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Old 10-06-2017, 11:00 AM   #1
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Unhappy Lights Out!

I am new to RV and this forum so I definitely appreciate the opportunity to learn from Y'all. I recently purchased a 1999 Ultimate Advantage and it has been running great for the year I have owned it. I was stranded yesterday on the way home from an 800 mile trip. One of the two chassis (starts the motor) batteries died and the motor home dash dummy lights came on. I pulled over and shut the RV down, checked the batteries and I had to replace a dead battery... it started back up and got us home. After getting home and shutting down the motor home the 12vdc lights in the cabin will not come on. I can not start the generator from any of the three switches. And even when I plug in a 20 amp circuit the lights will not come on. Additionally the fridge will not turn on either and the Main System Monitor Panel will not light up. The Freedom heart interface inverter remote panel lights up with the power switch turned on showing AC INPUT and INV/CHG status lights lit up, the DC Voltage is showing 13.0, and DC Amps showing <10. I have checked all the DC circuit breakers in the bathroom cabinet, all the AC circuit breakers in the bedroom breaker box, the 20Amp and 30 Amp circuit breakers on the Freedom 15 INV/CHG in the battery compartment, and all the DC fuses in the front above the generator. None show to be tripped or blown. I can start the motor home with out a problem but still no power to the cabin or the generator start switches.

Am I missing something I can check? I have pulled up the wiring schematic but got lost. Is there another circuit breaker or fuse I am missing? It seems as though something has tripped... I also disconnected the three cabin batteries and checked them when I replaced the dead battery. could this have affected the inverter? Is there a fuse or something in the inverter that would prevent voltage to the DC circuit?

Sorry for the lengthy post... any help or direction would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:25 PM   #2
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Double check the cables on the three house batteries to be sure all are on the proper terminal. Maybe you can find a diagram showing the cabling. Is it possible you left a ground cable off of the house batteries, or may be a red positive cable?

Your house batteries should be wired in parallel and the cables should look like the cables on the 12V batteries in the image at the bottom of this reply.

The chassis battery problem is highly unlikely to be related to the house 12V problem you are now having.

If you don't have a volt meter, now is the time go to to Walmart--Home Depot or other place and for under $20 buy on.

With the meter you can start checking voltages at the batteries, the output of the inverter/charger, etc.

The fact the Freedom panel shows 13V indicates it thinks it is sending power out, but probably it is not getting to the batteries and other 12V systems.

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Old 10-06-2017, 02:53 PM   #3
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Hello People pusher,

Did you check your alt battery switch on the dash? I purchased a 2000 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage last year and there is a switch on the dash to turn the power off to the house system. I believe you can still get a power reading from the panel with the house batteries off.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply's! I have verified the connections are correct. I have verified the voltage on the house batteries at 13.4 vdc. I do have an aux bat switch on the dash but it has no effect when I toggle it. I do wonder if the switch has gone bad though and if I can figure out how to check it without pulling the dash out. I have researched online electrical drawings but can't find a battery disconnect or master fuse coming from the batteries to the house. In my reasoning I would think the batteries get charged from the INV/CHG and the batteries output 12vdc to the coach lights, switches, etc. through the 12vdc circuit breaker panel in the coach. Because my house batteries are holding a charge I would think there has to be some disconnect between the batteries and the 12vdc circuit breaker panel that has no voltage. I'm so confused.... I will continue to dig and if all else fails I will take it in. either way I will update what the problem and fix was when I get there....
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeoplePusher View Post
Thanks for the reply's! I have verified the connections are correct. I have verified the voltage on the house batteries at 13.4 vdc. I do have an aux bat switch on the dash but it has no effect when I toggle it. I do wonder if the switch has gone bad though and if I can figure out how to check it without pulling the dash out. I have researched online electrical drawings but can't find a battery disconnect or master fuse coming from the batteries to the house. In my reasoning I would think the batteries get charged from the INV/CHG and the batteries output 12vdc to the coach lights, switches, etc. through the 12vdc circuit breaker panel in the coach. Because my house batteries are holding a charge I would think there has to be some disconnect between the batteries and the 12vdc circuit breaker panel that has no voltage. I'm so confused.... I will continue to dig and if all else fails I will take it in. either way I will update what the problem and fix was when I get there....
Great info. The fact that you have 13.4V at your batteries indicates your inverter/charger is connected to the battery and the charging side is working.

I really think you have a loose connection or inadvertently left the plus or minus cable off of the batteries that goes to the 12V system in the RV. These cables are relatively small cables, about twice the diameter of a #2 lead pencil or maybe a little larger. This cable I would expect to be smaller than the other cables which go to the inverter or other places. I would expect one on the plus side and one on the black side. It is even possible this cable, going to the plus side of the batteries is black for some reason instead of being red. If it happens to be black it would be easy to have connected it to the negative side of the battery.

I am pretty much thinking that since you disconnected the house batteries to check them, something didn't get put back correctly. Not finding fault. I have done things like that many times.

The aux battery switch on the dash is typically used to boost your starting battery, but I would expect that it would go the other way as well. I doubt the switch is bad. The switch is used to energize a solenoid to tie the chassis & house batteries together. If the 12V to the switch is fed by the same 12V for your house lights then it won't have 12V to pick the solenoid.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:10 PM   #6
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One more thought. Use your meter to see if you have 12V (actually 13.4V since your inverter/charger is working) at your 12V fuse panel. Any chance there is a fairly large master fuse, 20-30amp in the fuse panel that is blown. You may need to check the fuse with ohm function on the meter, and not just a visual check. Even if a master fuse is blown, you should have 12V at one side.
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Old 10-15-2017, 04:01 PM   #7
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Personally I would replace all the batteries at the same time.
The old one would drag down the newer one.
We have a total of 5 batteries so can can cost a bit, but I know things are in order.
Lee
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:18 AM   #8
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There could be a house disconnect switch for use during storage that on my 2001 is very easy to trip since its in the step well. I have trouble with the dog bumping it and turning off the house batteries giving us a very warm coach and defrosting refrigerator to come back to since the thermostat and refrigerator control board run off the house batteries. I am tempted to put a safety cover over it like on the fire button of a jet fighter.
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