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Old 07-19-2002, 09:28 AM   #1
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12 VDC Mystery

1976 Excella 500, 31 ft, Center bath; Have no 12 VDC power anywhere when just using battery. All 12 VDC circuits work ok when just plugged into 120 VAC. The battery is in good condition; actually its not a regular battery, its just a jump-start battery (the kind with a built-in charger), with the alligator clips connected to the battery post clamps; its new and works okay on starting car engine.

The really mystery is with the jump-start battery connected, a volt meter shows 12+ V from the + terminal on the fuse board to the battery ground cable terminal at the fuse in the ground circuit, but no voltage between the + terminal on the fuse board and the end of the fuse clip adjacent to battery ground cable terminal, with the fuse in place. If the opposite end of the fuse is swung up out of the fuse clip, then do have voltage to either end of the fuse. Confused? I sure am!! I guess my next step is to install a "real" battery and see what happens.
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Old 07-19-2002, 05:41 PM   #2
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Is your distribution panel in the from of the coach, behind the credenza or couch?

I had a similar problem with my 77 with the panel there. The printed circuit boards that the fuses mount to crack and then things get weird. For testing purposes only I would suggest that you try hooking the battery directly to the fuse panel and bypassing the 12V+ cable connection. Then connect the ground wire to a frame ground. If things work on battery only then you know you have a main fuse issue. Either the ground side or positive side is bad. You can get repplacement 50 AMP Fuse holders at the autoparts store but they will be for the blade type fuses and need to be connected in. Good luck and be safe as you test, 12 volt systems can be more dangerous than a 120 volt one!
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Old 08-01-2002, 12:10 PM   #3
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MYSTERY SOLVED HAPPILY

I finally traced the problem to the fuse holder in the ground cable to the battery. Corrosion between the fuse clip and the terminal block was causing significant resistant, enough to drop the circuit voltage to less than 9 volts. Removed the holder, dismantled and cleaned it, reinstalled, and everything now works pretty good.

I did notice the lights brightened when I switched from battery only to plugging in the 120 volt AC supply. Is this normal, or indicative of a low battery voltage?

Ramon
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:20 PM   #4
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Ramon,

The lights getting brighter as you plug in or turn on the univolt is normal. The standing voltage on a battery if fully charged is 12.5 volts. The univolt will put out in the range of 14-14.5 volts. Glad you were able to get to the root of the problem and get it fixed.
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