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Old 01-21-2015, 09:21 PM   #1
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House batteries

Dumb question but my 2012 36la owners manual is even dumber. The most worthless 2lbs of paper I've ever owned. Most of the content is generic and outdated. Sorry, I digress.
Does my engine charge my house batteries while running?
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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Dumb question but my 2012 36la owners manual is even dumber. The most worthless 2lbs of paper I've ever owned. Most of the content is generic and outdated. Sorry, I digress.
Does my engine charge my house batteries while running?

Easiest way to find out is get a voltmeter, fire up engine, then check voltage at battery terminals. If you get a reading of 13+ volts then your engine alternator is charging your house batteries.

Good luck and let us know what you find..
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:29 PM   #3
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I assume you're asking "is it supposed to charge the house bank from engine alternator?"

I don't have a clue how your motorhome is wired but.......you can find out IF it's actually charging either bank easily yourself. Use a volt meter and put the leads on a negative and a positive battery post on the bank in question. Do it before starting and while it's running. If it's a higher voltage while running you'll know that it's charging from the alternator. Good luck.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:37 PM   #4
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Pretty soon, someone will chime in who has already done this and save me the hassle!
Yeah, engine running equals alternator.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:50 AM   #5
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I have a question my 2003 excurision motorhome my power step is not going in all the way any information and also where is the battery located for the step
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:13 AM   #6
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If everything is working the engine SHOULD charge the house, and depending on what they put in the reverse may be true as well.

As was noted, with engine running for more than 2 minutes check voltage at house battery terminal with a light on

13+ engine is charging
<13 engine is not charging (Or batteries need serious charging)

To check the reverse, plug into shore power for at least six hours then measure engine (Chassis) battery,, 13+ it is charging, <13 it is not.

And yes, I keep telling people, the manual for the motor home is basically how to care for floor and walls, All the components (including the isolator system or battery control system) have their own manual. This, believe it or not, includes the doors, windows and mirrors, they all have their own manuals.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:27 AM   #7
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If all else fails you can always look this link up.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:54 PM   #8
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Pretty soon, someone will chime in who has already done this and save me the hassle!
Yeah, engine running equals alternator.
And when they chime in and tell you what their motorhome does you still won't know what yours is doing.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:23 PM   #9
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If you really want to know, call Tiffin.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:55 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the responses.. I'll figure it out tomorrow when I get the coach home from storage.
I know I can call Tiffin. I know that not all coaches are alike and one answer might not represent my coach.
However, if another 36 la owner chimed in. I could also post on the tiffinrvnetwork site but I thought I'd try the Tiffin forum here on irv2.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:25 AM   #11
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The answer is Yes for the Ford chassis, Yes for Freightliner chassis, Yes for the Spartan chassis, Yes for the Workhorse chassis, and Yes for the Powerglide chassis.

I think that covers about every chassis that Tiffin has used in the last ten years. They will all be slightly different but the alternator will charge the house batteries when the engine is running.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:51 AM   #12
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Well thanks luvlabs. As usual, you've come through with a concise and helpful response!
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:50 PM   #13
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When you get to your motorhome, If you look at your information center by the stove, there is a digital readout of the house battery voltage. Look at it before you start the engine and then after you start it. Before starting it will read about 12.5 or less if it has been sitting for a while, and after starting the engine it will read around 13.5 volts which is the voltage regulator setting of the engine alternator or battery charging voltage.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:07 PM   #14
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When you get to your motorhome, If you look at your information center by the stove, there is a digital readout of the house battery voltage. Look at it before you start the engine and then after you start it. Before starting it will read about 12.5 or less if it has been sitting for a while, and after starting the engine it will read around 13.5 volts which is the voltage regulator setting of the engine alternator or battery charging voltage.

That's exactly what I did and observed. So, my engine alt does in fact charge my house batteries.
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