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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Lights dim and the generator won't start

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bleleux

Lake Charles, LA

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Posted: 01/09/13 05:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just went out to my class C Sunseeker motorhome to get ready for the weekend. The lights are dim inside the motorhome and the refrigerator is dim also. It is plugged up to a 30 amp plug and it has not tripped the breaker. The battery indicator light shows the batteries are dead. The generator won't start. Should the electrical parts in the motorhome still work if the batteries are dead and it is still plugged up to a 30 amp plug. We've had the motorhome for 2 years but we really haven't had any problems. Please help us if you can.
Thanks.

NullSmurf

Aurora (Denver) CO

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Posted: 01/09/13 05:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Disconnect your onboard batteries while on shore power - see if brings you to normal. If so, one or more of your onboards may have gone south.


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Bird Freak

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Posted: 01/09/13 05:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you sure you have 30 amp power? If so check your converter or fuse for it.


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Gene in NE

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Posted: 01/09/13 05:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bleleux - If that happened to me, it would be because I forgot to connect the coach batteries to the grid. I have a momentary contact switch near the exit door that is labeled "Store" or "In Use". When in "Store" mode the batteries are completely isolated.

However, after I reread your posting; that probably is not your problem as you are actually getting dim lights. It might be that you have an automatic transfer switch to determine where your coach 12 volt system will receive 120 volt charging power. It should automatically switch from generator to shore line. I would suspect that first and next the converter fuse.


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Gene

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Posted: 01/09/13 05:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a similar problem. It was a ground wire. They fixed it at the shop.

pianotuna

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Posted: 01/09/13 05:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Try starting the engine. See if that will charge up the "house" batteries enough to start the generator.

Check the breaker for the converter. Check the reverse polarity fuses for the converter.

You do have a voltmeter yes?


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YC 1

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Posted: 01/09/13 06:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

See if your microwave is showing the clock. If so then the 110 volts is getting inside. If not, chase that.

There are two systems. The 110 volt runs the outlets and microwave. The refer requires 12 volts to run the electronics and your lights are DC. If the microwave is lit up then find your AC breakers to see if any onboard breakers have popped that would supply your charger. Then you need to find your inverter and check any fuses associated with that.


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powderman426

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Posted: 01/09/13 08:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

YC 1 wrote:

See if your microwave is showing the clock. If so then the 110 volts is getting inside. If not, chase that.

There are two systems. The 110 volt runs the outlets and microwave. The refer requires 12 volts to run the electronics and your lights are DC. If the microwave is lit up then find your AC breakers to see if any onboard breakers have popped that would supply your charger. Then you need to find your inverter and check any fuses associated with that.


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dodgerdog

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Posted: 01/10/13 04:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know I'm a 110% in the dark but sounds like the batteries need to be charged and maybe the onboard invertor is going bad and maybe unable to charge the batteries? I'd take the batteries out make sure they have plenty of water in the cells and try and charge them on an external batter charge independt from the trailer.... If the batteries come back up and hold a full charge them you might have an issue with the invertor... going south... loose wire... or the ground needs to be cleaned .... Just a thought....



Bordercollie

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Posted: 01/11/13 08:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some of the above replies referred to your "inverter", they meant "converter". It converts 110volt AC from the outside or from your generator to 12 volts DC to power your interior 12 volt lights, and to charge your "house" batteries. If your house batteries are near dead, your interior lights will be dim, fridge and furnace controls,etc. won't work. Your RV generator must get it's starting power from the house batteries instead of the engine starting battery. If you have no knowledge of care and feeding of batteries, including checking of battery voltage with a voltmeter, cleaning electrical connections, etc, etc.,
call a mobile RV repair service or take your rig into an RV service place. Watch and learn what does what and how to check and maintain batteries and do basic 12 volt systems trouble shooting. Buy a cheap digital mulitmeter from Harbor Freight, etc. Get a generic RV owner maintenance book.

BTW an "inverter" is a device that converts 12 vdc power back to 110 vac power inside the motorhome to run low wattage 110 vac devices.

It's important to use correct terminology when asking questions or giving answers.

* This post was edited 01/11/13 09:02am by Bordercollie *

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