electrical mystery (BF17CB) - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #15
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Name: Lonny
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My 1993 Bigfoot was exactly the same and had filtered and non-filtered 12v. This is likely where your lights are being powered from as it will produce 12v when your battery is removed.

I ended up replacing mine as well as the charger was not that good on my battery.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:14 AM   #16
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yep sounds right Lonnyda...

but the question remains where/how is this three light circuit protected (fused)....and where does it get it's power from (there are NO visible, unaccounted for wires at the power center)

and BTW the three "filtered circuits" are there for radios and TVs that direct power from the converter would cause interference in that type of appliance....from what I've read

pic below taken off the net
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #17
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My 2005 BF 17.5 also has a battery shut off solenoid located in the front left side seat compartment and also has a small fuse block there. There are a few things that are fused from here. My old 1993 BF 17 did not have this so I am not sure if yours would?

It could be that the wire supplying power to this circuit originally has been changed to splice into a hot wire from the battery directly or the hot wire coming from your converter.

I found on my 1993 that the electrical had been modified over the years so anything is possible.

Hope something there helps,
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:57 PM   #18
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but the question remains where/how is this three light circuit protected (fused)....and where does it get it's power from (there are NO visible, unaccounted for wires at the power center)

and BTW the three "filtered circuits" are there for radios and TVs that direct power from the converter would cause interference in that type of appliance....from what I've read

pic below taken off the net
As I suggested earlier, measure the light socket voltage first plugged in to shore power then unplugged. If the voltages are noticeably different, then you have two sources. There is usually a relay in the converter that determines which of the two is used. Look for modifications around the relay. Soldering where everything else is crimp connecters, odd sized wires, electrical tape, wire nuts, etc.

If you read the same voltage, then the branch has most likely been wired directly to the battery. Look where the battery connects to the converter.

The fact that it runs with the fuses pulled suggests a second power supply or the circuit has been wired to the wrong side of the fuse. Check behind the fuse panel. Unplugged of course. Trouble shooting the creative wiring of others is tedious, but if you are persistent you'll find it. Raz

Edit: A caution. Filtering in circuits of this vintage is usually done with electrolytic capacitors that will remain energized after the power is disconnected. Wait 10-20 minutes so they can self discharge before pulling things apart.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lonnyda View Post
My 2005 BF 17.5 also has a battery shut off solenoid located in the front left side seat compartment and also has a small fuse block there. There are a few things that are fused from here. My old 1993 BF 17 did not have this so I am not sure if yours would?

It could be that the wire supplying power to this circuit originally has been changed to splice into a hot wire from the battery directly or the hot wire coming from your converter.

I found on my 1993 that the electrical had been modified over the years so anything is possible.

Hope something there helps,
After I installed my new converter, I tore the old one apart and found a relay that was activated with 120 volts when the converter was powered up. I did not pay a whole lot of attention to what function it provided but I'm pretty sure it changed the 12 volt supply circuit from battery to converter. I hope this helps also ,

I'm really baffled by all of this. I simply can not comprehend why someone would make changes to remove fuse protection. In the photo of the power center it does not appear to be modified. A photo of the area under the seat might help to determine what's going on here.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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Baffled????.. well Jack, that's two us then.....:)

I've got two things going on here....a converter/charger that won't charge(it "converts" ok)....and this strange 3 light circuit deal (that I came across while investigating the first problem)

I've narrowed down the converter/charger problem to one of two components (relays?) in the pic below I've got power from the blue wire to the relay and power out through the blue wire again to the "unfiltered side" of the fuse panel (blue wire fastened at very top of fuse panel)....the red wire from the relay goes to the backside of fuse panel and connects to a post common with the positive post on front side (black and white wires to battery) I have no power at the red wire (this is with batteries not connected BTW)...

so to summarize... fixing existing is by all accounts not desirable...I could purchase a replacement, cartridge type, converter charger that are widely available.....buying a whole new unit however seems to be about the same cost as the "cartridge" solution....and I could locate that in a better spot (behind the seat back, left side...again see pic...would use up space wasted at the moment)

or I could just use the breaker/fuse panel part of my existing (cut the lower half of the case where the conv./charg. is and mount the thing vertically in the location described (it's a perfect fit)....and then wire a good quality charger to one of the breakers (no more converter, all 12 volt comes from batteries all the time)....that's the direction I'm leaning to at the moment...

as for the 3 light circuit...I can't see or find any "added" wires anywhere I have looked....it was either done at the factory or some DPO went to great lengths to conceal his work....

my next step will be to rework the power center as described, before cutting or installing permanently (blue "unfiltered" wire connection to black wire on fuse panel, all fuses now "filtered", on straight batt. power) hook up batteries and flip some switches....I wonder what my "mystery" 3 light circuit is gonna do!

wish me luck
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:49 PM   #21
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last word????

I almost feel bad about going on and on… but this site is so quiet anyway....what the heck?

I measured voltage at "mystery lights" with shore power on and off, batteries connected.....and yes the voltage is indeed different...but that's not saying much because ALL lights are brighter when on shore power (I can trip the breaker back and forth and ALL lights are brighter or dimmer)

this whole thing would be SO much simpler if BF had not routed the wire bundles on the outside of the underseat compartment and THEN installed the water heater over it and so close to the bathroom wall (it’s a CB model) as to make it impossible to follow wire runs visually.
BUT… I can see that the black/white wires (DC or "battery" wires on power center fuse panel) go from the PC to the outside wall then turn towards THE REAR OF THE COACH... as well the black and white combo coming from the batteries and tow vehicle power source are also heading back to the rear at that same spot.

So there is a junction of some sort, somewhere...behind the bathroom and/or fridge area (lovely!) where the two sets of black and white must meet up.....the fridge needs 12V power (it won't come on at all if the batteries are out of the coach...on gas or AC) there is also the propane gas detector in that same area and it's not fused at panel…..and from that spot is where the three lights must get their power from as well

I have looked in the outside fridge compartment…there an AC plug there and there is a block where ONE set of black and white wires are connected……but can’t see any fuse or what looks like light circuit wires…..same goes for looking under the fridge from the inside and the heater area……

I also took a panel off in the overhead compartment by the bathroom wall figuring I’d get a clue as to where the wires were going…(the bathroom light is right close by)….NO LUCK, NOTHING THERE…..LOL
Well, what I do know is that power from the converter/charger takes a rather convoluted trip on it’s way to the batteries….and same goes for the 12V power from the batteries and/or tow vehicle to the fuse panel (when not connected to shore power)


my now “educated” guess is that the 30 amp in-line fuse located just as the wires enter the coach at the front bulkhead is what is protecting that circuit (fridge, LP detector and 3 lights) the rest of the circuits get their power from that same spot and then are further fused at the panel to make trouble shooting easier


clear as mud, or what?.....LOL……thanks again for all the responses and advice

(oh and BTW the “micro” breaker, mentioned earlier, is for a 110 plug in the overhead at the back where a microwave oven is often installed….so it gets it’s own breaker)
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