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2011 Camelot--12VDC power lost to door awning


vanwill52
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Trying to help a friend.  No DC power to DOOR awning switch.  12VDC awning.  I've checked every fuse and circuit breaker I can find.  Any ideas?

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Those can be a real bugger.

Have you used a "fox and hound" before? A device you connect to the wire in question that sends a signal down the line. Then the sniffer/hound can help you find the hidden wires and fuses. 

It is not a foolproof device but has saved me many hours in the past. 

With the signal injected, starting at the fuse boxes first usually sorts things quickly. As you know it is easy to miss a blown fuse. 

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Same happened to my door awning. A good friend guided me to discover a control box that was defective. I have a 2007 Dynasty so if it’s the same, the control box is located above the front dashboard in the above center cabinet, there should be an access panel two screws get removed, it’s also the access panel to get to the center outside DOT running lights. The controller inside has a sticker with the letter “D”  on it. That was the culprit. I eliminated the control box and installed a switch to control the door awning. That control box is needed more if you have other window awnings that operate on power instead of manual operation. If you only have the door awning, then you don’t need the box. Note… This has nothing to do with the main porch awning as that has its own separate controls. To get the awning to retract quickly, I jumped the wires. I can explain how to jump if you think that is the problem. Let me know. Good luck. 

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Per MY Camelot drawings and the Owner's Manual, the ONLY fuse is a 10 Amp Circuit 8 in the House Bathroom Distribution Fuse Panel. That is ALSO the one that powers the Thermostats.... I would think that if your friend's MH has NO HVAC, that would be the culprit. Here is the Print for the Door Awning. 

As a matter of "HISTORY"...there were a BUNCH of "stranded" or orphan 2009 Monaco MH's sitting in various states of completion when Monaco went belly up. Some of them were later sold as 2010's. I know from my friendship with an HR Dealership GM and his techs that the 2010 and 2011 models were "not exactly to print" as Monaco used up a LOT of parts laying around and also freely substituted items that "might" work. The dealers were complaining as the MH's would "RUN" and be shipped and it was up to the dealer to "Fix it".  He and several dealers had a 16 hour or 2 day "Shakedown" line item on each sale...and they upped that to 3 or 4 or added it to their invoice as they were spending TWICE the normal time making things work. The way the Monaco Warranty worked....  The MH and any problems, while in the Dealer's inventory, was the RESPONSIBILITY of the dealer. Once sold, then repairs or such were "Customer Warranty".

BOTTOM LINE... I looked at the FRB Electrical and there is NO fuse up there.  SO, if the print is right and Monaco did not make any wholesale changes....then I would try that fuse. The ONLY major item added in the 2011 line was a FULL slide option on the Scepter/Camelot line....but I doubt that would have made any changes to the harness going to the co-pilot door panel.

MY ADVICE...  If the fuse is OK....then I would remove the front panel and look at the wiring connections to the switch.  PARTICULARLY the BUTT SPLICES from the Harness .  Monaco was always in a hurry and would often NOT CRIMP Properly. The GROUND is probably SHARED....as the switch is just a reversing switch. I have fixed at least 5 bad butt splices and seen the ground pulled loose. 

I just read, as I was typing, the other replies. This configuration is simple...NO Controller. The Motor does NOT have "parking" contacts. Thus, MEMORY....you can stop it in mid extension.  If you hit the wall, text me. I am getting mine out of the shop today and will check out the awning...

 

Front door awning.pdf

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2 hours ago, myrontruex said:

Those can be a real bugger.

Have you used a "fox and hound" before? A device you connect to the wire in question that sends a signal down the line. Then the sniffer/hound can help you find the hidden wires and fuses. 

It is not a foolproof device but has saved me many hours in the past. 

With the signal injected, starting at the fuse boxes first usually sorts things quickly. As you know it is easy to miss a blown fuse. 

Myron, I will try that...as a last resort.  Cross-conduction of signals with "fox and hound" devices has always been a problem.  I've often thought that in the digital age, there MUST have been one made that was digital and could sort out cross-contamination, much like garage door openers do.  I think I would buy it, regardless of cost.  Do you know of one, that from your vast experience, is much better than others?

As always, thanks for your help.

1 hour ago, Tom Cherry said:

Per MY Camelot drawings and the Owner's Manual, the ONLY fuse is a 10 Amp Circuit 8 in the House Bathroom Distribution Fuse Panel. That is ALSO the one that powers the Thermostats.... I would think that if your friend's MH has NO HVAC, that would be the culprit. Here is the Print for the Door Awning. 

As a matter of "HISTORY"...there were a BUNCH of "stranded" or orphan 2009 Monaco MH's sitting in various states of completion when Monaco went belly up. Some of them were later sold as 2010's. I know from my friendship with an HR Dealership GM and his techs that the 2010 and 2011 models were "not exactly to print" as Monaco used up a LOT of parts laying around and also freely substituted items that "might" work. The dealers were complaining as the MH's would "RUN" and be shipped and it was up to the dealer to "Fix it".  He and several dealers had a 16 hour or 2 day "Shakedown" line item on each sale...and they upped that to 3 or 4 or added it to their invoice as they were spending TWICE the normal time making things work. The way the Monaco Warranty worked....  The MH and any problems, while in the Dealer's inventory, was the RESPONSIBILITY of the dealer. Once sold, then repairs or such were "Customer Warranty".

BOTTOM LINE... I looked at the FRB Electrical and there is NO fuse up there.  SO, if the print is right and Monaco did not make any wholesale changes....then I would try that fuse. The ONLY major item added in the 2011 line was a FULL slide option on the Scepter/Camelot line....but I doubt that would have made any changes to the harness going to the co-pilot door panel.

MY ADVICE...  If the fuse is OK....then I would remove the front panel and look at the wiring connections to the switch.  PARTICULARLY the BUTT SPLICES from the Harness .  Monaco was always in a hurry and would often NOT CRIMP Properly. The GROUND is probably SHARED....as the switch is just a reversing switch. I have fixed at least 5 bad butt splices and seen the ground pulled loose. 

I just read, as I was typing, the other replies. This configuration is simple...NO Controller. The Motor does NOT have "parking" contacts. Thus, MEMORY....you can stop it in mid extension.  If you hit the wall, text me. I am getting mine out of the shop today and will check out the awning...

 

Front door awning.pdf 44.7 kB · 6 downloads

I will check for that "Circuit 8".  Thanks.  But I'll also start yanking on splices.  Monaco drawings show much "underfloor" wiring.  I assume that is wiring accessed lying on your back in a bay?  Thanks, Tom!

2 hours ago, Garry Donohue said:

Same happened to my door awning. A good friend guided me to discover a control box that was defective. I have a 2007 Dynasty so if it’s the same, the control box is located above the front dashboard in the above center cabinet, there should be an access panel two screws get removed, it’s also the access panel to get to the center outside DOT running lights. The controller inside has a sticker with the letter “D”  on it. That was the culprit. I eliminated the control box and installed a switch to control the door awning. That control box is needed more if you have other window awnings that operate on power instead of manual operation. If you only have the door awning, then you don’t need the box. Note… This has nothing to do with the main porch awning as that has its own separate controls. To get the awning to retract quickly, I jumped the wires. I can explain how to jump if you think that is the problem. Let me know. Good luck. 

Thanks, Garry.  I don't think this coach has that control box.  There is a dedicated switch for the door awning, but the "power + and - are dead leading to the switch.  Still looking...  Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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Van, any fox and hound device basically puts a transmitter on the wire. Any wire is an antenna and any wire near the transmitting wire will pick up the signal. Of course when wires go off in other directions that signal will dimish quickly. In some cases the sending device does transmit a lot of signal and cause your complaint. These devices were originally used in the telephony world, chasing wires that could be across town so the signal had to be strong. 

When you find this issue you can often use just one of the wires from the transmitter versus connecting one to ground. This can reduce the signal significantly and eliviate the cross talk issues. However, for the initial chase just getting some signals in places can help you begin to drill down. Once you find the signal in a particular fuse box for example, you can then attempt to reduce the signal being transmitted. 

I have not seen nor done any research on anything with a variable output but it would be easy to build something. If I was sitting in my old lab that would be a great project and good tool for us. But alas, that is 3500 miles in my past. 

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4 minutes ago, myrontruex said:

Van, any fox and hound device basically puts a transmitter on the wire. Any wire is an antenna and any wire near the transmitting wire will pick up the signal. Of course when wires go off in other directions that signal will dimish quickly. In some cases the sending device does transmit a lot of signal and cause your complaint. These devices were originally used in the telephony world, chasing wires that could be across town so the signal had to be strong. 

When you find this issue you can often use just one of the wires from the transmitter versus connecting one to ground. This can reduce the signal significantly and eliviate the cross talk issues. However, for the initial chase just getting some signals in places can help you begin to drill down. Once you find the signal in a particular fuse box for example, you can then attempt to reduce the signal being transmitted. 

I have not seen nor done any research on anything with a variable output but it would be easy to build something. If I was sitting in my old lab that would be a great project and good tool for us. But alas, that is 3500 miles in my past. 

Thanks, Myron.  You are indeed our "12VDC guru".

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Update:  This keeps getting more and more weird.  When "hot-wired" door awning went in and out ONCE, using the normal control switch.  With the exact same "hot wire" connection, it would not go in or out again.

Inside the passenger armrest, one would expect to find B+ on a heavy (probably red or black) wire.  There are TWO separate red w/white stripe wires entering the armrest.  One leads to an unused connector just hanging loose in the space.  The other red w/white strip wire powers (among other things) the door awning.  Neither of those main red/white wires is hot.

Now, out of the blue, power mirrors have ceased working, both sides.

Sheesh!  What a gremlin.  It appears several parts of the coach have lost either GROUND or B+...or BOTH.  I'm grabbing at straws.  Clueless.

On the FRB board, bottom right, just above where the heavy 2/0 black cable attaches to the board, is a small grey connector with only six pins.  Only three are  connected with what looks like 10AWG wires that are almost hot to the touch.  I can think of nothing that would draw heavy 12VDC except a resistance-heating device like mirror heaters, which are off.  Mirror heaters will only come on if ignition is on.  These three black wires are warm to the touch all the time.

All these things don't appear to relate to one another.  I just throw them out because I'm out of ideas.

I'm making up two 40' 16AWG "extension cords" to run straight from the (new AGM) house batteries and be Pos and Neg "jumpers" for troubleshooting.  Wish me luck.  Pray for me.

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Van, when reading your first post I picked up on the yr model of your coach. What yr model is the coach you are working on? And perhaps a picture of the awning.

I'm asking because my awning gave me fits for years and I replaced the motor four times. 

Between the switch and the awning on mine is a relay. That thing is buried under a bundle of wires below the arm rest.

I have schematics and will provide.

Working on this I suspect you popped a fuse. Never have I done that nor asked any of my techs, "how many problems did you add to it before asking for help". 🤪

For the moment let me make some assumptions and suggestions. As difficult as it might seem you need to get the voltmeter/test light better/, right at the two wires of the motor.

My awning has been on and off so many times I put a zipper on it. The last time after finding the real problem after all these years I added some tabs that drop below the awning and can take them loose no matter the position of the awning. If your awning is retracted it is nearly impossible to get it off. You do not need to really remove the awning but being prepared to do so is nice.

If you are lucky and the wires are accesable without dissassembly then you are good to go. 

Use a test light. The long wires you are setting up for troubleshooting are an excellent idea. You will know you have a good ground available nearby.

I know you are a great tech already so some of this is for those that specialize in other areas. 

Use a test light and NOT a digital meter if posible. I had a voltage drop do to an intermittent poor wire connection that caused an intermittent that made me feel like I had died and ended up in the place I am headed already. Lots of things to fix until eternity but they are all intermittent said the man with the pitch fork.

Using the test light with it grounded via your own wire check each side of the wiring as you press the button. The voltage should show up on one side of course and not the other. Then when hitting the button the reverse should happen.

If so, the motor is bad. If not, more troubleshooting.

There could be a fuse buried in the pile of wires below the armrest but I doubt it.

I will post this and return with some schematics. IF you have the files I posted or the DVD I handed out ther information is on there. 

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aqrv2TUdbV6xjkkSTyvweqPDHKle?e=xkdaf4

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by myrontruex
adding url
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Many thanks to all who offered their assistance as I chased electrical problems on my friend Tom Moore’s 2011 43’ Camelot.  It is a Navistar coach, but powered by a Cummins ISL-425.  Special thanks to Myron Truex and Tom Cherry.

My initial problem was that there was no power to the passenger armrest—she could not operate the step cover, front shade, front passenger awning, lights, or ANYTHING with a switch located in that armrest.  The cigarette lighter receptacle I had installed for Paula to charge her electronic devices was also dead.  Simple, right?  Just a fuse, right?  I checked EVERY fuse on that coach from one end to the other—all good.  Then did it AGAIN the next day as I was grabbing at straws.

Using a longtime tip from Myron, I made up two 50’ 16AWG cords with huge alligator clips and a fuse on one end to attach directly to the batteries, so I could input ground or B+ where I needed it.  When I input 12VDC where it should have been coming in the armrest, Voila!  I could operate the awning!  Alas, it only operated ONE in-out cycle and would not move again.

To spare you all the details, the two days of troubleshooting boiled down to only two simple things—TWO fuses, one in the coach and one in my 50’ jumper leads.  The ORIGINAL problem was that the fuse (F8, I think—10A) in the DC distribution panel beside the Intellitec modules had been blown by the motor load from the front over-door awning some weeks before.  Had I checked that fuse?  Yes…twice.  But how did I check it?  I pulled it out and looked at it as I’ve done for many years.  You guessed it—It was blown in a corner and I missed it.  So when I applied my “jumper” lead from the battery to the armrest, the front awning went in and out ONCE.  WHY? Because the fuse in my jumper lead was also 10A, and operating the awning blew it also.  Bottom line is that the front door awning cannot be powered by a 10A fuse.  I replaced the F8 fuse with a 15A and it has worked fine since, and all power is restored to the armrest.  I have not looked up the rating of the awning motor, but suspect that most any motor capable of operating the awning would draw about 10A or more.

What an ordeal this has been over simply fuses!!  I learned two things. 

1) I’m replacing the fuses in my “jumper cables” with 20A. 


2) I won’t be checking fuses just visually any longer.  I’m making a very small battery-powered box with fuse holders and an LED—plug in the fuse, and if it’s good, the LED will light.

I did end up making some devices that I think will help in future troubleshooting and used a couple of Pomona Electronics wire connection tools.  The Pomona "Hat Pin" connector has been for many years one of the handiest electrical troubleshooting tools I've ever owned.  It pierces a wire so you can measure voltage, resistance, or inject power.

 

Again, many thanks to all of you!

Van

50' jumper leads to connec to batteries.jpg

Chunk of steel to attach magnetic light .jpg

Dummy load.jpg

M-M, F-F, M-F with exposed center .jpg

Pomona Hat Pin connectors.jpg

Pomona Mini-Grabbers.jpg

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1 hour ago, vanwill52 said:

Many thanks to all who offered their assistance as I chased electrical problems on my friend Tom Moore’s 2011 43’ Camelot.  It is a Navistar coach, but powered by a Cummins ISL-425.  Special thanks to Myron Truex and Tom Cherry.

My initial problem was that there was no power to the passenger armrest—she could not operate the step cover, front shade, front passenger awning, lights, or ANYTHING with a switch located in that armrest.  The cigarette lighter receptacle I had installed for Paula to charge her electronic devices was also dead.  Simple, right?  Just a fuse, right?  I checked EVERY fuse on that coach from one end to the other—all good.  Then did it AGAIN the next day as I was grabbing at straws.

Using a longtime tip from Myron, I made up two 50’ 16AWG cords with huge alligator clips and a fuse on one end to attach directly to the batteries, so I could input ground or B+ where I needed it.  When I input 12VDC where it should have been coming in the armrest, Voila!  I could operate the awning!  Alas, it only operated ONE in-out cycle and would not move again.

To spare you all the details, the two days of troubleshooting boiled down to only two simple things—TWO fuses, one in the coach and one in my 50’ jumper leads.  The ORIGINAL problem was that the fuse (F8, I think—10A) in the DC distribution panel beside the Intellitec modules had been blown by the motor load from the front over-door awning some weeks before.  Had I checked that fuse?  Yes…twice.  But how did I check it?  I pulled it out and looked at it as I’ve done for many years.  You guessed it—It was blown in a corner and I missed it.  So when I applied my “jumper” lead from the battery to the armrest, the front awning went in and out ONCE.  WHY? Because the fuse in my jumper lead was also 10A, and operating the awning blew it also.  Bottom line is that the front door awning cannot be powered by a 10A fuse.  I replaced the F8 fuse with a 15A and it has worked fine since, and all power is restored to the armrest.  I have not looked up the rating of the awning motor, but suspect that most any motor capable of operating the awning would draw about 10A or more.

What an ordeal this has been over simply fuses!!  I learned two things. 

1) I’m replacing the fuses in my “jumper cables” with 20A. 


2) I won’t be checking fuses just visually any longer.  I’m making a very small battery-powered box with fuse holders and an LED—plug in the fuse, and if it’s good, the LED will light.

I did end up making some devices that I think will help in future troubleshooting and used a couple of Pomona Electronics wire connection tools.  The Pomona "Hat Pin" connector has been for many years one of the handiest electrical troubleshooting tools I've ever owned.  It pierces a wire so you can measure voltage, resistance, or inject power.

 

Again, many thanks to all of you!

Van

50' jumper leads to connec to batteries.jpg

Chunk of steel to attach magnetic light .jpg

Dummy load.jpg

M-M, F-F, M-F with exposed center .jpg

Pomona Hat Pin connectors.jpg

Pomona Mini-Grabbers.jpg

Van, you are welcome.  For those interested, Monaco did some “interesting” things as Navistar.  But, they left some of the original circuits in place.  The 10 A Circuit #8 wire leaves the distribution panel.  It branches to all 3 AC units.  That is where, I KNOW, the AC thermostat gets it power over the phone cables to “read” the number of AC units.  That was on the more common Dometic 5 button Thermostat.  Opps. Navistar swapped vendors and went to Coleman…same phone lines.  BUT,  Navistar also added a ZONE 4, like on the Dynasties.  That has a buried tin box behind the Multiplex panel.. Van sent me a photo and I chased it down.

But, after the #8 circuit goes to the Thermostats and the 4 controller, if then goes to the Satellite connection, then onto the Cable/Antenna Amplifier switch and finally….to the passenger console and to the Extend/Retract switch.  Based on several phone conversations and also Myron’s input, most likely the motor is pulling a little more current.  But that entire feed from the bathroom to all the distribution points is #10 Wire.  So “upping” the fuse to a 15 does not put any waiting at risk.

Van spent more time, I SUSPECT, LOL, putting stuff back together, than trouble shooting.  His persistence paid off…I know I learned a lot about this circuit….from his testing as well as the prints.

Good Job…

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11 minutes ago, dandick66 said:

Sorry I’m late getting to this and glad you got it fixed.  I’ve attached a few pics from a 2012 schematic.  One of the photos shows the fuse as 15 amps.

DC08EB09-50A9-4E73-A6D8-8993110EB03A.thumb.png.21a68cf664f430d01b4938e0e38e9452.png

E74C65FE-4DB9-486C-8A87-BB75AA47BD4B.png

0C3F8A48-8122-4E95-A4B2-91090C2E9525.png

A31B9A13-8663-427B-AB02-F2722F67D671.png

Thanks,

that pretty much confirms it.  What the prints also show is that there is a #14 wire from the distribution panel.  If so, then the 15 amp fuse is the max that should be on the circuit.  The wire sizes, I believe, were not called out on the older prints that we used. Monaco was not always “in touch” with the loads and what the downstream fuse requirements should have been.  They would often tell you, when you phoned in, to go up 5 amps.  The Remco AR55 (aka AquaJet) pump circuit had some premature fuse issues and their remedy was to go 15 amp.  That did solve a lot of issues and the wire size was OK

In Van’s case, there was a #10 “power” lead in the console.  

I think he has it fixed now and it is working as it should with the original wiring.

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Van

Glad you got it fixed and explaining that actual cause/fix.  Agree 100% that a visual look a fuse may not be the best and checking a fuse with a meter is the best.  Time consuming but considering what you went through it's a hard learned lesson. 

I had a self induced problem late last year and someone asked "What was the last thing you worked on in the dash" which was when I installed the Bluesea ML ACR.   Monaco mostly use white wires and it was hard to tell what was what when I installed the switch and accidentily put a ground wire in the slot for the switch light, which when I tried to use the lighted switches it blew the fuse.  I worked on this problem for a couple days until I checked the switch and corrected it. 

I admitted what happened in the post hoping to help someone else, by you doing the same thing it may others the heartache/hassle when troubleshooting a problem. 

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17 hours ago, vanwill52 said:

2) I won’t be checking fuses just visually any longer.  I’m making a very small battery-powered box with fuse holders and an LED—plug in the fuse, and if it’s good, the LED will light.

This made me think about fuses I saw advertised a while back that have an LED inside them.    If they blow they glow.      Isn't that an amaing idea?

https://www.walmart.com/ip/CARAX-Glow-Fuse-Premium-MINI-Blade-10-pcs-Assortment-Kit-When-Blown-LED-Automotive-Smart-Easy-Identification-MIX/374609521?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=101041822&adid=22222222222376255437&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=o&wl2=c&wl3=74835658741061&wl4=pla-4578435187090286&wl5=&wl6=&wl7=&wl10=Walmart&wl11=Online&wl12=374609521_10001061198&wl14=led fuses&veh=sem&gclid=c8d3cec662d9150a78a2ac0cab672b91&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=c8d3cec662d9150a78a2ac0cab672b91

          CARAX Glow Fuse - Premium Fuse MINI Blade - 10 pcs. Assortment Kit - Glow When Blown LED Automotive Fuse - Smart Glow Fuse Easy Identification - MIX 10 pcs.

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I too like the glowing led on the fuses when they fail. I replaced a bunch of mine after getting bit.

Van, thanks for sharing. I have shot myself in the foot so many times I have powder burns on my knees. 

A couple of recommendations here of course. 

Disturbing a fuse connection while removing it to test can lead to missing an intermittent or missing the real problem completely.

A fuse holder can get hot over time and the contacts on one end may widen. The poor connection will not carry the "load" and you end up chasing your tail.

I cannot stress how important it is to use a voltmeter or better yet, a test light to check fuses while they are still in the circuit versus removing them. 

Most often it is much easier to test in place anyway. IF possible, always probe the wires away from the fuse. Some fuse holders are not open for such access but when possible always test away from the fuse, thus not disturbing it in case it has a bad connection versus being blown. 

Using your long wires is a great way to ensure you have proper ground and don't get bit by the lack of ground for the meter or probe.

Using a self-resetting breaker in place of your inline fuse can correct an oops moment. However, having an inline fuse allows you to use a fuse more appropriate for your current situation. You may not need 20 amps for some situations and the 20 amps may not provide ample protection such as a 5 amp fuse for example 

In years gone by, solder in fuses buried in electronics could be a pain and expensive to replace. Using an inline fuse smaller than those made changing a fuse while diagnosing things cheaper and easier.

Using a long wire for the ground is a great idea and should be fused as well. Accidentally shorting a circuit could cause a lot of damage so when using that for a meter or even a simple 12-volt test light a fuse of 5 amps or even three is a good idea. 

As for checking the fuses once again. A digital voltmeter has fooled me more times than I can remember. An old old large analog meter has saved me and was/is always part of my arsenal. An old Simpson 260 can be found and is an absolute workhorse. But do get the leather case for protection.

Sometimes the tiny dip of the needle would lead me to a circuit loading down the voltage and then having the device reset itself. The load would take the supply voltage down which cannot be detected by the digital meter. But the slightest dip using an analog meter can be a great tool.

Not everyone is handy with an analog meter and true, they are cumbersome when lab-sized so I carry two 12-volt test lights. One is for backup. 

A 12-volt test light and I do not mean the type that has an led etc. I mean a true old-fashioned one with a dome light bulb in it. 

The bulb is a real load so you are less likely to get in trouble. 

Touch the connections away from the fuses when possible and if not, gently probe the fuse ends. Gently gently. Sharpen the probe in case you need to pierce a wire. The tiny hole will heal when removed.

I have repaired and replaced thousands of fuse holders in my business. I have seen fuses appear to be ok visually. Some even have measured ok with an ohmmeter. 

However, they could not supply the current demand and the voltage was not carried through. I have even had fuses open, then close again much like opening a breaker and resetting it. Some real crazy stuff.

A test light can be used as a ground "injection" probe. That is, connect the probe to a known good ground, and then you can probe a relay for example. If you hit a hot wire, the bulb will light. If you hit a place where a ground should be but is not, the bulb may not glow or may glow dimly and your relay may energize. This is a hit or miss but I have used this method many times.

You can use the probe to inject 12 volts, the bulb being the limiting factor of course and you have to have confidence in your method.

Sorry, I am getting long.

I would not consider building a fuse tester. You could miss some valuable information by unplugging them and reinserting them.

Van, on your long wire with the fuse another alternative for the fuse would be one of the lighting ones as suggested. 

I have been bitten by bad alligator clips, and jumpers of thousands of kinds in fifty years. The alligator clips you buy pre-made are usually very poor quality. Build a few of your own with decent wire. Those flimsy ones, even though I have a dozen, have caused me tremendous grief over the years. 

Sorry I got so long-winded. Thank you for sharing your adventure, Van. I love following these mysteries.

 

 

Edited by myrontruex
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3 hours ago, myrontruex said:

I too like the glowing led on the fuses when they fail. I replaced a bunch of mine after getting bit.

Van, thanks for sharing. I have shot myself in the foot so many times I have powder burns on my knees. 

A couple of recommendations here of course. 

Disturbing a fuse connection while removing it to test can lead to missing an intermittent or missing the real problem completely.

A fuse holder can get hot over time and the contacts on one end may widen. The poor connection will not carry the "load" and you end up chasing your tail.

I cannot stress how important it is to use a voltmeter or better yet, a test light to check fuses while they are still in the circuit versus removing them. 

Most often it is much easier to test in place anyway. IF possible, always probe the wires away from the fuse. Some fuse holders are not open for such access but when possible always test away from the fuse, thus not disturbing it in case it has a bad connection versus being blown. 

Using your long wires is a great way to ensure you have proper ground and don't get bit by the lack of ground for the meter or probe.

Using a self-resetting breaker in place of your inline fuse can correct an oops moment. However, having an inline fuse allows you to use a fuse more appropriate for your current situation. You may not need 20 amps for some situations and the 20 amps may not provide ample protection such as a 5 amp fuse for example 

In years gone by, solder in fuses buried in electronics could be a pain and expensive to replace. Using an inline fuse smaller than those made changing a fuse while diagnosing things cheaper and easier.

Using a long wire for the ground is a great idea and should be fused as well. Accidentally shorting a circuit could cause a lot of damage so when using that for a meter or even a simple 12-volt test light a fuse of 5 amps or even three is a good idea. 

As for checking the fuses once again. A digital voltmeter has fooled me more times than I can remember. An old old large analog meter has saved me and was/is always part of my arsenal. An old Simpson 260 can be found and is an absolute workhorse. But do get the leather case for protection.

Sometimes the tiny dip of the needle would lead me to a circuit loading down the voltage and then having the device reset itself. The load would take the supply voltage down which cannot be detected by the digital meter. But the slightest dip using an analog meter can be a great tool.

Not everyone is handy with an analog meter and true, they are cumbersome when lab-sized so I carry two 12-volt test lights. One is for backup. 

A 12-volt test light and I do not mean the type that has an led etc. I mean a true old-fashioned one with a dome light bulb in it. 

The bulb is a real load so you are less likely to get in trouble. 

Touch the connections away from the fuses when possible and if not, gently probe the fuse ends. Gently gently. Sharpen the probe in case you need to pierce a wire. The tiny hole will heal when removed.

I have repaired and replaced thousands of fuse holders in my business. I have seen fuses appear to be ok visually. Some even have measured ok with an ohmmeter. 

However, they could not supply the current demand and the voltage was not carried through. I have even had fuses open, then close again much like opening a breaker and resetting it. Some real crazy stuff.

A test light can be used as a ground "injection" probe. That is, connect the probe to a known good ground, and then you can probe a relay for example. If you hit a hot wire, the bulb will light. If you hit a place where a ground should be but is not, the bulb may not glow or may glow dimly and your relay may energize. This is a hit or miss but I have used this method many times.

You can use the probe to inject 12 volts, the bulb being the limiting factor of course and you have to have confidence in your method.

Sorry, I am getting long.

I would not consider building a fuse tester. You could miss some valuable information by unplugging them and reinserting them.

Van, on your long wire with the fuse another alternative for the fuse would be one of the lighting ones as suggested. 

I have been bitten by bad alligator clips, and jumpers of thousands of kinds in fifty years. The alligator clips you buy pre-made are usually very poor quality. Build a few of your own with decent wire. Those flimsy ones, even though I have a dozen, have caused me tremendous grief over the years. 

Sorry I got so long-winded. Thank you for sharing your adventure, Van. I love following these mysteries.

 

 

Myron....

I know that you were the one that got Van going on the higher amperage of the motor.  I got to thinking about that this morning....  I Finally pulled my prints. NOW....this is DANGEROUS....but I think that Navistar did very LITTLE resourcing or vendor changes....especially for harnesses.  The #8 Circuit that runs the whole length from the middle to the driver's console is a piece of #14. I do NOT doubt that Van properly identified it as a #10 once it got down there....but it's "heiratige" is a #14. SO...upping the fuse to 15 is logical and safe. 

My second "Brain Expulsion", based on your comments that the motors, as they get some age and perhaps the gear train gets less lubricated, WILL pull higher amperage. Like you, I have LEARNED a lot and that includes some things that Frank McElroy finally beat into my head.  That run is almost 40 feet....or longer depending how the branches and junctions were laid out. I'll wager that the voltage at the end is not what it was at the fuse.  SO, if you have a lower voltage, even a few tenths or more, then the motor is going to pull, proportionately, MORE current.  Add in some "extra load from wear" and BINGO....you probably are over the 10 Amp limit trip.

I think that the door awning will work fine with a 15 Amp and that is SAFE. But if it continues to fail, then my money would be on the motor.  Ok, in my twisted LOGIC....VINDIACATION.... I finally found the right manual for the awning....it has been around for a while. 

If you read it....it can draw up to 14 Amps at STALL with MINIMUM Voltage....but the minimum is 2.5.  HECK OF A DIFFERENCE.  I think you nailed it....and Monaco didn't have any feedback.  So, the 15 Amp fuse is fine....and better suited...

BTW....don't get me started on the UNDERSIZED Monaco Wiring for the 12 VDC awnings (Standard) on the side of the sidewall on the Camelots and Septers. We have had MORE issues with that as you can't get a high enough voltage to the motor as the wiring is one or two sizes too small....and the motors burn up. It is impossible, since the harness is embedded in the sandwich wall to fix....and we have had a LOT of smart folks try....not to say that someone will not come up with a unique and clever way....but it is a KNOWN  PITA and Issue....at least on the Camelots....

 

Over the Door amps.pdf

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Quote:::

BTW....don't get me started on the UNDERSIZED Monaco Wiring for the 12 VDC awnings (Standard) on the side of the sidewall on the Camelots and Septers. We have had MORE issues with that as you can't get a high enough voltage to the motor as the wiring is one or two sizes too small....and the motors burn up. It is impossible since the harness is embedded in the sandwich wall to fix....and we have had a LOT of smart folks try....not to say that someone will not come up with a unique and clever way....but it is a KNOWN  PITA and Issue....at least on the Camelots....

End of Quote:

 

I agree the lengths of wire are enormous. From the battery compartment, often then to a large connector on a large wire, to the front run bay, and then back out again of course. Add to that who knows where or how some things are grounded.

All of those resistances can drop the voltage. The ground issue can be easily addressed in most cases.

IF you are experiencing low voltage as you say and can access the wiring before it jumps into the wall you could add a relay, run your decent-sized wire to get the voltage and current back up at that location, and then use the original wire as the control wire for the relay.

I would really love to have an ammeter in line with a situation like that. Easy enough to pull the fuse that supplies it and substitute a good meter across the fuse contacts. Then a measurement on the ground and hot wire that feeds the awning or whatever device is giving you issues. 

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OK, before I "fess up" to my ignorance, let me share some pix with you of devices I used in troubleshooting this problem.  First, thanks to Myron Truex for his advice about chasing 12VDC problems, and his INVALUABLE suggestion to make this device to add to my Trouble-Shooting kit.  Myron said, that when you are chasing a "ghost" ground or B+ problem, ALWAYS make a 50' long FUSED "jumper cable" to attach directly to your HOUSE (or chassis) BATTERY POST TERMINALS...one that can reach from wherever you are troubleshooting to the coach or chassis battery, AT THE TERMINALS.  In my case, I wanted something really flexible, so I used 16AWG "lamp cord" and separated it into single conductors by "zipping" it apart into two separate single conductors.  I ma""de two separate "jumpers" that could provide either B+ or ground as required.  It was invaluable in my troubleshooting.

Next, I made three "jumpers" in three configurations--M to M, M to F, and F to F.  On each, I skinned the insulation from the center of the jumper to allow a tinned area that could be used for connections to my BATTERY POST JUMPERS via simple alligator clamps.

Next, I made a "dummy load" from an 1157 incandescent lamp with both filaments energized to use to determine whether a B+ supply was "true" (capable of significant power supply" or a "phantom load" that would not supply enough current to light the combined filaments of this incandescent load.

 

 

 

20220708_151627_resized.thumb.jpg.fcd95b090d46fc20a9a5ee88460748a4.jpg

 

 

 

 

20220708_151627_resized.thumb.jpg.fcd95b090d46fc20a9a5ee88460748a4.jpg

 

Next, to make it easier to determine the voltage state of ANY wire without having to "skin it" to expose enough conductor to get a DVM probe onto, I used a Pomona Electronics "hat pin" device that allows you to penetrate any wire and determine its voltage without having to "skin" the wire.  It is similar to the "hatpin trick" many of us have used.

Myron, even though I can say this was a combination of errors that fooled me, I still feel like a newbie for having failed to check some of these things.

Alas, live and learn.  At least I made an assortment of diagnostic tools that might help me next time.

My friend's coach still has the F51 fuse (mirror movement) blowing INSTANTLY when inserted, even with the selector switch on the mirror control set in the "neutral" position--in between L and R.  The multi-function switch is connected with a pigtail to a large multi-circuit connector.  I suggested, as a first step, he remove the switch and see if the fuse still blows.  If it does, I'll have to look further.

As far as the awning mechanism goes, I suspect over time the entire mechanism needs cleaning and lubricating to keep the current reasonable.

Another lesson learned about wiring size--I have mounted dozens of stick-on strip lights and door switches to provide inside-cabinet lighting, and used some handy 20AWG twinned red/black wire.  Never had a problem.  For this same friend, I mounted "Boogey Lights" under his awning.  The connection between the source and the Boogey Light controller was less than 10'.  But they continued to dim after a few minutes.  Replaced the feed wires with 14AWG (overkill) and light function was restored.

Again, live and learn.  Thanks EVERYONE for all the help.  Just wish I had not been such a dumbass!

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Great stuff Van. I only see tiny thumbnails. But I'm not very good at navigating this site.

Your light bulb tool is perfect for chasing that short. Or a small 12 volt buzzer with tape over its mouth so it is not insanely noisy. Just put one of them in place of the fuse. With that hard of a short the buzzer or light should come on.

When you locate the short the buzzer will stop or the light will go out.

There are lots of harness connections in these things and having documentation on them is really helpful.

Finding the location of those connections is miserable in most cases.

Alas, once again the signal tracer could come in handy. If the signal is too strong as mentioned before, you could try putting the light bulb inline with the injector, or even try using the bulb as a resistor to ground. Parallel to the tone generator that is.

And to toss out another idea for someone needing a ground temporarily for their meter. 

Grab an extension cord and plug it in. Use the ground hole to connect your meter. Alligator clips or a perfect sized screwdriver works as well. Always test your meter on a known good power source.

Getting bit by a blown fuse in a piece of test equipment is part of life. I have scars from all the bite marks from that animal. 

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19 minutes ago, myrontruex said:

Or a small 12 volt buzzer with tape over its mouth so it is not insanely noisy. Just put one of them in place of the fuse. With that hard of a short the buzzer or light should come on.

The buzzer can be used in other configurations as well.     About 20 yrs ago we bought an RV that had a satellite dish and just a mess of coax cables inside.  Someone had taken all of the equip out and nothing was labled.   We were in a Camping World & when I mentioned my delimma, they called a young tech who had a buzzer that he could screw a coax onto and a bundle of AA batteries taped together and wired with test leads.  He hopped on the roof, screwed the coax onto the buzzer, then started injecting voltage from those AA batteries into my many cables one by one until wala the buzzer sounded.  There's your coax to the roof.  I don't remember how much I paid, it wasn't much,  maybe just a tip, but we were happy.  I hooked up my Direct TV receiver and lo & behold it worked.

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2 hours ago, vanwill52 said:

Again, live and learn.  Thanks EVERYONE for all the help.  Just wish I had not been such a dumbass!

In that regard you're not much different from most of us. We've all kicked ourselves & felt like dumbasses.   

Now Myron being a professional of many yrs learned a long time ago to take a systematic approach.                 

I start out to do that too, but I'm easily distracted and get led astray then frustration sets in.  Sometimes the the problem is right there where I started.   

A 30 min job may take all day.  Many times I have taken a break maybe even slept on it, then start over and go right to the problem.

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15 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

In that regard you're not much different from most of us. We've all kicked ourselves & felt like dumbasses.   

Now Myron being a professional of many yrs learned a long time ago to take a systematic approach.                 

I start out to do that too, but I'm easily distracted and get led astray then frustration sets in.  Sometimes the the problem is right there where I started.   

A 30 min job may take all day.  Many times I have taken a break maybe even slept on it, then start over and go right to the problem.

I had a two hour limit for any of our techs. If they had not sorted it in that time they were to ask me for help. Sometimes another tech was directed to help, most often if I was available I helped. Getting a different perspective usually sorted it quickly. The time limit applied to me as well. Or often less than that. It was fun being the hero but the next day I would have to eat crow. Just how it was in the troubleshooting world. I still love the challenge. I still get bit by the blown fuses, faulty clip leads or test equipment. I still get my tail whipped. But I am not near as sharp as I once was and that is truly frustrating. Alas, it beats the alternative. 

Getting distracted while troubleshooting is and was always a problem. 

In years past I did not allow the Salespeople to go into our lab. Not because I did not like them. But when they or anyone walked into the lab there might be seven techs with their heads down deep in a circuit board. The distraction causes you to look up and by experience, it takes fifteen minutes to get back on track. So it was a productivity thing and nothing personal. 

We had a great relationship with the Sales Department (Motorola) and their manager always made new people come to my shop for a day or two to work side by side with our techs. They had to help with an install or two and had to shadow a tech working on the bench. It was great for both our teams and the respect we got from each other sure helped. 

 

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2 minutes ago, myrontruex said:

But I am not near as sharp as I once was and that is truly frustrating. Alas, it beats the alternative. 

I think at least some of that is from removing ourself from the day to day work invironment and challange,  but nothing much of this world  lasts forever.

It actually makes me feel better to realize I'm in good company.   👍   I just try to keep going,  it's up hill and against the wind though.  😁

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51 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

I think at least some of that is from removing ourself from the day to day work invironment and challange,  but nothing much of this world  lasts forever.

It actually makes me feel better to realize I'm in good company.   👍   I just try to keep going,  it's up hill and against the wind though.  😁

AMEN TO THAT....My family kids me about being OCD and such....NOT ME....  I also have lost my "think time".  I could solve the world's problems or my own "how to fix this" issues while riding the lawntractor or in the shower, soaking up STEAM.  I broke my leg in 2018. I had to start doing my MH or Sailor's showers at home and my utility bill went down. Being the frugal sort...I have NOT done a long shower...so my think time was the lawntractor. OPPS.  We had the yard turfed in December and when the mowing season began, it became obvious that my "English" skills in leaning and manipulating my riding lawntractor were not adequate to prevent potential "balance" issues where in the past, an embankment could be mowed with me leaning about 30 deg off vertical and the weeds and whatever grass were short. NOW, that hill has 6" of highly moisturized fescue...and leaning to almost 60 deg does not compensate or provide the traction that is needed.  And cutting it twice a week and sometimes blowing off the clumped grass....NOT FOR ME. The new yard was a Christmas Gift to my DW of 57 years....and she loves it. Now I pay the landscaper that installed it to mow it...

SO, I have to find an outlet. In talking to Van over the past few days, each conversation provided more insight into his plight....and then I started to understand the circuits and provided, hopefully, some insight and approach.

WHO'D A THOUGHT that were similar folks like me that rarely took breaks during my working career and would have these "Shower Thoughts" that helped me get through....LOL

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