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Old 09-03-2006, 07:03 AM   #29
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I wish I had my 03 back.It was a much better and depenable then my 06 Apex

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Old 09-03-2006, 08:45 AM   #30
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Bob: That comment surely deserves further explanation. I don't think Buddy & Beverly would mind your hijacking their thread-- or just start a new one.


2001 Alpine 36 FDDS 350 SeaGreen/Mendocino 74263
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:15 AM   #31
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To be honest, we do not know what an echo charger is either. It was just suggested to us that we might need one. That is something we were going to look into when more pressing problems are taken care of.

So, will somebody out there explain what an echo charger is, why it would be good to have, and about how much it costs.


Beverly and Buddy
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:25 AM   #32
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I, for one, would be interested in further comments about your '03 vs. your new Apex. You could post them here or start a new thread.

I will tell you that sometimes I wish we had bought a used '03 or so instead of the new one (Buddy has never said this; I am only speaking for myself). It seems the new ones have so many electronics. If any little thing, a wire or something is a bit wrong, it causes MAJOR problems. Then with all the programming, etc., we are still befuddled about many things.

For ex., that fancy TV supposedly (according to what the Alpine tech thinks) has the booster out. Well, we have not yet even learned to turn it on, so how could that be? Perhaps I need to start a thread about TV's, but that seems unimportant in the scheme of things.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:13 AM   #33
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Beverly- Start a thread about tv's! Let's keep it simple and maybe newbies like me will learn a few things.

Thanks, Rick Coleman
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:40 AM   #34
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">echo charger </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Gosh, I always thought all of my Alpine coaches had an ECHO charger. Maybe it was my SOB. Anyway, I did a web search.The Xantrex echo~charge detects when the house battery bank is being charged and directs a portion of the charge current to auxiliary or starting batteries. If we don't have one, how do our start batteries get charged while parked?

Basil & Sue Shannon
Former Apex owner (Gary & Renee have it now)
Was Traveling Circus (2 clowns/Sage the Wonder Dog) Tent rotted. Circus folded.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:14 AM   #35
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The "pesky solenoid" ties both battery banks together when the primary battery source is at a predetermined voltage. If you are on shore or gen power the house batteries get charged to about 13.3 then the solenoid is activated by the Vansco panel and the charge is applied to both banks. If you are driving down the road then the chassis batteries are charged to 13.3 before the solenoid is activated and the house batteries will be charged.
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:51 AM   #36
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Thanks for your responses about echo chargers. Maybe we really don't need one after all. Maybe replacing the solenoid will be enough.

Our motor home is still in the shop. Buddy has medical tests today, the outcome of which will determine whether or not we can leave on a Fall trip. If we can, we plan to give the system a good "test."

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:55 AM   #37
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It's a bit premature for me to start a thread about TV's. When we can determine that it's really working properly (can hopefully keep our appointment at the factory), I'll again start trying to learn to use it. At that time, I'll probably be asking for help or maybe I can even help someone else. At the factory, hopefully there will be some time or provision for someone to slowly and carefully go over all the steps for us. Right now, it's useless to even try to use it.

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:12 AM   #38
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I noticed that the new Alpines built at the factory all had a 10W solar panel glued to the roof that was directly connected to the chassis batteries. This would help keep the chassis batteries topped off (somewhat).

This small panel was in addition to the (optional) 100W solar panel for the house batteries - most coaches had this too.

We would like a separate solar panel for our chassis batteries, but at the factory it turned out to be cost prohibitive to have WRV add such a thing. A 50W solar panel would match the chassis battery float pretty well (in decent solar conditions). We might go to an RV solar place to have that added one of these days. It would provide a bit more flexibility for boondocking, and allow the chassis batteries to charge independently of whatever was happening with the house batteries.

36ft 2006 Alpine Coach FDDS
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:37 AM   #39
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We have checked on the status of our coach at the repair shop. Mike G. of WRV did not want the solenoid used that had previously been ordered. He is sending out a different one--I suppose it is the "Fat Boy."

Our 100 W. solar panel is supposed to be wired to charge house batteries only. The 10 W. solar panel is supposed to be wired to charge chassis batteries only.

From reading the new thread, it seems that we should never have a chassis battery drain problem when hooked to shore power if all wires are hooked up properly. We should not have to disconnect the chassis batteries. Is this correct?

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Old 09-06-2006, 04:27 AM   #40
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If you are going to Quartzite this winter it a great place to get solar panels. There are a number of dealers selling at very competitive prices. They install on site.

Danny & Claudia

2000 Alpine Millennium Edition
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:46 AM   #41
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In our experience (and research) we've found there's a vast difference not only among solar panels, but very importantly among charge controllers -- and installation techniques. We like a bargain as much as anyone, but we've concluded that cost is not the only criteria when it comes to efficient solar systems. There's some very good educational information on this topic at http://www.amsolar.com/education.html .
2007 34' FDDS Ltd SE
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:03 PM   #42
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Coupla notes on FatBoy installation:
1) Use insulated tools & be mindful of what's hot & what constitutes ground while doing the R&R. (Don't ask )
2) FatBoy has bakelite ridges that separate the posts on top as a sort of insulating feature; it is set up for fairly diminutive ring terminals on your battery cabling. They are too close to the studs for proper seating of the large ring terminals used on WRV's OEM cabling (too much surface area on the cable terminals vs. the ridge/low-seat on the 5/16 copper FatBoy terminals). I fudged by stacking slightly remanufactured copper terminal rings (I cut the crimp sleeve off them) below the cable end so the fat OEM blade seats higher and above the bakelite ridge. Works great.
3) FatBoy mounts to the backplate using the same screws & holes for mounting the Cole-Hersee solenoid; no drilling req'd.

The WRV battery cabling used on my rig continues to impress. It is, I believe, welding lead w/soldered terminals. If it isn't the best stuff available, you could pay a lot more & not notice any functional difference.

Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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