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Old 11-28-2020, 11:59 AM   #1
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charger breaker humming periodically . 12 volt lights dim when humming.

I have a similar problem as "Thumpergirl": my RV, Winnebago Itasca sunrise 1994 has been sitting for a number of years. one day the fridge stopped working and the rv house lights and outlets stopped working. I was unable to work on it due to lack of funds ( hard times). finally we ran a line out from my friends house under ground. I am on 30 amp now. the airconditioner , micro wave and the GFI outlet by the bathroom sink works. no other outlets work. I have an extension cord coming from the GFI to a hanging mechanics light. I bought a new battery for the chassis a few months ago and It is not connected because I don't want to drain the battery ( had the 75 gallon gas tank cleaned and sandblasted, needs new fuel lines and the in tank pump is shot and will be replace - engine not yet in working order) .the day before thanks giving I purchased 2 new deep cycle batteries for the RV house. on thanks giving day I installed them ( old ones were 10 years old) . I had the breaker switch for the charger on the converter off because before I had the new batts, i lost power ( shoreline) and the charger was trying to charge the old RV house batts and the making a " eerrr" sound off and on every few seconds. i invited a electrician that i know over he tested everything and told me the converter was trying to charge the old batteries . and I had freaked out and turned off all of the breaker on the converter. so now with the new batteries I get the same humming sound , the 12v lights came on for a bit and dimmed when the converter hummed. so did the light off of the GFI. so, I'm still at square one. I switched the charging breaker off and the switch to the rv house batts off too. I am going to remove the chassis battery and charge it over night. tomorrow, i am going to start looking to see if all wires and cables are intact. I am not a electrician . i am not a mechanic. I am learning though ( the hard way).
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:45 PM   #2
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Well that does sound like a confusing mess so one way to cut the confusion is to choose one item and start with looking only at it. A place to start is what exact model of RV you have as different length of the same year and model do get more or different wiring.
Part of the thinking is helped if you know that there are kind of three sets of wiring on most RV and they are separated in lots of ways but do connect together at times and places.
The 110 AC part is often one of the easier to sort out and you do have some things working, so I might go with getting the rest of the outlets and 110 AC working as a start? Depending on which model and length that may be as simple as the GFCI not doing it right or a loose wire!
If not sure of what exact model, try looking under the drivers window for a label that may tell you what you have.
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:58 AM   #3
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well, starting with the small things is fine and dandy, cept i don't know what all the small things are much less where. going to look for loose wires, check the breaker for the charger in the converter. Winnebago model for coach house :ICF29RQ.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:37 AM   #4
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So it's a 94 Itasca sunrise ICF29RQ!
With that info we can go to drawings and see how things on that RV are supposed to be wired! I say supposed because that is how they were planned to be wired but over the years there may have been some changes made so we always want to keep an open mind, if things don't look that way when we get there.

What's big, what's little or not involved we will have to work out as we get more ideas of what's happening.
No big thing but it does take patience!

Maybe a good place to start would be asking how you are set for any tools, like a meter to read voltage? It is really hard to work on things without tools to get the right info.

But in the meantime, can you do a look around and tell us what is or is not working?

Understand that there are kind of three different sets of electrical wiring and they are often different but often also connected together in different ways.
One is the 12 volt DC that we find on any car or truck. Things like the starter, wipers, horn and outside lights like brake and tail lights. That part is not a good place to start if the engine won't run, so lets skip that for now.

Another system is the 110VAC that comes from one of two places, the cord where you plug into power at a park or when you start the generator. That does two things. One is it is what runs the air conditioner and the outlets where you can plug things like the coffee pot, lamps, and such. Regular looking house outlets, in other words. If you can go around and check to see what part of that group is working, it can tell us if you need to look for problems there. Part of the reason for asking about that part is that the 110AC also feeds the converter which turns the 110AC into 12 VDC to charge the coach batteries!

Last system is the 12vdc that uses the coach batteries for their power. That is the inside lights, maybe the porch light, the water pump and the vent fans, and it is often needed to make things like the furnace and frig controls work, so it really makes a lot of things go bad if that doesn't work right.
If you around and sort out a list of what parts work or not, we can then look at the drawings, kind of like a road map and tell where things stop.
The new batteries are a good place to start but they only last for so long if the converter to charge them is not getting the 110 AC it needs to work! Separate systems but they need each other to do their work!
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Old 12-20-2020, 06:34 AM   #5
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I do have a meter but I am not sure what setting will tell me if I have continuity or not. as far as what is working: micro wave, air conditioner, and the only GFI socket by the bathroom sink. no other sockets work, nor do the coach house lights ( inside and outside). the socket outside by the outside stereo works. no propane. no hot water fridge not working on auto mode ( electric). converter seems to be not conecting to coach batteries ( new batts). wonder if their is a GFI on the back of the converter, i have heard the go bad. mine is old and If i can find one i will replace it.
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Old 12-20-2020, 08:09 AM   #6
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Good morning! Sounds like a place to start and we can get into the cause. We can work out the way to test as we go along, since you do have a meter!
We don't have to get very deep into theory on RV so I often leave out small stuff on using the meter as it doesn't matter to us if we get the wrong lead on a digital meter and if you are using an older style analog meter, it will just make the meter go the wrong way and you spot that pretty quick. If your meter has a "hand" like on a clock and it goes down off the scale instead of up, change the leads to the other way! If it's a digital meter, it may tell you it is negative instead of positive but we only have one type on RV, so we can just ignore that. If were were training to be an "expert" we might fuss and want to get the black lead to the ground but I'm not fussy and just go for the handy one!

To test continuity we need to know electricity all works by a circle ( circuit?) and continuity is just making sure there is a continuous circle from one point to another. To test that you have continuity or a full circle, put the meter on the ohms scale or where there is often a funny looking upside down horseshoe marker. Touch the two leads together to get a full circle and the meter should show near zero!

They throw big words in to mess with our minds but continuity is just a circle! Your meter on ohms is testing the resistance from one point on the meter, out to the other lead and back to the meter and you have a circle!

But much of the time we need to test for voltage, either 12 volt DC or at times, 110AC, so it sounds like you have that down? Use care when around the 110AC for sure but also don't let something metal touch the 12VDC and ground at the same time! Big sparks and they can burn you!!

I looked at this drawing and down on page four:
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File...994/110861.pdf

I did a snip of the drawing and did some marking to make it a but if easier to read you want to see the whole story it on the link. If you are using a computer, click this picture to get a better view.
Down at the bottom, it shows power comes in on the cord, either from the power pole or the generator and goes to a 30 amp breaker. That 30 amp then feeds the other smaller breakers in that box. Sine you have the green stuff working, we can skip over much of the box as we know the 30 and the two 20 at the right are okay!

But we can see that the first 15 amp breaker from the left feeds a bunch of stuff as well as the converter and we don't know if there is a problem at that breaker!! If the connection at the breaker is loose or the breaker is bad, that would cause that group of outlets in the bedroom, etc and likely the converter to not work, so look at that, flip the breaker on/off and make sure it goes all the way on and look for loose wires there.

But it may be easier to look at the GFCI in the bathroom first? IF the GFCI outlet is working but not the rest of the circuit (circle?) is not, I might think it is a loose wire on the back of the GFCI outlet. when the GFCI is not working right, it should trip or cutoff both that outlet and the rest of the group! Not always true but that would be expected so some looking at the back of that outlet is needed. The wires should be marked on the outlet in some way like " line in, or field out" as it is kind of like a switch where power comes in, goes through the GFCI and then goes out to the "field" stuff on down the line.

On the house lights and things, do you know about a battery disconnect switch that is usually near the entry door? If it is off, that makes almost all the 12 VDC like lights, water pump, vent fans, etc. dead, even if you have good batteries! Maybe a problem or maybe just needed to turned on? Go for the easy stuff and hopes it just needs turned on??

Maybe see what you find and we can work on any other problems/ questions as you go.
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Old 12-20-2020, 08:31 AM   #7
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This is a link to a different way of showing what to expect and how the wires are run, in case it might help. The first thing I see is that there may be two different ways as one is for US and the other for Canada!, so look of each page to spot the correct one?
It is often almost the same but Canada often has safer methods builtin.
It looks like the power centers are near the center left side inside but it may help to see how the wires are laid in when built?
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File...994/110862.pdf
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:27 PM   #8
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I tried to zoom in to read the drawing and I cannot read the print. going to have to click on link to read it. things have shifted gears on me. I am on medical leave from work due to a verticum hernia so my activities are restricting me from attending to this matter and once the operation is preformed, I will be out of commission for 4 to 6 weeks at the least. my brother has sent a mechanic thats very knowledgeable with the Ford 7.5 liter motor. he is going to see if it will fire first ( it turns over) if it fires, then we go to fuel lines and replacement of pump and sending unit. so as not to make this even a longer story, I will come back to this problem and your advise when ready and able. thank you so much for your time! safe travels and I will be talking to you later on this ( 12 volt ) subject.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:01 PM   #9
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Life is often like sorting wiring problems on RV. We gotta go with getting the most important things done and then hope we have time to get the rest later.
Being able to stand up, walk and talk is number one and the rest can wait!!
Get the motor running and then worry about where to go, right?
Best of luck to you and come back when it fits!
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:39 PM   #10
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4 weeks after surgery, I am doing better, I ordered a manual for the coach ( from Lichtsinn RV )so I can find out what functions my switches do. the battery disconnect switch is with the batteries under the floor at the entry way. it was on but I turned it off so as not to drain the new batteries. I will look into the GCFI. thanks again!
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