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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Killed my Kill Switch

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myway2rv

York, PA

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Posted: 03/07/12 10:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Greetings,
My 2005 Jayco Greyhawk seems to be dead on the 12 volt side. I was parked for about a week with no shore power and the last thing I did before parking was to hit the kill switch. When I returned, I tried to activate the switch and it seems to be frozen in place. My house battery was dead as well.
The 120 v outlets are fine when hooked to shore power, but the 12 v side is completely kaput. No lights, fridge, slides,...nothing.
I've recharged the battery, but I still cannot get the 12 v system to work. Need to get the bedroom slide out to inspect the 12 v fuses, but I cannot imagine that they are all blown.
I'm kinda wondering if the kill switch is just stuck. May I'll just jump over it to see. But I thought I'd ask first before making the sparks fly.
Any ideas?


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mena661

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Posted: 03/07/12 10:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jump the switch first. Also, there's usually an auto reset breaker somewhere near the batteries. Check that too.


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RoyB

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Posted: 03/07/12 10:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would pick up a cheap digital voltmeter from Lowes or Walmart ($7-$15) and make sure you dont have another problem. If you dont read 12VDC on the feed side of the kill switch then the problem is between the kill switch and the battery connection. Sometime the battery connection might be corroded and just needs removed and cleanup up abit and put back. With the multimeter you can verify the battery is putting 12VDC on the cables leaving it. (Touch the ring terminal - not the battery termimanl and you should read 12VDC there if it is a good connection)..

Check the Battery cables as mice and squirrles loves the rubber on the outside of the battery cables.

If your ceiling lights come on ok when you connect up to shore power will tell you the on-board converter/charger unit is working ok and producing 12VDC to keep your battery charged up. Your ceiling lights only work from the Converter 12VDC out or the Battery 12VDc output There is also a couple of fuses in-line between the battery hookup and the converter/charger unit. These fuses is usually installed close to the battery. Mine are the ATC type plugged into a rubber holder with a weathertight sealed lid on them.

With the multimeter you should be able to identy where you are "NOT" getting 12VDC pretty easy. Knowing this will keep you from tearing up "KILL" switch to test it only to find out it was the the missing 12VDC and not a bad KILL switch.


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WyoTraveler

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Posted: 03/07/12 10:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many RVers put in the battery kill switches. Switches do go bad once in a while. I suspect some moisture got into the switch if it was fairly new. Or if the switch wasn't totally sealed and installed inside the battery box the acid environment could have caused the problem.

I just never had a need for a kill switch on my RV batteries. If the battery is fused at the battery (highly recommended) and you check the water on a regular basis just leave the RV plugged in. If the charger was causing the water in the battery to evaporate too quickly I would spend that money on a trickle charger. Mount the trickle charger by the battery with a separate plug. I use a trickle charger on several pieces of equipment during the winter. The trickle chargers have a built in diode so when you are using the RV and the battery voltage is increased and the trickle charger is not plugged in the current will not flow back into the trickle charger. Many of the trickle chargers are also water proof so they can be mounted on the exterior of the battery box. Nothing wrong with using kill switches but IMHO it is just something else that can cause problems.

Check out this trickle charger. I have one installed on all of my small equipment that has batteries.

http://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SE-1-12S-Automatic-Onboard-Battery/dp/B0000AXTUY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1331141000&sr=8-7


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myway2rv

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Posted: 03/07/12 10:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RoyB wrote:



{Snip}
Check the Battery cables as mice and squirrles loves the rubber on the outside of the battery cables.

.


Thanks, I just replaced the propane hose for that reason and I hadn't thought of that on the cables.

And I will certainly get the multi meter out and start looking for the cause. The next couple days will be mild, so I'll try to sort this all out and post the conclusion.

Many Thanks,

RoyB

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Posted: 03/07/12 10:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not familar with the "KILL SWITCH" operation but I imagine this is what we all call a "Battery Disconnect" switch and is located near the battery and only opens up the battery cable when engaged. All of your 12VDC items inside the trailer should work just fine when you connect to the Shore power COnnection as these items will get 12VDC coming from the on-board Converter/Charger unit. Of course the slide probably wont work with just the Converter turned on and need the extra 12VDc boost provided by the battery connected but all of your ceiling lights, and 12VDC items inside the trailer should work just fine with just the Converter running from Shore power. There is one Converter model that does need to trip a relay from the battery and wont let the converter turn on without a battery connected. You might post the converter name and model so we can make sure that isnt the problem. Of course the multimeter connected on the "BAt" connection at the converter module will read 13.6VDC when the converter is operating. This is another test to see if the converter is good.

The general rule is if your ceiling lights "dont" come on when you are connected to shore power will tell you the converter is also not working. Both the Converter 12VDC and the Battery 12VDC feed the Power Distribution Center so you can camp at both camp sites with power and without power. Do some more checking before you start jumping things and start tearing them out. Might save you some grief and $$$ later on...

Maybe you have done all of this already checking with a multi-meter. This would definately tell you if the KILL switch was bad. You would read 12VDC on the input and nothing on the output side after you disengage it.

myway2rv

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Posted: 03/07/12 01:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

garym114 wrote:

The switch operates a solenoid that actually does the connecting and disconnecting.


I am guilty of garbling the tech description of these items.
So, here is the battery disconnect switch.


And here is the solenoid that disconnects/connects the battery to the system.


At the moment, I have removed the battery to clean it up and recharge.
Next I will reinstall the battery and have a helper activate the switch so I can check the solenoid and see if we are getting voltage through it.
The house battery did have a lot of corrosion on the negative terminal.

Thanks to all.

ksg5000

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Posted: 03/07/12 01:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know my disconnect solenoid has a couple of fuses on the solenoid - yours may also and when they burn out the solenoid won't operate properly.


Kevin

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Posted: 03/07/12 02:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trouble shooting high amperage circuits with a multimeter requiring only micro amps to obtain a reading can be very misleading. You might get a 12 volt reading but the second you attempt to draw even an amp the voltage reading could go south in a hurry. It might help to at least put a filament bulb trouble light on the circuit together with the meter to see how the voltage is.


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garym114

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Posted: 03/07/12 11:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The switch operates a solenoid that actually does the connecting and disconnecting.


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