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12 Volt House Power Panel Replacement

Courtesy of Richard "Arch" Archer

Richard Archer("Arch") is in the process of rebuilding a 1976 Glenbrook with 128,000 miles that he purchased for $5,000. This is another installment in the continuing saga of one man's adventure with a "bargain" GMC.

I kept chasing voltage drops all over the coach. Solved about half of it by cleaning all of the grounding points. Removed ground ties - sanded aluminum frame ground - put on antioxidation grease and tightened them down. I still had an unacceptable voltage drop from battery to end use. I decided it had to be the fuse block because the drop was the almost the same from the front of the coach to areas right around the power supply. If you look real close, you can see a dark area down the middle of the power buss. It is corrosion. The whole thing looks good but upon close inspection there is a lot of damage here. I took the unit out and hooked my digital volt meter to it. When I moved the fuse holders the resistance reading changed a lot. "Houston we have a problem!"

Now this seems like an easy problem. I need a new fuse block. I want more circuits than I have. I need more toys than they did in 1976! I had no idea that finding a fuse block with 12 circuits would be such a problem. West Marine, Jeggs, Summit, you name it I looked - to no avail. Then a few days ago my new JC Whitney catalog came. There was a fuse block I could get with 6 to 18 circuits! Each circuit could handle 25 amps with a block total of 150 amps. This was heaven! I ordered JC Whitney part no. 13V3997R and it came. If I had it to do over again I would have ordered the 14 circuit board instead of the 12. The spacing on the board is about the same as our original ones. I could have put the original circuits down one side and the new on the other side. OH WELL! I had planned to put circuit breakers in this block instead of fuses. First money is getting tight because LeSharo cost me $6000 in last 2 months. Second all that is available here in town is the automatic reset type. If this lady is blowing gaskets I dont want an auto fix I want to know about it!

What can I say? I now have more circuits to play with. One of the big red wires is for a new line to the refrigerator since the new ones draw more than the original ones. The second line is for a 12 volt circuit I added through out the entire coach. (More on that later) The other is a dedicated line for my laptop - which gets very unhappy with low voltage.

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© 1998 by Patrick Flowers. All Rights Reserved
Revised 11/23/98