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Old 12-29-2018, 09:09 AM   #1
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1970 21' Globetrotter
1977 20' Argosy 20
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Help! On the road-Isolator issue?!?

77 Argosy MH batteries not holding a charge. 3rd replacement of Alternator just last night at a campground in FL.

I’m just learning about the electrical system, my husband is an engineer and can fix anything, we replaced the alternator that we had put in when when picked up “Rosie” aka Ruby from Louisiana in April, at the beginning of our trip from Boston to Florida on Sunday. Still losing power to batteries after long drives. New alternator bad, bought another on the road and just plugged in at night. Had original tested at NAPA, they exchanged and hub installed last night. Being the fixer I am, I started googling. Could we really keep getting bad alternators? Is it the batteries? They’re new too, but being depleted and all.. who knows. Then I read about how important the isolator is. Woke up hub, had him show me where it was, I then tried to figure it out.
Can’t find anything on this model, assuming it’s 40 something years old.

Not so easy to diagram. Click image for larger version

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ID:	330564Have to check out soon!! Any help?! Please!
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:30 PM   #2
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1977 20' Argosy 20
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1977 Argosy Isolator Issues

"Rosie Travelers"

I have attached a pdf file describing the function of the 12 Distribution Panel as it originally came from Argosy. Take a look at what I wrote and see it helps. Then we can go from there. From your photos it does look like there have been some changes from the original factory configuration.

The biggest change in the photo is that someone has added a circuit breaker between "A" and the right terminal of the isolator switch.
PM if you need any additional help.

Gregg
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1977 Argosy 12 Volt Distribution Panel.pdf (405.1 KB, 15 views)
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWallace View Post
"Rosie Travelers"

I have attached a pdf file describing the function of the 12 Distribution Panel as it originally came from Argosy. Take a look at what I wrote and see it helps.

Gregg

Thank you so much Gregg for the information..!!

We ended up exchanging the alternator that we had put in back in April the night I wrote this post, we were holding a charge for a good 24 hrs or so and then started to see the volts go down.
We started our drive back home yesterday and ran the generator for about 15 min before we shut the engine and called it a night. This morning she started right up..

We drove out of our way to a service center that worked on AS.
Trailers, not MH’s, of course-but had a experienced mechanic check out the voltage at the isolator and fuse panel,
all which read as they should.

We also had an issue with the arm of the drivers wiper, the wind would swing the arm outside of the range-so we were dealing with that while the engine was running, afraid to shut it off.

We’re on our way to Raleigh, hopefully to find a campground open and plug in and go over your notes!
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:00 PM   #4
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1977 20' Argosy 20
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Some years ago I had the same issue with the drivers side wiper arm. It would travel too far and hang. Rather alarming when driving in rain especially at night. The problem is not the motor but linkage arm from the motor to the pivot shaft on which the wiper is mounted. The linkage arm has plastic bushings on each end that wear and create slack. Just enough slack to go “over center” and hang up. I was fortunate at that time to obtain replacements from Airstream (1995) and that fixed the problem.
To get back home at the time I tied some heavy string to the wiper arm to restrain the arm from going too far and fed the string in through the drivers slider window. Closing the window with just the right length let me limp along. Every so often the “length” would have to be readjusted, but the window was wiped.
The passenger side linkage is really short so slack and wear is not a problem like the driver side. Both motors are in the center.
Gregg
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWallace View Post
Some years ago I had the same...
Gregg

This is the “Schauer Multiple Battery Connector for RV, Trailer A8170”
The only one I found online.. eBay

My husband thinks the black wire is the control wireClick image for larger version

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Old 01-01-2019, 12:07 AM   #6
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What’s funny, is I said we should tie it to the passenger wiper so it wouldn’t go so far
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:15 AM   #7
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Your husband is correct on the black wire being the control wire. There are two versions of these devices. One version is a single control terminal and the second version is with two control terminals. The single terminal version is controlled by the accessory circuit from the chassis ignition switch. The return is the housing to chassis ground. The two terminal version also is controlled by the ignition switch but the return is internally isolated from the housing and the second terminal is then connected to chassis ground.
My Argosy 12V distribution panel where the isolation switch is mounted is a non-conductive phenolic material. Hence Argosy used the two terminal version and connected a wire from the second control terminal to ground.
These type of switches are much like starter solenoids except that the control windings are designed to be energized for long periods of time rather than short cycles like starting a vehicle.
My original OEM switch failed in 1979 and I got an exact replacement at an RV parts store. At that time they had both replacements on the shelf. I didn’t see any with the circuit the breaker like in your eBay picture.
If you have a single terminal switch, all you need to do is connect a wire from the housing to ground to be sure that it functions.

Gregg
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:54 PM   #8
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Is that solenoid on the back of the battery tray? You should easily get replacements online or at a parts store. Cole Hersee is one brand. You may well have a separate isolator (probably Surepower) in the engine bay. They cann go faulty and cause current depletion on the other side of the battery bank. If you have this set up, tests are straightforward and in the Airstream manuals (possibly different setup in Argosys).

On wiper travel. I agree with the previous poster, the linkage is key. I recently replaced mine with AM Equipment. It’s a DIY job, but of a pain, but an easy fix. You should be able to get a repair kit rather than buying the entire linkage incl pivot arm
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Boom Sounds View Post
Is that solenoid on the back of the battery tray? You should easily get replacements online or at a parts store. Cole Hersee is one brand. You may well have a separate isolator (probably Surepower) in the engine bay. They cann go faulty and cause current depletion on the other side of the battery bank. If you have this set up, tests are straightforward and in the Airstream manuals (possibly different setup in Argosys).

On wiper travel. I agree with the previous poster, the linkage is key. I recently replaced mine with AM Equipment. It’s a DIY job, but of a pain, but an easy fix. You should be able to get a repair kit rather than buying the entire linkage incl pivot arm
Nick,

The Argosies were a lot different when it comes to how to the batteries were configured. Mine didn't even have a solenoid, just a hand switch. to select batteries.

Brad
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