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Old 11-14-2023, 08:26 AM   #1
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Location: Virginia
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Lightbulb Heated tank pads finally working... after two years.

Well this is embarrassing (not for me, for Jayco). Quick backstory: we purchased our 24BH new (factory order) in 2021. Day 1 PDI did not flag any electrical issues. My wife and I walked through the TT with a complete checklist and each did our own independent test of every component we could find including the heated tank pads. Our day 1 inspection revealed that the slide did not work on battery power, only shore power which then revealed a whole host of other issues. Dealer replaced the entire breaker panel and circuit board which fixed the issues. Day 3 - we were on our way. Again, this was back in January 2021.

Fast forward two and a half years and it's getting cold here in Central Virginia. Since we travel in the winter, it was time to start turning the heated tank pads for a few of those below freezing nights. Well, I went out to check on the TT after having the pads "on" for a day and I noticed that the LED lighted switch had gone off. Checking the panel, nothing was tripped or blown. Flipped the switch a few times and I got no feedback.

Pulled the lighted switch and tested voltages. Everything seemed to be in order. Three wires - hot (line), load, and neutral. 12 volts at the line and switch. Googled the switch which was a Carling 18 volt lighted 1948 R and found the pinouts. I noticed that something was wrong on the wiring and pinouts. Traced the wires to a relay under the stove. Googled the relay NT90HCE12CB DC12v 30amp 6 pin AC120v.

From what I can tell, the relay is powered by the line of the circuit that runs the GFCI outdoor outlet. The relay runs to the 12v DC switch which, when engaged, activates the relay which then feeds 120v to the four plugs of the heated tank pads. Well, the way that this was wired is the lighted switch would light up but it would not activate the relay. For two years, all I was doing was turning on a pretty red LED. Thinking back, I never heard the relay engage or disengage when the switch flipped. Only the switch clicking.

I pulled a lighted switch from my shop and wired it up per the spec sheet. I flipped the switch and "snap" - the relay clicked when activated. Flipped the switch again and "snap" - the relay clicked when deactivated. Flipped it a few times on the volt meter and confirmed on = 120volts, off = 0 volts.

Lesson learned: when you think something is working as it should, give it a double check even if it means opening up the underbelly and feeling the tank pads or tracing wires to a relay. Go as far as marking it up too because, at some point, we are all going to suffer from CRS and won't remember what that non-labeled junction box is for.

Given the electrical issues we had on day one, I'm not surprised that this too was wired incorrectly. But hey, better find it now than never and I can enjoy my warm black tank discharge on those cold Virginia days.
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Wondering what your Jayco VIN means? Check out my Jayco RV VIN decoding thread.
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Old 12-02-2023, 08:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobdeep View Post
Well this is embarrassing (not for me, for Jayco). Quick backstory: we purchased our 24BH new (factory order) in 2021. Day 1 PDI did not flag any electrical issues. My wife and I walked through the TT with a complete checklist and each did our own independent test of every component we could find including the heated tank pads. Our day 1 inspection revealed that the slide did not work on battery power, only shore power which then revealed a whole host of other issues. Dealer replaced the entire breaker panel and circuit board which fixed the issues. Day 3 - we were on our way. Again, this was back in January 2021.

Fast forward two and a half years and it's getting cold here in Central Virginia. Since we travel in the winter, it was time to start turning the heated tank pads for a few of those below freezing nights. Well, I went out to check on the TT after having the pads "on" for a day and I noticed that the LED lighted switch had gone off. Checking the panel, nothing was tripped or blown. Flipped the switch a few times and I got no feedback.

Pulled the lighted switch and tested voltages. Everything seemed to be in order. Three wires - hot (line), load, and neutral. 12 volts at the line and switch. Googled the switch which was a Carling 18 volt lighted 1948 R and found the pinouts. I noticed that something was wrong on the wiring and pinouts. Traced the wires to a relay under the stove. Googled the relay NT90HCE12CB DC12v 30amp 6 pin AC120v.

From what I can tell, the relay is powered by the line of the circuit that runs the GFCI outdoor outlet. The relay runs to the 12v DC switch which, when engaged, activates the relay which then feeds 120v to the four plugs of the heated tank pads. Well, the way that this was wired is the lighted switch would light up but it would not activate the relay. For two years, all I was doing was turning on a pretty red LED. Thinking back, I never heard the relay engage or disengage when the switch flipped. Only the switch clicking.

I pulled a lighted switch from my shop and wired it up per the spec sheet. I flipped the switch and "snap" - the relay clicked when activated. Flipped the switch again and "snap" - the relay clicked when deactivated. Flipped it a few times on the volt meter and confirmed on = 120volts, off = 0 volts.

Lesson learned: when you think something is working as it should, give it a double check even if it means opening up the underbelly and feeling the tank pads or tracing wires to a relay. Go as far as marking it up too because, at some point, we are all going to suffer from CRS and won't remember what that non-labeled junction box is for.

Given the electrical issues we had on day one, I'm not surprised that this too was wired incorrectly. But hey, better find it now than never and I can enjoy my warm black tank discharge on those cold Virginia days.
If I understand correctly, those tank heating pads are 120 volts. If so, those are the first ones I've heard about on a RV that are not 12 volts. What happens if you're boondocking in below freezing temps? I guess if you have an inverter and a good size battery bank or a generator, you'll be ok. Also, its easier to troubleshoot electrical issues using a clampon a/c-d/c meter. For example, after you turn the switch on and verify power is leaving the switch, just clamp the meter over the output wire and if the heater is working it will be drawing amperage which will show up on the meter. Hopefully someone will chime in about what the correct voltage is for those tank heaters.
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Old 12-03-2023, 07:44 AM   #3
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It is pretty embarrassing when the owners are more tech savvy than the dealer techs. Our PDI was a joke. Among other things, they missed a massive shower leak that shut us down on day one. They claimed the factory did not hook up some of the PEX hoses in the shower. Also, we could not get the hot water heater to work. Back to the dealer for two weeks.

One our last trip we discovered that one of the grey water tank valves had fallen off. It was on a long arm that went to the valve up under the plastic underbelly liner. I had to make a slit in that cheesy plastic to reach the valve, then open it with a pair of pliers.

While I was under there, I discovered that some of that plastic liner was coming loose. Gorilla tape or back to the dealer? I have a coastal fishing trip planned for next week.

I carry a full set of tools that weighs over 200 pounds. I don't know if I will ever be comfortable without them.
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Old 12-04-2023, 05:52 AM   #4
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Yeah, I've opened up the under belly to look at the heated tank pads and to run some additional communications cable. I open it up with the flap extending down towards the read of the trailer. Buttoned it up with gorilla tape so I can get to it again in the future.
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2014 Ford F250, 6.7 diesel, 4X4, short bed | Weigh Safe weight distribution hitch 2.5" shank | 2021 Jay Feather 24BH
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Wondering what your Jayco VIN means? Check out my Jayco RV VIN decoding thread.
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Old 12-04-2023, 05:54 AM   #5
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Exactly. I was under the impression they were 12 volt heated tank pads. I just bought some heated elbow and pipe pads for our bathroom because that part of the trailer seems to freeze in the winter months when we are camping. Those are 12 volt pads.

Good idea on the clamp on function. I have a Klein clamp on meter but it is "too fancy" compared to my decades-old simple one. When I get under the RV to run wires for my bathroom heated pads, I'll snag some pictures of the heated tank pads that are on the tanks.
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2014 Ford F250, 6.7 diesel, 4X4, short bed | Weigh Safe weight distribution hitch 2.5" shank | 2021 Jay Feather 24BH
HAM - KN4OLA
Wondering what your Jayco VIN means? Check out my Jayco RV VIN decoding thread.
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