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Author Topic: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working  (Read 9505 times)

kpnalder1

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1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:40:38 AM »
I just bought a '76 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 23RD and have an issue with the plug-in outlets. None of them work. As soon as I put a fuse in it blows. I'm not great with electrical stuff but know the basics and here is what I have done so far to troubleshoot. There are only three outlets and I started with the furthest from the fuse box. I unhooked all the wires from it making sure none of them were touching. I then put a fuse in to see if it will blow and it does. I did this with each of the outlets and the fuse would blow every time. As I did this I left the wires undone from each outlet and did not wire the outlet back up. I even took off the face of the fuse box to make sure no bare wires were touching. There are the main wires going from the fuse box/inverter (has the switch for 12V or 110)into the first or closest of the outlets which I unhooked completely and the fuses are still blowing. I'm led to believe that it might be something to do in the box itself but not sure. I also unhooked the wires from the fuse that was blowing and connected them to another fuse and it also blows. Any other ideas on what could be causing this?

Also, the fridge is not working and I noticed it was not plugged in to the wall plugin behind it. I was told that maybe it was on the same circuit and that maybe it was blowing the fuse but obviously not as it was not plugged in. I switched to 110 and plugged power in from an external source and the fuse is still blowing. So,  my problems are this: The fuse blows no matter if the RV is running off 12v or 110v and the fridge doesn't work.

Like I said, I'm not very good with the electrical stuff. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 07:59:58 AM »
Where is this fuse?  110v circuits are normally not fused - they should have circuit breakers. Fuses are for 12v power, and the fact that it blows even when NOT plugged into shore power confirms that.

Some other points:
1. The 110v outlets won't work unless you are plugged into shore (external) power.
2. Standard equipment on your RV is a converter/charger, not an inverter. A converter makes 12v power from shore power (110v) and uses that to re-charge your batteries and power 12v circuits in the RV.


A picture of the box with the 12v/110 switch would help - that is not a typical RV configuration.
Gary
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John Canfield

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 12:41:04 PM »
Welcome!!

Gary had a good idea - some pictures would be of immense help for us.  Unfortunately Winnebago doesn't have wiring diagrams on-line going back that far, but there is a real good chance they have them available in paper form.  Give owner relations a call and ask for some copies of the diagrams.   Also, give the Classic Winnebago forum a try - links to Winnebago and the classic forum are in the Resources post near the top of this board.
--John
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kpnalder1

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 01:58:48 PM »
You are right about the plug-ins. I was a little confused when I first asked about this but it is all clear now. A cd player/radio had been wired into the existing wire system that ran off the 12v and 110v. It was wired into the wemac panel (tells the water levels, has volt meter and water pump switch) with the ground being the same as the volt meter and other various grounds and the power for it is wired to the same as the water pump switch. The radio is wired on the same fuse that the water pump and wemac are on which is fuse #3. Most of the lights (three 18" fluorescent in the ceiling and a few of the other lights under the cabinets are wired on fuse #1. Sometimes when one of the lights on that fuse are turned on or off, the radio will turn off and sometimes back on or not on at all and then come on by itself for whatever reason later. I also noticed that when the water pump kicks on (on same fuse as radio) the radio will usually turn off briefly and then back on. Nothing else has any issues with turning off and on by itself and everything always turns on as it should. THE REASON I explained this is because I am having trouble with the fridge and not sure if this problem with the radio can relate to the fridge at all since the radio being on fuse #3 is affected by things on fuse #1. I figured out what fuse runs what things but could not figure out which one runs the fridge. I have a thermometer in the fridge and it hasn't gotten cold enough except for one time. It has been running off 110 for a day and a half. The freezer did read 0 degrees this morning but then it quit working.  Now the freezer is 40 degrees and water dripping off the coils inside it. The outside coils or whatever the things are in the back of the fridge are warm so I know it is working somewhat. I also tried the fridge off of propane and it wouldn't get very cold either. I am parked on a very slight decline. Could that have an effect on the fridge getting cold?


So, my questions are this: 1) Why is the radio doing what it is doing by turning off and on when the things mentioned above are being turned on or off   2) Would this affect the fridge or could that be something else?  and 3) Does anyone know which fuse the fridge would run off on 110

Here are some pics of the converter/fuse panel. The very bottom fuse which I call #5 blows every time a fuse is put in it. It doesn't matter if you are running off 110v or 12v. The fuse panel is labeled "extra" for that fuse but I have no idea what it runs as everything works in the RV. I also have called Winnebago and they don't have any wiring diagrams for this model except for basic stuff which doesn't show wire routing or how things are wired. I'm not the greatest at electrical stuff but understand just the basic stuff. Thanks for the help!

John Canfield

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 05:40:59 PM »
I also tried the fridge off of propane and it wouldn't get very cold either. I am parked on a very slight decline. Could that have an effect on the fridge getting cold?

Probably not, but that's a guess.  The newer fridges aren't very sensitive to angle, but I have no experience with the older units

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So, my questions are this: 1) Why is the radio doing what it is doing by turning off and on when the things mentioned above are being turned on or off   2) Would this affect the fridge or could that be something else?  and 3) Does anyone know which fuse the fridge would run off on 110

So it appears you have one circuit breaker for AC and several fuses for 12V DC.  The fridge will need 12V DC to function when running on AC or propane. 

I think your best course of action is to contact Winnebago for a copy of your wiring diagram - then you can do some serious electrical troubleshooting.  If that isn't your forte, get an RV tech to look at the problem - an RV tech would die for a wiring diagram, it would save the tech troubleshooting time and you money.
--John
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kpnalder1

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 05:48:50 PM »
I contacted Winnebago earlier today and they have very, very limited wiring diagrams for this old of a model. The wiring diagram doesn't really help as it really doesn't show how the wiring is ran or how everything is wired. It's very basic. I was hoping someone might have had experience with this in the past and could shed some light before I tear stuff apart.  Thanks for the replies!

John Canfield

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 05:57:41 PM »
Then try the Classic Winnebago forum - there is a link in the resources post near the top of this board.  I think you have one of the most mature Winnebago products that we have encountered here.  In any case, please keep us posted with what's going on with your troubleshooting.
--John
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2010, 07:52:50 AM »
You've got a lot of stuff wired off a couple sources (fuses). Sounds like a typical amateur electrical mods.   I suspect the voltage drops when a high demand appliance like the water pumps switches on, momentarily robbing all the power from the radio (or whatever). Once the pump is running, the voltage comes back up and the radio resumes playing.  You really need to run a new, large wire to the battery (or 12v bus) to power some of those add-ons, e.g. the radio.  Sometimes it easiest to run a #10 or larger wire from the battery to a new 12v bus (fuse panel) and put all your extra stuff on that. Leave the original stuff as wired from the factory.
Gary
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kpnalder1

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 05:25:42 PM »
Thanks Gary! I'm slowly getting all this stuff figured out with all the help on here. I figured there was probably too much wired into one fuse. The radio seems to be the problem and I have yet to hook it back up. The battery isn't too far from where the battery is so I may just run a wire between the two instead of running one all the way to the back where the fuse box is. the radio and battery are towards the front. Would it be okay to do that as long as I had an inline fuse for the radio?

On the fridge thing, I hooked the fridge straight to an outside electrical source and it wouldn't get cold. I found another almost exact model and bought it. Is there anything I need to know besides the basic connecting of the gas line and plugging it in? Thanks!

John Canfield

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2010, 06:50:32 PM »
What I would do is to remove wiring that has obviously been added after the unit left the factory and start all over again.  You can buy an auxiliary fuse panel at either an auto parts store, or you can even add a 12V breaker panel - Google marine electrics and look around at what's out there.  A good place to start shopping on-line is West Marine.  Do it up right, and that will be the end of your electrical problems caused by previous owners.

As a rule-of-thumb, you want any wire (AC or DC) to be fused or on a circuit breaker as close to the source of the voltage as possible.  Case in point:  you want to add an 18 gauge wire to run a radio you just added.  The radio is in the cab area and you are running the wire back to the house battery.  You want that wire fused or on a breaker as close to the house battery as possible.  (Here is a handy web page with wire sizes, current carrying capacities, and a handy calculator near the bottom of the page to assist you in determining the correct wire size. )

Can't think of anything off-hand about a swap-out of the fridges.  Be sure the replacement (I assume it is used?) doesn't have any yellow stains around the cooling unit in the rear of the unit.  If you see yellow tracks, that means these is an ammonia leak and the cooling unit is bad.  It would be best to service (clean) the burner while you have it out.  Do a forum search about cleaning the burner.
--John
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kpnalder1

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 11:34:12 AM »
Thanks John! So, I can wire the radio straight from the battery with just an inline fuse then and put the fuse closest to the battery, right. If I do that then the radio will run solely from the batter on 12v and not on 110, correct?

Okay, my other problem with the fridge. I found a replacement that is identical to the old fridge, just a little shorter is all. Upon removing the valve for the gas line from the old fridge, the female end took some of the threads from the male end that comes directly from the fridge on the unit that controls the gas. The female end of the valve that connects to the male end has part of the threads from the male end seized in it and I cannot get them out. Unfortunately I did not realize that before I threaded it on to the replacement fridge. Well, it took half of the threads off of the male end as you can see in the picture. The problem I am having is either trying to find that whole replacement unit or possible there might be enough threading left to screw on another female end. I either need to find a piece that will fit or try to find that valve which I have had no luck in finding so far. I did find a valve and some fittings that would work except for the fitting that will fit that male end that comes from the fridge. Even then, I'm not sure if this is a good idea as part of the threads are missing. I really need to be able to run the fridge off propane. Below are the pictures of the valve and unit. I tried to get a hold of magic chef but they didn't know anything as the model is old.  What recommendations does anyone have or fixes for this? Thanks!

John Canfield

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2010, 01:00:10 PM »
Thanks John! So, I can wire the radio straight from the battery with just an inline fuse then and put the fuse closest to the battery, right. If I do that then the radio will run solely from the batter on 12v and not on 110, correct?

You betcha!

Quote
Okay, my other problem with the fridge.....  What recommendations does anyone have or fixes for this? Thanks!

Whoa - you have a German fridge!  You might have a real sticky wicket there - maybe the fridge has metric fittings?  I'm not even sure where you should go with that - the gas company, large plumbing house, RV tech?  ???
--John
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kpnalder1

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2010, 01:29:07 PM »
Yes, the fridge is metric from what I've been told. There is one place that specializes in gas fittings/etc. I will check there and if they don't have anything that will work my only option is to find an identical fridge that no longer works and rob parts from it. My only question is where is a good place to look for those?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2010, 03:19:18 PM »
I'm not familiar with the AEG brand, but every other dual propane & 110v fridge requires both 12v power whether running on 110 or propane. The control circuitry is powered by 12v, regardless of the power source for cooling. I would not conclude yours existing fridge is dead until you test it with known good 12v power as well as external 110v.
Gary
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kpnalder1

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2010, 09:48:56 AM »
I'm not sure if this fridge needs a 12v source regardless if it's running on propane or 110. All I know is that it works now! The initial taking the old fridge out and putting the other one in was easy. The propane regulator or whatever the thing is where the propane hooks into on the replacement fridge was bad and didn't work. I had to take that part out of the old fridge and it with the one in the replacement fridge. What a pain in the arse process it was to switch everything. Not too much room to work and only being able to turn nuts a 1/8-1/4 turn at a time makes the process much longer! The old one was plugged and wouldn't allow propane to flow through. Needless to say, the fridge works great and hopefully no more problems....

I had one other question regarding the radio. If I run a wire from the trailer battery for power for the radio will the radio only run off the trailer battery? I know this seems like a no brainer but I am new to the wiring stuff in these and not sure if it is some how tied in with other electrical.

John Canfield

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2010, 11:06:12 AM »
If I run a wire from the trailer battery for power for the radio will the radio only run off the trailer battery?

Correct
--John
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Lou Schneider

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Re: 1976 Minnie Winnie plug-ins not working
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2010, 11:31:57 AM »
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Sometimes when one of the lights on that fuse are turned on or off, the   radio will turn off and sometimes back on or not on at all and then come   on by itself for whatever reason later. I also noticed that when the   water pump kicks on (on same fuse as radio) the radio will usually turn   off briefly and then back on.

Since the devices are fed from separate fuses, they're on separate circuits and have separate supply wires.  The only thing in common is the grounding.

In a steel bodied automobile, the steel body and frame comprise the ground side of the circuit.   In a fiberglass bodied motorhome ground is carried to the 12 volt appliances by a wire, like in a conventional electric circuit.

If you have a weak ground, pulling more current (like when the motor starts) will pull the ground wire positive, resulting in less voltage between the (+) and the ground wire.

Try adding a temporary jumper from the radio's chassis or (-) connection to a good known ground (like the negative battery post) and see if the problem goes away.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 11:34:35 AM by Lou Schneider »