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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2011
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Malibu
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Default Gen Bat/Aux Bat/Coach Master switches

I know we have discussed some of this before, but I did a search and could not find the thread - so forgive me. My start batteries went completely dead after being plugged into shore power for two weeks and the aux bat switch in the top position. I tried the gen bat switch in the top momentary position - press release - which I thought connects the house batteries to the start batteries when needed and nothing happened. I checked the M380 manual and it says that the gen bat switch "turns generator battery on and off" My first thought was why would we need to turn the gen battery on and off? I thought this Gen Bat switch was to connect the house batteries to the start batteries when needed due to dead start batteres. Under Aux Bat the manual says 3- position switch. Top position used to connect both start batteries and house batteries to charge the start batteries from the inverter charger. The middle position is the Off position disconnects house and start batteries. The bottom position is the momentary on position to re-connect the house batteries for 8 seconds to allow cranking of the engine. All along I thought the Gen bat top positon was used for this purpose - apparently I am wrong. If so what why would we need to turn off the Gen battery? I have a feeling that when I installed my new Gen on/off switch a few weeks ago I might have put the wrong wires on the wrong posts on the Aux Bat switch and that might be why the inverter did not keep the start batteries charged. I just found another interesting thing about the Coach: When I turn the power distribution switch to off (in the engine compartment) I thought this cuts power to everything 12 volt in the Coach that gets power from the Start battery and everything else that is still drawing power gets that power from the House batteries, but I just found out that when I shut the Coach Master switch things like the radio and cigarette lighter turn off, but the House batteries are still powering much of the Coach. I thought the Coach Master is for 12 volt power, but apparently not since with the Power Distribution switch in the off position some 12 volt is still hot, like the radio.

I would appreciate any comments on the above that would clarify things for me.

Thanks,
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Dennis Torres
2004 M380
Malibu, California
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2012
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Dennis,

I can't help with most of your questions, only the last regarding the 12v master switch. It is only turning off the chassis 12v and not the house 12V. There should be a 12v electronics master (or similar title) switch that will turn off most of the house 12v. Hope that helps some.
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John
96 WTOS 42'
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2012
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Thanks John, I did not realize that there was both 12v and 120 v coming into the Coach form the House batteries.
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Dennis Torres
2004 M380
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2012
Robert Britton Robert Britton is offline
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Dennis, did you turn off the 12 volt master at the panel, near the passenger seat?
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Robert in Hollister, CA
Marathon XL40
Previously Owned; 04 M380, 88 PT-38, 87FC, 95 Weekender "Baby Bird"
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2012
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Hi Robert. I have turned off both at - different times- the one at the panel and the one on the dash. I was unaware that there was 12v in the Coach from the House batteries I thought all the 12v was controled by the on/off switch on the power distribution box in the engine compartment and that the master switches in the Coach controled that same 12v from the start batteries. I keep learning something new all the time.
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2004 M380
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2012
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Brent Brent is offline
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This brings up a question I've had from the beginning. What is the purpose of the 12V switch at the passenger seat? When I turn it on, certain appliances turn off. I have never been able to figure out the true purpose of that switch. I just always keep it turned off.
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Brent Frey
Lewisberry, PA
2003 M380
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2012
Robert Britton Robert Britton is offline
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Here's how I understand it Dennis...

The Auxiliary switch will tie the house batteries to the engine battery if engine battery is dead and coach wont start.

When dry camping with no shore power you want to put Auxiliary switch in middle position to isolate the house batteries and chassis batteries. That way you wont drain down chassis batteries and will be able to start the coach when its time to depart.

When connected to shore power, you can leave the Axillary switch in the on position (up) to allow chassis batteries to charge as well as house batteries.

The generator battery switch when held in the momentary on position will tie house batteries to generator battery to allow you to start generator battery if dead.

I replaced the generator momentary on switch with an ON/OFF switch to allow me the option of leaving the switch in on (up) position when connected to shore power...this allows charging of the generator battery.
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Robert in Hollister, CA
Marathon XL40
Previously Owned; 04 M380, 88 PT-38, 87FC, 95 Weekender "Baby Bird"
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2012
Robert Britton Robert Britton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
This brings up a question I've had from the beginning. What is the purpose of the 12V switch at the passenger seat? When I turn it on, certain appliances turn off. I have never been able to figure out the true purpose of that switch. I just always keep it turned off.
Brent, its just a redundant switch that does the same thing as the master 12 volt switch on the upper left dash. I guess if you forget to switch the power off at dash it allows you to turn it off as you are exiting the coach.
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Robert in Hollister, CA
Marathon XL40
Previously Owned; 04 M380, 88 PT-38, 87FC, 95 Weekender "Baby Bird"
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2012
Robert Britton Robert Britton is offline
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Dennis, I would check the batteries for a good ground, clean and tighten all terminals.

After that I would check batteries with a volt meter to get standing voltage. Then plug coach into shore power and check voltage again to make sure the batteries are now getting a charge.
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Robert in Hollister, CA
Marathon XL40
Previously Owned; 04 M380, 88 PT-38, 87FC, 95 Weekender "Baby Bird"
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2012
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Thanks for all the replys. Robert, can you charge the start battries with the aux bat switch in the up (on) position and the generator running that same as you can do with shore power?

Also when you use the aux bat switch to start the coach with the house batteries do you press it in the down (momentary) position and let it spring back before cranking the engine or do you hold it down while cranking?
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