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 > House Power Problem

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ShotgunWriter

Paige, TX

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Posted: 05/15/19 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HELP! We need help with a power/electrical issue in our 2004 Holiday Rambler Ambassador.

Went on a little trip over the weekend. We always travel with a dash camera, that is powered by a portable inverter that plugs into our cigarette lighter in the dash. We also had one cell phone plugged into the inverter. Generator not turned on.

After a few hours of driving, the inverter started beeping and had a "low battery" indicator. We turned it off, as we were almost home.

As we arrived home we discovered that we have power to outlets, microwave, and TV, but not lights or washing machine. This happened once before, but our house batteries were just low. Charged them up, and everything worked just fine.

This time, however, after charging, we still have no power. Batteries are reading full according to voltage meter. All fuses and breaker switches have been checked. Husband says large inverter is good, because he hears it come on, click on as it's supposed to, and it charges the batteries.

We have checked the water level in the batteries and took the batteries themselves to Auto Zone to get checked. All checked out at 100% charge and around 6.5V.

What are we missing? Why do we have no power? And what do we need to do differently in the future to avoid this problem? Thanks in advance!


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2005 Holiday Rambler Ambassador
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msturtz

Washington

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Posted: 05/15/19 10:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I not directly familiar with your specific coach I do have some suggestions. Some coaches have a device that bridges (connects) the house and chassis battery banks if charge voltage is present on either side. Some coaches have different systems that may only connect on side or the other. One symptom of a failure is the house battery bank discharging with the engine running. To test this theory start the engine and let it run for at least 5 minutes. Check the battery voltage at the battery on both side. There should be less than 0.2 VDC difference between the two banks.


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wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 05/16/19 07:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reply/questions in SOLID LETTER CAPS:

ShotgunWriter wrote:

HELP! We need help with a power/electrical issue in our 2004 Holiday Rambler Ambassador.

Went on a little trip over the weekend. We always travel with a dash camera, that is powered by a portable inverter that plugs into our cigarette lighter in the dash. We also had one cell phone plugged into the inverter. Generator not turned on. IS THIS PORTABLE INVERTER POWERED BY HOUSE OR CHASSIS BATTERIES?

After a few hours of driving, the inverter started beeping and had a "low battery" indicator. We turned it off, as we were almost home. WHILE DRIVING, THE ALTERNATOR SHOULD CHARGE BOTH BATTERY BANKS. IF IT DOESN'T, LOCATE THE BATTERY ISOLATOR (DIODE OR SOLENOID BASED) AND CHECK FOR VOLTAGE IN AND OUT TO EACH BANK WITH ENGINE AT AROUND 1100 RPM.

As we arrived home we discovered that we have power to outlets, microwave (THESE ARE 120 VAC), and TV(LIKELY 120 VAC), but not lights (LIKELY 12 VDC) or washing machine (120 VAC). This happened once before, but our house batteries were just low. Charged them up, and everything worked just fine. BATTERIES (12 VDC) SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH POWER TO THE 120 VAC ITEMS IF YOU ARE PLUGGED INTO SHORE POWER OR GENERATOR RUNNING. SAME SYMPTOMS ON GENERATOR?

This time, however, after charging, we still have no power. Batteries are reading full according to voltage meter. All fuses and breaker switches have been checked. Husband says large inverter is good, because he hears it come on, click on as it's supposed to, and it charges the batteries. ASSUME YOU HAVE A BUILT IN INVERTER/CHARGER (NOT THE SMALL PORTABLE ONE MENTIONED ABOVE). AGAIN, SOME OF THESE 120 VAC APPLIANCES (MICROWAVE FOR EXAMPLE) ARE OFTEN WIRED THROUGH THE INVERTER. BUT THE WASHER-- NEVER SEEN THAT WIRED THROUGH AN INVERTER. SO, AT LEAST NO POWER TO THE WASHER WOULD INDICATE A PROBLEM WITH SHORE POWER OUTLET YOU ARE PLUGGED INTO, SHORE POWER CORD, ATS, WIRE TO MAIN BREAKER BOX, BREAKER OR WIRING TO WASHER.AGAIN-- SAME SYMPTOMS ON GENERATOR POWER?

We have checked the water level in the batteries and took the batteries themselves to Auto Zone to get checked. All checked out at 100% charge and around 6.5V.

What are we missing? Why do we have no power? And what do we need to do differently in the future to avoid this problem? Thanks in advance!


START BY IDENTIFY EXACTLY WHAT RUNS (ACTUALLY WHAT DOESN'T RUN) ON 12 VDC, 120 VAC DIRECT FROM BREAKER BOX AND 120 VAC THROUGH THE INVERTER CHARGER.


Brett Wolfe
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Ex: 1997 Safari 35'
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Posted: 05/16/19 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make sure you, or someone else, hasn't tapped the salesman switch by the door....Dennis


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cavie

Port Charlotte Fl/ Hindsdale MA

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have three independent systems. Two 12 volt systems and 120 volt system. Your plug in inverter is powered by you chassis battery system. It is in dependent of you house battery 12 volt system. The chassis system is charged by you alternator while you are driving. You lights are 12 volt system powered by your House 12 volt system. Your washing machine is 120 volts powered by shore power/Generator. It would not be powered by your batteries. As stated above. We need to know everything that is not working. Does All 120 run off the big inverter? A/C will not. Does that work?


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wildmanbaker

Kennewick, Washington

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Posted: 05/16/19 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shotgun,these questions are not met to be harmful, but are required to better help point to the possible problems that may be causing the problems.


Wildmanbaker


ShotgunWriter

Paige, TX

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Posted: 05/16/19 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello and thanks for your help so far. To give more info...

We do have a large, permanent inverter near the battery compartment, and a smaller, portable one that we plug into the dash receptacle so we have 2 outlets for devices that don't have cigarette plugs.

Husband bought 4 new batteries today. No change in status.

We had flickering lights when we used the water pump this weekend while boondocking.

When we switch from shore power to generator, the large inverter changes from a humming noise to a single click and then no noise.
Breaker switches located on large inverter turn various things on and off. Two switches that each control half of RV.

We have checked every breaker, fuse and switch we can find. Husband is continuing to go through every nook and cranny looking for one of the above.

The following are items that are working or not. There is no change with the generator vs. Shore power:

Cigarette lighter receptacle in dash NOT
House lights NOT
Both TVs WORKING
Microwave WORKING
Water heater NOT
Water pump NOT
Fridge (residential, only uses electric) WORKING
A/C no power to controls/thermostat to turn them on
Power outlets WORKING
Washer/dryer NOT
Cargo lights NOT



Thanks again. Keep the ideas coming!

Executive

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shotgun, you say your hubby checked the breakers. Did he turn the OFF completely and turn them back ON? Same with fuses. Use a meter to check them. Sometimes breakers and fuses look ok when they aren't. From what you posted as not working, my guess would be a bad breaker. That said, everything that's not working appear to be water based so you might have a GFCI that's tripped.....Dennis

msturtz

Washington

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All the stuff that you listed as working are 120v appliances. This leads me to believe it is in the 12 V side. Start at the battery and check the voltage. Usually there will be a large fuse before the inverter and the rest of the house wiring. If there’s power past that then look for the battery disconnect relay. Keep checking until you find where the power is no longer passing. Another quick thing you can do is press the emergency start switch up in the dashboard. Make sure everything is off except a few lights. Depending on where that relay is wired may tell you where the problem is.

malexander

Oklahoma City, OK

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Posted: 05/17/19 06:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not sure if this is of any value or not. But, I was having an electrical issue in a 5er once. Dimming lights, some things not working, no power to a/c controls.

I'm a licensed plumber & electrician, so do all my own maintenance and troubleshooting. My electrical problem turned out to be a "ghost" in the inverter, it "sort-of" worked some of the time. I replace it, and all the problems went away.


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