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Old 10-31-2012, 04:05 PM   #15
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1959 22' Flying Cloud
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The generator nor the univolt will charge the chassis battery. The isolator prevents power from bleeding through between the two battery systems. The only way they could would be if there is a continuous duty silonoid, used to connect the two systems in order to jump start the cranking battery. I think your problem is in the vehicle charging system . Check the belts and connections (possible fusible link connection?). I really think its a charging system problem.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:56 PM   #16
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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arodiguez60, most, if not all Classics have what you describe, a continuous duty solenoid, operated by a spring switch in the center glovebox. Very possible that either switch or solenoid is in need of replacing.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 1987_345 View Post
We may be getting closer to a solution, and I hope this never happens to anyone else. I despise electrical issues. I went home and ran some more tests.

I think I can feel confident during our trip to Florida next week that we'll be ok if we leave the Univolt unplugged until we reach our destination. And then when we plug it back in and connect to shore power it will power our inside lights and charge the coach batteries. I believe it (Univolt) is not connected into the coach 12v distribution panel correctly. I am going to try and attach a photo so you can see how mine is wired. The drawing glued to the inside of the panel door doesn't even depict what my distribution panel looks like. The white wire from the Univolt you can't see in the pic must be common because it is grounded. The big red wire in the pic is the hot wire coming from the Univolt. Could you check and see how yours is wired and send me a pic. If anyone has a detailed wiring diagram of how this should be wired, I would apperciate it. Thanks, Kenneth

the pics actually are upside down from how they are in my coach

Attachment 171740

Attachment 171741

Here is a picture of my panel, which should be real close to yours since we have the same years.
On yours I noticed that the +from your converter is attached unfused. It should real be connected to the top terminal of its own fuse, which is missing. This would not cause the problem you are having, just an observation.
Don't mind the 2 fuse blocks on the left, they are my spares.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:51 AM   #18
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Waxahachie , Texas
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Peter,
Good point. I'll put that on my to do list. One thing I should also mention is that upon a closer look at my manuals I discovered that while the coach batteries are charged by the alternator and the univolt via shore power or generator, it says that the chassis battery is ONLY charged by the alternator or generator. The univolt has no connection to the chassis battery. Anway, last night I disconnected the univolt and checked the voltage. It is ok. I checked all the belts, they're ok. The alternater is putting out ok. Disassembled the ground connections behind the battery box, cleaned them and put back together, all ok. With the univolt re connected I disconnected each of the relays in the 12v distribution panel to see if any one of them was drawing an unnecessairily high load, all ok. I looked at all of the wiring behind the battery box to make sure it was connected correctly, which I think it was then I noticed something interesting. Everytime I disconnected or turned off and then turned on the coach batteries, the radio would turn itself on. It has a replacement radio that the PO put on which was powered by the coach batteries. What I noticed while under the battery box was that there was a really heavy fused cable wired into the junction box on the frame which is powered by the chassis battery. I traced it to a new radio amp located behind the dash which of course connects to the radio. Now I don't really know if it makes a difference that the radio is powered by coach batteries and the amp is powered by chassis battery, but I changed it to have both of them draw from the coach batteries and so far so good. I will probably go ahead and take the alternator in to have it throughly checked ot just for peace of mind. At this point I don't know what else to do, so I am also going to put a pigtail on the power cord for the univolt making it easier to unplug without taking out the pots and pans drawer and we're heading for Florida. Thank-you so much for all of your help and advice. I will post any new developments. Kenneth
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #19
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It depends on your traveling habits. If you always travel with the Genset running, I would connect my radio and/or amp to the coach batteries. This also allows you to use it while you plugged in at a campsite without running down the chassis battery.
And YES, the chassis battery does not get charged by the Univolt, it only gets charged by the alternator or a trickle charger in the genset, if so equipped. My Honda EV6010 does not have a battery charger.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1987_345
Peter,
Good point. I'll put that on my to do list. One thing I should also mention is that upon a closer look at my manuals I discovered that while the coach batteries are charged by the alternator and the univolt via shore power or generator, it says that the chassis battery is ONLY charged by the alternator or generator. The univolt has no connection to the chassis battery. Anway, last night I disconnected the univolt and checked the voltage. It is ok. I checked all the belts, they're ok. The alternater is putting out ok. Disassembled the ground connections behind the battery box, cleaned them and put back together, all ok. With the univolt re connected I disconnected each of the relays in the 12v distribution panel to see if any one of them was drawing an unnecessairily high load, all ok. I looked at all of the wiring behind the battery box to make sure it was connected correctly, which I think it was then I noticed something interesting. Everytime I disconnected or turned off and then turned on the coach batteries, the radio would turn itself on. It has a replacement radio that the PO put on which was powered by the coach batteries. What I noticed while under the battery box was that there was a really heavy fused cable wired into the junction box on the frame which is powered by the chassis battery. I traced it to a new radio amp located behind the dash which of course connects to the radio. Now I don't really know if it makes a difference that the radio is powered by coach batteries and the amp is powered by chassis battery, but I changed it to have both of them draw from the coach batteries and so far so good. I will probably go ahead and take the alternator in to have it throughly checked ot just for peace of mind. At this point I don't know what else to do, so I am also going to put a pigtail on the power cord for the univolt making it easier to unplug without taking out the pots and pans drawer and we're heading for Florida. Thank-you so much for all of your help and advice. I will post any new developments. Kenneth
POS! "Previous Owner Surprises"

The power amp and radio should be on the same power source. There should be a remote power control wire from the radio to the amp.

Airstream did a really poor job of mating the Spartan chassis to the coach on my 360. I have hard time distinguishing between the factory installation and rank amateur cobbling of previous owners. I've found some big boo boos from both. Don't assume that anything is correct and you won't be disappointed.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #21
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My question "What happens if plugged into shore power, generator off and the engine running"?

The only thing the generator is doing is providing 120VAC power to the Univolt same as plugged into shore power.

From your description anytime the Univolt has power "AND" the battery isolator input has power the chassis battery starts draining.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:27 AM   #22
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reading all this makes me dizzy....how very complicated,having had battery problems myself i stay curious on the subject...now ,when parked i simply disconnect batteries so nothing can drain them....there should be a dictionary which can translate or explain all those different words ,like genset..univolt etc.....often obscure terms for those of us not electrically savy....but with the will to learn
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #23
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Wow what a weekend I had!!!! I started saturday morning by making more electrical adjusments, then starting the engine to see if anything was resolved. The only thing I found out was that my starter housing was cracked and around noon eventually failed. So jacked it up, removed front tire, spark plugs, header, and replaces starter. Finally got it back together around 10pm. Started again after Church on the original problem and I believe I've fixed it. I found another accessory tied into both the chassis and coach battery so I moved it all to the chassis battery. I then made sure ALL of the automotive related circuits were going through the chassis battery and ALL the coach related circuits went through the coach batteries. I then discovered a short in the red wire at the plug for the alternator so that it was charging sometimes, not charging sometimes. Also when I replaced the starter, I was sure to sleeve all the wiring in heat proof fiberglass conduit. I don't know if the loose starter was grounding out sometimes, or the two separate 12v systems being connected together through an accessory, or the short at the alternator plug, OR even some combination of all three was my problem. But i do believe it;s now operating as it should. Once again a sincere THANK-YOU to all of you who responded with your help. I couldn't have done it without you. I have been over this ole bus from end to end, and top to bottom during my complete restoration/upgrade. If there is ever anything I can be of help to all of you, please write. Kenneth
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #24
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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The constant opening and closing of the battery tray door(slide) wore a hole in the insulation of our positive to solenoid cable(behind the steps, on the chassis frame)...a shocking revelation, as the worn spot wasn't visible from underneath the unit, but I was well-grounded in fact...duct tape, liberally applied, got me to a replacement...m
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