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Old 04-11-2010, 10:45 PM   #1
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Inverter in Fault Mode - Water Pump Issue

All,
Today we were heading from Cherokee Landing Near Memphis, TN to Branson, MO. We stopped for lunch, and upon starting up again, I started getting a beep from the dash area, with the Voltage readout highlighting and only showing 12.1V DC. Periodically the Silver Leaf Display would also give me a check engine warning. Finally I found a safe place to pull over and go back and look around. The serpentine belt was fine, with the correct tension, nothing smelled burned and my engine temps were good. So I opened up the compartment aft of the battery compartment and wiggled some of the wires on all those solenoids. Nothing sparked, but when I got back into the coach, the voltage had gone up to 13.6V and the error had cleared. Must have some corroded connections which I will Clean tomorrow, although I have anti corrosive grease on all of them so that would not happen.


It was not apparent but sometime the inverter went into fault, and the fridge was not running, nor anything else on the inverter, but I did not find this out until we got to the park. So we plugged in the coach, and the inverter would not come out of fault, so my batteries are not being charged, and we wont use any of the 12V sections of the coach, at least for now. The 120V side of the house seems to run fine with the coach plugged in. Tonight I fussed with it, hitting the reset button several times, but no go, it would start up, enable charger, run for about 30 seconds, the go back into fault. We did have a pedestal blow up on us when plugged into 30 amp, but the breaker tripped and it was because the door to the pedestal rubbed a bare spot on the hot lead and blew. That was an eye opener. I assisted the park manager when he fixed the pedestal, so I made sure he put it back together correctly, but the next day that side of the pedestal just quit, we had to switch to the other side which worked fine. I am hoping the inverter did not take hit, but won't be surprised if it has. This coach has the surge guard, but I'm going to get the Hughes Autofofrmer and use it first, as another level of protection.

Since Xantrex inverters are not reparable, and must be replaced, that is my guess on what is wrong with it.

In the mean time the water pump started leaking below the motor part and has slowly just quit. I will check tomorrow to make sure it's not plugged up and has proper voltage (no blown fuse which I checked), and I have a replacement new pump with me as a spare for this trip. It will go in if I determine the pump has died. If it still runs, just won't pump, I will buy a new pump head and make it a system spare.

And today when we dumped the tanks, and tried to flush them out, that system seemed to leak, and had water running out of the underside of the coach. I tightened the fitting which seemed to be the problem, but I might also have a leak in an area I cannot seem to get to, but again wont know until I get the fresh water working as it could be that kind of leak and not the other one at all.

I am way more concerned about the inverter, since with the APEX, we don't have the control panel, so doing diagnostics on it is impossible. I am going to call silverleaf tomorrow to get the admin codes so I can access the inverter to see if I can figure it out. I will keep all posted. They say when it rains it pours, and today that has been the case.

Otherwise everything has done real good. The wife unit is fine if everything works, but today I think wishes the thing would catch fire so we are done with it, and I am right there with her. The 5th wheel was way less trouble.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:44 PM   #2
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All,
Follow up today, replaced the pump. Tomorrow it's check all the electrical connections in the engine compartment, did battery compartment today. Need some advice on the inverter in fault mode. If I don't reset it, it shuts off the electrical devices which go through it, and the refer is shut down. I had to cycle coach power, shore power, then hit the reset button on the inverter to get it to pass through the 120V. Everything is working now EXCEPT the battery charger part of the inverter. If I disconnect from shore power, nothing works period. Well the engine starts, and charges back the chassie battery, but not sure its passing through to the coach systems and batteries. Believe the inverter is heading down the road to a toast status, but not sure. Tomorrow I will call silverleaf to see if there are admin codes so I can access the inverter and see if I can clear the fault.
Your assistance would be appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:07 PM   #3
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I got no help here Monty sorry...



Reason 1,246,777 I'm glad I have a 2003
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:18 AM   #4
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Ditto Mike. Good thing Monty is now our official mechanic. Those classes will soon pay off. He's his own best customer. (Sorry Monty, just a little joke at your unfortunate expense.) Sounds like you have a good handle on how to proceed.

I lived through my own electric system nightmare and now have all new. I can't imagine how the interfaces with Silver Leaf and Vansco would be to interpret. I was confused with the simpler system I have. I hope if you can't figure it out, someone here will have the answer. A regular RV repair place would have to take a full course in WRV electrical to figure it out.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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All,

Will call Silverleaf today, waiting for the time to be late enough here to make the call. Hope they have some answers. Will keep all posted.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:10 PM   #6
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All, It turnes out the battery temp sensor from the inverter to the battery bank is bad, so I have a call into Camping World, in Springfield, MO to see if they can order one. They did not call me back today, so hoepfully tomorrow. In the meantime, I went under the coach again, and checked all the solinoids in the air clearner area, for lose connections, etc. I also checked the 12 volt connections up front behind the gen slide and they were also tight. The belts are all tight. So I don't have a clue why the alternator would not charge it like it should have. We won't be moving for a week, so I won't know if I fixed a lose connection until we move.

So the inverter is back in pass through, the batteries are charging and I manually checked the temps and they are cool not even warm. I also did my battery maintenance, checked levels of electrolite, etc, cleaned the surfaces off, and treated any corrosion present. Then retightened any connections I took apart.

I will let all know if anything else creaps up.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
All,

..................And today when we dumped the tanks, and tried to flush them out, that system seemed to leak, and had water running out of the underside of the coach. I tightened the fitting which seemed to be the problem, but I might also have a leak in an area I cannot seem to get to, but again wont know until I get the fresh water working as it could be that kind of leak and not the other one at all..........
Monty, I wonder if when you flush the holding tanks the anti-syphon valve up behind the shower is leaking. I suspect mine does as I occassionally find a small ammount of water on the floor beneath the aft driver side Smart-Bed.

Since you have had a leaking water pump, I suggest pulling up the hard plastic covers over the Smart-Bed actuators in the aft bay and check for water intrusion. It gets in there and has no place to go. I have drenched this compartment before (don't ask!) and recently found a lot of corrosion there.

In my early (#6) Apex, the bottom of the Smart-Bed actuator slot in the floor appears to be nothing but woven fiberglass cloth. Couldn't believe it. Was this design changed to a hard cover in later Apex & SE coaches?
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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Basil, thank you for the information. I replaced the pump as mentioned, and found no further leaks after that. I did tighten that connection in the tank flush system and that seemed to fix that system, but won't know for sure until we dump the tanks. I will keep you up to date.

Found out, that if auto-fill is off, we get city water through the coach, so we now know we can have water all the time regardless. I think Dale told me this when we were in Vegas, but old brain cells you know.

The 07 we have, has the hydraulic ram channels in the smart beds are sealed with a layer of something which is imperivious to hyd fluid and water and other stuff. As I had a hyd ram leaking and was able to clean up the spill with no problem except sore body when finished. This might have been an improvement of some type.

I think the tank fill solinoid valve is going out, unsure where to get another, and replacing it will be a job, as there is only room for one hand at a time where it's installed. If you have any suggestions let me know.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:31 AM   #9
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Monty- I believe, but don't know for sure, that WRV may have used Vagabondwater.com's solenoid valves (they have a label with "Evolutionary Concepts Inc," a company that was bought out and this particular valve was discontinued). IIRC Vagabond still has replacements, and also has a new but larger footprint valve for future use when the existing supply runs out.
BTW, some users have reported the solenoid plunger can get stuck in the cylinder and a tap with a plastic screwdriver handle might dislodge it (this from a user in the Indio area which has notoriously lousy hard water, as do parts of Florida and various other areas of the country; this fix apparently lasted the rest of the season for this fellow so the plunger sticking can simply be a random event although another user found his had corroded enough to warrant replacement, so nothing lasts forever especially in corrosive water).
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:31 PM   #10
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I think the tank fill solinoid valve is going out, unsure where to get another, and replacing it will be a job, as there is only room for one hand at a time where it's installed. If you have any suggestions let me know.
Monty, the normally closed solenoid fill valve is available at Aubrey's RV in Union Gap, WA. See next to last page on the list on the ACA website. http://alpinecoachassociation.com/info/Aubreys.pdf
Part number S101RA15NP178 (button in) made by GC Valves.

I don't see why the Vagabond parts wouldn't be a good substitute. Same application.

Yes, replacing it is a job. The plumbing in that area is a rats nest! While you're in there, figure out how you would get the hose reel out. I had to cut a hole in front and cover it with a white painted metal cover plate.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:51 PM   #11
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Basil - I think, just maybe, If I could get all the hold down screws, and I am not sure I could, I might be able to get it out of the Hydro Hot access door. Now maybe your coach is the same as mine, not sure, with us having a mid-door, but I have some more room with that door at that location. Now I have not thought of that before, so you have given me something to worry/think about. As I have the tank flush, outside shower, hose reel door, and some of the RO valves there as well. Just when I think I got the Little Beasty figured out one of you experts throws me a curve.

Now with that said, the power reel would pose an even bigger problem, if it ever goes out, as I would have the same issues with it. Poor planning on WRV's part again.

I believe the whole side panel is removable, but, you would have to disconnect so much plumging stuff, you would never remember which line went where, which is dangerous since you could cross connect the tank flush system with the fresh water system. I hope I never have to worry about it.

Thank you for the tip on parts I sent them an e-mail. Once I am home and get set up with my Repair Business, I am going to cut alpine owners a deal on service work. I won't however do any chassis work, just the House stuff. I leave the chassis work to people who are experts like Engineer Mike, and other great thinkers.

I also think I need/want to replace my rear disk units, just don't actually know how to go about it yet. Getting the coach up in the air, keeping it safe, getting the wheels/tires off, just those little issues. Hate to pay someone to do it, when I know I can, just need to figure out how to keep it safe.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:21 PM   #12
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Basil - in giving your descripsion some additional thought, since we have a mid-door coach, my aft smartbed is the extra wide one, but, if the anti-syphon valve was leaking it woud leak into the services bay right on top of the fill hose real. But I will check the area you mention because the shower wall is right along that space. Today I dumped the tanks and flushed, and no water leaks anywhere so I guess I fixed it when I tightened up the one fitting which was leaking. We don't use the shower a lot since I hate wiping it out twice a day.

I do however appreciate your suggestions, and hope to meet you someday so we can compare notes and stories.

Actually, I should not be as critical about this thing as I am although we have suffered over some things, it's not been that bad based on some other folks stories we have heard.

Now with that said, we still have a slide (kitchen-living room) which leaks if the rain comes down from the correct direction, and this seems to happen to a large number of alpine owners for some reason. I don't know if the slide is just to long, or if the wipe seal was not installed correctly or what. Pete was going to have his looked at, but my e-mail went hooey, and I don't have his address any longer to check on it's progress.

We also have the steering bracket issue to resolve, but thank our lucky stars we don't believe we are in the rear end group, since ous was made in 06 and is an 07 model.
Most of the stuff which could have become major, I was able to read on this forum first and pro activily fix so we would not have those issues. Plus, I am a firm believer in checking electrical connections, and treating all of them with anti corrisive grease when ever I can, not to say I have done them all, but many of them, especially direct connections to any 12/24 volt power sources, and especially ones hanging out in weather/road spray areas. I need to check every crimp on connector I can get to, because WRV's assemblers did not ever learn the difference in wire guage size and the yellow (12-10) was their favorite size to use even when the wire was a #14 or even 16, so I have had many of them just pull out of the crimped connection and have had to fix those. Just the other day on the hose real retract button as a matter of fact. I have already done every one of the ones in the HWH bay, now the ones in the tank bay are next.

In fact I would wager, most of our issues on these coaches are somehow electrical in nature with the pure mechanical ones (steering bracket-brakes-rear end) being the exception. Ok, plumbing issues would not be electrical, but a lot of what we suffer from are electrical in nature. I believe I have mentioned before there is something like 10,000 miles of wiring in one of these things at a guess.

Speaking of meeting and comparing notes, we hope to be at the Salem Pre-Rally, and I would drive down for a day even if we don't bring the coach, as I think we have another commitment around that time.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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Monty- at 10,000 miles time 5,280 feet per mile divided by say a 40 foot coach length, that's approximately one million three hundred thousand lengths of 40' wire. That explains the CCC issue for an Apex- hauling around all that copper.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:19 PM   #14
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Mike - that was good.

But we weighed our coach when we started the trip, and we still had close to 1000lbs of spare weight to put into the coach. That was with around 1/2 tank fresh water and full fuel. We just don't carry a bunch of stuff. It's now the heavest it's weighted since we purchased and we still have around 600lbs before we are at max weight. The apex might have more stuff, but we don't load it down like some folks do.
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