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Old 09-08-2020, 07:17 AM   #15
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Try searching "trombetta solenoid" might get you pointed in the right direction.

I'm assuming it worked in the past no changes to the coach and unknown whether you're charging when plugged into shore power.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:59 AM   #16
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We’ve had the coach since january, wasn’t working then. It charges on shore power just fine. I’ll check out that solenoid, thanks
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:05 AM   #17
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Since the same solenoid handles the charging both ways, its odd that its not working.

What is your alternator output to the chassis battery ?
Could be lower then the connection threshold.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:30 AM   #18
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Irie,

It's been a few years since I had a similar issue so I'm going by memory here.

As I recall, the alternator charges the chassis batts while you're driving, once the chassis batts are fully charged the Vansco senses the voltage difference between the house batts and chassis batts. If the house batts are a couple of volts lower, I don't remember the figure, the Vansco tells the Trombetta relay to close and ties the house and chassis batts together and charges the house batts. I believe the Vansco monitors the voltage and if the chassis batt volts drop off it opens the Trombetta until the chassis is back at the correct voltage and the process starts again.

This also works in reverse when you are plugged in and running off of 120v. The Vansco senses the volt difference between house and chassis and tells the Trombetta to close and charge the chassis batts.

I had a bad Trombetta and had dead chassis batts after 5 days of being plugged in.

The Trombetta is also the battery boost relay that you can hear closing when you push the batt boost switch. It is located in the battery compartment behind the black panel on the back wall.

When the Vansco calls for a close, light number 19 on the Vansco will light up.

I think the first thing I'd do is check for the number 19 light on the rear Vansco, if it's not lit reset the Vansco by turning off both batt disconnects. Wait a minute and turn them back on, after a few seconds the Vansco should return to it's normal state If it's lit check to see if the Trombetta is closed. Battery boost switch should tell you that. If the relay doesn't close it's either bad or a bad connection.

Like I said, this is all from memory, I do have a good memory, it's just short.

If this isn't entirely correct someone will chime in and get us squared away.

Good luck, Terry
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:02 AM   #19
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Irie,

It's been a few years since I had a similar issue so I'm going by memory here.

As I recall, the alternator charges the chassis batts while you're driving, once the chassis batts are fully charged the Vansco senses the voltage difference between the house batts and chassis batts. If the house batts are a couple of volts lower, I don't remember the figure, the Vansco tells the Trombetta relay to close and ties the house and chassis batts together and charges the house batts. I believe the Vansco monitors the voltage and if the chassis batt volts drop off it opens the Trombetta until the chassis is back at the correct voltage and the process starts again.

This also works in reverse when you are plugged in and running off of 120v. The Vansco senses the volt difference between house and chassis and tells the Trombetta to close and charge the chassis batts.

I had a bad Trombetta and had dead chassis batts after 5 days of being plugged in.

The Trombetta is also the battery boost relay that you can hear closing when you push the batt boost switch. It is located in the battery compartment behind the black panel on the back wall.

When the Vansco calls for a close, light number 19 on the Vansco will light up.

I think the first thing I'd do is check for the number 19 light on the rear Vansco, if it's not lit reset the Vansco by turning off both batt disconnects. Wait a minute and turn them back on, after a few seconds the Vansco should return to it's normal state If it's lit check to see if the Trombetta is closed. Battery boost switch should tell you that. If the relay doesn't close it's either bad or a bad connection.

Like I said, this is all from memory, I do have a good memory, it's just short.

If this isn't entirely correct someone will chime in and get us squared away.

Good luck, Terry
This is my understanding of how it work as well. I am curious if it still changes properly when plug in. If it dose??? Then solenoid not likely the problem.
I had your same experience on my second trip after buying my coach.
If that's the problem, it's a easy fix and not expensive.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:06 AM   #20
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Also, I forgot to add that when testing, test with a test light, non LED and not a volt meter.
This mistake slowed my troubleshooting way down.
I had voltage but no amperage or push if you will.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:54 PM   #21
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Once the chassis batteries are above 13V, a signal should be sent to the VMM to close the solenoid and begin charging the house batteries from the alternator. The opposite occurs while on shore power with the inverter bringing house batteries above 13V at which point the solenoid is closed to begin charging the chassis batteries.

A couple of possibilities that might explain why the former scenario is not working:
1) Chassis batteries are not above 13V
2) Chassis battery voltage signal is not being delivered.

Given that the solenoid is functioning properly while on shore power, it may be reasonable to conclude that the solenoid is not the source of the problem.

Another possibility is that the chassis batteries have gone bad and are accepting a charge but not holding a charge. This could go undetected if the coach is always on shore power.
Has the house battery voltage been measured after a drive?
Has the coach been unplugged after the house batteries show a full charge and then powered from the batteries and inverter to see how the batteries hold up?
Have any of the batteries been tested?
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:11 AM   #22
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Hmmm.... Thanks. Gives us a good starting point.

House bank is all new, chassis batteries are old but holding a charge.
Hopefully get some time today to check a few things. Only one of us is allowed at the hospital now (COVID is spiking again).
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:01 AM   #23
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So after having a chance to check it out, turns out the solenoid is activating, but does not appear to be combining the battery banks. Makes a loud click, but no voltage change between the 2 Banks.
So basically the cranking batteries are charging off the alternator, and the house off the inverter/charger. Respectively. Gonna order a new solenoid, I’m thinking that will do it.

Thanks for the advise!
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:11 PM   #24
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There’s an older thread on this forum titled “Big Boy Relay” that discusses how to test the relay for proper function. Additionally, there is some information on how to repair/rebuild it so it performs properly. Maybe keep it as a spare?

Another potential source of problems is having recent work done on the coach, such as, all new house batteries. Sometimes not everything gets put back in its proper location or doesn’t get put back at all.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
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So after having a chance to check it out, turns out the solenoid is activating, but does not appear to be combining the battery banks. Makes a loud click, but no voltage change between the 2 Banks.
So basically the cranking batteries are charging off the alternator, and the house off the inverter/charger. Respectively. Gonna order a new solenoid, I’m thinking that will do it.

Thanks for the advise!
I think you have it figured out. I just recently replaced mine. Mine was doing the same thing. Output 19 would energize. The solenoid would click but was not passing current. After 4 or 5 minutes the solenoid would be warm to the touch. Mine would eventually (30-45 minutes) start passing current. I lived with this for about year until I removed all my batteries to clean up and paint the battery bay. I replaced the solenoid and now when output 19 energizes I immediately see the same voltage at both battery banks.

As for repairing the solenoid I wouldn't do it. Get a new one. Below is a picture of the contacts in my old one. It was five years old.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:35 PM   #26
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I agree with Rick, they’re not worth rebuilding or trying to make them work as a back up.

I replaced mine 4 years ago and the new one was $45 so I bought 2. A brand new spare guarantees you’ll never have that problem again.

Terry
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:56 PM   #27
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I agree with Rick, they’re not worth rebuilding or trying to make them work as a back up.

I replaced mine 4 years ago and the new one was $45 so I bought 2. A brand new spare guarantees you’ll never have that problem again.

Terry
I did the same, installed one and one for a spare.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:23 AM   #28
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The solenoid did the trick!

Thanks everyone 😎
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