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Old 10-21-2019, 01:33 PM   #1
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House batteries charged by alternator

I have a 2015 Dutch Star and am wondering if the engine alternator charges house batteries when driving.

Thanks
Loren
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorencamp View Post
I have a 2015 Dutch Star and am wondering if the engine alternator charges house batteries when driving.
Hi - I haven't seen a wiring diagram for the Dutch Star. I have seen the wiring diagram for a number of other Newmar RVs. The short answer is "No".

The coach wiring and Chassis wiring only links together, to my knowledge, when you press that button to connect the coach batteries to the chassis to start the engine. That's it.

Now, you do raise an interesting point. COULD you put a massive alternator on your engine and connect it to your Coach batteries? Of course. You'd just feed the 12v to the coach batteries and let the alternator diodes manage the charge.

The considerations I see with that are:

1) Alternators are made to charge wet-cell batteries, not AGM or Lithium batteries. I think that the charging profile of an alternator is not well suited to deep cycle batteries. I'd be tempted to run the power to an inverter and simulate the power coming from a generator, and let the inverter manage charging the batteries so you don't damage them;

2) Alternators pull 1 horsepower for every 25 Amps they create. If you want to create 100 amps, you'll pull 4 horsepower. For a Dutch Star, that's nothing.

3) You'll need to run some significant size wires from the engine compartment forward to the coach battery compartment. It can be done. I think you'll need to think real carefully about how to do that in a way that vibration, road debris, and other things won't cause damage to the insulation over time.

I bet there are others that have more things to consider.

Hope that gets you thinking...
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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Your coach uses an inverter to take 12 volt power from your house batteries, converts it to 110 volt power and keeps your residential refer and other small 110 volt items running while you drive. Consequently, the house batteries would be depleted if not charged by the engine.

So....the answer is yes, your engine alternator charges the house batteries. There is a system in place that looks at your engine batteries and house batteries and switches charging of them, back and forth, as needed.

Here's a tip....typically you run the generator when boondocking, but often on the morning of departure, people will just start their coach and hit the road, leaving the engine alternator to recharge the batteries that were depleted overnight. This can be very hard on an alternator if you do this routinely. It makes the alternator work extra hard to recharge 6 or 8 large batteries. So, even on the morning you intend to depart, let the generator run until you drive away.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:35 PM   #4
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A 2015 DS. I'd be surprised if it didn't! My 08' Holiday Rambler charges both battery banks while going down the road.
Look in your owners manual for an electrical device called a B.I.R.D. If your coach has one of these, all of your batteries should be getting charged from your alternator.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericllucas View Post
Hi - I haven't seen a wiring diagram for the Dutch Star. I have seen the wiring diagram for a number of other Newmar RVs. The short answer is "No".

The coach wiring and Chassis wiring only links together, to my knowledge, when you press that button to connect the coach batteries to the chassis to start the engine. That's it.

Now, you do raise an interesting point. COULD you put a massive alternator on your engine and connect it to your Coach batteries? Of course. You'd just feed the 12v to the coach batteries and let the alternator diodes manage the charge.

The considerations I see with that are:

1) Alternators are made to charge wet-cell batteries, not AGM or Lithium batteries. I think that the charging profile of an alternator is not well suited to deep cycle batteries. I'd be tempted to run the power to an inverter and simulate the power coming from a generator, and let the inverter manage charging the batteries so you don't damage them;

2) Alternators pull 1 horsepower for every 25 Amps they create. If you want to create 100 amps, you'll pull 4 horsepower. For a Dutch Star, that's nothing.

3) You'll need to run some significant size wires from the engine compartment forward to the coach battery compartment. It can be done. I think you'll need to think real carefully about how to do that in a way that vibration, road debris, and other things won't cause damage to the insulation over time.

I bet there are others that have more things to consider.

Hope that gets you thinking...
My 06 Mtn Aire charges both sets of batteries....easy to test. Run them down a little then start it up and check the results after a little run time.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:10 PM   #6
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Look around page 14 in this document from Newmar covering their 12V systems and a wiring schematic showing how the charging of both batteries takes place: Newmar Electrical 12V
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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Crow is a dish best eaten warm.

I stand corrected.

From Newgle: ALTERNATOR
The alternator is a belt-driven component attached to the coach engine and is supplied by the chassis manufacturer. The alternator supplies power for chassis components such as batteries, lights, wipers, dash HVAC, and power seats, as well as all of the driver controls located in the cockpit. The alternator charges the chassis batteries, but with the addition of a BIM, BIRD, or Charge Bridge, it may also assist in charging the coach's house batteries.

The BIRD was used before 2009, so I'll skip that.

BATTERY ISOLATION MANAGER (BIM)
All current Dutch Star, Ventana, and Ventana LE diesel coaches use a Precision Circuits all-in-one Battery Isolation Manager (BIM). The BIM monitors both the chassis and house battery and is the only place in the coach where they both merge. The BIM only functions when the engine or generator is running or when the coach is connected to shore power.

To learn more, visit the Battery Isolation Manager home page in Newgle.

Here is a link to that jewel for your 2015 Dutch Star: https://newgle.newmarcorp.com/s/prod...ij8UQAR/111457

Page 11 of this presentation definitely shows it hooked up to both battery banks: https://newgle.newmarcorp.com/s/prod...ij8UQAR/111457

So there we have it, I stand corrected. The alternator in the 2015 Dutch Star DOES charge both battery banks.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:35 PM   #8
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Crow is best eaten Cold!
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyinWP View Post
Crow is best eaten Cold!
Ha. There are those that prefer to serve it cold. Normal side dishes include Hot Tongue and Cold Shoulder.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:17 PM   #10
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:37 PM   #11
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Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Eat crow fresh killed.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ericllucas View Post
Ha. There are those that prefer to serve it cold. Normal side dishes include Hot Tongue and Cold Shoulder.
I don't care how you prefer crow or what your significant other treats you to.
You are a good person to admit you made a mistake.
I'm not going to talk about all the mistakes I made today.

Now, back to our regular programming.
Lynn
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorencamp View Post
I have a 2015 Dutch Star and am wondering if the engine alternator charges house batteries when driving.

Thanks
Loren
Every RV owner should have a digital multimeter and know how to use it.
This would tell you very quickly when the house batteries charge.
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GMoore View Post
Every RV owner should have a digital multimeter and know how to use it
True, I alway recommend getting one with the ammeter probe thing on top. It isn't enough to know voltage, sometimes you need to know current and these amp clamps make it easy to know current.

https://m.sears.com/craftsman-cm/p-A...QaAtX2EALw_wcB
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