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Old 06-21-2022, 04:38 PM   #1
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Battery connections

I have a 1988 Fleetwood Southwind that I have been restoring for the past year and I am now working on the battery connections. It looks like whoever owned it before me made a real mess of these connections, as everything seems to be tied to one battery. As I understand it, there is supposed to be one main battery and two aux. batteries. I have created a crude drawing of exactly how things are positioned under the hood and how the main cables are wired. If anyone could help out with how the cables are supposed to be run, it would be greatly appreciated.
The two aux batteries that came with it are 12v BTW. It also has a 454 engine.
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Old 06-21-2022, 05:16 PM   #2
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You have to figure out where the cables are going before you can hook them up. First find all your negative cables . They can all be connected to a common point on the frame and then the negative battery cables can go to the same point.
For the chassis battery you may have the following cables : starter cable, boost solenoid cable, chassis power cable, charging cable from converter.
For the house batteries you may have : generator cable , house power cable, boost solenoid cable, converter charging cable.
If you have power levelling jacks, they normally connect to the chassis battery , but can be connected to the house battery.
Many times, the cables may be connected at some other point in the coach , so they will not always appear at the battery box.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:26 PM   #3
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From your diagram it looks like two of the batteries are not hooked up at all. Assuming your "auxiliary" batteries are close, probably next, to each other these are probably your "house" or "coach" batteries. (House and coach terms are used interchangeably and mean the same thing, the batteries that run pretty much everything except the chassis and probably the electric step if you have one. The chassis or starting battery should be somewhat isolated from the other two, although not completely. Your two auxiliary batteries should have short cables going from the positive to the positive and the negative to the negative posts. Any cables leaving these two batteries should be on different batteries. In other words your house batteries should have the positive connections on one battery and the negative connections on the other battery. This makes the batteries look like one double sized battery. I will work with both positive and negative cables hooked to one battery but it won't use the batteries equally. You need to find out where the several positive cables go and anything that attaches to the starter or the alternator should be attached to one chassis battery. Probably all of the other connections should be connected to the house batteries as described above. This will be a time consuming job chasing these connections down but one it's done you will know your electrical system better than about 90% of RVer know theirs. Good luck. BTW you didn't say if you have a generator. If so it should be connected to the house batteries.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:56 PM   #4
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A couple of more things. What you are calling relays and isolator relays are in fact relays but one should probably hook the chassis batteries and the house batteries together if your "emergency start" button is pushed. One of the small wires on the emergency start relay should be hooked to a switch on the dash. This relay connects the chassis and the house batteries together in case the chassis battery becomes discharged. Of the other two relays one should likely connect the chassis alternator to the house batteries when the chassis battery is fully charged. This is so you can charge your house batteries when you're driving down the road. Hopefully someone will come along with a real wiring diagram. As I'm sure you're aware, a previous owner appears to have played fast and loose with the wiring on this coach so you really can't trust anything. Again, good luck.
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:18 PM   #5
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The attached may help.

I have a 1986 Fleetwood and I found this on a web site somewhere.

My RV directory on my hard disk is almost 9 gigs, and has 2,247 Files in 195 Folders

Mike
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AnotherMike View Post
The attached may help.

I have a 1986 Fleetwood and I found this on a web site somewhere.

My RV directory on my hard disk is almost 9 gigs, and has 2,247 Files in 195 Folders

Mike

This diagram shows that the "auxiliary" batteries are connected to make 24 volts instead of 12 volts. Make sure that your coach needs 24 volts otherwise things will not go well. Again, good luck.
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:53 PM   #7
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Yes, the "aux" (house) batteries are shown in series.

Fleetwood used GC2 batteries, each of which are 6 volts,
for a total of 12 volts.

Mike
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1985 Fleetwood 32' Southwind (Chev P30/454/TH400), dubbed "Lazarus" by friends... I resurrected it from the dead...
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:14 AM   #8
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The diagram I drew was exactly as the cables were connected, and in the exact spot where things are positioned under the hood. Also, everything I wrote in my diagram is how it is labeled under the hood. The 2 batteries seem to be separate from the other on the left, so I automatically assumed the two on the right were house batteries. However, according to my drawing, someone hooked everything up to the center battery and are not using the others. My assumption is that they just did this to get it moved since it was more than likely parked for many years. I can't say for sure, but my initial thought was that both house batteries might be hooked together in parallel. I also have an on board generator that is more than likely hooked into the battery system as well.
Yes this has turned into quite a project but like you said, by the time I'm done I'll know the systems better than most others, and that is my goal. I will know how things are put together, I will know what I have, and I will know right where to go if something needs fixed. Thanks for the input
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherMike View Post
The attached may help.

I have a 1986 Fleetwood and I found this on a web site somewhere.

My RV directory on my hard disk is almost 9 gigs, and has 2,247 Files in 195 Folders

Mike
I have found that diagram and made a copy of it. What has thrown me off with it, and what has prompted me to ask for advice here is the fact that this diagram shows a cable going directly from the battery to the starter. Also, the little isolator relay delay box that I drew in my diagram has an orange wire connected to the one solenoid, so I assume that is the isolator solenoid to separate the main battery from the house batteries.
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:59 PM   #10
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Batteries not hooked up right

I have a 1998 holiday rambler endeavor someone stole my batteries last night and I got new ones but don't know how to hook them up please helpe
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