhome in it's storage garage and went through the steps the previous owner showed us. When we went back to get the motorhome it started and drove. Brought it home to load and that's when the fun started. Turned on the generator and a/c (it was HOT here) and proceeded to clean and load. Had to go to town so simply turned off the a/c and generator and the "store" switch on the "dash" over the passenger windshield. Came back in about three hours and couldn't start the gen or the chassis motor, not even using the switch that brings the house batteries on line. Used a battery charger to charge the chassis batteries and it started next morning. Turned off the "big" switch in the battery compartment when we shut down for the night . Next day gen started just fine, turned on a/c (still HOT here). About mid afternoon the gen quit, checked fuel and oil, both good. Tried to start the motorhome engine, again no starter power. Plugged the motorhome into house power (115a/c) and left it overnight thinking it would charge the batteries. This morning no start, engine or gen. Monitor panel over the passenger side windshield shows batteries good, interior d/c lights work, elec drivers seat works. Hooked up battery charger on the chassis batteries. After about 4 hours coach started, gen started. any suggestions/information will be very much appreciated.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:38 PM   #2
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Not Starting!

I have the same Rig. Check the ground wires off the batteries.to the starter. The same thing happen to us about four years ago. Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:39 PM   #3
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Have you checked the batteries and connections? You might also want to have a load test done on them to make sure they are okay.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:25 PM   #4
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I strongly second the suggestion to check all battery and particularly ground connections for looseness and/or good contact. And as coaches age, it's the ground connections that go bad -- particularly if this coach spent time in areas of the country where they salt the roads in winter. Salt rusts things like crazy on the undercarriage -- and one of the first things to go are your various chassis grounds.

Just earlier this year I couldn't start the generator in our Chinook -- even though the batteries were good. Heck, I couldn't even start it when plugged in. In my case it turned out to be several "bad" 15+ year old battery cable lug connections plus TWO chassis ground wires dangling. Their self-taping screw heads had completely rusted off and the ground lugs fell off the chassis.

After re-attaching, the generator now roars to life every time. Go figure.

The battery meter can show a full charge, but when you put a load on things, (such as starting) any less than perfect connection won't pass enough current to get the job done.

Of course, this is assuming your batteries really are good. Bad batteries can fool you.

Also, is your inverter on? If your inverter is on, it's using power even if nothing is on. Make sure it's OFF until or unless you need it.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:33 PM   #5
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A couple of things. Stop turning the storage switches on and off. They're for when you store it for long periods of time, not overnight use. The "store" switch inside typically goes to a large solenoid that turns everything on and off. The large battery switches are also known to have issues that when they haven't been used in awhile they fall apart internally.

My guess, from what information you're giving is one of two things....first is the solenoid associated with the "store" switch which turns on all 12 volt electrical somehow reset overnight. I don't know where the solenoid is in your particular coach. Many are in what is called the "run bay", the outside bay under the driver's window. The easiest way to test the solenoid, is to use a large jumper wire between the two large terminals on the solenoid. If everything works when you jump across the terminals, the solenoid is bad.

Second, you have a bad engine battery(s) that are only staying alive for a short time after you charge them.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:41 PM   #6
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Hi Bahcml,
1. As posted earlier charge the chassis batteries and load test them. A tester (130 AMP minimum) can be purchased at any auto parts store. It is a tool one should have in their kit bag. Your engine will start (once) on one battery. A dead chassis battery can drive you nuts. The batteries must be isolated from each other and the coach before load testing.

2. The gage inside the coach measures the coach batteries not the chassis batteries. They can measure good on voltage but be worn out and have no AMPS. Charge the coach batteries and load test them. They will need to be isolated from each other and the coach.

3. Do not keep turning the store switch on and off. The hardest thing electrical appliances do is boot up.

4. When the generator quit, how much fuel is in the tank? The generator will draw fuel down to 1/4 tank then quit.

Get the batteries charged and load tested before doing anything else.
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:08 PM   #7
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I can only guess, but it sounds like your batteries are gone or at least close. If you have a volt meter you could check the voltage of each one, independently. It is suggested that when one battery goes, they should all be replaced. I use 6v batteries connected in Series/Parallel.
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:28 PM   #8
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Ditto, sounds like both chassis and house batteries are bad.
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