A Little Paint and a New Solenoid

I can’t believe I was hesitant about painting the new wall yellow. It now feels like a proper room in here!!!

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I definitely need another two coats on everything.

Now, the solenoid project. As a refresher, the solenoid is what allows an RV house battery to be charged by the RV truck alternator when the RV engine is running. Mine has worked intermittently but recently failed completely.

L and his buddy B came over this afternoon and I knew immediately that my rig was in good hands because it was obvious that they knew what they were doing!

We started by testing if the solenoid would click when the key was turned to the on position. Nope. It was time to get a look at the dang thing.

Pulling the battery and getting to the solenoid required three sizes of socket wrenches. It also took two strong men to pull the battery out. Definitely not a job for me. I don’t even own socket wrenches!

Once they could get to the solenoid, they jiggled some wires, connected the battery via my heavy duty super long jumper cables, and had me turn the engine on. Click. But nothing was happening in the house.

They decided to pull the solenoid to clean the contacts. That done, we hooked it up to the battery and tested it. Click.

Next test was to check the voltage coming in from the house to make sure the problem was not at the battery bank end. 13.8V.

Next test was to check the resistance in the solenoid. Ooh… massive amounts of it. But the more we made the thing click, the less resistance there was and we finally got resistance down to almost 0. There was no way that thing was going back into my RV, not with how iffy it was and hard to get to.

So I was sent to town with the old one to find a new one. I went to O’Reilly’s auto parts and the guy at the counter knew exactly what I needed and they had one in stock. I almost fainted when he told me the cost was $50.14. The budget’s really tight this month but you got to do what you got to do. The cashier laughed when I handed him exact change. “Not fifty, fifTEEN.” As in it was a $15.40 part. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my old solenoid:

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The new one is identical except it’s shinier.

I got it home and made L test it before B installed it. Everything looks good on the engine side, but nothing’s happening on the house side. We think it’s because the alternator recognizes that the house batteries are full.

I am going to use a lot of power tonight once the solar cuts out (my rig needs vacuuming…) and then try the engine. If I don’t see any results, then all three of us are at a loss, and two of us are engineers! But we are optimistic!

I had to two regular Buds in the fridge and one Bud light, so we had a cold one once the hood was closed. Retired friends make for cheap labour! 😀

Croft, I know you’re waiting with bated breath for news of this project, so I will report ASAP once I do the test tonight. We’ve still got about two hours of daylight left.

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5 Comments

  • We are waiting………… and waiting……….

  • Hey Rae the yellow wall looks fantastic!!!

  • Yes, love the yellow wall!

  • Croft, I’ve posted! 🙂

    Gina and Norma, I am still madly in love with my not so mellow yellow. 😀 No regrets!

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