Hello to all, it's Spring weather here in SW Arkansas.

 I charged the old Everstart 24MS battery in the little Spectrum, put the fuel line down in some semi fresh gas spiked with Techron fuel system cleaner and the 350 fired off and ran great! after 5 years of setting.

I learned a few things in doing so, 1) the Start battery also powers some of the cabin lights and 2) the batteries are Group 24's and are a bear to turn up sideways and slide down to their resting places. 3) I must have put pure gas in it that last fill up, instead of corn gas :).

 Now, I'm trying to decide between Everstart Maxx batteries or Duracell--Anyone ran the Duracell's? Batteries+Bulbs in Shreveport has the Duracell in Deep Cycle for $82 and Starting/Cycling for $86 W/12 mos warranty in the Group 24. WallMart is at $100 W/24 mos Warranty. So, WM is 20mi away and Batteries+Bulbs is 60mi, any advice on the two brands??

 Also, what do you think the start battery runs besides some of the cabin lights?

  Thanks

  

 

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Well, that's gratifying!  

Afraid I can't give you an opinion on batteries.  Looks like someone put the EverStart 27 series in mine for the house battery.  I figure it will do until I'm serious about a bigger battery bank.  Are you saying the engine battery is running some of your camper lights?  Or that your house battery is the EverStart. Sorry, I don't know what type of RV your Spectrum is so I'm shooting in the dark - I've never actually tried switching any of my 12volt system on since I pulled the house battery.  I just assumed nothing would turn on but I guess conceivably a few interior lights might run from the engine battery....my 12volt is lights, fan and possibly the water pump, although have only tested that on shore power.  3 way fridge?

Hi Dawn,

  Our little motorhome is a 1982 Itasca Spectra by Winnebago and I think it's a Class B. There were dual wheel and single wheel models, ours is a single wheel and weighs about 5800# dry weight. It's on a C-20 frame w/ a 350 engine and a 3 speed automatic with an after market overdrive unit. Fully self contained, even a generator. 16.5 tires...

 It has a start battery and a house/cabin battery, they sit just behind and below where the wires plug into the headlights--one on each side of the MH. I don't have much experience with it, my uncle give it to us in 12' and we drove it back from El Cajon, Ca and parked it, he passed away about 18 mos ago.

 But, yes when I hooked up the start battery and went inside I discovered the 12v lights worked inside the unit. I don't know what all is getting power from that battery but I surely was surprised at the lights working. It's about 140 miles from where I live, up at our other place, I'll be checking it out when I go back up there and I'll have new batteries for it too.

If you have a relay that separates the coach battery from the chassis battery it is possible that the relay is bad (as in closed) to allow the chassis battery to feed the coach. My old Travelcraft has such a relay but I'm not sure if it closes to allow the chassis charger to charge the coach or the other way around but that would be one way the chassis battery could back feed into you 12 volt lighting. It's worth checking out.because the chassis battery should not be feeding the lights IMHO.for the simple fact that it makes little since to be able to run your starting battery dead while camping.with your lights on.  just saying and, I may be all wet too but it is worth looking into.    

Thanks Rich,

I will check to see if I can find a relay, I was surprised and dismayed to see those lights come on when I flipped their switch.

If the old charger/converter also charges the chassis battery, then it very well could be there. I intend to upgrade to a new style converter like some have suggested here in Good Old RV's forums, that should make a few things much better.

Wow, that sounds like a sweet little motorhome.  We started large (37 1/2 foot) and this time around I've gotten us a little 21 foot Mallard Class C on a truck chassis.  She's not pretty, with that ram truck square nose, but to us she's perfect.  

Sorry to hear about your uncle, though.  Hope fixing it up and enjoying it will help bring back fond memories of him.

Everything I've ever read and heard, Rich is correct - doesn't sound right that they should run on your starting battery. Interesting thought about a relay being bad and allowing that to happen.  Adding to my list of things to check on mine (ie I first have to identify and find it). LOL.

Hi, Dawn; 

     Look at the battery and generator control switches that should be in your motor home.  There might also be a voltmeter with a selector switch for the house or coach battery and the chassis or engine starting battery.  My voltmeter switch is marked "MAIN" and "AUX" with the center position being off.  The battery isolator switch is marked "DUAL" and "MOM" where the DUAL position ties both of the battery systems together for such things as charging while driving, and the MOM position for "MOMentary" is a spring loaded switch position that is held down while you connect the house batteries to the engine starting battery if the engine starting battery is run down (left the parking lights on?) and might help get the engine started to allow the alternator to recharge the chassis or main or engine starting battery.  Once the main chassis or engine starting battery is recharged and feeling better, then you can also switch to the DUAL position while the engine is running and recharge the house or coach batteries also.  While the motor home is parked and plugged into shore power, or is operating off the 120 VAC generator, you can also use the DUAL switch position to recharge both the house and the chassis batteries, although with most of the older "RV 12 VDC power converter" with the "battery charging option," it might take several hours to do this with that optional battery charger circuit.  Usually with the older "RV 12 VDC power converter," the battery charger circuit will be rated for something like 6 or 8 Amperes, and it will take a while to charge all of those batteries.  In my case, there are three batteries in my motor home. 

     One of the advantages of replacing an older "RV 12 VDC power converter" that has just a "battery charging option," with a more modern design with a "three or four stage" battery charging capability, is that it will also provide much more current for recharging a rundown battery more quickly. 

     If you have someone operate the DUAL - MOM switch while you are standing out front with the hood up, you will probably be able to hear the solenoid snap in and out as the switch is pushed and released.  That will help to identify which one is the DUAL - MOM battery isolator solenoid.  That solenoid should also have two large battery cables, one coming from each of the two batteries; the house battery and the engine starting battery.  By the way, that particular solenoid should be a "Continuous Duty Rated" solenoid, and it will be more expensive than the common and much cheaper mmomentary engine starting solenoid. 

          Enjoy; 

          Ralph 

          Latté Land, Washington 

Haha Ralph.  Not a single switch.  Yeah, when we got it, compared to what we had in the past, I was a bit flummoxed.  My only switch is to the water pump.  And then there is the thermostat for the heater.  I'm going to have to wire in a battery monitor - figured when I'd do there I'd try to run down where the relay switch might be between house and shore - there has to be one, right?  Would it be closer to the battery or to the converter?

I do like the idea of changing out the converter, but might not be a priority as I'm finding my budget is spending much faster than I anticipated :-)  May have to move it lower down on the list.  

No switch for a generator either - there is a generator bay (sans generator), and there's a plug that I assume plugs into a generator if one is present but there seems to be no internal controls for that.  I've pretty much scoured everything, tested wall switches (they are lights).  

I do have the house battery pulled and it's on a trickle charger in the basement with a float thing and I start up and run the rig about 20 minutes once a week and keep an eye on the battery gauge in the control panel and it seems to be staying spot on. We replace that new when we bought it (probably unnecessarily - trying to run down what turned out to be some sort of alternator switch issue).  

So that's the ugly :-)  She's pretty bare bones.  No gauges for tanks - which, eh, black never worked in our old rig, the gray we could smell when we needed to dump and fresh I can watch through the dinette -it's housed below that or we just let it run out when full.  Generator, if I replace, while a remote start might be nice will probably be above my pay grade (I'm looking at one, that if it will fit that's 51 decibels/2000 watt for just under $500).  

Then when I get solar I was thinking of turning the dinette into a ushape and putting two sealed batteries there and keeping the solar somehow separate - ie it might be used to just charge electronics and try to wire it into the electric fridge, leaving the house in the engine cab to just charge the lights, water pump and fans.  Anyway lots of thinking out loud.

Good info here - although my brain is spinning :-) Going to be a slow process for me sorting out the electronics!!!!

Your not alone in the less is more Dawn. The palace is set up exactly as yours, If it was not part of the G-30 van chassis then I don't have it. I have one switch for the potable water pump and I installed a CO-2 / Propane sniffer and two USB / 120 outlets, one in the cab over and one above the counter. My philosophy - If you don 't have it you won't have to fix it..Most of that monitoring stuff is money out of your pocket (IMHO) I mean how hard is it to look down the hole in the bottom of the toilet and see how full it is when you flush. Fresh water? same as yours under a bench in the dinette. switch has a red LED to indicate on or off and it is a demand pump. My opinion is to spend the money on what makes my RV  safe road worthy and reliable. That way I have more money to enjoy my time on the road or at my destination. .

Wise advice to keep it simple!  Nothing I can argue with (and I am good at that, trust me.)

I've seen a Mallard or two on PPL for sale, seemed like Very nice MH's, I like the ideal of having a smaller unit because they are easier to manuver and can park almost anywhere. I hope yours comes together just right for you.

 Yes, I think of my uncle anytime I am around or think of the little Spectrum, he was very kind and had many MH's through the years.:)

If you ever happen across one online with the truck chassis (as opposed to the van) I'd love if you shared the link.  People have seen ones like mine but I have yet to! My owners manual is not even my model (facepalm).

Well I did discover that I probably mistook the house battery for the start battery, standing in front of the MH, the battery on the left side runs to a starter solenoid. SO, all of the info shared is still relevant because I had charged the other battery and it started the engine. Ha! I just need more time to spend on figuring it all out.

It must have the MOM some where because the one battery is completely disconnected from the system.

One thing on the positive note, I measured the space where the batteries go and I should be able to replace the old brackets and install Group 27 batteries. I got all of the belts and radiator hoses removed, I'm gonna go ahead with replacing anything that may be damaged from sitting so long.

 Happy Sunday to All

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