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Old 02-25-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
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Charging house batteries while driving?

We bought a 2000 Damon Ultrasport Class A last year and have been under the "assumption" that part of the onboard electronics included an isolator relay circuit to charge the house batteries. I recently learned on a long trip that the house batteries are not charging from the alternator. Does this seem to be the norm or could we have an isolator that is not operating properly. All other relays are functioning - Intellic disconnect, the emergency battery connect relay, the generator, etc. I'm sure I could have a service center check it out but I thought I'd research and look for a DIY solution. Thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:24 PM   #2
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Yes, your house batteries should be charging while driving. If yours are not, there may be a charging solenoid issue.

The reverse is not true: Your engine batteries may not charge while plugged into shore power unless you have some sort of Trik-L-Charge system installed (or similar).
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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Hi psandoz,
Welcome to iRV2. The coach batteries may or may not be charged by the engine alternator. It depends on how the coach was built. There is no industry standard. For the best and most accurate answer, consider posting this question in the Damon Owner's forum on iRV2. The forum is at
Damon - iRV2 Forums

If you have questions that are Damon specific, consider using the owners forum. That is where folks who own a coach just like yours hang out.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:56 PM   #4
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Hi psandoz,
Welcome to iRV2. The coach batteries may or may not be charged by the engine alternator. It depends on how the coach was built. There is no industry standard. For the best and most accurate answer, consider posting this question in the Damon Owner's forum on iRV2. The forum is at
Damon - iRV2 Forums

If you have questions that are Damon specific, consider using the owners forum. That is where folks who own a coach just like yours hang out.
There hasn't been a coach built in the last thirty years that wasn't designed to charge the house batteries from the alternator.

You need to find the model number on your Intellitec Battery Control Center and we can help you trouble shoot the problem.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses and I will post on the Damon forum. Loulong - the BCC is an Intellitec BCC Diesel 310 (00-00606310). If you have any ideas how to proceed please let me know.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:09 PM   #6
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Where do you get your info. There are any number of coach's built with the two battery banks isolated from each other. Some coach's have a bird system that when the charging bank is full will charge the other bank. And other coach's that charge both at times. Different manufacturers do and add systems others don't.
To the OP yours may or may not charge from the alternator, but you can add this feature if yours does not.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:49 PM   #7
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Hi psandoz,
Be aware, there are iRV2 members who will post your coach batteries must/always and without a doubt charge coach batteries from the alternator. Rest assured, these members are wrong. I have personal experience on Bounders, Beaver's and HRs (about the same year as your coach) that do not charge the house batteries from the alternator. Members who continually post this incorrect information should provide their personal experience that provided the basis for their post.

You are correct to post in the Damon forum.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:28 PM   #8
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My '99 Damon has the Intellitek BCC (BIRD) and will charge both batteries from the alternator. If not charging then the problem is usually the relay contacts are pitted. You MUST have a voltmeter to determine anything. Measure both battery banks with engine running...I read 13.8 at both locations. Sometimes a relay will wait before it clicks over to charge the engine battery.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:48 PM   #9
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Hi psandoz,
Be aware, there are iRV2 members who will post your coach batteries must/always and without a doubt charge coach batteries from the alternator. Rest assured, these members are wrong. I have personal experience on Bounders, Beaver's and HRs (about the same year as your coach) that do not charge the house batteries from the alternator. Members who continually post this incorrect information should provide their personal experience that provided the basis for their post.

You are correct to post in the Damon forum.
Agree with your comments completely...I continue to be amazed how little owners know about their own rig. I have contemplated writing a book entitled "The Case for a 'Starter' RV". My premise is that a person needs to understand there are two water pressure systems, two electrical systems in a RV, etc., and a person needs to experiment (aka break, mess up, ruin, etc.) various parts of their Starter RV as they begin to understand how unique an RV is. Also, I am really amazed that owners ask advice on how to fix things that are, more often than not, way out of their experience level...they would not try to change out a toilet at home -- they would call a plumber. But on their RV, they want advice how to find the parts and do the job. I personally have found an excellent mobile RV mechanic who can fix most items on my rig...I never go a dealer. This post will probably get me kicked out the Forum, but have been wanting to write this for a long time based on the questions I read from owners.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:51 PM   #10
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if your coach has charging abilities ( I also agree with the post in the damon owners forum) Bad batteries will act like it is not charging. I had the dealer check why mine was not charging. I did not agree with them because it would hold a charge for a while when I was driving but would eventually drop down to a voltage too low for my inverter to run the residential refrigerator. I had the batteries checked and then replaced them. The alternator charges the batteries perfectly while driving down the road.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by loulong View Post
There hasn't been a coach built in the last thirty years that wasn't designed to charge the house batteries from the alternator.

You need to find the model number on your Intellitec Battery Control Center and we can help you trouble shoot the problem.
Let it be made clear, that not ALL models of manufacturers will spend the money to install a charge line and some sort of isolator to the house batteries from the alternator on the drive engine. If you have concerns in this area, one should contact their manufacturer's customer support and find out before jumping to the gun, that there is a problem.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:34 AM   #12
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There hasn't been a coach built in the last thirty years that wasn't designed to charge the house batteries from the alternator.

You need to find the model number on your Intellitec Battery Control Center and we can help you trouble shoot the problem
I agree with you. The problem is that solenoid failure is so common that people start believing that they don't have one...
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:39 AM   #13
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I agree with you. The problem is that solenoid failure is so common that people start believing that they don't have one...
Or...a blown fuse in the BCC, which is what I had.

I'm not sure that EVERY coach was built with one, BUT.


I'd feel pretty safe in saying that if your coach HAS a BCC, it's very likely that it was designed to charge both sets of batteries depending on load. I believe mine starts charging the house batts, and then after about 60 seconds, it kicks in the chassis battery as well.
That was the way it had always worked. Then I had an electrical issue with bad batts that froze, and that ended up taking out the converter. When I replaced the converter, I noticed right away that my chassis batt was not being charged.
Turned out to be a blown fuse in the BCC.

Jim
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:00 PM   #14
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I can only say after reading these posts that any coach that doesn't immediately charge the house batteries with engine startup, needs to be modified in some manner. I mean consider that your gen set is fed from the house batteries and they're now dead in the morning. So even if you're pulling out and going down the road, it might be nice to have a fresh charge for the next evening without hookups. Yes, you can use your aux boost to start the gens set (had this sw. bad once) and let it do the work, but why should you have to run it all day, if not needed and especially if you like running your fridge and such on your inverter, while going down the road.
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