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Old 09-02-2015, 03:30 AM   #1
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Broke down on side of road, need advice

Hi,

I just bought my first Country Coach today. It was a great day, we spent many hours with the old owners learning about our new coach. On our 150 mile trip home I noticed that the volt meter was under 12 volts. After a while a red light came on in the middle of the gauge and voltage continued to drop. I pulled over in a safe place and left her for the night.

The Coach is a 2000 Allure with the 330 ISC. I am sure the alternator is bad. I re-moved the chassis 8D battery and brought it home with me to charge. I hooked up one of the house 8D batteries, (all three are the same interstate batteries) and started the motor. Every thing worked great, but I can see that the volt meter was just at 12 volts.

I didn't have any tools to remove the alternator (note to self, always bring my stuff) I plan to buy an alternator, head back to the Coach and change it out myself. Unless.......see below

Does anyone have any helpful advice on changing out an alternator?

Also if I can't get an alternator could I run the motor off the battery during the day, (I won't use up the battery like I did tonight cause it was dark). Could I run it the 50 miles home? If the battery gets low could I just slide another into its place so I can fix this in my driveway?

Once this bad start is over I will post some pics of our new ride. Thanks for the advice, and I look forward to learning and contributing from this site..

Thanks
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:50 AM   #2
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To get you home, you should be able to run the generator to keep the batteries up. I actually ran my DSDP last summer during our Alaska trip for about two weeks just by plugging into shore power every night to charge the batteries and then I was good for about 5 hours the next day.
If you have a side radiator, the alternator change is pretty easy. I would assume you have a Leece Neville 160A alternator but it's best to remove it and get the numbers off the nameplate.
You can have it rebuilt for a couple hundred bucks. I replaced the assembly with a new one for around four hundred. A good Auto Electric shop should have one on the shelf.
Didn't see the advantage of taking a chance on a rebuilt. The thing went over ten years, time to replace it.
Also, these things run in a pretty severe environment so expect to see rusted and seized connections on the back. If you don't have a puller, take the old one with you for return and get the shop to remove the pulley. It is going to be a chore otherwise.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:51 AM   #3
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Forgot to add. I tried to run my generator hoping that the chassis battery would charge, but that doesn't seem to work. I am not sure why unless the chassis battery is totally isolated?
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Forgot to add. I tried to run my generator hoping that the chassis battery would charge, but that doesn't seem to work. I am not sure why unless the chassis battery is totally isolated?
I am not familiar with your coach but I would think a rig of that caliber would have a BIRD system that charges both the house and chassis batteries of the 120V AC supply be it generator or shore power. Might take some investigation. Sorry I can't be of more help than that.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:17 AM   #5
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Yes you can swap in a charged battery and complete your trip.

You can also use a jumper cable from + to + of house and start batteries and run the generator for charging.

Like dennis45 said, it should be automatic but the bird, or isolator systems do fail.

If you see a BIRD solenoid, you can jump that, if the batteries are far apart.

Almost forgot, many MHs have a Boost switch. Leave that on and if it's working, you have joined the batteries. Some are momentary but can be jammed in the on position.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:25 AM   #6
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Easy fix to get you home is suggested above. Jumper cable from house + to chassis +. And run generator. No roadside repairs necessary. Wait till you are safely home with all your tools. Rkl
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tips! Once morning traffic dies down, I will give it a try. Any recommendations what size wire to use for a jumper?

Again thank-you! just want to get her home at this point.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:19 AM   #8
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I think they are talking about just regular jumper cable like you boast off a car if you have 110outlet close jut plug in battery charger and run genset
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:36 AM   #9
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Advice on jumping bat banks and running genny should work fine--had to go from Florida pan-handle to Tampa once with same config.....most coaches of your size have a common ground for both bat banks so you only need to connect the positive side/posts. Typical jumper cables should work fine--double up and use both cables to jump positive side if banks have common ground......make sure cables are FIRMLY attached....
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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Once we were on the East Coast and had to get back home quickly. As luck would have it our Alternator quit on the first day of the trip. It was raining and the lights and wiper soon drew the battery down, so we pulled in for the night.

Next day I drilled two holes in the floor just above the battery compartment. I then ran two heavy wires, (12 Ga.), into the compartment and attached them to the + and _ posts. Next I attached them to my battery charger in the coach and plugged it into the wall. When we were ready to hit the road I started the Genset and away we went.

Worked great!!

Got the Alternator fixed when I got home.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:49 PM   #11
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I have a Naive question,
'why not call emergency road side service'?
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:06 PM   #12
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In our case we had no insurance for that sort of thing and we did not have the time to get the alternator repaired at that time. Needed to get home quickly.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:13 PM   #13
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I didn't set up any roadside service yet since I just got her yesterday.

I have gathered some tools, we are headed to retrieve her. Thanks for the advice wish us luck!!!
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:32 PM   #14
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Solid advice, and more important, safe common sense approach to waiting until it's safe to do what you're doing!

Congrats on your new CC. These are the kind of memories you will smile back on around the campfire!!!

While working the alternator problem, might be a good idea to get the batteries stress tested to see what shape their in. You can kind of go by age, but I've seen batteries less the two years old, toasted due to poor battery practices of the owner. And, sometimes cells just go bad too...

This way you'll have a good baseline to know where you stand.

While working the alternator, might as well change out the belts and keep the old ones if their in good condition as emergency spares!

You see how friendly us CC owners are at helping you spend money!!

Best to you, and let us know how it all turns out, and also share with us when you get your first full fun trip behind you too.
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