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Old 06-01-2015, 11:05 PM   #1
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Battery light on dash came on. Need some help

I'm on a trip in the RV. Actually on my way to Freightliner in Gaffney for service and camp freightliner. Battery light on dash illuminated while driving with headlights on. It was not dark but raining. I looked at the volt meter and it was around 10 volts but it was a quick glance cause I turned off headlights and started the generator immediately. When the gen came on line I noticed the voltmeter returned to normal and battery light went out. Pulled in to campground shortly afterward and it was dark so no troubleshooting yet. Will look at alternator in the morning and check battery with voltmeter. My chassis batteries are 2 12 volt lead acid sealed batteries. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:16 PM   #2
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Burned out alternator, happend on our '02 DSDP. Cost me over $400 for a new alternator, then I had the old one rebuilt for about $100. Shop found the brush holders burned and the end bearing had rusted from water intrusion. The bearing alone was $65.
You'll need to disconnect the batteries from the alternator or you'll get backfeed from them.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:20 PM   #3
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Burned out alternator, happend on our '02 DSDP. Cost me over $400 for a new gen., then I had the old one rebuilt for about $100.
You'll need to disconnect the batteries from the alternator or you'll get backfeed from them.
Your new alternator cost $400? Am I safe to continue 6 hrs to Gaffney running the generator to supply power to battery?
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:29 PM   #4
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I had a similar problem , for about 3 hrs. in the rain , ran the gen set and kept on driving , tracked the problem to the wiring connector for the alternator activation circuit ( connector was 6" away from the back of the alternator) , cleaned connectors and coated in water proof grease , no problems in 3 years.
Water spray was disrupting contact and the alt didn't know the engine was running.
May not be your problem , but worth a look.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:44 PM   #5
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Your new alternator cost $400? Am I safe to continue 6 hrs to Gaffney running the generator to supply power to battery?
Actually it was more due to the sales tax. But it was the only way to get it quickly. Bought one for less than $200 but it was not the right one. Cat/Cummins/Detroit dealer said it would work. But since it wasn't returnable if I installed it I took it back immediately. Took some digging to find the correct model too.
Sure, run the gen to supply electricity, shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:05 PM   #6
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A visual inspection did not show anything unusual. I drove another 300 miles today. I started off when the Genny running and then shut it off to see what happened. On the Genny the volt meter showed 13.4- 13.7. On the coach alternator the volt meter started off at 12.6 then slowly dropped to 12.1 and back to 12.3-12.1. I ran on the alternator for about an hour. No headlights ( it was daytime . The battery light on the dash did not come on but I think we have a problem as you guys pointed out with the Alternator. What is the normal voltage as seen on the voltmeter with the engine running? I will be attending camp freightliner on the 4th and have the coach scheduled for service for 2 days. If the alternator is toast I'll have a new one installed and send the old off for rebuild most likely for a spare.

Thanks for the info on Smith Electric for the rebuild. I'll keep you in mind.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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Normal volt reading when the engine is running can vary from , 13.2 to 14.4 volts , depending on battery state of charge and system loads.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:52 PM   #8
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Sounds like you have a diode that took a dump. As long as you chassis battery stays up either using the generator or alternator you are good till you get to freight liner. But I wouldn't trust it any longer then that.


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Old 06-03-2015, 06:13 PM   #9
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Key Phrase "It was raining"

you have two possible issues

ONE: as someone said already Burned Out Alternator

TWO: WET alternator.. I used to have a car if hit a puddle just right what happened to you happened to me.. As it dried,, it recovered.

PRAY you have that problem

IN THE EVENT you have a dead alternator.. There is an Emergency procedure I do not need to tell you about cause you already figured it out... (Use the generator and converter).. Not all can figure that out without help.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Key Phrase "It was raining"

you have two possible issues

ONE: as someone said already Burned Out Alternator

TWO: WET alternator.. I used to have a car if hit a puddle just right what happened to you happened to me.. As it dried,, it recovered.

PRAY you have that problem

IN THE EVENT you have a dead alternator.. There is an Emergency procedure I do not need to tell you about cause you already figured it out... (Use the generator and converter).. Not all can figure that out without help.
This is a good idea. But not all people can do that. For instance. My tiffin does not charge the chassis batteries from the inverter. I have a very small trickle charger that is hooked to the chassis batteries. It would be powered by the inverter but it puts out 1.5 amps a long ways from the 200 plus the alternator puts out. It would not begin to power the lights and other things that are used by the chassis. For this poster that idea worked well but not everyone can do that.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:09 PM   #11
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Gemini5362,

If you have a boost switch, prop it on or us a jumper cable, from house to engine batteries.

Then run the generator and charger.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
This is a good idea. But not all people can do that. For instance. My tiffin does not charge the chassis batteries from the inverter. I have a very small trickle charger that is hooked to the chassis batteries. It would be powered by the inverter but it puts out 1.5 amps a long ways from the 200 plus the alternator puts out. It would not begin to power the lights and other things that are used by the chassis. For this poster that idea worked well but not everyone can do that.
You can also use a 10ga or larger cable to connect positive of house bank to positive of chassis bank. Suggest attaching to a lug rather than an alligator clip attachment.
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