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Old 05-05-2005, 12:15 PM   #1
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I finally took delivery on my Alpine and left Arizona 3 days ago. The trip to Montana was wonderful. It reenforced the decision I made to buy WRV ALPINE. It rides so nice.Very comfortable.
So where is this leading........
I reached a piece of property in Stanford location {18 miles southwesterly} {I had bought}
It is definitly out there and my aircard for my laptop and phone will not work here.As I was slowly moving partway up the mountain{Little belt}to a nice place for the Rv,..... the yellow engine light comes on. It say's your engine needs matinence but nothing serious. Of course I immediateltly shut down the coach.
Try to start it back up.......nothing.....I can here the solnoid click but thats it... !!!
Here I am so far off the beaten path.... OH BOY !!!

One of the things I remember was that when in Arizona, I tried to start it once after a dump stall run and nothing happened. I told the salesman and he checked it out and ofcourse it started up... Say's was probably just me. I have noticed on occasion that when turning the key in the engaging position that there would sometimes be a delay reaction before the starter would engage.????

I AM STILL KICKING MYSELF FOR NOT FOLLOWING THAT UP, BECAUSE iT DEFINITELY WAS NOT ME AND NOW THAT IS VERY OBVIOUS !!!!
SERVES ME RIGHT FOR FOLLOWING THE ADVISE OF A SALEMAN!!!

Of course it would wait till I am so far off the beaten path. The coach is not towable because of the position it is in. No tow vehicle can position to take it away.
It's going to take someone with the correct answer and probably/definitly correct engine part.....WRV told me that there is more then one solnoid that is used in the starting procedure.

Thankfully I had the toad with me and took it into town today, called WRV and must find a suitable mechanic oked by WRV. They have a number to call WRV and get the ok to help me but it is going to be very difficult to get somebody to come this far.
WRV was good about the payment process. They will reimburse me within a month but I will pay now which is alright but They will have to come from Great Falls and I am hoping I can get him to come with the suspect engine part or it's going to be a very long time before I move again.

Thankfully I am in a level spot but if anyone can give me any idea's of what might be the problem so I can maybe have them come with the right parts.....
One other thing that might have some bearing on alll this. I cannot keep my house batteries charged very long. They go dead very fast. I have just a laptop on it driving down the road and from a full charge will run the computer on co-pilot for maybe three hours and then must start the generator to keep it running. Being a new bee to RVing I am not sure this is normal but I am thinking NO.I turned the frigerator on gas and shut down the water pump and everything I can think of but still the power is gone in 3 hours.
2 nights ago, I shut down everything and had a full charge at that time. In the morning the house batteries were nearly fully drained.

Ah, I am thinking short somewhere??? Or I remember reading someone had their solar wired backwards??? draining the batteries.
Maybe this is just natural but I know a experienced RVer would know instanly if there was a problem.
I just lose my house battery power very very quickly in my mind with very little draw on it.

Fortunately, I found this wonderful library here in Stanford and it has been more then helpful in me getting the word out.
One more thing,I understand that you need a certain amount of volts to turn the engine over... It seen 13.0 down to 12.4 on the gauge. I have tried to use the power house batery boost but nothing?Is the only way to charge the chassis batteries throught the solar? Or can i use the generator to do it to? I had the generator on all evening but still no change.
Any advise or help greatly accepted. THANKS TO ALL for any help, Mark
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:15 PM   #2
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I finally took delivery on my Alpine and left Arizona 3 days ago. The trip to Montana was wonderful. It reenforced the decision I made to buy WRV ALPINE. It rides so nice.Very comfortable.
So where is this leading........
I reached a piece of property in Stanford location {18 miles southwesterly} {I had bought}
It is definitly out there and my aircard for my laptop and phone will not work here.As I was slowly moving partway up the mountain{Little belt}to a nice place for the Rv,..... the yellow engine light comes on. It say's your engine needs matinence but nothing serious. Of course I immediateltly shut down the coach.
Try to start it back up.......nothing.....I can here the solnoid click but thats it... !!!
Here I am so far off the beaten path.... OH BOY !!!

One of the things I remember was that when in Arizona, I tried to start it once after a dump stall run and nothing happened. I told the salesman and he checked it out and ofcourse it started up... Say's was probably just me. I have noticed on occasion that when turning the key in the engaging position that there would sometimes be a delay reaction before the starter would engage.????

I AM STILL KICKING MYSELF FOR NOT FOLLOWING THAT UP, BECAUSE iT DEFINITELY WAS NOT ME AND NOW THAT IS VERY OBVIOUS !!!!
SERVES ME RIGHT FOR FOLLOWING THE ADVISE OF A SALEMAN!!!

Of course it would wait till I am so far off the beaten path. The coach is not towable because of the position it is in. No tow vehicle can position to take it away.
It's going to take someone with the correct answer and probably/definitly correct engine part.....WRV told me that there is more then one solnoid that is used in the starting procedure.

Thankfully I had the toad with me and took it into town today, called WRV and must find a suitable mechanic oked by WRV. They have a number to call WRV and get the ok to help me but it is going to be very difficult to get somebody to come this far.
WRV was good about the payment process. They will reimburse me within a month but I will pay now which is alright but They will have to come from Great Falls and I am hoping I can get him to come with the suspect engine part or it's going to be a very long time before I move again.

Thankfully I am in a level spot but if anyone can give me any idea's of what might be the problem so I can maybe have them come with the right parts.....
One other thing that might have some bearing on alll this. I cannot keep my house batteries charged very long. They go dead very fast. I have just a laptop on it driving down the road and from a full charge will run the computer on co-pilot for maybe three hours and then must start the generator to keep it running. Being a new bee to RVing I am not sure this is normal but I am thinking NO.I turned the frigerator on gas and shut down the water pump and everything I can think of but still the power is gone in 3 hours.
2 nights ago, I shut down everything and had a full charge at that time. In the morning the house batteries were nearly fully drained.

Ah, I am thinking short somewhere??? Or I remember reading someone had their solar wired backwards??? draining the batteries.
Maybe this is just natural but I know a experienced RVer would know instanly if there was a problem.
I just lose my house battery power very very quickly in my mind with very little draw on it.

Fortunately, I found this wonderful library here in Stanford and it has been more then helpful in me getting the word out.
One more thing,I understand that you need a certain amount of volts to turn the engine over... It seen 13.0 down to 12.4 on the gauge. I have tried to use the power house batery boost but nothing?Is the only way to charge the chassis batteries throught the solar? Or can i use the generator to do it to? I had the generator on all evening but still no change.
Any advise or help greatly accepted. THANKS TO ALL for any help, Mark
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:28 PM   #3
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Mark,

You're really in a predicament, I'm hoping someone with lots of technical expertise will jump in here and provide the information you need to get you started or to at least figure out what part is bad. I'm betting my money on the starting batteries being too low to crank the engine over, but what do I know.

To gain more exposure to more knowledgeable members, I'm placing shortcuts to your post in a couple more places here on the forums. Hopefully, someone who knows will see the post and jump in.

Good luck!
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:40 PM   #4
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I thank you , Richard.
you know, I am thinking the same way. Besides the solar, is there any way to charge the chassis batteries? I mean does the generator charge the chassis batteries? I do not think so but am not sure. Short of having 110 supplied to me is there any way to charge the chassis batteries other then solar ? You would think the generator is capable of it but I am not certain about that....
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:55 PM   #5
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Mark,

I don't know if the generator charges the chassis batteries or not, I'm a trailer guy myself. You could tell with a test light across them, even a makeshift one would work. If the test light gets a little brighter when the generator is running then it's charging the batteries.

If it doesn't, maybe you could pick up a battery charger in town and plug it into your 110 volts and charge it that way.

Also, put a wrench on all the battery terminals, cables, solenoids,etc. and make sure all those electrical connections are good and tight.

I'm sure more folks will jump in here to offer help, just hang in there.
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:00 PM   #6
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Mark,

Sorry to hear you're in such a jam. Murphy's law is that breakdowns will occur in the worst possible place.

It's a wild guess here, but I wonder if there is a problem with the charging circuit on the motorhome. Seems like while the engine was running it may have been draining the batteries. The system detected low battery voltage and let the warning light. Finally when you shut it down, they were drained so far it won't crank. Do you have a voltmeter?

Normally, the generator powers the converter/charger in the motorhome which will charge the coach batteries. Depending on the coachbuilder, the chassis batteries may or may not be charged by the generator and converter. The emergency start button is designed to parallel the two sets of batteries to help start the engine, but if both batteries are dead, it may present the problem you see.

Since you're not going anywhere now and have some time, why not put a set of ordinary battery jumper cables between the chassis batteries and the coach batteries. Then run the generator for several hours and if you have a high current charger, it should charge your engine batteries back up. As an alternative, you could just connect the jumper cables to your car and let it fast idle for an hour or so. I doubt the motorhome engine will even turn over with just the jumper cables, since the starter will draw so much current, but with an hour or two of charging, plus the jumper cables hooked up, it may just start.

The fact that your house batteryies are being depleted very quickly (you said a couple hours) makes me think they are not charged but are quickly being depleted of a surface charge. You need to put a good bit of current into the batteries for an extended period of time to actually charge them. As an example, if you have 3 120 amp/hr batteries that are dead, you need to put 3 x 120 amp/hr or 360 amp/hrs into the batteries to completly charge them. With a 50 amp charger, that would take 7-1/2 hours of charging. Of course, being that this is a new coach, you need to be sure the charger is indeed charging. For instance, is the breaker feeding the charger from the generator set, and the charger receiving power?

There's many possibilities that could cause the problem....I hope you find a solution soon...Good luck, and certainly let us know if you have any luck in restarting the rig.
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:02 PM   #7
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Okay, I'm not the person to answer the questions, but even dumb ideas are better than none.

House batteries should be able to run the water pump, a few lights, etc. for a day or so. So definitely a problem. Could be a short in the MH wiring, could be a bad battery. Could be that they just kept the rig plugged in for a few months and never check the battery fluid level. That would be the first thing I would check.

In a MH there is usually a switch to "jump" start the motorhome from the house batteries. With the generator running, hold this switch closed for a few minutes, and try to start with the switch closed. If it does nothing, then it is not a dead battery problem. Another way would be hook jumper cables from the toad, start toad, let run 15 minutes, try starting MH.

Check for loose connections on the chassis batter (8 mm wrench), on the starter (grab the wire and see if you can move it). and any any other connection you see a heavy (fat) cable going too.

This sounds dumb, but I would try it. Take a hammer and give the starter a couple of sharp whaps. Not REAL hard, your not trying to dent it, just vibrate it. Beleive me, it works more often than you would beleive.

Then there are endless fuses to check. My MH has 4 different fuse boxes. Had a problem that took out two of them, spent an hour finding which two...

Well I'm running out of dumb ideas. Maybe someone who has had this problem could offer better ones.
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:12 PM   #8
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Wingding, turn the battery disconnect off for a few minutes and then turn it back on. This could restset the system. I would imagine WRV already had you try that. Mine did what sounds to be the same thing once and cycling the disconnect brought everything back on line. The one in the battery compartment.
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:36 PM   #9
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Sounds like a loose battery connection. Loosen battery clamps, pull off and clean the post and clamp, retighten. Tighten the battery wire connection on the starter also.

At least your in Gods country.
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:39 PM   #10
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Wingding-- I'm not sure what your battery problems may be, but I know of 2 05' Alpines that had bad starter solenoids and had to be replaced within 1500 miles from pickup. One was delivered at the factory and the other was from a dealer. Your intermittent starting problems sound very much like theirs. Solenoids are simple to check--- if you have the battery power. Good luck Fredbob
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:48 PM   #11
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You might go to an auto parts store and get a battery charger and hook it up to the chassis batteries and run the gen for a couple of hours. I had to do that on my 2000 once, the chassis battery was just too low for the house batteries to jump them thru the booster.

Something is amiss in your charging system. I wonder if there is a miss wire from when they replaced your house batteries?
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:49 PM   #12
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Wingding, do you have a volt test meter? You may get dirty, you have to crawl under coach and check your battery gnd cables, one from engine to frame, gen to frame, converter to frame an one from battery bank to frame. "If you have a loose gnd cable its just as important as your positive batt cable". Most generators start from your house batteries. Also check your batt cable to starter. Keep us posted. ---"007"
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:53 PM   #13
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Do the dash gauges do a self test when the key is turned on or is everything dead?
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:28 PM   #14
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Just checked back at the library here and am thankful for all the great help!!!!. Mark and marie thats no dumb idea . I did try the hammer gentle tap because that has engaged a faulty solenoid more than once before for me on my regular vehicles and saved very long walks.
Fredbob,I wonder about that faulty solenoid. Thats really got me thinking.......?
And true DonavonP.....at least I am in god's country and I rather break down here then in the middle of new york city and a whole bunch of places I rather not be.Just might be difficult to get service but eventually I will.....I hope! But I will sleep well here at night!!!!

Joe K, thanks ! Thats a good education on battery consumption and recharging. That really lets me understand a little better what it takes.
Wayne, first thing I am going to do is reset the battery kill switch and see what happens.

What ever I find out I will relay to all, because somewhere either up the road or down the road others are going to experience this same problem. These problems generally are not isolated.At least this is my feeling.I will also go over the entire wiring and make absolutely sure there is nothing loose.

I am very interested in exactly where the problem is going to be because when it comes to electrical circuits, you have alot of possibilities.
I will make a perdiction here. I will probably be wrong but that "telltale" dead starter when engaged was a very ominous sign.....
A delayed reaction also from the time you engage the solenoid till when it use to turn over is also not a good sign.
I wonder if I am that third solenoid problem, Fredbob.........?


Weirdest thing...I just remember that somewhere during the trip, I could have swore I sniffed what was like a electrical burning smell. I am sure everyone has sniffed that smell at least once in their life. I remember thinking ...WHAT THE HECK IS THAT!!!!! *I checked everywhere but it kinda just went away, but I forgot about that till now. But that was in Utah and I had shut her down a few times since there......?

I want to thank everyone for their kind help.I will check back here tommorrow and hopefully I will have some in formation to tell all.

My appreciation to ALL. !!!!!!!!
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