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Old 10-21-2007, 12:17 PM   #1
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We have a 2002 Ultimate Advantage .. the Battery Boost Solenoid (located in the forward bay, driver's side) has been a problem. About two years ago we encountered a problem with this solenoid getting hot and "clicking" on and off. The best info I have been able to obtain says that these units have a "battery equalizing circuit" which keeps the house and chassis batteries equally charged. My opinion is that due to the high amps going through this large solenoid it gets hot and over time the contacts become pitted.
Has anyone else had a similar problem .. how was it resolved (I heard from one fellow this year that a friend had installed two solenoids and that fixed the problem; but, never got a name or how to wire them) .. or does one just plan on replacing this large solenoid every couple of years??
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Old 10-21-2007, 12:17 PM   #2
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We have a 2002 Ultimate Advantage .. the Battery Boost Solenoid (located in the forward bay, driver's side) has been a problem. About two years ago we encountered a problem with this solenoid getting hot and "clicking" on and off. The best info I have been able to obtain says that these units have a "battery equalizing circuit" which keeps the house and chassis batteries equally charged. My opinion is that due to the high amps going through this large solenoid it gets hot and over time the contacts become pitted.
Has anyone else had a similar problem .. how was it resolved (I heard from one fellow this year that a friend had installed two solenoids and that fixed the problem; but, never got a name or how to wire them) .. or does one just plan on replacing this large solenoid every couple of years??
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:15 PM   #3
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Your UA might be a little different from ours. Our solenoid bridges the house and chassis battery banks together when the engine is running or when the "Battery Boost" switch is activated. Our solenoid failed last fall. The only indication of a failed solenoid was the low voltage alarm from our Xantreex while we were traveling.

Solenoid failure rates are apparently fairly high.

I haven't a clue about a "battery equalization circuit." That might be peculiarity of the UA/UF coaches.

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Old 10-21-2007, 07:02 PM   #4
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The Ultimates had Intelletec's B.I.R.D (Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay). In 2006 Winnebago added the Trik-L-Start as standard equipment on the current coaches.
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Old 10-21-2007, 07:55 PM   #5
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Do you think the solenoid is bad just because it is hot and you hear it clicking (which is what solenoids do...) ??

On my '03 Ultimate, there are two solenoids in the electric compartment under the driver position. One is the battery boost solenoid (which I have used when my chassis batteries went bad and the coach would not start & slides & jacks would not operate, and also when my house batteries were too low to start the generator), and the other is part of the Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay setup Chris mentioned. While your description of it as a "battery equalizing circuit" is kind of correct, that could confuse someone into thinking about the battery equlazing feature of the battery charger which serves to "re-vitalize" tired batteries.

One of my two solenoids ...I presume the one that is part of the bi-directional relay setup ...has always been hot to the touch under normal operation, and I do hear it clicking on and off from time to time. Other Ultimate owners I have talked to have noticed the same on their coaches. To me, the clicking indicates it is doing what it is designed to do. When one battery bank is charging, it links both banks together so both are charged/maintained. If the charger is not on, or if one bank is under a heavy load, the relay "isolates" the two battery banks from one another to prevent the "wrong" battery bank from being discharged.

We've used our coach at least monthly since we bought it in 2003, and have lived in it for over two years now, and have not had to replace either of the two solenoids.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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What makes you think the solenoid is bad?

I have had to replace mine. It was bad, and I knew this because I could not keep my chassis batteries charged when it sat for any length of time.

It took some time to figure out that was my exact problem, but that is what it was. It should click in normal operation while it follows the logic of the BIRD circuit. Check Intellitec's website for the conditions as to when and why it is open or closed.

I got the replacement from Mobility RV and it was about $70 bucks if I remember correctly. Wasn't hard to replace. The solenoid does get warm to the touch when it is closed, and batts are charging.

John
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