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Old 10-15-2007, 10:09 AM   #1
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I was reviewing all the postings in the Alpine Coach Forum last night in an effort to identify problem areas I have not experienced with my '05 coach. I'm taking a proactive approach toward the repetitive items I keep seeing and am in the process of replacing parts that are being mentioned within this forum. One that caught my interest was the discussions about the inferior original battery charging relay. Mine has operated normally but it would be an easy and cheap fix to help prevent problems down the road. I was wondering if the best replacement for the relay is still the one from White-Rodgers (mfg) called the "Fatboy"? Part nbr/ type nbr 586-105111-3, customer nbr 586-902. Any information provided is appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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I was reviewing all the postings in the Alpine Coach Forum last night in an effort to identify problem areas I have not experienced with my '05 coach. I'm taking a proactive approach toward the repetitive items I keep seeing and am in the process of replacing parts that are being mentioned within this forum. One that caught my interest was the discussions about the inferior original battery charging relay. Mine has operated normally but it would be an easy and cheap fix to help prevent problems down the road. I was wondering if the best replacement for the relay is still the one from White-Rodgers (mfg) called the "Fatboy"? Part nbr/ type nbr 586-105111-3, customer nbr 586-902. Any information provided is appreciated.
Chet Yancey
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:14 PM   #3
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IMO the new Trombetta brand solenoid WRV uses as their standard is superior to the Fatboy as well as better than the original (?) Cole-Hersee marine grade unit that came stock on my 06. Somebody posted a link here for Trombetta w/some more info on the part numbers. The link states the feature wise aspects.

However, before replacing a properly operating solenoid, IIWY I'd buy the Trombetta to carry as a spare, but immediately install a coupla voltage meters in the battery bay for reading volt status on chassis & house banks at a glance. I got a lotta mileage outa that on my 06 and have the new gauges for my 08 already soldered up and ready to make a panel when I get back from Baja. A pair of Radio Shack Model 22-410 work sweet for rapid review of batt status.
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:39 AM   #4
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I recently replaced the original solenoid with the Trombetta sent to me by WRV- seems I could never keep the house batteries charged more than a couple hours....also the Battery Boost never worked on startup. Now all is working fine.
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:52 AM   #5
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Eng. Mike, do you have the P/N for the Trombetta solenoid?
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #6
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Ted- yes, click on the Trombetta link above for the thread which has part # info and description of why I think the Trombetta-Boy solenoid is superior. I beleive there is a link in the thread to some additional Trombetta info.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:09 PM   #7
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I found a distributor for the Trombetta DC Contactor. His name is John, tel nbr 1-800-999-5689. The part nbr he gave me is 114-1211-020-02. Priced at $26.42 plus shipping. He didn't have them in stock yesterday but expects them in around first week of November.
Thanks E.M.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:20 PM   #8
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Mike & Chet, thanks for the info on the Trombetta solenoid. I have done well with the 2nd upgrade of the Cole-Hersee and Mike I did add the volt meters some time ago. I am quite certain at your suggestion. I think if I need an additional spare I will make certain that it is the Trombetta.
Thank you both.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:07 PM   #9
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I have two new in a box of the trombetta if you need them. I will sell the 2 for $40 plus shipping. They will not fit my 03 Alpine.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:13 AM   #10
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I'm looking to install the meters and wanted to know how your connections were made.

My issue in the past, which may be re-surfacing, was solar charge failing to charge chassis batteries. Anyone install something simple to monitor amps on chassis batteries?

Thanks, Jim
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:51 AM   #11
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For volt meters, rather than disturb batt terminal connections, I sent the meter leads to one of the several connections on the back wall panel of the batt compartment (you might want up to 30" of lead on one of the 4 meter connections depending on where you choose). I used marine grade wire & ring terminals, figuring it should be set up to outlast 3 or more sets of batteries. West Marine has great terminals as well as tinned Cu wire which solders very nicely to the Radio Shack volt meter connections. Not cheap, but who got into this biz to save money?

For solar charge monitoring, IIWY I'd shop a new controller. The oem unit is fairly bare bones, and there are more buff units out there at least reading charge volts digitaly. Should be one configurable w/either a built in ammeter, or one where you could add an ammeter in line (since the solar charge amps should be capped at under ~10 w/100 watt panel?). I'd prefer an analog meter myself as they are readable at a glance.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:51 AM   #12
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Thanks Mike! I thought connection to the back panel was the way to go.

I have an aftermarket solar controller, but my issue is I can't tell when/if the charge is re-directed from the coach to the chassis batteries. My coach batteries are always good.

WRV explained to me that on my 04, they quit using the echo charger and instead use the coach multiplexing system (which controls the solenoid) to switch from charging coach to chassis batteries.

With this in mind, I was thinking about monitoring current just to the chassis batteries.

This all assumes what I was told and what I understand is good premesis.....
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:53 PM   #13
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Since I was told by WRV that I may have a relay causing my power drain on the batteries and I dumped the melted solar panel. I was following this thread and bought a trombetta contactor to replace the OEM unit. After opening the cover on the box in the battery compartment I realized I was in over my head.
How does one test for a bad relay and which one might be the culpret, since there are two.
The batteries drain down over three weeks with the house and chassis switches off
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:50 AM   #14
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Following the belief that "simple is better," I simply disconnected my "fatboy." I dont recall ever using it in the last 5 years/75,000 miles. Guess I'll simply get the jumper cables out of toad emergency kit if I ever need a "boost."
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