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Old 11-26-2020, 04:39 PM   #1
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2017 Isata 5 35DB Electrical gremlins?

Just got this rig used, so no dealer tour/explanation of systems and we're coming from a popup, so bear with us!

We're finding multiple electrical issues, some of which we know need repair, and others are probably just us not understanding how it's supposed to work.

I'll start with this one: Twice now we've gone to pick up the rig at the storage place and found the chassis batteries dead. Figured out that the coach batteries were fine, so fired up the generator, ran a few minutes and the truck fired right up.

I did see this last time that one of the dome lights in cab was on, so probably the leak there. But the solar seems to keep the coach batteries topped off, but does it not charge the chassis batteries? Or is there a setting/switch I need to change?

Question to Dynamax (and every other RV manufacturer): Why does every manufacturer include all the manuals for individual components, but NOTHING about the whole systems? No schematics or block diagrams or flow charts or ANYTHING!

Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:16 PM   #2
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https://forestriverinc.help/#/dynama...isata-5/browse

This is a link for manuals on I5
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:50 PM   #3
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If you are not plugged in to power when stored (even 15 amp), then you need to turn the battery disconnect off in the battery bay.

The solar should charge everything, but depending on how the batteries have been treated over the past 3-4 years, they may not hold a charge. Maybe have them tested to see if they need to be replaced.

A 3-4 year old chassis OEM battery is a good candidate for replacement.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:28 PM   #4
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I don't know what your chassis is for that rig, but you might want to find the manual for the chassis.
For example, our rig is built on a 2014 RAM Promaster and it did come with the manual for the Promaster, but I downloaded the manual from RAM when I had a question (on storage) and the manual wasn't on hand.
Reading the manual, I found out that they recommend not using the parking brake in storage because their is a constant monitoring feature (chocked wheels). Also, if storing over 2 weeks, they recommend disconnecting the chassis battery (removed negative cable). Also found out that if the battery is dead, you can't remove the key.
Care and maintenance of that chassis is equally important to the coach. All these rigs have parasitic electrical problems, so many of us recommend battery disconnect switches directly on the batteries you can't reliably charge.
I'm sure your chassis will have it's own quirks.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:51 AM   #5
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I have a 2018 I-5 DB.
Our solar panels keep the house batteries charged when outdoors, but if I store it indoors (or if the panels are covered with snow) then I have to shut off the batteries. Otherwise there is enough draw on the house batteries that they will slowly discharge.
But the only time that I've had the chassis batteries go dead is when I left a light on in the cab.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdventureAwaits View Post
Just got this rig used, so no dealer tour/explanation of systems and we're coming from a popup, so bear with us!

We're finding multiple electrical issues, some of which we know need repair, and others are probably just us not understanding how it's supposed to work.

I'll start with this one: Twice now we've gone to pick up the rig at the storage place and found the chassis batteries dead. Figured out that the coach batteries were fine, so fired up the generator, ran a few minutes and the truck fired right up.

I did see this last time that one of the dome lights in cab was on, so probably the leak there. But the solar seems to keep the coach batteries topped off, but does it not charge the chassis batteries? Or is there a setting/switch I need to change?

Question to Dynamax (and every other RV manufacturer): Why does every manufacturer include all the manuals for individual components, but NOTHING about the whole systems? No schematics or block diagrams or flow charts or ANYTHING!

Thanks!
Try pushing (and holding) the “Aux 1” button in the center console (below the radio) while starting the rig and see what happens. “Aux 1” SHOULD electrically tie the coach batteries to the house batteries and allow you to (essentially) jump-start yourself. If that doesn’t work, that leads to your next problem…..

Why are the chassis batteries not staying topped off by the solar. There is a little device called the “BIRD” (BI-DIRECTIONAL ISOLATOR RELAY DELAY) that SHOULD be monitoring the voltage status of the coach and chassis batteries and tying them together via a solenoid when/if needed. When you push the “Aux 1” button you are by-passing the logic of the BIRD and manually latching the solenoid to connect the batteries.

The reason I mention this is because the BIRD has a reputation for failing. If it has failed, it is possible that it’ll never connect the coach and chassis batteries together to keep them charged by the solar panels. So, if you push “Aux 1” and can jump-start yourself, but the batteries are not staying charged by the solar, that COULD be an indicator that the BIRD has failed. Now, if you push “Aux 1” and CANNOT jump-start yourself, the solenoid COULD have failed. The absolute best possible solution is to replace both components with the more modern BIM (BATTERY ISOLOATION MANAGER).
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:15 PM   #7
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Per Dodge, if vehicle will be parked for more than 3 weeks disconnect the chassis batteries.

When my I5DS is in storage I disconnect the chassis batteries by removing the negative terminal.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:12 PM   #8
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If you chassis battery is draining, it could well be the dome light left on. As for battery life, we had a 5 year old battery that was doing its job. We replaced it only because of age. We still have the battery 2 years later and it has yet to fail.

There is a possibility that the chassis has a parasitic draw. We had a truck that was fine for years. Then came a dead battery after sitting for two days-and another dead battery. We took it to the dealer under warranty and they found nothing. An after market in-dash head unit was thought to be the culprit. We took it to the electronics shop that installed it. Nope, the head unit was disconnected and there was still a drain. But there will always be some drain. Took it to another dealer under warranty. again, nothing. By chance, I used the dial on the dash to eliminate the dome light when the doors were opened. Problem solved. Though the dome light faded to off, there was still enough drain on that circuit to drain the life out of the battery.

We have another vehicle stored. In about two weeks the battery is dead. We now disconnect the negative cable and use a trickle charger.
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