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Old 04-03-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Quinta
Posts: 45
Echo Charger

Hey guys, had someone out today and he said he'll order a new echo charger for us because the green light is on but nothing seems to be working. We think this is the source of problems keeping the two chassis batteries charged lo these many years when coach is in storage. Does this make sense to anyone? Does it make sense that the echo charger would go bad? Any idea how expensive these things are? My trust level is never very high, just trying to educate us as I'm now thinking we've bought a few too many batteries when maybe we should have gotten a new echo charger. I checked old threads and see more than a few discussions on dead chassis batteries, wondering if this is part of everyone's problems???

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Old 04-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need someone that knows how to check it out properly. You can spend
a lot of money in hopes you will stumble onto the problem. Take it to a shop that knows
how and it will be money well spent.

1999 Trade Winds 7371 Cat 3126B w/current upgrades
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Can the echo charger go bad: Well, it was made by man, so yes, it can fail. There is nothing made by man, that can not fail. Only things which rely on laws of physics and other natural laws (If you believe in God then you could say God made nature) can not fail.

The purpose of the echo charger is to charge the chassis battery when the house is plugged into shore power.. it "Echos" the charger for the house to the chassis,, Just like the engine alternator/generator charges the house when traveling.

So, is it the cause of issues in storage? Possibly IF and only IF you are plugged in.

Another possible cause is the converter itself.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Echo Charge, call it $130 shipped?
Could go bad. But it should be properly diagnosed before replacing. I haven't read the manual to see what the inputs & outputs are supposed to be, but doing so should educate you sufficiently to be able to do a diagnosis. Had a buddy call yesterday, his has a flashing amber light; he called Xantrex & said he was told to replace it. I've never heard of a company putting an LED on their product to tell you it needs to be replaced. Couldn't figure out how Xantrex could come up w/a diagnosis sight unseen & w/zero hands on knowledge of how the thing was actually hooked up vs how its supposed to be. Could be that his, and Pamela's, are not hooked up correctly, and some wires need to be switched. Could be that some input is bad, and putting a new E/C will result in same bad input generating same bad result.

Maybe Universal Single Payer Motorhome Repair is the answer?
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:51 PM   #5
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Check the in line fuses to be sure they are ok. My 02 had the wires reversed when I bought it new. There were several 01 and 02's with that problem. Check yours.
Jim & Sandy
2008 34' FDDS Alpine
Limited SE
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by EngineerMike
Maybe Universal Single Payer Motorhome Repair is the answer?
I like where you're going with this! I get coach, don't bother to learn how to use it properly, certainly never do even the most basic of maintenance, and all of YOU pay to fix it. I'm in! Where do I sign?

OBTW, I've got the flashing amber light. Just checked the manual's trouble-shooting section. No mention of a flashing amber light.

My batteries seem to be charging just fine. So, I'm scratching my head if I even have a problem.

It makes a humming/light buzzing sound when the inverter is on. Can anyone confirm or deny if this is "normal"?
The Family Man
2001 40FD
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:06 PM   #7
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 1,563

If the green light is on, the EC may be fine. I recently had the same issue and found that my battery bank would not develop enough charge to make it "switch over" to the other battery bank for charging.

Of course my issue ended being more expensive, but at least I didn't waste the price of a new EC, just to find out it was actually something else.

If properly working, when the wire to the house bank shows enough charge, the EC will switch over to charging the chassis bank. Here's the Owner's Manual; check it out yourself:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Echo Charge - Owner's Guide.pdf (618.4 KB, 105 views)
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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You guys are awesome. Thanks so much for the input.

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