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Old 05-17-2020, 03:00 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 32N
State: Tennessee
Posts: 101
THOR #18316
Another Battery Isolator Relay Question

Hello, I have a 2016 Hurricane with the Intellitec BIRD and a Trombetta battery isolator relay. My coach batteries have not been charging from the alternator since I purchased the used MH a few months back. I have confirmed that the relay is bad by measuring a 1.5v drop across the closed contacts. The Trombetta branded relay is p/n 684-1251-012.

My question, at least at this point, is very specific: can anyone give me a recommendation, based on experience, for a replacement 4 post relay that will be more durable than the current part? A specific part number will be helpful.

I am not concerned about the mounting bracket as I am going to relocate the relay for easier access anyway. Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-17-2020, 04:42 PM   #2
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There are a few on the forums and maybe a search might work for you. I just went back with the Trombetta and the replacement has lasted 3 years and still going.

Just made it simple for me, direct exchange and about 90 bucks off eBay. If it would have failed soon then I would have looked for a different brand

has to be high amperage and continuous duty which eliminates a bunch of relays fast
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:28 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor Tuscany 40DX
State: Colorado
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THOR #5043
Wink replace the Trombetta

If you want a much better solenoid try the White Rodgers. $89 on eBay.

DB Electrical 586-108111 Solenoid 15V 200/600 Amps White Rodgers:

About the same price as the Trombetta but much, much less coil power. Use the 15 volt version as White rodgers recommends. Silver plated contacts a definite plus. Slightly different mounting but very doable. I have been using this part in my Tuscany for 4 plus years and works great. The original Trombetta simply cooks itself to death. Pry your dead one apart for an autopsy and see!

camperguy99
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:14 PM   #4
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THOR #18316
Thanks. I have read a dozen or so threads on this forum and others but didn't find specific recommendations for an improvement other than the White-Rodgers brand that camperguy99 suggests. Good to hear that you are getting good service out of your replacement. I see that Trombetta has a "new" version that is more expensive and has silver plated contacts. It may be the one you have now and may be a better alternative to the original.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:23 PM   #5
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THOR #18316
Quote:
Originally Posted by camperguy99 View Post
If you want a much better solenoid try the White Rodgers. $89 on eBay.

DB Electrical 586-108111 Solenoid 15V 200/600 Amps White Rodgers:

About the same price as the Trombetta but much, much less coil power. Use the 15 volt version as White rodgers recommends. Silver plated contacts a definite plus. Slightly different mounting but very doable. I have been using this part in my Tuscany for 4 plus years and works great. The original Trombetta simply cooks itself to death. Pry your dead one apart for an autopsy and see!

camperguy99
Thanks for your recommendation. I have read some of your previous posts with interest. It looks like this is a much better built relay, but I was concerned with the 15v coil rating. I'm using the BIRD system and was thinking that the heavier coil might pull too many amps and burn it up. Do you mind telling me what BIRD control your unit has? Thanks again.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:05 PM   #6
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THOR #5043
No. The 15 volt coil draws about 1/3 the current the Trombetta (higher coil resistance) does hence much less power. It's meant for continuous duty and won't burn itself up. The pullin voltage is something like 10 volts and the dropout voltage is something like 6 volts. All well within the application needs.
Go to the White Rodgers web page and read the specs. They recommend this coil for exactly the use for our systems. Much better relay.

The BIRD is the normal one that has a module with 4 spade lugs. One each for the two batteries (chassie & coach), pos and neg for the relay.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camperguy99 View Post
No. The 15 volt coil draws about 1/3 the current the Trombetta (higher coil resistance) does hence much less power. It's meant for continuous duty and won't burn itself up. The pullin voltage is something like 10 volts and the dropout voltage is something like 6 volts. All well within the application needs.
Go to the White Rodgers web page and read the specs. They recommend this coil for exactly the use for our systems. Much better relay.

The BIRD is the normal one that has a module with 4 spade lugs. One each for the two batteries (chassie & coach), pos and neg for the relay.

Excellent info. Thank you very much. I just ordered it from Amazon.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:01 PM   #8
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They're all "15 volt coils"; they have to be to handle charging voltage.

This is what I replaced mine with:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Rated for continuous duty.

Working with no problems for over a year.
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
They're all "15 volt coils"; they have to be to handle charging voltage.

This is what I replaced mine with:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Rated for continuous duty.

Working with no problems for over a year.
Thanks for your reply. I'm no expert on these devices, but I'm not sure why you are saying that they are all 15V coils. I'm not saying that you are wrong and I understand that they will handle 15V across the coil for a period of time, but I've looked at the Trombetta, White Rodgers, and Emerson catalogs and only one I saw was rated at 15V. In fact, White Rodgers offers the same relay with both 12V and 15V options. It's pretty clear from all of the failures that RVers experience that the lower cost 12V relays have a shorter life expectancy than what I consider acceptable (at least under certain operating conditions).
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reminckv View Post
Thanks for your reply. I'm no expert on these devices, but I'm not sure why you are saying that they are all 15V coils. I'm not saying that you are wrong and I understand that they will handle 15V across the coil for a period of time, but I've looked at the Trombetta, White Rodgers, and Emerson catalogs and only one I saw was rated at 15V. In fact, White Rodgers offers the same relay with both 12V and 15V options. It's pretty clear from all of the failures that RVers experience that the lower cost 12V relays have a shorter life expectancy than what I consider acceptable (at least under certain operating conditions).
Because any coil designed to operate in a 12 VDC system subject to charging voltage has to be rated to 15 VDC since alternator charging voltages routinely run to 14.5 VDC and sometimes higher. Any coil rated for a maximum of 12 VDC will quickly fail in a system where minimum battery voltage is above 12 VDC.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:56 PM   #11
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Battery Isolator (Isolation, Solenoid, Contactor) Relay

As much fun as it would be for Ted and I to debate the design criteria of these devices, I suspect that not many on the forum would want to read it. So, I will go back to my original premise and share my conclusion.

1. After my relay failure and noting hundreds and probably thousands of posts documenting failure of the battery isolation relay (generically referred to as Trombetta) in multiple MH forums, I set about finding a specific brand and part number that I can be confident will give me better service life than the ones that often fail within a very few years.

2. There are two primary failure modes. Failure of the coil that latches the two relay contacts and failure of the contacts that actually transfer the charging current from the alternator to the house batteries. I don't consider either failure mode to be acceptable within a 3 to 5 year time frame which seems to be the normal experience.

3. I received only three responses in the short time that this thread has been up and I thank the forum members that responded to my specific request.

4. After a couple of more hours of research on websites of highly regarded control component manufacturers including Trombetta, I chose to order the White Rodgers 586-108111 Solenoid 15V 200/600 Amps ($56) that camperguy99 suggested. Hopefully it will be several years before I know if my choice was a good one since even the OEM part should get a few years before failure. https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-586-1...64&s=hi&sr=1-1

5. For others who prefer the Trombetta brand, I found that the now offer an upgraded version of the original with silver plated contacts. What I was not able to confirm was whether or not they upgraded the 12V coil.

6. Note: many newer motorhomes don't use the Intellitec BIRD and seperate isolator relay that this post is related to.
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:32 PM   #12
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Image of original Trombetta and new White-Rodgers RelaysClick image for larger version

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Old 05-29-2020, 05:49 PM   #13
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Your Trombetta relay is much smaller than mine, apparently rated for lower amperage

What is the continuous amp rating on both the old and new?
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:17 PM   #14
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This is the same Trombetta that is original equipment on many motorhomes and about everyone that I have seen in pics from many threads. What is obvious is that the W-R is much larger. It is also much heavier.

The W-R is rated for 200 amps continuous and 600 amps inrush.
The Trombetta is rated for 150 continuous and 800 inrush.

I'm convinced, although some are not, that the 15V rating of the W-R coil will yield longer continuous service and it definitely heats up less. It is the relay that W-R specifically recommends for automotive charging circuit application. I also think that higher grade silver contacts will provide longer life.

I realize that it's not a big deal to a lot of people. But to me, I didn't want to use the part that has been clearly documented by so many RV'ers to fail in 3 or 4 years or even less. My coach has 3400 miles on it and that relay had failed.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:49 PM   #15
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Excellent work reminckv! I'm sure you just saved me a ton of troubleshooting time. Bookmarking this thread for later.
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Old 06-05-2020, 12:30 AM   #16
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that's the trombetta I had fail in short time...about 3 years I think.

I was at the sun n fun fly in when I discovered mine had failed, so I found a parts dealer set up in the trade show and bought one meant for small aircraft...just a run of the mill continuous duty solenoid that looks like something you'd find at NAPA except it's certified for aircraft. I don't recall the price now but it wasn't as much as you'd think. I've had it in for a little over 3 years.
looks a little like this one, but I didn't pay this much.....
https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...oidx610028.php

I coated with that red battery post spray to hopefully slow corrosion...which is what I think killed the trombetta
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Old 06-05-2020, 02:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeygoonnorm View Post
Excellent work reminckv! I'm sure you just saved me a ton of troubleshooting time. Bookmarking this thread for later.
Thanks, hockeygoonnorm. I'm glad it was helpful. This link that I picked up from a previous thread may also help members in the future. It tells you how to determine if the relay is good or not.
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Old 06-05-2020, 02:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeygoonnorm View Post
Excellent work reminckv! I'm sure you just saved me a ton of troubleshooting time. Bookmarking this thread for later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
that's the trombetta I had fail in short time...about 3 years I think.

I was at the sun n fun fly in when I discovered mine had failed, so I found a parts dealer set up in the trade show and bought one meant for small aircraft...just a run of the mill continuous duty solenoid that looks like something you'd find at NAPA except it's certified for aircraft. I don't recall the price now but it wasn't as much as you'd think. I've had it in for a little over 3 years.
looks a little like this one, but I didn't pay this much.....
https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...oidx610028.php

I coated with that red battery post spray to hopefully slow corrosion...which is what I think killed the trombetta
Glad it's working out for you. The fact that it is aircraft approved may mean that it has been tested more rigorously but the specs are below even the stock Trombetta. I'm sure there are lots of options that work and life before failure will depend on several factors. The W-R that I selected is certainly not the only serviceable one, just the one that I found that I had most confidence in as an upgrade.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:19 PM   #19
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THOR #18316
Adding an important link from Intellitec for reference in understanding and troubleshooting BIRD system.

https://www.intellitec.com/wp-conten...-00362-100.pdf
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