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Old 03-19-2023, 12:55 PM   #1
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Need help with Dynamax Isata 3 – RV from hell

We have a 2022 Dynamax Isata 3 with the Lithium battery option (2 ReLion 100 AH batteries, RB100-LT).

I have posted previously about a puzzling battery problem and other electrical issues:
https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ng-261134.html

and

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ue-257685.html

After the post/thread in February, I picked up the Isata from storage, took it to a parking lot to run a system check before heading out on a short 2-day shake-down trip.

The Victron Connect showed 100% charge (shortly after disconnect from shore power).
While attempting to start the generator, it cranked a couple of seconds and died.
On the second attempt, the generator cranked, died, and the entire house went dead! Everything was blacked out: no Firefly, no lights, no control panels, no power to anything. The only thing that showed was a “601” error on the Solar Charge Controller.

I worked for a half hour with the emergency hotline tech (by phone), trying to track down a fuse, a breaker, anything to explain a total system failure.

Nothing.

So, it was back to Lazy Days for the same issues we had it in for multiple times.

When we arrived at their service department the next morning, the system was mysteriously back up and running. No explanation at all. Nothing had been done to the unit other than an overnight stay before we drove it to Lazy Days.

A few days later we heard back from Lazy Days that they found a loose wire in the main bus (?), and had fixed the problem.

So, we went back to pick up the RV.

However, while we did a full check of the RV systems and cleaning, we cranked the generator (it started), waited 45 minutes, and turned on the A/C, it killed the generator. This repeated itself multiple times (and was witnessed by the RV Service Tech).

So now it is back in the shop, and has been for over a week.
They thought that there was be a drain on the batteries somewhere, but could not find it. After days of running every imaginable wire and circuit, they finally narrowed it down to the batteries.

Apparently, the batteries that are installed from the Dynamax factory (2 ReLion 100 AH batteries, RB100-LT) are the WRONG BATTERIES. According to the battery manufacturer they should have installed the RB100-HP (“…built for starting and cycling, with increased peak amps for starting motors, electric start generators, and other high-amp-draw devices”).

When they swap out the batteries with appropriate, non-Relion, batteries, the problem goes away!

But Forest River will not warrant the batteries, even though they installed the WRONG lithium batteries for our Isata!

WHAT?
Are they serious?
How can a company install the wrong batteries and deny accountability to right the error?

As it stands, we have no RV, we have had to cancel several trips, we’re out time and money for lost trips and time off, and it looks like our 7-week summer RV trip may never happen.

I am really and seriously pissed at Forest River and Dynamax! And, we’re at a loss how to proceed, now that we’re stuck in the middle between Lazy Days and Forest River/Dynamax.

Rather than this being just a rant, does anyone have ideas on how to get someone at Forest River/Dynamax to fix this RV from hell? To live up to their reputation as a quality RV manufacturer?

Does anyone know a Customer Service Rep who is particularly helpful?

All we want is an RV we can use and trust; basically, what we paid for!

Thanks,

Ed
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Old 03-19-2023, 01:21 PM   #2
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Be patient. Mr. Clemens, the Division General Manager monitors these forums and will be with you shortly.
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Old 03-19-2023, 01:45 PM   #3
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Isata 3-RV from hell

Sorry to hear about your electrical issues. I am a retired electrical engineer and I have always found RV electrical issues challenging, especially DC issues. I have an 2021 Isata 3 with the Relion RB100 LT batteries. I have had no issues starting my generator nor running the a/c from the generator. I am not sure of the specs of the RB 100 HP but the reason Dynamax uses the LT battery is because of the low temperature ability of this battery. Lithium batteries can be damaged if charged at very low temperatures. The LT battery has an internal heating capability that provides a low temperature charging capability down to -4 deg F. I doubt the HP model has the same Low Temp. charging capability. That being said the problem may still be a battery issue but not because of the LT model. One of the batteries may have a factory defect. Find a good battery dealer and see if they can do a load test on the batteries. This should give you info on instantaneous discharge rate along with other info. Make sure your battery dealer is familiar with Lithium/Ion batteries. Hope you find the problem.
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Old 03-19-2023, 02:03 PM   #4
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We have had other dealers make this same claim...mostly because they do not understand lithium.

And RV battery should be a DEEP CYCLE battery, not a starting battery. Its not like we are trying to start a chassis motor just a small generator. While replacing the batteries might have correct the symptom, installing a soft start in the A/C would have likely done the same thing, it might be pulling too much at start up.

3.6 LP gen or 3.2 diesel gen?

As a side note: the title is "RV from hell", but yet in your other two posts, you admit that you did not have LP on and that the fridge was left in auto, which defaults to "shore power". Since you did not have shore power, but left the inverter on, it ran on 110V....which will not last long. I would suggest leaving it on LP if you want the fridge running, or make sure the inverter is OFF when in storage.

So I am not quite sure why it is the RV from hell when user error came into play here. Not saying there isn't something, but that title is a bit misleading.
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Old 03-19-2023, 02:34 PM   #5
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On further thought you may also want to investigate the BMS device. BMS (battery monitoring system). This device is designed disconnect the batteries to prevent damage either from under/over voltage or overcurrent. According to Relion's data sheet the BMS is supposed disconnect at 280 amps (+/- 50a) of discharge current. I don't know if this is an external device (Victron) or a battery internal device. If may be that the overcurrent setting is disconnecting the battery with only a slight amount of higher current draw.
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Old 03-20-2023, 09:05 AM   #6
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PS. we have reached out to our ReLion rep to get the "official" take.
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Old 03-20-2023, 12:58 PM   #7
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bclemens, thank you for reaching out to Relion.

I am unaware if this unit has a soft start in the A/C. How is that determined?
When the A/C is turned on it runs the fan motor for about 20-30 seconds, then I presume the compressor kicks in (from the sound of it). That's when it dies.

It's a 3.2 kW diesel generator.

I appreciate how "RV from hell" sounds, but from a consumers point of view, when an RV has been in the shop more days than on the road; we are caught squarely between two corporations: Lazy Days says it's this; Dynamax says they don't warrant the batteries, and no one at Dynamax Customer Service has called us back, I think some frustration is warranted.

We just need someone at Dynamax to brainstorm with the service techs at Lazy Days and get this resolved. Lazy Days says the only way they are able to communicate with Dynamax is via e-mail. I think we need a good old telephone call between the companies.

Don't misunderstand, we love the RV. The times we did have it out successfully it was a terrific vehicle. But with the issues above, and just a few weeks until the biggest RV trip of our lives, we are frustrated and worried that we may never have this resolved.
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Old 03-20-2023, 01:37 PM   #8
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It would not have a soft start....but that is exactly what a soft start would do.

I have posted this before, but I will summarize.
LP Gen is 3600 watts. That is roughly 30amps at sea level
32. Diesel gen is only about 26 amps....so you are already producing less power. That drops for every 500 ft above sea level

When an A/C compressor kicks on, there is a rush of current called for. If we ever have issues with that, it will be the diesel gen. Lots of things going on, especially if the charger is already running.

So in this case, we would have put a soft start in which will slowly ramp up the compressor and reduce its start up need. I'll pass on to service.
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Old 03-21-2023, 03:31 PM   #9
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I think our parts people just sent a GE soft start that way.

Also, as a side note, as we are exploring things, I came across this video.

The manual says that a 5.5 LP gen (same as the 3.6) requires 450 CCA at 0 degrees. This video shows a 5.5 LP gen starting up at 42 degrees and it required about 100 amps. The diesel does jump up to 475CCA.
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Old 03-21-2023, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I think our parts people just sent a GE soft start that way.



Many thanks.
Hopefully that will resolve it.

Ed
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Old 03-21-2023, 07:50 PM   #11
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Ok, so reviewing my notes and those from Lazy Days, they reported a battery drain and attempted to trace it without success.

Here's the 7 day graph from the Victron Connect (everything is off, unit is in storage):




Is that a separate issue? I don't see how that might relate to too high of a drain on the generator on AC startup, since this drain occurs only when the unit is off shore power and generator is not running.

Also, blemens, what did the Relion Rep say about the RB100-LT vs the RB100-HP?

Thanks,

Ed
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Old 03-22-2023, 07:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaktariEd View Post
Ok, so reviewing my notes and those from Lazy Days, they reported a battery drain and attempted to trace it without success.

Here's the 7 day graph from the Victron Connect (everything is off, unit is in storage):

Is that a separate issue? I don't see how that might relate to too high of a drain on the generator on AC startup, since this drain occurs only when the unit is off shore power and generator is not running.

Also, blemens, what did the Relion Rep say about the RB100-LT vs the RB100-HP?

Thanks,

Ed
There is never "everything off" unless you disconnect the batteries. There is always a parasitic draw for memory, the slide controllers are connected, as well as the steps.

As for the batteries, they said they certainly can sell us engine cranking batteries, but as expected they do not have a heater built into them like the LT. Also, the higher CCA's are only required at 0 degrees and should not be necessary in our application. We have been running these batteries for a couple of years without issue.

Side note....one compromise to test is just to press the "battery boost" button on the dash. It would give you the CCC's from the chassis starting battery.

One question...what is the chart to the right? It appears to be temp....but it is falling on the exact same pattern?
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:16 AM   #13
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The previous graph shows a 7 day period, centered on March 5, while the RV was at Lazy Days, sitting, waiting to be taken into the service bay.

The % charge starts at 97% about the time I drove it to Lazy Days March 3.

It sat all day Friday and over the weekend, March 3-5.

The grayed out vertical bar in the center is when the battery was either too low to power the Victron or the BMS switched into "safe mode" (or whatever it's called).

At the end of the grayed out period, the % charge jumps up after the tech connected the RV to shore power and the system had a chance to regain charge (I presume).


I understand parasitic draw, though I would think it would not be significant enough to drain from nearly full charge to about 80% in just a day or 2.



I have been monitoring this as best I could over the last few months as suggested by others on this forum.



This graph below shows the drain over about a 14 day period in November. The RV is in storage and drains from 99% to about 82% over about 3-5 days. Then we reconnected it to shore power and it jumps up. When we disconnected the house (via toggle switch) the battery continues to drain.





Lazy Days says the converter is outputting fine and is correctly set to "Lithium" batteries.


Ed
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:59 AM   #14
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Doing this yourself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaktariEd View Post
Ok, so reviewing my notes and those from Lazy Days, they reported a battery drain and attempted to trace it without success.
So now you're taking this on yourself, right?

I've done this a few times on cars and trucks. The motorhome is a little trickier because you have two systems, house and chassis, and they are interconnected. The good news is that Dynamax can give you good schematics.

My strategy has always been divide-and-conquer. On our pickup, the battery breaks out to five cables: alternator (in), starter (out), Underhood fuse box, left dash-end fuse box, right dash-end fuse box. It was also confounded by the fact that when you first re-connect the battery, all the computers wake up and do their thing. I determined experimentally that it took 20 minutes for the truck to reach a steady state. Each time I was ready to try disconnecting a different cable, I disconnected the battery, disconnected the cable, reconnected the battery through an ammeter, and waited 20 minutes.

If this were me (and I have no motorhome experience), the first thing I would do is isolate the chassis and house systems. This means disconnecting the house-charging circuit, and making sure no current flows through the emergency start switch.

With fully-charged batteries, measure house and chassis and see which is discharging. You can use a fairly lightweight ammeter (e.g., 10 Amp max), since you're not going to run the slides or levelers (or start the engine if you're working on the chassis side).

Then do a divide and conquer. Since both the chassis and house have computers, disconnect each battery(s) and reconnect through an ammeter. You want to have the current settle out at less than, say 10-30 mA (0.010-0.030 A) after waiting. Doing this to house and chassis will isolate the drain to one or the other.

Then, on the bad side, disconnect the battery, disconnect one section (fuse panel, or item like leveler or slide, etc.), reconnect through ammeter and wait through the settling period. Once you have it isolated to something like a fuse panel, start by removing fuses (disconnect battery, remove fuse, reconnect battery, wait). This sounds horrible, but took just a couple of hours to do.

Good luck with it.
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:14 AM   #15
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The LP solenoid is always a pretty decent draw as well. Make sure LP is off.

Edit:
I am going to have engineering get me a reading on the draw here on a similar unit....just to see if what you are seeing is normal or high.

If left for storage, we always recommend plugged in (even if its 15A outlet to run the charger), or disconnecting the batteries if that is not available.
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaktariEd View Post
Ok, so reviewing my notes and those from Lazy Days, they reported a battery drain and attempted to trace it without success.

Here's the 7 day graph from the Victron Connect (everything is off, unit is in storage):




Is that a separate issue? I don't see how that might relate to too high of a drain on the generator on AC startup, since this drain occurs only when the unit is off shore power and generator is not running.

Also, blemens, what did the Relion Rep say about the RB100-LT vs the RB100-HP?

Thanks,

Ed
So looking at your first graph, the temp is dropping so the battery heaters are on drawing power. Which is why it's draining the battery. Once the temperature gets below 0 degrees C the BMS shuts off the battery, do to low temperature.
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:53 AM   #17
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On my setup with a diy lifepo4 battery. I too sometimes have trouble starting the generator off house battery. I just simply turn on the ignition to combine chassis with house batteries and generator starts.
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:58 AM   #18
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So looking at your first graph, the temp is dropping so the battery heaters are on drawing power. Which is why it's draining the battery. Once the temperature gets below 0 degrees C the BMS shuts off the battery, do to low temperature.
Glad I'm not the only one that misread that.

It is not the temp...the temp would be in orange. That is just another day.

Also, the heater on the ReLion is not "Self heating". IE it does not pull power from itself to heat itself, it only pulls from charging source when a charging source is present.

Brilliant design actually and why we chose them out of so many others. Every other battery I saw, heat themselves needlessly. They can discharge below freezing...they just can't receive a charge below freezing. So by using its own battery to heat itself...it simply speeds up its demise.
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Old 03-22-2023, 10:19 AM   #19
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That does make good sense. I mounted my lifepo4 battery inside. So less temperature problems. Also if it's that cold I'm usually not camping.
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Old 03-22-2023, 10:43 AM   #20
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That does make good sense. I mounted my lifepo4 battery inside. So less temperature problems. Also if it's that cold I'm usually not camping.
That would be nice too.
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