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Author Topic: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble  (Read 5508 times)

MotoGod

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Hi everyone!  New RVer here, but used to camp in a travel trailer many moons ago as a child. 

We just bought a 1978 Dodge Sportsman King of the Road 19ft MH.  It's in decent shape for an entry level RV for sure, but having a few minor issues that I'm trying to solve.  The one I need help with at the moment relates to the house battery in the rear.  The previous owner told us the house battery was dead, I tested it...it was.  It was an older car battery for starters, and I just bought a brand new Deep Cycle (115 ah) battery to replace it with.  I installed it and connected the leads....flipped the inverter switch inside the RV and BAM!  No power...

I'm still trying to hunt down a house battery disconnect switch, but I can't seem to find one.  The switch I flipped seems to be the main power cutoff since it will cutoff shore power as well and not just the house battery power.  I can't find any manuals or anything for this older RV.

Does anyone own one that might be able to point me in the right direction?

Thanks!

Scott

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 03:28:14 PM »
Hi Scott and welcome to  The RV Forum. Glad you found us.

You said you flipped "the inverter switch". Do you really have an inverter or was that just a figure of speech? Sounds more like it is the 120vac breaker, which would have little or nothing to do with battery power. Where are your 12v fuses? Same panel? Is there a name on that panel, e.g. Magnetek?  Maybe a photo would help us figure out what you have.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

MotoGod

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 04:00:01 PM »
Thanks for the welcome Gary!

The house battery is in an outside compartment in the passenger rear corner of the RV.  The main door to the RV is right next to it.  If you open that up you will see a small access door on the floor pretty much leading you to a space behind the battery compartment.  There is an AC to DC Converter back there from what the label says.  It has @ 6 fuses on it (old school glass type) and there is a light switch on the outer wall.  This light switch appears to be the main power cutoff to the entire RV, because if I leave it in the off position....none of the accessories get any kind of power, even when plugged into a 110v outlet.  If I flip this switch on, then 110v seems to power things just fine and dandy and when you plug in the 110v line you can hear the converter "click" and spring into action.

Now I do see 2 wires unhooked in this converter compartment.  1 black, and 1 white.  They have been capped off for what looks like some time now.  It looks like they follow a pack of wires towards the battery compartment, but I can't really trace them without tearing some stuff apart I don't believe.

Let me run outside and snap a few pics of it....I do not remember the name that I read, but it was a sea foam green color and maybe 3 feet long by 7-8 inches wide and 7-8 inches tall.

MotoGod

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 04:19:23 PM »
I just uploaded a few pics of the battery area and converter compartment for you Gary.  Looks like a Newmark Converter....

https://picasaweb.google.com/spouliot/1978DodgeSportsmanRV#

MotoGod

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 04:38:52 PM »
Oh and in one of the pics you will see an oddly placed light switch above the main entry door.  I'm assuming this is the "storage switch" but not 100% certain.  It doesn't seem to affect the house battery or 110v line no matter how I set the switch....

MotoGod

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 01:40:32 PM »
I had an RV guy come out this morning to check things out.  He said my Inverter is bad.....meaning my green Power Converter box (in the pics above)....and that is why nothing runs off the house battery.  Seems odd to me, but I'm a newbie here to the RV world.  So the Power Converter says on the front cover that it takes 120V AC input and converts it to 12V DC.  So not sure why it would even run when things were connected via the house battery which is already 12V DC?  Could he be right?  Do the converters serve a dual purpose here?  Are all the lights inside and all the other electrical items really running off 12V?  How about the 110V outlets?  Seems to me like that would require a camper hookup to function properly right?

Alfa38User

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 10:04:30 AM »
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So the Power Converter says on the front cover that it takes 120V AC input and converts it to 12V DC. Do the converters serve a dual purpose here?
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Yes, that is it's purpose. It also acts as a battery charger. The fuses you saw are, effectively,  your 12V distribution panel.

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Are all the lights inside and all the other electrical items really running off 12V?

YES. usually! (unless you have obvious fixtures plugged into a 110V socket.

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How about the 110V outlets?

These are only functional when hooked up to 110 V from an outside source or if you have an inverter (12VDC to 120V AC...unlikely) or have a generator equipped,  running and connected. Some RVs have a very small inverter just to supply a TV and nothing else. On the other hand, some RVs are equipped with a 12V TV set and do not require an inverter at all.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

MotoGod

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Re: 1978 Dodge Sportsman "King of the Road" - House Battery Trouble
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 10:18:24 AM »
Thanks for the info Alfa.  I guess that makes sense to me.  I made the wrong assumption that lights and fridge and stuff were running off 110V only.  I love learning a new hobby from the ground up  ;-)  Guess I'll be on the lookout for a converter now!