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Old 07-20-2020, 09:10 PM   #1
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2020 GT7 Battery Disconnect Keeps Tripping

On my 2020 GT7 36D7, the coach battery disconnect keeps tripping at random times. It's happened with no load and the inverter shut down; it's happened with the generator running; and it's happened in the middle of the night with surge-protected shore power connected. In every case, all systems controlled by the touch screen panel (including generator and ACs) also shut down. I've reset the switch only to have it drop out after 15-20 seconds, and other times it works for a few days. Temperatures have been in the 90s, if that makes a difference.

I contacted FR service today, and the technician said, "I've never heard of that before" and suggested it may take "trial and error" by the dealer to repair the issue. Everything I've read in other forums points to a faulty solenoid. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:49 PM   #2
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The technician may be correct and that is because the battery disconnect solenoid is a latching relay which means that it takes 12Vdc applied to energize it to the coach battery connected position but it also takes 12Vdc to energize it to the coach battery disconnected position. This is predicated upon no change to battery disconnect switching for a 2020 GT. Another thing is if connected to shore power or genny is running the AC power should not be affected by the battery disconnect switching. Just a thought and maybe I'm confused. It may be the electronics associated with the touch screen element of which I am not familiar with. Hopefully someone will chime in with the expertise needed for your issue.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:38 AM   #3
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Thanks Bubbles. I understand latching relays - I was just surprised the FR tech said he's never heard of this happening, especially since there's so much all over the internet about it. We're well within warranty, so either way the dealer will have to fix it. I'm just not very impressed by my dealer's service techs, which is why I reached out to FR about it.

The appliances that are strictly AC (TV, for instance) continue to run when the DC power trips as long as we're on shore power. But that overhead touch screen is controlled by 12v and that's where the generator and AC thermostats are controlled. When it shuts down, it shuts down everything it controls. Personally, I would have preferred old-fashioned switches.
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Old 07-21-2020, 05:24 PM   #4
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I'm confused. Even if the battery disconnect is set to OFF then the Converter will happily power the house 12 V bus on mine. The house batteries and the chassis battery won't charge but that's the only negative I know of.

My disconnect is a spring-loaded rocker switch with a center position.

Ray
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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Well, I'm not sure how it's wired, but I have to assume my converter is connected on the battery side of the solenoid instead of the coach side. Seems it would make a lot more sense for the converter to bypass the solenoid and directly supply the coach-side 12v.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:02 PM   #6
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Honestly, it sounds more like your converter is failing and the batteries are running down or that is a heck of a wiring mistake.

Do you have that Xantrex inverter control panel that shows you the 12 V bus voltage?

Ray
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:07 PM   #7
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Honestly, it sounds more like your converter is failing and the batteries are running down or that is a heck of a wiring mistake.

Do you have that Xantrex inverter control panel that shows you the 12 V bus voltage?

Ray
Ray, the batteries are at 13.4 volts (both on the systems monitor and the inverter control panel) and the converter has done a great job of keeping them charged. As to whether it's a wiring mistake, I don't know. I've asked the factory for some wiring diagrams (such as for the overhead fuse panel) and the warranty rep said he can't get me anything because "every coach is different, even two of the same model built fifteen minutes apart." That's comforting.

I also have a spring-loaded rocker switch with a center position, but you have to press the top of the switch to turn battery power on AND to turn it off. Pressing the bottom of the switch does nothing.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:20 PM   #8
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I also have a spring-loaded rocker switch with a center position, but you have to press the top of the switch to turn battery power on AND to turn it off. Pressing the bottom of the switch does nothing.
That is the Coach Battery Disconnect switch you're talking about, right? Or are you talking about a different switch? That's the only battery disconnect switch I have and mine turns off by pressing the bottom.

Weird.

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Old 07-22-2020, 11:06 AM   #9
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That is the Coach Battery Disconnect switch you're talking about, right? Or are you talking about a different switch? That's the only battery disconnect switch I have and mine turns off by pressing the bottom.

Weird.

Ray
Yes, the coach battery disconnect switch in the stairwell next to the door. I'm beginning to wonder if my switch is wired wrong. Guess we'll find out.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:37 AM   #10
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Yes, the coach battery disconnect switch in the stairwell next to the door. I'm beginning to wonder if my switch is wired wrong. Guess we'll find out.
To clarify, if you're plugged into shore power and the voltage is showing 13 volts or so on the touchscreen and you turn that switch off by pressing the top (in your case), the entire 12 V side goes dead?

The touchscreen shuts off, the LED lights turn off, etc.?

Yes, if that happens your system is either wired wrong of the Battery Control Center (BCC) in the battery compartment is malfunctioning or has loose wires. I'd check the tightness of the nuts securing the wires to the BCC first. Some were loose on mine when it was delivered to the dealer.

Be darn careful because you're dealing with energized wiring because of the direct connections to the house and chassis batteries. I wrap some masking tape around the metal socket and handle to be certain I don't accidentally touch something else.

When I'm plugged into shore power and press the bottom of the spring-loaded switch, if the batteries were on, I hear a "clunk" as the contactor drops out and that is all I notice.

When I'm plugged into shore power and press the top of the spring-loaded switch, if the batteries were already off, I hear a "clunk" as the contactor kicks in and that is all I notice. If the batteries were already on I don't hear anything happen.

If I actually put a voltmeter on the house or chassis batteries I can see whether they are charging or not but I have no visual or audible indication other than the "clunk".

As I'm sitting in the coach I'll hear an occasional "clunk" when nothing seems to be going on. The BCC monitors the chassis battery voltage and when it starts to drop, the BCC energizes a contactor to charge it back up. When the chassis battery is back to normal voltage I hear another "clunk" as the BCC stops charging the chassis battery. The house batteries must be on for the chassis battery to charge.

And I can't trust that yellow light on the spring-loaded switch. It does not tell me whether the batteries are on or off. It tells me the coach's 12 V system is energized. That mis-indication caused me some grief with dead batteries early on.

I've attached a picture of my BCC.

Ray
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:08 PM   #11
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Thanks for the response. To answer your question, yes ... if I'm on shore power and the battery disconnect trips, the entire coach goes dark, aside from the TV, refrigerator, and microwave. Because the touch-screen is controlled by 12v, when you lose 12v power it shuts down everything that touch screen controls. If I'm on generator power, it shuts that down also.

Last week I manually tripped the switch while on shore power, trying to troubleshoot a bunk lift problem (blown fuse), and everything shut down. I haven't figured out yet why the TV went off that time, because later in the night as we were sleeping, the 12v relay shut down on its own and the TV and refrigerator stayed on.

I haven't checked for loose wiring for the very reason you mentioned. I'm an old electronics technician, and few things scare me more than high-amperage DC. I have four coach batteries in parallel, and I'm pretty sure you could weld with that amount of current.

I'll have to take it to the dealer for diagnosis and repair. I'm just not looking forward to that, because so far they've been fairly inept in their approach to warranty work. I had a valance over the dining room table that fell down with both shades inside. The dealer reinstalled it and 100 miles later it was coming down again. Turns out the ceiling in the slide is 1/8 inch door-skin plywood, and the valance was attached with wood screws and no anchors or backing blocks.

I agree that my 12v converter must be wired to the battery side of the solenoid. What I don't know, because I can't get a schematic and the factory rep said he's never heard of such a thing, is whether it was intended to be wired that way or if it's a factory defect.
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:27 PM   #12
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You have enough experience and awareness to handle this work. Remove any watches and rings and just wiggle all of the connections you see. If any are loose then you can decide how to snug it up.

If you have the same BCC as I do, made by Precision Circuits, the cover just pops off with clips on each side. Pop it off and take a look at the circuit board inside and its wiring.

There also are a few high-current circuit breakers on that wall. They don't look like circuit breakers but have a little red button on them.

If yours is like mine, on the foot of the bed are two panels. One has a spring-loaded door and has the 120 VAC breakers behind it. The other one is long and narrow and needs to be popped off. Those are most of the 12 VDC fuses. On the back of that cover is a list of what fuse does what. I would think the converter would be wired to that fuse panel but I do not know. Not all fuse holders are used on mine.

They use some weird abbreviations. Apparently R/S means "road side" a.k.a. the driver's side. And C/S means "curb side" a.k.a. the passenger side.

I attached a picture of what mine looks like inside.

HTH.

Ray
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:46 PM   #13
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Thanks Ray. The coach is in a storage lot right now, so I can't check it today. I wouldn't know what to look for inside the BCC, but I can wiggle the heavy cables to see if anything appears to be loose.

I have a fake drawer (spring-loaded) under the bedroom closet that has an electrical panel behind it. The salesman told me that's the converter (actually he said inverter), but who knows? Guess I'll have to pop that off and take a look. Still, without a schematic, I would have no way of knowing how the converter is wired in, or how it's supposed to be.

I can see how a loose cable would cause power to flicker from road vibration, but this has happened in the middle of the night while we're all asleep. Of course, with anything electrical, you learn to expect the unexpected.

I'm headed back over there tomorrow to replace the bed lift fuse. I'll check the cables while I'm in there. If something is loose, I can fix that. Otherwise, the dealer will have to take care of it.

Thanks a lot for your help. I really do appreciate it.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:13 PM   #14
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My converter is bolted to the rear wall inside the electric bay compartment and the automatic transfer switch is bolted to the forward wall. Our inverter is on the inside wall of the same compartment so it's all conveniently in one spot. Even from down there we can hear the converter cooling fan inside the bedroom when it kicks on.

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Old 07-23-2020, 06:40 PM   #15
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Ray, it looks like I have the same BCC you have. I wiggled all the wires, and nothing seemed loose. I did get the overhead bunk working, so that's a plus.

When I can get room to open the bedroom slide, I'll check the converter. Not sure what I'll learn by looking at it, but at least I'll know where it is.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:38 AM   #16
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Same problem

Dave1957, itís hard to believe the techs statement that ďevery coach is differentĒ based on your description of your problem. We have EXACTLY the same problems, down to the non-functioning bed lift. Unfortunately I donít have your expertise when it comes to evaluating the cause of the problems, so Iím depending on the service department at the dealership. Theyíre just as inept as yours. Recently we picked up the coach after 3 weeks in service. Things were actually worse. Nothing on our list of service items had been repaired, and the battery disconnect problem showed up for the first time. From my reading of other peopleís battery disconnect troubles I, too, came to the conclusion that the solenoid was defective. As I was looking over the coach I noticed the batteries had been accessed during the 21 days in service, which made me wonder if that had caused the problem in some way. The technician had left the compartment light on, so I thought a drain on the batteries might have triggered it. But the batteries are fully charged, according to the control panel. Iím looking forward to future posts as you solve your problem with it. WRT the bed lift, does the green light on the switch come on when the fuse is blown? Our service techs are stumped by the non-functioning bed lift. Fortunately itís stuck in the up position. Thank you!
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:27 AM   #17
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DHL1959 - Sounds like the inept service thing is more common than we'd like to admit, especially given the price of these coaches. The factory tech at FR told me that, if two coaches came off the assembly line 15 minutes apart, there would be differences. A little exaggeration, maybe, but not much.

The bed lift on my coach doesn't have a green light, so I can't help much there. But in another thread on the topic of bed lifts, somebody posted a picture of a fuse in the battery compartment. It's a standard 15-amp automotive fuse in a covered holder, hanging from a plastic-covered wiring harness near the back-left side of the battery compartment, just beneath the battery control center (BCC). I also have a mini-fuse for the bunk in the panel above the door, so the addition of this fuse in the battery compartment leads me to believe it's been a problem in the past. Take a look inside your battery compartment, and I believe you'll find the fuse. Then you can show the "factory-trained" service tech where it is. It's raining right now or I'd step outside and take a picture for you.

My battery disconnect has dropped out three times on this trip - once in front of the house as we were loading up, and twice on the road. Fortunately, it's stayed on (so far) while we've been parked and on shore power, but the last trip it dropped out twice in the middle of the night on shore power, so we've just been lucky this time. I've got a service appointment the end of the month to get that fixed. At least the service tech wrote it up as "Solenoid problem," so maybe they'll get it right. But the factory tech said he's never heard of such a problem. If you and I found the same info so easily, I find it hard to believe this is breaking news to the factory.

Best of luck with your coach. After my first round with my service department, I started copying the General Manager on all emails to the service tech. It made a difference. You may want to escalate your issues as well. Sure wish I could find an email address for the CEO of FR.

Dave - 2020 Georgetown 36D7
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:15 PM   #18
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Hello-

My name is Chris and I work at the production plant for Georgetown. I'm going to share this thread with my electrical engineer in the morning and get with my rep for Precision Circuits, if need be, and see if we can't come up with a solution and/or some trouble-shooting ideas to try and isolate what's going on here.

Dave, DHL-
If you can please private message me the last 6 of your vin#s I will pull up your specific units in system so we know exactly which units we are attempting to trouble-shoot so we can get you up and running properly.

If we find some commonality in the issue I will post the "fix" here on the thread for others to see should they have a similar problem in the future.

While what the service tech told you(and if you have their name please include it with your message with the vin#) is technically true...is isn't one of those things that should be different from one coach to the next. If that is the best answer you received, I am sorry. We will get you a better answer.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:35 PM   #19
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Thanks Chris. I just sent you a message with details of the issue, and the additional information you requested. I really do appreciate you taking the time and interest to help resolve this issue.

Dave
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:41 PM   #20
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Thanks, Dave! Our coachís disconnect tripped again this evening while plugged in to shore power. Weíre leaving on our first long trip this weekend. Itíll be interesting to see how things go while living in the coach for a week. This is our second motorhome. We upgraded to a GT7 from a 22-foot c-class. We had electrical issues when our first unit was new, too. They were eventually solved and we had 7 great years in it. Iím confident the same will happen with our new RV. I depend on people like you who post to these forums and are willing to help people like me. Thanks again for your help!

Chris, thanks for taking a look at our problem! Iíll get the last 6 of our VIN and send them to you. But, I donít know how to send them to you privately.
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