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Old 08-11-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
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1996 Dutchstar Electrical Issues

I have a 1996 Dutchstar 36' Class A with a gasoline Chevy motor. My ammeter indicated normal charging then went to zero. My main battery ultimately failed due to loss of charge. I have replaced the main battery but still have low charge indication on ammeter. Also, I now have other issues like my generator will not turn over at all (from either dash or direct start on generator), i have no dash lights at night, and my radio which was was powered off the hot battery bus no longer works. I am planning on pulling the alternator to verify that it needs to be replaced but am skeptical that this will fix my problem as I expected replacing the battery would make everything work correctly until it runs out of charge again. I know the charging problem needs to be corrected, but I am wondering if i have two separate issues or if they are related.
I have checked all the obvious connections but wouldn't be surprised if i am missing a fuse panel or other obvious solution. Everything happened simultaneously so I am guessing that it is all interrelated. The only fuse box that I have found relating to the power generation system is on the outside firewall forward of the driver. Does anyone have any suggestions of what else I could look for that would narrow down a problem area. Also, where are all the fuse boxes located for this model? any help would be greatly appreciated...
Thanks!
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:13 AM   #2
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Welcome sledriver to the Newmar forum & irv2.
Here is a link to help explain you battery set up 12v Side of Life.
What I would do is check your ground wires off both sets of batteries, house and chassis battery to frame of coach. If they are dirty and corroded clean them up and refasten with new bolts and star washer to keep tight to frame.
Your alternator should charge your chassis battery and house batteries. Make sure all connections are clean.
Your house batteries will be charged when your shore line is plugged into 30 or 50 amp service or 110 with adapter.
In most coaches your Generator is started by your house batteries. Your Gen has a ground wire to chassis frame also.
The house batteries are charged by your converter when shore line is plugged in.
On newer motor homes a BIRD is installed that will control charge of house batteries and when they reach full charge will switch converter charge to the chassis battery's.
Unless someone upgraded for this you wouldn't have Bird.

Picture of BIRD.



I'm sure others will have something to add, enjoy the forums and do post often.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:34 AM   #3
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Sledriver,
This is an easy way to check you alternator:

With a voltmeter check the battery voltage with the engine not running. The reading should be between 12.5 12.8 VDC, that's if your battery is fully charged, yours may be reading lower. Next, start the engine and take another voltage reading at the battery. The reading should be 13.6 14.3 VDC. If your voltage reading is not higher with the engine running it could either be your voltage regulator or your alternator that is defective.
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