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Old 09-09-2013, 01:05 AM   #21
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currently in BC. may just do that when i get back home.
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:54 PM   #22
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Solera parking / clearance lights - failures help

For a 2011 Solera, the rear parking, turn, backup and stop lights are controlled by a printed circuit board assembly located toward the front of the vehicle above the sewer hose cabinet in the left rear of the coach. It is behind a fabric covered cover held in place by a single screw nearest the access door. The board has fuses on it (but they are not what goes bad - in my experience).

The board (module) itself fails for the parking circuit. The parking circuit has 13 light bulbs on it (5 front on the top of the coach, 5 in the rear on top, two side clearance lights at the rear and the license plate light).

I am nearly certain it is because of the high inrush current for incandescent bulbs and having so many of them on the circuit. Incandescent bulbs have nearly NO resistance when they are off and the filament is cold. The instant an incandescent bulb is turned on it draws about 10 times the normal operating current. With 13 bulbs on this circuit there is a ton of inrush current - about 130 times the normal current. The current does not last long enough to blow the fuse, but it does last long enough to blow a FET (field effect transistor) or a normal transistor (don't know which the board uses) on circuit board driving the lights.

My I received a new board and installed it yesterday AFTER buying new LED lights and removing the old incandescent ones. Replacing the board one must be careful as the board has a 12V supply from the coach providing power to the board (plus a ground terminal with several ground lugs and then 3 connectors. One 5 (or 6) pin connector for supplying inputs or signal wires from the coach), and 2 connectors, one for the signal / stop lights and one for the backup, and tail lights. DO not let the 12V supply touch any other wire or the metal board cover. Someone that was good would have found the fuse supplying the 12V to the board and remove it but I'm too lazy and I was just VERY careful taping the end of the 12V lug after removing it).

I replaced all the bulbs (except the license plate bulb) with LED's. The lights not only last forever, they do not have "inrush current", they draw the same amount of current all the time.

The LEDs I used were less than $1 each for the bulbs - 2 bulbs for under $2 - here is the link:

http://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-2x...t-p-34347.html


Note - these LEDs are polarized meaning that if you put them in backwards they do not illuminate. So in replacing them you need to make sure they are in the right orientation (rotated properly in the socket).

To insure I did not blow up the new board and correctly oriented the polarity (rotated the bulb) used the following procedure:

I pulled all the old bulbs out (but 1), started the vehicle, made sure the one light was on. Then pulled that bulb out with the vehicle on, installed the new bulb rotating it as necessary to make sure it was on (getting the polarity right). I then repeated the installation process for all the lights, turning the vehicle off once all the lights were replaced and working. I did it this way - removing all the lights before using the new light control PC board - to make sure I did not ruin the new board.


We love our Solera!!!
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:37 PM   #23
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Danperry, contact BClemens @FR. He was looking for a failed board so the EE's can find out if its a board failure due to a design issue, which based on your excellent analysis, seems you might have isolated what needs to be looked at by FR. I also switched out the 13 bulbs to Led, because I figured that at 10W ea., thats pushing 130W through the system, and there on all the time.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:33 AM   #24
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Already did. Engineering has my bad board
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:41 AM   #25
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I actually lost his board (was going to fix it) so I had to send him a new one and then engineering (after I searched all over for days) says "you mean that board on my desk? I wondered what that was" Of course it was addressed to me.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:13 AM   #26
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Great, looking forward to feed back from EE's on what components get over loaded.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:10 PM   #27
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We now have a new twist to the problem. We went to Colorado, the clearance lights worked for 20 miles then quit. Was able to get them on again and continue our trip. They lasted 200 miles and quit again. We drove during the day for 400 miles never getting them back on. Messed with fuses the board and everything while in Colorado with no luck. I drove 200 miles and stopped and hooked our jeep back up and was going to wire a hot wire from the jeep to the clearance lights on the trailer plug. That got them to come on. We decided to drive till nearly dark and then use the hot wire where we wouldn't drain the jeep battery. We drove roughly 3 hours and then went through a torrential rain. Guess what, the lights came on for no reason. We drove nearly 500 miles without ever turning the engine off. The lights worked all the way home.

Then this morning went out and started it up, guess what!!! NO Lights again.

I don't have a clue now. If they come on the circuit board must now be burned up. So do i take it into the Dealer, are they going to have any ideal whats going on?
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:34 PM   #28
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Electonics in a wash down sewer compartment?

Greetings...
I too have experienced this issue with my 2012 Solera. Has anyone else been surprised that electronics in a wet sewer compartment get fried? With luck it will blow the fuses, but might ruin the board itself. With the positive lead entering the compartment as well, this thread may end with a total loss due to fire for some unlucky owner.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:59 PM   #29
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I've messed with it all I'm going to, it's going into the service department at McClain's RV Tomorrow!!!
They said they could look at it within 3 weeks. Never knowing when they might come on is about as frustrating as any thing I've ever experienced!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:12 AM   #30
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I'm a bit dumb here, but are y'all talking about the lights on the top of the RV? I have a issue with one of my break lights not coming on. The dealership fixed it once, so I thought, but within a week it went out again. I've been traveling without it for about 9 months now. Going into a different shop after my trip on Thursday. So, are we talking the same thing, or different?
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