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Old 03-14-2016, 03:38 PM   #1
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Electrical Issues Help Please!

We have had our Sportsmobile for a year, lots of fun! However, the previous owner had removed the thermostat from the inside electrical heater under the seat, and it runs continuously unless I unhook my accessory battery. This seemed to be fine until both my batteries drained on a trip. We ended up camping in the parking lot of an auto parts store. They tested my alternator while it was in the van and it failed. I removed the alternator and took it to be tested alone, and it passed. I replaced the connector to the alternator as it looked to be frayed. Just put the alternator back in and she fired right up, but am afraid to drive any distance as she left me stranded previously. Could that fan be draining my system? If so, is there an easy way to disable it? Any ideas? Should I put another thermostat in? Where to connect it? Thanks!

Stranded in Washington State
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
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What kind of heater is it...propane?

When you say both batteries, I assume you mean the house and starting batteries, correct?

Maybe the original owner cut in a switch somewhere to disable the heater fan for when not needed?
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! Yes, both the house and starting batteries were drained (brand new batteries). The heater is under the bench seat, I assume it is electrical, for when I unhook the accessory battery, it turns off. Would having the secondary battery unhooked cause the starting battery to drain?
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:32 PM   #4
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Depends. Is your van equipped with a battery isolator or separator of some type? I'm still trying to figure out what heater you have. Is it a Suburban propane heater?

No, having the house disconnected shouldn't cause a no engine start situation provided the battery isolator or separator is working correctly but you really need to check for one. W/O some sort of automatic separator working correctly between the batteries, yes even a small load could take both down in a matter of days and a heavy load in less time than that.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:34 PM   #5
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You probably have a propane heater with and electric fan. The thermostat is just like the one in your house. Two skinny really skinny wires connect the thermostat to the heater.

One option is to find your fuse box and pull the one of the heater. That way you will not drain your house battery while you figure out where the thermostat wires are and what the PO did.

What year is your van?
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:48 PM   #6
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Where in Washington State are you stranded?

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Old 03-14-2016, 04:51 PM   #7
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It is a 1989 Econoline. It has a multi battery isolator.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Scalf77 View Post
Where in Washington State are you stranded?

greg
It's in my driveway now --- got home safely! Just trying to troubleshoot before our next camping trip. If it's possible I'd love to utilize that heater and figure out how to make it blow hot air instead of the cool that it is. Seattle here.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:08 PM   #9
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Do you need to put propane somewhere in the van in order to have heat? If so you have a propane heater...
Dig around for the model number of your heater and we should be able to give you better more informed responses.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:29 PM   #10
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