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Old 02-15-2009, 04:32 AM   #1
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Need a little help. Initially I thought my house batteries were failing but after they tested out to 12.75, I need to look elsewhere. To begin, the coach is a 2005 Journey. It has not been used in the last year and is stored in an area where it is not plugged in. Needless to say the batteries have been pulled and on a Battery Tender in my garage. When I tried to use it last October, I found a problem with the HWH Leveling system which resulted in an almost 90 day stay at the dealer.

Now that I have it back, I find that the genset (Onan 7500) will not start unless the motor is running. Shutting the motor off will result in the genset shutting down also and, the audible signal for shutting off ‘Aux Power’ also sounds (just as if I had switched it off).

With the ignition off, the genset will not run, will not even light the switch with a code. In this state, a check of the battery condition at the power center shows nothing for coach batteries. Nothing means the display is completely blank. Switching to the chassis battery shows the correct charge on the chassis batteries. Also, in this state, the Aux Power switch on the dash does not function, meaning that it will not activate the house batteries and switching it off fails to produce the expected audible signal.

With the engine running, all seems to function normally, I can read house battery power and switch Aux Power on and off with the expected audible signal. The genset will start with either the dash or power center switch and will supply power to the coach.

All is good till I shut the engine down when the genset will shut down and the Aux Power will shut off giving off the audible signal as if I had shut it off from the dash switch.

Clearly there is some component, which has failed and causes this. I went through pages of the forum last night in an attempt to find something like this but to no avail. Would really appreciate suggestions or comments!
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:59 AM   #2
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My first thought is that when you reinstalled the batteries you left a wire off or hooked the batteries back up wrong.
If you know what was wrong with the HWH System would you tell us the dealers corrective action?
We possibly could get a hint from that, which might help to lead us to a cure of your present problem.
If all systems functioned properly before you took the batteries out then you had problems when you reinstalled them they almost have to have been put back incorrectly.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
If you know what was wrong with the HWH System would you tell us the dealers corrective action?
Thanks for the response. The HWH problem was with the leveling system. After reinstalling the batteries I started the coach and immediately the levelers began deploying. I could not stop them as I had no power to the control panel. When I shut the engine down the springs stored them. I called HWH Tech and they said to go to the coach and they would talk me through diagnosing the problem. This never happened as the next start produced the same thing except that shutting the engine down did not turn off the motor controlling the hydraulic pump. As this motor is hardwired to the chassis batteries it got very hot fairly quickly and caused a great amount of smoke to come out of the passenger side wheel well. Still do not know what failed but am thinking of calling HWH to complain as this should not have happened. Replaced were, control panel in coach, control panel under coach, motor and all four valves.

I do not think the batteries were connected incorrectly as I have a habit of zip tieing cables and wires that go together as I remove them. That helps me to be sure I get the right stuff in the right place later. Also, the dealer went through the whole setup and I believe they would have mentioned if the batteries were incorrectly installed. There is a strong possibility that something was left not connected during all the work that was done.

Thanks
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:26 AM   #4
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It sounds like your coach/house battery system isn't getting power to the coach. The generator is started from the coach batteries and I think that the aux power 'boost' switch solenoid that connects the two battery banks is also powered by the coach batteries as well--which means that if the coach batteries are low you may not be able to bridge the two battery banks.

With the engine running the alternator is supplying power to both the chassis/engine batteries and the coach/house batteries, thus allowing you to start the generator.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
It sounds like your coach/house battery system isn't getting power to the coach. The generator is started from the coach batteries and I think that the aux power 'boost' switch solenoid that connects the two battery banks is also powered by the coach batteries as well--which means that if the coach batteries are low you may not be able to bridge the two battery banks.
I agree that power is not getting from the house batteries to the switch or generator. I set out to replace the house batteries as my first thought was that they had been left unplugged and in the cold on the dealers lot and that they had failed. Thankfully I tested them with a meter first and found they all were at 12.75. Based on that, I am moving from the bad battery theory and looking for another component that could affect the generator and power reading in this manner?
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:16 AM   #6
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Russ - when you measured the 12.75 was that between the 2 posts on the battery or between the positive post and a ground on the chassis frame? If you don't have a good ground connection, that would give the same result as a dead battery bank.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Russ - when you measured the 12.75 was that between the 2 posts on the battery or between the positive post and a ground on the chassis frame? If you don't have a good ground connection, that would give the same result as a dead battery bank.
Great point! I measured between two posts so I need to go back out and measure again with the positive and a chassis ground. I'll do that tomorrow.

Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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Bugslayer, after reading your post I take that you can start your engine with your chasis bat., so it has enought charge. You have your inside battary switch turned on which turns on all the 12 volt systems in the rig.
Can you manal start your genset. I blieve that your jacks, genset are hooked to your chasis bat., but the switches and control panel need to have the interior power switch on to work. I'm do not know if starting the engine will override that switch while the engine is running.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:54 AM   #9
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Party Barge,

I am good on the chassis side w/power to start the engine. With engine off, I get no reaction to the Aux Pwr switch on the dash. It does not appear to turn on the 12 volt systems and does not give the usual audible whistle when it is shut off. That being said, I will check to see if I can start the genset from the switch located on the set itself when I go out later today.

I also will begin checking grounds starting at the battery. This time I will check the battery with a chassis ground to see what reading I get.

Thanks for the input as I need all the help I can get to try to understand the relationships of the various components involved in this problem.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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Well, just back from the storage lot and while the problem remains, I was able to check the suggestions made so far. Tomsm, I did meter the batteries again, this time using a chassis ground and got the same reading of 12.75. You brought up a good point though as this only means the ground is good at the point where it was checked. There are quite a few other places where it could be bad and I may have to work through them all?

Party Barge, you are correct that the Aux switch must be on as I tried to start the genset with the motor running and the switch off and was not successful. The genset did start with the Aux switch in the 'on' position and, of course, the motor running.

Right now I would say that the Aux switch is not operational with the motor not running. It will not even produce the audible whistle when I try to turn it off. It does function when the motor is running. With both the genset and the motor running, turning the motor off causes the genset to stop running and the Aux switch gives the audible whistle alarm just as if I had manually switched it off.

Still looking for a component in the signal path that could fail and produce these symptoms?

Thanks all for the suggestions so far!
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:11 PM   #11
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Russ, from what you've described, it appears that the aux start solenoid and the battery disconnect solenoid are working OK. There's just no power getting from the batteries to the first connection up front which is at the aux start solenoid.

I know you've probably checked this twenty times, but do you have two heavy cables connected to positive battery terminals? One heavy cable runs from one of the + terminals over to the inverter and the other heavy cable will connect to another + terminal and run forward to the aux start solenoid.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #12
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Tom,

I have not checked that twenty times! What I have done is look at the battery hookup and satisfied myself that it 'looked OK'. That being said, after spending 30 + years as a computer geek, I learned that when you are up against the wall you throw out everything and start from the beginning. Everything gets verified! Your comment makes me think that this is the time to get back into that mode. I appreciate your help and I'll let you know what I find.

Thanks very much,
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:41 PM   #13
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BugSlayer, if you would like to PM me your E-Mail address I can send you a drawing I made before disconnecting my house batteries.

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Old 02-16-2009, 02:49 PM   #14
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PM sent! Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:28 PM   #15
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If I understand you, this happened after you sent it to a shop for leveling system problems. Is is possible they made some change (not realizing what they were changing) at the shop which requires the ignition switch to be on for the generator to work? I think on our 08 Journey, the key has to be on for the leveling system to work.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:35 AM   #16
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Actually it is very possible. They get their chance next Monday as I just made an appointment to take it back. Just the same, I would like to be able to work through this myself. I suspect this will be a very simple problem (like they all are) when I finally know the cause!
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:55 PM   #17
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Not being real good at electrical stuff, I think you might check the DC fuse near the batteries. It's a 200 or 300 amp fuse that essentially "kills" the battery voltage from the house batteries. The positive cable should go directly from the batteries to the fuse.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:06 PM   #18
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BugSlayer, have you checked the electrical drawing for the correct battery wiring? It's available at winnebagoind.com
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:45 PM   #19
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BattChief & KIX,

Thanks for the input. I did not make it out to the lot today but have looked at the diagrams and re-read the advice on this thread. Tomsm made a comment previously that started me thinking that the problem may lie in the battery compartment. Sammie found some very explicit diagrams that cover the components involved and, after going through them I am going to check the fuse on the house batt side. The diagrams show it as a 300 amp. It may have been blown during the problem with the HWH system or it may just be blown? I also will check the battery connections again. I think they are correct but I am to the point where I am checking everything. I will take the diagrams with me!

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:08 AM   #20
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Bugslayer, Is the Aux Switch next to the leveler controls? I'm thinking when they replaced the HWH control panel they knocked the coach battery wire that activates the solenoid off of the switch as I don't think the wires are soldered.Only a guess though.
How did you make out starting the gen at the generator location?
I had a problem that mine wouldn't start at it's location and found the switch by the door that turns off house batteries was off.
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