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Old 03-29-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

This is our second class B and brand new but we're having trouble with electrical dash lighting and chasis battery. It's been like this from the time we drove it off the lot. We've asked the dealership who said the problem was with the conversion and the conversion said it was a dealership warranty issue. We don't care we just want this fixed!
We've had an electrical diagnostic done from an independent shop and have narrowed down the problem to wiring and were advised to try a Mercedes shop.

The first problem: Starting the ignition causes the dash lights to go out when the headlights are turned on. With the engine off, the dash lights come on as long as the headlights are turned on.

The second problem: Another electrical issue is with the conversion installed sony cd/dvd/radio/stereo system which drains our chasis battery even though we have switched over to the coach battery.

Although we'd like to think these are related, our regular mechanic says not. He thinks it's an isolation block issue and not related to the headlight/dash issue.

Please help as we would like to drive a night without a flashlight!
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

Welcome to the forum yvonjovi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvonjovi
........The first problem: Starting the ignition causes the dash lights to go out when the headlights are turned on. With the engine off, the dash lights come on as long as the headlights are turned on.........
This might not be much help but is there a dimmer control for the dash lights? I drove a friends car recently and when I turned on the headlights the dash lights went out. It was a simple fix - I just turned the dimmer control up until I could see the instrument panel. Your problem is probably more complex than that but, if you haven't already, look for a dimmer control for the dash lights.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yvonjovi
..........The second problem: Another electrical issue is with the conversion installed sony cd/dvd/radio/stereo system which drains our chassis battery even though we have switched over to the coach battery........
My current RV has a switch in the coach for the dash radio. The switch has "coach" and "chassis" on it. You'd think that would mean the radio would run off either the coach or chassis battery depending on the switch selection. It doesn't work that way on my coach. The switch only overrides ignition switch allowing you to run the radio without having the key in the ignition. The radio still draws power from the chassis battery.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

Thanks for the reply. Interesting news on the coach/chasis switch...
Did you put a relay from the coach battery into the radio to cut off the chasis battery? We're going to redo this whole mess anyway, so what works?
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

I used a single-pole, double-throw switch on my rig. One way, the stereo is powered from the vehicle ignition. The other way, it will run from the house battery.

You need to make sure you choose the right lines feeding the stereo. Some have one line that just turns the stereo on and off. The main battery line is where the current comes from. That one should come from the house battery. Just placing a switch on the "switch" line will only change the switching source. The main current will still come from the vehicle battery and not the house.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvonjovi
..........Did you put a relay from the coach battery into the radio to cut off the chassis battery? We're going to redo this whole mess anyway, so what works?
I haven't done anything yet. I'd like to power it like renrut powered his radio. Too many other projects to do first. For now, when camping with electric hookup, I'll plug in a 1 amp trickle charger to the 12v accessory plug in the dash to keep the chassis battery charged if I use that radio/CD player.

---------------------------------------------

Re: dimmer on newer Sprinters - I'm posting this for anyone who has a newer Sprinter.

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Old 03-31-2009, 04:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvonjovi
This is our second class B and brand new but we're having trouble with electrical dash lighting and chasis battery. It's been like this from the time we drove it off the lot. We've asked the dealership who said the problem was with the conversion and the conversion said it was a dealership warranty issue. We don't care we just want this fixed!
We've had an electrical diagnostic done from an independent shop and have narrowed down the problem to wiring and were advised to try a Mercedes shop.

The first problem: Starting the ignition causes the dash lights to go out when the headlights are turned on. With the engine off, the dash lights come on as long as the headlights are turned on.

The second problem: Another electrical issue is with the conversion installed sony cd/dvd/radio/stereo system which drains our chasis battery even though we have switched over to the coach battery.

Although we'd like to think these are related, our regular mechanic says not. He thinks it's an isolation block issue and not related to the headlight/dash issue.

Please help as we would like to drive a night without a flashlight!
Your van is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter but in the United States, whether it is badged Dodge or Freightliner, it is serviced by Five Star Dodge dealers equipped to handle Sprinters. A Mercedes Benz auto dealer will not touch it.

Your first problem about the headlights might just be an understanding issue because I doubt LTV changed anything to their function. The Sprinter headlights are on all the time and driving into the night you can forget that it is only in running light mode until you notice you have no dash lights. To get dash lights to come on you have to switch over to night headlights. That's a counter clockwise twist of the stem. In running light mode the stem lines up. In running light mode, the lights go off when you turn the ignition off. In headlight mode you have to manually turn your lights off as they do not go off with the ignition. All that should be in your Sprinter manual not LTV's manual.

Your second problem. The radio/CD in your dash runs off the chassis battery. If LTV installed a cd/dvd/radio in the back of your coach it will run off your coach battery. I'm not sure how it would drain your chassis battery. It could be something else doing that.

Regardless, it sounds like you have two separate issues. If there is truly something amiss about your headlights that would be a Dodge dealer problem. The coach dvd/cd/radio installed by LTV would be an RV dealer problem to solve but if it is not related to draining your chassis battery draining then it is back to the Dodge dealer.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: LTV Freespirit A Dodge or Mercedes? HELP!

Thanks to everyone! We got the problem of the dash lights sorted out with a broken wire in the steering column, as soon as there was a surge of power on ignition, the broken wire separated in the wire casing. Our fantastic mechanic found and solved the problem (no thanks to the 4 dealerships).
Regarding the chassis battery, we'll try the relay switch as suggested, great stuff!
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