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Old 05-12-2017, 01:01 PM   #1
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Engine batteries not charging house batteries.

Left the switch on last night on my 38' 2015 Palazzo and drained the house batteries. Drove the coach for about an hour and the chassis alternator did not charge the house batteries. Generator won't start. Crossover switch has no effect. Seems like something is wrong. Any tips on what I need to look for?

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Ford
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:19 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear! Start with the Trombetta Solenoid. It allows the chassis batteries to charge the coach batteries while the engine is running. Additionally, I would also check the BIRD and make sure your house batteries also have water.
BIRD Troubleshooting.pdf
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:54 PM   #3
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batery charging

Your salesman switch needs to be on to charge the coach batteries while driving and possibility not enough time to charge the chassis batteries 1st.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:56 PM   #4
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also, when house/coach batteries are drained too low, they may not readily respond to alternator charging... even the Magnum charger on the generator or shore power will not charge dead batteries... sorry.

by the way, what 'switch' do you mean to say that you left on?
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:10 PM   #5
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You shouldn't need the " salesman switch " ( house disconnect ) on. That controls the power to the house.

The cross charging comes from the chassis system, thru a solenoid with large battery cables. The house disconnect isn't designed to handle that kind of load.

Have someone hit the boost , cross connect switch, while listening in the area where the solenoids live. The one that is clunking, if one is, is the one that's probably bad.

Hold the boost switch on and check volts on each side of the large posts. They should be the same when the switch is on and not the same when the switch is off. It they don't even up, when held, the solenoid is bad.

If it don't clunk, look for a bad fuse to the smaller activation wire.

It's true that inverter charger may not charge a dead battery, but the cross connect is already charging the chassis battery, so it's like using jumper cables to the house batteries.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the great input. It looks like my Trombetta solenoid is defective. When I hit the boost button on the dash, the control terminals register the activation voltage, but the voltage on the large terminals does not change. Given the problems with the Trombetta I have read about (and my experience) I am thinking about switching manufacturers. The Cole Hersee 24213 looks like a good substitute. Anybody see a problem with This?
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:24 PM   #7
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battery problems

Make sure you order the trombetta has that has the silver contacts, they usually last longer.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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Ok, I have spent the weekend edcutating myself on how this system works. I think I have a good handle it, but would like someone who is comfortable with the operation of the BIRD and Trombetta to confirm my testing and conclusions.

How I think the system works:

One side of the Trombetta is house and the other is the chassis.
The BIRD activates the Trombetta to link the house and chassis batteries when the engine is running.
The boost button on the dash also activates the Trombetta.
When the Trombetta is activated, the voltage on both of the large terminals should be the same.

Tests I ran & result.

Pushed boost button on dash - control terminals on Trombetta registered 12v and "clunked" but voltage on large terminals remained different- indicates Trombetta solenoid defective.

Put multi meter leads on Trombetta control terminals, started coach, and ran coach for 5 minutes - Trombetta terminals never registered 12v and did not "clunk" - voltage across large terminals never changed. This confuses me. Does this mean that my BIRD is not signaling Trombetta? Does this mean that my BIRD and Trombetta are both bad?

Checked power to BIRD when coach ignition ignition is on - "igntion" terminal registers 12v and ground continuity good - BIRD getting proper power.

If anyone can give me some feedback, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:36 PM   #9
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Was the shore power connected ?

Some BIRDs won't activate the Trombetta if the house is already being charged by shore power.

List voltage reading in each test, it may give some clues.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:54 PM   #10
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Shore power NOT connected.

House side of Trombetta was 12.20v, chassis side was 14.15 with engine running.

Control terminals read 12.1v when boost button activated.

Ignition terminal on BIRD reading 12.1v
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:05 PM   #11
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Intellitec has a service manual on line for the BIRD. I have it downloaded but have not figured out how to post. However it states that if the voltage drop across the relay is greater than 0.2 volts, you should replace the relay. From what you have posted, it appears you have voltage drop significantly higher than that.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #12
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The ignition terminal, on the BIRD, should and needs to read 13.2 volts or more, for it to tell the solenoid to close.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:40 PM   #13
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Correction

The reading I gave was with the engine not running. When running, the ignition terminal reads 14.1v.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The ignition terminal, on the BIRD, should and needs to read 13.2 volts or more, for it to tell the solenoid to close.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:42 PM   #14
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Agree

Correct. Pretty sure the Trombetta solenoid is defective. New one on order and arriving tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The ignition terminal, on the BIRD, should and needs to read 13.2 volts or more, for it to tell the solenoid to close.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoDu View Post
Intellitec has a service manual on line for the BIRD. I have it downloaded but have not figured out how to post. However it states that if the voltage drop across the relay is greater than 0.2 volts, you should replace the relay. From what you have posted, it appears you have voltage drop significantly higher than that.
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