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Old 03-12-2014, 09:28 PM   #1
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Battery charging help

I am new to the RV world and bought a 2000 Monaco Windsor. I'm trying to learn how the house batteries charge since they seem to discharge rather quickly. I have tested the batteries and seem ok, 6.5V after a 12 hr charge then ran the microwave for 1.5 min with the inverter and they read 6.2V. I started the generator and confirmed the batteries charged. I then plugged in shore power and confirmed they charged. The last check was starting the engine and they do not charge. I tried with the inverter on and off and no change. I searched this site and most topics I find confirm the engine will charge the house batteries.

Any clues as to why the house batteries don't charge with the engine running?
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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As I recall, on your vintage of Monaco the house charging system (an inverter/charger) runs any time the coach is lugged to shore power or the generator runs. It does NOT charge the chassis batteries, though. The engine alternator should charge charges both the chassis and house batteries, through a device called a battery isolator. If yours does not, I would guess either the isolator has failed or a connection is corroded..
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:18 PM   #3
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Thanks Gary.
You are correct but someone installed a chassis charger as well. It is plugged in to 110V in engine bay and connected to the chassis batteries.
I see a solenoid that seems to cross from house to chassis if I follow the cables. when I check the voltage on the two heavy poles I get chassis voltage on one side and house on the other with the engine running, like 14 on one and 12.5 on the other, the excite wires are one purple and the other white and neither show voltage.
It seems if this solenoid was closed it would charge all? I am tempted to throw 12v to the purple pole and see what happens but figured I'd ask first since there seems to be some very experienced help here.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:57 AM   #4
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Andy, the solenoid you are referring to is the boost or auxiliary start solenoid and is activated by a switch on the dash. If this is the only cross linked solenoid the as Gary has stated look for the battery isolator.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Wizard View Post
Andy, the solenoid you are referring to is the boost or auxiliary start solenoid and is activated by a switch on the dash. If this is the only cross linked solenoid the as Gary has stated look for the battery isolator.
This solenoid is also the Isolator solenoid.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:55 PM   #6
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I checked the switch on the dash and yes it does activated the isolator solenoid. When I start the coach it does not activate but while it is running and I hit the aux start switch it activates and charges the house batteries.
Still searching and assume it must be a control relay that is not used by the dash switch?
Thanks much too all for the help.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:11 PM   #7
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You may have the Isolator Relay Delay, that allows the alternator to charge the house batteries when the engine is running. Here is what it is:
Products - DC Power Management - Intelligent battery charging - Isolator relay delay

My coach has the Isolator Relay Delay, and it works again after I cleaned the connections.

Here's another device that allows two directional charging:
http://bacrallies.com/PDF/PDF%20Manu...D%20Diesel.pdf
The two directional version allows the inverter/converter to charge the chassis batteries when plugged into shore power. There are several versions of this two directional relay system.

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Old 03-13-2014, 09:22 PM   #8
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Fred, Thanks yes it does have the delay. When I hit the auxiliary start switch it sends power to the delay via purple wire, checking voltage on one of the other terminals shows a gradual increase in voltage like it is counting up but the isolator is already on. When I start the engine I have no voltage at all going to the delay so I didn't think it was it? I will read all your links now and maybe have a better understanding. Thanks Much
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:57 AM   #9
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Some RV brands do indeed use an isolator relay for battery charging as well as Aux (Emergency) Start, but your Monaco wasn't one of them (at least originally). The caveat is that the relay has to be designed for continuous duty and some sort of controller is needed to determine when to close the relay. One simple method is to close it any time the engine is running but not otherwise. That handles charging of the house batteries while driving, but not the opposite case, i.e. charging the chassis batteries while parked. Intellitec has designed some sophisticated controllers that monitor both sets of batteries for state of charge and engage the relay as appropriate for conditions, e.g. the B.I.R.D. system.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:43 PM   #10
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Still struggling with this and I seem to keep going to a battery isolator lock out relay to understand it's function. Most relays I have dealt with need source power and control power to function. The only time I have both is when the engine is on, pin 86 has power to the relay from the ignition and pin 30 which only has power with the gen set running, then the isolator closes and both house and start batteries charge, seems wrong since the gen powers the inverter charger at that point and charging from the alternator would be redundant? The only other time I can get both to charge is hold the Auxiliary start switch on. I notice also the isolator delay gets its power from this lockout relay and confirm it works as long as the start batteries are above 13.5 V. I don't expect freebe's and appreciated that some need to make a living, so if anyone knows what the issue is I would be happy to pay. I however have an issue paying repair facility's to throw parts at it at my expense until it's fixed.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:28 PM   #11
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Andy, send user DR4film a PM and discuss your problem. He has a rig very similar to yours and is very knowledgeable on how it works.

Sorry, Forget that idea. He's not allowing Messages. Maybe he will see this thread and respond.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:21 PM   #12
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Andy, can you tell me what color wire and what voltage you read on each of the terminals of this unit while the engine is running but no GEN or shore power connected?
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:12 PM   #13
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On the isolator lock out relay is a white, no voltage, 2 blue one comes from Gen and has power when it is on but when off as you asked no voltage, one yellow that comes on with ignition and it gas 13.6V with the engine running. The delay has white ground blue from relay above and purple that only has power with aux start switch. With engine running and aux switch off no voltage. Engine running as you asked above, battery isolator red cables one post 13.9 the other 12.5 white ground, purple from delay zero.

I actually had a though earlier and since the relay seems to be only working when the gen is on and engine it seems backwards. I know some relays can be configured normally open and some closed. I wonder if someone changed the relay at some point and wired it wrong? Would be easy to do they next to each other pin 87 or 87a. Think I will try it later unless someone says bring an extinguisher.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #14
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Well that fixed it.
Just in case someone else has the same issue, here is how to wire the battery isolator lockout relay correctly (unless mine burns down next trip).
First you need a 5 pin relay, some are 4.
30 pin receives power when ignition is turned on.
85 goes to ground
86 is hot when gen set is running and shuts off isolator, hence "lockout relay".
87A the normally closed pin goes to the isolator delay.

When the engine is on, ignition sends voltage through relay from 30 to 87A which is normally closed and closes battery isolator then charges house batteries. The delay involved does just that, delays it to give the starting batteries time to charge back up before charging house.

When the gen set starts, with the ignition on, it sends voltage to pin 86 on the relay and opens the battery isolator solenoid, I guess since at that point the converter charger will charge the coach batteries.

Thanks all for the help!!
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