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Old 10-28-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Battery and breaker problems

I am not to sure if this is where I am suppose to post as I am new here but I hope that someone can help me. I have two problems with a 22 ft Winnie motor home. The first one is that the main battery is always down but the other two batteries are up in good shape. All three are new batteries. Does anyone know what might be causing the main battery to go down and not start the camper?
The second trouble is with the ground fault and breaker. This breaker seems to be hooked to the main breaker. All the lights and outlets a/c and frige work and check out ok with the tester so there is no shorts. When all the breakers are off and just the battery power running things the breaker with the ground fault will stay in. when you push all the breakers back in the ground fault breaker pops back out. When you plug the power in the breaker will not even go in. does anyone know what we can test or look for or what to do about it?
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
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Your starting battery most likely has a draw on it which will suck the life out of the battery when the engine is not running. There are plenty of videos on the Internet showing how to check for a battery draw. Could be a dome light, hood light, radio or any other myriad of items.
Your second issue with the GFI......... I would turn off all the breakers and turn each one on individually until the GFI pops. At least that will tell you what circuit is the culprit. It is possible that it could be a combination of circuits, BUT, the GFI should only be on ONE circuit.
Another check would be to turn all electrical accessories off and then try the circuit breakers. If the GFI stays in, then turn on each appliance or accessory individually to see which one(s) pop the GFI.
This may seem like a tedious process but you could do it yourself without having to call in a mechanic.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:30 AM   #3
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Many RV's (mine included) the house system charges the chassis (main) battery..

Many RV's... it dos not.. I do not know the ratios.

As for the breaker.. The GFCI looks for an imbalance in the current between the white and black wires.. I would guess there is a short somewhere that's causing such an imbalance, likely a white/green (or White/bare) and the most likely spot is in the breaker box itself less someone has done some serious messing with it.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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Battery Issue:
There are 2 seperate battery systems in a Class A RV. The chassis battery (the one that is being run down in yours) and the coach battery system. A 85 Chieftain would not recharge the chassis battery from the coach coverter. Unless you got a bad battery (you said all 3 are new), then you have a parasitic drain. It could be a GM P30 chassis (I am guessing that this is a GM bassed chassis) issue or something that Winnebago modified/added. I would not expect the coach 12VDC fuse panel to be related to this problem. You will mosts likely have to have a chassis wiring manual. Typically, Winnebago placed current year coach (i.e 1985) on a chassis they ordered the previous year. So, I suspect you have a 84 P30 chassis. Here is a source for a CD-ROM that covers the 84 P30 chassis: 1984 CHEVROLET & GMC C/K 10-35 LIGHT DUTY, G & P SERIES Body, Chassis & Electrical Service Manual CD Chevy bundled the P30 data in with the light duty pickup inforamtion.

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Old 10-29-2011, 09:13 PM   #5
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On the GFI, you probably have a short between neutral and ground, most likely in an electric heating element. The a/c side of the fridge would be a prime culprit, as would the hot water heater if it has an a/c heater.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the Help. I will tell my dad to check it out. It is a GM P30 chassis. The things is nothing is turned on. We don't have the frige on, no a/c on, no water in the system as it is getting cold here so that is all turned off and has not been turned on since we got it nothing pluged in the outlets and the GFI still pops out. I know they have been playing around with the radio as they add one and they took part of it out but that wire is not hooked to anything and it still plays they had it so that you could turn it on with the key being on. We did turn off all the breaker and the GFI one will still pop out and we pushed in the one that they marked a/c doesnot pop out, push the next one that We think goes to the outlets and lights and GFI doesn't pop out, Push main breaker and it pops out. Take all the glass fues out with breakers pushed in it GFI pops out. Put glass fuses back in and push the breakers off and GFI stays in. There is a gen to it but not pluged in. Can't keep the GFI pushed in when outside power to it. There breakers go main breaker, a/c breaker, another breaker (outlets, lights) and then a Red button (test) and the GFI. We unplug the frige and the GFI still popped. They did may alot with the stuff and broke alot of stuff that we didn't know they did at the time we got. They took it to a 2 repair shops and both places put the breaks together wrong and the heated up and dad them o work and no more pulling to the side but with them locked in place in the front it over heated the manifold in crackled it and then the tran went due to it and had have that all replace.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:00 PM   #7
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Lisa,
GFI breaker is only related to the 110VAC side of the system. Used to detect:
1) Short from 110VAC hot to ground
2) Short from 110VAC nuetral to ground
Ground Fault Current Interrupters

They typically place them in wet areas (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) to prevent electrical shock hazards in a wet or humid environment. Additionally, one GFI recepticle can be used to protect multiple recepticle/devices (daisy chained).
First, the GFI recepeticle is ONLY attached to ONE of the 110VAC breakers. Figure out which one first. Then you have to determine what devices are daisy chained on the circuit that the GCFI breaker is attached to. One of those 110VAC devices has either a hot wire to ground short or a nuetral wire to ground short. Unfortunantly, Winnebago does not post wiring diagrams for pre-1990 coaches. I believe you can call them and get them via e-mail though. Looks like you have a model WCN22RC (WebCD Web Service Parts Catalog). You need both AC (for the GFI issue) and DC (for the battery issue) wiring diagrams.

The GFI issue is completely seperate from the battery issue. Work each one seperately.

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Old 10-31-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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You are right on with that one Dave. We know it got to go to the outlet in the bathroom area and to the outlet outside. Maybe the lights in the bathroom. Only three outlets in the whole camper.
Dad thinks it is the switch for the batteries that may be bad as he gets a reading on both sides of it and he said it should not be. I don't know about this kind of things do I can't say for sure if that is what it is but it is worth a try at this point.
Thanks for all the help I will let you all know what we find if we find anything maybe it will helps someone else down the road.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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I did try the website for the wiring but like you said Dave they don't show it. They really should as there are so many of the older models out there yet. But they do that with everything. Want you to buy new all the time.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:27 PM   #10
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Speed gauge

Same camper p30 chevy.When going down the road. you are at 30 mph, gsp said mhp but the faster you go the farer the gauge on the camper gets from the reading on the gsp. What can one do about it? and what is wkrong with it? We talked to the people at the repair shop and they said nothing wrong with it and they didn't see anything. When dad is driving the camper and I am in the van driving the van can not keep up with the camper ad the speed limit. as the camper is going faster then what the gauge is reading. Dad said that we will just have to mark the numbers over again. Any other ideas as to what to do about this? the tires are the right size with what it says on the door for it.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:23 PM   #11
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1985 Chieftain most likely did not have a Battery Disconnect switch. If the relay looks simular to this then it is an Isolation relay:



That is the cross connect isolation relay between the chassis and coach battery systems which is operated by the either the "AUX START" or "DUAL-NORM-MOM" switch. There would be chassis battery voltage on one side and coach battery votage on the other side of it. In 85, I think it is just used for battery boost (aux start). If chassis battery is run down for some reason, you can use coach battery system via that relay to provide a "jump" start; ergo AUX Start (Battery Boost)

For GPS differences. See if someone has different tire size installed. There should be some sort of tag on back wall in one of the closets or overhead cabinet that has GVW and tire size information on it.

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Old 11-04-2011, 12:32 PM   #12
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After three weeks of asking dad if the GFI was bad and asking to check the wires on it and dad saying it was not bad. I even tried to get him to call camping world and another place and have him tell me that they are not going to know there the short is. Well he finally took a closer look at the GFI wires and find out that they did move the wire and that it was bad. We got another one but now it is to see how long it will take him to put it in as it is not the same as we couldn't find one like the old one. Dad will have to make it fix the cover.
mmmmm.... Thanks Dave on the info on the switch. It does look like the same one. We have a new one to put in and see if that will help but I say it is the radio that is causing trouble with the drain on the battery. We will have to wait and see.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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And dad just hates to say, I have no clue how you know all this but thank you sweetie

Being a dad and granddad, I too can be a hard head

It's a guy thing

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Old 11-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #14
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You are right on with that but dad should know as that is his kind of work as that is all he does all day is work on wires and elec., breakers and make machines ect. ect.. Did this for years. but I think when he got hurt at work. it hurt his mind in some way. I don't know anything about it but it was just a wild guess as they played about with so much of that stuff in the camper and broke so much stuff. No way of knowing what was wrong until it was to late. I know now to never fall for it when someone says that is the way it is suppose to run.
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