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STRESS IN FLAGSTAFF - Electrical


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Re: 03 Newmar Mountain Air

 

I'm stuck with my slides out dry camping.... put 'em out using the generator last night. Now the generator won't start :( The one RV service place recommended on the internet no longer does repairs, only parts. The Onan dealer can't help me until Monday. I told him the symptoms (coach DC voltage way low after using generator). He said it sounds like a charge control issue. The batteries have a "Global Technologies - ICP" charge controller on them with both the 'charge' and 'full' lights out.

 

ANY ADVICE GREATLY APPRECIATED -- ESPECIALLY SOMEONE I COULD GET TO COME TO THE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS PARK AND HELP ME WITH THIS -- THERE IS NO SHORE POWER IN THE PARK FOR NOW

 

DAVE

CEL 360-275-1853

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I don't know who you called but you might try this one: Flagstaff Service Center 928-526-6771. If they can't help, perhaps they can give you a name of a mobile mechanic.

 

We had a tool where you could put in the slides manually, in an emergency. Do you have one?

 

This sounds like a battery problem. Good luck!

 

You're close to Munds RV park. Perhaps they could help with a mobile mechanic.

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Since you left no information about what type of equipment you have (Class A, Class C, 5th wheel) this is going to be an answer based on some general things found in a Class A which is what I own.

 

Sounds like your house batteries are the problem. To put your slides in, try doing it with the engine running. Your slides can be powered by either the chassis batteries or the house batteries.

 

Your generator is normally started off your house batteries. Since they are now too low as far as charge is concerned, you cannot start your generator. One work around is to start your engine and then hold the emergency start switch open (this connects your house and chassis batteries together) and let the engine start charging the house batteries. Give it 30 minutes are so and try and start the generator. IF the generator starts, then shut off your engine and let the generator run to charge your house batteries. Give it 6-8 hours of running to get them to a state of charge that is sufficient.

 

If you have a Class A, you should have sufficient instrumentation to give you your battery voltages. But as an RVer, you should own and know how to use an electrical multi-meter to check voltages.

 

Things that can and do go wrong: Converter/Inverter is not set properly or not working; charge relay (connects the two battery banks) is not working; batteries are just old and need to be replaced; battery electrolyte levels are too low (add water); high current fuses in house battery circuit are blown; and so on.

 

Good luck and most mobile repair people should be able to troubleshoot these problems.

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Thanks Dick in Oregon for calling me about this...you gave me a bit of a primer on MH dc systems in a few minutes. Thanks tons. Turns out the batteries had to be replaced (2 years old). I'm on my "shake down" tour with this couch just started out 7 days ago from Phoenix. Trying to make those long 6-7% grades to reach the 7000 ft elevation of Flagstaff was a major struggle for my 8.1 chevy.

 

Alls well now for the time being. This elevation is something else... but thanks to everyone for all the advice. Crisis solved for $300 worth of batteries.

 

This is what Escapees is all about... amazing folks willing to help however they can.

 

Thanks again

dave

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Have you been keeping the electrolyte levels in the batteries at proper level? Low electrolyte might explain their failure in only two years. You probably also have an "emergency start" switch or something similar that will cross connect the chassis battery with the coach battery in order to allow you to use the chassis battery to start the genset or the coach battery to start the chassis engine. In this case, you need to start the chassis engine and allow it to run for a minute or so, then hold down that switch for a minute or two, then while holding it down start the genset.

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Also make sure you have more than 1/4 tank of fuel, siince the generator fuel intake is normally at that level to always allow you to start the engine.

 

While probably not related to this person's problem, this is something that has bitten many RVers.

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Also Dave, don't let the beginning problems discourage you. We've all been there and later in your RV travels you'll look back & laugh. I can remember having to run my RV to charge my batteries so I could bring in my slides. The converter/charger had gone out. Best of luck to you.

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Case closed....thanks tons to all who responded. New batteries did the trick.

 

BUT I have a question about batteries: Is it advisable to use bottled drinking water for the batteries (like from Walmart) ?

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Case closed....thanks tons to all who responded. New batteries did the trick.

 

BUT I have a question about batteries: Is it advisable to use bottled drinking water for the batteries (like from Walmart) ?

 

No. Use distilled water only. It too can be purchased at Wal-Mart or most any market.

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Case closed....thanks tons to all who responded. New batteries did the trick.

 

BUT I have a question about batteries: Is it advisable to use bottled drinking water for the batteries (like from Walmart) ?

If you do not use distilled water it will shorten the life of the batteries. Demineralized water is not the same as it has had the calcium and iron removed but does have salt in it, just as softened water does. Distilled is the only kind of water that will not have a negative impact upon your batteries. I use a long, tapered funnel to put the water in and just pour from a gallon jug, also usually from Walmart.

10UJ74_AS01.JPG

 

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out here where I live all we ever use in batteries is tank water collected from the house roof, I have had up to 6 years service out of start batteries doing this.

 

2years seems a bit short of a life span but it depends a bit on how the have been used, charged, left standing ect, you always seem to get some that cark it earlier than others.

 

mick

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I've tried turkey basters, funnels, and battery fill devices. All work but I was never happy with any of them. Finally I bought an outboard fuel priming bulb and attached about a 10 inch clear plastic hose to the discharge side, and a three foot hose to the suction side. It's the best system ever. I can sit the gallon jug of distilled water on the ground or wherever and just pump the exact amount of water I need by squeezing the bulb. No issue with overfilling and no spills.

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look carefully at the converter charging system. some of the older ones do a poor job of charging but are great at cooking the water out of the batteries. you need a 3 or 4 stage charging system. of course keep the fluid level up as mentioned above.

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