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Old 10-17-2020, 04:16 PM   #1
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Trying to figure out 12V wiring (Winnebago Outlook)

My 2008 Winnie has a 40 A fuse in the right forward compartment. All of the 12V runs through this fuse. 40A is a bit low for e.g. an inverter. I need to replace the fuse and that of course requires bigger sized cables.

So I am trying to figure out which wire / circuit does what. I checked all applicable wiring diagrams and I understand the purpose of the battery disconnect relay and the battery mode solenoid.

But here's a puzzling problem. And it's kind of tough to explain. It boils down to this: With the house batteries disconnected, shouldn't the alternator provide power to the house circuits? Mind you, this is a theoretical question though I tried it out and no, it doesn't.

But .. why not? After all, the alternator (via the battery disconnect relay) and the 12V buss bar feeding the 40A main fuse both connect to the cable running to the battery. So there's seems to be a path from the alternator via the 40A main breaker to the house power distribution center.

What am I missing?

Michaela
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:10 PM   #2
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start here

http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_163530.pdf

lots of stuff on winnebago site foor wiring and more,,,
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:42 AM   #3
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Alternator power goes to the chassis battery only.

When conditions are met ( charging ), the chassis battery connects to the house battery, at or near the battery.
If the disconnect is off, it can't get to the house load center.

Inverters are typically wired directly to the battery with their own fuse, not thru a common bus.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:51 AM   #4
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Michaela-

You don't mention which Outlook model you own: 29B, 31C or 31H. Also, is it on a Chevrolet or Ford chassis?

According to the wiring diagram set for a 29B (link here) as an example, the following must be true for 12V from the alternator to reach the house loads, assuming all wiring is correct and intact:

1) Engine must be running
2) Alternator must be working correctly
3) BATTERY MODE SOLENOID must be working correctly
4) AUX BATT switch near entrance door must be on
5) COACH BREAKER PANEL (40A) circuit breaker in chassis electrical box must not be tripped

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Inverters are typically wired directly to the battery with their own fuse, not thru a common bus.
"twinboat" is correct. You can connect a small inverter to your existing 12V system, staying within the current limits for the fuse feeding the circuit and the 40A breaker feeding all the house loads. If you wish to install a larger inverter, you wire directly to the battery, with its own fuse.

Converter/chargers (such as the one in your coach) and inverters can get along. Converter/chargers and inverter/chargers often do not get along. Should you want to install an inverter/charger, read up on what changes to the converter/charger installation you will need to make.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:59 AM   #5
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Thank you very much. Whenever I get a new (to us) RV, I try to figure out everything as much as I can to be able to anticipate or fix troubles down the road.

Our rig is a model WF329B on an E450 chassis.

I am still deep into the 12V electrical system. It is working alright (I had to change the blown converter/charger) but I still am ripping it apart in order to study it (and putting it back together)

I am currently hunting for that solenoid in the engine compartment responsible for connecting the alternator to the house batteries. I know that the house batteries are being charged from the alternator, so the system is working. I just can't locate the solenoid. I tried the "clicking" method (pushing the emergency power button in the cabin), but nothing clicks (house batteries are disconnected). And starting the engine doesn't click anything either (or its too darn loud with all those signals and fans turning on).

I need to find that solenoid to be able to locate the cable going from it to the house batteries so that I can put a DC-DC converter into the line to prepare lithium once I can afford it.

So .. anybody has an idea where to look for that solenoid? And .. secondly .. can I tell by the look at the alternator, what capabilities in terms of Amps it might have?

Thanks again.

Michaela
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:50 AM   #6
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Ok. Never mind. Stupid me. I was staring at at for the last two days but got confused by a freakin' Youtube video. The solenoid is actually located in the forward power compartment (passenger side). I reconnected everything and sure enough, a click test made it easy to find.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:38 PM   #7
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If that silver solenoid has only one small terminal it is original. That is an 80 amp relay with plain copper contacts. It is hooked to an ignition on circuit so when the engine is running it is closed, and also hooked to the boost switch so you can "jump" start the mh off the house batteries. Problem is, the solenoids fail all the time. My '07 View had a bad one when I bought it in 2015 with 18K miles on it. The contacts burn up, solenoid works, but doesn't pass current.

Replace it with a Cole Hersee 24213, which has two small terminals. The original made the ground for the coil thru the case, the 24213 makes the coil circuit thru the two small terminals. Hook the existing small wire to either of the small terminals and make a short jumper to ground for the other terminal.

The 24213 has silver tungsten contacts and is rated at 200 amps and will last the life of the MH. This is a chronic problem on Winnebago MH's due to the crap solenoid they used.

The big terminals on the 24213 are shorter and you barely have enough stud to mount the wires and get the nut on, but it works.

I am willing to bet if you start up the MH and check engine battery voltage and house battery voltage you will find that the engine is not charging the house properly, the solenoid may be failed already.

If you are installing a DC-DC charger, you will want to disable the start boost function.

Charles
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:09 PM   #8
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Just to clear up a misconception, the alternator only connects to and charges the chassis battery.

The solenoid you found connects the chassis battery to the house battery, so one charges the other. Its no different then using a jumper cable.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischmerz View Post
Thank you very much. Whenever I get a new (to us) RV, I try to figure out everything as much as I can to be able to anticipate or fix troubles down the road.

Our rig is a model WF329B on an E450 chassis.

I am still deep into the 12V electrical system. It is working alright (I had to change the blown converter/charger) but I still am ripping it apart in order to study it (and putting it back together)

I am currently hunting for that solenoid in the engine compartment responsible for connecting the alternator to the house batteries. I know that the house batteries are being charged from the alternator, so the system is working. I just can't locate the solenoid. I tried the "clicking" method (pushing the emergency power button in the cabin), but nothing clicks (house batteries are disconnected). And starting the engine doesn't click anything either (or its too darn loud with all those signals and fans turning on).

I need to find that solenoid to be able to locate the cable going from it to the house batteries so that I can put a DC-DC converter into the line to prepare lithium once I can afford it.

So .. anybody has an idea where to look for that solenoid? And .. secondly .. can I tell by the look at the alternator, what capabilities in terms of Amps it might have?

Thanks again.

Michaela
My (IGN controlled) charge solenoid is under step, under the Switch and 12vdc circuit breakers (99-e450sd/ GS Conquest)
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:36 AM   #10
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Thank you for all answers. I went through all wiring diagrams, disconnected and traced all 12V wires and now I have a complete overview of all major components of my RV on one page.

As a result, I re-wired a few things. I ran a new 6 ga wire from the forward breaker compartment to the house distribution box so that I can upgrade the main 40A breaker to 50A . This allows me to charge the house batteries with up to 45A from the converter/charger.

Additionally I ran new 4 ga wires from the house battery box to the inverter located inside he house (fused at 100A).

I also identified the wire coming from the coach battery to the battery charge / emergency solenoid which will be replaced with a 45A DC/DC converter.


Work is progressing nicely.
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