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Old 09-26-2018, 05:30 PM   #1
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Charging House Batteries

I know that while I am running down the road my chassis batteries are being charged. Are my house batteries being charged as well? if so, if my house battery disconnect is engaged will they still charge??
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:38 PM   #2
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Should be, if you mean that your house batteries are connected. I hate the terminology of "battery disconnects" since I do not know what position it is in when "engaged."

If you have one of those lousy 4 LED battery meters on your panel somewhere, if all 4 are lit when you are running down the road...you are charging.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:39 PM   #3
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Charging

Yes, THEY SHOULD.

"BUT", you have an older unit. If you have owned it all it's life then it should still work just fine, however, thing go wrong with time.

If you bought it used, who knows what changes (good or bad), have been made.

Either way, by attaching a volt/amp meter to the battery(ies), how be it in line or wired to a convenient place, you can monitor the process to be sure.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:22 PM   #4
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From a fellow Alpine owner:



Yes. Once the chassis batteries are charged by the engine, then the battery banks are automatically connected together and the house is also charged.


This is true regardless of where the disconnect switch is set.


Curious, though, why you would have the house disconnected while driving? We leave our house power on all the time, that way the fridge works, and lights are available inside.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:31 AM   #5
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Yup--even though you have an older Alpine, yes, both your chassis and house bats should charge while driving. The battery disconnect switches control power flow out of the bats, not in, so doesn't impact on charging. Anytime you are using your coach, parked or driving, both the chassis and house switches should be in the "on" position. Here is the difference for older Alpine coaches--pre-Vansco Comm. module coaches [before 2004] use a battery isolation device to separate the battery banks and control charging while driving. Its a pretty basic device so it could but I don't think it "knows" which bat bank to charge first????? If you really want to know how all this works, a voltmeter would be your friend....
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:09 PM   #6
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My understanding (Vansco or not) is that the contactor which 'connects' the two battery banks together is dependent on the chassis battery voltage. Therefore, if the chassis battery voltage was low enough, the contactor would be off with chassis charging first to get it back to whatever voltage is appropriate (12.7 volts on my coach) to connect the battery banks. This is a short time period, with engine at speed. I didn't mean to imply that the chassis battery would receive a full charge before the contactor engaged to then charge the house. Sorry for the confusion.


There are several other threads here discussing the contactor (Trombetta) cycling off and on. Imagine a situation where the house batteries are seriously depleted. Charging is begun (engine or shore power). Chassis battery reaches voltage to engage the contactor. However, because the house batts are so low, connecting them to chassis causes the system voltage to droop, thereby turning off the contactor (isolating the chassis again). Then chassis batts charges up quickly, contactor engages, and the cycle continues until such a point that the house is charged enough that it doesn't drag the chassis batts down.


Sorry for the rabbit trail here, but the point being, even on my Vansco equipped coach, the isolating contactor logic is pretty simple.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:21 AM   #7
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….no "contactors" [Trombella] solenoid or charging logic on a pre-Vansco Alpine....these older Alpines [98/99s included?????] do have a large solenoid but only for manual battery boosting....now the old-style battery isolator ["solid-state" blue box with diodes and heat load fins on a 2003] may have some built in charging parameters but I kind of doubt it...doesn't apply to all systems but Alpines went thru 3 or 4 fairly significant evolutions--98/99s, 2000-2004, 2005-2007, and the 2008-2009s.....but I am always ready to learn something new about Alpines...
PS--pre-Vansco coaches have a totally different process for charging batteries off shore power, eg, WRV used an "echo" charger to trickle the chassis bats once house bats are recharged by inverter/charger....
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:34 AM   #8
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My 98 has the battery isolator and Echo charger as described by Old Scout. The engine alternator charges both banks equally and simultaneously. Verified by volt meter readings at the isolator terminals and at the battery posts

However, my 98 does NOT have a boost switch to connect the battery banks. At least I have never found it. Which leads to another question.

Will one of the portable jump start devices be adequate to crank the Cummins if both of the Alpine banks are dead? The CAT brand jump start device sold at Costco generates 1000 peak amps.

If only engine battery is dead one can use jumper cables to get the engine started. But if both banks are dead neither jumper cables nor boost switch will get the Cummins started.
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Old 09-28-2018, 04:48 PM   #9
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Hey Gene....primary reason for two staring bats [750-900CA each] is the high amp draw for the Cummins starter....a secondary issue is the engine grid heaters on the Cummins [ISL400 anyway]...not sure how and when they are triggered but you can watch the grids draw down the volts on the bats, BEFORE you crank the starter.....given these two draws--you need some pretty good cranking amps, don't know if "peak" amps and battery "cranking" amps are the same??????
PS--depending on which bank the genset starter is wired to--I would be incline to work on getting the genset started and use the inverter/charger to recover the chassis bats...probably need to jump the banks as Vansco logic or echo charger may not get them recovered very quickly?????
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Hey Gene....primary reason for two staring bats [750-900CA each] is the high amp draw for the Cummins starter....a secondary issue is the engine grid heaters on the Cummins [ISL400 anyway]...not sure how and when they are triggered but you can watch the grids draw down the volts on the bats, BEFORE you crank the starter.....given these two draws--you need some pretty good cranking amps, don't know if "peak" amps and battery "cranking" amps are the same??????
PS--depending on which bank the genset starter is wired to--I would be incline to work on getting the genset started and use the inverter/charger to recover the chassis bats...probably need to jump the banks as Vansco logic or echo charger may not get them recovered very quickly?????


Gen set SHOULD be connected to the chassis batteries, not the house.

One other oddity, you need BOTH the disconnect switches engaged and the batteries operating for the HWH to work. Controls operate on house, but pump runs on chassis, or vice versa, I donít remember which, point is you need both battery Banks for the HWH to function.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinequip View Post
From a fellow Alpine owner:



Yes. Once the chassis batteries are charged by the engine, then the battery banks are automatically connected together and the house is also charged.


This is true regardless of where the disconnect switch is set.


Curious, though, why you would have the house disconnected while driving? We leave our house power on all the time, that way the fridge works, and lights are available inside.

Scott, I never have the battery disconnect engaged unless I have it in storage. The issue was I had it in the service center for 6 weeks. They must have engaged it and I drove home with it that way and didn't notice it until I got home. My house batteries only had 1/4 charge on them (4 6v). I ran the generator yesterday and now they are fully charged.
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