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Old 12-27-2015, 12:33 PM   #15
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Yes those solenoids are JUNK! Enough said. Nice IF you can tear it apart and make it shiney, working and new looking.
My 93 Pace diesel had the early bird system, replaced the solenoid. Now the 07 has the bird and as usual, solenoid shot.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:34 PM   #16
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Anybody try one of thos solid state solenoids?
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
The passage in red puzzles me. If you're on shore power,(the "overnight boost"?) don't both coach and house batteries get charged? What's drawing the chassis batteries below 12 v while parked?

I also don't understand your comment, "...rather than continuous float alongside the coach batteries." What does that mean?

A B.I.R.D. or even a Trik-L-Start Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer charges both groups of batteries whenever charging is happening. When not charging, the groups are NOT connected so one group can't discharge the other and leave you stranded. If chassis or coach batteries are too discharged to start the engine (chassis) or the generator (coach) then I'd clean all connections and think about replacing some batteries. Repeated discharge to 12 v (50% of full charge) is a sure way to shorten battery life.
Bob & Donna,

Thanks for your understanding and your efforts to help us. We'll try to better align our words with reality:

"favored an overnight boost from the coach battery whenever the chassis battery drops below 12V" – Our rig was not designed to automatically float the chassis battery while connected to park power. When parked for extended periods, not being connected to the charger, the chassis batteries gradually lose their charge. We watch the voltage and, every few weeks, when it drops to 12V, we connect it to the 12.7V coach battery overnight. This brings it back to greater than 12V for another few weeks. We don't know the exact reason for the engine batteries losing their charge. We measured a total of .44A load on the engine battery with nothing turned on. We assume this is the chassis computers, possibly the alternator, and God knows what else. Also, we understand that lead-acid batteries tend to discharge themselves over long periods of time and also batteries connected in parallel (2 in our case) tend to discharge each-other.

"...rather than continuous float alongside the coach batteries." = rather than having a continuous direct connection between the coach and chassis batteries while on park power.

The Ultra TRIK-L-START™

Appears to offer the the most attractive alternative because it comes closest to our current practice of maintaining the chassis battery voltage slightly lower than coach float. This practice keeps the battery within the “safe” range on your chart and has served us well . We always get better than 5 years service from our chassis battery and have never had a cranking failure.

We appreciate all of the responses to our post and the many alternatives offered. We still haven’t decided on a replacement for our failed relay, but it probably won’t be a duplicate of the original.

Richard & Frenche
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:28 AM   #18
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Now I understand better. I try to keep all batteries charged whenever possible. Adding a Trik-L-Start or a B.I.R.D. to charge all batteries when charging is possible would be my first step owning an RV without such capabilities. My older RV actually has no phantom drains on the chassis batteries, but I still disconnect them in storage. They will maintain almost 95% charge over a 5 month Ohio winter. The house batteries do have phantom drains and I have knife switch disconnects on the battery terminals. That way they also handle long time storage without discharging.

A common drain is the dash stereo, the clock and station presets can bring the battery down.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:42 AM   #19
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Anybody try one of thos solid state solenoids?
What "solid state solenoids"?
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:56 AM   #20
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What "solid state solenoids"?
Google is your friend!

https://www.apartswarehouse.com/show...state-solenoid

150 amp not big enough but interesting......
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:20 AM   #21
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You can find some higher amp units at:

Solid State DC Contactors - Off Road Engineering LLC
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:26 AM   #22
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12/26/15

Our Trombetta Bear Model #114-1211-010-03 “AUX START” relay (“solenoid”) failed. The solenoid operates, but does not close the contacts. We took it apart and found the contacts look good, but the coil appears to have overheated. We’d been using “AUX START” to occasionally top up the chassis battery while parked for extended periods. We assume this practice fried the coil even though the manufacturer claims this model is “continuous duty”. We found:
“NEW TROMBETTA 12 VOLT 4 TERMINAL SOLENOID 200 AMP CONTINUOUS DUTY 114-1211-020 114-1211-010 586-902 15-550 SBJ4201”
on:
Amazon.com: NEW TROMBETTA 12 VOLT 4 TERMINAL SOLENOID 200 AMP CONTINUOUS DUTY 114-1211-020 114-1211-010 586-902 15-550 SBJ4201: Automotive
but it looks suspiciously identical to ours. Forum research tells us many RVers have had problems with this relay, but no one has offered a remedy beyond simply replacing the defective relay with another inadequate duplicate. We’d like to hear from anyone who has come up with a permanent solution.

Thanks

RH
The Ultra TRIK-L-START™

Sounds like the ideal choice. We can’t find any reviews. Please let us know if any reviews are available. Has anyone had a failure?
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:40 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by rmeusborn View Post
12/26/15

Our Trombetta Bear Model #114-1211-010-03 “AUX START” relay (“solenoid”) failed. The solenoid operates, but does not close the contacts. We took it apart and found the contacts look good, but the coil appears to have overheated. We’d been using “AUX START” to occasionally top up the chassis battery while parked for extended periods. We assume this practice fried the coil even though the manufacturer claims this model is “continuous duty”. We found:
“NEW TROMBETTA 12 VOLT 4 TERMINAL SOLENOID 200 AMP CONTINUOUS DUTY 114-1211-020 114-1211-010 586-902 15-550 SBJ4201”
on:
http://www.amazon.com/TROMBETTA-TERM...3CCAFQFMDY91R3
but it looks suspiciously identical to ours. Forum research tells us many RVers have had problems with this relay, but no one has offered a remedy beyond simply replacing the defective relay with another inadequate duplicate. We’d like to hear from anyone who has come up with a permanent solution.

Thanks

RH
The reliability of the “SOLENOID” relay sounds so bad, we’re considering a diode in parallel with a knife switch instead. The diode would allow the coach battery to be charged from the engine alternator and the knife switch would allow the “AUX START” feature. Has anyone tried this?
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:25 PM   #24
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It really sounds like you're overthinking things. A Trik-L-Start will handle the charging connection of both battery banks when charging is available. Hook it up and it does the job, no switches to mess with. It's all solid state, the failure rate is pretty low. Here the price is less than $30.
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Ultra...-p/tls-oem.htm

A solenoid is useful for when you need the extra amperage to start the engine or generator. It is only used occasionally and failure should not be an issue for very long intervals.

Diodes do cause voltage drop, they aren't 100% one way 'valves' for electricity. A Trik-L-Start provides the under 5 amp voltage flow needed for battery charging and maintenance. If batteries are so discharged that more charging current is needed, hook up a battery charger. JMHO
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Old 12-31-2015, 02:40 PM   #25
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"The reliability of the “SOLENOID” relay sounds so bad......"
Well, as stated, ours lasted almost 11 years before it STARTED to fail. And even that was intermittent. A little disassembly, some clean-up, and, as stated, it's been working flawlessly for over a year now. So, based on the time frame the original one lasted, I'd pickup another one exactly like it in a heartbeat.

Now, there's some on here that have had not such good luck with those models. That's too bad, especially if the working time frame for theirs was ultra short. I'd be a bit on the offensive side too. But, apparently mine or, at least the user time frame/voltage/amperage/requirements maybe allowed me to be able to get a longer life out of ours. Who knows?
Scott
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:37 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeusborn View Post
The reliability of the “SOLENOID” relay sounds so bad, we’re considering a diode in parallel with a knife switch instead. The diode would allow the coach battery to be charged from the engine alternator and the knife switch would allow the “AUX START” feature. Has anyone tried this?
The Amazon link you posted is for the desirable Trombetta solenoid with the internal SILVER terminals (as opposed to the original COPPER ones). If you replace your original solenoid with that one and add a couple of resisters (or diodes) in series with the coil (as discussed and pictured in the thread linked earlier) you will resolve your problem. The resistors or diodes reduce the voltage in the coil from the 13.5-14.5 volts output by the alternator down closer to 12 volts the solenoid is rated for.

Then add the Trik-L-Start and you'll be all set.
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:46 PM   #27
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I would not throw the baby out with the bath water. That solenoid is a great device but is must be serviced and maintained just like the batteries. This thing works hard but it does need to be checked. Once you know how the thing is activated then checking it is as simple as measuring the voltage on your batteries.

Yes other devices can supply low currents to charge both banks but this thing is designed to literally jump start your rv.

Don't over think this thing. Use it, maintain it, and enjoy your day,.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:11 PM   #28
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My coach uses a BIRD but if I ever had to replace it I would/might go with this:
http://www.precisioncircuitsinc.com/...nager-RevF.pdf
The Blue Sea product mentionned earlier is a really nice option, for a little more cash...
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