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Old 02-13-2019, 10:06 AM   #1
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Electrical problem

Last season I bought a 97 Vectra. Previous owner kept it at his house and plugged in 24-7, which I could not do. RV put in storage in late October. After a few weeks, it wouldn't start without booster. Last weekend, replaced the coach and engine batteries. Engine started immediately but coach has no power to anything. Have rechecked wiring and its correct. Circuit breakers all on. I'm obviously a novice. Any help or suggestions?
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:34 PM   #2
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Someone probably has pressed your house battery disconnect switch to turn off your house batteries.

If your Vectra is anything like my 2006 Journey (both diesel pushers) look for a switch on the dash board with a label with "battery" on it. My rocker switch is labeled "AUX Battery".

I am assuming you are talking about 12V DC power to your lights, roof vent fans, etc and not the 120V AC to your microwave.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:38 PM   #3
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Also look back by the engine and see if there is a "chassis battery" disconnect switch. It may be a round switch a little larger in diameter than a soup can or can of tomatoes.

This switch can be turned off to keep the engine and whatever else is connected to the battery, from draining the battery while in storage.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:33 PM   #4
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It's much less expensive to just disconnect the grounds from your sets of batteries when you put the rig in storage, even if just for a week. Saves your batteries. I keep a wrench and a set of gloves in the battery compartment just for that. It's hard to get at the 6 volt house battery ground so I just remove the jumper between them. Takes less then 5 minutes to disconnect or reconnect them.

Many RVs over many decades have been made with the chassis battery system sort of separate from the house as it's cheaper for the manufacturer. They often don't install any stay charged circuit for it for when it's just sitting like at a RV park (some brands do though). And slowly over time the chassis batteries die. Especially if you listen to the dash radio. The house batts will be charged with the converter or converter/inverter device but typically there's nothing for the chassis batts.

Because of that, most people put in a Trik-L-Start (or Amp-L-Start for large battery banks) which take a bit of that charge voltage/current for the house batts and sends it to the chassis batts, or you can wire in a 2.5 amp Float charger ($25) that runs off 120V so they're kept charged when you're staying at RV parks, plugged in at home, or in a storage yard with power.

When you're driving, both sets of batteries are charged by the alternator.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al1florida View Post
Also look back by the engine and see if there is a "chassis battery" disconnect switch. It may be a round switch a little larger in diameter than a soup can or can of tomatoes.

This switch can be turned off to keep the engine and whatever else is connected to the battery, from draining the battery while in storage.
I don't have any power in the coach. No lights, microwave, etc. Nothing works, no power to even start the generator, even when the engine is running.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:07 AM   #6
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The batteries wouldn't have any effect on the MW or any of the 120 volt outlets or appliances (AC). But they would on the house lights (12V).

As mentioned earlier there is normally a switch on the dash, or in the entrance way, labeled AUX or BATT or similar. This momentary switch would actuate a large relay down in the battery compartment that routes power from the house batteries to the house.

But if it sat for a while after you installed new house batts without being plugged into power, then those might be dead again already. Though driving it should have recharged them. Best to get a meter and measure the voltage on them. If you're plugged into shore power, then they should be charged and the problem is bound to be that main switch.

Keep plugging away at it. It's gotta be something simple. These big rigs don't often have something major fail that supplies voltage to the house. They can, but often don't.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtjr1944 View Post
Last season I bought a 97 Vectra. Previous owner kept it at his house and plugged in 24-7, which I could not do. RV put in storage in late October. After a few weeks, it wouldn't start without booster. Last weekend, replaced the coach and engine batteries. Engine started immediately but coach has no power to anything. Have rechecked wiring and its correct. Circuit breakers all on. I'm obviously a novice. Any help or suggestions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtjr1944 View Post
I don't have any power in the coach. No lights, microwave, etc. Nothing works, no power to even start the generator, even when the engine is running.
Did you have someone replace the batteries or did you do it yourself?
After you replaced the house (coach) batteries did any of your lights work?
Did you check the battery disconnect momentary switch?
It really sounds like you have 2 problems and they are not related
As Jim wrote in his reply, the 120V and 12V systems are separate. Your outlets and microwave should work even if you don't have a battery connected. Your air conditioner probably won't work because the thermostat requires 12V to operate.
You need to take a multi meter and start checking 12V power at the house battery then work forward. Pretty much the same with 120V, start at the shore power connector and work toward the RV. If you don't have a multi meter you can buy one at any big box store for under $20.
Here is a link to the Winnebago web site to download a wiring diagram for your RV: https://winnebagoind.com/diagram/Wiring.htm
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