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Old 01-18-2023, 04:02 PM   #1
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Default RV stuff electrically connected to Chevy start battery.

RV stuff electrically connected to Chevy start battery.
05 pleasureway Lexor RD on 04 Chevy express 3500 B class RV.

Couple weeks ago my 1st trip in the RV w/ battery kill switch turned on w/ only the carbon monoxide & propane sensors Turned on the carbon monoxide alerted me of
Low voltage.

This alert was a tad late bc the start battery was drained down to 8.5VDC.

I found the start batteryís connection at isolator was unconnected.there wasnít a disconnected wire to be found.

I have tested the isolator it is bad on the start post.

There must be a physical electrical connection from RV stuff to Chevy start battery.
The house battery was unaffected an it is connected to a good section of isolator.additionaly the 0awg wire from out of Alternator connected to A post
& E has switched 12VDC so those 3 connections are correct.

Iíve looked at the positive wires at start battery split 3 ways.
1. goeís to main fuse block
2. routes to under dog house
3. right now unknown I believe it goeís to starter siliniod
will confirm 2 & 3 after sliding back engine cover inside van.
First place I will inspect for a RV physical connection is at the chevy starter siliniod.
if I find a RV stuff connection at siliniod this would disscharge the start battery correct?

additionaly the rubber cover protecting the start battery connection at battery has no sign of being cut to allow adding a 4th connection to battery.

Like where else would RV stuff be connected to Chevy start battery?

Right now I donít feel comfortable just installing a replacement isolator.



I believe the start battery post on isolator was unconnected bc it was bad an previous owner still wanted house power using start battery.(I didn't purchase van from PO so I have zero history on van)

This is my 1st RV so Iím learning about RV stuff. Thanks for advicing.
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File Type: jpg isolator connectionsP.jpg (230.1 KB, 5 views)
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Old 01-22-2023, 06:57 PM   #2
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I'm convinced that 1 of the 3 positives wires at start battery was on isolators post 1 is now on alternator it must be to charge.

so I basicely have start battery connected to alt. also have half isolator working 2nd alt. connection at alt.
I'm convinced this is how the RV stuff is connected to chevy stuff.

hope to remove dog house in next few days an confirm this.

so when I get my new isolator I'll have to relocate this start battery wire thats split 3 ways back to a working isolator. bc I can't have 2 sources of charge connection just one.
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Old 01-22-2023, 07:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by THEBRAIN View Post
RV stuff electrically connected to Chevy start battery.
05 pleasureway Lexor RD on 04 Chevy express 3500 B class RV.

Couple weeks ago my 1st trip in the RV w/ battery kill switch turned on w/ only the carbon monoxide & propane sensors Turned on the carbon monoxide alerted me of
Low voltage.

This alert was a tad late bc the start battery was drained down to 8.5VDC.

I found the start batteryís connection at isolator was unconnected.there wasnít a disconnected wire to be found.

I have tested the isolator it is bad on the start post.

There must be a physical electrical connection from RV stuff to Chevy start battery.
The house battery was unaffected an it is connected to a good section of isolator.additionaly the 0awg wire from out of Alternator connected to A post
& E has switched 12VDC so those 3 connections are correct.

Iíve looked at the positive wires at start battery split 3 ways.
1. goeís to main fuse block
2. routes to under dog house
3. right now unknown I believe it goeís to starter siliniod
will confirm 2 & 3 after sliding back engine cover inside van.
First place I will inspect for a RV physical connection is at the chevy starter siliniod.
if I find a RV stuff connection at siliniod this would disscharge the start battery correct?

additionaly the rubber cover protecting the start battery connection at battery has no sign of being cut to allow adding a 4th connection to battery.

Like where else would RV stuff be connected to Chevy start battery?

Right now I donít feel comfortable just installing a replacement isolator.



I believe the start battery post on isolator was unconnected bc it was bad an previous owner still wanted house power using start battery.(I didn't purchase van from PO so I have zero history on van)

This is my 1st RV so Iím learning about RV stuff. Thanks for advicing.
Like where else would RV stuff be connected to Chevy start battery?

The house battery is connected to the van's charging system through the battery isolator not directly to the van's start battery.
It is hooked up this way so that the van charges both the van and house battery as it is driven down the road but the house battery can not draw from the van battery or else it could drain it . That is why it is called an Isolator. My understanding is that on some new models if the van battery was unable to start the vehicle then it could draw on the house battery to help.
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Old 01-22-2023, 08:48 PM   #4
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There is no direct connection between the house and chassis by design. They are separated by the isolator. You say the isolator is not working or only half working, so why not start with a new isolator that works properly? Your issues will more than likely clear themselves up with a good working part.
The isolator’s job is to separate the house from the chassis when the engine is not running and connect them when the engine is running to charge the house battery. That’s it. The two systems are completely separate otherwise.
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Old 01-22-2023, 10:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mike Bee View Post
Like where else would RV stuff be connected to Chevy start battery?

The house battery is connected to the van's charging system through the battery isolator not directly to the van's start battery.house batt. must be now connected to start there are proballey 2 connection at alt.
It is hooked up this way so that the van charges both the van and house battery as it is driven down the road but the house battery can not draw from the van battery or else it could drain it . That is why it is called an Isolator. My understanding is that on some new models if the van battery was unable to start the vehicle then it could draw on the house battery to help.
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Originally Posted by bl_smith25 View Post
There is no direct connection between the house and chassis by design. They are separated by the isolator. You say the isolator is not working or only half working, so why not start with a new isolator that works properly? Your issues will more than likely clear themselves up with a good working part.
The isolator’s job is to separate the house from the chassis when the engine is not running and connect them when the engine is running to charge the house battery. That’s it. The two systems are completely separate otherwise.
I understand what the isolator is suposed to do as stated in the initial post.
guess my main ? is when start battery an house battery are both connected to the alt. (which I hope to confirm in next few days weather permitting)w/ a half way working isolator (where the house is still connected.

will the 2 sensors draw power from start battery since half of isolator is actuelly working?

basicelly the RV stuff knows the house is still protected so it draws from the unprotected start battery.

part 2 basicly I could actuelly connect the start battery to the good half of isolator post 2 then it would be protected correct. then disconnect house from isolator..



I need to confirm the alts. wiring before connecting a new isolator, bc there can only be one charging source.
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Old 01-22-2023, 10:55 PM   #6
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I understand what the isolator is suposed to do as stated in the initial post.
guess my main ? is when start battery an house battery are both connected to the alt. (which I hope to confirm in next few days weather permitting)w/ a half way working isolator (where the house is still connected.

will the 2 sensors draw power from start battery since half of isolator is actuelly working?

basicelly the RV stuff knows the house is still protected so it draws from the unprotected start battery.

part 2 basicly I could actuelly connect the start battery to the good half of isolator post 2 then it would be protected correct. then disconnect house from isolator..



I need to confirm the alts. wiring before connecting a new isolator, bc there can only be one charging source.

You proposing things that should never happen or even be imagined. These systems, both with isolators or separators (charge relays) are in thousands of RVs and work just fine.


IMO, just take the system back to stock by using the information provided earlier and then install a new separator (preferred) or isolator per the instructions. Chasing things with half dead parts is just futile IMO and this has gone on for a very long time.
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:07 PM   #7
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The house battery is not connected to the chassis battery so the detectors will not be drawing from it as they’re connected to the house battery. Even if they were, they take only 0.15A for both of them. If you suspect the isolator isn’t doing it’s isolating job properly, disconnect the house battery from the isolator completely. Then there is absolutely nothing joining the two batteries under any condition or situation.
Also make sure your detectors are current and not expired. Many people don’t realize or pay attention to the replace by dates on them. They’re good for 5 years tops. Current draw for the new ones may be less than the originals and old ones aren’t protecting you anymore. The light on them only means they’re using power, not actually protecting you.
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Old 01-23-2023, 04:04 PM   #8
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initial post was a tad long so I must assume noone here read the last paragraph this.
" believe the start battery post on isolator was unconnected bc it was bad an previous owner still wanted house power using start battery.(I didn't purchase van from PO so I have zero history on van)"

PO owner has been monkeying around w/ this van including the wiring

an yes Booster seams to make a good suggestion return it to stock.

which is what I'm attempting to do but what exactly is stock. it's can't be 2 sources out of alt.
so untill I confirm what I believe is 2 alt. outputs 1 to isolator 1 to start batt. I can then return to stock.

this must be how the wiring is setup currently bc start batt. charges and so doe's house batt. additionalley the house batt. is protected w/ isolator and start batt isn't protected thus RV stuff connected to chevy batt..

install new relay type isolator be done w/ this issue. then move onto plumbing, (I hear pipes rattleing under van) tanks and pumps.then she'll be a real RV.

I hope to confirm wiring later today will report back I'm betting on 2 outs of alt. will report back.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:10 PM   #9
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Default Check out this video regarding battery draw

2013 PW excel. I have the same problem. I had it when I had a lead acid house battery, and when I upgraded to a LiPO 100 Amp Hr battery (upgrading the system and charge controller to handle LiPO, etc) and replacing the isolator with one that can handle LiPO and now, upgraded to a 270 AmpHr LiPO and DC-DC charger. My solution is a battery disconnect between the chassis battery and the DC-DC charger, and another battery disconnect after the DC-DC charger, and I still have the red key in the coach. I could not trace the issue either thru lack of expertise, patience or luck. My solution works, even though it takes an extra bit of effort to truly isolate the batteries when I'm at home, camping, boondocking, etc. If anyone want's to jump in with suggestions, or criticism, feel free, but understand I'm in a happy place with my solution and it has worked well for me for two years now, and I'm past the point of working any new solutions. If they help the next guy, great. Good luck, and here is that video that opened my eyes to just put in dis-connects and enjoy camping. https://youtu.be/rDXixCzg6iw
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Old 01-23-2023, 10:19 PM   #10
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2013 PW excel. I have the same problem. I had it when I had a lead acid house battery, and when I upgraded to a LiPO 100 Amp Hr battery (upgrading the system and charge controller to handle LiPO, etc) and replacing the isolator with one that can handle LiPO and now, upgraded to a 270 AmpHr LiPO and DC-DC charger. My solution is a battery disconnect between the chassis battery and the DC-DC charger, and another battery disconnect after the DC-DC charger, and I still have the red key in the coach. I could not trace the issue either thru lack of expertise, patience or luck. My solution works, even though it takes an extra bit of effort to truly isolate the batteries when I'm at home, camping, boondocking, etc. If anyone want's to jump in with suggestions, or criticism, feel free, but understand I'm in a happy place with my solution and it has worked well for me for two years now, and I'm past the point of working any new solutions. If they help the next guy, great. Good luck, and here is that video that opened my eyes to just put in dis-connects and enjoy camping. https://youtu.be/rDXixCzg6iw
just as I thought there where 2 physical connections at alternator start battery and isolator. so now I'm ready to order a replacement isolator theres a bunch of options to choose from none dieode isolator seams to be the best option this https://www.amazon.com/.../B00NT.../...sc_act_image_1...

JML yes someone on another forum highly respected mentioned dc-dc charger but was very breif.
didn't see the vid you linked to did see this

the man explains dc- dc chargers.

are you doing a physical disconect form house an start an charger?
do you have to reset the radio each time?
are you disconecting w/ maneul switchs?


I am just starting out and learning quickly however I'm planning on staying w/ economical lead acid for right now, kindof waiting for the next big thing the tesla battery.

thanks for your experiance and offered advice I'll be checking into it.
my problem was created by previous owner hopefully replacing isolator I'm protecting the start batt.
the newer charging sys. controlled w/ the PCM can seriously completcate.
I'm just not ready to completely upgrade kindof want to replace as needed if I can get away w/ it.

I'm planning a solar sys charge sys. but want it as like a reserve redundant sys. so my sys.s will be separated to a certain extent.
thanks
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