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Old 08-24-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
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1997 Bounder refrigerator 12v power source problem

Can anybody tell me where the 12v to power the refrigerator (when I am operating on gas) is supposed to come from. I loaned my 1997 Bounder 30M to a friend and they say that the refrigerator will not run on the coach batteries. They are telling me that the main (engine) battery disconnect has to be on for the refrig to operate. I thought the refrig should operate off the coach batteries.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:50 PM   #2
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I agree with you. Welcome to irv2.

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Old 08-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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Not only the refrigerator, but the water pump, interior lights, thermostat heater fan all on coach batteries. Check in the fuse panel for house power. I don't understand why turning off and on the chassis battery would make a difference.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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I want them to turn off the engine battery because it keeps getting drained but they say that the refrig won't work when they try to operate only on the house battery. Thanks for your help. It sounds like something must be wrong in the wiring.

David
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:33 AM   #5
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If indeed turning off the chassis battery cuts out the fridge, somebody has rewired something.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:42 AM   #6
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Agree with other posters, 12v for fridge controls should come from the house batteries so something does not seem right if the fridge does not work when you disconnect the chassis battery.

But you say your chassis battery discharges when you are stopped so you want to disconnect it. Does this also happen when you have 120v supplied to the coach?

Does your alternator charge your house batteries?

Suggest you investigate a bit further.

Good luck.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdpowell View Post
I want them to turn off the engine battery because it keeps getting drained but they say that the refrig won't work when they try to operate only on the house battery. Thanks for your help. It sounds like something must be wrong in the wiring.

David
I assume you've had this coach long enough to know the fridge works with the chassis battery disconnected. If so, then I would have to say they are getting the 2 disconnects confused.

If you are not sure, it is certainly possble a previous owner with some misguided thinking re-wired the fridge that way. I can see no way that something just happened in the wiring to cause this, with one really strange exception.

The coach battery(s) are dead and the chassis and coach batts are tied together somehow (aux start/boost switch engaged, or solenoid frozen closed)

This is how I would have them test, if you haven't yet. Chassis disconnected, coach on. There should be power at the fridge, I assume there is a panel which tells you this via an off/on switch on the fridge or at least a light in the fridge with door open. If nothing, now check any interior lights or run some water. If you have lights and the pump runs, the coach batts are ok.

If it then works with the chassis connected, then someone has wired it that way and mostly likely why your chassis batt has been going dead.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdpowell View Post
I want them to turn off the engine battery because it keeps getting drained but they say that the refrig won't work when they try to operate only on the house battery. Thanks for your help. It sounds like something must be wrong in the wiring.

David
It would appear that all those replying here do not know how the '97 Bounder is wired. The reason the refer will not operate on "just the house batteries" is that the LP leak detector is, most likely, only wired to the chassis battery that also controls a solenoid that shuts off the LP if power is lost/removed. The chassis battery must remain connected.

The BCC actually has fuses installed (F-5 from the chassis-batt and fuse F15 from the house batt) for feeding the LP detector, but Fleetwood did not always connect both of them, so most detectors only get power from the chassis battery. Check it out.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:38 AM   #9
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I thought about the LP solenoid but wondered how the RV user would know the fridge was not cooling. I figured they noticed interior light out or display blank.
How fast does the chassis battery discharge? With a multimeter it shouldn't be too hard to pull fuses one by one to find major power draw if battery dies quickly. If it's slow, it becomes harder because of all the normal parasitic draws from ECU, radio, clock, etc.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
I thought about the LP solenoid but wondered how the RV user would know the fridge was not cooling. I figured they noticed interior light out or display blank.
How fast does the chassis battery discharge? With a multimeter it shouldn't be too hard to pull fuses one by one to find major power draw if battery dies quickly. If it's slow, it becomes harder because of all the normal parasitic draws from ECU, radio, clock, etc.
The lack of operation would be readily noticeable as the fault light would come on with NO ignition of the gas.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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It would appear that all those replying here do not know how the '97 Bounder is wired. The reason the refer will not operate on "just the house batteries" is that the LP leak detector is, most likely, only wired to the chassis battery that also controls a solenoid that shuts off the LP if power is lost/removed. The chassis battery must remain connected.

The BCC actually has fuses installed (F-5 from the chassis-batt and fuse F15 from the house batt) for feeding the LP detector, but Fleetwood did not always connect both of them, so most detectors only get power from the chassis battery. Check it out.
Finally made it back to civilization. Here is what I found.

Lou is correct. The LP detector is the culprit. There are 3 wires going to the detector, a hot from the chassis battery (red), a hot from the coach battery (red with tracer) and the third from what i believe is the ITS (yellow). 2 wires, the one from the ITS? and the one from the chassis battery were connected to the detector. I switched out the chassis hot for the coach hot and it fixed it. The refrig now runs on the coach battery and i can turn off the chassis battery.

There must be an interconnect from the LP detector that sends power to the refrigerator but detector only has 2 wires, a wire for a hot feed and another that must send power to the LP solenoid which my guess is that the power for the refrig comes off the solenoid.

Thanks to everybody for your input. this is such a great resource for a newbie like me.

David
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