1989 winnebago chieftain

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by qinrik, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. qinrik

    qinrik Junior Member

    I have recently been gifted a 1989 Winnebago chieftain... its actually in pretty decent condition. I think its worth putting a little money into for use close to home. runs great and everything seems to work.. However, I don't know all the tricks to the switches. I have a few questions to get me pointed down the right road.

    1- my home has a RV hook up outside for it but when it is plugged in only the refrigerator and microwave have power. is this normal ? or should the lights and stuff work as well?

    2- The generator will start with the auxiliary batteries but if I turn the switch off the generator will shut down... is this normal? does the generator charge the auxiliary batteries while running? I worry about this because the lights and all will work with the aux. switch in the on position without the gen. as well. I do not want to kill the batteries because they are very expensive.

    thank you for your help.... I am sure I will have more questions later but if I can get the lights to work and the batteries not to die I will be ready to roll with just a little work to the front end
  2. Clay L

    Clay L Senior Member

    You have two systems. One is 120 volts (often called shore power ) and 12 volt dc. There is a device called a converter that converts 120 vac to 12 vdc (actually about about 13.5 vdc). There should be a Battery Disconnect switch (usually in the step well area) that connects the converter output to the batteries. If the switch is on, the converter will provide 12 vdc to the items that use it like the lights, fans, furnace, etc and the batteries will be charged . Note that it will not charge the engine (starting) battery.
    If the switch is off and you are connected to shore power those items will get 12 vdc but the batteries will not be charged.
    If you are not connected to shore power and the switch is off you will have no 12 vdc. Take a look at the link http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm , it will explain things better I can,
    Also take a look at http://www.winnebagoind.com/resources/manuals/ for Owner manuals. Also wiring and plumbing diagrams are available back to 1990 and should be helpful for your 1989 - they don't change much year to year as a rule.
    You can find manuals for furnaces,water heaters and so forth at http://bryantrv.com//index.html
  3. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    The lights work off 12 volt but should work if your converter is working or batteries are charged
    The generator will do that if is not generating electricity. Goggle this problem to trouble shoot it. Yes, the generator will charge the house batteries if it is working through the converter
  4. qinrik

    qinrik Junior Member

    Thank you for the advice. after what you told me and the links you sent I think that the system is working correctly. I think the batteries were just old, thanks again for responding so quickly

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