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Old 12-02-2019, 09:21 AM   #1
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Monaco Newbie - be gentle LOL

We purchased a 2009 Monaco Camelot back in September. By the time the owner put in a new Aqua Hot system to replace the bad one - it was nearly October and we had the coach winterized.

We have a couple of questions. First - I cannot for the life of me find anywhere on the dash either a voltmeter or an alternator indicator. Can someone tell me where it is or if one even exists? How do you know the alternator is indeed charging the chassis batteries while driving down the road?

My second question is about the BIRD. When connected to shore power the chassis batteries are not charging, but the house batteries are. It's cold here in SD and getting outside to do much diagnosing won't happen much until April so I'm doing lots of book learning. From what I've read so far things point to either the BIRD of Big Boy. For now I have the chassis batteries disconnected and have a battery tender connected. Oh yes - the coach also has a generator. Any quick and easy tests that can be performed to isolate whether it's the Big Boy, BIRD, both or neither?

Lots of things I can test once the weather warms up but for now if someone can tell me where on the dash I can find the alternator information, and any simple tests to isolate the chassis battery charging issue would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim & Brenda - newbies
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnatural View Post
For now I have the chassis batteries disconnected and have a battery tender connected. Oh yes - the coach also has a generator. Any quick and easy tests that can be performed to isolate whether it's the Big Boy, BIRD, both or neither?
Jim, I don't have the same exact year/make/model, but I quickly and easily installed an LSL AMP-L-START which basically will trickle charge your chassis battery whenever your house batteries are being charged. I've parked for months, traveled a lot, cold winters in Montana and never had my chassis go dead or low.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:25 AM   #3
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Here is a link to a PDF copy of your manual.

https://www.monacocoach.com/resource...camelot_OM.pdf

You can use the search function with key words to find many things. On page 190 it discusses the BIRD.
I did not find any mention of alternator or charging voltage, a simple solution would be to get a small digital display that you plug in to a lighter plug. I use one to monitor my batteries while parked.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:34 AM   #4
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I'll dig into the AMP/Trik-L-Start alternative

I've looked at the Trik-L-Start as an alternative to the BIRD. What I want to be sure is if I go down this road I do not short out my alternator by supplying power to the chassis batteries while the alternator is also trying to charge the chassis batteries.

I'm by no means an electrician - but I'm willing to learn!
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:46 AM   #5
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Jim, on my 08 Camelot there is a battery charging gauge in the lower left portion of the fuel gauge. It generally runs a shade past 13 volts when driving. If the alternator stops charging the batteries the "ALT CHARGE" warning light on the dash will illuminate.If the Big Boy is warm to the touch that part of the system is working. It will also have a low hum while energized. A volt meter should be used to determine if it's passing a proper signal to the batteries in question.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:50 AM   #6
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Does your 09' have the Alladin jr system?

If so, that will show your chassis batteries voltage. Should be about 13.9 - 14.0V while the engine is running.

I've noticed the 09' dash is slightly different than my 08' so, maybe they left the battery voltage gauge out.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:49 PM   #7
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Jim, on my 08 Camelot there is a battery charging gauge in the lower left portion of the fuel gauge. It generally runs a shade past 13 volts when driving. If the alternator stops charging the batteries the "ALT CHARGE" warning light on the dash will illuminate.If the Big Boy is warm to the touch that part of the system is working. It will also have a low hum while energized. A volt meter should be used to determine if it's passing a proper signal to the batteries in question.
Unfortunately the 2009 doesn't have this. I can't believe Monaco simply forgot to add this to the dash but who the heck knows. BTW - Brenda & I are from Montana and spent most of our life in either Butte or Clancy. Work transferred me to SD 5 years ago - we sure miss our mountains!
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:07 PM   #8
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Many Coaches do not charge the chassis batteries from shore power, including mine. I also added a Trick-L-Start maintainer you my coach. I do have a voltage gauge but I also added a digital one to the center of the dash. They are very inexpensive. I added this one so I can monitor the status of my batteries at a glance when boondocking but it also displays the voltage of the alternator output when underway. Just have to tap into any 12 volt source.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:30 PM   #9
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Many Coaches do not charge the chassis batteries from shore power, including mine. I also added a Trick-L-Start maintainer you my coach. I do have a voltage gauge but I also added a digital one to the center of the dash. They are very inexpensive. I added this one so I can monitor the status of my batteries at a glance when boondocking but it also displays the voltage of the alternator output when underway. Just have to tap into any 12 volt source.
Thanks Steven & Laurie - good to know. I'm still learning about our 09 and by the time spring arrives I hope to have this all worked out. It is interesting to see how different makes and models of motor homes use different methods to charge the batteries. I originally thought a "standard" for charging batteries while on shore power existed. Found out quickly never to assume
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:38 PM   #10
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I installed an Echo Charger to accomplish this. Battery Chargers | Auxiliary Battery Charger | Xantrex
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:10 PM   #11
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I installed an Echo Charger to accomplish this. Battery Chargers | Auxiliary Battery Charger | Xantrex
Thanks! Looks to be a good product - I'll keep this information available should fixing the BIRD get expensive.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:34 PM   #12
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With your 2009 Camelot, I'm assuming you have the 'Medallion Message Center' (with the separate 10-button select panel). I ask because it's kinda tough at times to determine exactly what is on each coach - I have an '08 Camelot with the Medallion Center yet Happycarz also has an '08 but without it .
Anyways, assuming you do have the Medallion Center, you should have a display on the readout panel that indicates LOW/HIGH BATTERY. I've not had mine come on, except when first turning the key to start, but I'd assume it would warn you if you're losing battery charge.

BTW, x2 on the Echo Charger!
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:51 PM   #13
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Ditto on Echo Charger, welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:12 PM   #14
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X4 on the Echo Charger. 19yo and still going strong.
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