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Old 05-27-2015, 08:53 PM   #1
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Battery and Bird Questions

My coach (in signature) is plugged in during storage. A little over a year ago, I thought I had plugged it in, but the connection did not make and about a month later when I came to check the coach, all batteries were dead - chassis and house. I saw my mistake and charged them back up with no further problems. I wondered why all the batteries drained together, but let it go.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. All batteries had been fine until I went to start the coach to take in for some repairs. It took a long time for the wait to start light to go out and then the motor cranked slow and almost didn't start. I thought this was strange, but was in a hurry to get to the shop, so I figured it would charge up on the way. I also noticed that the EMS said bulk charge instead of float charge when I got in the coach.
After leaving it at the shop, I got a call from them asking if my batteries had been low and I answered yes. They said my starting batteries were toast, so I told them to replace them.
Yesterday when I went to pick the coach up, it had been sitting in their lot since Friday. When I went to start it, the brand new batteries were dead and they had to come out and charge them to bring them up enough to start the coach. The house batteries were also down to about 9.6 volts. The service man mentioned that the isolator must not be working correctly.
After getting the coach back to storage and finding the BIRD (intellitec 00-00839-000), I discovered that it was keeping the solenoid energized all the time. With no charge to the batteries and engine not running, the BIRD is outputting 9.6 volts to the solenoid. So I'm assuming the BIRD is bad and ordered a new one.
Now my question:
If one of my starting batteries had a short in it, could it put a drain on all batteries connected with it? I'm wondering if this is what pulled them all down since they were not isolated, or if I have some underlying problem.
After putting the new batteries in, could the fact that the isolator was stuck to close the solenoid have caused the low house batteries to drain the new chassis batteries down?
Just trying to figure out if the new BIRD and batteries will more than likely solve my problem, or if there's another gremlin possibly lurking somewhere.
We're heading from Texas to Alaska in two weeks and I don't need any future surprises.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:36 AM   #2
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If your batts are not isolated, the coach batt would pull down the house batts. You said the isolator was not working. How did you confirm that. If you touch the isolator it should be hot if energized. Is it hot when plugged in? If so, the two battery banks are connected for charging. If not, you need to check the voltage on either side of the solenoid. If isolated, that means most like one set of batteries is low (they get isolated to keep one set from taking down the other). If this is the case, you will get the representative voltage from each bank connected on each side of the solenoid. This seems like your current situation. Here are your possible scenarios
1. Low chassis or house batts: Isolated
2. Bad isolator relay no charge making it to one or either bank
3. Bad BIRD Relay
4. Blown fuse to BIRD to power Isolator Relay
5. Bad ground
6. Loose connection
7. Bad converter: It may not be putting out the proper charging voltage.

I had similar issues a couple of years back, and replaced the isolator and the BIRD. Been working fine since, but the multiple discharges fried all my batteries, I had to replace them all.
I am putting my money on a bad isolation relay or a bad board.

Since you already purchased the board, spend the extra 30 bucks and get the new relay too.

Good luck.
Bill
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for your input.
The reason I suspect the isolator is not working correctly is that I can remove the wire from the solenoid post on the isolator and the relay will click off. Touching it back to the terminal will click the relay back on. This happens when there is no power to the coach and engine not running, thus, to my understanding, the solenoid/relay should not be energized.
If I'm correct, the isolator is combining the two banks all the time rather than only when there's a charge source.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:47 PM   #4
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I'm interested in the outcome of this as well. My 2003 DSDP also seems as it has changed since the winter.
First my new chassis batteries froze and burst - signifying that they were most likely not getting a charge from the inverter/charger during this winter (plugged into 30 AMP beside the house)

Second my house battery display panel now does not show the volts side and it occasionally shows low battery for a second or two. The batteries seem fine and steady at around 13.6 volts on the volt meter.

My latest new starter batteries seem to slowly discharge when sitting (down to 11.9 after two weeks).

I also suspect the BIRD or the inverter/charger but haven't had time to check them out yet. I'm hesitant to start poking around in case I accidentally fry something. Plan to find out exactly how to check my model of BIRD to see if it is working.

Tks

Chris
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:48 PM   #5
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Here is a link to everything you ever wanted to know about Newmar, courtesy of 007. Scroll through to find your BIRD solutions.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/newm...-a-113631.html
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:01 PM   #6
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If you only have 9.6 v to the relay it can't be energized, nor can the banks be connected. It (the relay) may be stuck (not likely).

Unfortunately a low or dead battery renders the entire system usless, so to troubleshoot you need to have a fresh chassis batt.

Most likely you have a blown fuse in the board, a bad board and/or bad isolator relay.

With intellitec BIRD systems, the battery banks will be disconnected from each other whenever the voltage on one side of the relay drops below 12.8 v.

Here is a link to your BIRD

http://www.prvparts.com/product-p/42262.htm

Here is a link to the troubleshooting manual for it...

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...p-A4RR_Y2dNiqA

Good luck

Bill
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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I got the new BIRD today. Will swap it out tomorrow and post the results.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HicksRA View Post
I got the new BIRD today. Will swap it out tomorrow and post the results.
Just as a follow-up, I installed the new BIRD and everything is working properly now. After plugging in to shore power and the transfer switch energizes, a minute or so later, the isolator energizes the relay.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvbdsl View Post
I'm interested in the outcome of this as well. My 2003 DSDP also seems as it has changed since the winter.
First my new chassis batteries froze and burst - signifying that they were most likely not getting a charge from the inverter/charger during this winter (plugged into 30 AMP beside the house)

Second my house battery display panel now does not show the volts side and it occasionally shows low battery for a second or two. The batteries seem fine and steady at around 13.6 volts on the volt meter.

My latest new starter batteries seem to slowly discharge when sitting (down to 11.9 after two weeks).

I also suspect the BIRD or the inverter/charger but haven't had time to check them out yet. I'm hesitant to start poking around in case I accidentally fry something. Plan to find out exactly how to check my model of BIRD to see if it is working.

Tks

Chris
Chris, are you using the "store" button while in storage? With your coach plugged in and the store button selected, it will charge the house batteries, but NOT the starter batteries. If so, don't put the EMS into store mode while plugged in and it will charge all batteries.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HicksRA View Post
Just as a follow-up, I installed the new BIRD and everything is working properly now. After plugging in to shore power and the transfer switch energizes, a minute or so later, the isolator energizes the relay.
Glad you got it sorted out!

Bill
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Chris, are you using the "store" button while in storage? With your coach plugged in and the store button selected, it will charge the house batteries, but NOT the starter batteries. If so, don't put the EMS into store mode while plugged in and it will charge all batteries.
Sorry for the delay in responding.
Actually I believe I did put it in "store" and since I did not disconnect the chassis battery all the "phantom" draws likely depleted it, allowing it to freeze. The inverter/charger (a Trace 2000) of course was on and the MH was plugged into a 30 AMP service.

This confirms what I suspected,but I have had several differing opinions.

Just checked the batteries this week and both the house and chassis batteries seem to be up after sitting a couple of weeks. I'll be checking again tomorrow and will also unplug from shore power just to put some loads on the house batteries.

Then I'll exercise the genny for an hour or so to make sure everything is charged up again and then plug back in.

Thanks

Chris
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