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COACH BATTERIES

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I HAVE A 2004 ITASCA HOIZON 40KD AND I'M INTERESTED TO KNOW HOW  THE COACH BATTERIES CHARGE WHEN I UNPLUG FROM SHORE POWER. I WAS TOLD MAYBE A RELAY OF SOME KIND THAT DOES THAT BUT NOT SURE WHERE IT IS LOCATED OR HOW IT WORKS. I'VE LOOKED AT THE WIRING DIAGRAMS I GOT FROM WINNABEGO AND DO NOT SEE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE GENERATOR RUNNING THE BATTERY CHARGER ARE THESE BATTERIES CHARGED WHILE UNDER WAY?

THANKS, BOB

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Sorry about the caps. Lock was on. Yes I have an inverter/charger and have checked the charging of it while plugged in and it will go from 55 amp to float with no problem.

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The converter or inverter/charger ALWAYS charges the house battery bank.

SOMETIMES the coach maker installs a device (several different kinds) that also charge the chassis battery from shore power or generator.

You need to check with your coach maker to verify how yours is set up.

We can also give you easy instructions on how to verify this with a digital voltmeter.

The alternator charges both battery banks in all RV's I have ever worked on.

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If by coach batteries you are taking about the house batteries rather than the engine batteries, then yes they are charged by the alternator while the engine is running,

There is a solenoid that is activated in two ways.

1) By a wire connected to the RUN terminal on the ignition switch.

2) By the momentary rocker switch on the dash that connects the engine battery to the house batteries. It is used to start the engine when the engine battery is discharged.

There is another solenoid that is used to disconnect the house batteries from the house dc system. It is activated by a momentary center off rocker switch usually located in the step well.

Both solenoids are usually located close to each other. Often in a compartment behind a panel on one of the steps. Sometimes in a box on the left sidewall above the propane tank . 

As an aside, I think in 2005 Winnebago started installing a  Trickle Start charger that charges the engine battery by the converter/shore power. This keeps the engine battery from discharging when you are connected to shore power so the engine battery won't be discharged by parasitic/keep alive drains. See https://www.bing.com/search?q=trickle+start+battery+charger&qs=AS&pq=trickle+start&sk=AS2SC3&sc=8-13&sp=6&cvid=2C3934AD94BB4BB7933F422A6A541FE1&FORM=CHRDEF

I used a BatteryMinder Plus float charger on my coach instead.  See  http://www.batteryminders.com/12-volt-maintenance-charger-desfulator-1500

Here is the Winnebago diagram showing the two solenoids,  

ibatterymodewiring.jpg

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Some of the information above is not pertinent for all coaches, thus not correct for the OP and others.  It seems all manufacturers have a different method of charging batteries.  I've posted this before, but for clarification, I'll do it again...this is how my batteries are charged...or not charged:

- When plugged into shore power. Coach batteries are charged. When that charge reaches 13.3, the coach batteries let the charge pass through and the chassis batteries are charged as long as that charge rate is 13.3 or higher.

- When driving. Chassis batteries are charged. When that charge reaches 13.3, the chassis batteries let the charge pass through to the coach batteries and they are charged as long as the charge rate is 13.3 or higher.

It might not make sense, but that's how it works.

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43 minutes ago, FIVE said:
Some of the information above is not pertinent for all coaches, thus not correct for the OP and others.  It seems all manufacturers have a different method of charging batteries.  I've posted this before, but for clarification, I'll do it again...this is how my batteries are charged...or not charged:

- When plugged into shore power. Coach batteries are charged. When that charge reaches 13.3, the coach batteries let the charge pass through and the chassis batteries are charged as long as that charge rate is 13.3 or higher.

- When driving. Chassis batteries are charged. When that charge reaches 13.3, the chassis batteries let the charge pass through to the coach batteries and they are charged as long as the charge rate is 13.3 or higher.

It might not make sense, but that's how it works.

Yup, one of the several good ways to do it.

But as you said, there are a NUMBER of ways it could be done (or not done).  Winnebago should be his next call or look it up in his owners manual.

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6 hours ago, oynex said:

I HAVE A 2004 ITASCA HOIZON 40KD AND I'M INTERESTED TO KNOW HOW  THE COACH BATTERIES CHARGE WHEN I UNPLUG FROM SHORE POWER. I WAS TOLD MAYBE A RELAY OF SOME KIND THAT DOES THAT BUT NOT SURE WHERE IT IS LOCATED OR HOW IT WORKS. I'VE LOOKED AT THE WIRING DIAGRAMS I GOT FROM WINNABEGO AND DO NOT SEE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE GENERATOR RUNNING THE BATTERY CHARGER ARE THESE BATTERIES CHARGED WHILE UNDER WAY?

THANKS, BOB

They "should be"!  This is done using the engine alternator.  You should have a battery isolator in the loop somewhere that will send voltage to the batteries while driving and from the inverter/charger while parked.  It's easy to check.  With the engine off, check the battery voltage.  It should be in the 12.5V (ish) range.  Now, start your engine and check the battery voltage again.  It should now be in the 13+V range.  If so, the engine is charging your batteries.

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My coach has a BIRD relay installed from the factory that will charge BOTH battery banks from any source.  As I understand it, the BIRD monitors the voltage on both banks and if/when one gets to a voltage somewhat higher than the other charging voltage/current will pass the second bank bringing it up to the same level as the first.

See http://www.discoveryowners.com/bird.pdf

Lenp

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My 07' Tour 40' KD, had also a solar plate that charged the engine batteries (2) while parked.  Never could figure out if it worked or was by passed when traveling.  All I discovered was that the chassis was an 05' and coach was built in 06'...my relays was under step and my HWH motherboard was under step as well...crowded!

Carl 

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Actually always 3, many times 4 or 5 and this is just the "12 VDC side of things". You also have a 120 VAC system.  The two overlap in the converter, inverter and/or inverter charger:

All have:

Alternator charges both  house and chassis batteries.

Converter, charger or inverter/charger charges house bank and SOMETIMES chassis bank

 

Many have in addition:

Supplemental system for charging the chassis battery-- could be stand alone smart charger (small amp output) or "smart thief" device that takes power from the house bank to charge the chassis bank when house bank is above a certain voltage.

Solar panel and (hopefully) smart controller can be wired to charge either or both banks.

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Yep, 12V house batteries, separate 12V generator battery and 24V engine starting batteries.  2 separate alternators to charge the house and engine batteries while driving but only the house batteries are charged when parked.  I have a separate portable 24V charger to top off the engine batteries if I will be parked somewhere for more than a couple of weeks.

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Thanks for all the info. I finally located a solenoid in behind a panel in the electrical compartment. I tested it and it does not work. New one exact replacement on order from MurCaL Inc. The solenoid is active when the ignition is on. This will charge my house batteries while driving which was the problem off getting somewhere and the batteries were weak.

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3 hours ago, oynex said:

Thanks for all the info. I finally located a solenoid in behind a panel in the electrical compartment. I tested it and it does not work. New one exact replacement on order from MurCaL Inc. The solenoid is active when the ignition is on. This will charge my house batteries while driving which was the problem off getting somewhere and the batteries were weak.

Make sure it is a continuous duty solenoid.

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Blue Sea offers several automatic auto charging relays (ACR) that are popular in the marine industry.

I have two of them on my boat and they have been in service for over eight years and have performed flawlessly. They allow for  the batteries to be tied together  if either system is above 12.8 volts.  I believe the switching is done with an electronic device, not a electrical/mechanical solenoid.

Blue Sea has an excellent web site with electrical schematics.

Jim

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I have a 2003 Safari Panther. The house batteries as well as chassis batteries are supposed to be charged depending on which bank needs charging, while on the road. Yet, when hooked up after driving, the Trace Inverter says that the house batteries are now being charged. How do I check, to see if the "brain" is working while on the road. I would guess that after driving for 6 hours, all banks would be charged at the end of the day.

Art Gray

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Art,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

A digital voltmeter (they start under $20) will tell you very quickly.

Measure voltage on each bank before starting the engine (shore power disconnected, generator off).

Start engine and increase to 1,000 RPM.  Re-measure voltage at each battery bank.

 

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