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Old 01-29-2008, 04:14 PM   #1
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I have the dimesions inverter charger on my 05 horizon. It has not been charging properly when either the engine is running or plugged to shore power . The batteries were replaced 3 months ago and they are OK! I called the inverter manufactuer today and they said if the back of the readout panel in the coach is an aluminum box that it was recalled and needs to be replaced, fine but when set at 25 amp charge it still only reads 12.6 not 14.1 like he said it should, so I called them back and they said the inverter charger is bad and to send it in and they would repair it for 471.00. Is this a good move given that I want to trade coach in early next year or are they just so poor that I should replace them at any cost.

The second issue is that when the coach is running, the voltage gauge in the dash keeps jumping from 9 to 14 volts, but if I fire the gen set it stops, but still after a 2 hour drive and gen running I still don't have fully charged batteries. Is the coach affected by the bad inverter or do I also have a Alternator/regulator issue with the coach chassis! Also after the 2 hour drive and coach is resting, I only have a battery charge of 12.4/5.

Is this to much to ask for a stock coach without all of the expensive upgrades ! With a full charge of good 3-12volt batteries as in stock and the heater set at 64 and the inverter off at 10pm. till 7am coffee, to not run out of juice at 3am

Sorry for the long post!
Any help is great!

Ben!
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
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I have the dimesions inverter charger on my 05 horizon. It has not been charging properly when either the engine is running or plugged to shore power . The batteries were replaced 3 months ago and they are OK! I called the inverter manufactuer today and they said if the back of the readout panel in the coach is an aluminum box that it was recalled and needs to be replaced, fine but when set at 25 amp charge it still only reads 12.6 not 14.1 like he said it should, so I called them back and they said the inverter charger is bad and to send it in and they would repair it for 471.00. Is this a good move given that I want to trade coach in early next year or are they just so poor that I should replace them at any cost.

The second issue is that when the coach is running, the voltage gauge in the dash keeps jumping from 9 to 14 volts, but if I fire the gen set it stops, but still after a 2 hour drive and gen running I still don't have fully charged batteries. Is the coach affected by the bad inverter or do I also have a Alternator/regulator issue with the coach chassis! Also after the 2 hour drive and coach is resting, I only have a battery charge of 12.4/5.

Is this to much to ask for a stock coach without all of the expensive upgrades ! With a full charge of good 3-12volt batteries as in stock and the heater set at 64 and the inverter off at 10pm. till 7am coffee, to not run out of juice at 3am

Sorry for the long post!
Any help is great!

Ben!
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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To determine if your alternator is charging, check your chassis battery voltage as well. The alternator is supposed to charge both house and chassis batteries with engine running. You should have around 13.5 - 14 volts at the house batteries and chassis batteries with the engine running. It should be at least 12.6 volts at rest - 12.6 volts is a fully charged batter's voltage at rest (so, no loads such as slides, jacks steps and ignition). Verify this at the All in One Place voltage meter.

If you are not planning on keeping the coach, you might consider having the Inverter repaired if so needed. If you need to use the coach and the inverter has to be send in for repair, you might as an interim solution consider using a inexpensive automotive battery charger to keep the batteries charged. Just connect the the automotive battery charger to the battery terminals and turn it on and off as needed, don't leave it on continuesly as it will probably overcharge the batteries. It beats having empty batteries if you have no means of charging them now.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:41 AM   #4
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That's real good advice from Harry.

Please keep in mind your two charging systems are separate entities and not interrelated (other than they both affect the battery bank.)

While the engine is running (we are assuming the generator is not running), all batteries are being charged by the engine alternator. The house and chassis battery banks are bridged together via a solenoid (the same solenoid can be manually operated with the "Battery Boost" rocker switch on the dash.)

Like Harry says, with the engine running, house/chassis battery banks should read above 13V (probably around 14V.)

The voltage should NOT be jumping around - it sounds like to me either you have a bad solenoid or a problem with the alternator or voltage regulator.

That's one scenario.

Scenario number two involves charging the batteries while plugged into shore power or with the genny running. Then your house bank battery bank (and only the house bank unless you added a Trik-L-Start or Echo~Charge since you have an '05 model) is charged by the Dimensions. Since your batteries are new (we will assume new=good) and you are seeing voltage readings with the Dimensions running of the 12 volt range, it does sound like you have inverter/charger trouble like the factory suggests.

It sounds like to me you have two different things going on here - alternator/regulator or solenoid trouble and a wonky Dimensions. Since you are going to trade the coach in, I would pay the money to get the Dimensions repaired. You might need to get the coach to a Cummins or Freightliner dealer to let them diagnoise the engine charging problem.

Good luck - let us know how it turns out.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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I just did the Dimensions repair. For my 2004 inverter/charger I got upgraded circuit boards and a new panel. Be sure to mark the wiring when you remove it. It wouldn't have taken much for me to confuse the A/C input/output wiring connection as they were not marked.

They fixed it pretty quickly. Good luck with your repair.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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Update on my charging issue. Received the updated panel and are waiting for the return of the rebuilt inverter. I pulled up floor panel to access top of the engine and determined that 14.1 volts are there so I presume that the alternator is in good working order. Pulled out the house batteries to fully charge and do a load test to make sure again that they are not the problem. I also start to check all the wiring and find 2 of the positive battery cables looked a little swollen under the electrical tape, Once I removed the tape I am shocked to find both cables are almost corroded in half at the connector witch I feel along with the inverter is a major cause of the problem. I will repair and install everything back later and let you know how it is going.
On another issue with the coach batteries I check them at the terminals and they show me 12.5 volts but when I check them in the coach on the one place panel it only shows me 12.1, this dose not seem right. Thank for any help!

Ben!
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:23 PM   #7
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Hi Ho: I'm sure you have already figured out that either (1)the two meters are not calibrated the same or (2)there is a 0.4 volt drop from the battery to the one-place monitor. Hard to say how much current is being used, but let's say 10 amps--The one place should indicate that. If the wire resistance is R=V/I or 0.4volt/10amp=0.04ohms. This isn't very much. One amp and 0.4 ohms would also result in the 0.4volt drop
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On another issue with the coach batteries I check them at the terminals and they show me 12.5 volts but when I check them in the coach on the one place panel it only shows me 12.1, this dose not seem right. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ben,

Pull the One Place Panel off (only 2 screws) and measure the voltage at the back of the meter face mounted in the One Place panel. That will tell you if there is a voltage drop or that the meter is not calibrated correctly.

On my coach I have a .1 volt drop between the battery and the One Place meter, but my meter is calibrated correctly. Hopefully it is just an incorrectly calibrated meter in the One Place panel.

Otherwise I might attribute the problem to your corroded cables. Given you could have a bad connection inside the connectors, the voltage drop will increase as you increase the load on the 12 volts. I would also measure the voltage at the fuse mounted in the battery compartment on the upper right side and see what you measure there. That should give you an indication how good that cable is yet. That cable that runs via the fuse is the one that connects to the inverter/converter
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Lucchese1:
--snip--I also start to check all the wiring and find 2 of the positive battery cables looked a little swollen under the electrical tape, Once I removed the tape I am shocked to find both cables are almost corroded in half at the connector --snip--
Ben! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Ben - thanks for letting us know the progress of your troubleshooting.

Since you have terminal corrosion problems, I'll have to look closely at mine. I'm wondering if your corrosion isn't the result of some acid being expelled due to overcharging/gassing of your batteries?
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:13 PM   #10
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Here is the latest update on the electric inverter/battery charging issue.

#1- It turns out that one off my 12 volt batteries was indeed bad after I had taken it to a battery place to do a real test.

#2- The inverter was also bad as confirmed by Willie @ Dimensions, he said the old style panel caused a short , so why did they not notify every one that had these panels if they knew they were bad! He also said it probley caused my new 12v battery to short out!

#3- Tested the alternator and charging system and all was fine!

#4- Since, after all I have decided to keep the coach for a while, I might as well upgrade a little, so I installed 4 Trojan t-105 6 volt batteries giving me a 450 amp hour capacity, I installed a Xantrex echo charge for the start batteries and also Xantrex auto gen start. Since I know that I have a great battery bank I will hopefully put the ever present electrical worries behind me. I also wired in a straight 20 amp plug to the back of the coach through the inverter so my brother can plug in his little tent trailer in when we are out together, I also wired directly onto the top of the Onan 7.5 gen a 30 amp weather tight plug so when I need a strong circut for something I have it.

And the best part, when I check my panel the coach batteries read appx. 13.3 in float mode and 12.9 for the start bank

Key issues I learned, leave the charge mode at 25 amp charge it really take care of itself,
Amount of battery voltage charging is very closly related to ambiant temperature outside (30 degrees in the High Sierras = 15 volts of charge allowed, 115 in Lake Havasu = 12.5 volts of charge allowed as not to boil the batteries, I remember being in both locations wondering what was going on - now I know! Check those battery water levels often

I also got ambitious and took the front TV apart to end the rattle and was pleased how easy that repair was once I found all the little screws holding up the frame work. I put a little lock tight on the bolts so will not happen again.

Thanks for all the advice!
Ben
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:43 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Lucchese1:
...
I also got ambitious and took the front TV apart to end the rattle and was pleased how easy that repair was once I found all the little screws holding up the frame work. I put a little lock tight on the bolts so will not happen again.
...
Ben </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Ben,

Can you detail where you found the screws holding up the front TV framework? I'd like to get rid of the squeaks I get from there as well.

Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:18 PM   #12
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In my coach there were 2 screws on each side of the TV located inside lower left and right of the cabinets next to the TV, use a flash light because they are black and hard to see. The wood frame is attached to the plastic housing that goes under the TV, just pull the little cap plugs to expose and undo screws then the whole unit easily (plastic and wood together) drops down in one piece, don't force if it won't move just make sure all the screws are out.
Now you will see the cage the TV sits in (very assuring to see how well built this cage is that hangs over your heads), the cross bar going across the top is what hold the TV in and there are 2 Large bolts on each side that are loose and making the rattle, I found one off my bolts sitting on the side of TV completely off. Use about 15" off extension and the proper socket to tighten and maybe some medium lock tight so problem will not happen again.

Hope this helps
Ben!
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:45 PM   #13
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Thanks, Ben! That should help a lot.
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