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Old 11-24-2020, 12:58 PM   #1
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1989 Chieftain 23 - I have no clue on power hookup with this thing

1989 Chieftain M-23RC



Hello, wish this wasn't my introductory post, but I don't know my own head from my tail here working with a combined ac/dc system.
I'm trying to hook up to my house current to supply power to sockets and appliances while I clean it up, and to charge the starting battery, which is new but doesn't have the current to start her without a jump.

Are either of these things even possible?
The online 89 chieftain/itasca manual is vague about the location of the convertor ("beneath driver compartment floor riser" am I blind?), though I found the fuse panel and 110 breaker panel.


I haven't found anything saying "plug this thing in here, with that cord."
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:10 PM   #2
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If I understand you correctly you want to hook up to shore power, right?

I don't think your house supply will charge your chassis battery. Could be, I dunno. My 93' does not.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:12 PM   #3
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Wait... you can not find the plug on the exterior of the RV? That's where you plug an RV into a power source. There should be a 25' or so long 30-amp cord that plugs into the side of the RV unless it's permanently attached to the RV inside a lower compartment.

Then you need and adapter (called a "dog bone" in RV speak) to step your 30-amp cord down to a 115v receptacle or plug.

Also, though it wouldn't help you find where to plug the RV in, but in general your Converter is located behind those fuses and circuit breakers.

With a 31 year old RV it's tough for any of us to know anything about your vehicle. We have had one or two other members with 1980's Chieftains.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:16 PM   #4
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Here's the location of your "plug this thing in here, with that cord."
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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Spot on. I just saw that on a PDF download.

That's a better place for a spare rather than underneath.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:40 PM   #6
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Ok you guys just made this a little simpler, thank you.


I'd found the compartment and the hard-wired 220, along with a regular 110 cord and a 220 receptacle. I only have a 110 GFI on the house
Yeah I was thinking about a step-down (I only have the reverse in the compartment) but without having known if the 110 can even be brought in from the exterior, I've been stuck scouring google for the answer to that.

There's no real "behind" the breakers or fuses, but there's supposedly...
Possible brainfart: is there not normally a switch beyond the regular 110 breaker to switch to that current source? I remember from an old job at a yacht club that it seemed the common set up was an a/b switch between power sources.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:49 PM   #7
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It's not really a "220v" cord/system. It's an RV 50-amp power cord. Technically it handles 220v, but not 220 house voltage like a dryer or cooktop. It's 2- separate 110v 50-amp legs on a 4-pole plug. If you plug it into a 220 amp house receptacle that isn't wired for an RV you'll destroy all the electronic devices in your entire RV.

I assumed you have a 3-prong 30-amp cord in my previous post. But since you said "220" I was probably incorrect.

So, all you need is a 4-prong 50 amp to 110v adapter to plug it into the power at your home. Of course you'll only have 20-amps of power available.

https://www.amazon.com/MICTUNING-Dog.../dp/B077W6Y5QR

NOTE: If you have a 3-prong cord it is a 30-amp cord and you need a similar adapter, but a 30amp to 110v instead the the 50amp adapter shown here.

I linked to this at Amazon, but you can buy one of these at most any RV shop, Camping World, RV Parts company and many times at Walmart.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becolt View Post
There's no real "behind" the breakers or fuses, but there's supposedly...
Assuming that there is a Plastic electrical box, maybe with a door on it and the circuit breaker/fuses inside then yeah, the converter is normally - but not always - part of that box but behind it. You can't see it and normally would never need to access it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becolt View Post
Possible brainfart: is there not normally a switch beyond the regular 110 breaker to switch to that current source? I remember from an old job at a yacht club that it seemed the common set up was an a/b switch between power sources.
On an RV you don't select shore power, you simply plug into it. The converter automatically convert the 110v power to 12v to run lights, etc and it charges the HOUSE batteries. Probably not the Chassis batteries.

An RV may or may not have a master power disconnect switch for when you put the RV in storage. If yours does, it would need to be on. But only when using the RV or when it's plug into shore power.
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart;3880583...Technically it handles 220v, but not 220 house voltage like a dryer or cooktop...


I assumed you have a 3-prong 30-amp cord in my previous post. But since you said "220" I was probably incorrect.

So, all you need is a 4-prong 50 amp to 110v adapter to plug it into the power at your home. Of course you'll only have 20-amps of power available.

[URL="https://www.amazon.com/MICTUNING-Dogbone-Electrical-Adapter-Handle/dp/B077W6Y5QR"
LINK
[/URL]
NOTE: If you have a 3-prong cord it is a 30-amp cord and you need a similar adapter, but a 30amp to 110v instead the the 50amp adapter shown here.
OH. Ok that explains it. Now I'm looking at the AC receptacle in the house here and realizing the hot and neutral are level rather than angled.

You weren't wrong, I just have a level of ignorance beyond regular house electrical. It is a hardwired 30A.

30A step down. On the way to home depot with $13 and a dream, and the knowledge that I still need to hook up one of the aux batteries.

Huge help for the uninitiated, thank you.

(and this is going to be my first home, I'm in for it lol)
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
On an RV you don't select shore power, you simply plug into it. The converter automatically convert the 110v power to 12v to run lights, etc and it charges the HOUSE batteries. Probably not the Chassis batteries.

An RV may or may not have a master power disconnect switch for when you put the RV in storage. If yours does, it would need to be on. But only when using the RV or when it's plug into shore power.

Well that makes things simpler, especially since I won't be storing it.
So my last worry is the water system being run while dry. That I haven't even researched yet, but as a last ditch I'll just pull the fuse before plugging this beast in.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:13 PM   #11
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Huh? There is a switch to turn the water pump on and off. And, even if it's on it is an "on demand" system. The pump only runs when you run some water. Plus in general it doesn't kill the pump if there's no water in the fresh water tank or if you're not connected to city water.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:59 AM   #12
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Below are two links to very good info about RV 12V systems. Much of this info is beyond what you need right now, but in the very beginning of the first link is a block diagram showing the 120V to 12V setup.

As you begin to use the RV much of the rest of the info in the links will be helpful to you in understanding the operation of the 12V systems.

It is good to note that most everything in an RV is dependent on 12V power. Such as the air conditioner, water heater (if it can be powered with 120V AC) need 12V for the thermostat and control circuitry even though they use 120V to run the device.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

The 12volt Side of Life Part 2

Additionally here is a link to RV electrical systems, starting from 120V power plugging into shore power to 12V systems.

https://www.rv-dreams.com/rv-electrical.html
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Huh? There is a switch to turn the water pump on and off. And, even if it's on it is an "on demand" system. The pump only runs when you run some water. Plus in general it doesn't kill the pump if there's no water in the fresh water tank or if you're not connected to city water.
I've definitely burned out water pumps by running them dry, but in systems where you need to prime a pump before reconnecting, things like that. Bein careful.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:01 PM   #14
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Another priority. Somewhere you have a "converter/charger", that's connected between your battery and your 12V house system. It's also connected to 120V shore power and, when connected acts as a battery charger and supplies 12V to your house system, taking the load off your batteries.

It's long overdue for replacement since modern converters act as multi-stage chargers, thereby protecting your batteries while older converters can damage (boil) your batteries. Once you find it's location, it's an easy fix.

Here's what I bought for my 2002 MH:

https://www.amazon.com/PowerMax-Conv...70810553&psc=1

Note: The amperage should be equal to or higher than your existing converter. Bigger is better, although much higher is a waste of money unless you add battery capacity. It also needs to fit your available space.

In replacing it, carefully replace one wire at a time or double check with a multi-meter. The 120V side is pretty easy but I found that the polarity of m MH's wires on the 12V didn't follow the usual red+/blk- convention. I was lucky and only blew an internal fuse, but it could have been worse.

I stumbled on this link which may help you with electrical issues. It's for a 1989 Chieftain 33, but there should be some commonality. Since, per the user manual, the battery locations for all 1989 Chieftains are the same, the converter location should be the same. I suspect other locations may differ but the photos may help you know what things look like:

The 89 Winnebego Repair Assistance Page

This is much more fun than getting to my "honey do list".
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:53 PM   #15
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This is much more fun than getting to my "honey do list".
Well thank the lord sticker on the back of the vehicle for that.

Damned good things to know/have at my disposal.

Ok the wiring shouldn't be too bad on that end. Oddly enough I have one of these from a boat all pulled apart in the basement trying to find a bad cap or something. Think I'll just buy one.

So THAT'S what they meant when they said the converter was under the driver compartment.

Behind and under the passenger seat in some sort of hidden hole.

Tonight I found something else I need: Bags for power plugs. Stupid rain. Happy to be learnin what I can while it's in the driveway.
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