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Old 06-08-2020, 11:15 AM   #1
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Electrical fire in 12 volt panel

On my Newmar DSDP I have a electric distribution and fuse panel in the left front compartment. Thursday we were cooking breakfast when a alarm went off on the dash. I looked and the dash was lit up like the ignition key was on. Checking found it in the off position and the alarm was the legs down warning you would get if you tried to leave with them down.

I did some initial checking and couldn't find what was happening. I had to turn the master switch off in the rear engine compartment. Later that morning while chasing the problems I discovered the slides, power driver window, and back up camera system was dead.

When checking the issue I could smell burned electrical when I opened the compartment door. Looking at the board from the front it was black around a relay. I removed the board and looked on the back side and sure enough there was a fire and the board is burned. I managed to get the slides working again so we could bring the unit home.

I still haven't found the cause of the fire yet. I believe I can repair the board since there are no resistors or other electrical components. It looks like a relay replacement and some foil repairs to the board and it should work again. What I don't know is what caused the issue. Once I was able to power one fuse bank that the relay fed I was able to make most things function again and no smoke.

Anyone else had any issues like this?

This is a 4024 DSDP...
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Old 06-08-2020, 11:25 AM   #2
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If you had a burned board you had an over amperage condition. A fuse or breaker should have blown. They are there to prevent overload conditions. You need to find the cause of the overload.

I'm not sure what you mean by "foil repairs". If you are are talking about a makeshift solution, then don't do it. Are all fuses/breakers sized as per manufacture's specs? Sometimes someone replaces a burned fuse with an over sized one, bad things may happen then. RVs burn to the ground because of 12v fires. Sometimes we must do a "battle field" repair to get out of a condition. Do the job right.

You may need to replace the board and relay. A few photos would help, we are sort of flying blind here as to the condition of your equipment.
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Old 06-08-2020, 11:30 AM   #3
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Have to ask if there is any sign of water intrusion into the compartment ?

Combination of a 16 year accumulation of dust and a little water or even high humidity can play havoc with a printed circuit board.
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Old 06-08-2020, 11:31 AM   #4
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I've seen this many times, though not your particular board.
It's not uncommon for a 'new revision' of the same board using a different relay or wider foil traces to resolve issues like this.
The safe move is to replace the board.
Sometimes I will compare board revisions and made the same mods they did but that is not the safe way to repair.
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Old 06-08-2020, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgolden View Post
I've seen this many times, though not your particular board.
It's not uncommon for a 'new revision' of the same board using a different relay or wider foil traces to resolve issues like this.
The safe move is to replace the board.
Sometimes I will compare board revisions and made the same mods they did but that is not the safe way to repair.
I will go that way, the foil repair I was referring to above is the foil on the circuit board. I had to wire around it to make the slides and other functions to work. I could repair the board but plan to replace it anyway.
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Old 06-08-2020, 10:09 PM   #6
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If you were able to figure out how to "hot wire" and get the slides working, and know how to use a soldering iron, then you are probably good to repair the "traces" (foil) on the circuit board. Clean it up, and solder wire the connectors where the traces use to connect.

Any idea why the board decided to let its smoke leave? Loose connections can get hot.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:43 AM   #7
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The damage was confined right at the relay. I am thinking that the points or a cold solder joint caused high resistance and did the damage. Had it been a electrical ground or short someplace I should have seen more damage. That coupled with there was no smoke when I wired around it makes me think more that way.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:54 AM   #8
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Just an update. The board was manufactured by KIB inc but no longer manufactured. I searched the web and found a used one at Visionerv.com That part was priced at $800.00. I just wasn't going to pay that kind of $$ for a used part.

I found a phone number for KIB and was able to get a new board (they had 3 left in stock after that none) They shipped it for $200. So if anyone out there has any issues with their 12 volt distribution board p/n 12VDP901 you might want to get one before they are gone.

FWIW, it concerns me that something like this can disable the coach and be no longer available. Short of a major rewiring it would permanently disable a otherwise perfectly good coach. I guess owners of older units like me will be on our own for future parts. Not looking forward to it.

Vision RV p/n Price: $800.00 P/N: 12VDP901 CTRL: 31578B2B3 Stock #: SO
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Old 06-23-2020, 12:00 PM   #9
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Could you post photos of your old part ?

When you talked to the manufacturer , did they mention any possible upgrade to a newer version of the board?

EDIT: BTW , automotive manufacturers are required to provide parts support for only 10 years after production , so not all that unusual, for the parts manufacturers to follow suit.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:50 AM   #10
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Trying to host and upload a picture isn't available to me right now but this is the link to the picture on visionrv website. https://rvcomponents.visonerv.com/cg...md/M1848/s1.pl

For those that asked about fused circuits you can't get much more fused than this.

There are two relays that are just above and to the right of the five relays on the bottom of the board. The fire was between those two relays. Those relays power the upper row of fuses and those power just about everything in the coach.
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Old 10-27-2021, 07:36 PM   #11
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Just an FYI for others - Exact same problem happened to our 2004 Mountain Aire last week. Alarms went off and panels lights came on as if key was in the on position - but it wasn’t. Relays melted on the circuit board as several others have noted.

At one time - the board was available directly from KIB Electronics. I do not believe they are no still in business but the boards are produced and available direct from Newmar for approximately $275 brand new.

AS others have said though - I’m trying to understand how the relays could melt down without simply blowing a fuse first. Will be checking with Newmar technical before installing my new board. Was too close of a call to being a real fire for comfort.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:49 PM   #12
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Last year I started having intermittent issues with the blinkers on my 2005 MADP.

The blades on every relay on the board being discussed were corroded. I pulled them all and cleaned the blades and the sockets.

I suggest that everyone pull and check the relays.
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