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Old 11-21-2015, 12:00 PM   #1
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Battery Isolator or solenoid

does the 2006 alpine coach have a battery isolator or a solenoid? If so where would it be and look like?

Thanks
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
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....solenoid in battery compartment.....
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:35 PM   #3
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Dennis - The "Battery Solenoid" is in the battery compartment behind the black cover. Real easy to get to and change. I had to replace mine back n 2012. I bought it from ASG in Oregon. There part number was/is CH-24213. Hope this info. helps. --Tom
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #4
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when i crank the coach i get a low voltage warning at first showing voltage at 11.5 then goes to 13.9 back in fourth. Only does this for about five minutes and then stops and voltage is 13.8 to 13.9. Im wondering if this part the solenoid is causing this?
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennismhamm View Post
when i crank the coach i get a low voltage warning at first showing voltage at 11.5 then goes to 13.9 back in fourth. Only does this for about five minutes and then stops and voltage is 13.8 to 13.9. Im wondering if this part the solenoid is causing this?
Dennis,

If this is on cold start, you are seeing the INTAKE MANIFOLD HEATER element cycling on/off. With the engine at idle, it is common for the heater to take more amps than the alternator is putting out.

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Old 11-21-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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wolfe10, Okay, never had it do that before. Are you talking about cold weather start? This is first the coach has done this. Thanks
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:00 PM   #7
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Dennis - My first response is not related to the "battery solenoid" behind the black panel in the battery compartment. This is the solenoid that connects the house and chassis banks of power. The solenoid you might want to check is the one on the side panel separating the battery compartment and the service bay compartment. Hope you are able to locate the problem.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:19 PM   #8
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Dennis,
Just to let you know, our '06 has started to do the same cycling but from 13.9v-14.1v down to around 11.9v-12.3v. The voltages are annunciated on the Silverleaf screen as well as the Actia dash instrumentation; along with the beep sound as the voltage drops and recovers. This starting anomaly usually occurs after being parked for several or more days. I have checked voltages at the batteries prior to starting and all appears quite normal. Did you ever figure out what was causing the cycling, and has it continued?
Yesterday I ran through a complete charge cycle while the Alpine is in storage. I was on shore power and as the charger went through the three stages to a complete charge while following all the voltage changes of the two battery banks and the continuity through the isolation solenoid to try and see what was happening. Everything was fairly straight forward with about what I expected the voltages should be as I verified the readings with my meter and the Silverleaf and the Actia displays.
After removing the shore power I was all set with my video camera to record the anticipated voltage fluctuations on the displays; and nothing happened except a perfectly normal start; the first in a long time -- that figures. Of course there was a momentary drop in voltage that quickly recovered to the normal 13.9v-14.1v.
I guess I'll try another charge cycle later next week and see what happens. It would be nice if this voltage cycling is just a normal occurrence related to the Intake Manifold Heater as mentioned by wolfe10. But then, I wonder why it decided to happen for almost all starts during this year? Hmmm...
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:11 AM   #9
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Birddog Pilot, I notice it was only doing it while it was cold outside and if i cranked the coach while the motor was cold. So the next morning while it was 31 degrees i turned on the engine warmer and let the engine heat up to around 120 degrees and then cranked the coach and i did not get a low voltage warning at all. And have repeated this for a couple days in a row and no problems with low voltage. So i do believe that wolfe10 was correct.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:42 PM   #10
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I've resorted to hooking a battery maintainer to the chassis batteries when parked to resolve this same issue.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:15 PM   #11
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Thanks Dennis,
I'll pay more attention to what the outside temperature is on future starts and see if there is any correlation with the voltage cycling. We have had this coach since new and it seems that this particular anomaly only began sometime this year.


And thank you too, Todd,
Yeah, I've given some thought to possibly using a battery maintainer or Echo charger while parked and on shore power; but I really don't know if this voltage cycling issue is a true "low" battery condition. I've got six solar panels and even while camped with shore power connected the panels continue to play an active part in the battery charge system as evidenced with readings on the Zantrex solar regulator panel. I suppose there could be a weak battery in the two banks and intend to do a hydrometer check of the eight house batteries as well as a load test on each individual battery. I don't know if one weak battery could create the drop and then rise in voltage cycle after starting or not.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:29 PM   #12
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I was led to believe that the "bigboy" solenoid was supposed to open a path between the house and chassis batteries so the Xantrex charging circuit could top both banks off and illuminate Vansco #19 when it's doing so but apparently that is not the case in the real world I live in.
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Old 11-24-2015, 06:04 PM   #13
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Todd, yeah that was my opinion as well regarding the "Big Boy" solenoid; but I've been finding some stuff about that thing that so far doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
When we are dry camped, every morning and evening the it's easy to hear the "Big Boy" doing its thing as the sun arrives or leaves the solar panels. The set-points seem to be about 12.9v to 13.2 or so before it finally settles down and stays closed so both battery banks are charging through the day; then in the late afternoon the same voltages are seen before below 12.9v the "Big Boy" opens and the banks separate so you don't watch TV on the starting batteries. Pretty smart circuitry for the Vansco and LED #19.
The other day while connected to external power and testing the system I waited for the Zantrex to go through the Bulk, Absorption, and Float phases while I checked LED #19, the "Big Boy" activity, and voltages on the two battery banks.
What I found strange was with #19 illuminated, in Bulk and Absorption there was absolutely no continuity across the BB solenoid. I would have thought this would be when both banks would be charging -- apparently not. What I was seeing was normal Bulk/Absorption rate charge at around 14v +/- a couple tenths on the house batteries and 12.6v on the two starting batteries which were not receive any charging activity. The BB solenoid didn't finally close, at least as verified with my meter, until the Zantrex controller finally went to Float after about an hour and a half. I guess this is all normal, and I assume really doesn't have any bearing on the voltage cycling that I've been seeing after starting. I'm beginning to like wolff10's theory that this is just that manifold heater cycling on and off; even though it only started this routine sometime this year. More than likely this will be another one of those things some of us Alpine owners refer to as being "The nature of the beast," when we give up trying to figure out another mystery.
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Old 11-24-2015, 06:24 PM   #14
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FWIW, as batteries age, they loose capacity. If your batteries have a few years on them, they may not be able to supply the full pre-heater load without dropping their voltage to the set-point of the low voltage warning.
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