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  1. Problem solved! Well, more accurately, the bus is working fine again. The problem is likely unfixable, because the problem is that I am an idiot. Since the last time I drove the bus, I had removed the batteries to clean all of the terminals and cable ends and coat them with protectant. When I drove the bus a couple of days ago, nothing that required the house batteries worked. I checked the charge on the batteries which was fine, and from there started to look for the problem. After an hour or so and I couldn't find it, I posted here. Based on the advice given here and now armed with multiple ideas, I grabbed my Power Probe and went to my RV storage. I decided to just start at the beginning and work my way through every connection. This was based on advice here as well as my favorite Mr. Spock-ism; "If you cannot find out where the problem is, find out where it isn't." I started in the battery box and started following all of the big cables to see where they went and suddenly, I saw a long black cable that went into a crevice between the battery box and the battery. What the??? That is weird... So, I pulled on it and discovered I had missed putting this one on when I reinstalled the batteries. Arrrrghhhh! It must have fallen into the crevice, I didn't see it, and when I ran out of wires with free ends, I stopped looking at the photos I had taken of the batteries and thought I was done. Had I made mention of this and anyone asked if I had reinstalled the batteries properly, I would have said "absolutely." I apologize for wasting everyone's time on something I should have found on my own. This is what is called "the error of assumption." But, I do now have additional knowledge in case this happens for some other reason, and maybe this will all help someone else. Again, my apologies, and I do appreciate the assistance. Thanks Tim
  2. I will check the solenoid, thanks. Thinking I will have no power to either side, since the big cable that attaches to the "house battery" lug in the driver side electric box has no power and the solenoid seems to get its power from that lug, but I will verify. I do not have shore power connected and no place to do that where I store my RV and no real access to 50a or even 30a unless I check into an RV park for a while. So, not sure what would happen if on shore power. I will double check the 12v connections to see they are tight, but pretty sure they are. This problem developed without driving the bus; last time I parked it, everything was fine, I went to take it on a short drive, and no power to house systems from the moment I pulled out of the drive. I checked the 3 breakers on the inverter, and flipped them off and on just to be sure. I checked the GFI in the master bath. Is there another one somewhere that I didn't find? Guess I will have to look at every outlet to be sure I didn't miss one. Thanks again everyone, and any additional tips still appreciated. Thanks Tim
  3. The bus starts and drives just fine, it is only the "house" things that do not work - no interior lights, microwave, porch light, etc.. The inability of the generator to start is a symptom of the larger problem (it relies on the house batteries to start). I do no need it running right now, but appreciate the idea to jump it. I will tuck that in my brain for some time on the road when something like this pops up. Likewise, I will check the voltage to the battery cable on the generator, as well as the connections- assuming I can find and get at them (not on a slide, sadly.) I checked the "Salesman switch" and cycled it on and off several times without success, because as noted, I bumped it once and didnt realize it. Battery connections are all clean and tight at the batteries. Ok, hope that helps clarify a bit more. I appreciate the help - it just seems like the power from the house batteries is not getting to wherever/whatever it is that distributes it to the various things they power...or that the thing that distributes the power has died. Thanks Tim
  4. I have no power to anything that the house batteries power, and the generator will not start, even using the "battery boost" switch. My batteries are fully charged, I get 12.6v from them and through the master switch as far as the cable that disappears into the nether regions of the bus (2002 Monaco Diplomat 40ft). I have looked at every fuse that seems applicable and flipped every breaker that seems applicable, including the one on the generator, inverter, and the 50 amp in the bedroom as well as the GFI reset in the master bath. In the electrical panel below the driver's side window is a terminal with a large cable labeled "House" and when I hook up my meter to this, I get no reading. I am assuming this cable is the same one that exits the battery box in the rear (?) in which case it should have 12.6v but it does not. So either that supposition is wrong, or I am not getting a good ground with the clamp on my meter (hooked to the suspension, exhaust, and any other metal I could find...) or there is a breaker or fuse that I have missed, or that cable has broken. Any ideas on what fuse, breaker, or switch I have missed, or what else might be wrong? Thanks in advance! Tim
  5. obedb, very informative. I have a Cummins ISC in my 2002 Monaco Diplomat, and the owners manual specifically states that it requires the use of coolant with an SCA concentration of 1.5ppm. I recently had the cooling system (among others) serviced by what was allegedly a reputable diesel shop. I noted the coolant was low a couple of weeks ago and went on a search for coolant with SCA and could not find it, even at truck stops. So, I called the shop to find out where I could buy it or if they had used one of the "newer" non-SCA but diesel appropriate fluids. They could not tell me what they used, (which leads me to question their skills), and since SCA and non-SCA fluids cannot be mixed, I started this thread to try to get some assistance in figuring out what the shop may have used and/or where to get SCA containing fluid. I was kind of hoping to find out that SCA coolant was no longer manufactured, which would therefore mean the shop used one of the newer diesel coolants which is available at my corner auto parts store. But, it turns out, it is still available, and, understandably, there is no way anyone can tell me with certainty what coolant I have in my system. Color is not a guarantee. Nor, is testing for SCA because if the level is low, that doesn't mean it isn't an SCA fluid. So, at this point I have made an appointment with a different shop to flush and fill my system. It was more expensive than I thought it would be, but still a fraction of repairing my engine if the wrong fluid is in there. And, guess what? The new shop says they use the SCA fluid and will give me a couple of gallons to take with me. As for holding the first shop accountable, arguing with them is pointless, there is no way I will let them put a wrench on my rig again, the amount of money is not worth hiring an attorney. So, I will tell everyone I know to avoid them. It is the age old business maxim, "If you do everything right, the customer might tell someone about you. If you do it wrong, they will tell 10 people." Thanks all...but if anyone comes up with a flash of brilliance to save me the cost of a flush and fill, I am still open to suggestions.
  6. Yes, having someone else do a flush and fill seems the only way to be certain and safe and would seem to be cheap insurance. I am in Glendale, AZ 85308 Ironically, when I do a Google search for "Cummins diesel service near me" of the several names that pop up, guess who is listed there? The shop that did the original work!
  7. Thanks all for your replies. At this point, I still do not know what they put in there or how to figure it out. I do not think they put the "wrong" coolant in (ie; standard car antifreeze), because it is a diesel only shop. The real question is if they put in the stuff with SCA or if they used the newer ELC or OAT products. They dont seem to know and since you cannot mix SCA with the non-SCA products, therein lies the dilemma. If someone can tell me how to figure that out, then I know what to buy from here on. Short of that, it seems the only way to be sure is to have the system flushed and then make sure I know what it is filled with. As for green/yellow...maybe it is yellow, looks what I call green though, but my girlfriend and I debate about the color of golf balls being green vs yellow. I have a call out to Safety-Kleen and waiting for them to call me back. According to their website, they sell OAT. If I can get confirmation that is what they sold this shop, then I think I am safe to go with that. As for having this shop do the work again, I understand that from a moral outrage perspective, or making them responsible for their actions, but considering the guy on the phone (one of the owners, btw) couldn't be bothered to look up the MSDS sheets which we all know they have to have, and seemed ignorant of what they use, and that they will say they didnt do anything wrong (and I cannot prove they did, in fact, I dont think they did, they just can't/wont tell me what they put in my radiator), they will charge me to do it. After my interaction with them today, I am not going to back there at all. I would rather pay someone that I trust than force them to "make it right." And, short of watching them do it, how would I know if they did? And, realistically, if they did screw it up, do I really want them working on my coach?
  8. Recently had my coolant system flushed and hoses changed in my 2002 Monaco Diplomat. Now, I need to add some coolant and my owner's manual states I need to use an SCA concentration of 1.5ppm. I cannot find coolant with SCA in it, only OAT or other stuff that says SCA is not needed and warns to not add it or it will cause a problem (gel?). So, I called the shop that did the work and they cannot tell me if they put in coolant with SCA or OAT or what. They say they get it in 250 gal containers from Safety-Kleen and it has no label on it, so they have no idea. My fluid is green, or greenish yellow or is it yellowish green? The shop said "green is green, just add some green fluid." That sounds like bad advice and it goes without saying I am done with this shop (a busy, well reputed diesel chassis shop.) So, what to do? How can I figure out if I have to continue to try to find coolant with SCA (any ideas where to get it?), or if I should use the OAT or some other coolants? Easy solution if the shop could tell me what they put in there, but other than saying it was from Safety-Kleen, they have no idea. Thanks for any and all help.
  9. Carl, It was W. W. Williams that fixed the problem. How they compare price-wise to any other mobile service, I don't know since none of the others responded to my calls. (Well, actually, not fully true; one did schedule an appointment for me and stood me up! After they were 30 min late, I called the office and they said they would call the tech and get back to me. 15 minutes later they had not called, so I called again and got their voicemail and left a message. 15 minutes later, still no return call, so I called again and wished them luck with their business. Sadly, this was a fairly large local company with 3 shops and one of the few that does chassis, coach, and body work. But, if they don't treat you right before they have your money, it wont work out well after they do.) Anyway, up and running and I appreciate everyone's help and well wishes and hope to see you all out there! Thanks Tim
  10. Update; So, I gave up and called the mobile RV repair folks. (Incidentally, I called 5 different companies and only one even returned my call. I guess they have all the business they need. Good thing because I won't be taking my coach to any of them for future maintenance or repairs. But I digress...) Anyway, told the tech everything I had done, what I thought and so forth. He checked a lot of circuits, connectors, relays, and so forth. Then, he plugged in a new keypad for the Allison and like magic, everything worked! Everything! If I had not been there to witness it, I would have thought they were just trying to sell me a keypad. But, I was there. He had no explanation for why the other items were suddenly working as well because they should not have anything to do with the transmission keypad. But, it starts, runs, everything works, so for now. all is well. But I am keeping a wary eye for further electrical gremlins, or the recurrence of these. And, just for anyone who cares to know, keypad (new in the box, Allison unit) was $1000 and with the service call, labor, tax, etc, total bill was right at $1,600. Thanks Tim
  11. Blake, I appreciate the tip. My coach is 15 years old, so I am guessing not, but I will verify. To me, the big appeal of the Lithium is the shelf life/life span. My coach sits a LOT these days. It wasn't always so, but, things happened, career went a different direction...but I am now 101 days from retirement (not that I am counting...) and hoping to get back on the road again. So, I am getting it back into shape. House batteries are but one item. My concern is that I wont get it out as much as I hope and it will sit and the batteries go bad (note, I live in AZ where most wet batteries are toast at about 2 years no matter what you do). If AGM's will tolerate sitting around, great. And, if Lifelines will stand up to the beating of a race boat, that is a huge endorsement. Of course, 4 Lifelines are as expensive as the Lithium, but if they last as long, and have zero fire risk, and my inverter and charging system will handle them, then this conversation may have convinced me. Tim
  12. Well, fire with the lithium batteries may be something to think about. But I think for the most part the risk is exaggerated. When you look at how many items, and cars have lithium batteries (every Prius, Volt, and all the hybrids and so forth), it isn't like they are igniting that frequently, but the cases that do get a lot of publicity. Still, not good if you are the one it happens to. But it isn't like wet batteries have never exploded, or just cracked and dripped acid all over the place, and so forth. AGM's avoid some of this, but extra $$ when they go bad, and they do, sometimes just from the vibration of driving or hitting a big bump they will short internally (ask me how I know...). Nothing is perfect. I dont drive my coach that often and even with a trickle charger on them, it seems like I have to replace my house batteries about every 18 months @ about $400 a whack. But, compared to lithium, financially, it may end up being a wash.
  13. What about Lithium batteries? Saw them at the meet in Chandler and did some research on them and they seem like a great thing. Contemplating replacing my house batteries with these (if I get the thing running...). They are hideously expensive, (like $2000 to replace my 4 "golf cart" batteries), but seem very low maintenance, (as in none), will hold their charge sitting idle for great periods, charge up faster, and last many years longer than wet cells. Or have I just swallowed the Kool-aid on this?
  14. Those look really informative, but no such thing on mine. I do have the factory wiring diagram but everything is so small and hard to read, and frankly it is also poorly labeled. Maybe not for an electrician, but for me, very hard to follow it.
  15. Herman, yes it is like trying to tell someone how to set their VCR over the phone. (LOL), So, I appreciate you hanging in with me. The solenoid I pulled from the box under the driver window has 2 large lugs, and 2 small. Of the two small one is labeled "-" and one is labeled "+". The "-" has a small wire that goes into a large bundle that seems to head to the rear of the bus (hard to tell once it goes through the box). The "+" lug has a wire with a fuse in line and connects directly to one of the large lugs. This same large lug has a large cable that goes to a terminal on the circuit board labeled "interior fuse panel". The other large lug has a large cable that goes into a large bundle and appears to go toward the rear of the bus, but to exactly where I dont know. I think this wire should have power but it does not. None of the wires have power, and clearly at least one of them should in order to power this solenoid. But, none of them have power even with the key on. So, tying them together wont do anything - they are all dead. I could run a lead directly from the battery though, if that would be safe. (I am not worried about getting injured, just about giving something more voltage than it needs and frying something expensive.) So, I think the question becomes, what causes that large cable from the back of the bus to become hot? I can understand that maybe it should not be hot all the time and that something should happen to "turn it on, " but what? If just turning the key in the ignition switch should make it hot, it isnt, so maybe it is the switch, as you suggest. But, if turning the key is supposed to trip another solenoid that then allows this cable to be hot, then it must be this other solenoid that is bad. Wherever it is...(have not crawled under the bus yet to get at the one on the starter, and did not pull the panel in the floor of the closet, but will do so and see if i can see solenoids from there - thanks jleamont) Manholt - I think you are right, that the solenoid I pulled is for the aux start which ties the house batteries to the chassis batteries in order to "self jump start" the engine. Maybe that is all that it does, but since it has a cable that goes to a terminal labeled "interior fuse panel" I suspect it also powers up some things as well which would explain why there are other things not working. I pulled the batteries and had them tested and they are ok. I suppose I could still have a bad cell, but the headlights are bright, the dash ac blower strong, and so forth. But the N on the trans selector isnt on, so until that happens, the Allison wont let it start. (or so I am told...) Continued thanks to all! Tim
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