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Old 01-07-2023, 12:53 PM   #1
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Auxiliary start vs Isolator solenoid

Iím looking for advise regarding house battery solenoid setup in my 2015 Melbourne. I noticed that the house batteries ARE NOT charging while I drive the coach. I looked over the manual and it clearly states that an isolator solenoid allows for house batteries to charge when the engineís running.

Now, I found an emergency start button in the lower part of the dashboard that powers up a solenoid in the engine bay (see image). It works just as it should, no problems with it.

However, I can not seem to locate an isolator solenoid that is meant to engage and charge the house battery. I attached below the schematics that seem to reflect auxiliary start wiring.

Anyone have success wiring one in or replacing the emergency start solenoid with a continuously running one?

Any help and advise would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 01-07-2023, 02:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Jayco Owner's Forums.

I looked at your wiring diagram and highly suspect it is not accurate for your 2015 as it is dated 1997. I would try to obtain a more up to date diagram which perhaps someone here has one already.

A quick test I would suggest is to listen if the solenoid engages when you press the "Aux Start" button. Then I would have someone turn the key on while you listen again as that action should also engage the relay. Next I would check the self resetting breakers located near the battery and next to the solenoid.

Do you have a voltage meter you can use? If so, you could check the voltages before and after each component. With the engine running the chassis battery voltage should rise and that higher voltage maintained all the way back to the house battery. ~CA

btw, I said welcome, but didn't notice you joined back in Aug. In any case, welcome anyway.
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Old 01-07-2023, 02:46 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Jayco Owner's Forums.

I looked at your wiring diagram and highly suspect it is not accurate for your 2015 as it is dated 1997. I would try to obtain a more up to date diagram which perhaps someone here has one already.

A quick test I would suggest is to listen if the solenoid engages when you press the "Aux Start" button. Then I would have someone turn the key on while you listen again as that action should also engage the relay. Next I would check the self resetting breakers located near the battery and next to the solenoid.

Do you have a voltage meter you can use? If so, you could check the voltages before and after each component. With the engine running the chassis battery voltage should rise and that higher voltage maintained all the way back to the house battery. ~CA

btw, I said welcome, but didn't notice you joined back in Aug. In any case, welcome anyway.
Thank you for your reply and for welcoming me

Sounds good, Iíll try to obtain a more accurate wiring diagram for my coach. The Aux. solenoid does engage when the start button is pushed while the engine is not running. I confirmed it by measuring voltage on both solenoid terminals.

Now, while the engine is on, the chassis terminal reads 14V while house terminal reads 12.7-13 or so. Makes me think the solenoid is not sending power from chassis to house battery when the engine is on. Unless I override by pressing emergency start button.

With this said, is that relay meant to only serve as Aux. start or is it a dual purpose with emergency override? Iíve come across similar threads here and someone mentioned how one type solenoids are only meant to run for a short time while others operate continuously? Solenoid I currently have in the engine bay is White Rogers brand (link)

Again, thank you for your input.
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Old 01-07-2023, 03:08 PM   #4
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The solenoid you are describing is used to charge the house battery when the engine is running. It is very easy to troubleshoot with a meter as described in my attached documents.

I had to replace my original solenoid due to failure. I put in a different (basically an older version of the solenoid) which performs flawlessly. I even modified the circuit slightly to allow me to engage it with a remote wireless switch so I could charge the chassis battery from my converter while camping. I did this because originally while camping I had a multi-tap USB charging setup that allowed my entire family to plug in and charge all devices from my chassis battery which I monitored with a power outlet voltmeter. When it dropped off I would hit my remote engaging the solenoid and allowing the chassis battery to charge along side the house battery.

The solenoid has 4 terminals - 2 large and 2 small. The large terminals will be connected to the chassis and house batteries. When engaged, the solenoid just connects the 2 large terminals together. The 2 small terminals control the solenoid. One small terminal will connect to ground and the other one when supplied with 12 volts will cause the solenoid to engage. As I mentioned, very easy to see what is going on when you connect a voltmeter.
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Old 01-07-2023, 03:21 PM   #5
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I just read you last post where you stated the readings you took. You are correct in saying it is not working correctly. When the solenoid is engaged the voltage at both large terminals will be the same.

The emergency start switch simply engages this solenoid which appears to be working. That means the solenoid is good but the 12 volt signal from the ignition is missing.

Looking over my wiring diagram it appears the control signal is routed through the emergency start switch. There is an ignition feed to this switch as well as a stand alone 12 volts. Best guess is that this switch selects the ignition 12 volts to feed through when the switch is not being held in.

I would look at the back of this switch for a wire that may have come loose (if you are lucky). This would also be the place where I would do my checks for the 12 volt ignition feed that turns the relay on.

I attached my wiring document to illustrate what I am talking about.
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File Type: pdf Jayco 12V Chassis.pdf (448.1 KB, 14 views)
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Old 01-07-2023, 03:29 PM   #6
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I just read you last post where you stated the readings you took. You are correct in saying it is not working correctly. When the solenoid is engaged the voltage at both large terminals will be the same.

The emergency start switch simply engages this solenoid which appears to be working. That means the solenoid is good but the 12 volt signal from the ignition is missing.

Looking over my wiring diagram it appears the control signal is routed through the emergency start switch. There is an ignition feed to this switch as well as a stand alone 12 volts. Best guess is that this switch selects the ignition 12 volts to feed through when the switch is not being held in.

I would look at the back of this switch for a wire that may have come loose (if you are lucky). This would also be the place where I would do my checks for the 12 volt ignition feed that turns the relay on.

I attached my wiring document to illustrate what I am talking about.
Jim, thank you for both posts and the attachments. I did not know that the emergency start switch has 2 sources of power, this makes perfect sense. I’ll definitely look at the back of the switch and test those connections. Thank you again. I think I’m onto something here.
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Old 01-08-2023, 08:34 AM   #7
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Good morning- I have a 2016 Melbourne 27D My battery charge isolator is on the firewall on the drivers side.
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Old 01-08-2023, 09:57 AM   #8
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I've attached a schematic that shows how the 12V power is routed when the ignition is on. This schematic is for a Greyhawk built on a Ford chassis so will be similar, but probably slightly different from your Melbourne. You can ask Jayco for your 12V schematic at this link: https://www.jayco.com/contact-motorized-service/ You'll need your VIN. Note that this schematic also shows a 5 amp inline fuse in the power path to the AUX START switch. This is probably somewhere under the dash.

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Old 01-08-2023, 10:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dmitry103 View Post
Thank you for your reply and for welcoming me

Sounds good, I’ll try to obtain a more accurate wiring diagram for my coach. The Aux. solenoid does engage when the start button is pushed while the engine is not running. I confirmed it by measuring voltage on both solenoid terminals.

Now, while the engine is on, the chassis terminal reads 14V while house terminal reads 12.7-13 or so. Makes me think the solenoid is not sending power from chassis to house battery when the engine is on. Unless I override by pressing emergency start button.

With this said, is that relay meant to only serve as Aux. start or is it a dual purpose with emergency override? I’ve come across similar threads here and someone mentioned how one type solenoids are only meant to run for a short time while others operate continuously? Solenoid I currently have in the engine bay is White Rogers brand (link)

Again, thank you for your input.
The relay on mine and those I have seen are constant duty solenoids. Similar to a latching relay which can stay on or off without power, these relays require power to stay on. Not an issue though as that is the design.

I would make sure the relay kicks in and out with the aux start switch and by turning the key on and off. If so, then the next step is to check the voltage on both sides of the relay. That is easier to do with the engine running (because the chassis battery voltage will rise due to the alternator charging voltage) and the voltage on both sides of the relay should be the same. If not then the relay either didn't engage or is bad. If the voltage is the same on both sides of the solenoid then check voltages in and out of the breakers inline and finally back to the coach battery as someone along the line is where the problem will exists... assuming the coach battery voltage is not very close to the same voltage as at the solenoid. ~CA
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Old 01-13-2023, 08:00 PM   #10
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Itís a spaghetti dinner of wires under the dash, holy crap! I looked over the diagram and tested a few things. Iím not seeing whatís labeled as yellow/pink ignition wire (see highlighted below) within the rest of the wires in a top hat type connector. With that said, 16ga yellow wire connected to aux switch reads 0V while engine is on. I reached out Jayco and received this reply: ďHouse batteries do not charge thru chassis battery on class CĒ Ö.. not sure what to say here lol. Iíll do more troubleshooting this weekend. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old 01-17-2023, 05:23 AM   #11
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Itís a spaghetti dinner of wires under the dash, holy crap! I looked over the diagram and tested a few things. Iím not seeing whatís labeled as yellow/pink ignition wire (see highlighted below) within the rest of the wires in a top hat type connector. With that said, 16ga yellow wire connected to aux switch reads 0V while engine is on. I reached out Jayco and received this reply: ďHouse batteries do not charge thru chassis battery on class CĒ Ö.. not sure what to say here lol. Iíll do more troubleshooting this weekend. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions.
That quote Jayco made could be read as true...the house battery does not charge thru the chassis battery, but rather in conjunction with the chassis battery (at the same time) as I see it. maybe my definition is wrong, but as I see it, both the house and chassis battery should be charging at the same time when the engine is running, off of the alternator.

Even my Volkswagen Westfalia's house battery charged off of the engine alternator. That was the simplest setup in RV camping, other than my avatar!
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Old 01-17-2023, 11:03 AM   #12
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That quote Jayco made could be read as true...the house battery does not charge thru the chassis battery, but rather in conjunction with the chassis battery (at the same time) as I see it. maybe my definition is wrong, but as I see it, both the house and chassis battery should be charging at the same time when the engine is running, off of the alternator.

Even my Volkswagen Westfalia's house battery charged off of the engine alternator. That was the simplest setup in RV camping, other than my avatar!
I discovered this fact just yesterday. Knowing my unit would not be used for some time, I connected it to shore power thinking the house battery would be charged, disconnected the chassis battery and put a battery tender to it. I might add I posted on this forum that was my plan and was told that would be OK.

Yesterday I decided to do the monthly exercise of the genrtor. Nothing. Dead. There wasn't even any signal to the test lights. I started the engine then walked back to try the generator and viola! power to start.

Lesson learned.
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Old 01-17-2023, 07:03 PM   #13
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Bear,

Your plan was valid. Something is wrong with your setup.

It could be that your house/coach battery(s) is dead, it should have been fully charged if shore power was hooked up and your battery disconnect switch was closed.

Another potential issue is that your converter is not functioning properly. The converter should have kept your house/coach battery fully charged while on shore power.

You say you started the generator after starting the unit, but you did not say that you pushed the aux start button. To me that says you genny started due to your chassis alternator supplying starting voltage to the genny.

I suggest you check further to see that your systems are working properly.
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Old 01-17-2023, 09:56 PM   #14
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Thank you salukee.

It's 8:00 PM on the day after.

Review: I had no power to the generator yesterday. I started the engine which gave power to the generator. I did not try AUX START because I knew engine battery was fully charged. I ran engine and generator about 40 minutes.

This morning I plugged back into shore power.

I just now went out to do some testing.

With shore power, the test shows green/charge.

With neither shore power nor DC power, the test shows nothing which is to be expected as there is no power at all.

With DC power, the test shows orange/good.

The way I see it, by your reasoning, the house/coach battery is dead, it should have no power at all. What's wrong with my logic?

Where is this converter of which you speak?
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Old 01-19-2023, 07:29 PM   #15
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So, if your battery isolation/aux start circuit is working properly, the genny should use a combination of the chassis battery and vehicle alternator output to start. The fact that it starts when the engine is running, to me, shows that the house battery should be getting charged when the engine is running, especially since you did not push the aux start button.

On my 27U, the converter is located under the bed. The converter changes 120v ac to 12 v dc for 12 v loads and charging your house battery when on shore power or genny power.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:56 PM   #16
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I'm confused.

I'm confused. Isn't the purpose of the AUX START to use the house battery for starting when the chassis battery is dead? What does that have to do with the generator?

The fact that the generator would not start with a dead house battery, but would start with the engine running (ie alternator output) tells me the generator starter is powered by the chassis wiring, not the house wiring. Are you saying both?


However, let's get back to my original problem. The house battery was not charged while plugged in to shore power. Is that abnormal or normal?

To the OP: My apologies for hijacking your thread. I did not know it would get this complicated.
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Old 01-20-2023, 04:46 AM   #17
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As I understand it, both the house battery and chassis battery should get charged when plugged into shore power. They also get charged when the engine is running (alternator). They also get charged when the generator is running.
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Old 01-20-2023, 09:34 AM   #18
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I'm confused. Isn't the purpose of the AUX START to use the house battery for starting when the chassis battery is dead? What does that have to do with the generator?
The aux start switch simply connects the house and chassis batteries together. This will aid the weak battery in starting whatever. If the chassis battery is weak then the connection will aid starting the engine. If the house battery is weak the connection will aid starting the generator.
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Old 01-20-2023, 11:24 AM   #19
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The aux start switch simply connects the house and chassis batteries together. This will aid the weak battery in starting whatever. If the chassis battery is weak then the connection will aid starting the engine. If the house battery is weak the connection will aid starting the generator.
Thank you. That answers that confusion. I thought it was only to aid the chassis battery.
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Old 01-20-2023, 11:28 AM   #20
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There are two ways to engage the relay, one is with key on and the other is with the aux start switch. If the chassis battery is dead then the key on will not (may not as it depends on if there is any power left) engage the relay but the aux start switch will as long as the house battery has some power. ~CA (those with a BIM function similarly but a bit different, most class c's do not have a bim)
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