Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-18-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Help Diagnosing Battery Isolator Relay

I have seen other thread's about the isolator relay, but didn't see one that would help answer my problem. I have a 2007 Mandalay 40B, 400HP Cummins on a Freightliner Chassis. I have 2 12V chassis batteries in parallel. I have 4 6V batteries for the coach. 2 each in series and the 2 sets in parallel.

While dry camping for 3 days straight a couple of weeks ago, the chassis batteries were drained when I went to leave. The battery boost got me started and I've been attempting to diagnose the issue since. While parked at home my coach stays plugged in to a 50amp service. Here is what I have done, tried, discovered, so far:
  • When the engine is running, the battery isolator relay makes and links the coach & chassis batteries together.
  • When I shutdown the engine the battery isolator doesn't deactivate the battery isolator and the batteries remain linked.
  • I thought the issue was the BIRD, so I replaced it. Same problem.
  • When I plug into shore power, the battery isolator makes and links the batteries. (As it should)
  • When I unplug shore power, the battery isolator deactivates and isolates the batteries. (As it should)
  • When I startup the generator, the battery isolator won't make, thus keeping the batteries isolated and won't charge the chassis batteries.
  • At the BIRD, when the generator is running I have voltage at the genset wire. The battery sensor wire always has voltage.
I assume the reason why my chassis battery got drained while dry camping was that the isolator relay linked the batteries on the trip to the campsite, but when I shutdown the relay didn't deactivate until I started the genset. I used the inverter and auto generator start while dry camping to charge the coach batteries. When the generator started the isolator relay deactivated, thus the coach batteries got charged, but the chassis batteries didn't.

I'm not sure what else to check. Any help would be appreciated.
__________________

__________________
RustyTravelr
2007 Mandalay 40B
400HP Cummins/ Freightliner Chassis
RustyTravelr is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-18-2014, 08:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
dvmweb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 982
Help Diagnosing Battery Isolator Relay

How old are the batteries? Are they good? Test volatages.
__________________

__________________
dvmweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 08:34 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
The chassis batteries were original. I forgot to mention that since they were original I went ahead and replaced them. I'm still questioning if the BIRD and the isolator relay is operating as designed. I thought when there is no available charging power (shore, alternator, generator) the isolator relay was to isolate the batteries. I also thought that the relay should make when the generator is running so that the chassis battery would receive a charge.
__________________
RustyTravelr
2007 Mandalay 40B
400HP Cummins/ Freightliner Chassis
RustyTravelr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 08:51 PM   #4
Member
 
johnsadventure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Marble, NC
Posts: 63
Have you checked the fuse. It's simple but might have been overlooked.
__________________
2014 Newmar Caynon Star 3956, Ford V10 Michelin 22.5", Roadmaster Tow Dolly
2010 Toyota Venza, Live in North Carolina
johnsadventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
What fuse? I have a fuse on the coach battery sensor and it's good. I'm not aware of any other fuses. There are not fuses between the BIRD and the isolator relay. There are 5 terminals on the BIRD. 2 of them are outputs which would be the power and ground going to the isolator relay. The other 3 are genset, ignition, and battery sensor. I have voltage at the genset terminal when the genset is running...I have voltage at the coach battery sensor terminal, and I assume I have voltage at the ignition terminal since the relay makes when the engine is running.

Can someone confirm if I am correct in that when there is no charging power (engine, shore, genset) the relay should deactivate to isolate the batteries?
__________________
RustyTravelr
2007 Mandalay 40B
400HP Cummins/ Freightliner Chassis
RustyTravelr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 09:21 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Richmond Hill, GA USA
Posts: 671
I think your problem may be a sticking solenoid that is controlled by the BIRD. I've pasted below the operating characteristics of the BIRD, and it clearly should open the relay when neither battery set is being charged. Keep in mind that the voltage on one battery set must exceed 13.3 volts for 2.5 minutes before the BIRD will activate the solenoid.

The other possibility is that the BIRD itself is bad.

Unfortunately, the design of the BIRD-diesel has the feature that if it detects power from the genset, it will not pull in the solenoid to charge both sets of batteries. It is designed to prevent dual charging from both the engine alternator and the inverter/converter when both the engine and genset is running. Unfortunately, I think it also prevents the solenoid from activating when only the genset is running. You could temporarily override this feature when boondocking by either disconnecting the genset wire on the BIRD, or making a jumper to charge to charge the cranking batteries.

Text below describes the operation of the 00-00839-00 BIRD
=====================================

part number 00 00839 00


Intellitec
SERVICE MANUAL
BI-DIRECTIONAL ISOLATOR RELAY DELAY Diesel-2
Product Description
The BIRD (BI-DIRECTIONAL ISOLATOR RELAY DELAY) performs two important functions. It provides a
method of charging the coach battery from the engine alternator and charges the chassis battery from the
converter when the coach is plugged into shore power. When neither battery is being charged, the batteries
are isolated from each other to prevent the loads of one battery from inadvertently discharging the other battery.
If the generator is running, the isolator is prevented from pulling in to prevent the generator and converter from
operating the chassis functions which might over-load the converter.

Troubleshooting info for the BIRD can be found at the link below:
http://bacrallies.com/PDF/PDF%20Manu...D%20Diesel.pdf

After reading a little of the troubleshooting document, and re-reading your post where you state "When I shutdown the engine the battery isolator doesn't deactivate the battery isolator and the batteries remain linked." leads me to believe you may be getting ignition voltage to the BIRD module even when the ignition if off. It's one of the troubleshooting steps.

Let us know what you find.

Fred
__________________
Fred & Vicki
St. Augustine, Fl.
Fred Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 09:22 PM   #7
YC1
Senior Member
 
YC1's Avatar


 
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,561
Yes it should and you might want to measure the voltage on the batteries. I suspect you might have a solar panel in the mix.

Your description of the operation is excellent. With the generator running and the engine running the relay should not be activated. That is a normal status. IF, someone has added a solar panel then things can get a bit confusing.

As for the dead batteries I too agree they were in need of replacement.
__________________
Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
YC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Thanks for the help from everyone. I didn't realize that the generator with the BIRD won't charge the chassis batteries. Based on what I have seen...I'm wondering if the solenoid may be sticking as suggested. My next step may be to replace the solenoid and see what happens.
__________________
RustyTravelr
2007 Mandalay 40B
400HP Cummins/ Freightliner Chassis
RustyTravelr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Richmond Hill, GA USA
Posts: 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyTravelr View Post
Thanks for the help from everyone. I didn't realize that the generator with the BIRD won't charge the chassis batteries. Based on what I have seen...I'm wondering if the solenoid may be sticking as suggested. My next step may be to replace the solenoid and see what happens.
I still think you should check for ignition voltage on the BIRD with the ignition off before spending the money for a new solenoid. Bad wiring feeding 12 volts to the ignition terminal on the BIRD would give you the symptoms you have.

Fred
__________________
Fred & Vicki
St. Augustine, Fl.
Fred Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #10
Community Moderator
 
"007"'s Avatar


 
Nor'easters Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 26,737
Here is information you be able to use about your Bird System shown at bottom of link.
This link will give info on parts.
__________________
98KSCA, 99MACA, 03 KSCA-3740- 8.1 Chev-- ALLISON Trans, now in good hands
VISIT the NEWMAR QUICK TIPS & EASYMODS 1 & 2
QUICK TIPS # 3
RV SYSTEMS & APPLIANCES & RECALLS --- TECH INFORMATION
"007" is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2014, 09:31 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
mchero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Full Time USA
Posts: 1,709
Has anyone looked not the possibility of swapping out the isolator relay with a solid state relay? I'm trying to determine if a replacement exists. I believe the isolator relays have a super high failure rate.
My 93 Pace Arrow Diesel Pusher (currently for sale) had a bad isolator relay. Had to replace with a $160 aviation relay.
Our new to us Fleetwood Discovery has a Trombetta relay with cooked contacts! I was able to clean it up a bit. I ordered a new for about $65.00 but who knows how long that one will last!
__________________
Robert & Deb
07 Discovery 39v FWS Full Timers, Yuma AZ
1K solar - 05 Jeep Grand Cherokee
mchero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2014, 06:57 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: California
Posts: 760
I had problems along those lines. No chassis battery charging.

My '06 Diplomat has a older/cheaper version of the BIRD
called an IRD.

I got sick of of trouble shooting and just installed a Amp-L-Start
for about $50 which links both house and chassis banks.



There are several other mfg's who make units about the same
ranging from $40 to $250
__________________
2006 Monaco Diplomat Atrium model, 41'
Cummins ISL-400HP CM850
bukzin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2014, 08:49 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
dennis45's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 6,452
Just went through this on my DSDP. Chassis battery was going dead. Would charge when plugged in to shore power but run down when while driving. Running the generator while driving does not charge the chassis batteries.
Thought I had a bad alternator so installed a new one and still no charge.
Come to find no Ign. power to the alternator with the engine running. After some head banging, found a blown Alt 7.5A fuse in the rear chassis fuse panel that I did not know existed until I received a Charging Circuit Drawing from Spartan.
Installed a new fuse and Bingo, alternator is producing its 14.2 VDC, chassis batteries are charged and Life is Good!
P/S coach has 70K miles on it so I don't think changing the alternator was in vain. It was the OEM alternator.
__________________
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2014, 08:59 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchero View Post

Has anyone looked not the possibility of swapping out the isolator relay with a solid state relay? I'm trying to determine if a replacement exists. I believe the isolator relays have a super high failure rate.
My 93 Pace Arrow Diesel Pusher (currently for sale) had a bad isolator relay. Had to replace with a $160 aviation relay.
Our new to us Fleetwood Discovery has a Trombetta relay with cooked contacts! I was able to clean it up a bit. I ordered a new for about $65.00 but who knows how long that one will last!
It can be done by getting one rated for and matched to the output of your alternator, 160 amp, 200 amp, etc.

However, you will lose the ability to use your Auxiliary Start Switch if your coach has one for emergency starts when one battery bank is too low.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
__________________

__________________
Dr4Film is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Large power draw on chassis battery '94 Kountry Star omegacanuck Newmar Owner's Forum 54 01-31-2016 09:22 PM
Battery charging mystery Kenneth Neal RV Systems & Appliances 12 02-25-2014 06:34 PM
Battery Advice sjkted Class A Motorhome Discussions 33 02-06-2014 09:12 PM
73' Sportscoach Dual Battery Isolator Problem crosby716 Vintage RV's 7 01-30-2014 01:26 PM
Flashing Battery Light DonL Spartan Motorhome Chassis Forum 1 01-16-2014 04:58 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.