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Old 12-15-2008, 03:01 PM   #1
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I have a 2004 National Seabreeze LX with a 12 volt power distribution board that is made by RV Custom Products. The printed circuit board is numbered 01033-10, Rev.6.

This board routes current from the chassis and coach batteries through breakers to major systems. It controls the coach main battery disconnect solenoid and the battery interconnect solenoid. Most of us know the function of that relay to temporarily connect the coach batteries to the chassis battery so we can start the engine when we have let the chassis battery run down. It appears that in this coach it also serves as an interconnect so that the alternator can charge the coach batteries when the engine is running.

My problem ... that solenoid stays energized, even with the engine off, shore current unhooked, and the coach batteries disconnected via the battery disconnect relay. I noticed this because even under these conditions the batteries were draining fairly rapidly and the voltages of the coach and chassis batteries were always matched to the .1 volt.

After poking around, I found the interconnect solenoid to be at its normal activated hot temperature. I found a small (1 amp) fuse on this circuit board, and when I pulled it, the solenoid made a loud click and disconnected. When I put the fuse back in, it reactivated. There is a smaller unlabeled "logic level" relay near this fuse that might actually direct the current to the solenoid, but I'm just guessing. If so, it may be stuck or it may be getting a bad logic level signal, telling it to stay on.

I have a block diagram of the circuits, but it provides no details. There are about a half dozen electronic components (transistors, diodes, capacitors, and maybe one small integrated circuit)but without details, I can't determine their function.

I can't contact National RV since they are out of business, but I have found a telephone number for RV Custom Products. Before I call and bother them, has anyone else worked this same problem? If I can get details of their function, I have the tools and experience to replace the transistors, etc. I'm quite certain that would be less expensive than replacing the whole board!

Gary Orwig
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:01 PM   #2
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I have a 2004 National Seabreeze LX with a 12 volt power distribution board that is made by RV Custom Products. The printed circuit board is numbered 01033-10, Rev.6.

This board routes current from the chassis and coach batteries through breakers to major systems. It controls the coach main battery disconnect solenoid and the battery interconnect solenoid. Most of us know the function of that relay to temporarily connect the coach batteries to the chassis battery so we can start the engine when we have let the chassis battery run down. It appears that in this coach it also serves as an interconnect so that the alternator can charge the coach batteries when the engine is running.

My problem ... that solenoid stays energized, even with the engine off, shore current unhooked, and the coach batteries disconnected via the battery disconnect relay. I noticed this because even under these conditions the batteries were draining fairly rapidly and the voltages of the coach and chassis batteries were always matched to the .1 volt.

After poking around, I found the interconnect solenoid to be at its normal activated hot temperature. I found a small (1 amp) fuse on this circuit board, and when I pulled it, the solenoid made a loud click and disconnected. When I put the fuse back in, it reactivated. There is a smaller unlabeled "logic level" relay near this fuse that might actually direct the current to the solenoid, but I'm just guessing. If so, it may be stuck or it may be getting a bad logic level signal, telling it to stay on.

I have a block diagram of the circuits, but it provides no details. There are about a half dozen electronic components (transistors, diodes, capacitors, and maybe one small integrated circuit)but without details, I can't determine their function.

I can't contact National RV since they are out of business, but I have found a telephone number for RV Custom Products. Before I call and bother them, has anyone else worked this same problem? If I can get details of their function, I have the tools and experience to replace the transistors, etc. I'm quite certain that would be less expensive than replacing the whole board!

Gary Orwig
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:07 PM   #3
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Have you checked the switch that is used to interconnect the batteries when necessary? It could be stuck on or shorted so that it appears on. This would keep the relay engaged.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:14 PM   #4
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You might find this post interesting RV Custom Products Power Distribution Board
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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"...Have you checked the switch that is used to interconnect the batteries when necessary?..."
--------------

The leads for the activation switch go from the driver's control panel to a connector on this board, right near that small relay that I mentioned. I disconnected the switch at the connector with no effect, so I decided that the switch was not the problem. Now that I think about it, though, the switch might be "backwards" ... normally closed, and it opens when pushed. It might be corroded and not making contact. In that case, disconnecting the switch would have no effect. I will check the actual switch in the morning. Thanks!

Gary Orwig
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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Well, the problem is not the switch on the driver's control panel. I checked the switch by disconnecting the end of the wires from the controller circuit board and hooking them up to a continuity tester. The tester beeped when I activated the switch, so it appears to be fine.

I think it is time to call the manufacturer, RV Custom Products.

Gary
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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The problem is solved. I made a call to RV Custom Products yesterday afternoon (1-562-921-8353) and the lady I talked to was well informed and very helpful. She faxed 11 pages of schematics and text description of the way the board works. There was one very helpful statement. On this board there is a one minute delay from the time the board senses a need to open the interconnect relay to when it actually happens. This is to prevent the relay from "chattering" if a heavy load is on one of the batteries.

With that, I was able to solve the problem. On the very lower left of this board is a small adjustable potentiometer that controls the voltages at which the relay connects and separates the batteries. I had noticed this pot a couple days ago (was not certain of what it did) and tried adjusting it, but with no predictable results. However, I was not aware that I needed to wait a minute to determine the effect of the adjustment. After several adjustments and "waits," I was able to get the relay to open at 12.6 volts and close when the converter kicked in after connecting to shore power (another 1 minute wait). If the relay is open, pushing the emergency start button kicks the relay in for a minute, and then it drops back out again. Problem fixed, zero dollars.

An nicer surprise ... this morning John, a very knowledgeable person at the company, called to provide even more details. He explained that the 1 volt difference between the "kick in" and "kick out" voltage is not adjustable. When one goes up, the other goes up as well. They set the kick out voltage at 12.2 volts, so that any voltage above 13.2 volts would interconnect the batteries to allow the source of the voltage to charge both sets of batteries. This way a converter would charge the chassis battery or the alternator would charge the coach batteries.

My converter puts out 13.7 volts, and my alternator starts out at 14.1, so I'm going to try keeping my setting higher than the factory standard. With what I have set now, I need 13.6 volts to interconnect the batteries and they will separate at 12.6 volts. I'd rather have some added reserve left in whichever battery I don't run down.

These are good people. I am pleased to find a company so ready to respond to end consumers. Too bad one specific chassis manufacturer can't do the same. However, these people were specific in their cautions, since this one board controls hundreds of amps of 12 volt circuits. If you have not worked with high amp circuits, it is best to go to a professional. One slip and you have an arc welder on your hands!

Gary Orwig
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:58 PM   #8
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Gary, thanks for the update and we are glad to hear that you have gotten the issue fixed.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:13 AM   #9
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Smile National RV battery interconnect

Hi, Just want to say THANK YOU to Gary for posting his problem and solution to his battery interconnect problem.
I was working on my brother's National RV motor home with exactly same problem. With Gary's details on the operation of the battery interconnect system i was able to repair our problem with a simple adjustment of the potentiometer.
Thank you for posting your problem and solution.
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