Jump to content
Mypopslou

Help RV will not start

Recommended Posts

Returned from our summer trip 7,000 miles without issue. Every once and a while when I started my RV I would get a Low Battery Voltage message but she always started. RV has been sitting for 5 weeks connected to 50 amp and for 4 of the 5 weeks I had both engine and rv batteries turned off. Turned them back on last week to do some cleaning.

Had an appointment to have alignment checked because of some unusual tire wear and RV would not start. Engine batteries were very low as when I turned the key nothing happened. I put a trickle charge on the batteries and little by little they started showing life. I got dash lights and when I turned the key I would get one turn of the starter and then it would click. I assumed the trickle charger was not capable of charging batteries to starting point so I called road service through Good Sam.

Interstate Road Side service arrived at my home where the RV is in a port. Since batteries were in the back tech connected jumper cables to connection in front of RV. I did not even know you could do that. I turned the key and it was the same thing, got dash lights and everything looked like it would start but not enough juice to turn the starter more than once.

Tech was then able to get his truck close enough to the back of my coach to connect jumper cables directly to batteries. Only problem now I was back to turning the key and absolutely nothing happened. He checked everything underneath and did find a jumper switch which had tripped and when he turned it I had some power in dash, sun shade and data port which has a light, lit up but when I turned the key nothing. He then crawled under the rv and engaged the started by hand, she would crank but not start as I had nothing come on on dash board. We left truck connected to batteries for over 30 minutes and still nothing.

He left not knowing how to help me but my fear is that he blew something that has shut off whatever has to happen on the dash board when you turn the key.

Any suggestions on what the issue could be and what I should do. I am looking for a mobile service unit so I do not have to be towed.

I am feeling desperate and also that this tech did something to make my issue worse.

Any help would be appreciated, I am not very handy

Thank you

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first thing to do is take the start battery (batteries) to be checked. Sounds like you've had a charging/battery issue for a while, and finally the battery is not taking a charge. Start batteries can only be discharged to a low voltage situation so many times before they fail. Most NAPA stores can test batteries, and if you have a truck repair place near you that sells batteries they can probably test them as well. Once you get them tested, you'll either have that eliminated as the culprit or be able to remedy things right away. Of course, if it is the batteries the next thing to do is confirm that the engine's alternator is providing proper charge when you're running the engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried starting Generator or used the button to allow a start by using house batteries?  That button or switch normally is on left side of steering colum on dash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With tech truck directly connected to my batteries they charged to 12.7. I tried to start by house batteries and that did not work, not even shore Thor connected it. I don't think it is the batteries because when he forced the starter to start it was cranking but nothing on my dash that should have come on.

I think he tripped something that shut everything off to the dash but I don't know enough to know what to look for.

Thanks for your suggestions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard, no I do not, but had to be something to shut off part of the starting process. I still have  charger on the batteries but every time I try and turn the key nothing happens and I know the batteries have at least 12.7 volts. Have called a mobile repair place and am hoping they can come out today to see what has happened.

Have also tried starting generator but have had the same results

Very frustrating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had it off for about the last 4 of 5 weeks but turned it on last week, I called Thor and they suggested I check some of the breakers which I did and still nothing. Not Sure where to go from here but waiting for Mobile RV Service to arrive but probably will not be today

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There should an ignition solenoid, possibly a fuse has blown between the keyswitch and that solenoid, or a bad keyswitch or a bad solenoid causing nothing to light up on the dash. You stated that when he engaged the starter by hand the motor cranked (turned over) but would not start, if the keyswitch is not lighting the dash and transmission lights, the fuel solenoid is possibly not opening and with no fuel it will not start, or you may have a fuse blown to the ECM, another reason for not starting. These are some starting points to check for it not starting, any good diesel service center can check these items in case you can't. As mentioned above, the chassis battery/batteries need to be charged completely and load tested before trying to start again. Good luck getting it going!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of batteries do you have, acid or AGM?  If acid, are they full?  How old are they? Before you disconnect the starter battery/batteries and house batteries, take pictures of how they are connected, for every wire you disconnect, take a picture! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mypopslou, Could you post the chassis information that your coach is built on? 

Model information is one part of the info, but the chassis wiring is another.

From your posts it sounds like the chassis engine and the generator will not start. Please post the generator model and make. Do you have the auto start feature? If so who's system is being used?

Think the best path at this time is to contact Freightliner with his VIN number and get the chassis wiring PDF files and attach them to a post on this forum thread or directly to me. I might be able to read the wiring. I'm also sure that Kay has the skill set to understand the systems

Rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The coach is on a Freightliner Chasis XCR raised Rail. Generator starts fine so not issues there and auto start feature is in ready state as in the fuse compartment green light is on. The Aux Start does not work as I do not think Thor ever connected it and the same for charging chassis batteries when plugged into shore power as it has been plugged in all the time.

When the tech was here yesterday after jumping the batteries the read at 12.7 volts and I have had a charger on them over night. The keyless entry, entry steps usb port and front windshield shades which are all connected to chassis batteries are working fine. It is the Dash that is not, when I turn the key nothing happens no lights no buzzers. I do have a push button start and it does light up but again no response.

Have reached out to Thor for help and am also trying to get a response from a Mobile Diesel Repair place to come and take a look. I really feel it is something simple a fuse or breaker the has been tripped. I just don't know how to find it.

Appreciate help so far and am open to any suggestions on how to find the mystery switch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing unusual about start batteries not getting charged when connected to shore power.  I have a trickle charger on mine & plug it into coach in bay...inconvenient, but...Kay is on the right track..fuse or no fuel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or, possibly a bad ground.

You've had an intermittent issue during recent travel with a low charging light coming on. If you had a failing ground connection it could cause such an issue. Possibly now that ground connection has failed totally and is not providing a good ground to the dash and/or starting system controls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl, The Chassis wiring system uses a multiplex digital control system.

No electrical wiring files for that system on file yet on my end. Thinking there is a low voltage logic control relay in the starter circuit. CAN systems are great when they work, but few RV techs have the training required .

Think the best path at this time is to contact Freightliner and ask for the Chassis control and wiring PDF files. Using the VIN number. Think Kay and I might be able to decipher the interconnections. The control system uses 5 volts, but it is not all that simple.

So if Mypopslou could attach them to a reply - it would help understand his ignition system in better detail. 

Rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, well above my pay grade!  I got yo remember, every thing elect has changed in the past 8 years!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, manholt said:

Oh, well above my pay grade!  I got yo remember, every thing elect has changed in the past 8 years!!!

OH, has it ever and accelerating exponentially !! The sad thing is the manufacturing end has no training system setup to get field or shop tech's up to speed. Then setting a pay scale to attract the required Tech's.  

This is a n area that robots will not be able to function for a number of years to come.

Rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post contains user information that this style of control works, but the videos do not cover what it takes to keep them working. The same type of networks are also present on the new chassis wiring system, but they are for the most part invisible. The push to start button is a dead giveaway that the chassis has been wired with a logic controlled or expanded CAN(Closed Area Network).

Welcome to the 21st. Century !

Rich .

links for the coach network system. If I run into anything on the chassis system on U tube, I will attach them in the same way!  

       

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I do have a push button start I do not have the multiplex system in my coach. I think Thor started that the year after mine or 2017. Found a mobile diesel mechanic who should be here by noon. He thinks it is a fuse or breaker as I do but hopefully he will know where to look and fix.

In the past I only received the Low Battery Voltage message in the Freightliner Message Center on the dashboard when starting engine. It would go away within 10 seconds. I never received any type of message at any other time.

After this experience and once I get her started I will immediately go buy an appropriate trickle charger and keep one on it at all times. Fool me once...

Thanks for all of your help and suggestions and I am hopeful this mechanic will fix it and I will let you all know what issue was.

Wish me luck on this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Manholt, do you have a recommendation on what type of trickle charger I need. I just went on amazon and there are 20 some pages of them. I know I need a 'smart' charger so it charges and then shuts off and back on when needed. I noticed some are 2, 10 50 is that what  I need?

Appreciate the advice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two things to look for in a smart charger - amps and volts.

Those numbers you're talking about are the amp output maximums. Obviously, the smaller the number the slower the charger is going to put power back into your chassis batteries. The batteries will only pull the amps that they need, so if you have a 20 amp charger and the batteries only need 2 amps that's all they'll take. If you get one with too low of an amperage output, it won't be able to keep up with the parasitic draw from your chassis systems. All those computers and onboard systems draw current even with the engine and key turned off.

The more important issue on a charger is the voltage. What makes a smart charger smart is being able to vary the voltage output. A 12-volt battery needs a voltage higher than 12 volts to charge. Most smart chargers will start at a charge level of about 14.6 volts and stay there for a couple of hours. They will then lower to a mid-level. Mine drops to 13.6v and stays there for another 12-24 hours. After that time, the charger will drop to a maintenance voltage of only 13.2v on my unit. Each model will vary slightly, but for a flooded cell battery the voltage levels will be about the same. If you have AGM batteries you need to get one which has suitable voltage outputs for AGMs.

If your trickle charger output doesn't drop down low enough it will continue to cause water to evaporate needlessly, possibly ruining your batteries. If the output is too low constantly, it will never charge your batteries.

Another way to go is something like a Xantrex Echo Charger. Other companies make something similar. They are designed to pull up to 15 or so amps from your house battery charging system over to your chassis batteries, and they only do this when your house charger is charging. They make it simpler since they don't require you to remember to turn on/plug in another charger. They'll just work whenever your house system is charging, whether it's from the 120v charger or from the solar charger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I do have a push button start I do not have the multiplex system in my coach.

The push button would control a small starting relay that pulls in a much larger one to feed power to the starter Solenoid. The fact that everything else works when the key is install, sure would lead me in that direction other then a hidden fuse.

Good luck.

Rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2019 at 2:21 PM, Mypopslou said:

Richard, no I do not, but had to be something to shut off part of the starting process. I still have  charger on the batteries but every time I try and turn the key nothing happens and I know the batteries have at least 12.7 volts. Have called a mobile repair place and am hoping they can come out today to see what has happened.

Have also tried starting generator but have had the same results

Very frustrating

Today you stated the generator starts fine, what changed?

What were the battery test results?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pop, mine is just big enough to feed the Phantoms.  Cost $27 at NAPA. I had it hard wired.  My engine batteries are fine for 2 or 3 days of camping..so I don't connect the charger, all 10 batteries are AGM's.  I use the same charger on my HD Classic Cruiser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update and Success, Finally had a diesel mechanic come to my home today and it took him all of 5 minutes to find a blown 150amp fuse in the compartment where my invertor is located. Although had nothing to do with inventor, it was a $4 fuse at NAPA. Once replaced the engine fired right up and of course the dash was showing check engine. Mechanic connected his computer to coach and checked code which stated loss of power...

Once this was corrected my dash lit up like a Christmas Tree and I feared the first Tech that came out really blew something else. Mechanic checked all my fuses and then shut engine off and turn Chassis Battery cutoff to the off position for 30 seconds and then turned it back on and started the engine and all is good. I guess the computer just need to reboot but all is good.

I caused myself a lot of grief by letting this person the Good Sam Road Service sent out do something I did not think was correct. When he told me he could jump start my coach from 2 terminals in the front of the coach, I did not think was not right but I let him do it anyway and it cost me $300 to fix his ignorance.  I asked the diesel mechanic about it and he aid absolutely not as there is probably a lot of other parts connected to those cables and you would be forcing too many volts down the line.This guy may be OK to jump start a car or small truck but he did not have a clue what to do with a motorhome and I will register a complaint with Good Sam. I already called their claims department 2 days ago and left a message which stated they would return my call within 24 hours....nothing yet.

Anyway lesson learned to trust my gut

Also hope my experience will help someone else, especially the part about shutting done engine and battery and letting computer reboot.

The other really positive thing about this experience is that the Diesel Mechanic who fixed my coach is a young guy with a relatively new business who really impressed me with his knowledge and ability to handle the mechanical side of my RV. He admitted he is not too familiar with a lot of the RV side of my coach.

Thank you to all of you who offered suggestions on what to look for and tried to help me. We had so much trouble with this coach when we bought it new, when this happened my wife told me I really freaked out and I guess I did but all is good now. I am buying a Smart Battery Charger today and keeping it on the coach whenever it will be parked for more than a couple of days. Also rescheduled my appointment to have front end alignment done.

Again thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...