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Old 08-22-2018, 11:16 AM   #1
mw4
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1990 Southwind 30 ft Battery question -- HELP

My 1990 Southwind 30 ft that I bought several years ago has a dead battery.
When I looked into the battery compartment literally for the first time, they are BOTH deep cycle batteries and they are wired parallel. My guess is that the previous owner had the coach battery die and all he did was move the 2nd coach battery over to the start side. wouldn't this changed config situation defeat the house and coach battery disconnects?

I have attached pictures and what I would like to do is remove the parallel links and have a start battery and a house battery or two. Essentially get it back to normal...but I'm worried that I'll mess something up.

Which side is the original start battery and wiring? I'd assume the right in the pic (drivers side).

Can I just remove the parallel links and replace both batteries?

I need some solid advice ASAP!

Thanks, Mike
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:41 AM   #2
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When you remove the POS/POS cable and the NEG/NEG cable the Left battery will NOT have a 'ground'......it is grounded via the Neg/Neg cable to right battery
SO would need to ground to chassis


Plus.......how are the solenoids wired for charging?
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:56 PM   #3
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I have no idea on any of the wiring, I was hoping someone with a 1990 Southwind could maybe take a picture of their battery setup
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:24 PM   #4
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Anyone have a picture of theirs?
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

That's a LOT of wires! Hopefully someone with the same unit can help.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:01 PM   #6
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Best guess, completly remove the wire that a marked blue.

See if you then have 2 independent systems.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:02 PM   #7
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Here's the picture
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:35 PM   #8
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so if I remove the cable in blue, how do I know or test that the systems are indeed independent?

And also, since they both have connectors for screw down type, and the only batteries with screw downs are Deep Cycle, I bought two identical 27DC batteries.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:28 PM   #9
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so if I remove the cable in blue, how do I know or test that the systems are indeed independent?

And also, since they both have connectors for screw down type, and the only batteries with screw downs are Deep Cycle, I bought two identical 27DC batteries.
Don't worry about the identical batteries you bought. They are dual purpose and will start engines and run house loads.

Get yourself a cheap multimeter and set it to volts. Connect it to the battery that makes the RV stuff work ( lights, fan, water pump ).

Turn on stuff until the volts start to drop. While reading lower volts, say 12.3 volts, move the meter to the other battery, the one that starts the engine. It should be holding 12.7 volts.

If that works out for you, next plug in the shore cord or start the generator. That should make the house battery voltage go up to 13+ volts. It may not make the start batterys volts go up. Normal for older RVs.

Last step is to pull the plug or shut down the generator, and then start the main engine. Now the volts on both batteries should start going up to 13+ volts. It may take a few minutes to clump up from 12.7.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:51 AM   #10
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If the circuit is in parallel and it looks as if it is then they are both the starting battery working together.

I will be glad to learn something here but I have had class A rigs going back to '87 and they all had a chassis battery for starting the engine located under the hood and connected to the coach batteries by a battery separator circuit. One 12 volt battery wont run the low voltage side of the rigs wiring for very long. That is why their two coach batteries dedicated to the coach only.

Which is to say I don't think separating them is the answer.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:27 PM   #11
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If the circuit is in parallel and it looks as if it is then they are both the starting battery working together.

I will be glad to learn something here but I have had class A rigs going back to '87 and they all had a chassis battery for starting the engine located under the hood and connected to the coach batteries by a battery separator circuit. One 12 volt battery wont run the low voltage side of the rigs wiring for very long. That is why their two coach batteries dedicated to the coach only.

Which is to say I don't think separating them is the answer.
There are 5 large positive battery cables in his picture. There is no way that they are all for starting OR house service.

The compartment in his picture will hold at least 1 or 2 more batteries. The PO probably only replaced two and left the rest out, tying then together.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:47 AM   #12
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There are 5 large positive battery cables in his picture. There is no way that they are all for starting OR house service.

The compartment in his picture will hold at least 1 or 2 more batteries. The PO probably only replaced two and left the rest out, tying then together.
I've got a 1986 Fleetwoow Southwind that's on a Chevrolet P30 chassis. Mine has a black #6 cable going from the chassis to the negative post of each battery plus 5 fat (#6) cables, all red/positive.
a) two are from the battery side of the charge splitter and go to the coach and chassis batteries.
b) 2 are from the battery side of each of the disconnect relays (coach and chassis)
c) one is from the coach converter / inverter / fuse panel

So one cable of of group a, one cable from group b and the one group c cable all go to the coach battery.
The other cable from group a and b go to the chassis battery.

In my case all of the cables were floating in the breeze when I took possession of the Fleetwood - the batteries were totally disconnected (and very, very dead). I had to reverse engineer the entire battery system. I've been doing Electrical / Electronics / 2-way radio systems engineering for over 40 years and I was really shaking my head at some of the stuff I found.

If the original poster is in the Los Angeles county area of southern California I'd be happy to give him some in-person assistance.

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1986 Fleetwood Southwind "Lazarus"
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:12 AM   #13
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There are 5 large positive battery cables in his picture. There is no way that they are all for starting OR house service.

The compartment in his picture will hold at least 1 or 2 more batteries. The PO probably only replaced two and left the rest out, tying then together.
I know it looks that way Mr. twinboat and I wont offer this as the last word.

Of the two red wires on the left battery one must go to the Genset and the other has to go to the right battery. That leaves two red wires so one will go to the battery separator and the other to the fuse panel.

I am calling this a gas unit and if I am right then two batteries were probably what was in there from the beginning. Remember, JMHO
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:41 AM   #14
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I know it looks that way Mr. twinboat and I wont offer this as the last word.

Of the two red wires on the left battery one must go to the Genset and the other has to go to the right battery. That leaves two red wires so one will go to the battery separator and the other to the fuse panel.

I am calling this a gas unit and if I am right then two batteries were probably what was in there from the beginning. Remember, JMHO
My thoughts.

Left ( start ) battery +, Red to starter or chassis disconnect if equiped. Red to Isolator/Boost relay.

Right ( house ) battery +, Red to boost/isolator solenoid. Red to house disconnect. Red to Inverter. Unknown ( wrapped ) cable to generator.

What's missing is a heavy ground cable to the start battery. The jumper between the batteries is too light a gauge.
Adding the light gauge positive cable, that I suggest be removed, between the batteries may have been added to fixed a slow cranking issue.

JMHO
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