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Old 06-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
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by passing isolator solenoid

My isolator solenoid has failed a second time and I'm not in a hurry to go get it fixed again.... 3s a charm I guess.... maybe towards the end of the summer I will take it in for a third repair... Its hard to find a good mechanic..
On the short weekend trips I don't care if the house batteries charge off the alternator but on the long trips it comes in handy as we run the fridge all day. I'm not shy with the genny so that helps...

Question ... Is it ok to bypass the isolator solenoid with battery cables to keep the chassis and house batteries connected while traveling so long as I take the cable off when we stop?
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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I would just change the isolator myself. You already know what the problem is, that's half the challenge.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
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Yes the solenoid is toast but I feel a replacement would not last long. I noticed that there was power going to the solenoid and it was very hot The engine was not running.

Just wondering if booster cables to bypass the solenoid would be a viable temporary solution.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:45 AM   #4
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The answer to your question is yes.

The real answer though, would involve answering the question regarding why you're going through isolater relays? You mentioned the one you have is getting hot. What kind is it?
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:58 AM   #5
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I would caution you on using on using battery cables to jumper this while traveling. If one of the clamps comes off as you bounce down the road, the loose end could hit ground (and the other end is still connected to the battery bank) - Quite dangerous in my opinion. You need to figure out why the solenoid is hot - that is also battery juice being used up by a short of some kind.
I would disconnect the solenoid and run the genny more often to keep the house batteries charged.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:06 AM   #6
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I'm with ahicks. Can you post the specs on the relay? Did you recently upgrade batteries? How low do you allow your coach batteries to be discharged? A 2008 coach should not go thru that number of relays.

On Edit: One other thought. Are you using a continuous duty relay as opposed to a conventional starting relay?
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetown350 View Post
My isolator solenoid has failed a second time and I'm not in a hurry to go get it fixed again.... 3s a charm I guess.... maybe towards the end of the summer I will take it in for a third repair... Its hard to find a good mechanic..
On the short weekend trips I don't care if the house batteries charge off the alternator but on the long trips it comes in handy as we run the fridge all day. I'm not shy with the genny so that helps...

Question ... Is it ok to bypass the isolator solenoid with battery cables to keep the chassis and house batteries connected while traveling so long as I take the cable off when we stop?
Like others have mentioned, why bother to jumper when you can replace for under $15.00. For that price buying two would be insurance should you have another failure. Solenoid replacement is a easy task and I'll bet that you could do it in less than 15 minutes Here's some info on a potential replacement

Trombetta 974-1215-011-09 Metal DC Contactor
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:35 PM   #8
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Based on the danger of the cables bouncing off I will not to take that chance.... good advice.... thanks... As far as why the solenoid is hot I think the problem might stem from the battery boost switch possibly getting stuck and constantly sending the signal to the solenoid even when the engine is off. I unplugged the circuit board and this cut the power so that the solenoid could cool down. I plugged it back in and still nice and cool with no power going to solenoid which is good. The booster switch still works ( sends power when depressed) but it does not engage the solenoid to charge house batteries.
I did upgrade the house batteries after the first solenoid failure... the solenoid is a trombetta 114-1211-510-02. If they were only 15 dollars I would by 3 but I believe the cost is over $100 for 1. Waiting for confirmation from RV dealer on that. I did price one out last year at Lazy days in Florida.... some where in the 75 dollar range......
Now one thing I will be trying ( got this tip from another thread on this website) is to depress the booster switch several times in an attempt to hammer through any crusty deposits to make a better contact..... ( just in case that is the problem).
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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That I think is the standard solenoid, same as in my coach. It should be clearlly marked continuous duty right on the label.

Many if not most modern coaches are energizing this solenoid almost all the time to keep both battery banks charged.
There is a "heavier duty" version, rated at more amps, that may help.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #10
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In a pinch, when we were on the road going from one show to another, I would take the the battery lead loose from the one side of the isolater and move it to the other. This gives you a direct connection. You will have to take it loose at night and reattach each mourning.You can install a knife switch on the battery and open it at night and close it inthe mourning.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
In a pinch, when we were on the road going from one show to another, I would take the the battery lead loose from the one side of the isolater and move it to the other. This gives you a direct connection. You will have to take it loose at night and reattach each mourning.
Excellent idea!!!! We are going to Florida in July ( crazy I know) ... I will use the genny alot and if the house batteries show signs of being weak I will use your idea of crossing the lead over..... now why didn't I think of that?
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #12
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Take a look a these continuous duty relays. The 12 volt 200 amps continuous relay should not get as hot as what your using.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:12 PM   #13
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Jim I don't see any continuous markings on solenoid. The solenoid is only supposed to energized from the alternator when the engine is running.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Take a look a these continuous duty relays. The 12 volt 200 amps continuous relay should not get as hot as what your using.
replacement cost is $102.00 ... There should only be power at this solenoid when the engine is running. I noticed power at the solenoid when the engine was off and it was very hot. I don't know if this caused the failure or not.
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