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Old 02-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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Traction control on my Anthem

Today , I learned about how my traction control works on my spartan chassis anthem 2013. Turns out you can not turn traction control off!

I got one drive wheel in some snow and ice and the other on good road. The one wheel spun a little and then the traction control cut in and would not let either drive wheel move. I tried using the switch to turn traction control,on and off--but when any wheel spin was detected the traction control defaulted to 'on'.

Talked to spartan and they were surprised at how it was working. Their only suggestion was to pull the 3amp fuse located in the outside front chassis fuse area. Spartan was, as always, great to work with . That said, there was no way to pull that fuse without a proper fuse puller. Not only a space issue--there is a large chassis electrical bus right near the fuse box and I was not about to be wet and in the snow while trying to,pull a fuse that was butting up,to a metal,post!

Anyway--after 4 hours of trying everything I could do--a friend with a 3/4 ton pick up came and hooked a tow strap to the rear hitch and then rather easily got my rv out of the small snow/ice mound.

I believe that had I been able to disable traction control I would have been able to simply back up.

Just thought I would share this tidbit of info since all sane entegra owners stay where there is no snow.

Tom Volk
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #2
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Good to know, Tom...wish you weren't in the snow. Hope if you're headed out, you're headed to warmer climes for a few days.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #3
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Tom, thanks for that information. That strange that the traction control would not let the wheels spin. I hope I never have to test it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharring this Tom. As we brought our Anthem home a couple months ago I turned up our gradual incline drive and the passenger side was in some wet grass almost muddy condition, I also had trouble moving for the same reason as you but I assumed me not knowing how to operate the traction was the problem. Guess I better read the instructions.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:16 PM   #5
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Snow and ice

Dave and Beth--- I specifically thought of your plan to never shovel snow again! We are at all time record snow and I have run out of easy places to put the snow here on my lower Michigan home . ( 18 acres--300 ft driveway ).

Absolutely stupid weather.

Today, I got stuck tinting into my driveway. Right turn rather tight and right rear cut corner by 2 ft and hit the snow drift I had not cleared quite enough. It did not take much to effectively stop the coach.

I was returning from picking up my coach from being at entegra all last week (I live 2.25 hours from middlebury. As always, service was outstanding with many little thigs fixed in addition to a couple of medium issues. They also did three recalls.

I left my house this am and it was a record -22degrees out for the first hour of my drive. It was a balmy -8 when Joyce welcomed me at the office.


So, at the end of the day when I had the unit unstuck-- my reward was to drive the entegra back inside my indoor parking/barn and plug it in and try to figure out how to never be in a position to get stuck in snow again!

Tom

Ps--spartan guys were not sure if pulling the fuse would actually shut off the traction control. They think it still might be activated by the anti skid module.

Seriously--we need a way to deactivate the traction control. For just such situations I had today.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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I know I don't feel your pain that much, but my last Winter in Omaha, I removed the 6' drift across my driveway three times in a 12 hour period so I could go to work. Did the same thing two years in a row in Northern VA with three feet of snow and a long driveway during a 24 hour period.

Since then, a surprise 1.5 in in Sioux Falls in the coach and that was too much. I'm staying South and looking forward to the days when you join me down here. While it may be a while, it'll come bro'
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:42 PM   #7
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Tom,

Don't forget to dump the air in the tag if you didn't to get more weight on the drive axle. Never been stuck in snow, but have been in sand and you can get a rocking motion going jumping from D to R and back. Also use the door mats (mine are rubber) as traction mats to get out.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:20 AM   #8
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Dump tag axle

First thing I did when stuck was to unhook toad! Second was to dump tag to transfer weight. Then made sure all snow and ice was away from stuck wheel. Then put snow melt salt all around the drive tire that was stuck.

Did not try to put a mat or rubber mat under wheel--- good idea.

The problem was that the tc would kick in and not allow wheel,spin . So neither wheel Could get much movement. I tried rocking but again the tc defeated that effort.

Thanks for all the comments and ideas. Really frustrating to have an electronic drivers aid be undefeatable.

In my cars, I turn tc off when going thru even small drifts in my driveway because , if left on, it cuts power to all drive wheels and inhibits forward progress!

I remain convinced that my 4 hour ordeal yesterday could have been avoided if tc was able to be deactivated.

Somebody at spartan needs to look into the operation of tc on these chassis.


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Old 02-13-2014, 06:33 AM   #9
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tvolk: am I getting this right, that when the traction control kicks in you're differential locks up and you can't move the coach at all? The traction control is designed to shift the power from the tire that spins to the tire that has traction, so you should have been able to just walk out of where you were with 1 dual on good road. The traction control should never lock the differential preventing any movement. If this is what it's doing there's something major wrong with the differential traction control system.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Lindy View Post
tvolk: am I getting this right, that when the traction control kicks in you're differential locks up and you can't move the coach at all? The traction control is designed to shift the power from the tire that spins to the tire that has traction, so you should have been able to just walk out of where you were with 1 dual on good road. The traction control should never lock the differential preventing any movement. If this is what it's doing there's something major wrong with the differential traction control system.
That was the same thing I was thinking and how it works on my truck. But, I did not want to say anything until my Entegra arrives and I can read the instructions. But is sure doesn't sound right to me.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:58 AM   #11
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Here's a thread I found on the Spartan Forum about Automatic Traction Control. I looked in the Anthem manual and there's nothing about how the switch operates. I didn't know it was a momentary action switch.....

The switch is a momentary switch which allows you to activate it for a moment, say on a steep incline on grass for instance. The light will come on when you turn the ignition on and will stay on doing a self test then shut off. It also comes on if the system activates itself, to let you know it has gone into traction control. Mine will flash slowly when on and flash quickly when it's being used. The one time I had to use mine I was on ice on a slight incline and couldn't move until I turned on the ATC then I got up the incline with both drivers locked together and slightly spinning.

I hope this is how it works. I don't want to find out the hard way.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:10 AM   #12
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Traction control

The traction control functions by cutting power to the engine. Yesterday, I could get a slight spin on the stuck tire, then the traction control cut in and reduced available power . The effect was that no matter what I did with the throttle pedal, the engine would only run at basically idle speed.
The unstuck wheel never slipped and the stuck wheel did not spin much at all. As soon as it started to spin, the electronics cut in and retarded the engine .

So--I could not get any movement from either wheel.

I do not know how/what the drivetrain differential does --I assume it is some sort of limited slip , but do not know. With the tc functioning as it did, there was no power available anyway. When on the phone with spartan, they thought there was a way to deactivate(or at least change to a different electronic mapping that might allow a little slip!)

My guess is that due to the massive torque this engine has and the resultant force the drivetrain has to handle--the drivetrain makers do not want conditions where there is slip and then sudden traction with the shock load that would happen.

Still a problem when this situation causes , in effect, no movement available of the vehicle.

I tried the switch as a momentary and also tried to hold it. Nothing changd the electronics cutting back the power to near zero. The spartan guys did not suggest anything about a special startup setting.

On my cars--the traction control does the same thing in pulling back available power to stop any wheel spinning. That is why I shut it off going thru snow. Even if one wheel is spinning , I do not want the engine regarded --need to keep the wheels moving!

This is not like the old days where we could bury one wheel by spinning it in snow or sand!

Tom
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:34 AM   #13
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So in other words your traction control setup is basically WORTHLESS. What's the reason for cutting the motor to an idle when you're trying to get unstuck. The drive train is more then capable of handling the power/torque to get unstuck by having the system lock the differential so that it applies power to both rear wheels, system seems rather stupid to me. If it's possible I'd find a way to totally disable the traction control system.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvolk View Post
Today , I learned about how my traction control works on my spartan chassis anthem 2013. Turns out you can not turn traction control off! I got one drive wheel in some snow and ice and the other on good road. The one wheel spun a little and then the traction control cut in and would not let either drive wheel move. I tried using the switch to turn traction control,on and off--but when any wheel spin was detected the traction control defaulted to 'on'. Talked to spartan and they were surprised at how it was working. Their only suggestion was to pull the 3amp fuse located in the outside front chassis fuse area. Spartan was, as always, great to work with . That said, there was no way to pull that fuse without a proper fuse puller. Not only a space issue--there is a large chassis electrical bus right near the fuse box and I was not about to be wet and in the snow while trying to,pull a fuse that was butting up,to a metal,post! Anyway--after 4 hours of trying everything I could do--a friend with a 3/4 ton pick up came and hooked a tow strap to the rear hitch and then rather easily got my rv out of the small snow/ice mound. I believe that had I been able to disable traction control I would have been able to simply back up. Just thought I would share this tidbit of info since all sane entegra owners stay where there is no snow. Tom Volk
The ABS/ATC systems are pretty complex and controlled by an ECM. Motorhomes are not equipped with locking differentials so our systems rely on applying the brake to the spinning wheel and reducing the available torque to prevent drive train damage. There should be a specific method to disable the system. There is a system diagnostic button somewhere around the cockpit. On some of these systems you press and hold this button for a number of seconds and a blink code will tell you the system is disabled until the ignition is turned off. The system will reset at next start up.
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