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Old 08-27-2019, 10:06 AM   #1
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Arrow Need Electrical help

Hello, I am a new member. I have an 2009 Itasca Nation iQ (24 feet).
For some time now, when the engine is running, the Sprinter's 12-volt power is not going to the house section. So, the house batteries do not charge when the engine is running. Also, the fridge does not receive 12 volts power and it still works on propane (electrical 120 volts when plugged into a campsite is OK).
I checked the Trombetta solenoid. When I tested it on a separate battery, it works. When the engine is running, I hear the solenoid magnet click but, if I check with a multimeter, there is no current flowing between the solenoid terminals. So, i am looking for an issue BEFORE the Trombetta solenoid.
Is there a fuse BEFORE the Trombetta solenoid as I have seen on other Sprinter (ex: 150A fuse under driver's seat, i think?)? If yes, where can I check it?
Thank you.
Gerald Plante, from Quebec city (Quebec, Canada)
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:06 PM   #2
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Well I think your testing is not telling you the problem. With the engine running you should measure alternator voltage on both sides of the Trombetta solenoid. It makes no difference if you hear it click because the failure is normally pitted, burned contacts with melted plastic goo all over them - really. Do yourself a favor and order the Cole Hersee 24213 solenoid from Amazon, about $50 if I remember. It will withstand a lot more amps and will last a long time. The original Trombetta is about 50 amps, the Cole Hersee 24213 is 200 amps. Lots of people think the click means the Trombetta is working - it is, kinda, but not really. The click means the electromagnet is moving the thing but that doesn't help the burned up, pitted contacts and I've seen them very bad and misaligned. Besides, you have nothing to lose, you will have a spare if I am wrong.


First replace the solenoid. If there is still a problem it is esoteric but we can help you if that happens. Post back if you have issues with the connections, take some pics before removing wires, put them back in the same place. If you don't understand the "extra" small wire it goes to ground.


Don't be tempted to run to the auto parts and look for a "fix it up fast" solenoid, you will be disappointed. You need the Cole Hersee, it is continuous duty with far better contacts and lifespan.


And...welcome to the Forum, there are many people here with much more knowledge about RVs than me and they are helpful.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:02 AM   #3
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I might look at it somewhat different and test first as I feel you may be missing the point a bit on the test. I would first look at the output side of the solenoid for 12VDC when it is not operated/ key off, cable off, etc. There should be none when it is disconnected, then when engine is started, the relay should click but we don't know if the contacts are actually working until we test for 12V on the output side! Burned or corroded contacts may click but not make contact so if it does, then change the solenoid but if you find it is making contact and 12-14 V is there when it is operated, move on to other potential problems like corroded connections on the battery cables, etc.
Test first to save money or take it to a shop to let them throw parts at it until it works!
To correctly test for voltage, put one probe to the ground like a frame, etc. and the other to the connection but be sure to have the meter on VDC first as it can blow some if not on the right scale. Don't sweat which probe goes where as your polarity will not be wrong and just getting a number is about all you need for this.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:19 PM   #4
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Kayak73, I would buy the Cole Hersee 24213 (200A) if it is the solution. But, if I compare both: the Cole has 4 connectors in total and the Trombetta has 3 connectors in total.
So, how to connect the Cole Hersee with it 2 small connectors on the front. I have only one small cable to connect with ten one Trombetta connector in the front?
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:24 PM   #5
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Morich, I am going to try your suggestion to test and see what happens and I will give you the result.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:23 PM   #6
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On rereading the post, I may see a way that what you meant about current is correct but not the way I'm used to speaking of the electrical. I think of testing for voltage at the output but if you are speaking slightly different, Voltage there does also mean current will flow! What you said may not be what I heard, beg pardon if I'm not reading well.
The difference in three connections and four may be only that one combines the ground or power and may run to two different spots inside the solenoid and the other uses separate leads .
Since power to start is pretty high current, the input and output to check is often the larger/ heavier posts and if there are smaller posts, that is usually the power to move the solenoid. I think of solenoids as tiny "slaves" that make big "slaves" do the big work. Tiny slaves can work on small wires that we can fit into ignition switches but we need the big heavy wires to actually do the work!
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MyGplante View Post
Kayak73, I would buy the Cole Hersee 24213 (200A) if it is the solution. But, if I compare both: the Cole has 4 connectors in total and the Trombetta has 3 connectors in total.
So, how to connect the Cole Hersee with it 2 small connectors on the front. I have only one small cable to connect with ten one Trombetta connector in the front?

The number I gave is the correct part to replace the Trombetta. If you read my original post I noted there would be an "extra" small wire. It goes to ground and the other small wire is also connected just as original. It is the correct part and 99% of the time this is your solution, very common. As I said the test is simple - you must have alternator voltage on both sides of the Trombetta with the engine running, if not it is bad. You can call it throwing parts at a problem but I've helped at least 25 people install one to repair this issue. Experience has been given. If the voltage is correct on both sides of the Trombetta, ie you measure alternator voltage on both sides then you have a cable problem somewhere possibly at the batteries. I'm guessing since this is a long issue you have cleaned battery terminals and tightened etc., none of which has one iota to do with the Trombetta working or not - either it does or it does not, simple test with a volt meter. The normal left side looking to the rear of coach is the chassis battery, the right side (red marker) is normally the house battery bank cable. Positive lead one at a time there and neg lead to ground with engine running and you should measure 13.6 - 14.2 volts DC. If not replace the Trombetta with the Cole Hersee. Right now there is a Cole Hersee 24213 in my spare box in the rig. If I get motivated I'll go ahead and install it even before the Trombetta dies because it will - just a matter of time. First View we had the thing actually lasted 2 years, sometimes they last 4-5 years but they always seem to fail when you don't want them to.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:56 PM   #8
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chop.....

First replace the solenoid. If there is still a problem it is esoteric but we can help you if that happens. Post back if you have issues with the connections, take some pics before removing wires, put them back in the same place. If you don't understand the "extra" small wire it goes to ground.

chop........

There, I said it again. And...you are NOT looking for 12VDC, you are looking for ALTERNATOR voltage and if that is 12VDC you have a bad alternator, period. So, on the chassis battery POS cable on the Trombetta which runs from the chassis battery you must have alternator voltage with engine running, not 12VDC but 13.6-14.2VDC. If the Trombetta is working that exact same alternator voltage must appear on the other side which is the house battery POS cable.


BTW, since I don't know if you do know or not... before replacing the Trombetta please disconnect the negative lead for the chassis battery just above the accelerator pedal and the most negative lead of the house batteries(the NEG lead which goes directly to chassis ground). Make certain the engine has been turned off in the Sprinter at least 15 or 20 minutes before disconnecting the chassis battery negative cable quick disconnect. If you have solar panels you should disconnect them before the house neg leads, on my rig I installed switchable circuit breakers on each NEG lead to the solar controller to make this simple, some folks just cover them with cardboard. Do all the wiring of the Cole Hersee, check it, then reconnect the chassis, the house and the solar in that order please.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Morich View Post
I might look at it somewhat different and test first as I feel you may be missing the point a bit on the test. I would first look at the output side of the solenoid for 12VDC when it is not operated/ key off, cable off, etc. There should be none when it is disconnected, then when engine is started, the relay should click but we don't know if the contacts are actually working until we test for 12V on the output side! Burned or corroded contacts may click but not make contact so if it does, then change the solenoid but if you find it is making contact and 12-14 V is there when it is operated, move on to other potential problems like corroded connections on the battery cables, etc.
Test first to save money or take it to a shop to let them throw parts at it until it works!
To correctly test for voltage, put one probe to the ground like a frame, etc. and the other to the connection but be sure to have the meter on VDC first as it can blow some if not on the right scale. Don't sweat which probe goes where as your polarity will not be wrong and just getting a number is about all you need for this.

Well, with the key OFF and engine OFF there will be house voltage on the house side of the Trombetta and there will be chassis voltage on the chassis side of the solenoid. Always unless you disconnect the POS leads. Yes it also matters which lead you connect to where. Put the POS lead, red, of the meter on the solenoid and the NEG, black to ground for the voltage test. No point in being silly and showing negative or reversed reading, do it right. The only blooming thing the house batteries have to do with anything at all here is if they are shorted, like a shorted cell. That will pretty much heat things up really fast and by now he would know if that were going on. If the house batteries are toast in any way the Trombetta, the alternator or the converter or solar is not going to charge them. None of which has any thing at all to do with the Trombetta working or not.


The thing the Trombetta does is actually connect the chassis lead to the house lead so that alternator voltage is passed through to the house batteries when the engine is running. Esoterically speaking there is one other very rare issue that can prevent the Trombetta from charging but that clearly is not the problem here since the blooming thing is clicking - it is getting the D+ signal.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:36 AM   #10
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Morich,


I make the point about the meter leads for one simple reason. We do not know if he is testing with a digital volt meter or an analog meter. Lot of folks still have an analog meter. You can still buy them at auto shops etc.



I have an analog meter, a few digital meters and a really nice FLUKE. Now, suppose you tell him the lead orientation does not matter and he is using an analog meter? He will get a slight meter deflection and no real reading. Beyond that testing that way will not benefit the analog meter at all. You assumed he would be using a digital meter with LED readout which normally would show negative voltage with the leads incorrectly applied? But you do not know that - he did not say. IMHO always give the correct best method when suggesting help to avoid confusion down the road.


Most of us know this but when testing for voltage, battery voltage in our RV or automobile we put the meter scale on 25vdc. Then you apply the red POS lead to the POS lead of the battery connect and the black NEG lead to the chassis ground. With most digital meters you don't need to select the voltage range, like the FLUKE - automatic.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:30 AM   #11
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Finally, with a clear demo on YouTube, I have checked my Trombetta and it is really dead. The magnet make the click but no voltage at all on the main connectors..
so, I have ordered a Cole Hersee 24213 on Amazon.
Morich and Kayak73, thank you for your BIG coaching.
I appreciate it.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:31 AM   #12
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Question about another relay (Intellitec) beside the Trombetta: Intellitec Battery disconnect relay (see the picture).
As the passenger seat is removed (on my Itasca Navion iQ), I took a look at the electrical installations. Right next to the Trombetta, there is another relay and I replaced one of the two fuses 5A which was burned.
https://www.amazon.com/INTELLITEC-01.../dp/B072N8NYN2
Is this the relay for the "Battery Boost" button on the dashboard?

My new Cole Hersee 24213 from Amazon will arrive tomorrow to replace my defective Trombetta.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:33 AM   #13
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WOW! o
Obviously touched a raw nerve! Correct testing is worthwhile and I do it often but when speaking of battery, I do often refer to it as 12VDC,even though most of us do know it is rarely exactly 12V.
But if we are in the mood to jump up and cry foul at any given chance, there will often be the opportunity, so go for it!
Big point its that we were both trying to help, even if not using the same terms, and I'm sure it did work out to sort the problem.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:43 AM   #14
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My native language is French but it's possible that I do not always use the right terms. Also, I really appreciate your patience and your support. The idea is to look in the right direction and do the tests before removing a defective part and it seems normal to me. That's why I did what Morich suggested and finally I tested the solenoid as Kayak73 proposed it. Everything was perfect.
Thanks again. ;-)
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:35 PM   #15
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WOW! o
Obviously touched a raw nerve! Correct testing is worthwhile and I do it often but when speaking of battery, I do often refer to it as 12VDC,even though most of us do know it is rarely exactly 12V.
But if we are in the mood to jump up and cry foul at any given chance, there will often be the opportunity, so go for it!
Big point its that we were both trying to help, even if not using the same terms, and I'm sure it did work out to sort the problem.

Morich,
No, I am just a little too direct sometimes but no offense intended. Yes, it appears he has isolated the problem which is what we both wanted.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyGplante View Post
Finally, with a clear demo on YouTube, I have checked my Trombetta and it is really dead. The magnet make the click but no voltage at all on the main connectors..
so, I have ordered a Cole Hersee 24213 on Amazon.
Morich and Kayak73, thank you for your BIG coaching.
I appreciate it.

This is still not "right". You should measure alternator voltage on the chassis battery side of the Trombetta, 13.6-14.2 range. The symptom of a dead Trombetta is that it does not pass the alternator voltage through from the chassis POS lead to the house POS lead. So...your test should show with the engine running alternator voltage on the chassis POS lead at the Trombetta and house battery voltage on the other side, whatever charge state the house batteries are in say 12.6 - 12.7vdc - if the Trombetta has failed. The thing is no voltage at all on the main connectors is a different situation entirely. The chassis battery POS lead is a straight run essentially to that Trombetta so if the engine is running it has to show alternator voltage on that side.



I could be misunderstanding what you are telling me. For example if you disconnected the POS lead to the Trombetta house side (with the house NEG disconnected please or welding will happen) and left the chassis side "normal" and connected, started the engine the zero output on the Trombetta on the house side would indicate a failed solenoid however the alternator voltage must be present on the chassis side of the solenoid to reach that conclusion.


Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:54 PM   #17
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The number I gave is the correct part to replace the Trombetta. If you read my original post I noted there would be an "extra" small wire. It goes to ground and the other small wire is also connected just as original. It is the correct part and 99% of the time this is your solution, very common. As I said the test is simple - you must have alternator voltage on both sides of the Trombetta with the engine running, if not it is bad. You can call it throwing parts at a problem but I've helped at least 25 people install one to repair this issue. Experience has been given. If the voltage is correct on both sides of the Trombetta, ie you measure alternator voltage on both sides then you have a cable problem somewhere possibly at the batteries. I'm guessing since this is a long issue you have cleaned battery terminals and tightened etc., none of which has one iota to do with the Trombetta working or not - either it does or it does not, simple test with a volt meter. The normal left side looking to the rear of coach is the chassis battery, the right side (red marker) is normally the house battery bank cable. Positive lead one at a time there and neg lead to ground with engine running and you should measure 13.6 - 14.2 volts DC. If not replace the Trombetta with the Cole Hersee. Right now there is a Cole Hersee 24213 in my spare box in the rig. If I get motivated I'll go ahead and install it even before the Trombetta dies because it will - just a matter of time. First View we had the thing actually lasted 2 years, sometimes they last 4-5 years but they always seem to fail when you don't want them to.
Hi, 03 damon workhorse, 99% of my electrical probs have been chassis grounds for the coach, there are four for the coach and I've added one from the genset frame to the coach chassis, I use a ground spike.. I have, I hope, found all of mine and disassemble, clean, grease and reassemble them yearly. My steps, TV ant, battery system all work as intended, LED lights no longer flicker. Takes about 30 mins, worth the time!! Happy trails. W.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyGplante View Post
Question about another relay (Intellitec) beside the Trombetta: Intellitec Battery disconnect relay (see the picture).
As the passenger seat is removed (on my Itasca Navion iQ), I took a look at the electrical installations. Right next to the Trombetta, there is another relay and I replaced one of the two fuses 5A which was burned.
https://www.amazon.com/INTELLITEC-01.../dp/B072N8NYN2
Is this the relay for the "Battery Boost" button on the dashboard?

My new Cole Hersee 24213 from Amazon will arrive tomorrow to replace my defective Trombetta.
The boost switch is also connected to the Trombetta relay. It serves two purposes, to charge the house batteries while driving, and second, to allow the house batteries to "jump start" the chassis engine, using the boost switch.

One trick to remember, should your chassis battery ever get low and need charging, is with shore power, you can jam a tooth pick or similar in the boost switch to keep the relay closed, and the power converter will charge both the house and chassis batteries this way.

The relay you found with the two fuses is your on and off relay for the house batteries, it is controlled by the "salesmans switch" just inside the coach door. Even with the house batteries switched off, the chassis engine will charge them. Generally you should never turn off the house batteries unless the unit is in cold storage with no shore power.

Cole-Hersee 24213 is the only way to go. The terminals are a little short, but it is possible to get everything hooked up. You will need to make a four inch jumper from 16 or 14 gauge primary wire and proper terminals to connect the small stud, on the relay, to one of its mounting bolts. Doesn't matter which stud, one ground, one hot, either way.

Charles
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:17 PM   #19
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Just replaced my switch too the Cole Hershey what a switch. Much better than the old one. Now with the engine running I can check the house batteries from the one place and see the increased voltage.

Thank you!
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:12 PM   #20
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I have replaced the old Trombetta relay by the new one Cole-Hersee 24213. The house batteries are now charging by the Sprinter engine.

The problem is that I have received an error code P2506 from my Sprinter. The previous engine Volt reading was 13,2 volts and, after installing new relay, it is between 13,7 to 13,9 volts.

What can I do? Can I erase the engine code to see if it will come back?

Thank you.
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