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Old 11-23-2022, 12:35 AM   #1
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Question about Solar Disconnect on a Terrain

I'm sure this has been answered here before but I couldn't find it if it has.

Do you have to disconnect (turn off) the solar charger when driving or connected to shore power? I've looked through the owners manual and it says nothing about this. I got a fault today while cleaning out the inside of the van and doing some odds and ins inside the van. The inverter was turned off, not hooked to shore power, and the solar was turned on. The only thing running inside the van was the refrigerator. In fact I've never turned off the solar since we picked it up a couple weeks ago.

I was doing some work in my garage and noticed a beep from the back of the van. Took off the panel and there was a fault on the inverter. I couldn't see what the fault was since the panel is hidden pretty far back and I didn't think to check the Firefly system or the Renogy monitor. I turned everything off in sequence and let it sit for 5 mins. Turned the system back on and then held the reset switch for about 10 secs until it reset (stopped clicking). Fault once again. The Jayco dealership is literally 2 miles from my house. The problem is... We are probably one of the only ones in this state that actually have a Terrain. They just are not popular in this part of the country. The dealership is of little help since this is the first and only Terrain that they have ever sold. The Jayco rep came in last Friday for a walkthrough of the van but he was completely useless. Every question I asked he had to make a phone call to answer that question. I mean literally useless.

So my question is, do you need to turn off the solar charger when either driving or hooked up to shore power? I was doing neither of these things at the time when the fault happened and the solar charger was on and the inverter was off. I finally was able to do a reset and the inverter has been on since. I don't want to leave the inverter on since it is not needed unless I need to use the 110 outlets or the diesel heater. But it stopped the fault and I'm trying to figure out what triggered it in the first place?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-23-2022, 06:24 AM   #2
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I have a class A and my solar stays on all the time even when my battery disconnect switch is off, but you have a van, and that is a different animal. You should get many many answers from other van owners on here. When I'm on the Thor forum the van problems take up a lot of the posts on there
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:30 AM   #3
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Hi there, I've got a brand new Terrain, and ny dealer also is learning things at the same moment I am much great info on the jaycov terrain FB group, you shoukd join there too. From there I learned that DEHCO is the firm who does the tech support for the Renogy system in our coaches. The manuals have DEHCO contact info. I will probably be calling them today, as my electric system continues to beep, flash, and fail. Sigh.
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Old 11-26-2022, 11:41 AM   #4
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Hi there, I've got a brand new Terrain, and ny dealer also is learning things at the same moment I am much great info on the jaycov terrain FB group, you shoukd join there too. From there I learned that DEHCO is the firm who does the tech support for the Renogy system in our coaches. The manuals have DEHCO contact info. I will probably be calling them today, as my electric system continues to beep, flash, and fail. Sigh.
Thank you for the reply. This will kind of be a long post so I understand if it's a TL;DR post for you. No worries if it is

I would join FB and I'm sure the group you are talking about is great. I just refuse to join FB (or any social media for that matter). I had FB for a while and it was the worst experience I've ever had. I don't mean to come across as negative... I just can't stand any type of "social media".

Like you, our dealership doesn't know anything about our van. That is not a knock on our dealership at all. Luckily they are less than 2 miles from us and every time I've been there they have bent over backwards to try to help. But this is the very first Terrain they have ever seen or sold and will probably be the last if I'm honest. I honestly don't know how or why they actually got one in stock? My wife and I stopped in back in the summer to just look at a class B Mercedes chassis they had on the lot. It was just a highway cruiser so we weren't interested in it. We just wanted to see if the Mercedes was something we could live with. Once we found that the Mercedes chassis was perfect "for us", we left our name with the General Manager, told him what we were looking for, and that was that. Fast forward to the first of Nov. and we get a call out of the blue from him saying "I think we might have something you guys are looking for". We had been looking very hard at the Terrain and had watched every video and read every article about the Terrain (along with the Winnebago Revel and others) and the Terrain was the best choice for "us". So we bought it within a couple days after looking at it. I don't blame my dealership at all for not being able to answer any questions about the van. They have only sold one and will probably be the last one they sell. These types of vehicles are just not as popular in this state as they are in the West, etc...

But I will talk about the Jayco rep that came down to do the walkthrough with me. He was absolutely clueless. He was supposed to know everything about the van. They flew him down specifically to walk me through everything in the van and he didn't know (insert any curse word you like). Every question I asked he had to call someone. I can't stand someone that doesn't know their job and this guy clearly didn't. It was almost like "why did you even bother to fly down and waste my time and yours???". He had a flight out in the afternoon and I met him at 8am. The entire time he just kept looking at his watch like he didn't want to be there. He left a really bad taste in my mouth and was a horrible rep for Jayco.

Ideally, we were going to have one built but we were running out of time if we wanted a 4WD since Mercedes have now switch over to an AWD system. So the only way to get a new 4WD is to buy one now. When the stock runs out... there will be no more. And AWD won't work for "us". We had chosen Titan Vans out of Boulder Colorado. That would have been great since my daughter will be attending UC Boulder next year. Then we found a 2019 Mercedes 144 that they were selling for about the same price that we bought the Terrain for. It was their "Promotional Vehicle" that they took to SEMA, all of the Overland Expos, etc... It had 28,000 miles on it and it was built out almost exactly to our specifications. I called them up and almost bought it sight unseen. It had everything on it that we are going to do to our Terrain and the inside was obviously nicer since it was hand built. But it all came down to the Titan Vans warranty. Just like the Terrain, the Jayco warranty and the Mercedes warranty are seperate. I wasn't worried about the Mercedes warranty. But I was worried about the Titan Vans warranty. Long story short (if this wasn't already long enough), they wouldn't warranty their work since the van was 3 year old. Titan Vans warranty their craftsmanship and anything they do to their vans for 3 years. And I completely understand that the van was 3 years old. But the issue that I had was, I was willing to buy the van sight unseen, drive all the way to Boulder Co. to pick it up, and hope that there isn't anything wrong with the van. I tried to explain that "We" would be the first "actual" owners of the van since the van had been company owned. If anything went wrong with the van during their ownership, they could fix it at cost since it was their Promo van. If anything went wrong with the van after "I" purchase it, I'd have to drive back to Boulder to have it fixed. But they wouldn't warranty it. The offered to warranty it for an extra $3600 and that was the proverbial slap in the face for me so I walked away from that.

As for the all of the electrical systems in the van. I'm slowly learning about them myself. I'm far from an electrical engineer. But I feel like I'm actually studying to become one since I bought this van. So any fault that comes up... I have to look at the sheet from Renogy to see what that fault means and how to fix it myself. But I hate spending $170,000 on something and feeling like I have to take care of it all while it's under warranty (for 6 years I might add). I wish my dealership knew more about the van. I don't hold anything against them for not knowing but it would be nice if I had some assistance when things go wrong. It's kind of like the Mercedes warranty. All of the Mercedes dealerships around here won't touch a Sprinter van. I have to drive 3 hours to the closest Mercedes dealership to have it worked on if anything goes wrong with it.

Sorry for such a long post. If you read it all? Thank you. I hope you have nothing but great travels with no issues.
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Old 11-26-2022, 01:06 PM   #5
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I was reading up on the 2023 Sprinter it has much more torque and horse power and more gears in the transmission. The all wheel drive system will run rear wheel drive until needed then it can send 100 percent of the power to the front or rear and anywhere in between a 4 wheel drive system is just 50 percent if locked. Technically a four wheel drive system has one wheel in the rear and one wheel in the front, driven. The awd would supply better traction because it can transfer any amount of power front to rear. Still 2 wheel drive. My wife's suv has a locking differential so it has 3 wheel drive with torque vectoring. Some vehicles have locking differentials front and rear so they have real 4 wheel drive. I love awd. I had a jeep and the awd works much better than the 4wd. It just doesn't have the ground clearance in the suv.
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Old 11-26-2022, 02:57 PM   #6
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I was reading up on the 2023 Sprinter it has much more torque and horse power and more gears in the transmission. The all wheel drive system will run rear wheel drive until needed then it can send 100 percent of the power to the front or rear and anywhere in between a 4 wheel drive system is just 50 percent if locked. Technically a four wheel drive system has one wheel in the rear and one wheel in the front, driven. The awd would supply better traction because it can transfer any amount of power front to rear. Still 2 wheel drive. My wife's suv has a locking differential so it has 3 wheel drive with torque vectoring. Some vehicles have locking differentials front and rear so they have real 4 wheel drive. I love awd. I had a jeep and the awd works much better than the 4wd. It just doesn't have the ground clearance in the suv.
The main reason I will not go for the new AWD Mercedes is the entire drivetrain and engine are completely new. I do not want to be the guinea pig for a new system. The 4WD Sprinters still have recalls right now. With a completely redesigned system, how many issues will there be? I'm not willing to take that chance. Which is why I "never" buy a brand new model vehicle. I'll wait a couple years for them to get the bugs worked out.

I've owned both AWD and 4WD vehicles. 4WD is just better for where we will be taking this. JMO.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:26 PM   #7
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The main reason I will not go for the new AWD Mercedes is the entire drivetrain and engine are completely new. I do not want to be the guinea pig for a new system. The 4WD Sprinters still have recalls right now. With a completely redesigned system, how many issues will there be? I'm not willing to take that chance. Which is why I "never" buy a brand new model vehicle. I'll wait a couple years for them to get the bugs worked out.

I've owned both AWD and 4WD vehicles. 4WD is just better for where we will be taking this. JMO.
I understand, I have owned a few new vehicles with new engines and transmission, I've never had a problem. The were saying the clearance was the same as the older ones, I just liked the idea that the new one can send 100 percent of the power to the axle with the best traction, a 4wd can only send 50 percent. my wife's car does one better, if the vehicle has 3 wheels on ice and one on hard ground or pavement her suv can send 100 percent of the power to the wheel on the pavement, my jeep would have been stuck
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:23 PM   #8
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I understand, I have owned a few new vehicles with new engines and transmission, I've never had a problem. The were saying the clearance was the same as the older ones, I just liked the idea that the new one can send 100 percent of the power to the axle with the best traction, a 4wd can only send 50 percent. my wife's car does one better, if the vehicle has 3 wheels on ice and one on hard ground or pavement her suv can send 100 percent of the power to the wheel on the pavement, my jeep would have been stuck
Bill,

I agree with a lot of what you have said. There is a time and a place where an AWD system would be better. Some of the AWD vehicles we have had in the past have been great.

The torque on-demand allows up to a 50% power split between axles (per Mercedes Benz website). The main difference to me is it has no Low Range nor can you put it into Low Range.

As far as the engine goes: The 6-cylinder diesel engine is being replaced by a more powerful High output 4-cylinder diesel featuring 20 more horsepower (208 hp) and 7 more lb-ft of torque (332 lb-ft). Again per Mercedes Benz website. That is not enough of a difference to make me look twice. Especially the torque value. And certainly not enough for me to take a chance on an all new engine / drivetrain combo.

I think the last couple of things that we were considering is the suspension and resale value.

Suspension: I'm not sure (though I'm sure someone will figure it out) if you will be able to lift an AWD version? We plan on replacing our suspension with a VanCompass 4.3 suspension. There really isn't anything wrong with the suspension that comes on the Terrain. In fact, I'm actually surprised how well it rides and corners. Jayco has done a really good job with the suspension that they have put under the Terrain. But the 4.3 is just better. There is a good reason everyone that chooses these vans chose a 4WD. They will do what you want them to do. Do I actually plan on putting it into places that only a Jeep or some other dedicated 4WD rig could go? No. Absolutely not. Not unless I screwed up and didn't do my pre plan correctly. But I've seen what the 4WD version "can" do and it's pretty impressive. Though I would never do it myself. I'm just glad there are people out there that will do those sorts of things for me so I know what it is actually capable of.

Resale: I realize this is kind of subjective and I could be incorrect with resale value. The 4WD version has become somewhat of a unicorn. If you don't pick one up soon, there will be no more left once the available stock runs out. And once that stock runs out, they will be gone for good. "Most" people want a true 4WD. I'm not saying AWD is worse. It's just a more complicated system that you personally have no control over. That might be a selling point for some. But not me. Having owned many 4WD vehicles in my life, I personally like the ability of putting it into 4WD when needed. And having a Low Range is important to me. There is a reason you will never see an AWD Jeep Rubicon.

I'm not trying to say one is better than the other. I've never driven the AWD version. It may be wonderful. I just know what "we" (and quite a lot of others) wanted. And it wasn't the AWD version. But if we would have waited until next May once our house is sold? I doubt there would have been any left.
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Old 11-26-2022, 06:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing your story, it reassures me that my situation is not unique!

I am charging my van now ... hopefully to 100% ... then crossing fingers that the reset sequence in the renogy manual and/or the DEHCO rep will put me to rights.

If i get any secret tips, will pass them along!
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Old 11-26-2022, 07:18 PM   #10
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Bill,

I agree with a lot of what you have said. There is a time and a place where an AWD system would be better. Some of the AWD vehicles we have had in the past have been great.

The torque on-demand allows up to a 50% power split between axles (per Mercedes Benz website). The main difference to me is it has no Low Range nor can you put it into Low Range.

As far as the engine goes: The 6-cylinder diesel engine is being replaced by a more powerful High output 4-cylinder diesel featuring 20 more horsepower (208 hp) and 7 more lb-ft of torque (332 lb-ft). Again per Mercedes Benz website. That is not enough of a difference to make me look twice. Especially the torque value. And certainly not enough for me to take a chance on an all new engine / drivetrain combo.

I think the last couple of things that we were considering is the suspension and resale value.

Suspension: I'm not sure (though I'm sure someone will figure it out) if you will be able to lift an AWD version? We plan on replacing our suspension with a VanCompass 4.3 suspension. There really isn't anything wrong with the suspension that comes on the Terrain. In fact, I'm actually surprised how well it rides and corners. Jayco has done a really good job with the suspension that they have put under the Terrain. But the 4.3 is just better. There is a good reason everyone that chooses these vans chose a 4WD. They will do what you want them to do. Do I actually plan on putting it into places that only a Jeep or some other dedicated 4WD rig could go? No. Absolutely not. Not unless I screwed up and didn't do my pre plan correctly. But I've seen what the 4WD version "can" do and it's pretty impressive. Though I would never do it myself. I'm just glad there are people out there that will do those sorts of things for me so I know what it is actually capable of.

Resale: I realize this is kind of subjective and I could be incorrect with resale value. The 4WD version has become somewhat of a unicorn. If you don't pick one up soon, there will be no more left once the available stock runs out. And once that stock runs out, they will be gone for good. "Most" people want a true 4WD. I'm not saying AWD is worse. It's just a more complicated system that you personally have no control over. That might be a selling point for some. But not me. Having owned many 4WD vehicles in my life, I personally like the ability of putting it into 4WD when needed. And having a Low Range is important to me. There is a reason you will never see an AWD Jeep Rubicon.

I'm not trying to say one is better than the other. I've never driven the AWD version. It may be wonderful. I just know what "we" (and quite a lot of others) wanted. And it wasn't the AWD version. But if we would have waited until next May once our house is sold? I doubt there would have been any left.
I was reading this on Car and Driver, Even so, the new system actually is more capable. For instance, with four-wheel drive engaged, the prior Sprinter 4x4 only sent 35 percent of its torque to the front axle. The new one can send 100 percent to the front, or 100 percent to the rear, or divvy it up anywhere in between, as needed. From launch, it'll aim for 50-50 front-to-rear, but during highway cruising, it can dismiss the front axle and run in rear-drive mode until conditions call for some front-end assistance. It's all completely transparent, and there are real-world advantages, especially on pavement. Say the road is wet or intermittently dry with icy patch—you don’t have to monitor the surface and engage four-wheel drive when things look slippery. The traction is always there. I don't know of any awd that is 50 50, that wouldn't make any sense, it would make it no better than 4wd, I was reading that the 4wd didn't even have a center lock
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:28 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing your story, it reassures me that my situation is not unique!

I am charging my van now ... hopefully to 100% ... then crossing fingers that the reset sequence in the renogy manual and/or the DEHCO rep will put me to rights.

If i get any secret tips, will pass them along!
Please do.

The reset process is easy and straightforward as long as you do exactly as it says. I've (so far) only had to reset mine once. But I've no idea what set off the fault in the first place? It was under no load at the time other than the refrigerator. Inverter was off and nothing else in the van was being used. I could understand if the inverter was on and I had quite a few things running. But, when it went off I didn't think to look at what the code was so I could diagnose it. These vans are pretty complex when you think about it. And I'm learning more and more each day. But in a way, it works out pretty well. We won't be using it full time until next spring. By then I hope I have a much better understanding of every function of the van.
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Old 11-27-2022, 05:13 PM   #12
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The main reason I will not go for the new AWD Mercedes is the entire drivetrain and engine are completely new. I do not want to be the guinea pig for a new system. The 4WD Sprinters still have recalls right now. With a completely redesigned system, how many issues will there be? I'm not willing to take that chance. Which is why I "never" buy a brand new model vehicle. I'll wait a couple years for them to get the bugs worked out.

I've owned both AWD and 4WD vehicles. 4WD is just better for where we will be taking this. JMO.
If you talk to any Mercedes warranty techs, the vast majority of warranty claims (I am not aware of any recalls, I have hundreds of hours researching the Mercedes 4-wheel drive, and I have received no notices of recall) are user error due to the owners manual not being followed by Americans that think pushing the button is sufficient to engage the 4 wheel drive. The warranty tech I talked with admitted there have been claims on the transfer case, which are rare, but the vast majority were user error.

Mercedes has never released anything they have not thoroughly researched and tested. Never! The new 4 wheel drive is an in-house design and is modeled after the 4-matic system which has been in production for years. (Pre-2023 4 wheel drive systems are third party which is why a 4 wheel drive Mercedes is so hard to get in America, there are limited 4 wheel sets available.)

The 6 cylinder diesel is no longer available. Now, there are 4 models of the inline 4 cylinder with the highest hp/torque engine having a bi-turbo diesel which is currently available on other Mercedes vehicles.

So the entire drivetrain of the 2023+ Mercedes van is not new!
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Old 11-27-2022, 05:47 PM   #13
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If you talk to any Mercedes warranty techs, the vast majority of warranty claims (I am not aware of any recalls, I have hundreds of hours researching the Mercedes 4-wheel drive, and I have received no notices of recall) are user error due to the owners manual not being followed by Americans that think pushing the button is sufficient to engage the 4 wheel drive. The warranty tech I talked with admitted there have been claims on the transfer case, which are rare, but the vast majority were user error.

Mercedes has never released anything they have not thoroughly researched and tested. Never! The new 4 wheel drive is an in-house design and is modeled after the 4-matic system which has been in production for years. (Pre-2023 4 wheel drive systems are third party which is why a 4 wheel drive Mercedes is so hard to get in America, there are limited 4 wheel sets available.)

The 6 cylinder diesel is no longer available. Now, there are 4 models of the inline 4 cylinder with the highest hp/torque engine having a bi-turbo diesel which is currently available on other Mercedes vehicles.

So the entire drivetrain of the 2023+ Mercedes van is not new!
The engine and drivetrain are "new" to this vehicle. Maybe not new in the overall grand scheme of the entire Mercedes lineup. Sorry, I suppose we will just disagree on this. I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm sure the AWD is a good system. Just not one I'm willing to take a chance on for the first model year. That's just my "personal" opinion. I long understood what I was getting with the 4WD. I know it is not a shift on the fly 4WD system like most traditional 4WD vehicles on the market. I also knew that it was an open Diff. That was never a surprise to me nor did that deter me from buying one.

But I know what they can and can't do. Knowing what they can do because of other people putting them in places that I would never dream of putting mine. But I'm glad there are others out there that will. That way I don't have to and I can see just what they are capable of.

I also know Mercedes engineers are not dumb. The AWD will most likely be a great system. But my other concern is "will you be able to lift it?". If not? That is a deal breaker for me (not that the Jayco suspension is bad. In fact it surprised me just how good it is). We will be replacing the suspension under ours. I'm sure someone will come out with a lift kit for the AWD system. But until then, I already know which one we are putting underneath ours.

So with all of that said... I'm not sorry that I purchased the 4WD model. You still couldn't make me purchase a first year AWD model. Just the way it is.
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Old 11-27-2022, 05:56 PM   #14
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And the difference in power values on the new engine are certainly not enough for me to change from the 6cyl. 7 more ft lbs of torque? That means nothing to me. And torque is what we are looking for when it comes to 4WD. 7 ft lbs will not be noticeable.

Not completely sure how this went from a "solar disconnect" question to debating the pros and cons of 4WD vs. AWD?
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