I am new to this list, having recently purchased a 1976 Airstream Argosy Motorhome, which is a nicely preserved, and unmolested example. Unfortunately, there are a number of electrical gremilins which I must chase away. I am certain that many of you on this list have dealt with these faults, and can likely save me considerable time and energy. So I would greatly appreciate any advice or suggestions.
Problem number one is that none of the 12 volt
interior lights or accessories work off of the coach battery. They will work off of the chassis battery if the ignition switch is turned to the "accessory" position, but will not work with the switch in the "on" position, or with the engine running. This symptom is the same whether or not the unit is plugged into a 110 volt AC line. I suspect that the IVOLT unit is not properly converting the 110 volt to 12 volt
, either for lights and accessories, or for battery charging. The unit (which I think is the IVOLT unit) which is mounted in the wall behind the rear bathroom closet is humming, which I think indicates that it is working. All of the fuses on the panel next to this unit are intact and not blown.
Are there other hidden fuses, as it appears as though the coach battery may not even be attached to the interior electrical system, which leads me to suspect a blown fuse or something similar.
How can I test whether the coach battery is connected to the unit properly, and whether the IVOLT is charging either, or both, batteries? Also, is this the IVOLT that I have described, or is this a separate battery charger, and is the IVOLT unit somewhere else? If separate, where do I find the other one? Is there a hidden battery isolator that I am missing somewhere?
In summary, the interior 12 volt
lights will only work with the key on "accessory".
The second problem is that the ignition switch will not activate the starter. The key works to the "on" position, but when I turn it to the "Start" position, there is nothing except the "brake" light illuminates on the dashboard. So, I must go out and jump the relay wire to activate the starter. A previous owner did add a small 20 amp horn type relay to the starter circuit presumably to prevent battery draindown, and it is this relay which I must jump to activate the starter. I cannot tell if the relay is bad, or if the leads to the relay are not carrying current when the key is truned to the start position.
The question is how to test this relay, and what to replace it with, if it is bad. Also, should I eliminate this relay altogether, or is it a good modification to prevent battery draindown?
Please respond here or to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance for any help. I really appreciate it.