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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > HELP - can a battery disconnect switch go bad?

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twokuhns

Ashtabula

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Posted: 06/21/11 04:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2006 Jayco Class C. We are at wits end..the scenario is like this. Generator will start if the truck is running, if truck is not running it is totally dead. We have a brand new battery in the coach. When we start the generator with the engine..all is well, everything everywhere works in the coach.
Now, when we plug RV into the shore line...sometimes it works, most times it does not. All ac power will come on for about 10 minutes then go off, or it will not come on at all. Could this be the ATS, or is it possible the battery disconnect switch by the door could be bad somehow?

Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 06/21/11 05:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ALL switches can fail.

twokuhns

Ashtabula

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Posted: 06/21/11 05:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

well of course I KNOW that all switches can fail, what I need to know if that seems to be the likely cause of the problem

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 06/21/11 05:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

The battery disconnect switch has little to do with 120 volt AC power unless there is an inverter involved.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

twokuhns

Ashtabula

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Posted: 06/21/11 05:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

there is an inverter I would assume, since the ATS switches from battery to ac

twokuhns

Ashtabula

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Posted: 06/21/11 05:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

scratch that, we have a converter, not an inverter

old guy

Oregon (pronounced Or e gun)

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Posted: 06/21/11 06:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

some thing you need to know, if it is man made it is subject to failure. that includes kids too. Sorry to say

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 06/21/11 06:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

twokuhns,

You might have two separate problems: one with the 120VAC ATS switch and one with a 12VDC disconnect switch or relay circuit.

The ATS (automatic transfer switch) is designed to automatically switch the 120 VAC circuits in your rig from shore power to generator power. The default state should be shore power and when the generator starts, roughly about 30 seconds later you should hear a "clunk" from the ATS as the relay kicks in and switches the rig to generator 120 VAC. This operation should be independent of any 12 VDC issues. I don't believe your ATS even has a connection to the 12V side of the rig. The "sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it shuts off after 10 minutes" could be indicative of a failing relay in the ATS. If you open the ATS case next time it doesn't work, try tapping the relays WITH A NON-METALLIC OBJECT!!! Be careful, please. I'm not sure who makes your ATS, but if it's Progressive Dynamics, here's a link to their ATS Units.

The coach battery disconnect switch will disconnect the coach battery from the coach 12V electrical. The operation of this switch should not effect the ATS switch in the generator. However, if the coach battery is disconnected, your 12VDC items (lights) will not work UNLESS you have a source of 120VAC (generator OR shore power) AND your converter is working. The converter will supply 12VDC to your system and run the 12VDC items. However, with the battery disconnected: a.) it won't charge the battery and b.) as soon as the 120VAC source is disconnected, all of the 12VDC stuff will go dead too.

You said: "When we start the generator with the engine..all is well, everything everywhere works in the coach. " This sounds like your coach battery is disconnected and once the generator starts, it will supply all of your 120VAC power AND through the converter it will supply your 12VDC devices with power.

If you're comfortable working with 120VAC and have a DVM, you can open up the ATS box and make some measurements to see if power is getting through the relays as expected. If you have wiring diagrams for your rig and you know how to read them, that could be might handy information.

My ATS switch failed two years ago, which would've put it at about the same age as yours is now. So yes, they do fail.

On the DC side of things, many of the disconnect switches are actually relays located somewhere else, so there are multiple points of failure. The disconnect switch at the door could work fine, but the relay (under the hood or where ever) might not respond properly. Or the relay might be fine but the switch isn't working properly. Or possibly both are working and the fuse is bad, or there is a corroded wire/splice somewhere in the circuit.

I don't know much of the specifics on your rig, but hopefully this helped. If you can add any additional trouble-shooting or diagnostic info, please feel free to do so.

Good Luck,

~Rick

* This post was edited 06/21/11 07:11pm by Rick Jay *


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (26-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (21), 2 boys (22 & 19).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.


Dusty R

Charlotte Michigan 48813

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Posted: 06/21/11 07:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another maybe, coach 12 volt ground.
With a volt meter, check for 12 volts from hot post of coach battery to body/frame for ground if you have 12 volts have a helper crank generator. If you do not have 12 volt or it disappears when cranker generator, you have a bad ground.

Dusty

twokuhns

Ashtabula

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Posted: 06/21/11 07:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, thanks Rick Jay, what a concise answer, Thank you very much, its dark here now, we will proceed tomorrow. Thankfully we are still home with it sitting in the driveway and not on the road somewhere. Its all pretty frustrating..seems as if there are several electrical things all at once. The fuses in the bottom on the converter are something we thought we should look at as well, but we can't get them out, they have screws on them and they won't come out=appear to be fused into the sockets...maybe. A whole nother problem!

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