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Old 05-07-2015, 04:51 AM   #1
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Engine not charging house batteries, solenoid?

I have a 2014 Sightseer 33c. I have already replaced both house batteries due to discharging so quickly during dry camping which we do a lot of. At first the engine would charge BOTH the chassis and house batteries at 14.4 volts. Now its only charging the chassis, and now the generator only charges the house and not the chassis starting battery. Occasionally they both come on and charge but mostly not at all. We do have one solar panel but it does this at night too, anyone also have this or hear of it?
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:47 AM   #2
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It sounds like you have a bad solenoid. I think it's called the battery mode solenoid. It is used as a boost when the chassis batteries are low. It is also supposed to connect your house and chassis batteries together when the engine is running. I don't know where it is in your coach.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:56 AM   #3
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hotseer your coach has a battery isolation manager located in the compartment behind the left front wheel well. The first thing I would check is for a loose wire on the IMB relay or one of the battery disconnect relays. Below is a link to the manufacture of the IMB relay with some good info.


Battery Isolation Manager (Control & Relay) 225Amp Continuous | Precision Circuits Inc.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:04 PM   #4
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Thanks re: Isolation mgr info

Thanks so much for info. What is the IMB Relay and where is it? Is it in the same compartment as iso mgr? can THAT relay be the problem? its so amazing that three service people from 3 dealers told me the "solenoid is under the stairs where the batteries are, nothing... Found it where you said it was, in that cabinet , some breakers and 2 15 amp fuses, nothing has popped. Don't see any relays. Its been intermittent with charging. The link you suggested has a lot of info about the iso mgr. Says it monitors voltages and connects two batteries when charging and ALSO monitors long term voltage so it wont overcharge connected batteries. Mines doing the opposite, not connecting and charging when batteries are low. My dealer has ordered a new iso Mgr, hope it works. I went out today and got a marine battery switch and put it in the battery compartment to manually connect the house and chassis when we drive after dry camping in case this happens again. Sounds like this isnt a common problem? My coach is only 5 months old...Thanks again..Im new last night on this site..hope it helps someone else. Dave
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:32 AM   #5
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Interesting link ! Had never seen the "BIM" but looks to me like a control module strapped to a Trombetta battery mode solenoid that has been used for years. I have had my charge solenoid fail twice. The last one I took apart and found that the contacts were in rough shape from repeated usage and likely some minor arcing when it was disconnecting. Even though it would close, the crud on the contacts would not allow it to conduct. Sounds like yours may be failing for the same reason given it connects some of the time and not others. I would also suspect the same will be true of your BIM as it appears to use the same solenoid.
Overall It is an improvement over mine as the control wiring to it is much easier to disconnect should replacement be required. On the down side, it is likely considerably more costly to replace because of the attached module which may or may not be the cause of the failure. Certainly easier to see if wires have disconnected. Would be interested in hearing how this is resolved. Your idea of using a marine battery switch is brilliant and will make the final repair less urgent. I think that the solenoid failure problem is very common on coaches and the BIM will likely experience the same failure rate given the solenoid itself - rather than the associated wiring - has been the root cause of the failures I have experiences. Good luck,
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:51 AM   #6
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Sorry that should be BIM (Battery Isolation Manager) relay. It and the battery disconnect relays are behind the fuse panel you were looking at.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:18 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help! nice to have someone to bounce all this off of. After more thought Im more convinced it is soley the isolation manager that is failing and maybe not a relay. If Ive been told correctly the relay connects the alternator voltage to the iso mgr. Then the iso sends it to the chassis battery and also the house when engine is running. Mine ALWAYS charges the chassis, and only fails to jump over to house. If the relay is failing wouldn't it stop charging the chassis battery as well?
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:38 AM   #8
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hotseer On your coach there are three relays.
1) The Battery Isolation Manager which is a smart relay, connects the chassis battery to the coach battery.
2) Coach battery disconnect relay which disconnects the coach battery from the coach loads.
3) Chassis battery disconnect relay which disconnects the chassis battery form the chassis loads.
The engine alternator is connected to the chassis battery through the chassis battery disconnect relay.
Sorry if the is a little confusing I will work up a simile drawing later today, could not fine what I was looking for on line.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:23 AM   #9
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hotseer, See if the attached drawing helps a little.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grtharris View Post
hotseer, See if the attached drawing helps a little.
Grant,
That's a pretty outstanding drawing. It makes for easy understanding of how those two systems are or, can be, integrated or, not. So many times, when the real electrical engineers, (don't know your official capacity) draw up something like that, I have to turn the drawing sideways, upside down, crooked, to try and understand what is simple to them but, to someone learning like me, it's Greek.

In our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, we have what you explain, in the bottom of your picture. We have no isolation manager. I have just two solenoids in the rear compartment, behind the left set of duals, in our electrical (shore power, Inverter/charger) compartment. One is the coach battery disconnect and, the other is the momentary/dual battery solenoid. And yes, depending on what's required of it at the time, it performs dual duty. Thanks for the nice drawing.
Scott
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:37 PM   #11
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FIRE UP, I'm a retired Ford Manufacturing Controls System Engineer with a maintenance electrician background. I have been wanting to do that drawing for a long time it is amazing what some people who are suppose to know will tell you just to give you an answer.
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:38 PM   #12
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Hotseer:
Replacing the BIM will definitely correct your problem. In my opinion, it is not the front circuit board of the BIM that has failed rather it is most likely the contacts of the Trombetta solenoid unit behind the control board. The BIM is almost twice the price of the Trombetta solenoid ($152 vs $85 per Lichtsinn's on-line parts pricing). I would suspect the control board could be relocated to a new Trombetta solenoid if you can do that work yourself - if your Coach is not under warranty. Failure of the Trombetta charge solenoid/battery mode solenoid is very common and after my second failure, I now carry a spare. It is a very key component in the RV particularly if you have a residential fridge and like cold beer. Good luck,
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
In our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, we have what you explain, in the bottom of your picture. We have no isolation manager. I have just two solenoids in the rear compartment, behind the left set of duals, in our electrical (shore power, Inverter/charger) compartment. One is the coach battery disconnect and, the other is the momentary/dual battery solenoid. And yes, depending on what's required of it at the time, it performs dual duty. Thanks for the nice drawing.
Scott
On my 2004 Journey I have, I think, the same two solenoids BUT mine are in the front compartment on the firewall above the generator.
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
On my 2004 Journey I have, I think, the same two solenoids BUT mine are in the front compartment on the firewall above the generator.
Yes Sir,
I believe you do. I have a few friends (imagine that) that have Meridians and Journeys of that era and, those solenoids etc. are in behind a removable panel, just above the generator on the front firewall.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:28 AM   #15
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house not charging..

Thanks to you all. It IS under warranty so our local dealer here in Ventura has ordered a new Isolation Mgr hopefully this IS the problem and this is the end of it. There must have been a lot of changes recently to these coaches, Not One service person new what this was or WHERE it was! I was told from 3 dealers to look under my stairs in my battery compartment for a single isolator ..this one is in the front left compartment where my propane tank is behind a breaker panel..After a LONG hard search and a ton of calls a service mgr from Winnebago called me and told me after reading my email..It handles engine and genny charging..
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