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Old 04-03-2012, 05:52 AM   #1
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Coach Lighting problem. Is it a solenoid?

I am having an issue when my house lights go out or don't light up, then started the engine and lights came on. I think its the solenoid. I had my Wfco checked out and its working yet my gen and shore power don't give my house batterys any big amps, only when engine is running. I have a 2004 Southwind, 16,000 and always hooked to shore power, and I think My solenoid is bad since when I try to turn on any lights when hooked up to shore power or not I have to start the engine wait a minute and hear a click from under my hood where the fuse and solenoids is and the light come on. Convertor is working. Is it my solenoid or could it be the 2 little house or engine battery connectors that is hook to them, behind the fuse panel?
I was hoping it was just the solenoid. But do I have to pull the fuse panel out which is in front of the solenoid and disconect boxes?
Any Ideas. I have been playing with this for two weeks
I put in 2 new 6 volt house and 1 12 volt chassis batteries.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibu65
I am having an issue when my house lights go out or don't light up, then started the engine and lights came on. I think its the solenoid. I had my Wfco checked out and its working yet my gen and shore power don't give my house batterys any big amps, only when engine is running. I have a 2004 Southwind, 16,000 and always hooked to shore power, and I think My solenoid is bad since when I try to turn on any lights when hooked up to shore power or not I have to start the engine wait a minute and hear a click from under my hood where the fuse and solenoids is and the light come on. Convertor is working. Is it my solenoid or could it be the 2 little house or engine battery connectors that is hook to them, behind the fuse panel?
I was hoping it was just the solenoid. But do I have to pull the fuse panel out which is in front of the solenoid and disconect boxes?
Any Ideas. I have been playing with this for two weeks
I put in 2 new 6 volt house and 1 12 volt chassis batteries.
It sounds more to me the coach batteries are low and/ or the charger is not working properly to me. Assuming you have a volt meter, check the coach batteries on shore power. They should read upwards of 13.6v. If so, now check your lights.

If nothing, then I would look toward the batt disconnect switch, as that 13v is not getting to the coach. You should also have 2 circuit breakers on the 12v board. Should be one on either side with small buttons pointing out each side.

If you have less than 13v, your charger is not working.

The solenoid you speak of, usually performs 2 functions. The Aux Start/Boost switch energizes the solenoid to connect the coach and chassis batts together if either is low. Also, it's energized when the engine starts. This allows the alternator to charge the coach batts when driving. So from what you describe, it's working as it should.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
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I agree with Clyon51. Everything works when the engine alternator is supplying 12v, so most everything is working fine. You aren't getting power from either your converter (Wfco) or house batteries. Could be the circuit breaker on the BCC circuit board, or could be the battery disconnect relay is off (or broken).
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:39 AM   #4
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Which circut breacker would it be. And how do you check a breaker. As to not charging yes the batteries read high with the engine running but not when the gen or we are hooked up to power. but my WFCO is putting out 11-12 volts?...
Quote:
Originally Posted by clyon51 View Post
It sounds more to me the coach batteries are low and/ or the charger is not working properly to me. Assuming you have a volt meter, check the coach batteries on shore power. They should read upwards of 13.6v. If so, now check your lights.

If nothing, then I would look toward the batt disconnect switch, as that 13v is not getting to the coach. You should also have 2 circuit breakers on the 12v board. Should be one on either side with small buttons pointing out each side.

If you have less than 13v, your charger is not working.

The solenoid you speak of, usually performs 2 functions. The Aux Start/Boost switch energizes the solenoid to connect the coach and chassis batts together if either is low. Also, it's energized when the engine starts. This allows the alternator to charge the coach batts when driving. So from what you describe, it's working as it should.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibu65
Which circut breacker would it be. And how do you check a breaker. As to not charging yes the batteries read high with the engine running but not when the gen or we are hooked up to power. but my WFCO is putting out 11-12 volts?...
That's your problem. The WFCO is not doing it's job. It should be putting out 13.6 volts.

I would highly recommend a Progressive Dynamics PD 9245 3-stage charger as a replacement. IOTA also makes a good 3-stage charger. WFCOs are made in Asia, stay away from them.

Your breakers are fine. If your 12v board is anything like mine, they are located as stated, Just push the little button in if it's sticking out. Again, the problem is not the breaker, it's the WFCO.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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what does 3 stage mean and will it do better. And could I repalce with an inverter or do I really want one? And they must be more. I do very little dry camping. If not non. Thanks for your help.
Quote:
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That's your problem. The WFCO is not doing it's job. It should be putting out 13.6 volts.

I would highly recommend a Progressive Dynamics PD 9245 3-stage charger as a replacement. IOTA also makes a good 3-stage charger. WFCOs are made in Asia, stay away from them.

Your breakers are fine. If your 12v board is anything like mine, they are located as stated, Just push the little button in if it's sticking out. Again, the problem is not the breaker, it's the WFCO.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibu65
what does 3 stage mean and will it do better. And could I repalce with an inverter or do I really want one? And they must be more. I do very little dry camping. If not non. Thanks for your help.
It means it will charge/maintain your batts in 3 stages.

1. Boost mode. It will sense when your batts are low. It will then send 14.4 volts to bring them up to 90% charged.

2. Normal mode. After reaching 90% charged, it will drop to 13.6 volts. It will stay there until 100% charged.

3. Maintain mode. After reaching a full charge, it drops to 13.2 volts. This maintains your batts, while not boiling them.

Your WFCO is a single stage. It only puts out 13.6 volts and does it continuously. This eventually boils the water out causing corosion, less battery life and more maintenance.

Since you are plugged in most of the time, a "smart" charger is the best choice. Also, an inverter isn't needed while plugged in.

A PD 9245 can be had for $135 if you shop around.
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