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daniel92870

House Electical Not Functioning

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I have a 2003 Itasca Sunrise Motor Home and recently the House Electrical stopped working. Nothing is functioning, I can not turn on the generator, I can not check the levels, refrigerator is not working. This happened one other time and a few days later everything started working. I can start the motor home, and the rear view camera is working. Anyone have any ideas why this is happening?

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daniel92870,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Just to clarify, is it the 12 VDC things that do not work (water pump, most lights, etc) or is it the 120 VAC side that does not work (roof A/C, etc).

If the 12 VDC and the batteries are good, check that the salesman switch (by the door) is ON.

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Brett.  That switch always seem to be in the wrong place.  I hit mine sometimes when carrying something into coach, my dog would hit it going out.  I had one next to the Co-Pilot seat on the Allegro Bus and when some one sat there, they would hit it instead of Pass shade.  Is there a place it can be moved too, that you know about?

 

Carl

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OK Now I am totally confused, did I mention that I am new to RVing and really do not have a clue about anything.  One thing I do know is that I can not turn on anything, Water Pump, lights, Generator, AirConditioner, Microwave. The only thing I can do is Start the vehicle and view the rear view camera.

I have no clue what the Salesman switch is.

Thank you for the replies

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There is a "master 12 VDC switch" near the door , often referred to as the "salesman switch" since it allows all lights to be left on, and turned off/on at the master switch.

Are you plugged into shore power?  Do the roof A/C's work?

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Carl, a nice flip cover over that switch might be an easy answer for you, the dog brushing against it or accidentally touching should not affect it this way.

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Let's go back to the OP.  Given the information provided it sounds as if there are a number of solutions.

First is the condition of the house batteries.  There are two battery systems in motor homes, the chassis batteries start the engine and power the driving portion of the vehicle, signal lights, headlights, etc.  The house batteries (may be 2 or 4 6V batteries or in some coaches, 1 or 2 12V batteries) power all the household items: water pump, most lights, furnace, refrigerator, slide outs, inverter and control functions on things like the water heater.  The house batteries also power control functions on the transfer switch which controls the varying sources of AC power (generator or "shore" power).  Depending on the coach, what is controlled and how a dead house battery affects the coach may vary.  We've run our house batteries to dead several times and the result is much like what is described.

Now, if the batteries are in good condition, charged and producing current, there are usually two separate cut-off switches that shut off the power from the house batteries.  The main or master cut-off switch will usually be somewhere near the house battery compartment.  That switch may be shut off and it will cut off power to the house, just as if the batteries are dead.  If the switch is off, the solution is simple, turn it on.  If it is on there is still a possibility that the switch may be bad.  I've had a switch fail due to overheating (an improper installation was the cause).  If the switch is not working properly, you can wire around the switch by connecting the two wires that connect to the switch directly to each other.  Simply bolt them together.  Now you may want to turn off the power quickly sometime in the future so you will want to replace the switch but temporarily wiring direct instead of through the switch will get things working until you can get a replacement switch.

The aforementioned "salesman" switch is a secondary battery cut-off switch that is usually located just inside the entry door (apparently there are exceptions - see previous posts).  The salesman switch is wired in series with the master cut-off switch  In our coach, the salesman switch operates a solenoid which operates the actual switch.  Our solenoid has a history of failure so I have wired directly around the solenoid by connecting the two feed wires directly to one another.  This effectively disables the salesman switch.  You could do the same at the actual salesman switch.  It won't harm anything to disable this switch if you don't mind going to the master cut-off switch and cutting the power at that switch when necessary.

These would be the first three things I would check.  If you have checked these, then we'll have to look to other items that may be at fault.

If you don't have an owners manual that helps you find the batteries, cut-off switches and other key parts of your motor home, you should contact the manufacturer for information and get a replacement owners manual if it is available.

Let us know how your troubleshooting works and if you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask. 

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daniel92870

 

Welcome to the forum.  I agree that it sounds like you have a problems with your 12 volt system as described above.  If you do not have a manual for your unit you can find one here.  http://www.winnebagoind.com/resources/manuals/pdfs/Operator2003/03Sunrise.pdf

It shows where the controls are located and has a general description of how the systems work.  My best advice is read through the manual then start by testing the batteries.  A suitable tester can be obtained at any auto parts store for less than $10.. It consists of a 12 volt bulb with two wires.  One has a probe the other has a clip.  Clip the clip to the ground side of the battery then you can use the probe to touch other connectors.  If the bulb lights you have power.  No light no power.  Start at the battery and use the probe to move toward the nearest thing that does not work following along the wiring.  When the light fails to light you have just passed over the problem.

Hope that helps.

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My advice, if you are planning on doing your own electrical work, would be to back up a bit and start with a basic electrical book or course. Then follow that up with studying general electrical knowledge of rv systems - you need to know that you are working with three systems. 

What one would consider as a suitable electrical tool tends to depend quite a bit on ones level of electrical knowledge and ones expectations of what one intends to do with that particular tool. 

There are many internet sources for rv knowledge building - I found the youtube videos particularly helpful, as well as many rv related websites. Very easy to locate this stuff. 

My formal training was through RVIA and the related colleges. The one or two week RV specific hands on courses are good starter courses as well. 

Having your own rv is very helpful. The reason I worked for a short time at an rv rental place was so I could practice all my electrical and other skills, as well as the speciality skills I was learning, since I don't own a coach yet. These days, much of my skill maintenance is via coach extended warranty inspections. 

I think you risk serious damage to your coach if you don't understand the why and how things work, and the strengths and limits of your tools. 

One clear example of the severe knowledge gap between new owners and the rv industry is when new owners realize they need high and low voltage power protection for their rv after they purchase their rv. One bad experience can result in $1,500 to $3,500 of damage, that was easily avoided. 

There is a tremendous difference between just replacing parts until you get something working, going down a short list of the most common reasons for a failure based on ones personal experience, and actually doing the real deal of applying troubleshooting skills with appropriate tools. All of the technicians I worked with could do the first and second steps. What kept them from doing the troubleshooting was lack of formal training, limited tools, and an inability to rely on research, manuals, and specific mfg technical materials. There are some troubleshooting technicians out there, but most owners are unable to locate them or even determine the caliber of someone working on their coach. 

Rodger S. 

 

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Rodger.  He is new to Motor Homes...not life !  If he went by your idea, he would no longer be young and he would like to use his RV ASAP.  Since all you have is a MB car, this is no time for another rant !  Chill

Carl

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Thank you all that responded.  I went to the RV and found the Salesman Switch, it just inside the door, when I turned it on, I was able to get everything working again.  All your help was greatly appreciated.

Thank you again

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