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Old 01-08-2016, 11:49 AM   #1
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How to tell if Gen charges both House and Chassis battery's?

Have a 01 Monaco Dip. When the 01's came out they were not set up for the gen to charge both. So Monaco said look for a small black device that has both sets of batts hooked up to it. So here is a picture and can someone tell me if this is the device.

I also would think if the Gen is running I should be able to hook up a volt meter and see power to the battery's correct?

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Old 01-08-2016, 11:55 AM   #2
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Yes, if you hook a voltmeter to your house battery bank, and see 13+ volts, with your gen running, their charging.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:57 AM   #3
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Yes. Put a volt meter on the battery with the generator running. If the battery is being charged, voltage will be in the 14 volt range. If it is not being charged voltage will be less than 13 volts.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:57 AM   #4
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Can't tell by the picture but since it's located in the battery compartment I would bet it's the charge relay. Yes the only way to tell for sure is to use a volt meter to test each battery, first at rest and then with the generator running.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:00 PM   #5
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When generator and charger are running there should be 13. 3 or more volts on the house batteries.

If this is true then check the start batteries. They should also have 13.3 volts.

If not, either they don't charge that way or something is wrong.

Your picture look like a solenoid. They are used to charge both sets of batteries and or for your boost switch.

For it to charge the start battery from the charger, it will be controlled by a small black box( 2 X 2 ) or sometimes an open, printed circuit board.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:46 PM   #6
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Thanks, I will head down to check it out.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:26 PM   #7
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First off, before I'd begin ANY TESTING, if those pictures are from your coach, I'd begin by disconnecting any and all batteries and, get in there and tear all those connections off of that suspected solenoid AND CLEAN EVERYTHING UP! How in the world could anyone tell if a system is working or not, with something that looks like that?

This is not meant to be derogative or, condescending at all. We're all guilty of letting things like that happen for many reasons. But, the point is, do what's needed to make sure that you know where each and every wire goes, prior to taking that set of connections apart. That is, take a close up picture, draw a diagram, put tape on each wire with numbers or writing on them so you'll know just how it all goes back together.

Once all that's done, and you have a clean solenoid and connections, do the same to the battery connections for both house and chassis batteries. In order for a system (any form of a charging system) to work correctly or, for you to diagnose any issues, voltage readings, or to determine if it's working at all, ALL CONNECTIONS must be clean and tight.

Then the TESTING can begin. Now, one more thing. Most if not all, generators will power up each and every single outlet and 120VAC systems that SHORE POWER will also power up. So that means, if you determine that GENERATOR power is, in fact, charging both house and chassis batteries, then your SHORE POWER should also charge both sets.

And, I don't know what the inside of a Monaco Diplomat looks like and, what they have for an information center, i.e. holding tank readouts, water tank readout, BATTERY READOUTS etc. but, do you have something other than what's called "idiot lights" readouts. i.e. actual voltage readings of both sets of batteries?

What I'm getting at here is, if and when all the connections for batteries and so-called charging solenoid(s) are clean, then can you push a button or, rock a toggle switch to see battery readings for both sets? If so, then, you can "test" your system by looking at those readings, without being hooked up to shore power or, the generator running, then fire up the generator and see what, if any of the readings change.

Now, it's always nice to get actual readings on battery posts, that's for sure. That way you get right up close and see just EXACTLY what's getting to the batteries in terms of voltage. Just some info here. Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:23 PM   #8
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I notice you are asking about the generator, but as far as charging is concerned, there is no difference between generator and shore power. Those are merely alternate sources for 120v power, and to the charging system they both look alike. So if your coach can charge both battery sets from shore power, it will also charge both via genset.

If yours does not, you can add a simple device called a Trik-L-Charge that will add that function.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I notice you are asking about the generator, but as far as charging is concerned, there is no difference between generator and shore power. Those are merely alternate sources for 120v power, and to the charging system they both look alike. So if your coach can charge both battery sets from shore power, it will also charge both via genset.

If yours does not, you can add a simple device called a Trik-L-Charge that will add that function.
Sometimes there IS a difference. My Onan KDKAG has it's own alternator.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dad View Post
Have a 01 Monaco Dip. When the 01's came out they were not set up for the gen to charge both. So Monaco said look for a small black device that has both sets of batts hooked up to it. So here is a picture and can someone tell me if this is the device.

I also would think if the Gen is running I should be able to hook up a volt meter and see power to the battery's correct?

I once owned a 01 Diplomat. It did not have any type of "BIRD" (Bi-directional Isolution Relay) system. Meaning: The alternator did not charge the battery, nor did the charger provide DC to the Chassis battery, unless I engaged the "boost" relay. I installed my own work around that solved that problem.

I suspect yours is the same, but you did get some good troubleshooting and preventive maintenance advice, but I suspect you do not have any type of BIRD installed unless it was an after market install. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Sometimes there IS a difference. My Onan KDKAG has it's own alternator.
A few of them do have 12v output, but usually that does not provide charging other than for the genset's own 12v power needs (electric fuel pump). Typically an alternator is provided only when the genset has a separate battery for starting. I don't think that applies to an '01 Diplomat, but I've been wrong before.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:41 AM   #12
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A few of them do have 12v output, but usually that does not provide charging other than for the genset's own 12v power needs (electric fuel pump). Typically an alternator is provided only when the genset has a separate battery for starting. I don't think that applies to an '01 Diplomat, but I've been wrong before.

When I think about it, I don't think this alternator charges my chassis batteries. I'll have to check.


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Old 01-09-2016, 02:47 PM   #13
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I got this unit used from a dealer and have to say the guy sold me a lemon I think. I think we have put in over $6000 in fixing crap (all mechanical stuff). Oh well, it was my first RV and did a lot of research but still fell for the dealers smoothness.

With that said as you can see the battery compartment is a mess and I would like to spend time this winter season fixing it. So I do first need to find out if the power source charges up all the batts. Then look in to what I have to do to get a Trik-L-Charge (solar) in there. (I can't plug it in at the storage place.)

If the batts will charge off the Gen then I will just go down and start the Gen every few weeks.

As I said this is my first go and this site has been a huge help to me so far. If you are new and reading this get the unit you are looking at inspected by an independent inspector, if dealer or owner says no don't buy it.
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Libero View Post
I once owned a 01 Diplomat. It did not have any type of "BIRD" (Bi-directional Isolution Relay) system. Meaning: The alternator did not charge the battery, nor did the charger provide DC to the Chassis battery, unless I engaged the "boost" relay. I installed my own work around that solved that problem.

I suspect yours is the same, but you did get some good troubleshooting and preventive maintenance advice, but I suspect you do not have any type of BIRD installed unless it was an after market install. Good luck.
I was thinking that is what the black thing is in the picture above. But not sure. Was your 01 used or did you have it new. Just wandering what things wore out on you first? This one is good inside but have a lot of mechanical issues.
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