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Crazy Electrical problems that has put my husband on the verge of driving our beautiful Monaco into a lake.


emonaghan

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Hello Everyone,

I pray one of you can help me. My husband and I purchased a 2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ in February, sold our house Oct 5th and have been full-timers ever since. We are experiencing serious yet sporadic electrical problems.

Now, this could be a coincidence, however, I think the beginning of our problems began when my husband jump-started the chassis batteries. They were weak and we couldn't start the coach, so he jump-started them with a portable battery charger. Well, he ended up cooking the batteries and they were smoking and bubbling. We, of course, have replaced them.

Since then the electric would make a "clunk" sound and power off sometimes with just the touch of even a light switch. Then other times I can run the air, dryer, washer, tv, microwave oven, etc. all at the same time and nothing happens.

Yesterday was really bad, we had to keep using the cut-off switch by the door to get things up and running again. It happened several times in a row and then a few times here and there during the day.

When we first experienced the problem, we called Magnum/Intellitec and spoke to a very knowledgeable technician by the name of Chris. He explained that the “two systems” in the Monaco do not work well together as they age, and he installed a Multiplex Control Master to separate the “two systems.” Things worked for a while, but then he said there could still be problems that he was unaware of.  He said that there was nothing wrong with the cut off switch and that it was doing what it needed to do.

Also, coincidently our middle A/C unit “popped” and started smoking, the captain’s chairs, when I touched the switch to recline it, “popped,” and stopped working, I touched the doorbell and it wouldn’t stop ringing. I feel like I’m in the 1980’s movie the “Money Pit.”

We are currently in South Florida and would not object to traveling most any where in the Southeast. I really don’t want to go where it is freezing, and something blows, and everything freezes. Does anyone know of an excellent electrician they could refer us to? I have faith that if we resolve the electrical issue(s) we will have a very nice coach and can live happily ever after.

I thank you all in advance.

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Lots of random problems....

I would start by getting a multimeter to measure voltages.

The 110 should be 110.  You probably have a surge suppressor in the electrical bay that should tell you the current volts on each leg.

The 12 volt lines should be 12 -13.7 or so depending on battery state, charge state, driving or not.

The AC is running off of 110.

The seats are very likely running on the 12 volt side.

So there issues are very likely not linked.  Dumb luck.

Post back what you find in measurements.  Make sure you don't short any of the sockets you test with the multimeter probes.

 

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10 hours ago, emonaghan said:

Hello Everyone,

I pray one of you can help me. My husband and I purchased a 2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ in February, sold our house Oct 5th and have been full-timers ever since. We are experiencing serious yet sporadic electrical problems.

Now, this could be a coincidence, however, I think the beginning of our problems began when my husband jump-started the chassis batteries. They were weak and we couldn't start the coach, so he jump-started them with a portable battery charger. Well, he ended up cooking the batteries and they were smoking and bubbling. We, of course, have replaced them.

Since then the electric would make a "clunk" sound and power off sometimes with just the touch of even a light switch. Then other times I can run the air, dryer, washer, tv, microwave oven, etc. all at the same time and nothing happens.

Yesterday was really bad, we had to keep using the cut-off switch by the door to get things up and running again. It happened several times in a row and then a few times here and there during the day.

 

I would suspect the solenoid that is operated by the cut-off switch that you mention by the door. That is one of the most common causes of sporadic 12 VDC power loss in Monaco coaches. In the community we fondly refer to that switch as the salesman switch because dealers use it to cut off power in display coaches to preserve battery charge. It has no functional value unless you are storing the coach. Most of us have bypassed that solenoid by connecting both cables together by either placing them on the same terminal or using a bolt and taping it up. I am confident that sporadic power loss can be traced to this solenoid.

I would give you more specific directions if we had the same model coach but I am not familiar with your model. That solenoid on our coach is in the front run bay (FRB) under the driver's window behind a black plastic cover held in place by three white plastic wing nuts. I am sure someone with a Camelot will chime in to help you.

 

Edited by Bob Nodine
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It appears that your coach based on the photo is powered with multiplex switches and my coach is not so I would rely on someone with multiplex knowledge.

The other important suggestion is from Bob Nodine in making sure that your Battery Cut-Off Solenoid has not failed. If indeed it has or is intermittent, then definitely bypass it and be done with it instead of replacing it as they have a history of failing at the most inconvenient time.

I believe Tom Cherry, one of our moderators has a similar coach. Hopefully he will chime in with his expertise.

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Analysis, paralysis lol. Take your time, have a few beers along the way and tackle the issues one at a time with a multimeter. Our 2004 Safari is not multiplexed however I have never failed to resolve numerous electrical issues being a retired EE. 

Come to our 13 acres in southern Tennessee with large driveway, southern hospitality and plenty of extension cords and we can fix your issues, I am sure and make new friends.

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Do not be concerned if your AC voltage is somewhat higher than 110 volts.  At least in our part of the country, the standard for electric utilities is to provide 120 volts, plus or minus 5% to the service entrance of the home.   That means the acceptable delivery voltage to the "home" is supposed to fall between 114 and 126 volts.  When you see nameplates for appliances and devices, some will say 110 volts, or 115 volts, or 120 volts.  The 110 and 115 numbers should be considered acceptable voltages at the appliance and 120 volts should be considered the nominal supply voltage.  The industry standard is 120 volts.  If we see less than 110, we are not happy and neither are the motors in the roof units.  If we see more than maybe 128, I get a little nervous, and so does some of our electronic equipment and devices.

David L was pretty much right on with the DC voltages that you should see.  We are used to seeing voltages at or slightly below 12 volts when we've been sitting without charging power available for a while, and we're used to seeing even up into the low 14's, when connected to shore power or running the generator.

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We have an older Monaco knight. There was an issue where when the slide out was exercised it tripped breakers. I crawled into a cabinet with a mirror and a flashlight,  ended up under the stove, but there was a junction box and the neutral wire had wiggled loose and was touching ground intermittently. we also had water in an outlet that was tripping a gfci. Wiring diagram is not entirely correct, so I traced wires with a meter. Theres a device sometimes called a fox and hound that is nice for locating wires over distance. Anyhow, it sound like a short in you 12 volt system to me. Check your step wiring, and 12 volt things that move around. Might be wiggling a bad spot in the harness. Look for pinched spots. My 2 cents. Water pump also, and the a/c has both 12 and 120 volt systems, I believe. The control box is 12 volts. I'd go park in Joel's driveway. 

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Keep in mind the two separate electrical systems—things they run off 120VAC, and things that run off 12VDC.  The “thump” sound is likely from your ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) that takes power from either the generator or shore power and delivers it to the coach.  Mine thumps when it turns on and passes the 120VAC to the coach.

There are also two battery banks—“house” and “chassis”, the latter of which is to start your engine.  There should be a solenoid-type device in the battery compartment that allows for the charging of either or both banks off the inverter/charger and/or the alternator.  There should also be a “Batt Boost” momentary rocker switch on the left driver’s console.  It’s designed to allow for short term “jumping” of the starter batteries off your house batteries.  The “salesman’s switch” by the door cuts off most 12V items like lights and control panels including fridge, etc. and has nothing to do with your 120VAC system—other than the fact your EMS (Energy Management System” panel will also go dark.  I, too, would head to Tennessee!  Good luck.

Edited by johncvandoren@gmail.com
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20 hours ago, DavidL said:

Lots of random problems....

I would start by getting a multimeter to measure voltages.

The 110 should be 110.  You probably have a surge suppressor in the electrical bay that should tell you the current volts on each leg.

The 12 volt lines should be 12 -13.7 or so depending on battery state, charge state, driving or not.

The AC is running off of 110.

The seats are very likely running on the 12 volt side.

So there issues are very likely not linked.  Dumb luck.

Post back what you find in measurements.  Make sure you don't short any of the sockets you test with the multimeter probes.

 

My husband just sent away for a multimeter, he will be checking all those things. I will post back. How can you short out the sockets? So I can make him aware of this. Thank you for responding to me. Every little bit helps us not to be alone with these problems. 🙂

9 hours ago, Bob Nodine said:

I would suspect the solenoid that is operated by the cut-off switch that you mention by the door. That is one of the most common causes of sporadic 12 VDC power loss in Monaco coaches. In the community we fondly refer to that switch as the salesman switch because dealers use it to cut off power in display coaches to preserve battery charge. It has no functional value unless you are storing the coach. Most of us have bypassed that solenoid by connecting both cables together by either placing them on the same terminal or using a bolt and taping it up. I am confident that sporadic power loss can be traced to this solenoid.

I would give you more specific directions if we had the same model coach but I am not familiar with your model. That solenoid on our coach is in the front run bay (FRB) under the driver's window behind a black plastic cover held in place by three white plastic wing nuts. I am sure someone with a Camelot will chime in to help you.

 

We sent away for a solenoid, hopefully this solves the problem. If not, we will try by-passing it as you advised. I hate that switch by the door, however we are afraid to disable it, because it's what we use to get the electricity going again. Thank you for responding to me. 🙂 

9 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

It appears that your coach based on the photo is powered with multiplex switches and my coach is not so I would rely on someone with multiplex knowledge.

The other important suggestion is from Bob Nodine in making sure that your Battery Cut-Off Solenoid has not failed. If indeed it has or is intermittent, then definitely bypass it and be done with it instead of replacing it as they have a history of failing at the most inconvenient time.

I believe Tom Cherry, one of our moderators has a similar coach. Hopefully he will chime in with his expertise.

That's something to think about. We ordered a new one. If that one fails then we will by-pass it. Thank you for responding to me. 

8 hours ago, Joel & Susanna said:

Analysis, paralysis lol. Take your time, have a few beers along the way and tackle the issues one at a time with a multimeter. Our 2004 Safari is not multiplexed however I have never failed to resolve numerous electrical issues being a retired EE. 

Come to our 13 acres in southern Tennessee with large driveway, southern hospitality and plenty of extension cords and we can fix your issues, I am sure and make new friends.

That is so sweet! Thank you. 🙂

 

4 hours ago, johncvandoren@gmail.com said:

Keep in mind the two separate electrical systems—things they run off 120VAC, and things that run off 12VDC.  The “thump” sound is likely from your ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) that takes power from either the generator or shore power and delivers it to the coach.  Mine thumps when it turns on and passes the 120VAC to the coach.

There are also two battery banks—“house” and “chassis”, the latter of which is to start your engine.  There should be a solenoid-type device in the battery compartment that allows for the charging of either or both banks off the inverter/charger and/or the alternator.  There should also be a “Batt Boost” momentary rocker switch on the left driver’s console.  It’s designed to allow for short term “jumping” of the starter batteries off your house batteries.  The “salesman’s switch” by the door cuts off most 12V items like lights and control panels including fridge, etc. and has nothing to do with your 120VAC system—other than the fact your EMS (Energy Management System” panel will also go dark.  I, too, would head to Tennessee!  Good luck.

Everything goes dead and the Energy Management System panel goes dark. The only way to get things running is to hold the cut off switch and wait until the lights go back on with the EMS. Thank you for responding to me. 🙂

6 hours ago, canisexcess said:

We have an older Monaco knight. There was an issue where when the slide out was exercised it tripped breakers. I crawled into a cabinet with a mirror and a flashlight,  ended up under the stove, but there was a junction box and the neutral wire had wiggled loose and was touching ground intermittently. we also had water in an outlet that was tripping a gfci. Wiring diagram is not entirely correct, so I traced wires with a meter. Theres a device sometimes called a fox and hound that is nice for locating wires over distance. Anyhow, it sound like a short in you 12 volt system to me. Check your step wiring, and 12 volt things that move around. Might be wiggling a bad spot in the harness. Look for pinched spots. My 2 cents. Water pump also, and the a/c has both 12 and 120 volt systems, I believe. The control box is 12 volts. I'd go park in Joel's driveway. 

Thank you. I will show this to my husband, very interesting indeed!!!  Joel's driveway does sound very pleasant! That was very nice of him to invite us. 🙂

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/1/2020 at 3:29 PM, emonaghan said:

My husband just sent away for a multimeter, he will be checking all those things. I will post back. How can you short out the sockets? So I can make him aware of this. Thank you for responding to me. Every little bit helps us not to be alone with these problems. 🙂

We sent away for a solenoid, hopefully this solves the problem. If not, we will try by-passing it as you advised. I hate that switch by the door, however we are afraid to disable it, because it's what we use to get the electricity going again. Thank you for responding to me. 🙂 

That's something to think about. We ordered a new one. If that one fails then we will by-pass it. Thank you for responding to me. 

That is so sweet! Thank you. 🙂

 

Everything goes dead and the Energy Management System panel goes dark. The only way to get things running is to hold the cut off switch and wait until the lights go back on with the EMS. Thank you for responding to me. 🙂

Thank you. I will show this to my husband, very interesting indeed!!!  Joel's driveway does sound very pleasant! That was very nice of him to invite us. 🙂

I don't know, if I was having the kind of problems your having and an electrical engineer offered me a driveway and his time I'd be on the road as soon as I could. In fact we live just north of them(just south of Nashville) and may keep him in mind if we develop electrical issues that I can't figure out.

Good luck!

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