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Author Topic: battery disconnect switch  (Read 13861 times)

1968aj

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battery disconnect switch
« on: September 23, 2010, 04:40:31 PM »
i have a 1993 bounder. there is a panel with two switches as you walk in the door labeled battery disconnect. all lights work properly and come on no matter if the switches are on or off. what should these switches do? how can i tell if they are working?any ideas?

Ned

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 05:52:29 PM »
They disconnect the chassis and house batteries when turned on (or off).  Are you on shore power?  If so, then when you turn off the house batteries, the converter is supplying 12VDC for your lights.  If the lights work with the switch off and no shore or generator power, then the cutoff relay has been bypassed or the switch disconnected.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

frederick

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 03:20:36 PM »
Hi Ned

If I'm hooked up to shore power, what position should my
chassis disconnect switch be in?  Disconnect position
or  the connect position ?  Or does it matter?
Are  chassis batteries being charged when hooked up to
shore power when the chassis switch is in the disconnect
position?
I hope I said all of this right.   :D

Fred from PAsco, WA.
Fred Rubio
2002 Itasca Winnebago
Army Aviation Vet.
& friend of Bill W.  Home: Wenatchee, Wa.

Ned

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 03:39:23 PM »
I would leave it connected to keep the batteries in the circuit.  Not knowing how your converter is wired, I can't say if it will charge or not with the disconnect switch off.  The switch is normally used only for storage, otherwise is left in the connected position.  You should contact Fleetwood with your VIN and serial numbers and see if they can supply you with schematics.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Just Lou

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 04:14:24 PM »
Quote from: frederick
If I'm hooked up to shore power, what position should my
chassis disconnect switch be in?  Disconnect position
or  the connect position ?  Or does it matter?

It really doesn't matter, but it may indeed prevent unnecessary drains on the chassis battery while parked with shore power on. 

Quote
Are  chassis batteries being charged when hooked up to
shore power when the chassis switch is in the disconnect
position?

Strange as it may seem, the position of the chassis battery disconnect is NOT the determining factor here.  It's the position of the AUX/house battery switch that controls charging from the converter when on shore power.  The house battery disconnect must be in the ON/connect position for charging to occur.  Whether or not the CHASSIS battery will also charge depends on the revision level of your RV-CP BCC circuit board.  That feature was added on revision level C of the CB-200 board and exists on all levels of the CB-115 board.

The RV-CP BCC (RV Custom Products, Battery Control Center) can be found under the hood (behind the grill).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 04:18:32 PM by aka Porky »
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Ned

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2010, 04:23:37 PM »
I misread chassis for house disconnect switch.  What I said applies to the HOUSE batteries.  Otherwise, what Lou said :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

frederick

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2010, 04:30:12 PM »
Hi

I meant house batteries.  I'm going to get some
of this straight one of these days.

I'm learning alot.  Thanks everyone for your info.

Fred from pasco, WA.
Fred Rubio
2002 Itasca Winnebago
Army Aviation Vet.
& friend of Bill W.  Home: Wenatchee, Wa.

Ned

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2010, 05:09:37 PM »
Ok, then I misread it correctly :)  Lou is more familiar with your vintage of Bounder so go by what he says.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

napalm204

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2010, 11:36:35 PM »
1968aj-

I have a1995 Dolphin and have a similar set of switches as I enter the coach.  What I have discovered is that much of the electrical "stuff" you might want to use will not work unless the battery disconnect (or house batteries) are engaged.

Although it is second nature to these guys on this site, I found that a bit odd when I first got my motorhome because it is not anything I had experienced before.  I have always found a master switch of some description somewhere on the dash on all vehicles I have been around until I got my motorhome.  For instance, my stereo switch mounted on the dash, will not energize my stereo unless the battery disconnect is engaged.

You actually have several sources of electricity and options to use.  Shore power; generator power; and 12-volt power.  I have actually found that a motorhome is a pretty complex piece of equipment and it takes some time to get accustomed to its facets.

And remember.... the RV generator will charge your house batteries and the engine alternator will charge your chassis battery.
Joe Don  -  1995 National Dolphin, model 432, 7.5L / 460 CID Ford gas engine, Ford chasis

Just Lou

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 10:02:27 AM »
Quote from: napalm204
What I have discovered is that much of the   electrical "stuff" you might want to use will not work unless the   battery disconnect (or house batteries) are engaged.  Although it is   second nature to these guys on this site, I found that a bit odd when I   first got my motorhome because it is not anything I had experienced   before.  I have always found a master switch of some description   somewhere on the dash on all vehicles I have been around until I got my   motorhome.  For instance, my stereo switch mounted on the dash, will not   energize my stereo unless the battery disconnect is engaged.
 
  The terminology can be confusing.  The switches should, more properly, be labeled Battery Connect switches.  ON meaning Battery on or connected and OFF meaning battery off or disconnected.

Quote
You   actually have several sources of electricity and options to use.  Shore   power; generator power; and 12-volt power.  I have actually found that a   motorhome is a pretty complex piece of equipment and it takes some time   to get accustomed to its facets.
 
  Shore power and Generator power can be considered the same (once it enters the motor home) as it activates all the same 120vac appliances and fixtures through the same wires and components.  (Inverters are an RV-102 subject)
 
  Shore power also plays an important role in the 12 volt side of things   as it powers your converter/battery charger to produce 12vdc.  Most, if   not all, of your interior lights and appliance control boards are powered by the 12 volt converter and/or the house batteries.
 
  Activating the house battery disconnect, with shore/gen power connected, will generally prevent the batteries from being charged, but will not prevent   the converter from continuing to power other 12vdc requirements.    However, when shore/gen power is removed, while the disconnect is   activated, the battery has no path to power the 12vdc circuits and   nothing works.   With no external power, the battery must be ON (activated).

Quote
And   remember.... the RV generator will charge your house batteries and the   engine alternator will charge your chassis battery.
 
  Here's were generalizations can get one into trouble.  As a rule, your statement is correct, but by no means complete.
 
  Most coach manufacturers have installed circuits to charge the house batteries, along with the chassis batteries, from the alternator.
  Several have installed the capability to charge the chassis battery, along with the house batteries, from the converter. (shore/gen powered)
 
  The method of implementation and operation varies widely from   manufacturer to manufacturer.  There are also myriad after market   products and solutions to effect cross charging and battery isolation   functions that us RVers perceive as problems or short comings.
 
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2010, 04:05:00 PM »
There is an article in the library titled RV Electrical Systems. It's not complete, but it covers the basics.

http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=420:v-electrical-systems-primer&catid=14:newcomers-need-to-know&Itemid=64
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

napalm204

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2010, 08:37:12 PM »
aka porky-

As I said in my post, you guys are well versed in this RV explanation endeavor.  In my limited way I was trying to share some very basic things that I learned from this site and from reading data on my own coach.  I realize it was rudimentary, but frankly it was those type baby steps that helped me learn the basic stuff about my own RV.  Sometimes the entire explanation was overload for me and I had to take it one step at a time.

I was hoping that maybe the individual who posted the initial message might benefit from that incomplete, but RV 101 information.  I sure did.

I am still learning every day.  And I appreciate every word I read from all you experts on this site. 
Joe Don  -  1995 National Dolphin, model 432, 7.5L / 460 CID Ford gas engine, Ford chasis

Just Lou

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2010, 09:41:53 PM »
Quote from: napalm204
aka porky-
In my limited way I was trying to share some very basic things that I learned from this site and from reading data on my own coach.  I realize it was rudimentary, but frankly it was those type baby steps that helped me learn the basic stuff about my own RV. 

I was hoping that maybe the individual who posted the initial message might benefit from that incomplete, but RV 101 information.  I sure did. 
I am still learning every day.  And I appreciate every word I read from all you experts on this site.

Napalm, I hope you realize that I was only attempting to supplement, and expand on, the information you provided.  There was certainly no offense intended.  My initial reply was Fleetwood specific only because I knew that the OP and I both had Bounders.

Any time you can relate technical information that is make/model specific, or substantiate a standard, we all learn something.  I know very little about the Dolphin motor home and would be interested in knowing how their electrical systems are implemented.  I often get reminded here on the forum that my knowledge is limited.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

napalm204

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2010, 10:43:49 AM »
porky-

I absolutely did understand your post and I was not in the least offended.  I will always yield to the people on this site, including yourself.  I have learned so much and saved so may dollars, just by listening to the people on this site, that I am lierally in awe.  Honestly, the way you guys openly share and explain things so well is invaluable.

When I have a problem, the very first thing I do is come to this site.  And I am never disappointed.

I am grateful that the experts on this site have the knowledge they do.  I will never be offended by anyone's supplement or correction.  And I hope one day I can be as useful.

Keep up the great work.
Joe Don  -  1995 National Dolphin, model 432, 7.5L / 460 CID Ford gas engine, Ford chasis

Just Lou

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2010, 11:12:51 AM »
Thanks Napalm.

BTW - I see that your Dolphin is on a '90s era F53 chassis.  You may be of more immediate help here than you think.  Mine is starting to scare me.

Why not add a name to your signature line.  We enjoy calling framily members by their first name.

Lou
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

napalm204

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2010, 03:56:35 PM »
Lou-

Not to be "splitting hairs," but actually in my chassis manual I can only find an F-53 nomenclature mentioned for my Dolphin.  The F-33 may be identical or somehow connected to length of the RV, but F-53 seems to be all I can find.

Beyond that, although I have been underneath and all around my motorhome, I know next to zero about the chassis.  I am sure it needs attention and I have grease guns and tools for some of the work.  I need to spend more time in my chassis manual to see what I can do myself.  It is the "underneath" part of the RV that I lazily do not check like I should.

For instance, I am pretty sure I need my front wheel bearings re-packed.  And I could repack the bearings OK, but to do so on my chassis I have to take the brake mechanism loose to get to the bearings.  That may be a bit more involved than I care to tackle.

But I am open to any suggestions or questions.  I would love to offer any help or ideas I have to any of the people on this site.

And yeah, my motorhome is indeed approaching 16-years old, so I know it is suspect in a number of mechanical areas.  I am all ears if you have any suggestions.

Joe Don
Joe Don  -  1995 National Dolphin, model 432, 7.5L / 460 CID Ford gas engine, Ford chasis

napalm204

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2010, 03:59:29 PM »
Lou-

Duh!  Just re-read your post and noticed that you did say F-53!  Excuse me please.

Contact me anytime, although I am a pretty green beginner.

Later.

Joe Don
Joe Don  -  1995 National Dolphin, model 432, 7.5L / 460 CID Ford gas engine, Ford chasis

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2010, 08:46:22 AM »
I had an F53 chassis coach about 10 years ago (1996 chassis). It's pretty robust. Crawl underneath with the grease gun and find the zerks in all the usual places. Change the oil and tranny fluid. Maybe time to replace the brake fluid too, after all these years. And belts and hoses too, if they haven't been replaced already. Check the wiring to the starter motor and such too - sometimes corrosion builds up or insulation splits.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

napalm204

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2010, 08:25:09 PM »
Gary-

Great suggestions.  I think I can find the zerks and I've already changed the brake fluid.  The transmission drain and refill should not be real difficult.  I have changed the engine oil twice in less than 4,000 miles, but will wait a while to do that again.

I have checked the hoses and belts and while they appear OK I'm sure replacing them would be a good idea.

Even for 16-years old my old coach handles the road pretty nicely and with minimal squeaks and rattles.  It is actually a pleasure to drive in normal conditions.  It does create a bit of a challege in a strong cross wind or gusty winds of any type.  I can feel my arms tensing and my attention to traffic and road obstacles require more concentration.  But all-in-all it is better to drive than I expected.

Now that it has cooled off a bit I think it is time to spend some preventive maintenance hours with the motorhome.  Much of it I learned on this site.  In addition my spouse has urges to remodel more of the interior.  So I have a busy autumn ahead of me.

Joe Don     

 
Joe Don  -  1995 National Dolphin, model 432, 7.5L / 460 CID Ford gas engine, Ford chasis

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: battery disconnect switch
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2010, 09:33:18 PM »
A front track bar, e.g the Davis Tru-Trac, will help the crosswind situation somewhat and generally make driving more pleasurable. It's a fairly easy do-it-yourself job.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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