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MrBogie

Help, With my Fathers New Monaco Mckenzie

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Hello everyone. A little help for a rookie if you don't mind.

My father purchased a 1999 5th Wheel Monaco McKenzie three years ago. It has sat untouched due to an illness he had. It is in brand new condition. (Literally never been used). I own a HVAC company so I am somewhat Tech Savvy, but I have no experience in dealing with DC systems or RV's. Any advice on the following problem would be appreciated.

1. The problem I am experiencing is with the 12 V system only. If I plug into house power all the appliances, pump, refrigerator, water heater, everything works just fine.

2. I have really weak power on a couple of the lights and the refer is on only during the day, which leads me to believe that it is only running off the solar system.

3. I installed 2 brand new 12 V marine Deep cell batteries, and triple verified that they are fully charged. So I can rule out battery problems

4. The issue is that I have no 12 V in the coach. I read a bunch of forums with regards to salesman switches, battery solenoid switches and battery disconnect switches. I can't find any of that anywhere on the RV.

5. It sounds to me like I have a failed solenoid switch, but I simply can't locate it. There are two switches as you enter the door, but turning those on does nothing. I have deduced from the forums that one of those switches shuts the battery off to most everything in the coach. The important stuff like the CO detector, and the fridge being the exception. The solenoid is rather large and I should be able to find it easy, but I can't find it anywhere don't even know if it has one.

Thanks

Dean

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Dean,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Two approaches. You can contact Monaco to see if they can send you a wiring diagram and/or talk you through switch and solenoid location.

OR, you can grab a voltmeter and starting at the battery, follow the large positive wire to and through any switches, breakers or solenoids to see where you loose power.

Brett

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Dean,

In addition to Brett's good advice, keep in mind in most coaches/trailers you will not (easily) see the actual switch or solenoid. You will see, generally, a red paddle type of handle about 2" long or a round knurled red nob about 1-1/2" to 2" in diameter. Different looking than all the other toggle or rocker type switches in the RV. These handles physically move a high current switch from the on to off position. It may be labeled and it may not. My coach has no label on or near the handle. But the actual switch is behind a wall/bulkhead and sometimes not easily accessible or visible.

That said, some RV's use a standard low current rocker switch that looks identical to the other switches on the dash or somewhere on a wall panel. This low current switch applies 12 vdc to a high current solenoid contactor that will open and close -- open position cuts off current flow from batteries.

It sounds like your father did not receive the rig's user manual when he purchased the unit. That is not unusual. As recommended, I would call Monaco for assistance. If the McKenzie has a "master cutoff switch" they should be able to direct you to it. And while talking to them I would ask them to send you a user's manual for the unit. Sometimes you get lucky.

Chuck

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Dean, As Brett has said, "Welcome to the Forum". Motor Homes and 5th wheels are very Biblical "Seek and You Will Find". So, keep looking. The cut off switch is there somewhere. On my Monaco there are two switches, one for the house and one for the chassis, in my battery compartment on the wall to the left of the batteries. Your Dads may only have one. Chuck gave a good description of the switches, round-red-off/on-silver(aluminum) handle. The previous owner may have turned them off. Have you been able to contact them? And do contact Monaco Tech., nice folks and a lot of help.

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Dean,

Not to be insulting, but did you make sure you replaced 12V batteries and not 6v batteries. I know many people who use two 6v batteries in their fifth wheels rather than one 12V battery. Here is a link that explains it easier than I can. You probably already have it wired correctly but just want to throw out another possible option.http://www.solarrvpanels.com/index.php/tag/wiring-6-volt-batteries-in-series/

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Not to sound simplistic. And I'm no authority on 5th wheels. But on our coach there is a switch in the wheel well of the entrance that cuts ALL power to the coach. If this switch is engaged and not turned "on" then you won't get any power from the 12V system in the 5th wheel. I think any way. Might want to check it out.

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Dean,

I had a 2001 Holiday Rambler Alumascape 5th Wheel.

The battery cut off switch was located on the roadside outside wall to the right of the battery box .

I would also check the 12 volt inverter, located in the kichen cabinet to the right of the stove.

The circut breakers for the coach are located there as well.

Good luck, Mikie

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