'Dumb Questions' from Newbies (Like Me)

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Ok. Some of us don't know nothin' 'bout nothin'.

I know, I know. Then why did we buy a 45-year-old motorhome that requires a lot of knowledge and attention and maintenance? Well, because they are just so darn cool.

Sadly, many of us newbies are not auto mechanics or electrical engineers or repair people or fabricators or installation specialists or professional restorers. We need help.

But, oftentimes we are embarrassed to ask a question that seems too basic to pose. Simple things like, what is the difference between the engine battery and the house battery? Which appliances run off which power sources? What's the difference between an inverter, a converter, a maintainer, a charger, a monitor, etc?

It would be nice to have a place to ask some simple basic questions without displaying our ignorance in the more technically oriented conversations. Whaddaya think? Can we ask some 'dumb questions' here?

Thanks for your time and consideration. Hope all is well with you and yours. Kind regards. David.
 

billvv

Member
Oct 3, 2019
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No dumb questions..... I'm guessing you know the answer to those questions, but for anyone who doesn't......

Everything that makes the coach start, run, or stop - day or night - uses the Engine Battery. There are two heating and cooling systems. Any heating and cooling that comes from the dash gets electrical power from the Engine Battery. Everything else in the coach uses the House Battery.

The Converter changes AC power to DC power. Some converters have a battery charger and/or a monitor built in.
An Inverter (not a stock feature) changes DC power to AC power. Some inverters have a charger and monitor built in.
A Maintainer maintains a full battery charge
A Charger charges a battery. Some of them have an Maintainer built in.
A Monitor shows the electrical status of one or more of the devices above.
 

Matt Colie

Active member
Oct 25, 2019
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If you or anybody else chooses to ask a question here, please be sure of two things:
1 - Be as concise as you can about the situation.
2 - Try to have a good sigfile with a name (so we know who we are helping), a short about the coach including major mods (you never know what differences it may make), and a geographic reference (there may be an owner in striking range and those on the gulf coast have different issues than those in Minnesota. (David, yours is a good start)

Matt
 

gmc260

Member
Oct 3, 2019
151
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hi David, others will surely have the same questions so specific thread titles and tags for each question might prove to be more useful to those searching here in the future for specific answers to common questions but I also realize that with having so many subforums right away it becomes more difficult to just ask a question.

its the total noobs that will help the new gmcmhforum grow the most by posting new threads thus initiating valuable Q&A/discussion of most relevant information that others in the same circumstance will be looking for here. it would be much harder for those who do have the experience and answers to start new threads like these that surely will prove to be very popular as time goes by.

Ive also seen on other forums where a topic/thread gets marked 'solved' when the initial question that started it is correctly answered to the Original Posters satisfaction, it was a different forum platform though so I dont know if it is doable on Xenforo other than by someone editing the topic title to read "[Solved]" but its useful as readers will know right away what they are getting into and if it has been answered or not.

anyway, I think whatever works for you is fine and if you have any specific questions that I think I can answer (or at least try) that haven't been, I'll do my best but I'm still learning as I go too on these GMCs
 
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TURN SIGNALS

Well, I picked up and drove my new (old) GMC motorhome yesterday. I didn't see or hear any turn signal notifications inside the driver's cockpit. Am I missing something? Are there no turn indicators in the cockpit? If not, what solutions have folks found? Recommendations for after-market indicators, maybe on the side mirrors?
 

Matt Colie

Active member
Oct 25, 2019
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Many people wire in a sonalet (noise maker) across the flasher unit. Even then, I can just barely hear it - kind of like anything else.

Matt Colie
 

6cuda6

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
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Ontario, Canada
TURN SIGNALS

Well, I picked up and drove my new (old) GMC motorhome yesterday. I didn't see or hear any turn signal notifications inside the driver's cockpit. Am I missing something? Are there no turn indicators in the cockpit? If not, what solutions have folks found? Recommendations for after-market indicators, maybe on the side mirrors?
Sounds like you may have a signal light flasher that maybe removed or not functioning.

If you look under the dash around the steering column you sould see a barrel looking thing.....you should actually see 2....one for signals one for 4 ways.....do the 4 ways work? If so swap the flasher relays and see what happens. (Your looking for something like this) 141-650_1.jpg
 

Matt Colie

Active member
Oct 25, 2019
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I have never seen one under the dash in a GMC. They are usually behind the speedo under that big cover. That cover will come off without breaking if you get it loose and push it way left. With everything in the way, they just don't make enough noise to be heard easily. 76 was a change year. Some have two flashers like the 77 and others have only the one.

Matt
 

6cuda6

Active member
Oct 3, 2019
299
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53
Ontario, Canada
I have never seen one under the dash in a GMC. They are usually behind the speedo under that big cover. That cover will come off without breaking if you get it loose and push it way left. With everything in the way, they just don't make enough noise to be heard easily. 76 was a change year. Some have two flashers like the 77 and others have only the one.

Matt
Possibly...im only going by my coach which has one on the column and one basically under the boost/fuel switches.
 

Matt Colie

Active member
Oct 25, 2019
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Rich,
Yours is also a Hughes and after 40+ years, all bets are off. I do that some time they went from one flasher for everything (until 75) to a separate for the hazard (77 and later),
Matt
 

1976GMC

Member
Oct 14, 2019
34
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Washington State
Mine has a relay behind the dash. I can get to it from below by removing lower coverings. But that could be previous owner's modifications. It is very quiet, so I like the idea of putting a sonalert buzzer in the circuit. I'll put this on "Possible to do" list.
 

bdub

Active member
Oct 8, 2019
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Lake Brownwood, Texas
www.bdub.net

( Hit the "Share" link in the upper right of your post. Copy that to share with others. )

Thanks for sharing, Larry
 

Matt Colie

Active member
Oct 25, 2019
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If you want to feel really smart, go look around at places like the RV threads on FB and IRV2. You have to know that there are some that should have a big screen TV and a sofa.
Matt