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Old 05-17-2018, 09:55 PM   #1
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Batteries?

We made the long trip up the Alaska Highway a week ago, no problems. For the past week we have been parked at the side of our house. We have been running the generator every evening 4 hours or so while we are in the motorhome. Today I started the generator, brought the slides in, raised the jacks, turned the generator off and tried to start the coach and all I get is clicking. Tried to restart the generator and it doesn't start either. It all feels like dead batteries.

If the generator is running I presume I'm charging everything up?

I went to Walmart and bought a $10 battery checker. I have two chassis batteries. #1 shows 100% charge. #2 shows 40%. Batteries are one year old.

Does this sound like battery problems or something else?

Any advise is appreciated. Thank You
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:02 PM   #2
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The 40% battery is defective and may have thrown the whole converter charging system off , by having a high resistance to charge.

Does your coach have the original Todd Engineering converter charger ?
Mine gave up three years ago.
Or do you have the optional Heart inverter/charger?

Gen set starts from the house batteries , so they'll have to be tested too.

EDIT: BTW; in coaches of our vintage Newmar used the Dutch star name on both gas and diesel pusher coaches , with two starter batteries I'm assuming you have a Diesel Pusher.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:09 PM   #3
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Batteries?

We made the long trip up the Alaska Highway a week ago, no problems. For the past week we have been parked at the side of our house. We have been running the generator every evening 4 hours or so while we are in the motorhome. Today I started the generator, brought the slides in, raised the jacks, turned the generator off and tried to start the coach and all I get is clicking. Tried to restart the generator and it doesn't start either. It all feels like dead batteries.

If the generator is running I presume I'm charging everything up?

I went to Walmart and bought a $10 battery checker. I have two chassis batteries. #1 shows 100% charge. #2 shows 40%. Batteries are one year old.

Does this sound like battery problems or something else?

Any advise is appreciated. Thank You
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:39 PM   #4
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At a minimum it sounds like youcassis batteries are not charging, could be The BIRD relay, bad batteries, system not configured properly, etc...
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I don’t know your coach but I’m pretty sure ou have a battery boost switch in it. It connects the house batteries to the start/chassis batteries allowing you to jump the start batteries. Very handy when you don’t have access to a power source for your new $10.00 battery charger. Like when you go hang out on the Denali Hwy.

You need someone with knowledge of your rig to chime in oh how the charger and relays are set up. Some only charge the house batteries when plugged in to shore power or running of the generator other will charge both sets.

If you are near Anchorage these are good guys https://alaskaperformancerv.com. I used them for everything before I left AK
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:31 PM   #5
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Is there water in the batteries?

Have you cleaned the connections at the battery terminals?

I would think that both batteries should be at about the same level of charge so either the one battery is bad or the connections going to it are dirty.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Is there water in the batteries?

Have you cleaned the connections at the battery terminals?

I would think that both batteries should be at about the same level of charge so either the one battery is bad or the connections going to it are dirty.

Let us know what you find.
Agree w Arch H
If one batty was at 100% it seems like it was getting charged from someplace...maybe from alternator during last drive.
That would point to an issue w the other batty.
Take it out if necessary and try to charge it and repeat check.

You didn't mention age.
Alaska Hwy travel can be rough on older batty. I had one die on me there and suspect vibration causing build.up and shorting plates. Start battys more susceptable as they don't have as much space below the plates.
If it won't take or hold charge its time for new.
Which brings up another ?
Are they identical battys and same age?
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:47 AM   #7
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Most chassis batteries are sealed these days.
In this link you will find descriptions of BIRD Charging system problems while on shore power, preferred if coach parked at home, and different problems that may cause your batteries not to charged.
Your Gen uses chassis batteries to start and one weak battery will effect the other battery, use a stand along battery charger to bring both up to full charge.
The age of your coach may indicate you might have a solenoid problem.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:23 AM   #8
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Update:

Thank you for the reply, suggestions and links.

Last night I plugged the coach into a regular household outlet. This morning she started up as normal.

I did find a cargo light on last night while trying to figure out what was wrong.

Since we have been running the generator regularly over the past week, I'm thinking it isn't or doesn't charge the chassis batteries. And perhaps the cargo light I found on is connected to the chassis which drained the batteries over the past week?

Does anyone know in this particular unit 2000 DSDP if the generator should be charging the chassis batteries?
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by AKConnie View Post
Does anyone know in this particular unit 2000 DSDP if the generator should be charging the chassis batteries?
YES your coach should have the same BIRD system as my 99 .

INFO in this pdf.

AND the battery that tested at 40% should be charged & re-checked with some equipment other than a $10 tester.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bird system info.pdf (1.54 MB, 8 views)
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:57 PM   #10
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Two things people tend to over look, only one of which applies here are Circuit breakers.

There should be at least TWO of them on the generator. One may be Tripped (off)

The other (Which is not your problem) is the breakers on an inverter or inverter sub panel but I include them here because sure as shooting, Someone is busy overlooking 'em as I type.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:48 PM   #11
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I read through the information and PDFs everyone sent. Thank You.

I'm still a little confused on a couple of things.

1. I believe my generator starts from the chassis batteries. When the chassis batteries went dead the generator would not start. It would try but acted like there wasn't enough juice. Which lead me to believe it starts from chassis batteries.

2. Reading up on the B.I.R.D. system, I am understanding that both chassis and house batteries are charging when plugged in. This seems to be correct

3. When running down the road both house and chassis batteries are charging through the alternator. This seems to be correct.

4. While not plugged in and running on generator I don't believe my chassis batteries are charging, but my house batteries are charging. Is this the way it works or do I have a issue there? If they should be charging where should I look for the problem?

And when the chassis batteries were dead and house batteries fully charged the Battery Boost switch made no difference in trying to start the engine.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:16 AM   #12
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I think I mentioned that your solenoid may be giving you a problem.
When your driving the coach the BIRD works in reversed first charging your chassis batteries than switching over to the house batteries complete reversal when your plugged into shore power or using Gen.
I think the BIRD threads in links describe how members proved their solenoid problem, some cleaned the contacts and got it working. correctly.
Make sure all ground cables to chassis frame from batteries and converter, Gen are clean and tight.
All your numbered answers are correct, your doing fine.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKConnie View Post
I read through the information and PDFs everyone sent. Thank You.

I'm still a little confused on a couple of things.

1. I believe my generator starts from the chassis batteries. When the chassis batteries went dead the generator would not start. It would try but acted like there wasn't enough juice. Which lead me to believe it starts from chassis batteries.

2. Reading up on the B.I.R.D. system, I am understanding that both chassis and house batteries are charging when plugged in. This seems to be correct

3. When running down the road both house and chassis batteries are charging through the alternator. This seems to be correct.

4. While not plugged in and running on generator I don't believe my chassis batteries are charging, but my house batteries are charging. Is this the way it works or do I have a issue there? If they should be charging where should I look for the problem?

And when the chassis batteries were dead and house batteries fully charged the Battery Boost switch made no difference in trying to start the engine.
#4 is wrong. Your generator is a substute for shore power and will do what shore power does, including charging batteries.

If they charge on shore power, they charge on generator power.


The isolation relay ( solenoid ) can go bad and work sometimes and not others.

The battery boost solenoid is the same solenoid that the BIRD controls. The fact that the boost switch didn't work is a clue that the solenoid could be bad.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:34 AM   #14
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https://www.intellitec.com/assets/pd...-01000-000.pdf
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