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Old 10-26-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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House batteries not charging while driving

When checking the one-place battery voltage this weekend I noticed that the battery voltage was different. Usually they are the same or very close to the same while the engine is running. After some research I found that the solinoid under the steps is the problem. My coach batteries do charge when plugged into shore power or running the generator. I went to NAPA store and bought a continuous voltage 12 volt solenoid. Carefully disconnected the wires and mounted the new solenoid. Rewired it and started the engine. Same results. Not getting any charge to the house batteries, although the chassis is charging at 14.3 volts. Am I missing something? Just plugged the coach back in to charge the house batteries.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:19 AM   #2
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I had a similar problem on my 03 Journey DL. The solonoid was fine, but a connector in the harness that goes to the aux start switch came loose. The connector is supposed to lock, but I could not get it to do so (apparently the same problem they had on the assembly line).

I pushed it together as far as I could and secured it with a cable tie. No further problems for about 5 years now.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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I have had the no charging problem twice. Before removing the solenoid I always check for 12 volts on the little center post wnen the engine is running. I believe I read somewhere a couple of years ago that the line is fused. Perhaps a call to Winnebago would confirm if it is or not. I believe when the engine is not running you should hear the solenoid snap when the Emergency Start switch is pushed. I am not sure but I think the ignition switch must be on.

Don
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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I just had the same problem fixed. It WAS the solenoid. Did not seem to be any complicating factors. Mine quit working July 2008 and then "fixed itself" before I coild have it looked at. Went out for good this fall and did not fix itself. Replaced- all good.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petro View Post
I have had the no charging problem twice. Before removing the solenoid I always check for 12 volts on the little center post wnen the engine is running. I believe I read somewhere a couple of years ago that the line is fused. Perhaps a call to Winnebago would confirm if it is or not. I believe when the engine is not running you should hear the solenoid snap when the Emergency Start switch is pushed. I am not sure but I think the ignition switch must be on.

Don
Hi Don and all,

Before calling Winne you might try looking it up in the drawings/schematics/parts list for your rig at Winnebago Manuals & Diagrams

I have downloaded all the manuals for mine and printed them out. Then put them in a 3-ring binder and keep it in the rig.

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Old 10-27-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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well I did change the solinoid and still no charge. The smaller wire to the center post does have 12-V when the ignition key is in the on position. I don't seem to be getting the 14-volts through the solinoid as I have it on the chassis side but not the coach side. Possibly another bad solinoid? I doudbt it. This has got me stumpted.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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The two smaller gauge wires on top of the solenoid, one is 12V, the other is a ground. Check to make sure the ground wire is not broken or loose.

FWIW, I just replaced the solenoid on my 07 Journey last month. Had the same issue with my WB Adventurer, the Journey's predecessor.

Best Regards!
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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If your new solenoid has 2 small connections you must install a new ground wire from one terminal. Easy from the post to one support bolt.
The replacement solenoid must also be 100 amp or more. if not rated for 100 amps it will be intermitent.
Ask the parts people for an emergency vehicle continous 160 amp solenoid.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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I had problems with batteries not charging and my problem was the big heavy ground wire from the battery neg to chassis. The bolt to chassis ground was not tight. Check all the connections around the batteries and make sure all are good and tight.

Good luck,
Bill
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:28 AM   #10
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My solenoid only has the 1 smaller guage post on it on the ignition switch wire goes to it. I get 12 volts going to it when the key is turned on.The soleinoid is screwed to the metal box that it sits in which I believe is grounded to the chassis. Not to sure about the amps of the soleinoid but the parts guy did say that it was a heavy duty continuous duty solenoid. Thanks for all the advice. If it stops raining I'll try and work on it after work today and let you know how I made out.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:58 AM   #11
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Update/ I took her for a short ride to fuel up last night. First checking the voltages at the one-place. Still the same, house 12.5 chassis 14.3. After driving about a mile I tried to turn on my high beams. Funny but they did not work. I pulled the handle to the flash and the high beams did flash but would not come on in high beam position. After fueling up and while driving home I tried it again and then they started working. I pulled over and checked the one place again and the voltages were the same. 13.8 volts on both house and chassis. It doesn't make any sence to me but for now all is working. Gremlins I guess. Parked her and watched the world series. Go Phils! Thanks C U later.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:45 AM   #12
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I have had the same problem and found it to be a bad solenoid. These are cheap, CHEAP units and they may appear to switch properly but over use in time, the contacts become pitted and present a very HIGH resistance or are completely open. Answer, spend the $19 and replace the solenoid.

Of course that presumes you have checked the voltage on both battery terms on the solenoid and found 12.5 or more on both and about the same when the engine is turned on on the center activation terminal.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:53 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=hamguy;560852]I have had the same problem and found it to be a bad solenoid. These are cheap, CHEAP units and they may appear to switch properly but over use in time, the contacts become pitted and present a very HIGH resistance or are completely open. Answer, spend the $19 and replace the solenoid.

Of course that presumes you have checked the voltage on both battery terms on the solenoid and found 12.5 or more on both and about the same when the engine is turned on on the center activation terminal.[/QUOTE

Thanks Hamguy, The voltage on the the solinoid is the same as the battery posts. Different readings for both the house & chassis but the same on the posts. The unit in the MH was made in the USA and the unit I bought at NAPA store is made in Mexico. $43.00 worth. I don't know where U guys are getting the CHEAP solinoids from (15 - 19 dollars) I know the head light glitch has nothing to do with the battery charging problem but it now seems to be taken care of. I guess I just had to run the coach a bit to let every thing settle in. 10 years old, maybe time for a NEW coach! Just when U get every thing just the way U like it. NOT.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:33 AM   #14
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"Thanks Hamguy, The voltage on the the solinoid is the same as the battery posts. Different readings for both the house & chassis but the same on the posts. "

Lets make some definitions. The batteries each have 2 posts. One + the other -. If you have 2-6V in series, you have one situation, if you have 1 single 12V, that is another. If you have 2-12V in parallel, you can't really tell the voltage on either. You need to separate them to make a good evaluation.

Now to the solenoid. It has 3 terminals. One operates the solenoid from either the ignition or the dash "BOOST" switch. I AM REFERRING TO MY '02 ITASCA 35U WH chassis. Your set up may be different.

Anyway, the one that is the 'small wire' is, as I said the operation control. The other two are heavy and each goes to a different battery pack. Knowing that, you can check the voltage and analyse appropriately.

Anyway, what posts and terminals are you referring to?
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:12 PM   #15
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Just got back from a weekender. No problems and the new solenoid is working just great.
As for the questions Hamguy, I have 2- 12volt house batteries and 1, 12volt chassis battery. 3, 12 volt batteries all together. When I checked the voltages from the one chassis battery it was the same as the chassis side of the solenoid. When I checked the voltages from the two house batteries it was the same as the house side of the solenoid. When U energize the solenoid by turning the key to the on position I should get the same voltages on both sides of the solenoid as this is what it does. Connect all 3 batteries together for charging from the engine alternator as I understand how it is supposed to work. Am I correct in my assumptions?. As I checked the voltages from the one-place system guage I am getting 13.8 volts on both battery banks. All is good. Thanks again for all the replys.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:38 AM   #16
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I have a 2005 Vectra and suddenly my charging system while driving quit charging the house batteries but charged the chassis batteries. I took it to Freightliner and they replaced the solenoid and it started working until I made it home (40 miles) then it quit working again, so it doesn't appear the $500 I spent for diagnosis and repair at Freightliner was the problem, I will have to take it back
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:11 AM   #17
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Wow, 15 mins to replace a $30 solenoid = $500. Next time this happens, give me a call, I can fly there and do it cheaper than that
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbt View Post
I have a 2005 Vectra and suddenly my charging system while driving quit charging the house batteries but charged the chassis batteries. I took it to Freightliner and they replaced the solenoid and it started working until I made it home (40 miles) then it quit working again, so it doesn't appear the $500 I spent for diagnosis and repair at Freightliner was the problem, I will have to take it back
kenbt
$500?
IMO it is a shame that it is imposable to find a shop that is not embarrased to charge that for diagnosing and repairing a problem like yours.....(worse that it only worked for 40 miles).

In '02, when my Allison would not shift out of "N", I paid an "authorized Allison shop" $1,500 to find and replace a 20' long "bad wire".....(the initial bill was $2,400 which I refused to pay).
Fortunately the repair has lasted 11 years, 92k miles.

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Old 08-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #19
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Here's an old thread with a bunch of good info: Yet another solenoid bites the dust! . It's a bit long, but has pictures and is worth reading. I ended up replacing solenoid with the silver contact version and adding some resistors in series to drop the activation voltage a bit--It's still happy today.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #20
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Here's an old thread with a bunch of good info: Yet another solenoid bites the dust! . It's a bit long, but has pictures and is worth reading. I ended up replacing solenoid with the silver contact version and adding some resistors in series to drop the activation voltage a bit--It's still happy today.
What he said!! Chris and I have been through the same thing. I also used the silver contact version of the Trombetta contactor and used diodes, not resistors. My write-up of the fix is #75 in the above referenced post. No more problems in 5 years.
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