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Old 05-03-2021, 07:53 AM   #1
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D/C disconnect switch doesn't work unless motor is running

Hello

I posted this in the Tiffin owners form but didn't get much help. I think most of those guys are diesel owners. I am hoping you Ford F53 folks can help.

I just purchased a 2012 Allegro 34TGA on a Ford chassis. The RV is really nice and I am learning about it. I have one issue that I can not figure out. When the RV has been sitting for a day or two and I turn on the 12 volt disconnect switch nothing happens.

The previous owner told me you have to run the engine which I have done and after a about 10 minutes the 12v lights come on. Once The lights come on the motor can be shut off and if I turn the disconnect off and back on the lights work. This seems very odd and not right. I checked the batteries and and they seem fine. If I turn on the generator everything works too. I can turn the generator off and all the 12V stuff works. Everything seems to work ok when I am on 110 a/c power.

I called Tiffin and they said it was probably a bad relay and emailed me a picture and where to find it. They said it was in the compartment just behind the entry door. I looked where they said it should be but it is not there. I crawled all over and under the RV and can not find it. Does anyone know where it is.

I also notice that I think I hear a click when I turn the disconnect switch on. It sound like it is coming from either the dash area or the front motor area.
Is there some sort of relay that is failing. I am baffled by this.

Does the RV have to run before the 12V will activate. I have had other RVs and that was never the case.

Thank you
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:10 AM   #2
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"Does the RV have to run before the 12V will activate. I have had other RVs and that was never the case."

Normally the relay should operate without the engine "on". The solenoid that operates the relay may be weak. If so, starting the engine may raise the voltage a couple of volts and allow it to work.

Measure voltages to be sure. There are three voltage profiles for lead acid batteries. They are charging, discharging, and static. Static is when neither charging nor discharging for 3 or 4 hours. Measure voltage at the house battery terminals before switching anything "on".

Voltage above 11.4 volts or even less should operate the solenoid.
Fully charged batteries should have voltage above 12.7 volts.
With engine charging, voltage will be higher. Voltage should slowly rise to 13.6 or 14.4 volts.

Follow the "click" noise to find the suspect relay.

"after a about 10 minutes the 12v lights come on. Once The lights come on the motor can be shut off and if I turn the disconnect off and back on the lights work. This seems very odd and not right."

The behavior of the lights indicates the batteries are discharged. 10 minutes means the batteries are slowly charging. Discharged batteries may mean they are beyond their service life. Or, it may mean some appliance is still drawing power.

It could be an inverter or something else that is not wired through the house power shut off switch.

Note: You cannot charge lead acid batteries in 10 minutes. You may bring the voltage up, but it takes 14 to 18 hours using a high quality voltage regulated charger like the one in your RV to fully charge a lead acid battery.

Always store lead acid batteries fully charged. Recharge 14 hours before voltage drops below 12.4 volts.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:38 AM   #3
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You have dead batteries. To charge them will take many hours on a charger. Do what Paul suggests.
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help. I am hoping someone can tell me where I can fine the relay for the DC disconnect switch.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:41 AM   #5
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While we understand, suspect PO (and Tiffin?) gave bad advice, and U R wasting time on relays/ solenoids, as/if all works ONCE you get voltage to it by starting engine, and I agree with (Persistent), and strongly suspect your PROBLEM is bad/ dead battery/ies. However, I NOTE (to clarify) (re: statement on 12.4vdc= common voltage for an AGS to start a GEN)= Charge Status= 70%-80% (where 95-100%= 12.6vdc-12.7vdc) and (12.0-vdc-12.1-vdc= 50%charge) is loweest that you WANT Lead-Acid batteries to go to provide LONGEST life. HOPE this helps? P.S. MY COACH BATTERY LASTED 7-YRS, chassis lasted 10-yrs (2011-2021)
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by VC63 View Post
Thanks for the help. I am hoping someone can tell me where I can fine the relay for the DC disconnect switch.
Follow the "click" you hear when the switch does work.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:45 AM   #7
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I agree with the advice being given. I hope you provide update when you confirm fully charged the batteries, or have them replaced if necessary.

I wish to advance the question a tad bit as I actually have a similar issue that I just noticed. I only noticed because I just spent $500 on pure deep cycle AGM batteries so I have been watching to see how they worked over my FLA. Note: My FLA were ok ( 2 1/2 year old), but I just didn't want to do the water fills or dill with corrosion anymore plus I went to 250 ahs.

But here is what happen in my 2019 Winnebago 29VE

Coach Battery Switch = ON Everything works like normal

Coach Battery Switch turned to OFF =
- all circuits tied to the 12vDC panel shutdown immediately like normal
- But the Inverter still has power for 30 - 40 minutes? So for 30 minutes or so I can turn Inverter On/Off and everything downstream on Inverter's AC circuit works? Note: There is NO Shorepower and No generator running.

After the 30 mins or so, the Inverter and devices all lose power and properly shutdown as you can no longer turn the Inverter back on unless you turn the Coaches Battery Switch ON.

Winnebago could not explain why, rather they said the Inverter must hold a internal charge via capacitors until energy fully depleted?; but I spoke with Magnum Energy who says that is NOT true. In fact, they say that my CSW 1012 Inverter will automatically shut down at a low voltage limit and it is immediate.

How can this be possible? I have the wiring diagrams from Winnebago but they do not actually show a full view of the wiring from the Inverter all the way to the battery, so you are left not knowing where they go once hidden inside the looms.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VC63 View Post
Thanks for the help. I am hoping someone can tell me where I can fine the relay for the DC disconnect switch.
Since the 12V DC disconnect relay was supplied by the manufacturer of the motorhome and not Ford you need to ask in the Tiffin owners forum.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f106/
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:12 AM   #9
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Battery shut off devices

The inverter issue may be related to the OP's issue.

Inverters draw high current from the batteries to make 120 volt power. They are usually not wired through the 12 volt house fuse panel to the battery. They are wired directly through heavy cable.

Turning the house power switch near the door "off" rarely turns the inverter "off". Some other 12 volt appliances may also be "on". Most propane detectors stay "on". Some power management systems stay "on". This is not good for long term storage while disconnected from shore power.

Many owners install a second battery disconnect switch near the battery. Usually the inverter is connected to this switch. Turning it "off" usually disconnects all 12 volt charging and discharging. This is how you want to store your RV when off-the-grid.

Make sure you fully charge your battery bank 14 to 18 hours before disconnecting.

Your engine start battery has similar issues. Different chassis are wired differently, but a factory supplied 12 volt shut off may not disconnect all chassis 12 volt devices. Sometimes power to transmission controls or engine computer stay "on". Again, not good for long term storage.

Monitor battery terminal voltages until you know how long you can store before recharging. Recharge 14 hours before voltage drops below 12.4 volts.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Persistent View Post

Turning the house power switch near the door "off" rarely turns the inverter "off". Some other 12 volt appliances may also be "on". Most propane detectors stay "on". Some power management systems stay "on". This is not good for long term storage while disconnected from shore power.
This is where I struggle, because thus far I am seeing or only getting feedback for the opposite? I have been on Winnebago sites and Thor sites and thus far everyone is saying Inverter shuts off when the Battery disconnect is turned off. I did find on this site a thread about 4 years ago where some Newmar owners all came to a conclusion that their coaches back then did not turn off.

In my specific case, I have learned that it does turn off but only after a 30 minute delay Further, given that the 30 minutes has passed you cannot turn it back as long as the Coach Battery Switch remains off.

I have spoken with 3 Winnebago Care Reps and they all say definitively that the switch is suppose to Shut off inverter, but they have no explanation for why it takes 30 minutes. They say there is no time based relay or similar. It is direct to the battery and does goes through at least a 150 amp fuse but that is all that I can verify visually and based on drawings they provide to customers.

Winnebago has asked that next time the coach is at a Dealer they want it reviewed to identify the problem as this is brand new coach, nothing was changed as I am original owner.

Oddly while it may not be working as Winnebago expects, now that I know it really does shut off; but take 30 - 40 minutes, I may actually like that better ? All things from 12vDC panel shut off IMMEDIATELY with the Coach ON/OFF switch, but the Inverter still has Input power (for 30 minutes)

Magnum Energy insist that there is no capacity inside the Inverter to hold a charge. They say my model has low voltage cutoff limit so when voltage get lows it shuts down immediately with error code.

I am up for any corrections or ideas.
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Old 05-06-2021, 10:49 PM   #11
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re: "Turning the house power switch near the door "off" rarely turns the inverter "off". Some other 12 volt appliances may also be "on". Most propane detectors stay "on". Some power management systems stay "on". This is not good for long term storage while disconnected from shore power."

Yeah, have read owners state that before, but seems rather stupid in Engineering design, as turning off Battery power-=Off, LP Detector=OFF= LP Solendoid OFF (when equipped)/ Energy panels OFF (NO AGS when in storage) leaves NO REASON to have ANYTHING Bypass the dosconnect???... or is this a factory MISTAKE that has gone uncorrected/ not recalled? Reminds me of the Ford Recall to add a fuse, and the wiring harness issued put fuses on the wrong side of a device and hazard remained, resulting in a 2nd Recall (and 3rd harness) to repair the first two...

BUT then there was the day I was gonna replace hydraulic pump solenoids, turned off switch, still had power, so disconnected battery, still had power, so disconnected chassis battery and STILL had POWER... confused, explained to wife, she glanced and said "You are still plugged in"... and I decided this was a job for ANOTHER DAY... :-( :-)
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:03 AM   #12
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Hello,
I want to thank everyone for their input. I have spoken to Tiffin several time. They have been a big help.

My RV does NOT have an inverter. I knew that when I bought it. I will be upgrading to one in the not to distant future.

My issue is a relay that is not working properly located on the electrical board. I have yet to completely resolve the problem but I will up date when I have it resolved
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:06 PM   #13
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I have the same issue on my 2012 TGA. Iíve owned it for 4 years. I have tested battery voltage which is good. Itís hard to trouble shoot when the problem resolves itself on 10 minutes. I will watch here for your solution.
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