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Old 12-18-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy In the desert with electrical problems

I have a 2007 Itasca Suncruiser 35L with a Powerline Energy Management System by Intellec. A few days ago, the load monitor began to blink. It also was reporting impossible loads, 49 and 99. Since then the amp meter has gone blank, blinked, read 0 under load. It also 'thought' I was drawing 50 shorline amps when in fact I only have 30. Some of my lights are dim when they are turned on. Sometimes the lights flicker. When I turn on more lights, the dim ones brighten and sometimes quit flickering. Since this all began, I have disconnected from shore power, flipped breakers, pushed on the fuses in the breaker box. I have also replaced the two 30amp fuses in the powerline control box located under the stove. I have cleaned all the battery terminals and made sure the connections were tight. I still have the problems and am at a loss of what to try next. I would really appreciate some suggestions or better yet, TOTAL enlightenment! Thanks for your time.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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I would really appreciate some suggestions or better yet, TOTAL enlightenment! Thanks for your time.
evilbog, I don't want to waste your time with this reply but - how old are your batteries? It is possible that they are not holding a charge and causing these anomalies. Do you have a hydrometer? Digital volt meter? What's the resting voltage of the batteries?
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:14 AM   #3
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evilbog,
Could you be a little more specific? Does the flickering lights,etc. only occur when connected to shore power or all of the time?
It sounds like you have a partially open circuit that may arc across when you add load request.
This can be VERY serious, the arcing can lead to a fire.
Do you have a volt-ohm meter available?
Respond here or pm me.
Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:56 AM   #4
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I am not an expert on this but my guess is that you will need to replace your converter. I had to replace mine and got an upgrade that works great now.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:57 AM   #5
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It sounds like you may have some loose connections either at the power pedestal, the transfer switch or in the 120 V breaker box. I would disconnect from shore power, take the cover off the transfer switch (the box where the 120V power cord enters the coach) and tighten all the connections with a screw driver. I would also remove the cover from the 120V breaker box and do the same thing.

A poor connection will cause the current draw to increase. The sensor in our PowerLine Management system is a loop coil around one of the wires coming into the main breaker. If a wire in the circuit is loose the readings will be erratic.

Another thing to check is the connection to the power pedestal. The plug should not be hot. If it is there’s a poor connection. When you unplug the cord make sure the prongs on the plug are secure and bright & shinny. If they’re burnt or badly tarnished there may be enough resistance to cause problems. If the prongs in the plug are loose about the only thing you can do is replace the plug. If the prongs are dark or burnt you can clean them with sand paper, emery paper or even a finger nail sanding board.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #6
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I would look at the converter also. Does every thing function normally while running the engine and every thing on battery?
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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From personal experience, I will add my vote to looking at your converter/charger. Lots of experiences by folks with Winnie in the mid 2000's using single stage (dumb) converters, particularly causing lots of problems w/ the EMS. Do a search here for EMS problems.

Mine was bleeding AC voltage to the DC output side and, like the canary in the coalmine, the EMS was the first most sensitive device to that issue.

Not to mention it was cooking my house batteries.

Replaced it with IOTA, many here like other smart converters. Life is gooder now.

With your batt's charged, find the converter, unplug it's AC supply and see if the EMS display clears up.

good luck and Merry Christmas
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:57 AM   #8
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Not to mention it was cooking my house batteries. Replaced it with IOTA, many here like other smart converters. Life is gooder now.
Jack, I did the same thing and bought a new set of batteries at the same time. I have a 50A Iota Smart Charger that I bought from our good friend Bill Rowell at www.rvupgrades.com.

I have had no problems with the coach side of my electrical system since.

RVUpgrades supported our recent and all other National Rallies and we appreciate them for doing so.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:28 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Hikerdogs;1037014]It sounds like you may have some loose connections either at the power pedestal, the transfer switch or in the 120 V breaker box.

I agree, I had a bad connection where the shore power cable connects to the transfer switch on the neutral wire. This caused the lights to flicker and the EMS to act up. When the connection would heat up, it would loose contact and the lights would dim because the converter would stop charging. Mine was easy to find, when I opened the door where the transfer switch was I could smell burnt wiring.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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While the Powerline Energy Management System is monitoring AC voltages and loads, it does use 12VDC as a control power source.
This could be a 12VDC issue or a 110VAC issue. You will need to use a multimeter measure voltages.
Intellitec made several verisons of the EMS. Here is one of the latest: http://intellitec.com/PDF/5300740.100.pdf. TOC of their manuals is at: Service Manuals. Mostly you would just use that for reference as to how their device is operated and wired.
Here is the AC wiring diagram for your system: http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_159396.pdf
Here is a physical view of the interior of your distribution panel that contains the EMS board the display communicates with: http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_157192.pdf
Does this problem exist on both shore power and generator power?
Verify incoming AC voltage is >= 108VAC
Is your converter putting out at least 13.2VDC (What is it actually?) You most likely have a 3 stage converter so voltage could be 13.2, 13.6, or 14.4 (or 14.6). What previous posters were saying is the converter may be not putting out voltage or is going bad and placing AC noise on the 12VDC distribution buss.
Verify 4 pin connector at display and at EMS board is secure and not corroded. May just be a comm problem between display and EMS board. (corrosion, loose connection)
Verify connections:
Power plug - You said 30 amps so make sure your 30 to 50 amp adpator is good (no corrosion and not breaking down; same for service connection).
Disconnect rig from all 120VAC and verify ATS switch and main breaker panel connections are good and tight. Many people find loose nuetral connections so don't forget those. The EMS board monitors the nuetral lead for amperage value (that donut looking thing the nuetral wire goes through on the EMS board on the way to the nuetral bus bar in the AC distribution panel)
Check 12VDC ground leads for corrosion or loosness.
Dave
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #11
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Question Still have issues

Thank You one and all for giving me things to try out to fix my problem. i forgot to mention that the last time I flipped the breakers I lost all of the power to my outlet plugs but for the 2 in the bedroom, right side rear coach. I have sanded all my plug posts. The batteries are as old as the coach. I will see if someone can test them. House batteries read 13.9 to 14 on the powerline meter. Engine battery was 10 + earlier in the day but now at 5.9. The starter battery is only a few months old. Again, this is on the problem meter. Tomorrow I plan to disconnect the shore line and run the generator to check things out. I am looking for my ohm meter...then will have to figure out how to use it. I will remove cover where cord comes out and make sure everything is tight. Hoping that by unplugging first, I will not be electrocuted!!! I will post results soon. Again I thank you. I am on a big learning curve since my husband passed away.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:26 PM   #12
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You should try and charge the chassis battery, if that reading is correct, it is probably shot.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:35 PM   #13
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The Coach 13.9 to 14.0 value is an indication that the converter is working. Do you have the Solar Option installed? (affects coach battery charging indication)

The chassis values sound like you have either a discharged or bad Chassis battery.

There are different sections to your One Place Monitor Panel. The Powerline section used to monitor 110VAC is seperate from the House/Chassis Battery Voltage meter. You keep saying the 2 meters are the same, they are not. So, which one do you feel you have a problem with? DC Voltage (lower meter) or AC Meter (upper meter). My reference is the opeeartors manual (http://www.winnebagoind.com/resource...Suncruiser.pdf), pdf pages 41 - 42 (manual pages 4-5 & 4-6).

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Old 12-20-2011, 09:13 PM   #14
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Unhappy still in the desert

I think I have isolated my problem to the engine battery. When I started the motor, everything began working fine. The battery charged. The battery is only about 2 months old as I had a problem with the last 3. Thinking back on it, the problem was always with over draining. My husband was responsible for the first 2 but since his death I figured I had not cared for the last one correctly. The current battery has been well taken care of and monitored. When I checked the water in the battery tonight it was a bit low. Odd since I topped it off 2 weeks ago and have not run the motor since. It has not been terribly hot here since I put the water in. How do I figure out why my starter battery keeps draining? The battery charged to 12, 2 hours ago and is now down to 11.1.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:15 PM   #15
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Please read my latest post. It sounds like you really know what you are talking about.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #16
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You may have some thing plugged into the 12 VDC cigarette lighter accessory socket that runs off the chassis battery.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:15 PM   #17
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Not sure if you know how to read them but here is a link to your coach wiring diagrams: Table of Contents

Quote:
i forgot to mention that the last time I flipped the breakers I lost all of the power to my outlet plugs but for the 2 in the bedroom, right side rear coach. I have sanded all my plug posts.
Wiring diagram of AC distribution circuits: http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_159396.pdf.
Shore power cable connects to the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). ATS is used to transfer back and forth between shore power and generator. Output of the ATS is feed to the 2 50 amp circuit breakers in AC distribution panel. While this sounds odd, the color code map to the AC breakers noun name is located on pdf page 4 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_157192.pdf. As far as loosing all the recepticles, I suspect when you cycled the AC breakers at the distribution panel, you popped the GFCI breakers which resulted in removing power to all the recepticles in the attached string. On the 110VAC wiring diagram, they are associated with note 1 in the bootom center of the diagram (pdf page 2). The ones that stayed on were the ones on the right side of the page below the inverter string (which you may not have).

The starter battery draw down: Tracking that down is going to be a bit harder and I am not sure we can do that in this format. Your comments indicate there is a large current drain. That is in effect damaging your starting battery by discharging it to deep. You really need to get a mechanic to look at that. A interium solution is to buy a smart battery charger and keep the battery charged up until you can get it looked at. Something simular to Black & Decker VEC1087CBD 2/6/10 Amp Smart Car Charger. Again, that is just a tempoary fix to keep the battery charged.

Far as I know, Winnebago was using a Trick-L-Start by 2007 to help maintain the starting battery when connected to shore power (http://www.winnebagoind.com/resource...ik-L-Start.pdf). Either it may not be working or was disconnected. It is also possible you have a drain on the battery that is larger than it can keep up with (radio, GPS, Engine computer, steps, etc.)

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:54 AM   #18
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Far as I know, Winnebago was using a Trick-L-Start by 2007 to help maintain the starting battery when connected to shore power (http://www.winnebagoind.com/resource...ik-L-Start.pdf). Either it may not be working or was disconnected. It is also possible you have a drain on the battery that is larger than it can keep up with (radio, GPS, Engine computer, steps, etc.)

Dave
Dave, she has an '07 Suncruiser, a gasser built on WH or Ford chassis, not the Freightliner as noted in your Trik-l-start note. We usually have a worthless solar panel for that task.

She may have seperate problems in both chassis and house 12v systems. I still maintain the stock converter in the '07 winnie gas chassis should be replaced. They are junk.

Would be nice if one of our knowledgeable members was in the same location to offer an extra look see.

Evilbog, If you are anywhere near Richmond VA, let me know.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:53 AM   #19
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I only included it becasue of the reference to the P Chassis in that document. If a Trick-L-Start is not installed, then adding would still be a good addition.

Things to note: Steps and Front Coach Chassis breaker box are powered by starter battery. The steps are a known battery drain issue if the power is left on. At work, gotta run for now. Will provide more information later. Here is a related post about starter battery issues: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/solar...ml#post1007549

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Old 12-24-2011, 09:05 AM   #20
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A little better in the desert

It seems that with the chassis battery charged up, everything is working again as it should. Still a bit of light flickering. I do not have anything plugged into a lighter socket. I did realize that I leave both the door and screen door open for my dogs. There is a step light that comes on when the door is open. I feel kinda stupid now but could that be the drain on the battery? If so, would that cause the other symptoms? Could it really be that simple? Again I want to thank everyone for their help. I hope you all enjoy the holidays!
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