Connection Between Engine & Coach Batteries
As an FYI, I have a 1999 RT 190P, and my mechanical knowledge is limited. There is a rectangular metal box underneath the hood that has something to do with the connection between the engine battery and the coach battery. The box is located above the engine and just below the hinge side of the hood in the center. What is this box called?
I was on the highway Dec. 30 when the engine died, and I coasted to a stop. As it was dying, the radio shut off and the lights were dimming. I thought it might be the alternator since I haven't had any problems with the battery. The RT was towed to my sister's mechanic, who isn't familiar with working on RV parts. On Dec. 31, I told them I thought it might be the alternator before they started working on it. For some reason, they replaced some parts having to do with the ignition system. They also replaced the water pump. As the tow truck driver was raising the RT up on his bed, I did see water pour out from underneath, so I wasn't totally surprised about the water pump being replaced. At the end of the day, they realized it still needed work. So, on Jan. 2, they replaced the alternator. Duh... They also discovered the box I described above was smoking, so they disconnected 2 wires that they said connect to the engine battery. They called this box a "distribution box." Since they weren't familiar with working on RV parts, that was all they wanted to do - disconnect it. I was able to pick up the RT on Jan. 4. They told me the box got hot enough that it partially melted. One of the wires can no longer be attached because the post is gone. I drove it around town for a couple of hours and everything seemed fine, so I went back to my sister's house, plugged the RV into her outside outlet and turned my furnace on. After about 30 minutes, I saw some smoke come out from under the dash, and I could smell a burning smell, so I immediately turned everything off and unplugged it. I felt the box, but it only felt warm, and I couldn't see any smoke under the hood after that. I went back to the mechanic the next day. They had left the coach battery attached to that box, and they said it was apparently shorting out, so they unplugged it too.
I will be taking my RT in to my mechanic in the next couple of weeks to get this box replaced. I tried googling motorhome distribution box, but I'm just getting links to the circuit breaker/fuse panel inside RV's. So, does this box under the hood have a different name? Do you know how much this box costs and are they universal to all of the older Class B's? Or is this particular box specific to Roadtrek?