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Old 10-25-2018, 12:42 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect bypass

I have read for days on your forums before posting this. I know there are other post about bypassing the switch but couldn't find any new ones. For days now I have been here and the internet researching the switch bypass. And now a few days trying to track down where the solenoid is located. Im a newbie on forums and RV owner so don't beat me up to bad for a repost. There isn't much info out there on our cheap class A 03 condor trail lite . I finally found them behind the I think mother board. One is burnt up I can see that. But seems like this one has 3 solenoids most I have seen or can find with pictures have 2. I just don't want to burn anything up . Getting cold in Indiana and if I can't get get this fixed wife might fly to Florida and make me stay to fix BYPASS this thing :( . If any one can help I would appreciate it . Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:01 PM   #2
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I'll take a stab. The two solenoids to the right look like battery bank disconnects. One for the house and one the chassis or engine start batteries. To easily figure out which is which and if they might be functional have someone cycle the disconnect switches which you listen for which one closes/opens.

Power comes in on the bus bars to the Frankenstein neck bolt looking posts on the sides. The smaller posts with the light wires are the control power.

The problem on to the left looks like the Aux Start or cross connect solenoid. This one closes when you press and hold a switch somewhere in the area of the driver's seat labeled "AUX START". It ties all the batteries together in case one set is low or dead so you can still start the engine or generator. This solenoid is usually a little lighter in capacity then the other two and you can cook it by over use due to a dead engine battery and an engine that is hard to start.

If your battery management system has the smarts it will also close this solenoid when the engine is running or the house AC/DC converter-charger is active to keep both banks charged. You can live without it but keep a close eye on the engine battery charge. I would not recommend bypassing the or jumping the solenoid other than for short durations, as in while you within arms length of the solenoids. If you have a battery problem you could drain all of the them and end up stranded cold and dark with a defrosting fridge.

The solenoids are pretty easy to replace and you can get them off Amazon or at your local RV Service Center. Very common item and low cost.

On the solenoid to the top right is there a wire or something connected to the top power point behind the loose bus bar?
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:05 PM   #3
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I'm guessing the two solenoids on the right are your Chassis and House battery disconnect solenoids. The burnt one in the middle left is most likely the solenoid that connects the House and Chassis batteries together when you push the spring-loaded switch on the dashboard to tie the two battery banks together as a 'boost.' It might also have the circuitry to connect both battery banks together when a charging voltage (13.4v) is sensed and disconnect them when it's not present so the one group of batteries doesn't discharge the other.

A solenoid can be bypassed by connecting both the large wires together on one post. The smaller wires are the ones that power or trigger the solenoid to open and close. I would NOT do that to the battery isolation solenoid, it would leave all the batteries connected together all the time.

Replacing a solenoid isn't hard, just be sure to label all wires before disconnecting them, take photos too. Remove the old solenoid and take it to a good automotive parts store or an RV parts store.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post



A solenoid can be bypassed by connecting both the large wires together on one post. The smaller wires are the ones that power or trigger the solenoid to open and close. I would NOT do that to the battery isolation solenoid, it would leave all the batteries connected together all the time.

Replacing a solenoid isn't hard, just be sure to label all wires before disconnecting them, take photos too. Remove the old solenoid and take it to a good automotive parts store or an RV parts store.
I agree with BFlinn here.
On your burned solenoid move the toasty white wire down the the corresponding location on on the bottom of the solenoid (I can't tell what color wire is there. I can't even tell for sure that there IS a wire there, if not then that's a different problem, or perhaps the root of this one) that will bypass the solenoid.

BUT, that white wire needs to be cut and stripped back until you get past the hot spot on the wire, hopefully that won't make it too short to use.

Not any harder, and probably better is to do as BF suggested, remove the solenoid, and take it somewhere to get a replacement.
Take LOTS of pictures so that you know exactly what wire goes where when hooking it back up.
Assume these wires to be hot, disconnect the battery before removing the wires.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum.

Solenoids are some of the easy parts to diagnose, expecially when you have one that has melted.

As suggested you need pictures and voltage measurements first. Print the pictures and write on them for reference.

The obviously bad solenoid is a simple replacement but you need to clean the wires that connect to it and replace the connectors that are bad.

However, take some voltage measurements on all of the solenoids so you don't just toss parts at the problem.

Fixing the obvious first often clears up lots of things. You can get that solenoid at an automotive store.

A solenoid is a really simple dumb device for the most part. You simply supply a voltage to a small terminal or terminals if one has a ground terminal, that in turn causes a magnet to pull contacts together. Those contacts are connecting the large nuts together simply providing an internal jumper cable basically. Not a cable of course but a solid piece of metal.

Go ahead and take some voltage measurements before you take anything apart.

You need to disconnect your batteries ground cables. This includes your engine battery too. Then retake those measurements to be sure you have removed all sources of power including being connected to shorline or solar panels.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:27 PM   #6
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I agree with BFlinn here.
On your burned solenoid move the toasty white wire down the the corresponding location on on the bottom of the solenoid (I can't tell what color wire is there. I can't even tell for sure that there IS a wire there, if not then that's a different problem, or perhaps the root of this one) that will bypass the solenoid.

BUT, that white wire needs to be cut and stripped back until you get past the hot spot on the wire, hopefully that won't make it too short to use.

Not any harder, and probably better is to do as BF suggested, remove the solenoid, and take it somewhere to get a replacement.
Take LOTS of pictures so that you know exactly what wire goes where when hooking it back up.
Assume these wires to be hot, disconnect the battery before removing the wires.
Oh look, Podivin is talking to himself again - what a weirdo...

Looking at this again, I believe those copper 'plates' you have coming to either side of the solenoid are the 'wires' that BF and I are thinking would be connected together to bypass the solenoid.
Obviously you're not going to move those with any ease.
Looks to me like your one choice is to replace the solenoid, not bypass it.
This would also explain why there doesn't appear to be a wire connected on the bottom post, that plate is doing all the work there.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:02 PM   #7
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Old 10-26-2018, 05:06 AM   #8
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The solenoid on the left that has all the burnt connections is your isolation solenoid. It connects the chassis and coach batteries together.

Replace it, make sure to specify a "Continuous duty" solenoid. The copper bars are probably OK, make sure to clean up the connections. The large wires that connect look like they may have some bad heat damage. you'll probably need o cut the wire back a couple inches and put new terminal lugs on the wires.

The two solenoids on the right are the batter disconnect solenoids.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:08 AM   #9
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I want to get a very very long story about this problem to be very short I hope. First thanks for all the very helpful feedback . When we bought the revision it was very low miles and very good condition needed nothing. BUT I'm married lol wife didn't like it was outdated. So the carpet comes out new leather everything new paint everywhere etc. Well we live in the summer in Indiana now winter in Florida. So it might be 80 one day snow the next it sucks. So of course it gets cold can't paint in the cold my propane runs out. So with everything torn apart gallons of paint supplies cabinet doors u see where I'm going with this. I decided to take RV to get some propane at the truck stop 6 miles away no big deal right ????. Get there fill up propane dump the �� tank . Time to head back home the light turns green to get back on the interstate I take off and a semi runs the light I slam on the brakes. That was fun I got 34 feet of stuff with me in the front. 3 miles down the road going 65mph the RV started spitting sputtering and now I can't get over 25mph . Oh Lord what the crap everything starts going through your head at that moment. Of course I got trucks cars I think even a priest flipped me off lol. But I only have 3 miles to go please keep running. Ok the Long story is over. What I think had happened a whole new gallon of paint spilled all over my battery disconnect. And I believe that is why the RV didn't want to run and now won't start. So I don't only have a bad solenoid . It's also the battery disconnect plate wiring etc. I believe that the paint shorted all this out. So that's why I personally want to bypass this and not spend 300 dollars to fix it. Oh and of course wife told me not to go that day. So I'm living in my garage for now lol.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:53 AM   #10
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Once again thanks for all the help you all rock. Correct me if I'm wrong please I guess I will replace the isolation solenoid on the left. And maybe just take out the 2 on the right completely ? . Replace any bad looking wires connecters etc should I put all the wires off all 3 solenoids back on the new solenoid or are there ones I need to leave off the new one. I know this is going to be time consuming. But if I'm wrong please let me know. I Will tackle the job tomorrow so I can get back to my honey do list
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:04 AM   #11
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Once again thanks for all the help you all rock. Correct me if I'm wrong please I guess I will replace the isolation solenoid on the left. And maybe just take out the 2 on the right completely ? . Replace any bad looking wires connecters etc should I put all the wires off all 3 solenoids back on the new solenoid or are there ones I need to leave off the new one. I know this is going to be time consuming. But if I'm wrong please let me know. I Will tackle the job tomorrow so I can get back to my honey do list
If you take out the disconnect solenoids, I'd replace them with manual disconnect switches. If you don't, anytime you leave the RV for more than a couple of days not connected to shore power, there's a chance your batteries will be discharged while away. Each time your batteries discharge below 50%, their life will be shortened.

The burnt solenoid in the center should be replaced or you'll find all the batteries will discharge if anything is left on over time.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:16 AM   #12
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Once again thanks for all the help you all rock. Correct me if I'm wrong please I guess I will replace the isolation solenoid on the left. And maybe just take out the 2 on the right completely ? . Replace any bad looking wires connecters etc should I put all the wires off all 3 solenoids back on the new solenoid or are there ones I need to leave off the new one. I know this is going to be time consuming. But if I'm wrong please let me know. I Will tackle the job tomorrow so I can get back to my honey do list
Pick your poison.

There are two types of folks. The one's who design systems and those who are smarter than them. Over 50 years of experience has taught me that parts are seldom put in without a reason. That leaves me thinking I would fix what broke and leave the system operating as it was designed to do. It's often easier than finding out that there was a good reason for the extra parts.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:57 AM   #13
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Pick your poison.

There are two types of folks. The one's who design systems and those who are smarter than them. Over 50 years of experience has taught me that parts are seldom put in without a reason. That leaves me thinking I would fix what broke and leave the system operating as it was designed to do. It's often easier than finding out that there was a good reason for the extra parts.
. Nothermark I would agree 100 percent with you if I hadn't worked with some of those people for 30 years. I retired from one of the big 3 Auto manufacture's and seen many things in those years. From Bad engineering design bad quality and over paid lazy workers not all of course. I could go on for days being I closed 3 plants down etc. Yes there are bad design in a little bit of everything every where etc. Now back to the issue if that solenoid and wires are burnt up like that I would bet the wires from the switch to it could be also. Don't want to add any more to the job than I can handle. I have used this switch cause of the grandkids get in it and find switches I never knew was there. So it was nice when they would go out I would just turn it off. But in my honest opinion being that me or my family could have died when the switch went bad (my fault of course.) . But I have heard of recalls also on this switch going bad while driving. I know my RV will not start and learned while driving if it goes bad you could be in big trouble. Like I said I guess it's up to the owner what he wants to do .
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:28 AM   #14
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The fact that, "grandkids get in it and find switches I never knew was there." indicates that if you eliminate all battery disconnect solenoids and eliminate the battery isolation solenoid, you'll find all the batteries dead and you won't be able to 'boost' the chassis batteries to start the engine or boost the house batteries to start the generator.
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