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Old 04-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Battery Boost Switch

I have 2 12v engine batteries and 4 6v house batteries. The other day I tried to start the coach and it only "clicked". I tried the starter boost switch and nothing different happened, no start. I hooked up a battery charger to the 2 12v and put it on deep cycle 2a over night and all seems to be good now, with many starts since then.

The coach has not seen much use this year and I think the only way the engine batts are charged is thru the alternator. Is this correct? Is there another way to charge them? I have 2 small solar units on the roof but the coach is under cover when not in use so they don't help.

Are my 6v bank batteries too weak in amps to start the engine or is there something wrong with the boost circuit?

John
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
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Something similar happened to me a year or so ago. I then tried to hold the boost switch down for a minute or two before trying to engage the starter. Fired right up.

What was draining my chassis batteries was using the newly installed powered MCD shades daily while parked as a full timmer. They are wired to the same circuits as the original powered visors which typically were only used while in motion. I installed Trik-L-Start to keep the chassis batteries topped off.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzjea View Post
I have 2 12v engine batteries and 4 6v house batteries. The other day I tried to start the coach and it only "clicked". I tried the starter boost switch and nothing different happened, no start. I hooked up a battery charger to the 2 12v and put it on deep cycle 2a over night and all seems to be good now, with many starts since then.

The coach has not seen much use this year and I think the only way the engine batts are charged is thru the alternator. Is this correct? Is there another way to charge them? I have 2 small solar units on the roof but the coach is under cover when not in use so they don't help.

Are my 6v bank batteries too weak in amps to start the engine or is there something wrong with the boost circuit?

John
Suspect all your batteries were dead if you had the coach in storage for a long period of time. If you had the coach stored in Sub Zero Temperature without being plugged in, you may have frozen the batteries. Fully charged batteries won't freeze but when they run down, will freeze and will need to be replaced.

All batteries should be charged by the Engine Alternator or the Converter when plugged into shore power or with the Engine or Generator running.
One thing you should do is physically check the battery connections for corrosion and check the water level in each cell for the 4 house batteries. Top up with Distilled Water only. Clean the terminals with a Water/Baking Soda solution and a Wire Brush. Be VERY careful not to get Bakng Soda in the cells. Soda will render them useless.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #4
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It depends on which Battery Control Center you have if the chassis batteries are charged when coach is plugged in or not. The older (p/n 111979) did not provide this capability, but the newer p/n 111979A) does.
Here's a good document for you files and education.

As you will see by the document, the same solenoid used in the aux start function, is used to effect the cross battery charge function. You need to press and HOLD the aux/start switch while attempting to start the engine.

Chances are good that it's the solenoid that is defective in your coach.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Suspect all your batteries were dead if you had the coach in storage for a long period of time. If you had the coach stored in Sub Zero Temperature without being plugged in, you may have frozen the batteries. Fully charged batteries won't freeze but when they run down, will freeze and will need to be replaced.

All batteries should be charged by the Engine Alternator or the Converter when plugged into shore power or with the Engine or Generator running.
One thing you should do is physically check the battery connections for corrosion and check the water level in each cell for the 4 house batteries. Top up with Distilled Water only. Clean the terminals with a Water/Baking Soda solution and a Wire Brush. Be VERY careful not to get Bakng Soda in the cells. Soda will render them useless.
A little more info. I usually go over to the storage lot every few days and I almost always crank the engine and run it for a while and turn on inside lights etc. so the batteries were not frozen even tho we got below freezing a few days this year (Houston). After charging the engine batteries, they work fine now. Water level was good.

The MH is plugged into 120v shore power all the time so the inverter/charger is always active. I have cleaned all the house battery posts/contacts but since the starter batteries are now charged up, I don't need to use the boost or have any way of telling if it really works or not.

John
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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Many coaches do not charge the engine batteries from the converter/charger. Hence the recommendation for the Trik-L-Start. I had to install one on my previous coach to keep the engine battery charged while I was parked 4 months in Florida.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by loulong View Post
It depends on which Battery Control Center you have if the chassis batteries are charged when coach is plugged in or not. The older (p/n 111979) did not provide this capability, but the newer p/n 111979A) does.
Here's a good document for you files and education.

As you will see by the document, the same solenoid used in the aux start function, is used to effect the cross battery charge function. You need to press and HOLD the aux/start switch while attempting to start the engine.

Chances are good that it's the solenoid that is defective in your coach.
Thanks for the info. I have the 01033-10 Rev. 5 board but I can't find a part no. on it. The schematic says that either part no. will work, they are just wired differently to the boost switch. I did hold the switch down while cranking but stopped cranking after a few seconds of failure to start.

They say ver. A has an electronic component "Rev. 5 (shown in Fig. 4) uses electronic control to introduce ~1min. turn off delay when the aux start switch is pressed. This helps protect coach electronics from being
damaged by transients when the aux start function is used ".

I'm not sure but I think this is what I have but I don't know what it looks like. Maybe the Siemens relay on the board.

Here is a pic.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkcas01 View Post
Something similar happened to me a year or so ago. I then tried to hold the boost switch down for a minute or two before trying to engage the starter. Fired right up.

What was draining my chassis batteries was using the newly installed powered MCD shades daily while parked as a full timmer. They are wired to the same circuits as the original powered visors which typically were only used while in motion. I installed Trik-L-Start to keep the chassis batteries topped off.
If I can't figure this situation out, I will surely consider the Trik-L-Start. I still don't know if my house batteries were just not up to par to provide the amps needed. Someone told me that they might not have enough amps if the engine batts are too low (nothing to boost). I have ordered a digital monitor for the house batts that will tell me exactly what's going on with them. My Xantrex panel just has lights and I don't trust it to be accurate.

Thanks.

John
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:07 PM   #9
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Your posts are confusing. You said originally you only got "click" when trying to start with the engine battery. You said that nothing was different with the use of the aux/start switch. I assume you meant it still only clicked. Right?

In your last post, you say you stopped holding the aux/start switch when it just "cranked" but wouldn't start. Which was it? With the aux/start, did it "click" or "crank"?
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:24 PM   #10
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A little more info. I usually go over to the storage lot every few days and I almost always crank the engine and run it for a while and turn on inside lights etc. so the batteries were not frozen even tho we got below freezing a few days this year (Houston). After charging the engine batteries, they work fine now. Water level was good.

The MH is plugged into 120v shore power all the time so the inverter/charger is always active. I have cleaned all the house battery posts/contacts but since the starter batteries are now charged up, I don't need to use the boost or have any way of telling if it really works or not.
John
Yes you do have a way to tell if it really works or not. There is a trouble shooting procedure in that document that I gave you. Very simple.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:17 AM   #11
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Your posts are confusing. You said originally you only got "click" when trying to start with the engine battery. You said that nothing was different with the use of the aux/start switch. I assume you meant it still only clicked. Right?

In your last post, you say you stopped holding the aux/start switch when it just "cranked" but wouldn't start. Which was it? With the aux/start, did it "click" or "crank"?
Click. Sorry I was't more exact. Nothing but "click" until I charged the engine batteries. Now it cranks up every time.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:35 AM   #12
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Yes you do have a way to tell if it really works or not. There is a trouble shooting procedure in that document that I gave you. Very simple.
Well what I meant was that now that the engine batts are charged, I don't need the boost. I could still press the boost switch and check the K3 relay for activity anyway. I'm not sure where K3 is but I will go out and look again today. Can't tell from the photo. Is the Siemens relay K3? If so, do I have the electronic module they talk about in the document? If so, where is it?

Best news however is we are going 'camping' today for about 4 days. MH is out front on the street to get loaded up.

John
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #13
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Well what I meant was that now that the engine batts are charged, I don't need the boost. I could still press the boost switch and check the K3 relay for activity anyway. I'm not sure where K3 is but I will go out and look again today. Can't tell from the photo. Is the Siemens relay K3? If so, do I have the electronic module they talk about in the document? If so, where is it? John
K3 is the relay (solenoid) that connects your batteries together when you press the aux/start switch -OR- when the circuitry senses that one of the battery sets is being charged. K3 is not on the circuit board, it will have large battery cable sized wires running directly to each battery.

The "electronic module" on your version is circuitry integrated into the circuit board.

As I said earlier, it's NOT just the boost function that you are missing (if the relay and circuitry are not functioning properly) it's the ability to charge ALL the batteries while driving or plugged to shore power. That is really the most important function.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:25 PM   #14
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Usually when that happens to me it's a bad connection and BOOST works.

Last time it was a bad battery, and Boost did not, jumper cables did.

I replaced all the batteries as the house batteries were not far behind the engine battery in dying... They are (were) nine years old.
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