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Old 11-26-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Heart Inverter Level and 12 v lights going bright and dim

I am just about finished buying a 2002 Affinity. As soon as they get the bugs out of it I am going to take it home. I spent my first night in it the other night and one of the issues I need some help on is the inverter / charger / buzz / power level.

The other evening I was connected to 50A shore power. This is an all electric 2 Heart coach. The batteries were almost but not quite at full charge. The Heart monitors indicted a charge volts of 14.5. Is that too high? If so can it be adjusted?

I was reading using some of the overhead 12 volt lights. About every 3-4 minutes the lights would get brighter the inverter hum would then start. They would stay bright for 3-4 minutes and then go dimmer and the hum would stop.

My last coach was an old but loved and fixed up GMC from the 70's. In either connected to shore power or running on batteries the lights would remain level in brightness.

Any ideas on how to fix this so the lights stay at a level brightness and also stopping the inverter / charger hum. My old GMC would hum for several hours and then the batteries would be charged and the hum would stop. Seems like this wonderful lux coach is a step back.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:03 AM   #2
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It sounds like you need to have the dealership change the inverter/charger out with a new one; or at least one that is not on its last leg.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #3
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Do you have a controller panel for the inverters?

If so, there is a setting on my link 2000 panel that allows me to set the Charge/Pwr Share levels for my single 2500W Heart inverter/charge/converter combo.

I have not had your symptoms, but perhaps the dominant use of the charger/inverter is set for battery use vs charging of the battery. This would call on the battery charger last when the battery levels dropped and cause the dimming when it kicked in???

14.5 volts would be a bulk charge and is normal when the rig is first plugged to shorepower. As the house batteries begin to accumulate a charge the inverter/charge will change to "accept" and then "float". My panel lights are red, yellow, and then green for the respective charge status. This three stage charging prevents your batteries from being overcharged. The Float stage is usually about 13.6 volts on my control panel and takes many hours to accomplish if the batteries were 50% discharged (12.2V).

If you were able to measure the almost full charge status of your batteries at 12.6V to 13.6V but the panel showed 14.5V then you may have a faulty inverter.

Another possiblity is that the inverter is set to charge wet cell batteries when AGM batteries are installed or vice versa.

Go to the Xantrax website and you may find manuals for your inverters and control panel(s).
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:31 PM   #4
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Inverter was changed and problem has gone away

I told the sellers of the coach to fix it and their technical person put in a new control panel. That seems to have solved the problem. Thank you for all your replies. I have picked up the coach now and have driven it from Phoenix to San Diego. For the most part everything worked as expected. Coach drives extremely well. This was especially true on the smoother roads in AZ.

I am used to a gas coach and a couple of things. I had no idea the tires would heat up and the pressure in them would go up about 15lbs. We put in about 105 fronts and 96 rear. When I had driven for an hour the fronts kicked off the tire pressure monitor. It makes nagging noises at 120. I checked and the tires can go up to 130 so it was not a big problem. I finally turned off the tire monitor to avoid the noise. Tires never went above 121.

Then there is the short in the wires from the buttons on the steering wheel. Seems like sometimes when you go over a bump the windshield wipers go off. And then you cannot turn the suckers off. That is till you hit the off button about 20 times. Then the horn would work sometimes and not others. Same issue. There has been some sloppy work on the wire bundle before and when you pull on the wires you can get the wipers to work. That seems like a nothing issue.

I don't have to combination to the safe. Previous owners never used it they said. And it still has the original plastic on it. Any ideas on where the initial combination setting is?

The dash gauges for oil pressure and water and trans temps do not agree with the computer. The computer reads about 8 lbs oil pressure higher than the guage and the temps both lower on the computer than the guages.

I am still trying to get used to the engine brake. Seems like you have to stay at about 55 mph to engage it. If you go higher than that you speed the Cat motor higher than the recommended 2100 rpm. Also reading the Cat manual they say to keep the motor between 1200-1600 rpm when going up hills. When I drove it home I shifted down to where the motor went about 1900 up hills. I just have to get used to using the lower rpms. I don't want to blow the motor.

A huge goof on my part was that the door on my industrial building is 12' high and not the 14' I thought it was. So the CC is outside in the parking lot instead of comfy inside. UGH. I thought I had the planned well.

Not sure how you leave the coach when you are not going to use it overnight. Do you use the house battery disconect on the inside over the passenger or do you use the main disconnect on the outside in the storage area?
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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1. I do not have tire monitors or an engine computer so I am blissfully unaware of possible reading conflicts.

2. I do not have an engine brake. My exhaust brake works down to about 25mph and not over 65mph and I would expect the engine brake to do the same thing especially on a steep downgrade?

3. I believe my original safe combo was 0,0,0 or maybe 1,2,3. It is the traditional left three turns, stop, right two turns, stop, and left to stop. Mine is quite sensitive. Take it to a locksmith if you do not have a manual.

4. Steep upgrade with the mechanical cummins, I downshift the allison to maintain 2000 RPM (2300 max recommended) to keep the engine cooler in hot weather.

5. Steep downgrade I down shift to 4th or 3rd gear dependent on length, number oflanes and caution required..... (5th and 6th are just overdrive type gears)

6. Tire pressure. Weigh the coach axles and then reference the tire Manf charts for necessary air pressure on that axle. You senders may be set for the appropriate pressure and your installed pressure may not match. Try to determine and preferably add the required additional air to the tires before the vehicle is driven. The Air Pressure rises rapidly with ambient temps and tire motion.

7. Your House batteries may last a week if stored but not disconnected and not on shore power. Phantom loads inside the coach are common. The engine batteries should act like a car battery and be good for a month. My inside disconnect is for the house batteries. My battery compartment disconnect is for the chassis batteries. 12.2 Volts is the level at which charging is recommended to extend the life of your house batteries.

6. Your wiring problem sounds like a loose or shorting positive wire in that wire bunch since to my knowledge a ground wire would cause the wipers to not work. Try to obtain a CC wire schematic for your rig. I have found that to be indispenseable as time passes. When you have it. Label your fuse box schematic with the purpose of the wires passing to it. That save some on-the-spot time in diagnosis in the dark.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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thanks dean

Thanks Dean,

I will try the safe combos you have recommended. I did go through the thick manuals once and it seemed like it had the original settings in it somewhere.

You are right on the battery disconnect. It seems like the outside compartment switch was labeled chassis batts and the inside definetely is labeled house batteries. My generator does have an auto on. I do not have it set to go off though.

Your uphill recommendation was what I used the other day. The motor sounded much happier when at 1900 than 1500 under stain. However, I did read the Cat book twice and it did recommend 1200-1600 for uphill. For downhill I think my engine brake is the same speeds as yours 25 min and 65 max. Takes some real readjustment to go that slow after driving cars.

As for tire pressure I think I am going to go back to what they were originally. about 93 in the front and around 90 in the back. That way when used they will go up to about the right pressure when hot. They are a pain in the butt to adjust. I will have to get a straight on tire monitor. Mine has a little kink in it that will not work on these.

I am likely to call the warranty people about the short. You are very likely right it is a ground short. It seems like when it shorts all the steering wheel functions go out. You can yank a bit on the wiring harness and they work again.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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Bob, I just read my manual directions on the safe. It said the safe comes with the code set at 50.

Spin the dial at least 4 times to the left and stop on 50. Then turn to the right until it stops or stop at 0. Lift the top off.

Have a locksmith set the combo.

Maybe yours is the same.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Bob- re: differing gauge readings between computer & panel gauges- it is common for the engine's computer to use different sending units than the gauges; this is probably the case for your new rig. Unless the differences are substantial, no reason to address it. Folks w/out a computer readout never know the difference.

As to the header height on your storage building, you can remodel fairly easily if the building height allows (tho you will likely need a new door). Assuming its a standard metal bldg, you either have a square-framed end wall, a welded space-frame end wall (same shape as the end wall) with infill square framing, or door is in a middle panel between space frames with square framing to enclose a roll-up door or overhead type. Its a simple matter to revise the framing, cut the extra 2' of header clearance space, reinstall drip & other metal trim, then install the (probably new) door. In some cases the building dept will want to see an engineer's stamp on your plans since the original building was/is an engineered structure; might only take a letter to the effect that the framing revisions do not change the original structural frame and that new wall framing meets code req'mts. Worst case they will want wind calculations to show the larger "hole" is adequately supported w/the new framing config.

IIIWMI'd put it in Drive and forget about manual shifting.

Your engine brake should work above 65 (no upper limit as far as I know). And I believe the only reason you don't feel it below about 25 is that there is much less engine compression at low rpm's to do the braking.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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Bob, do you know what the exact height of your coach is? I'm looking at a very similar one and also have a 12' door. I'm told we can lower the air-suspension some to "roll into" the garage, but not enough to clear a 12' door?
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