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Old 12-13-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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relay chatter in battery area. bottom line fix?

I usually turn off the 12v engine knob as it is in the battery compartment under the bed and we hear the relay chatter off and on all the time so I don't hear it when it is off..have checked all connections to be tight and batteries are good. so what is the bottom line fix for this..have even replaced the relay..am heading to Redlands RV repair in January and would like to give Mike a little info so we can resolve this ..having the switch off means no power to some of the front convienences.. Mel
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #2
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Need more information

Sound: are you hearing a loud solid clunk or a softer click? What is the frequency of the relay chatter? Multiple times per second, minute, hour?

Conditions: Are you running the generator? On shore power? On battery power only? On battery power and the inverter is on? Does it happen only in daylight, only night or both? What appliances do you have on/are using? What is the refrigerator running on: gas or electricity? What is the hot water heater running on: propane or electricity?
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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it clicks maybe every minute or so, dry camping or shore power, doesn't matter.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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Every minute or two sounds like a thermal self resetting circuit breaker "Blinking" (Cycling on and off) not a relay.. This can happen if the engine battery is kind of well toasted.

That said... There are other options as well.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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Mel--please add the year and model of your coach to your sig block so we can better diagnose your issues. Assume you have a newer coach with the Vansco wiring system. Hopefully, a Vansco "qualified" owner will jump in but what you are describing is a common "problem" with newer coaches--lots of discussion on the forum about these symptoms.

Bottom-line: new coaches use a solenoid to balance charging levels between the chassis and house battery banks. These solenoids seem to cycle repeatedly and get hot, eventually failing. There is some suspicion that the trickle charge from the solar cells may contribute but not sure I've heard anyone say what the root cause is--but replacing the solenoid is the Rx. Already told you more than I know about this--maybe EM will have a better explanation.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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Its an 08 and about the same one EM has. have replaced the relay and the same takes place so put the original one back in..had batteries tested, engine batteries are original, coach ones replaced soon after I purchased it in 08 as they were not maintained when on the lot..hope Mike at Redlands has and idea when I get there. Did email him ahead of time to get some thoughts about it. thanks for the reply. Mel
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Old Scout, covered all the bases that I could have.

A previous thread on this topic, Vansco Lights, covers way more trouble shooting tips than I could ever think of.

If I read that thread correctly, you may find the most inexpensive fix may be to just replace the starting batteries. It may be cheaper than paying somebody several hundred dollars to troubleshoot the problem only to get a recommendation you need to replace the starting batteries. With batteries at four or five years old you are on the verge of needing to replace the starting batteries anyway.

To be sure about the potential need to replace the starting batteries take a digital volt meter and read the starting battery voltage when you hear the clicking going on. Then compare the readings to those given by EM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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Mel- that this is happening while on shore power is a new data point, and significant. Have Redlands probe each battery bank voltage, resistance across the two fat terminals of charge solenoid, and the coil+ side of the solenoid while condition is active for 3 or more cycles. Give us the results.
You may find the charge solenoid has burned contacts internally & the resistance varies significantly between cycles, you may find the coil activation isn't proper such that the req'd maintenance volts for the solenoid coil are not met (would indicate problem internally w/rear Vansco if coil volts vary), or you may find something else. Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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A picture of the compartment and solenoid in question would be very useful. Also knowing the make and model of the rv really helps. I could have missed it though. You could have a BIRD circuit failing for example but without more info can only speculate. You could have a bad battery bank as suggested and the voltage is going up and down while the charger is trying to keep it full. Again, a few pictures can really speed up the process.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:59 AM   #10
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cheap fix, just replace the solenoid. its not latching properly. has burnt internal contacts. even if the batteries are bad, yoy should repalce the charge solenoid.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #11
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Mel,
My 2005 does the same thing. I'm in the process of replacing the chassies batteries. If this solves the problem I'll give you a heads up.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #12
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thanks, will wait for your reply..hope that is it..Mel
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:22 AM   #13
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2009 with same problem FIXED

I have 75809 that experienced the same problem while plugged into shore power couple years ago. It is now 100% resolved. There are two possible solutions:

1. The xantrex 2000 charger is known for an error in setup that if set incorrectly will NOT ever go into bulk charging. If this is the case, the batteries never get fully charged, so your lighting load while parked is enough to drain the battery voltage below 13v. At 13v or so, the big relay releases so you don't pull down the chassis battery. As soon as the house batteries charge back up a little, the relay re-engages. and this cycle continues until you turn off enough lights or DC load.

The solution for this problem is to change your battery amp hours in Xantrex setup to 600amp, even though you may have a battery bank totalling 675aH. This is the work-around for the software glitch in Xantrex. If this fix works in your situation, you will notice that when you plug into shore power after dry camping, the charger will zoom up to 120 amps bulk charging. Also, after fully charged, if the DC load increases due to more lights on or other DC power, the Xantrex will automatically increase the charging load to compensate. The end result is your battery voltage will stay above 13v and the relay won't cycle on and off.

OR

2. If your Xantrex is working correctly (meaning you know if goes to bulk charging AND it ramps up the charge to meet changing load), and you still have relay cycling, then I suggest changing all your round dome lights to LED. Those little incandescent bulbs draw a lot of power. I changed all my domes to LED's, as well as outside porch lights and bay lights. That was a dramatic reduction of amp draw while parked.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
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i did replace the solenoid but did the same.. will be at redlands on Jan 2.. copied all these replies and will show them to Mike..thanks to all who replied. Mel
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