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Old 05-05-2005, 02:36 PM   #15
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The help keeps flying in even when I am writting back.
Wayne the system{gauges} goes through it's normal progressions. I have not noticed anything unusual there.
007- boy that is ever true -no ground -No nothing> I will look that over very carefully also.
Ok, I will report back tommorrow with the results. {If I have any by then}

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Old 05-05-2005, 03:16 PM   #16
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You said you smelt something burning, it wasn't near your steering post was it? Had a ignition cable go on mine but I also saw smoke. --"007"

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Old 05-05-2005, 04:12 PM   #17
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Wingding....I have had same problem on my 04 36MDDS. Turn ignition on to cycle thru light check and when okay... continued turning key to start - NOTHING have to try several times before it starts. Went to Alpine SoCal rally in April and several people have had similar situation. Both changed solenoid that was mounted on wall in Battery compartment. I will keep tabs on your situation. Good luck

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Old 05-05-2005, 05:39 PM   #18
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If you have a charging problem, it could well be the alternator. My Cummins 400 ISL had an alternator go out real quick. It was a 4 bolt Leece-Nevile alternator. From what I hear there were quite a number of these that made it into RVs so it may be a possibility for you as well. Now alternators are spec'd by the chassis maker, not Cummins, but I would bet that Alpine uses the same alternator.

If that's the case, here's what I did as a workaround:

I used a set of jumper cables (actually only one cable) and jumped the positive post of the coach batteries (which were charged) to the positive post of the chassis (dead) batteries. It still wouldn't crank but I waited about 20-30 minutes. Then it cranked over and started. I then removed the jumper cable and had a warning message on the Freightliner LCD display as to low voltage.

The charge solenoid ties the chassis batteries to the coach batteries. The engine's alternator normally charges the chassis batteries but once the ignition key is turned on the solenoid closes so that it can also charge the coach batteries as you drive.

The generator set will provide AC power. This AC power will run the converter or inverter/charger so that it can charge the coach batteries.

But, you can make this work backwards of what it was intended to get you on the road again. Once you have the engine running, the charge solenoid is closed. By running the generator set at the same time as the engine is running you can charge the chassis batteries as well because the charge solenoid ties everything together. I was able to finish my 1,000 mile trip (nobody had an alternator in stock that day) without any problems. I just had to run the generator set as I drove.

If you have a bad alternator you can use these steps to get the coach mobile once again.

If you have a different problem, then that's another story.
Mark & Leann Quasius
2016 Cornerstone 45A
2007 Allegro Bus 42QRP (Sold)
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:43 PM   #19
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Mark - I suspect it is related to your chassis batteries not charging. They will run things a long time before getting too low. Also, since your house batteries run down so quickly, I have to wonder if it isn't a common problem. That of course, leads to the suspicion of a loose ground...as has already been mentioned. In any case, give all your 12 V and ground cables a good check. If there is a bad connection anywhere you could easily jeapordize your charging ability. Also, if your Echo charge is hooked up backwards, as many were, your chassis batteries will not charge from the genset. Someone mentioned jumpering the house and chassis battery together and run the generator...an excellent idea if the Echo is wired backwards however, if there is a bad ground or +12 V connection, it may not prove anything. If you don't have a voltmeter, maybe you could pick up a cheap one and check some voltages...that could prove (or disprove) a lot. If you can borrow a cell phone from someone in town I will be happy to try and talk you through some tests.
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:13 AM   #20
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Mark- An obscure ground to check is the groundwire on the alternator. Once coming into Flagstaff, Sue noticed the voltage indication on the dash lower than normal. Turned out that the ground wire on the altenator had broken off and we were no longer charging.

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Old 05-06-2005, 07:05 AM   #21
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FYI, I had a problem with the inverter circuit board on my 02' Alpine. Plugged into 110V, both house and coach batteries went dead! Unplugged both batteries died in several hours. Had a 30 AMP draw. My repair facility had me jumped the coach batteries with my Saturn and the engine started. Just a though.

Bernie S
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Pearland, TX
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:03 AM   #22
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Wingding, I private msg some links for topo maps of your area, etc.
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:35 PM   #23
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Greetings all, And once again I want to thank everyone for all the good help.

The problem is solved. I wish I could tell everyone it was something unusual but this is it..................
The wiring going to the solenoid was "Snug" but it was not Tight. "Torque tight".
When I was in Arizona, there was always a delay between the time I engaged the starter and when it would actually turn over.
The Reason>Because the wiring to the solenoid was "snug" it was just not good enough for a solid circuit. What happens is heat starts to build because of arcing, in turn this expands the metal contacts making snug now "tight enough" to pass the amperage and turn over the battery. The old story of heat expands.

Now probably by the time I reached Montana and got on dirt roads instead of paved going up the mountain, it was just enough to loosen the connection more then possible to pass the amperage.
There is lock washers on these connections but unless it is torqued down, it could shake loose.

Now when I turn the key in the engaged position it is instantaneous. There is no delay what so ever.
I am just amazed how the slightest mistake like putting the right torque on a solenoid nut can make all the differnce in the world!!
Unlike a regular vehicle, it seems to me that the tolerances on a RV such as this are less forgiving indeed.
It was not that the connection was loose. But these connections need SERIOUS attention.

I was surprised how 3 quarters of a turn to "rock tight" made all the difference in the world !!!

Also by hearing all the problems that everybody has faced with electical systems, this will help me understand possible fualts and solutions for future possible problems.

Once again I want to thank all for the kind help, Wingding
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:37 PM   #24
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oops, Thats TURN OVER THE ENGINE not Battery. Sorry
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:10 PM   #25
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Thank god your back on the road. Good luck with the rest of your journey
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:21 PM   #26
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Glad you're rolling again and thanks to all the iRV2 members pitching in to help, it sure makes the words in our Mission Statement ring true: "Efficiently support the thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experiences among RV enthusiasts"
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Old 05-06-2005, 04:59 PM   #27
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Wingding I'm so delighted you found the solution. That was a pretty scary/frustrating situation. Amazing that you didn't even need to order a new part and wait for it - just tighten a connection.

I can so easily imagine being in your situation as we are debugging our coach too.

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Old 05-06-2005, 06:15 PM   #28
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Good going. Now kick back and enjoy the beautiful
location. Or go over to Sulfer Springs and sit in the hot water.

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 diesel 4x4
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