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Old 03-29-2020, 05:41 PM   #1
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New to us 2005 Coachmen Aurora need help with utilities panel

We recently purchased a 2005 Coachmen Aurora 3480DS. Our challenge is the dealership provided a very poor walk-through and didn't know how that utility panel displayed status.

Attached is a picture of the panel, can anyone help us understand what the specific lights mean on the panel? It looks like the black water is full (it's not though the sensors may be blocked we just dumped it). The propane tank shows about 2/3 full on the tank itself, but this panel has all the light lit for it.

The manual we found on the coachmen site does not provide much information on how status is displayed.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:43 PM   #2
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I have the same panel on my 2007 coachman, and had the same question. You have to read up at a angle. The pic shows your LP=Full, Fresh at 1/3, black full ( dirty sensors?, grey empty, battery good. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:05 PM   #3
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Thanks

DJC,

That does help, thanks a lot. We do believe the sensors on the black tank are wonky. We just need confirmation that was how you were supposed to read it.

We tried to clean the black tank today with a CAMCO sprayer, and that seemed to clean the top sensor, as the tank now reads 2/3. We plan to fill the tank and let it soak for a bit and see if that loosens whatever is stuck.

Also another question you may know, do the house batteries charge from shore power? The RV has been plugged in since we got it, and today the batteries show "Fair" meaning they have gone down since that photo was taken a few days ago. Again, thanks in advance.
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Old 03-30-2020, 05:39 AM   #4
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Your house batteries are designed to charge on shore power, mine does. You should check your inverter/charger to make sure its getting power and has no tripped breakers, and that your battery disconnect switch is not turned off . The one by the door, and mine also has one in the compartment with the inverter.
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:09 PM   #5
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Battery Disconnect

DJC,

Thanks again, I assumed that it should charge and I'll get out there in the morning and look at he breakers, and then the inverter.

The small panel by the door has a switch called the "Battery Disconnect". It works fine when the RV is purely on batteries without either the generator or shore power, but should it disconnect the batteries when the RV is on shore power? Right now, if we press it, it just stays green and doesn't seem to disconnect them. According to the manual, once they charge completely, they should go to a trickle charge, and obviously that is not happening.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:13 PM   #6
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That exact switch pictured - on my rig i actually think its disconnected. No matter what position - nothing changes. But the over the door Inverter monitor shows me that the batteries are float and trickle charging when plugged in to shore power - or when my generator is running. I assume that the previous owner modified something , as i have 400w of solar on the roof - and its monitor also shows the batteries state when plugged in. I dont touch that switch you show at all - if i need to shut everything off , i use the big quarter turn switch in the inverter bay.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:15 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks, we will dig around tomorrow and see what we can find. Time to dig out the multimeter.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:15 PM   #8
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If you find out what that switch actually does - let me know.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:36 PM   #9
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:03 PM   #10
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2011 Coachmen, on ours the big quarter turn switch in the battery bay isolates the chassis batteries only. The switch you've circled in the diagram definitely isolates the house batteries. If your switch does nothing, I would suspect the switch itself is faulty, or the previous owner did something to bypass its capabilities when he/she installed the solar equipment.
If you open up that panel it would be easy to disconnect one wire to the switch in question, thereby simulating an 'open' switch position. If it isolates your house batteries (house goes dark) then you know it's likely the switch itself.
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:26 AM   #11
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DS,

Thanks for the suggestions. My son and I spent a while yesterday with a multimeter and some wrenches. Painfully slow to try to isolate the issue, but here is what we found.

1. Tested batteries 12.8v with shore power disconnected
a. We couldn't find the converter, so we disconnected all of the battery cables to put the RV purely on shore power.
b. Reconnected shore power and all of the 12v items in the RV worked fine which leads us to believe the converter is fine
c. Reconnected batteries
d. Tested battery status on the utility panel - IT WORKED! Showed charging and "Good" Did not work previously

2. Tested batteries 12.8v
3. Pressed "Battery Disconnect" heard loud click of the Latching Relay
a. Tested batteries 13.9v
b. "Battery Disconnect" light stayed green
c. Pressed "Battery Disconnect" rocker button again - Loud click of Latching Relay and light stayed green
d. Tested batteries 12.8v
c. Did everything again and same pattern (once is an anomoly, twice is a pattern)
So, given all of that we came to a couple of conclusions.

1. If the utility status board tells you something that doesn't seem to make sense test everything. It is obvious to us that the rocker switch is either bad, or just doesn't change status while on shore power. When disconnected from shore power or the generator, the rocker switch turns off the batteries and the light goes out.

All we can say is "weird"

Thank you all for your help, we greatly appreciate it.

T&J

p.s. we also tested off of shore power with the engine running and got 13.4v so we assume the alternator is also charging the house batteries
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:24 PM   #12
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Thank you for writing that all up - i appreciate that. On a side note,Coachman product line), gave them my VIN and within hours i got all drawings and plans ( original) for my specific coach. Even though its a 2007. The PDF was all elect / plumb / mechanical - everything. Its been very helpful. I also emailed them once for a MFG ( mirror assy) and they replied instantly with the part # and MFG they used in 2007. That is a resource that may be of interest.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:10 AM   #13
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I'm glad that everything appears to be working with respect to charging and maintaining your batteries. You will want to find your convertor sooner or later. On my '11 it is in a compartment on the drivers' side. Working from the rear, my first door is engine access. Then comes a compartment for the 50 amp cable. To run off the generator I plug the cable into a receptacle in that compartment. Otherwise I plug it into a shore power receptacle, i.e. no transfer switch. The next compartment contains my convertor/ inverter combination unit. Mine has a 'reset' button on it. Certain load combinations will trip it, like running the toaster and a high power hair dryer. Took a while to find the first time it happened, so it's a good thing to track down during good weather.
Also, I found that the mounting screws had worked loose and it was in danger of falling off the wall in there. Just another reason to find it.
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