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Old 08-23-2019, 09:01 AM   #1
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No power off battery

Hi all, first time posting here. We picked up a 2015 Forest River Rockwood Freedom 1910 last year and are loving it. We are doing our first boondocking trip next weekend, and this week I discovered that the camper is not getting power from the battery. Everything works fine when plugged in, but I have no lights, fridge, outlets, or anything else off battery power. I just replaced the battery as the old one was leaking acid and would no longer take a charge, thinking that maybe something in the battery shorted and popped a fuse/breaker somewhere. I plan to di g into it this weekend, so I guess I have a few basic questions:

1. Does anyone have a wiring diagram to help me get started?
2. Where is the fuse/breaker box/panel located?
3. Any tips/ideas on where to start first?

New battery is fully charged and sitting at 12.7V.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:33 AM   #2
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If you have one, is your battery cuttoff switch on? If it is, have you checked the power coming out of it? I found from experience that they do go bad, or, actually fall out of adjustment so the contacts inside don't contact when turned on.

BTW, your outlets will never run off battery. Those are part of your 110 volt system, not the 12 volt system. Your refrigerator also does not run off battery. It needs the battery to start, but it runs off propane when boondocking.

I don't know your camper but on most there is also a circuit breaker along the main 12 volt power wire after the cutoff switch usually somewhere under the camper.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:46 AM   #3
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Also get a multimeter. It will take the guess work out of the investigation. Start at the battery then check at each junction along the way.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
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Joeuncool, No cutoff switch on my battery. And my fridge has the standard 3 options - 120V, 12V, and propane. Typically, I plug the camper in at the house and run the fridge off 120V for a few days to get it cold before leaving for a camping trip. Once hooked up to the car I switch it over to 12V for the trip to the campground, then switch back to 120V once hooked up at the campground. This will be our first time camping without electric service, so I will run it off propane this trip, but I would still plan to run it off 120V at the house and 12V while travelling. I have noticed on the last couple of trips that when we get to the campground the fridge is considerably warmer than when we left the house (temps have been in the 90's here in PA during our last couple of trips which have typically been several hours).

Skip12, I already have a multimeter and my fallback plan it start at the battery and work my way backward, but I'm going to start by making sure it isn't something as simple as a blown fuse/breaker before heading down that route. I'd also like to have a general idea of how it is wired to help with tracing things out properly.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imp81318 View Post
Hi all, first time posting here. We picked up a 2015 Forest River Rockwood Freedom 1910 last year and are loving it. We are doing our first boondocking trip next weekend, and this week I discovered that the camper is not getting power from the battery. Everything works fine when plugged in, but I have no lights, fridge, outlets, or anything else off battery power. I just replaced the battery as the old one was leaking acid and would no longer take a charge, thinking that maybe something in the battery shorted and popped a fuse/breaker somewhere. I plan to di g into it this weekend, so I guess I have a few basic questions:

1. Does anyone have a wiring diagram to help me get started?
2. Where is the fuse/breaker box/panel located?
3. Any tips/ideas on where to start first?

New battery is fully charged and sitting at 12.7V.
No such thing as a wiring diagram of your unit generally.

Should have converter/charger unit somewhere inside that has a door to open exposing your 120 breakers and 12 V fuses. Cant tell you exactly where it is but its as obvious as the refrigerator.

Outlets do not work off battery. Must have shore power.

There is a fuse generally in the frame right behind your battery. Small black square inline and it should have a small reset button on it. small.... look for it.

You are saying your battery is charged (at 12.7) but that DC is not getting to your 12 V panel.

Unless every single 12 v fuse is blown, It seems that it is more liely something at your battery.

I would run fidge on propane 100% all the time while traveling and boondocking. You want to save battery.

Carrying a generator?
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:00 AM   #6
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Wiring diagrams are hard to find.

A voltmeter is the key.

Check the on off switch and wires coming into the fuse panel. Loose wires.

Then find all fuses in between. Connections to the battery.

You will learn something while getting filthy.

One needs a voltmeter in the toolbox!
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:15 AM   #7
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Thanks all!

tomkatb, This is my first camper that I've had the responsibility to maintain/repair (grew up camping in campers, but my dad did everything himself and I struggled to learn as much from him as I would have liked as he preferred to do it on his own to get it done more quickly most of the time) and I've already learned something - that my salesman lied to me when he told me the entire camper would be powered off the battery just like if it was plugged in!

I'll start off looking for the inline fuse off the battery, then check the fuse box, then start checking all of the connections. Thanks again all!
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:34 AM   #8
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When I read the numerous posts similar to this and it's mentioned that there is no wiring diagram available from the manufacturer it makes me think it's time to get the same rules put on RV manufacturers that was placed on radio and appliance manufacturers years ago.

Ever opened up the back of a radio and seen a basic electrical diagram on a sticker? May not show every electronic component but it shows the basic circuit with various components like circuit breakers, fuses, switches, relays, etc.

I even found one on the inside of my WFCO power distribution panel.

Maybe its time to mandate that RV manufacturers include a basic wiring diagram disclosing the basic circuit designs showing fuses, circuit breakers, relays, etc and what components are attached to the two electrical systems both switched or permanently connected to power source.

Then fewer people would be surprised that there is a hidden, frame mounted circuit breaker, in the line from the battery on most TT's as well as a rudimentary diagram of the battery connection system between coach and house batteries in Motor Homes.

Call your Senators and Representatives. Maybe they'll work on something like this instead of all the foolishness they seem to be occupied with today.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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You replaced the battery, I have read that reversing polarity will blow the main fuse in the converter. Mine is a 40 Amp fuse. That would be the second fuse I would check.

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Old 08-23-2019, 10:42 AM   #10
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check the two 30 or 40 amp "reverse polarity" fuses on the converter.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:45 AM   #11
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This is fairly typical of WFCO converter/chargers:



The fat black and red wires that come in to the 12 volt section on top are the leads from the battery. First place I would check for voltage. Make sure they are tight - mine came loose from the factory. Then check the 40 amp reverse polarity fuses at the bottom.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:38 PM   #12
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Battery shutoff

This may not be what you're asking but on my Forest River the battery shutoff switch is located under the LP tanks under the hitch. I have to bend down and look under to see it. Before I found it my battery kept draining.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:53 PM   #13
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Check your battery ground wire
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:01 PM   #14
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This may not be what you're asking but on my Forest River the battery shutoff switch is located under the LP tanks under the hitch. I have to bend down and look under to see it. Before I found it my battery kept draining.
Popups don't come with factory battery disconnect switches.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:01 PM   #15
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Circuit breaker

I have had this happen a couple of times. My 2013 Palomino has a circuit breaker mounted on the frame behind the battery, under the coach. It's a cheap item and easy to replace. I now keep a spare in my toolbox.

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Old 08-23-2019, 05:27 PM   #16
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When running on propane you must have a battery to energize the components that make the fridge run. Solenoid to open gas to fridge and igniter to ignite the gas required 12 volt.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:26 PM   #17
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Thanks for the help everyone! It ended up being just a blown fuse. My PUP has a 40 amp reverse polarity fuse and a 20 amp fuse for all 12V power. The 20 amp fuse was blown. It does not have an online fuse near the battery.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:32 PM   #18
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Thanks for the help everyone! It ended up being just a blown fuse. My PUP has a 40 amp reverse polarity fuse and a 20 amp fuse for all 12V power. The 20 amp fuse was blown. It does not have an online fuse near the battery.
Sounds like the battery wires were crossed, which blew the fuse.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:16 PM   #19
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I've lost 12 volt power from the batterywhen I'm not plugged in. Follow the positive wire from the battery to a bused bar that has a few small mini breaker boxes on it. One of the miniboxes will have a mini button tripped (button popped out). Press in each button to reset and 12 volt power will flow into breaker box to energize the RV.
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