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Old 08-05-2021, 07:14 PM   #1
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2007 Winnie Itasca house batteries not charging when engine running,

When the engine is running in my 2007 Winnebago Itasca, the house batteries do not charge. I troubleshooted the problem a few weeks ago and determined the solenoid/relay was bad. I replaced it and that fixed the problem, but only for a few weeks. The coach batteries got run down very low yesterday and I used the boost switch in an attempt to start the generator. That did not work. I ended up using a jumper cable between the coach battery and the house batteries to get the generator started. The house batteries charge fine from the generator or shore power but now the engine dies not charge the house batteries anymore. I think I destroyed the new solenoid, but could there be something else wrong? Holding the boost button has no effect. The new solenoid was from Amazon and might have simply been cheap Chinese crap. I would like to make sure before I contort myself again to replace that device with a better quality one. Any advice welcome.
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:17 PM   #2
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First off, Welcome to IRV2!

It does sound like you have a bad solenoid. Easy way to test it is with the engine running check voltage to ground on both of the big terminals. If they are the same it's passing power so start looking for a fusible link. If the voltage is at engine running voltage on one side and 0 on the other then the solenoid is not connecting.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:09 PM   #3
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If it does, in fact, turn out to be the new solenoid that's at fault, you might want to consider a Cole Hersee solenoid as a replacement. Many, many RVers consider it to be far superior to the OEM solenoid. My solenoid has a "case ground" configuration; here's a link to that type Cole Hersee:
https://www.amazon.com/Cole-Hersee-2...s%2C276&sr=8-5

If the solenoid control wiring on your coach is a 2-wire configuration, they have a solenoid configured that way too; i.e., 2 control wire connections and the 2 power terminals.

I have never had to use the boost feature, but I understand from reading comments from several seasoned RVers that it is a good idea to hold the boost sw on for a few minutes....then attempt to start the RV engine.

Good luck with the fix and safe travels.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebrice406 View Post
When the engine is running in my 2007 Winnebago Itasca, the house batteries do not charge. I troubleshooted the problem a few weeks ago and determined the solenoid/relay was bad. I replaced it and that fixed the problem, but only for a few weeks. The coach batteries got run down very low yesterday and I used the boost switch in an attempt to start the generator. That did not work. I ended up using a jumper cable between the coach battery and the house batteries to get the generator started. The house batteries charge fine from the generator or shore power but now the engine dies not charge the house batteries anymore. I think I destroyed the new solenoid, but could there be something else wrong? Holding the boost button has no effect. The new solenoid was from Amazon and might have simply been cheap Chinese crap. I would like to make sure before I contort myself again to replace that device with a better quality one. Any advice welcome.
I'm on my 3rd solenoid in our 2005 Winnebago Itasca.This is what I installed as a replacement on the 1st and 2nd failures:
Trombetta 114-1211-020 DC Contactor

I installed 2 digital voltmeters on the cab's dash. One shows the chassis battery and the other shows the coach batteries. If there's a mis-match when the engine is running (with the coach meter reading lower) then it means that the solenoid is bad and the alternator is not getting connected to the coach batteries.
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Old 08-06-2021, 04:08 AM   #5
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Jebrice406-

First off, welcome to iRV2!

Second, you should add a "signature" to your profile. It contains whatever info you want; most people put info about their coach there, so they don't have to type it into each message. Instructions for adding a signature are here.

Re: The battery boost solenoid. You can test it by applying 12V to the small lug that is not connected to ground. If the solenoid activates as it should, then the problem may be with the switch on the dash.

You don't say which Itasca model that you have, but you can get the wiring diagrams for your coach (and a lot else) by this series of links:

Winnebago Owner Resources
Guides and Diagrams
Wiring Diagrams

Here's how that dash switch works in most Winnebagos of your era:

1) There are three wires, two in, one out.
a) Input 1: Ignition-switched chassis battery 12V
b) Input 2: House battery 12V
c) Output: To solenoid
2) In its normal switch position, Input 1 is connected to Output. This sends 12V from the chassis battery to the small lug on the solenoid- when the engine is running- thus activating the solenoid and connecting the chassis and house banks.
3) In its manual position, Input 2 is connected to Output. This sends 12V from the house battery to the small lug on the solenoid, thus activating the solenoid and connecting the chassis and house banks.

Here's the problem: On some Winnebago models, or in some case when the switch fails, it can get in a position I'd call "off" where neither normal or manual positions send 12V to the solenoid.

So, the first thing to check is if the solenoid activates when you apply 12V to the correct small lug, AND, if the solenoid activates, that it reads the same voltage on both the large lugs, indicating that it has made the connection inside the solenoid between the lugs (i.e., between the chassis and house battery banks).

Finally, it's possible your house battery bank is weak. Charge them with shore power, shut shore power off, and see if you can start the generator.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:51 AM   #6
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Make sure your using a " Continuous Duty " solenoid.

If using a standard one, it will burn out in a few hours of driving, they are built for starting engines.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-06-2021, 11:21 AM   #7
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What most Winnebago users replace the solenoid with is the Cole Hersee 24213 which is a 4 post solenoid with tungsten-silver contacts and a 200 amp continuous rating. You will have a three post solenoid now, and you simply put the one small wire on either small terminal and make a 6 inch or so jumper that runs from the other small post to a ground such as one of the solenoid mounting bolts. The only downside of this solenoid is that the terminals are slightly shorter than the original and its close getting all of the pieces on the terminal studs. Anything less than a 200 amp rated solenoid is a waste. The original solenoid was rated at 80 amps and your alternator is quite capable of charging the house batteries at much higher than that.

Your original solenoid will click and sound like it is working just fine, but the contacts are burned up, this is the usual failure mode

https://www.amazon.com/Cole-Hersee-2.../dp/B005K2429I

This will be the last solenoid you ever need to install on the motor home.

One word of caution with any of these solenoids, DO NOT disturb the inner most nut on the studs, and do not allow the studs to rotate when tightening the nuts holding the cables on. If the studs turn the contacts inside the solenoid can move out of alignment and the solenoid will not work well.

Charles
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:08 PM   #8
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When you replaced the SOLENOID, did you make sure you bought "CONTINUOUS DUTY RATED" vs. (starter duty/ intermittent duty, often NOT labeled?).. The Latter will OVERHEAT the coil, if coil engaged too long, (guessing partly because it has a LOWER voltage activation rating, so when used in continuous duty/ charger duty, it is receiving too much voltage= thus the overheat)? (EDIT/add) On my 99, I have TWO SOLENOIDS, the CHARGE SOLENOID is under hood on firewall in front of driver; the BOOST SOLENOID is next to Battery (hidden below the BATTERY SWITCH mounting plate) I.e. Wrong coil can cause EARLY failure? Hope this helps? PhilG's Amazon Recommendation is a Continuous duty?
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Old 08-06-2021, 10:30 PM   #9
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Howdy,

I have been having the same problems on my 2004 Itasca Spirit. The battery boost switch works but the batteries do not charge when the engine is running. This is with a new Cole Hearse relay.

Check out this post in the Winnebago Forum.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/boo...4f-548503.html
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Old 08-08-2021, 07:53 PM   #10
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I still suspect the solenoid.

So I have continued troubleshooting and was given a link to a post of a similar issue ( https://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/boo...-548503-2.html ). I've checked the fuses and relay and it started working when I swapped the relay - but - only when I tested it. I swapped two of the existing relays (E with H) as a test. When I did, the house batteries started charging when the engine was running. I swapped them back, drove for a few hours, then went to NAPA and get a replacement. When I installed the replacement it is still not working. I tried swapping with an existing relay again and that did not work either. I checked the fuses and they are still ok. What the?

So my current theory is that since I drove the coach for a few hours before I got the new relay from NAPA, that the solenoid is/was hot. I will let it cool overnight and see if that makes a difference. BTW, the solenoid was getting 12v at the control post, but the two battery posts were not the same. I still think this is a bad solenoid.

I will report in the AM after the next test. The saga continues!
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Old 08-08-2021, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebrice406 View Post
BTW, the solenoid was getting 12v at the control post, but the two battery posts were not the same. I still think this is a bad solenoid.
If there is a voltage difference between the two battery posts when the engine is running and power applied to the control post, then the solenoid is not making contact. If it was making good contact the voltage reading would be exactly the same. As suggested make sure you get a continuous duty solenoid. A regular starting solenoid will not hold up.

NAPA may not have continuous duty solenoids, here's a listing for a replacement from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-So.../dp/B072MZHK48
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Old 08-09-2021, 09:03 AM   #12
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So, I fired up the engine this morning and the house batteries are charging. I did nothing except allow everything to cool overnight. The solenoid must be overheating. It is a continuous duty unit from Amazon but not the Cole Hearse brand. I will replace it with the cole hearse first opportunity.....
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Phil G. View Post
I installed 2 digital voltmeters on the cab's dash. One shows the chassis battery and the other shows the coach batteries
Do you have a source for these meters?
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