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Old 04-30-2021, 04:17 PM   #1
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Trip Cancelled Due to Electrical

Hello fellow RVers....
Well I had a short lived trip today on my way to Gatlinburg and suddenly had an electrical issue in my coach and had to return home on limp mode. Now don't know if this is Monaco specific. I am not a great electrician by any means so excuse me for this long question....
For the issue itself. I was 15 minutes away from home and noticed immediately my Alt Chrg" and "Trans" lights lit up on the dash and then my review camera went out. Almost everything went out except the coach still running. The voltage on the dash dropped below 8 volts (New chassis Batteries). I limped in a parking lot. shut it down except the generator i had on to run my roof A/Cs. But on the inverter itself (Xantrex Model 2012), the system alert light was blinking red non-stop. Now all indications were the steady blinking lights was not covered in the inverter document. So I called the Xantrex reps. One told me that the steady blinking red light was a overcharge in system and only way to reset it is to disconnect the chassis battery for about 30 minutes. I have done that. Powered back on the inverter is steady green again. I went ahead and replaced the chassis batteries because i drained them to 9.6 volts. Coach fired right up. inverter stayed green. I even checked the input DC 13.64v and output A/C voltage on the inverter and it was 120 vac.

Sorry for the long discussion but it ruined my weekend and now i am afraid to move on again so i am parked back home untill i can get a better idea what happened and if the inverter is bad or what......Would anyone on here have any insight and recommendations what to do. I plan on a trip to florida memorial weekend and kind of gun shy now.....
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX7NOROTOR View Post
Hello fellow RVers....
Well I had a short lived trip today on my way to Gatlinburg and suddenly had an electrical issue in my coach and had to return home on limp mode. Now don't know if this is Monaco specific. I am not a great electrician by any means so excuse me for this long question....
For the issue itself. I was 15 minutes away from home and noticed immediately my Alt Chrg" and "Trans" lights lit up on the dash and then my review camera went out. Almost everything went out except the coach still running. The voltage on the dash dropped below 8 volts (New chassis Batteries). I limped in a parking lot. shut it down except the generator i had on to run my roof A/Cs. But on the inverter itself (Xantrex Model 2012), the system alert light was blinking red non-stop. Now all indications were the steady blinking lights was not covered in the inverter document. So I called the Xantrex reps. One told me that the steady blinking red light was a overcharge in system and only way to reset it is to disconnect the chassis battery for about 30 minutes. I have done that. Powered back on the inverter is steady green again. I went ahead and replaced the chassis batteries because i drained them to 9.6 volts. Coach fired right up. inverter stayed green. I even checked the input DC 13.64v and output A/C voltage on the inverter and it was 120 vac.

Sorry for the long discussion but it ruined my weekend and now i am afraid to move on again so i am parked back home untill i can get a better idea what happened and if the inverter is bad or what......Would anyone on here have any insight and recommendations what to do. I plan on a trip to florida memorial weekend and kind of gun shy now.....
Almost sounds like you have 2 issues maybe. Are you good with a volt meter? Was the 13.64 while the coach was running? Where did you have your voltmeter to determine that? On the chassis battery? Even with a bad chassis battery, the alternator would keep things running until you shut if off unless it has an issue.
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:44 PM   #3
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Hi RX7NOROTOR; It always happens when you just get going and that sucks! Very interesting sequence of problems. It does sound like you might have had a low voltage issue. Since the Alt Chrg. light came on it would have been interesting to throw a volt meter on the chassis batteries to see what was happening. Did you have the inverter on when driving? To me that should not have affected the chassis batteries. As far as I know the 12V charging system does not go thru the inverter. If the generator was running that would be in play for charging thru the inverter.

If it were me I would go out locally and drive the coach around. Watch the volt gauge on the dash and see what it does. Put some loads like headlights and dash heater fan to see if the alternator is doing its job. You also could do this in the driveway for some load testing. I don't have my inverter on when traveling so do not know weather that played into any thing.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Let us know what you find and hope you can make your trip. Good luck! Note; reread your post again and see you had the gen. running for the roof A/C's and that means charging thru the inverter. My 01 Windsor has a Battery Cut Out Relay for when the gen. is running or pugged into shore power and that, I think, interrupts the charging from the alternator. Now that statement I am not 100% sure of, but you might check to see if you have the relay I mentioned!
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:52 PM   #4
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Am I correct that all of your electrical issues were limited to the coach?
The vehicle electrical system was unaffected?

Now that you know a workaround, you shouldn't be apprehensive about getting back on the road. You can always shut down the inverter and run the genny, just like the old days.
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:23 PM   #5
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Need to sort it one system at a time.

Voltmeter across engine batteries without engine running,____________
With engine running,____________
Voltage across coach batteries without engine running _____________
With engine running _____________


Engine off, shoreline OR Generator running, voltage across house batteries.________
Voltage across chassis batteries.________

With these measurements things should sort quickly. It sounds like you chassis battery crashed and your alternator did not nor could not keep up.

Or your alternator is not working and your battery just went flat giving you all kinds of problems and symptoms.
Your generator should have brought things online IF you pressed the aux start button with it running and kept the button pushed. Certain models do the combining without pushing a button but many out there are broken.

I think you should be able to sort this out quickly with those measurements.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:51 PM   #6
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Need to sort it one system at a time.

Voltmeter across engine batteries without engine running,____________
With engine running,____________
Voltage across coach batteries without engine running _____________
With engine running _____________


Engine off, shoreline OR Generator running, voltage across house batteries.________
Voltage across chassis batteries.________

With these measurements things should sort quickly. It sounds like you chassis battery crashed and your alternator did not nor could not keep up.

Or your alternator is not working and your battery just went flat giving you all kinds of problems and symptoms.
Your generator should have brought things online IF you pressed the aux start button with it running and kept the button pushed. Certain models do the combining without pushing a button but many out there are broken.

I think you should be able to sort this out quickly with those measurements.
Let me get on this in the morning. It would be nice to know what appliances the inverter power without the generator running
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:00 PM   #7
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Did you have the removed chassis batteries load tested ?

A chassis battery with an internal short , could cause ALL sorts of system issues!
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:02 AM   #8
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I would check out all the systems before putting a load on the batteries with the inverter.

You can find what devices run on inverter at any time.

If you have a battery charging issue and hammer them with a heavy load you may have more crazy symptoms that do not add up for you.

The batteries and charging are the heart of the RV. Without a good solid source of power most things will act like a pc when the power slumps and the screen goes blue.

You air conditioners require 12 volts to run their circuit boards for example. Often you refer needs a good source even when on propane.

You get the idea.

Based on your comment is this a new rv to you?
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:11 AM   #9
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Okay update and thanks everyone for input....I checked voltages across batteries with engine off and on and found something that might be the issue. With engine off the chassis batteries are at 12.64 volts. With engine on the chassis batteries went down to 12.48 volts. Now shouldn't the alternator boost the volts over 13 volts? I went ahead and put some things under load. turned front A/C on, lights on, wipers on and the voltage started to drop. So I am not a expert in electricity but i do know the alternator should be holding the battery charge. I assume what happened was that before i left had the coach running for about 20 minutes with the front A/C and radio. And from it sitting for a week i believe the chassis batteries were too low to recover and dropped so low it shut down my coach.....That is just what is observed from my perspective.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:15 AM   #10
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Yes, you need to diagnose the charging system-- alternator and battery isolator as well as wiring to them.


Bad battery isolator (depending on what type of isolator you have) and bad alternator can give the same low voltage symptoms.


But, an easy work around if this ever happens again:


With generator running, the inverter/charger charges the house bank.


If you turn on your BOOST/COMBINE SWITCH, the chassis battery will be charged by the inverter/ charger as well.



If your boost/combine switch is only a momentary switch (i.e. you have to hold it for it to work, you will need to move ONE WIRE from one side of the boost solenoid and add it to the other. This joining could also be done at the battery isolator.


This would allow you to drive cross country with no issues as long as the generator is running. Certainly no need to cancel a short trip.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:46 AM   #11
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Yes, you need to diagnose the charging system-- alternator and battery isolator as well as wiring to them.


Bad battery isolator (depending on what type of isolator you have) and bad alternator can give the same low voltage symptoms.


But, an easy work around if this ever happens again:


With generator running, the inverter/charger charges the house bank.


If you turn on your BOOST/COMBINE SWITCH, the chassis battery will be charged by the inverter/ charger as well.



If your boost/combine switch is only a momentary switch (i.e. you have to hold it for it to work, you will need to move ONE WIRE from one side of the boost solenoid and add it to the other. This joining could also be done at the battery isolator.


This would allow you to drive cross country with no issues as long as the generator is running. Certainly no need to cancel a short trip.
I hear you on that. Well to put it short and simple, when all this happened on the road and limping to a parking lot, i did have the generator running because i was running the roof A/C units for inside cooling. And that did not help out my travels at all. I did just replaced the battery isolator over a week ago because i was not getting 12 volts inside the coach. And what else is strange the Invertor control panel inside the coach, the DC meter is blanked out.....But the A/C meter is running. Could this be related?
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:50 AM   #12
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Sounds like a failing alternator put the load of running the chassis and charging the coach on the inverter/charger. Inverter/charger said no and shut down.

Check alternator output with generator off. And verify that the coach and chassis batts are isolated. The xantrex instructions are confusing. Why would disconnecting the chassis batts reset an inverter/charger presumably connected to the coach batts?
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:57 AM   #13
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I would suggest checking the voltages at the battery isolator. You have two (or more) sources of charge current first being the engine alternator, and the second being the converter (perhaps inverter\charger) in any case if neither are charging the 12v system then the likelihood would be something in common to both systems... which leads back to the battery isolator that you recently replaced. Do you know if it was working (charging) prior to the replacement? ~Craig
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:05 AM   #14
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I hear you on that. Well to put it short and simple, when all this happened on the road and limping to a parking lot, i did have the generator running because i was running the roof A/C units for inside cooling. And that did not help out my travels at all. I did just replaced the battery isolator over a week ago because i was not getting 12 volts inside the coach. And what else is strange the Invertor control panel inside the coach, the DC meter is blanked out.....But the A/C meter is running. Could this be related?

But (actually LARGE BUT) did you have your battery boost/battery switch ON? Again, the generator powering the inverter charger to charge the house bank is NOT connected to the chassis battery unless you do something to connect them (combine switch or manually moved wire).
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