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Old 06-26-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
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Here is my situation:

- we drove 100 miles to a CG for a Memorial Day outing on Friday. We parked for the weekend. On Monday, the chassis batteries would not start the engine. The engine fired immediately with the aux start switch. We returned home and I didn't have time to troubleshoot the problems so I pulled the leads off of both chassis batteries. Yesterday, I finally had a chance to put things back together. Here are the facts:
1. I put two new #31 batteries in this past Feb. The old ones were from early 2003. I cleaned all the cables thoroughly and carefully when putting everything back.
2. When I pulled the cables off the batteries after Memorial Day, I drew a fair arc on one battery. Tonight when I reinstalled the cables, there wasn't even a tiny arc.
3. Before reinstalling the cables, both batteries read 12.7volts after sitting for 3 weeks.
4. Testing all of the cables with an ammeter, I discovered one cable showing a .1 amp draw. I figure this is about normal and, at that rate, there is no way that two batteries like the chassis ones would drop enough to not start the engine in two days. If my theory is correct, I no longer have a symptom that I can troubleshoot.

In a potentially unrelated situation, I use the "store" feature for the house batteries when we aren't using the RV. I pushed the "use" button before we left home on Memorial Day Friday and then discovered at the CG that the house batteries were only putting out 9.5volts. When I started troubleshooting that condition, I discovered that the batteries were reading 12.65volt but only 9.5 volts was being delivered to the devices. The problem turned out to be the contacts in the "store" relay. Exercising that on and off a few times cleared that problem. I only mention that because I know that somewhere in the system, the house and chassis wiring may be tied together and that the store relay might have been the cause of my chassis battery problem, even if I personally believe that is a bit far fetched.

Opinions?
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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Here is my situation:

- we drove 100 miles to a CG for a Memorial Day outing on Friday. We parked for the weekend. On Monday, the chassis batteries would not start the engine. The engine fired immediately with the aux start switch. We returned home and I didn't have time to troubleshoot the problems so I pulled the leads off of both chassis batteries. Yesterday, I finally had a chance to put things back together. Here are the facts:
1. I put two new #31 batteries in this past Feb. The old ones were from early 2003. I cleaned all the cables thoroughly and carefully when putting everything back.
2. When I pulled the cables off the batteries after Memorial Day, I drew a fair arc on one battery. Tonight when I reinstalled the cables, there wasn't even a tiny arc.
3. Before reinstalling the cables, both batteries read 12.7volts after sitting for 3 weeks.
4. Testing all of the cables with an ammeter, I discovered one cable showing a .1 amp draw. I figure this is about normal and, at that rate, there is no way that two batteries like the chassis ones would drop enough to not start the engine in two days. If my theory is correct, I no longer have a symptom that I can troubleshoot.

In a potentially unrelated situation, I use the "store" feature for the house batteries when we aren't using the RV. I pushed the "use" button before we left home on Memorial Day Friday and then discovered at the CG that the house batteries were only putting out 9.5volts. When I started troubleshooting that condition, I discovered that the batteries were reading 12.65volt but only 9.5 volts was being delivered to the devices. The problem turned out to be the contacts in the "store" relay. Exercising that on and off a few times cleared that problem. I only mention that because I know that somewhere in the system, the house and chassis wiring may be tied together and that the store relay might have been the cause of my chassis battery problem, even if I personally believe that is a bit far fetched.

Opinions?
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:17 AM   #3
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Not really that far fetched. Do you have a chassis battery disconnect?
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:29 AM   #4
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Not a separate one that I know about, Mike. I'm beginning to wonder if the store switch somehow does both.

This year, I've kept the RV plugged in and not had a problem with chassis batteries after replacing them. My wiring diagram doesn't show a connection between the house and chassis circuits but that doesn't mean that there isn't one.

I'm going to try to do some more investigation today to see if turning on the store switch somehow increases the amp load on the chassis batteries. That should tell me for sure.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Update:
I just got off the phone with Mike from Intellitec. He pointed me to the manual for my Intellitec BD0 isolation system and explained enough to me that I'm convinced that it is not my problem. Prior to his phone call, I was positive that the Intellitec system was involved because GBM never used their dual isolation feature and there is no isolation relay on the chassis side.

Over lunch today, I measured the chassis battery voltage (now 12.65) and could see the same 100 milliamp draw as on Wednesday. I pressed the house battery store and use buttons and sudden the drain jumped to 500 milliamps! I didn't touch anything else in the RV! I think that I've confirmed that the single power cable connected to the chassis batteries where the drain is showing is the one that goes directly to the electrical compartment under the driver's seat. I also confirmed that none of the detectors are running off of the chassis batteries.

Next steps:
1. Using an ohm meter, confirm that the battery cable showing drain only goes to the front electrical compartment.
2. Start the isolation on the distribution for that power. This, unfortunately, is a place were GBM cut corners. In addition to a small circuit breaker panel which has distribution to the slideout, the steps and a couple of other appliances, there is a large distribution post which has many single wires with in-line fuses. None are labled. It is not going to be fun troubleshooting that "pile of spagetti." A nice "to do" task on my pile to find and label those wires might have just changed priority to "must do right away."
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #6
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Before you do much else I would check all of my ground connections on the chassis, sounds to me like it could be a classic case of bad grounds, good batteries.

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Old 06-27-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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I had an 11 month "affair" with an '01 Laudau gasser.During that time I found a pair of re-setable circuit breakers up under the hood and the batteries receive their charge through these breakers.If one is "tripped" the battery related to that breaker receives no charge.There is a small black button on one side of the breakers.Have a look.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:04 PM   #8
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Interesting thought, exrench. As far as I know, the chassis batteries are charging. Tomorrow, I'll trace the wiring back from the alternator to see if there is a comparable breaker in the circuit. My chassis batteries have a cable wiring them together so whatever voltage one has, the other has it, too.

I'll check the rear grounds, near the engine tomorrow, too. I'm sure the grounds in the front are solid. I checked them today.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:20 AM   #9
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It seems that you have a clue since the house battery isolation and in use affects the chassis battery drain. It points to a component that uses both sets of batteries. Your slide is one for sure. I am not sure about your steps.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:32 AM   #10
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I worked on this and have pictures of what I was working on.

The symptoms disappeared as I did my investigation because I ended up having to take the wires of off each of the individual posts in order to figure out which were the input wires. In general:
- the chassis battery wire is the bottom on the left "can", jumpered to the bottom on the right can.
- the house battery input is to the upper post on the right can. The output of the Intellitec battery disconnect relay (seen partially in picture #3) goes to the upper post on the left can. Some of the qustions that I cannot answer are:
1. Where is the feed to the genset starter? I'm probably going to have to use an ohm meter for that.
2. Where is the feed from the converter? Again an ohm meter is probably necessary but the converter is hard to get to?
3. How does the aux start work? Are the "cans" relays which connect the two batteries? If not, how does that connection occur because I don't see another relay to do that.

The wires at the base of both cans are ground.

I'm now suspecting that wires from one of the house battery posts were touching the chassis battery connections. If so, that would explain some of the symptoms (house battery disconnect not working properly, current drain on chassis side because the connection was trying to drive the detectors mounted on the house side.)

Has anyone seen a setup like this? The poor diagram that came with my RV says "common wiring on Ford and Chevy chassis (even though mine is a Freightliner)." I suspect that GBM and potentially others use this same setup on a wide range of RVs and it was simply adapted to mine.

All questions and comments are welcome.



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Old 06-30-2008, 03:22 PM   #11
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by chasfm11:
I worked on this and have pictures of what I was working on.

The symptoms disappeared as I did my investigation because I ended up having to take the wires of off each of the individual posts in order to figure out which were the input wires. In general:
- the chassis battery wire is the bottom on the left "can", jumpered to the bottom on the right can.
- the house battery input is to the upper post on the right can. The output of the Intellitec battery disconnect relay (seen partially in picture #3) goes to the upper post on the left can. Some of the qustions that I cannot answer are:
1. Where is the feed to the genset starter? I'm probably going to have to use an ohm meter for that.
2. Where is the feed from the converter? Again an ohm meter is probably necessary but the converter is hard to get to?
3. How does the aux start work? Are the "cans" relays which connect the two batteries? If not, how does that connection occur because I don't see another relay to do that.

The wires at the base of both cans are ground.

I'm now suspecting that wires from one of the house battery posts were touching the chassis battery connections. If so, that would explain some of the symptoms (house battery disconnect not working properly, current drain on chassis side because the connection was trying to drive the detectors mounted on the house side.)

Has anyone seen a setup like this? The poor diagram that came with my RV says "common wiring on Ford and Chevy chassis (even though mine is a Freightliner)." I suspect that GBM and potentially others use this same setup on a wide range of RVs and it was simply adapted to mine.

All questions and comments are welcome.



I belive the larger solenoid on the left is the chassis disconnect and the smaller is the Aux start solenoid. The battery disconnect is the intellitec latching solenoid on the far right. The generator could be coming straight off the battery bank and does not go through the disconnect.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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Thanks, Mike. There is only one wire leaving the house battery bank and I ohm metered it out to be the wire comning in on the upper right can/solenoid. To be honest, I'm not sure that the genset starter isn't fed from the chassis batteries. I'd have to do some playing around to prove that.

By chassis disconnect, do you mean as driven by the ignition switch? To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing else that disconnects the chassis battery power. Intellitec verified that mine is a single contact (house battery) disconnect only and I can "see" (with a meter) the voltage pass when I go from "store" to "use" on the Intellitec push buttons. I'm sorry that the picture was cut off on the right so much that the Intellitec solenoid is not visible. The Intellitec solenoid is NOT the one on the right that is visible in the picture.

I agree with you that the right can/solenoid could be the aux start connection point. Do you have any ideas about a good way to prove that? I cannot prove it via voltage and I don't see the coil contacts for either of the cans if they are, in fact, solenoids. The wires on the base of both of them show solid continuity to chassis ground. I have a close up of the writing on the cans and may post that to see if it is of any value.

I sure wish that they had done a better job of providing some point to point wiring diagrams. Trying to reverse engineer those diagrams sure is time consuming.

Thanks for any additional help.

Charlie
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:00 PM   #13
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Thanks to Hooligan, I have a wiring diagram of the 12 Volt circuits on the 2001 version of the Landau. I can tell already that there are a few differences, based on the physical wiring that I've already traced but it does show basically how things are wired. The diagram shows the converter connection point. The fuse block distribution is entirely different on mine.

Bob, many thanks again. I really have something to work with. It appears that about 80% of the diagram matches mine. That is a tremendous benefit to me.
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:06 AM   #14
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Charlie, these are all solenoids and the small terminals are the coil connections. You may be reading through the coils to ground when ohming them out. You can also disconnect the main terminal cable connections one at a time and the chassis battery connection and ohm this out to identify the cables. You may have to have a long wire to get to both ends. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
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