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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Maintenance Issues & Tips

 > My 12 lights and other appliances do not work from battery

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CHIEFTOM

CONVERSE TEXAS

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Posted: 03/13/20 05:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just purchased a 2003 R-vision Trail Lite M-231 25 ft motorhome. The 12 volt lites and other 12 v operated items on the coach work fine when the RV is plugged or when the gen set is running but do not work from the battery. I have 12v power at the inverter fuse panel when not plugged in does not get to the lites. I found a switch just inside the door labeled battery disconnect and it has a on and storage position but moving it between positions doesn't seem to do anything. Haven't got to the back of the switch yet as it seems to be sealed in with spray foam from the back side. The two coach batteries were replaced by the previous owner this month and are located at the front of engine under the hood. The battery wires run to two solenoids just above the batteries. Any ideas or assistance will be appreciated.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 03/13/20 05:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The batteries could well be depleted. Test for voltage. Did the 12 volt lights etc. work on your pre-purchase walk through?


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CHIEFTOM

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Posted: 03/13/20 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The batteries are fully charged. They start the generator fine. Everything worked fine when generator was running. Previous was inexperienced with RV's and thought the batteries were only for starting the gen set. He didn't know the switch I mentioned was there.

ScottG

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Posted: 03/13/20 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Battery switch off or "salesman's switch" flipped?
12V circuit breakfailed/tripped?

* This post was edited 03/13/20 06:54pm by ScottG *


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LadyRVer

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Posted: 03/13/20 07:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Coach batteries under hood? May be, but my coach batteries were always somewhere else in the coach, compartments or under steps into coach. Under hood were engine batteries. My battery disconnect was always for the coach batteries.

If me, I would look for a mobile rv tech or if unit is driveable, do you have a dealer nearby?

MrWizard

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Posted: 03/13/20 10:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not the question you asked, but something to know
You said inverter
An inverter uses the batteries and makes 120vac
A Converter uses 120vac shore power or generator power and supplies 14vdc needed to charge the house/camper batteries and power the lights , water pump, appliance n controls etc..
A combo inverter-charger does both
I'm an not familiar with your RV, but think it probably has a converter, not a combo unit
A brand name and model number will let us clarify what you have
It sounds like the house batteries are Not being connected via the disconnect switch or are possibly dead
Can you get voltage reading on the charged batteries while on shore power, it should be above 13v while charging, also get a reading in the converter, from any of the fuses, or from any red and black wires
You may have more batteries, or the charge solenoid might not be working correctly, or there could be a blown fuse in that circuit


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 03/14/20 05:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some Inverters are also converters

#1 Suggestion is the "Salesman's Switch" May be marked AUX or may be marked Use/Store

#2 is a main fuse or circuit breaker.

How to find problem: Tools needed: A test light. this is a device that you get at Auto stuff places (Auto zone, Discount Auto Napa Auto dept at super store)

Looks like an ice pick with a light in the handle and a wire

Clip wire to unpainted metal part and touch positive battery terminal. Bright good. all else bad

Now move on out the positive lead till you find a terminal. Touch Bright good

If you have to move the ground clip re-test last good point to make sure you have a good ground

Problem exists between bright and dark


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CHIEFTOM

CONVERSE TEXAS

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Posted: 03/14/20 05:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the class 101 on how to use a test light. I'm 76 years old and have been fixing things my whole life. The use/store switch was my first guess but I would have thought this would interrupt 12 volt power to the 12 v panel on fuse block. but there is power there when not plugged in just not getting out to the lights.

I guess I would be sexist if I said the reply from the RVlady is about what I would expect from someone who has never fixed anything in there life.

I do have a converter not a inverter , sorry about the improper nomenclature.
The use/store switch only has small wires attached to it so I'm assuming it controls a solenoid , most likely one of those that are located close to the coach batteries, which are located under the hood in front of the engines.
All HELP is appreciated. I guess I don't consider recommending I take it to a shop to get repaired help.

* This post was edited 03/14/20 05:50am by CHIEFTOM *

cavie

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Posted: 03/14/20 06:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure the reverse polarity fuses (Two or three 30 or 40 amp fuses) on the converter are not blown. Find and check the inline resetable 12 volt fuse within 6 feet of the battery. Be sure the battery disconnect switch is in the use position. Find and check the battery disconect relay. Be sure to check the GFI reset on the inverter.

"Lights and other appliances" is not enough information. We need to know ALL that don't work.

* This post was edited 03/14/20 06:21am by cavie *


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CHIEFTOM

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Posted: 03/14/20 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First I need to apologise to LadyRVer. My wife doesn't do much mechanical stuff either she says that's what she has me for.She does bake a mean carrot cake from scratch though.Congratulations for continuing to RV after losing your significant other, I know I would struggle greatly without mine. Take it to a shop , that's what us Macho I can fix it myself guys do after we have spent countless hours and money trying to fix it ourselves.

Now more info on problem, it is getting better. Coach batteries read 12.7 volts with the shore power plugged in or not. I stated in original post I was getting power to converter fuse panel when no plugged in but this morning I was getting Zero when checking with volt meter. After messing with battery disconnect switch , ie turning off and on several times and then lightly tapping both solenoids located close to coach batteries I was getting 6.4 volts without being plugged into shore power. A few minutes later it was 8.3 volts and a little later it was 9.4 volts and the one LCD I had left on would come on but not as bright as it was when plugged in . The only 12 volt things I know were working initially were the steps and the gen set would start. I wasn't getting power to the 12 volt fuse panel, so nothing on the fuse panel was working. I have some photo's I wanted to load to the post but don't see where to do that. Maybe someone could help me there. I'm convinced it must be a switch, solenoid or loose corred connection problem.

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