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Old 03-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #1
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House Batteries Not Charging/Gen Stopping

Hi All

Have a good one. Went over to see a show at one of the casinos near us this weekend with the coach and stayed in the parking lot. Got there and was a little warm cranked the generator. Well had to use the booster as the house batteries seemed dead. Cranked fine. Went off a couple hours and when came back the gen was not running and nothing was working. Was like that's odd. Cranked the bus to make sure those batteries were ok and recranked the gen and started running, lights came on and etc. So turned off the ignition the engine and the gen died with it. Tried this a couple times and did the same thing. Any ideas what may be going on. We had gone off a few weeks ago and when we got to the campground and went to put a slide out noticed that the batteries seemed weak. Didn't think much about it since we had not been anywhere and figured being plugged in would charge the house batteries back up. Apparently it didn't.

When looking at the monitors for the inverter showed plenty of amps coming through while gen was on

Don't understand what would kill the gen when I turned off the ignition. How/where would I check to see if charge is going to the batteries when plugged to shore power. Hard to see the Xantrex but see green lights on in one of the upper corners of the case. Has me scratching my head on this

thanks
Bruce
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:24 PM   #2
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Did you happen to have any work done on your batteries lately? Sounds like a wire may be in wrong place or possible fuse.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:29 PM   #3
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Look for an inverter fuse on its positive battery cable. About 300 amps. Make sure both cables, and switch if installed, are on.

There may be a breaker on the inverter box that's popped out. Push it in to reset.

When you start the main engine, it connects to the dead house batteries and things work. When you shut the engine off, the slightly charged batteries go dead again.

Your inverter/charger is not charging.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:06 PM   #4
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Nothing has been done to the batteries or wiring down in that area. I'll have to look for the large fuses going from the batteries. I did look on the inverter to see if the fuse button was popped out and it was not. The inverter appears to be running. It has the echo charger mounted to the right of it but not sure how to check if it's working. Will have to follow some of those lines looking for other fuses to see if any are blown.

So I get that with the engine running it would send power to the house batteries, but any idea why it would kill the gen when I turn the engine off? Maybe some relays that don't have enough power to hold open shutting it down? Know the house batteries are probably getting close to being replaced but don't want to do that until figure this one out. Always something it seems. Thanks for the ideas where to look
Bruce
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Yankeebelle View Post
Nothing has been done to the batteries or wiring down in that area. I'll have to look for the large fuses going from the batteries. I did look on the inverter to see if the fuse button was popped out and it was not. The inverter appears to be running. It has the echo charger mounted to the right of it but not sure how to check if it's working. Will have to follow some of those lines looking for other fuses to see if any are blown.

So I get that with the engine running it would send power to the house batteries, but any idea why it would kill the gen when I turn the engine off? Maybe some relays that don't have enough power to hold open shutting it down? Know the house batteries are probably getting close to being replaced but don't want to do that until figure this one out. Always something it seems. Thanks for the ideas where to look
Bruce

Note bold, above.


If you have weak/dead house batteries the inverter/converter may not be able to charge them even when plugged in to shore power or with the gen running. Yes, with the engine running, DC should be sent to the house bank and that's what is likely allowing you to start the gen. If the house bank is dead, DC will still flow through as it's a "live stream" from the engine alternator. When the gen is running, the house batteries get priority in charging and since they cannot hold the charge long enough to sustain an output, the gen dies due to lack of DC for the control. Just because voltage is flowing to the house bank does not mean the batteries are retaining that charge. It appears from your symptoms that one or more of your house bank may be dead/shorted.


If this were my situation, I would first have the house batteries tested, individually, for ability to hold a charge and cell condition.
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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Specifically "the gen dies due to lack of DC for the control". Any of chance of checking the batteries with a voltmeter to get an accurate reading?
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:20 PM   #7
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Did see some info along the same searching around and found some misc links that said much of the same that the gen works on AC and needs the DC to run some of it's systems, which explains why the gen goes dead when the ignition is turned off - running off the engine batteries. The house must be dead as a doornail. So next is to see if I can charge the house batteries and hold a charge and figure out how to tell if the charger is working off the Xantrex. Think it is given the panel is registering charge amps going through. Maybe the batteries are just done. Do some more searching. Appreciate all the feedback and help. Let you know what I figure out. Always an adventure
thanks
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:30 PM   #8
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...usually the 12v power supply for the genset is off the chassis bats--not always but usually....so condition of house bats shouldn't be an issue here. …..since your Cummins starts and runs, your chassis bats must be in pretty good shape.....I would therefore start by checking/cleaning the 12v cable connections for the genset on the chassis bats; then check/clean the other end of the 12v cable connections on the genset on the back side of the genset cabinet...exposure to the elements can corrode the inside connectors....
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:00 PM   #9
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Do you have a remote control panel/display for the Xantrex that shows battery condition, charging volts and amps, AC in , power share, etc? That would at least show if the inverter/charger is trying to charge the batteries on either shore power or generator.

Battery age has not been mentioned specifically, but can play a factor. Sometimes they can be murdered in a year or two, sometimes they last 10 years.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:21 PM   #10
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...usually the 12v power supply for the genset is off the chassis bats--not always but usually....so condition of house bats shouldn't be an issue here. …..since your Cummins starts and runs, your chassis bats must be in pretty good shape.....I would therefore start by checking/cleaning the 12v cable connections for the genset on the chassis bats; then check/clean the other end of the 12v cable connections on the genset on the back side of the genset cabinet...exposure to the elements can corrode the inside connectors....
The generator starting off the chassis battery is not " usual " .

It has been found that the house batteries start the generator more times they not.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #11
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TB--what year/model of Alpine do you own?
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:51 AM   #12
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I will go off on my SOB (Some Other Brand) rant for the first time in 2019.

Alpine owners, our coaches were manufactured a “little” different than others. When you get advise here on IRV2 you are best to look at the type of coach the poster has. If it is not an Alpine take the advise with a grain of salt. If it is an Alpine look at the model AND year, WRV had a MAJOR change in 2004 and many minor changes along the way. If you get a response from someone that has the same model and year as yours you can generally take that as good advise. I have gotten into the year trap more than once. For example in 2005 WRV changed to 115 gallon fuel tank, my ‘05 has the older 100 gallon tank, so if we were discussing a fuel tank issue that would be relevant. My point here is to be careful of information from someone that does not own (or has owned) an Alpine, the systems may not work the same. One other point, there are several folks that have owned Alpines in the past so they are knowledgeable, you just need to know who those folks are, see there are exceptions to every rule.
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