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Where Is the 115 VAC Junction Box For Outlets On The Passenger Side Of a 1984 Southwind Motorhome?

by Michael


I bought a 1984 Southland 4 months ago and have been living in it in Baja for 4 months. I have probably been using the 115VAC outlets more than they were designed for.

Yesterday I had the 32" TV on, the Satellite Dish, all 4 cell phone chargers, a laptop, and a full size battery charger all running from the passenger side 115VAC outlets. They all worked just fine UNTIL I pulled the Battery charger power cord out. I lost every 115VAC outlet power on the passenger side only. The circuit breaker did not break.

I pulled the panel from the 765Q power converter and checked the power coming from the breakers, all were fine. I switched the two non-main breakers in case it was a current issue but the results were the same.

I have examined the wiring diagrams and one of them shows a junction box. Do you know where it is located? I believe that I have done a fairly good job of trying to find the problem and I have a very good understanding of how to diagnose electrical problems. I figure that either the relay has a contact for each breaker, (I think this is unlikely), or I have a hot/cold connection problem at the mystery junction box.

This problem occurs both when connected to external power or when it is running from the generator, or both. I have let the "power system" cool, and it was quite warm, but there was no change. Everything else works as if the RV was new.

Except I cannot seem to get the main "starter battery to last more than 4 months"

Please advise if you can. Thanks!

ANSWER: Greetings Michael thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

First let me compliment you on the thorough diagnostics you have performed on your RV's electrical system. I am afraid that I cannot tell you where the junction box on your motorhome is located (maybe one of our visitors have that information).

Prior to crawling around your RV to find the junction box, here are a couple more steps I suggest that you take.

1. There is a chance that you have a GFCI outlet on the electrical circuit that is now not working. A GFCI outlet looks like any other 120 volt electrical outlet except it acts like a circuit breaker for the circuit it is connected to. A GFCI outlet is a lot more sensitive than a normal circuit breaker and will trip before a normal circuit breaker does.

The GFCI outlet has two buttons on it, one is a test button and one is a reset button. The fact that you lost power when you unplugged your battery charger leads me to believe that you may have caused an electrical fault strong enough to trip the GFCI. So look around your motorhome to see if there is a GFCI outlet that has been tripped and use the reset button to reset it.

2. The second area I would look is at the electrical outlet you had the Battery Charger plugged into. With the 120 volt power off in the motorhome, remove the outlet and have a look at the wiring for any kind of signs of overheating or shorts.

When you unplugged the Battery Charger it may have caused an arc and damaged the wiring to the outlet or the outlet itself. This kind of damage can occur and in some cases the circuit breaker may not trip.

Now as far as your starter battery going bad every 4 months; the first thing I would look at is if the battery is being overcharged. The second thing I would look for is if there is a constant high amp draw on the battery that is causing it to discharge quickly.

Hopefully this information has been helpful to you

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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