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Old 11-04-2009, 01:18 PM   #1
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Chassis batteries go dead

This is my first coach. It is a 2004 Monaco 45 foot Signature. I had it plugged into 50 amps for nine weeks this summer, and had no problem starting up motor. The last six weeks I had it parked in my shop, plugged into 15 amps and went to start, and the chassis batteries were stone dead. My main disconnect switches in the battery compartment were in the on position as my manual suggested I do, or else it will not charge. My house batteries seem to be full as the inverter controls tell me they are full. Does being plugged into 15 amps not keep the chassis batteries full? Or am I doing something wrong or do I have to switch a different button on or off?
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
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Are the chassis batteries charged off of a sloar cell on the roof? If so, were you outside before and now it's in the shop out of the sun? On 15 Amp power, it should run the charger if you do not have a lot of other items on, fridge etc.

Some coaches have a device that charges the chassis batteries other the alternator while the engine is running, the devices charge the house batteries first and trickle over to the chassis batteries once the house side is fully charged. Some coaches do not have this feature and have to add it. I would guess that a Signature had it as standard. There are also seperate cutoffs on most coaches for both the house and chassis batteries. Is the chassis cutoff open or closed?
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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stair shop....Nice coach for a first one. The Monaco products didn't necessarily come designed to charge the chassis battery while hooked to shore power. I'm not sure about the Signatures. Most of us have installed a BIRD bidirectional charger. Here is a post on those and where they are located Xantrex Echo~Charger or one of these Trik-L-Start models Electrical - Trik-L-Start

It's weird that your batteries charged and then didn't, unless they were being charged off of the solar panel as mentioned.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Are your chassis batteries sealed? If not, check the water level.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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If I understand the charging process correctly there is a sensing circuit that will close a relay to tie the house and chassis battery together for charging. The circuit works be determining that one set of batteries has reached full charge and therefor the other set of batteries can be tied in so they will charge so the relay is closed. If you are driving the alternator is primarily responsible for charging the chassis batteries but once they are fully charge the relay closes and the alternator will now charge both the house and chassis batteries. When you are connected to shore power the same thing happens only in reverse the Inverter/Charger is primarily responsible for charging the house batteries but again if they are at Full charge then the relay closes and the chassis batteries get charged from shore power.

Now here is what I think is happing in your case. When connected to 50amp you have enough power to run all the stuff in the coach and fully charge the house batteries. However when in your shop you only had 15 amp. I doubt that 15 amp is enough to run all the house stuff in the coach and keep the batteries at full charge and therefor the relay is never closed to allow the shore power to charge the coach batteries. You could check this by looking at the Inverter/Charger and see if the charger ever reached floating charge. Floating charge means that the coach(house) batteries are fully charged. Proably the best and simplest solution is to get a small trickle charge and connect that to the chassis batteries while park in the shop.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:57 AM   #6
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In my case on my 01 Scepter the chassis batteries will not charge while plugged. Only the house batteries.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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I have an '03 sig and I am sure yours is set up the same. There is a relay in the rear run box called a "big boy" which has several functions, one of which is charging the chassis batteries when on shore power.

I suspect that Dave may be correct in his comments and the 15 amp shore power is not providing enough juice to get the job done.

Your inverter controller has a setting that limits the battery charger to some % of available current. You might try setting that limit to its highest value & see if that has any effect. If you do that just remember to change back to a more realistic setting when traveling.

If "no joy", then call Monaco tech support & see if they have any ideas.

Safe travels,
Steve O
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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My coach is a 1995 Monaco Dynasty. It's my first coach, and I've owned it for a year. I learned something today. I always thought that the chassis batteries were charged by my inverter/charger, simply because they were always fully charged. At home, when the coach is parked inside, I always plug into 110 Volt, 15 watt, simply because I don't need the 'big' power for air conditioners, etc. The batteries stay charged, and I can use the lights and the fridge if I want.

After I read your note, I went out and snooped around my coach. The previous owner had installed a small trickle charger to charge the chassis batteries. It is plugged into the 110V receptacle in the engine bay. When I plug into shore power, this engine bay receptacle powers the trickle charger for the chassis batteries.

My trickle charger is a Xantrex brand, if it matters. I hope this helps.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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Isolator relay

I think you can solve the problem by going to the post on Nov 12th, this site, by ChiefDave.(Battery Isolator Relay) I just ordered the part from Megatech and they state it will solve the problem of the chassis batteries going dead. Good Luck
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