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bertnspike

Stumped. RV won't start, not a battery problem

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2005 Gulf Stream Independence, gas.  I have new AGM batteries.  According to my gauges, all 3 have a full charge.  The RV won't start.  There are none of the typical dead battery behaviors - no clicking, no lights flickering, nothing.  All of my normal dash lights do not come on when I turn the key.  Even the radio light is out.  When I flip the chassis battery disconnect switch it springs back into the ON position and won't stay off.  I have tried to jump the battery and I have tried starting with the booster switch that pulls from the house batteries.  I have checked all the fuses I can find.  I don't know what else to do.  Any ideas?

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1 hour ago, bertnspike said:

2005 Gulf Stream Independence, gas.  I have new AGM batteries.  According to my gauges, all 3 have a full charge.  The RV won't start.  There are none of the typical dead battery behaviors - no clicking, no lights flickering, nothing.  All of my normal dash lights do not come on when I turn the key.  Even the radio light is out.  When I flip the chassis battery disconnect switch it springs back into the ON position and won't stay off.  I have tried to jump the battery and I have tried starting with the booster switch that pulls from the house batteries.  I have checked all the fuses I can find.  I don't know what else to do.  Any ideas?

Maybe that's the problem . It might not be connecting the battery  .

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Sounds like a faulty switch. When you turn it does it actually disconnect power? You can tell by turning on the ignition and have someone watch the idiot lights. Is the switch just a toggle switch on the dash? I’d so it goes to a relay that may not be passing sufficient amps. Is it a switch you rotate? If so you can pull the switch and connect all cables to one post. Is it gas or diesel? Do you have a large fuse in your battery compartment? If so that would be for the ecm. Can you check voltage at the starter while someone turns the key? 

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95% of all electrical problems turn out to be bad ground. Have you tested the + post to anything on the frame w/ a meter.

Not making fun of your situation, but some porta-pot humor

"Here I sit with a broken heart. Took my last bennie & my truck won't start"  and under it

"That was stupid. Start truck FIRST, THEN take bennie.................."

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3 hours ago, dennisvr said:

Did it start after installing the new batteries?

Yes.  I started it every week until 2 weeks ago when I got lazy and skipped a week... now this.

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3 hours ago, Ronbo said:

Sounds like a faulty switch. When you turn it does it actually disconnect power? You can tell by turning on the ignition and have someone watch the idiot lights. Is the switch just a toggle switch on the dash? I’d so it goes to a relay that may not be passing sufficient amps. Is it a switch you rotate? If so you can pull the switch and connect all cables to one post. Is it gas or diesel? Do you have a large fuse in your battery compartment? If so that would be for the ecm. Can you check voltage at the starter while someone turns the key? 

The switch is a lighted toggle switch by the door. I don't know if it actually disconnects the power from the chassis battery, as I have no power from that battery in the first place.  The light on the switch does not go out (it used to, before I had this problem, and it used to stay flipped off), and it does not stay flipped off.  The RV is gas.  I have not had a chance to look for a fuse near the batteries - there is no "compartment".  All 3 batteries are right behind the grille.  The only fuses that I know of are in a small bay right behind the front wheel on the driver's side.  There are 4 large fuses (besides the millions of small ones) there that are similar to a GFCI, in that I can push a button and a lever flips out that I can push back in.  I don't know how to tell if any of the 4 are bad.

Thanks for your considered response.

 

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1 hour ago, ARGO said:

95% of all electrical problems turn out to be bad ground. Have you tested the + post to anything on the frame w/ a meter.

Not making fun of your situation, but some porta-pot humor

"Here I sit with a broken heart. Took my last bennie & my truck won't start"  and under it

"That was stupid. Start truck FIRST, THEN take bennie.................."

Funny!  I don't have a meter.  Will have to see if one of my neighbors has one.

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Where are you located? I would replace the switch first. It is bad. When I had a class A I had fuses under the hood and also above my left foot. There should be a relay near the batteries that the switch controls. Follow the positive cable and you should find it. If you have volt meter check voltage at starter solenoid when the key is turned. 

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1 hour ago, Ronbo said:

Where are you located? I would replace the switch first. It is bad. When I had a class A I had fuses under the hood and also above my left foot. There should be a relay near the batteries that the switch controls. Follow the positive cable and you should find it. If you have volt meter check voltage at starter solenoid when the key is turned. 

I am in Bushnell, FL.  I've known for years that I SHOULD have a meter.  I guess this is my wake up call!  Harbor Freight is in Leesburg; I guess I'm going there tomorrow.  I do need a 2nd person here to help, so all this will have to wait for tomorrow.  Judging by what you've said, it does sound like that switch is bad, or a fuse between that switch and the battery is gone.

In no hurry right at this moment.  Just discovered that SECO Energy did not turn on the electric at my new site.  My spoiled self uses too much power for me to go over there without hookups, so I'll get a meter and get another pair of hands, and take my time getting this right.  I may be getting back to you!

Thanks so much. Ron.

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What chassis does your motorhome have? If you have no lights on the dash at all, then there is no power and I doubt it is a switch unless that switch is somehow draining your batteries. With your new meter, measure across between the two battery posts first to see what it reads. It should be at least 11V. 

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28 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

What chassis does your motorhome have? If you have no lights on the dash at all, then there is no power and I doubt it is a switch unless that switch is somehow draining your batteries. With your new meter, measure across between the two battery posts first to see what it reads. It should be at least 11V. 

That's exactly what the chassis switch does , disconnects the battery so there is no drain .

Being as his chassis switch is faulty , that might be the first place to look for a problem .

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12 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

That's exactly what the chassis switch does , disconnects the battery so there is no drain .

 If you are meaning an aftermarket switch put in to isolate the battery, it may be you are right. If you mean one of the commonly found battery isolator devices that may be true but it is also very common for RV builders to connect some things between the switching device and the battery thus bypassing it. I still think that the first step should be to get a meter and see what the battery voltage is. Once you know for sure that you do have a voltage source, then you can trace it back to see where it is lost. Until you do that you are just groping about in the dark. 

Another possible cause is that some battery cables have a fusible link in them and if that opens it can cause the symptoms you have. After you verify that you have battery voltage, check to see if you have continuity through the battery cables by tracing the voltage or check it with the ohm meter. 

20 hours ago, bertnspike said:

When I flip the chassis battery disconnect switch it springs back into the ON position and won't stay off.

I have seen battery isolators for the coach battery wired to do this if shore power is connected. You may want to try disconnecting shore power and see if that still happens. I would not expect it to be connected in that way if the isolator is for the chassis battery. In most cases, when you have a chassis battery isolator there will be two switches, one for the coach and one for the chassis. 

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I'd check the battery too. Make sure they have the voltage you feel they should have. Possibly a dead, or too low battery. 

If it is the Saleman switch inside the front door. They usually don't interrupt the engine chassis battery feed, more the house stuff off of the house batteries, are controlled by this switch. (At least as I understand it:)!)

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

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2 minutes ago, Smitty77_7 said:

I'd check the battery too. Make sure they have the voltage you feel they should have. Possibly a dead, or too low battery. 

If it is the Saleman switch inside the front door. They usually don't interrupt the engine chassis battery feed, more the house stuff off of the house batteries, are controlled by this switch. (At least as I understand it:)!)

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

Our coach has two switches . One for the chassis and one for the house . 

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10-4! Missed that as I read you post:)!

Still would take a reading of the battery, or if you have jumpers that will reach it, and or battery boost from House to Chassis, might give that a shot too:)!

Looking forward to your Root Cause find!! (Suppose you are too:)!)

Smitty

 

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Did you ever solve this problem? I’m having the exact same issue with my class A right now. Drove it home from storage 3 days ago. Jumped out to get going. Got it home, turned out off for 5 minutes then nothing when turning the ignition. Tried battery boost and generator boost. Replaced battery this morning, still nothing. Nothing happens when engaging the key or when turning ignition full on. Starter was replaced last year. House battery seems to work fine.

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29 minutes ago, FITFO said:

Drove it home from storage 3 days ago. Jumped out to get going. Got it home, turned out off for 5 minutes then nothing when turning the ignition. Tried battery boost and generator boost. Replaced battery this morning, still nothing.

Welcome to the Escapee forums! Unfortunately, the person who started the thread never returned after April 17, 2018 to let us know what happened. He indicated that his would not start when he attempted to jump start it, while I take it that yours did. My first suspicion is that you have a battery that has at least 1 shorted cell as that could easily cause the problems that you are listing. 

Do you have, or have access to a volt/ohm meter and perhaps a battery charger? I suggest that you lift the negative cables from all of your batteries and allow them to rest for a hour or so, then take voltage readings on them. If that voltage is less then 10V you won't be able to start from them. If you just installed a new battery, you should still lift that negative and check the voltage as it could have been dragged down by a shorted cell in one of the other batteries. Lifting the negative cable from the house batteries will remove them from the system and prevent that from happening again, if that is the problem.

Keep us posted as we will do our best to help you.

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Replaced battery.   Check for fuses, circuit breakers, and most likely a fusible link that has melted out. Could be a bad ground. Chassis to engine.

Edited by Sehc

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If you have dc power to other vehicle systems - lights, heater/ac fan, wipers etc put a clamp meter on the large cable at the starter. Have someone turn the key to “start” position. If you read many amps with no crank it is the starter itself. 

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On 4/16/2018 at 1:53 PM, bertnspike said:

 ........ There are 4 large fuses (besides the millions of small ones) there that are similar to a GFCI, in that I can push a button and a lever flips out that I can push back in.  I don't know how to tell if any of the 4 are bad.

Thanks for your considered response.

 

Bye

Edited by RV fan
old post

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4 hours ago, RV fan said:

That is a circuit breaker.

You are responding to a post that more than 2 years old. A new post was made on Wednesday.

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On 6/12/2020 at 5:42 PM, Kirk W said:

You are responding to a post that more than 2 years old. A new post was made on Wednesday.

I think it was great of them to search the forum and look for an answer.  I stand up and applaud you. 

Edited by rynosback

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