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Old 09-27-2021, 07:36 AM   #1
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Battery issues w/o shore power

I have a project camper. Jayco 1406, 1996. Added new battery and new relays for electric lift. Worked for a while for lift but recently stopped. Replaced relays again. No difference. Battery is charged. Fuse on positive (red wire) is 30 amp and is new.

Any ideas for a fix would be greatly appreciated.

FYI. New fuses in converter if that comes into play. Fuses are on.

Thank you.
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:30 AM   #2
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Are you saying the electric tongue jack won't work when on battery but it does on shore power?

I believe the tongue jacks are normally wired straight to the battery with an inline 30amp fuse (like the green one in your picture). I only see one wire off neg/pos post on battery so I'm guessing the tongue jack is wired somewhere else? If that is what you are asking about..
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mini4mw View Post
Are you saying the electric tongue jack won't work when on battery but it does on shore power?

I believe the tongue jacks are normally wired straight to the battery with an inline 30amp fuse (like the green one in your picture). I only see one wire off neg/pos post on battery so I'm guessing the tongue jack is wired somewhere else? If that is what you are asking about..
I believe the OP is talking about the electric roof lift system.

We have only had the manual lift versions, Is the lift motor easily accessible? When we were looking at a few years ago, #1 thing made me nervous, was the switch location, as it was fully exposed to the elements.

My first suspicion would be a bad ground connection, next is a bad switch. Do you have a multimeter? If not I would strongly recommend picking up one, ideally one with an amp clamp (very handy tool). Check the continuity between the motor and the battery's negative terminal.

The motor most likely is grounded to the battery through a physical metal on metal connection of it's base plate to the chassis. 24 years old, I can foresee a lot of corrosion building up, and interrupting the circuit. When the lift system is not under any stress, I would remove at one mounting bolt, clean the metal surfaces if possible. Then add a couple star washers. I like to have one placed so it bites into both the nut and the chassis frame. The other star washer bites into the bolt and motor assembly. This way I know I have a good solid ground connection. I also use a star washer where my battery ground wire connects the chassis.

To test the switch, the multimeter set to continuity will let you know if you have a good connection through the switch. It may work sometimes based on how the switch was pressed. If you think it is the switch/circuit leading to the motor. You can "hot wire" the motor directly to the battery. Take a pair of wire leads (appropriately sized, ideally with a fuse). Connect the ground wire to a good spot on the motor chassis. If you know you have a good ground connection to the battery you may not need to do this step. I would expect the hot wire should have two possible mounting locations. One for lifting, and one for lowering. If the motor spins nicely, your issue probably is within the circuit, or or bad ground.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:14 PM   #4
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I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. It’s the lift for the top of the camper.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:21 PM   #5
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I will get the meter! The switch is actually recessed into it’s own box with the relays with a door closure. I’ll take some pictures.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:26 PM   #6
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Pictures of electric lift box and battery

Images show electric lift box, battery connections, negative white wire connected to frame, and the last image is a “mystery” fuses wire. Have no clue what that is for.

Also, the motor is behind the toilet/shower panel. I saw it when I worked on repairing a broken cable. I’ve already put that back and caulked but there’s no reason I can’t take it off again.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:00 PM   #7
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I would take the white ground wires off the frame and replace them with new end rings, a new screw and washer. Might go with stainless on the screw and washer. Once off, wire brush off the surface under the rings and get a good connection.
I would do this even if there were other problems with the top. All that rust is an invitation for failure in current flow. You might consider something like spray electrical tape to keep rust from coming back quickly. Couldn't hurt to check every exposed connection you can find based on that picture of all the rust.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:19 PM   #8
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I use the heat shrink connectors on all my outside work that way the wire doesn't corrode at the connector. Like said above grind a clean spot on the frame before connecting, you could even paint it after your done. Did you see if there is power to the switch and then the motor. Even if there is 12+ volts when the switch is turned on it could go near zero if there is a bad connection or a bad battery. Can you take a piece of wire and jump the switch or run a wire from the battery directly to the switch or directly the motor? Around 12.6 volts is a fully charged battery not on a charger or right after charging it.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:38 PM   #9
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It shows on your schematic that the white/brown wire from the battery goes into a 30 amp fuse(green) and goes to a relay. Out of the relay is a red wire that goes to the motor and to the relay to the right. The toggle switch for up and down goes through a limit switch and to the two relays on the right. Follow the path with your meter
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:07 PM   #10
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I’ll do that. Thank you.
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Old 09-30-2021, 05:57 PM   #11
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I cleaned the connection of the white wire to the frame and reset it with washers with teeth.

If I put the electric lift issue on hold for a moment, can I expect the battery to give me juice inside for lights and outlets?

Or, because the red wire (positive) runs through the lift motor first, and that problem isn’t solved yet because I haven’t had the time, should I expect no juice inside?

I apologize if I’m not making complete sense but am doing my best!

Thanks to all that are chiming in. I really appreciate your help! Jill
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Old 09-30-2021, 07:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jillapollo View Post
I cleaned the connection of the white wire to the frame and reset it with washers with teeth.

If I put the electric lift issue on hold for a moment, can I expect the battery to give me juice inside for lights and outlets?

Or, because the red wire (positive) runs through the lift motor first, and that problem isn’t solved yet because I haven’t had the time, should I expect no juice inside?

I apologize if I’m not making complete sense but am doing my best!

Thanks to all that are chiming in. I really appreciate your help! Jill
I can't tell how the rest iof it is wired but it looks like the schematic for the lift seems to have nothing to do with the lights or anything else. Good luck I hope you get everything working
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Old 10-01-2021, 09:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jillapollo View Post
If I put the electric lift issue on hold for a moment, can I expect the battery to give me juice inside for lights and outlets?
Your battery will power all the 12 volt lights, but you will have to plug it in to 110 volts to have power to the outlets. The converter will also charge the battery when you're plugged into shore power.
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Old 10-02-2021, 06:52 AM   #14
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Thank you
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Old 10-02-2021, 06:53 AM   #15
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Aaah! I didn’t know that. Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2021, 12:22 PM   #16
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On our 2018 Coachman Clipper, we had the same problem. As it turns out, Coachman forgot to crimp the wire to the ground lug, which was screwed to the frame for ground. Once I found the wire, moved it a bit, and it just fell out. I removed the lug, and crimped the wire back in securely. Re-installed, and all worked again. Hopefully yours will be that simple, but, yes the ground on them is usually tied to the frame.
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Old 10-06-2021, 01:17 PM   #17
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Limit Switches

I'm in a time crunch. Pardon me if I'm repeating.
Every electric roof lift mechanism has some sort of limit switches to stop the lift at both the bottom and the top of it's range. These can get out of whack very easily...or fail entirely.

You know what kind of power lift mechanism this is. Google it and look for a PDF of the owner's manual. From there, look for the limit switches.

Also note: limit switches are normally closed when things are working as they should. They "open" (turn off) when the range of travel is exceeded. This means that you can SAFELY run a jumper wire from the up/down switch, around the limit switch, to the input of the relay where the limit switch connects to the relay. By jumper cable, I mean one of those little alligator clamp affairs. If the jumper gets you going in one direction or the other, that's the problem.

The same is true of the "up/down" toggle switch. Use a jumper from either side of the switch to the common. If this gets the roof moving, change the switch. The up/down switch is a "single pole, double throw, momentary switch". No magic here, and a replacement should be easy to buy on Amazon.

When testing the up/down switch with a jumper, be prepared to remove the jumper quickly, because it will set the roof in motion. When jumping around the limit switches, the up/down toggle switch will stop the roof once you return it to the off position.

NOTE THAT ON THE SWITCH AND LIMIT SWITCH side of the relays, power and current levels are very low. This testing is safe to do. BUT THE OUTPUT SIDE of the relays handle high current...still 12 volts, but more like 20 amps. That's what the relays are for. On the switches side of the relay, there's low current that talks to the relay and causes it to throw what amounts to a solenoid that closes/opens high current switches inside the relay. This prevents arcing and burning up the toggle switch.

I suspect that either your limit switches or your up/down switch (or both) have failed.

Hope this helps. Gotta go to an appointment.
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