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Old 10-08-2015, 10:10 PM   #1
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Virtual RECALL #2 FOR ALL FLEETWOOD MOTORHOME ALL YEARS

Important virtual RECALL #2 FOR ALL FLEETWOOD MOTORHOME FOR ALL YEARS.
Important RAPPEL #2 POUR TOUS LES MOTORISÉS FLEETWOOD, TOUTES LES ANNÉES (virtuel)

For the Virtual recall #1 see this link.

My motorhome Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision 1999 had a bad ground on the Battery Control Center (BCC). This problem don't concern the Ford F53 connections (or other chassis manufacturer). It concerns the one made by Fleetwood over the chassis.

Since many have a 20 years mortgage on their motorhome, you must expect them to last for at least 20 years.

But in my opinion there is a flaw in the way the BCC receives its ground.

SYMPTOMS POSSIBLE:
1 - Engine won't start as soon as the Chassis battery is not 100% charged.
2 - Electrical stairs won't work until chassis battery is fully charged.
3 - Waterheater ignition could failed until the chassis battery is fully charged.
4 - Chassis battery will always look LO.
5 - and many other weird symptoms....

THE FLAW
Inside the Battery Control Center (BCC) there is a circuit board. This circuit board receives it ground from a very strange and unusual manner.
There is a black wire on the back of this board for the ground. This wire on the gasoline models goes to a connector on the Aux Start Solenoid. From this connector a wire goes to a screw on the metal box of the BCC.

The problem is that this box does not have a ground wire to the Ford Frame. Instead it receives its ground from the screws that connects the box to the frame.

Since those screws have a lots of stress from the weight of the BCC box, over time they will catch water, rust and then develop some resistance for the ground. If your BCC is in front of the coach and receive the wind, dust, salt and water,.... problems will occur faster. If your BCC is in a compartment, it will take much longer to get a problem. But overtime the vibration on the road could bring problems since it put stress on the little screws that holds this heavy BCC box.

When each year you verify the quality of your coach grounds, you will never think about the inside ground of the BCC. But this ground is weak.

FIX 1: Add a ground wire going from the Box of the BCC to the Ford Frame.

Fix 2: Connect a good frame ground to the wire inside the BCC box that is on the connector P4 of the circuit board pin no 6.

Fix 3: Connect a good frame ground to the wire inside the BCC box that is connected on connector P2 of the Circuit Board pin number 9.

The Fix number 1 could seems to be the best solution but in fact it is not. Even if you put a big wire from the Frame to the Box, there is still another problem: The black ground wire of the Circuit Board is very thin compared to the two ground wires it must supply on connectors P4 pin 6 ans P2 pin 9 and the onboard relays (especially the Ignition Lockout Relay). On my old Circuit board revision B, the black ground wire of the circuit board had melted over the years.
Fix number 2 is a big wire. If you connect this wire to a good ground with a big gauge wire, it will be the best solution.
Fix number 2 like the fix number 1 has a small wire.
So Fix number 1 or 2 or 3 will prevent leaks. But to prevent overheating in any situations, I would recommend that you apply two of the fixes.

On this picture I show the actual ground route of the circuit board. It connects to the box itselft but the box is only screwed to the frame with metal screws with no nuts.



On this picture I show the P2 and P4 connectors on the circuit board of the BCC. Fix number 2 and 3 suggest that you tap theses wires with a good ground from the F53 frame. This will supply the board with a much better ground than the actual one.



This virtual RECALL FOR ALL FLEETWOOD MOTORHOMES AND FOR ALL YEARS takes at least 1.5 hours to proceed when done for the first time. I used a big 200 watt iron and gauge 10 wires.

Personnal experience: months of searching, months of wondering what is the cause of so many weird problems, so much money spent to change CB115 B for a newer P, so much complaints from my DW, so mamy days without hot water, so many days without electric stairs, so many miles with the "Aux Start Button" continuosly pressed. But today is a big day my motorhome is like brand new.

Carl Bilodeau

N.B.: What is a "virtual recall"? A virtual recall is a candidate recall exposed by a community member. It is subject to become an official recall from the manufacturer once it is known by them and once the community speak up.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:56 AM   #2
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Little typo mistake in my previous post:

Fix number 2 like the fix number 1 has a small wire.

should be:

Fix number 3 like the fix number 1 has a small wire.

PROCEDURE TO VERIFY YOUR BCC GROUND :
If you don't want to apply a fix right now, at least you should add in your annual inspection a verification of the BCC ground.

Verification procedure:
With an ohmmeter, test the BCC little ground screw (inside the BCC you will see a label "Ground" beside this screw) you put the second ohmmeter wire on a clean part of the Frame of the motorhome. If there is a resistance then you know there is a problem coming. While doing this test, shake-move the BCC box. In my case I had differents readings while shaking and moving the box (this is a sign of bad connection).
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:04 AM   #3
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Carl--Thanks for calling attention to this potential issue.

Point of clarification please. You specifically mention "This wire on the gasoline models...", which is what your experience with the problem is. I've not heard of these symptoms on DP MHs (that were not resolved in some other fashion).

So, are you sure it pertains to all Fleetwood models and all years? Surely the BCCs have changed significantly over two decades? Perhaps ground screws replaced with nuts & bolts?
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Al n Cindy View Post
Carl--Thanks for calling attention to this potential issue.

Point of clarification please. You specifically mention "This wire on the gasoline models...", which is what your experience with the problem is. I've not heard of these symptoms on DP MHs (that were not resolved in some other fashion).

So, are you sure it pertains to all Fleetwood models and all years? Surely the BCCs have changed significantly over two decades? Perhaps ground screws replaced with nuts & bolts?
Yes it should apply to all models and all years, even the Diesel, unless somebody here says that Fleetwood added a direct ground wire going from the Frame to the BCC box.

On the Diesel, even on the recent models they still have the CB115 board. Mine had revision B and now I changed it this week for Revision P which is quite new. On Revision P the black ground wire is still quite small gauge. On my old CB115 Revision B, there was sign of burning on the back of P4 pin 6 and the black ground wire had melted from one end to the other but was still protected. But maybe it melted because the ground was weak, and in normal condition its size would be adequate.

On the Diesel, the Aux Start Solenoid is not in the BCC so the Circuit Board CB115 ground black wire probably go directly to the screw labelled "ground". But the problem is still the same, we have an unconventional way of grounding the BCC box.

Look at any Electrical Box in your house and the grounding is ALWAYS made from WIRES to a specific ground screw and NEVER from the screwa retaining the body of the electrical box to the wall.

If you look at your BCC box, do you see a specific wire from the BCC box to the frame? If no then one should be added or at least you should verify the quality of your BCC box ground each year with an ohmmeter.

Thanks
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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OK, thanks. It's a pain on my DP to get into the BCC, but I'll get to it.


Glad you resolved the problem that's been nagging you for so long. And sharing it!
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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If you have electrical problems related to this BCC ground and you don't know it, here's what going to happen:

1 - You will clean the batteries connectors so the problem will be postpone for a few months or a few years.
2 - You will later clean and redo all ground connections on the motorhome so the problem will be postpone for a few months.
3 - You will later review once more all the grounds, spending 2 hours under the motorhome trying to find the problem.
4 - Then you will change Chassis battery which will postpone the problem for a few more months.
5 - Then you will suspect a belt slippage that prevent the alternator to fully charge the chassis battery which seems to never become full.
6 - Overtime the engine will start only when the chassis battery si 100% charged.
7 - After a few months the engine will start only with the Aux Start button activated.
8 - After a few more months the engine will run only if the Aux start button is kept pressed with a screw all the time.

Since the Chassis battery will drain faster, you will also have a lack of power on acceleration and on climbing hills.

This is what happened to me.

Here is a picture of the type of screws that retain the BCC box to the Fleetwood frame:


N.B.: I would be surprise to learn that many park their motorhome in a campground permanently or try not to move it too oftenly because of this kind of unsolveable problem.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #7
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My Fleetwood Bounder (with the same BCC as your pace) is even older than your MH, and I have never had ANY of the symptoms that you itemize.

My Bounder has always resided in a very humid and salt-air environment and still no rusting of ANY screws to the point of failure as you describe.

There are myriad other problem areas that would cause the majority of your symptoms that have nothing to do with the BCC in your rig. JMHO
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
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This doesn't surprise me. On my Fleetwood Discovery, the battery bank and other multiple grounds (including the engine) were through a ½" hole in the chassis with a ¼ -20 bolt.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Old Bounder View Post
My Fleetwood Bounder (with the same BCC as your pace) is even older than your MH, and I have never had ANY of the symptoms that you itemize.

My Bounder has always resided in a very humid and salt-air environment and still no rusting of ANY screws to the point of failure as you describe.

There are myriad other problem areas that would cause the majority of your symptoms that have nothing to do with the BCC in your rig. JMHO
The pictures I show were found on the internet on Google. Took the first I found. Statistically there is 50% chance this is the condition of most BCC after 10-15 years.

I do not pretend theses symptoms ONLY occurs if you have a weak BCC ground. I suppose you will not prentend that the ground to the MAIN CIRCUIT BOARD of the motorhome is not more important than any other component and has not much impact? This little ground is also involved with the IGNITION LOCKUP RELAY.

I have a friend who is even luckier, he never drive on winter time when they put salt on the roads and he parks his rigs inside almost 45 full weeks in a year. You should see his BCC. But his BCC shakes and one day this flaw on the ground could show up.

My rig had nearly no rust in october 2014 until we drove on road with salt going to Florida from Montreal in very strong storms. This mean that if I take you rig in the same situation as mine it should react like mine did.

I went last year around New-York. I have encounter the worst road I had never seen in my life. They don't repair their highways. I remember a one hour drive where it was a real demolition experience. Everything was shaking, the wheels were knocking like if I had no schock and no springs. My BCC has those metal screw only on the right rear corner, the left side and the back is in the air. Can you imagine how rough this is on those screw to drive there?

Anyway, who would use retaining screw holding a lot of weight as an adequate ground? This make no sense and is a real flaw. They don't do it in our house electrical box even if our house don't move and never go outside.

Inside the BCC the ground screw is perfect with no sign of rust. How come they did not put a wire from this screw to the frame? It would be also easier to troubleshoot an electrical problem. With the actual design you have to guess from where the ground is coming.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:44 PM   #10
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This doesn't surprise me. On my Fleetwood Discovery, the battery bank and other multiple grounds (including the engine) were through a ½" hole in the chassis with a ¼ -20 bolt.
You'll not convince me that this was done at the factory.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:21 PM   #11
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RV Custom Products is at fault here???

Whose fault is it? Fleetwood or RV Custom Products that make the BCC?

In my opinion it is mainly RV Custom Products fault.

See this first diagram from RV Custom Products, I have put my comments in red:


We can see at the bottom of this first diagram that RV Custom Products needed an external ground. But they put no outside Ground Screw on the BCC box. Since they put one inside, they knew a ground needed a dedicated screw with a label beside it.

To me, it is clear RV Custom Products forgot to put an external screw with a Ground Label beside it.

So this mean that when Fleetwood screw the box on the frame, they don't even know they are actually grounding the box. They probably never intended to have a simple metal screw to become the single ground of the most important Control board of their motorhomes for 25 years.

This other shema show even more clearly that during the design stage they needed a dedicated ground from the outside of the BCC box.



This last diagram show P4 pin 6 importance:


I RECOMMEND FLEETWOOD AND OTHER RV MANUFACTURERS TO COMMUNICATE THIS INFORMATION TO RV CUSTOM PRODUCTS SO THAT THEY CORRECT THIS FLAW ASAP.

Meanwhile, Fleetwood and other manufacturers should recall all the motorhomes to have a ground wire installed.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:35 PM   #12
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Four self drilling self taping screws are plenty to establish electrical contact between the metal box and the metal frame. Case closed.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:49 PM   #13
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Four self drilling self taping screws are plenty to establish electrical contact between the metal box and the metal frame. Case closed.
I prefer to trust my ohmmeter. Four self drilling self taping screws are not enough on the long term to establish electrical contact between the metal box and the metal frame. Case open.

It is too late anyway, Fleetwood and Thor owners having problems will see this thread about the CB115 and the BCC and make the fix as suggested.

Having LP Detect problems, Stairs problems, Electric stair light blinking, anormal Chassis battery drain, non working water heater ignitor, engine that stops on the road, etc, all those problems are now solved for me. When people will search for these words on google they will find this information right here. So it is widely open.

When Fleetwood put a wire on the Ford frame, you will unscrew it after a few years and clean it. You will do the same for the big wires on yours batteries. So it is magic thinking to believe that for the BCC ground the contact with the 4 screws will be ok for 20 years without any services and not even knowing they serve as a ground for the most important component of the RV? Seriously, it needs a ground wire and even this ground wire will have to be verified like any other important ground on the motorhome.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:12 AM   #14
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You'll not convince me that this was done at the factory.
Yes it was, I bought the coach new at a FMCA rally. The coach came directly from the factory. Being my first (and Last) new coach, I didn't know what all the blue tape was for inside the motorhome. In all there were over 80 factory defects we found. Including an unplugged connection and a missing piece of cable for the extarder. We were back at the dealer once, the Fleetwood factory three times, and one more time at another factory authorized warrantee place. Coach had to be repainted three times as well. All of this was under warrantee. I definitely know that's how the ground was connected.
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