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Old 03-01-2008, 09:14 AM   #1
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My coach has been stored in my backyard, plugged in, for the last thirty days. When I went to start it the chassis batteries were completely dead. I was able to start with the boost.

My question is, aren't the chassis batteries supposed to charge with the coach plugged into shore power? The house batteries were fully charged.

Could my chassis batteries be bad and how can I tell without removing them? I drove about 100 miles and parked for the night and the chassis batteries still show a full charge although I haven't attempted to start the coach this morning. By the way, the batteries are exactly three years old.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:36 AM   #2
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I have a '99 and the same question for the same reason.
Currently, I'm using a Battery Tender to keep the chassis battery up. The Xantrex keeps the house battry up.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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Jerry,
The 05 uses the solenoid in the black box to charge the chassis and house batteries. I would check it first. When hooked to shore power the solenoid would be closed to charge the chassis batteries. When driving down the road the same is true to charge the house batteries. I believe led 19 on the Vansco panel in the battery compartment indicates when the solenoid is energized or not.

If you do a search on solenoids on this forum you will find a lot of info on the charging problems with this system.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:28 AM   #4
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Jerry,

Wayne is correct as to #19 on the Vansco module being the LED showing that there is power going to the jumper solenoid.



Here is a photo of my '07 Battery compartment, the solenoid is on the wall behind the batteries, just above and between them, with the 2 large red battery cables from each battery bank connected to its top. In the brochure for for the 2005's it shows a box with a clear cover housing all of the components on the black panel in my photo, I don't know what the actual cover is like.

You can test the solenoid by checking the voltage on each battery bank. When charging the house batteries, LED #19 should be lit and the chassis batteries should be at the same voltage as the house batteries. If they are lower then the solenoid is probably bad. There should also be 12 volts across the 2 small wire connections on the solenoid.

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Old 03-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
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Bob - Since you have an older Alpine, as I do, you probably have an Echo Charge unit. On many of the units using this system, the red wire and orange wires (from the charger) were reversed when connected to the house batteries and engine batteries respectively. The function of the echo charger is to monitor the charge of the house batteries and use their level to charge the engine batteries. Since the Heart/Xantrex charges the house batteries, they will reach a "float" level and a charge will be drawn off them to charge the engine batts. For this to work, the red wire from the echo charger must go to the house batteries and the orange must be tied to the engine batteries. WRV spliced wires from the echo to the battery compartment and didn't use the same color wires, facilitating the connections to be reversed. They just used red and black wires so you have to verify the colors from the echo and comfirm the orange goes to the engine batt and the red goes to the house. (connections to the batteries are probably made at the diode isolation block) With these wires reversed, the engine batteries will not charge when the coach is plugged into external power, but the house batteries will.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:44 PM   #6
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You can check your solenoid using the process in this Solenoid Test link.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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I have a 2000 Alpine and the Echo charger wires were reversed. The house batteries were overcharging and the chassis batteries were never charged. On the left side of the battery compartment there is a large blue battery isolator. The two small wires connected to it run to the Echo charger to watch how the battery charging is progressing. The Echo charger was charging the house batteries but watching the progress of the chassis batteries. So the Echo unit never saw the house batteries being charged so it never switch over to charging the chassis batteries. I switched the two small wires on the battery isolator and now all batteries are charging as they should be.
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:43 PM   #8
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Jerry.. I have the '05 36MDDS that parked in front of you in Lodi. Factory got a bad lot of selonoids while ours were being built. If it turns out to be the solenoid they may send you a new one. When trouble shooting the #19 light on the battery compartment mux has a timed delay that resets whenever the ignition key is turned off or on. It's a couple of minutes long. Feel free to call me Monday pm after I get home. My # is in the ACA & Norcal directories..or e-mail me here

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Old 03-02-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
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Thanks Steve/Tom.
I'll have a look when it warms up a bit.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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Ok, I checked the solenoid as per Mike's instructions and even though it checked out ok I replaced it with a White-Rogers I had on hand. I plugged in the coach and a couple of hours later both house and chassis batteries showed full charge on the gages that I had installed earlier in the battery compartment.

I turned on the key, all the lights came on and the engine turned over for maybe two seconds. All stopped...no dash lights, no battery boost no nothing. The gages in the battery compartment showed the house batteries at full charge and the chassis batteries way down to 11 volts. From 13.5 to 11 volts in a couple of seconds!

I also noticed that the 19 light on the Vansco unit was no longer lit.

Dead coach....any suggestions? Is it batteries?
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:53 PM   #11
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JERRY
I would question the condition of the batteries. Did you try battery boost switch to start the coach.
I have a question on the boost switch myself. When my chassis battery whet dead because I left the ignition key on, I tried to start the coach using the boost switch however nothing happened. Does the boost switch feed the same solenoid to connect the house and chassis battery? I would think so! Does the power supply for the solenoid feed from the chassis battery? I hope not, can't jump the batteries if you don't have power to jump with the solenoid.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:08 PM   #12
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My guesses are: either batteries are worn out and won't charge (and you were reading surface charge that falsifies a full charge condition), or you have a bad connection that is not tight or corroded and therefore high resistance. Since the batteries appeared to have charged, the solenoid checks out, and batt's are 3 years old, I'm putting my money on worn out batt's. What kind of odds am I getting.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #13
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Nick- On my 06 the solenoid received power from chassis batt's. Seems stupid. If chassis batt's run low, they can't kick the solenoid on to get a charge. If solenoid got its signal to charge chassis from the house batts when they are topped off, that would be more logical to me. But whudo I know.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:11 PM   #14
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Thanks Mike
Does anyone have a wiring diagram of the chassis?
I've asked WRV many times but to no avail. I guess it must be a big secret. I have an 2005 Mid Door but I would think a any model 2004, 05, 06 maybe close.
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