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Old 09-08-2015, 04:45 PM   #1
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House Batteries not charging while driving

I have a 2005 coachmen cross country 300 hp Cummins. House batteries are not getting charged while driving. they charge fine is plugged in or if generator is running.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:18 PM   #2
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There is a solenoid that closes when you start your engine in order to charge the house battery. It has failed. If you have a power panel in the front where your battery disconnect is also located, it is usually in that box. If not there, look near the house battery. There is a cable from the house battery positive that goes to that solenoid.

Larry
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Battery pro there is a solenoid next to house batteries with two large positive cables and 2 smaller wires going to 2 separate small post. Would this be the culprit?
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:05 PM   #4
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If I can figure out how to post pics I will post a pic of it?
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:33 PM   #5
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Battery pro there is a solenoid next to house batteries with two large positive cables and 2 smaller wires going to 2 separate small post. Would this be the culprit?
That could be the main power solenoid (the salesman switch). You can tell if it's the salesman switch by turning the switch off and see if you have power across the two larger cables. Turn the switch on and measure again. Do you see another one anywhere?
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:52 PM   #6
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not sure how your wired but on mine I have a boost switch that activates the same relay. You can hear it click. The relay on mine is activated by an oil pressure switch. I have a country coach so may be different. I had the oil pressure switch fail on mine and the batts would not charge but would when I manually pressed the boost switch
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:01 AM   #7
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Testing the Boost Solenoid

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Originally Posted by stangguy73 View Post
Battery pro there is a solenoid next to house batteries with two large positive cables and 2 smaller wires going to 2 separate small post. Would this be the culprit?
More than likely. Here is how to test:
  1. Unplug from shore power.
  2. If you have a PV solar system, turn it off or do this test in the late afternoon or early morning.
  3. Turn on some loads like fans and the inverter.
  4. Start your engine.
  5. Measure the voltage from ground or battery negative to one side of that solenoid. Then measure ground to the other side.
  6. If one side is high (around 13.5 to 14.5 volts) and the other side low (less than 13 volts) then the solenoid is not passing current.
  7. If both sides have about the same voltage and it is above 13.5 then you are charging your house battery from the engine.
It could be intermittent, I've seen that often. This is also your Boost solenoid that is operated from a switch on the dash to aid starting if the starat battery is low. Most RV supply stores have this solenoid.

Larry
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:41 AM   #8
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That could be the main power solenoid (the salesman switch). You can tell if it's the salesman switch by turning the switch off and see if you have power across the two larger cables. Turn the switch on and measure again. Do you see another one anywhere?
You are probably refering to the battery disconnect switch used for storing the RV. Most RV's have these. If you turn it off you will still have battery voltage on one side of the solenoid.

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Old 09-09-2015, 10:51 AM   #9
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If I can figure out how to post pics I will post a pic of it?

Welcome to iRV2 .

Instructions for adding photos to posts are in the " FAQ " drop box in the blue bar under your welcome message.
Don't forget to re-size before you post 640x640 works best for me, AND watch the browse box for the download complete message, at the bottom
before you close that box , or you will loose the photo.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:10 AM   #10
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Ref the solenoid with the two large cables--charging systems vary by brand and model but if the two large cables go to [connect] the house and chassis bats banks, together, its a charge/boost solenoid. If one of the cables goes off to a wire loom, its probably the "salesman" switch.

Two possibilites--1, the solenoid has failed; or 2, the logic/controller function that activates the solenoid has failed. Check the two small feed wires on the solenoid, one may have 12v continous while the other is grounded with engine on; or one is grounded continous, the other is positive when the engine is running and bats need charging. If small two-wire circuit is not activating [either ground or postive] its the solenoid--my guess: its the solenoid.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:39 AM   #11
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.......there is a solenoid next to house batteries with two large positive cables and 2 smaller wires going to 2 separate small post. Would this be the culprit?
That is your charge/Boost solenoid. It is NOT the "salesman's switch" (I detest that phony term) or "disconnect" solenoid. The disconnect solenoid is a latching solenoid, and has a completely different shape and function.

If you have a BCC (Battery Control Center) built by RV-Custom Products or Intellitec, let me know and I'll provide diagrams and procedures for testing.

The actual solenoid is easy to check. Solenoid should click when activated. Simply press and hold your dash mounted (Boost, Aux-Start or Emergency Start) switch, and check for equal voltage on both of the large solenoid terminals. If NOT equal, solenoid is bad.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:19 AM   #12
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...The actual solenoid is easy to check. Solenoid should click when activated... .
Be aware that many defective solenoids still "click" as if they are activating but will not connect internally or pass current.

Testing voltage is only valid if there is no other charge source to the house battery.

Larry
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:45 AM   #13
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Be aware that many defective solenoids still "click" as if they are activating but will not connect internally or pass current.

Testing voltage is only valid if there is no other charge source to the house battery.

Larry
  • My comment about the solenoid clicking when being activated was a 'stand alone statement'. It was NOT intended to indicate that it was capable of passing current, but only that it was being activated. Nice to know information.
  • Checking for equal voltage on both sides of the activated solenoid is a valid test whether there is a charging voltage present or not.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:21 PM   #14
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  • Checking for equal voltage on both sides of the activated solenoid is a valid test whether there is a charging voltage present or not.
Your statement must have qualifications added to it. If there are other charge sources operating like the generator running, a PV solar system or being plugged in, then the test may not be valid. That is why I made the list of how to properly test this solenoid.

For example, if you test with a PV solar system charging the house battery and the engine running, you may find the same voltage on both sides even though the solenoid is not passing current.

Larry
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