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Old 01-06-2016, 11:36 PM   #29
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Not wanting to start a controversy, but I think this bit is inaccurate:
"Inverter through the BIRD Relay and the BB will charge the Coach Batteries first and then the Chassis batteries and when all the Batteries are fully charged the Inverter will go into float charge."


The BIRD detects a difference in voltage, and closes the relay. The inverter doesn't know if there are chassis batteries out there or not, the BIRD notes a difference in voltage, and that one of the two is above 13.2 volts (indicating charging), and it closes the relay after a short delay.

To really understand how the thing works you need to read the inverter manual and the technical information on the BIRD and BigBoy, and put it together yourself because the systems are all made by different companies.

I had issues with my systems because I had a sensor sending a bad temperature to the inverter, which meant that on shore power the inverter went through the bulk/absorb/float cycle once, ending on float charging, but when in float charging it was only putting out 12.7 V to the battery bank (to prevent boiling the batteries), and the BIRD system won't activate until it sees a minimum voltage of 13.2, plus a difference (in other words on side has to have a charging voltage and the other doesn't since you can run the engine and generator at the same time).

Took a lot of head scratching (and a gentle slap to the side of my head by the very helpful and generous Mike Canter) to focus on the low float voltage.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #30
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Steve - That sort of makes sense to me that when the engine has started and is running, the charging from the alternator would first go to the chassis batteries - which may have depleted some of their surface charge used to start the engine. If you can confirm this BIRD function later, it would be good to know.

Actually, that brings up a different issue concerning the slides which will not work when the engine is running. When "breaking camp" the latest information I have from Monaco is the Sig should be returned to its travelling height before attempting to bring in the slides. This means I need to start the engine, turn it off after the travelling height is adjusted to normal, then bring in the slides, then restart the engine. I was a bit worried what may happen if the engine didn't start the second time. It turned out not to be a problem during my last trip, but was a "nail biter". I allowed the engine to run awhile and warm up a bit which may have helped out with starting the engine the second time.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:46 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDZ SIG View Post
Steve - That sort of makes sense to me that when the engine has started and is running, the charging from the alternator would first go to the chassis batteries - which may have depleted some of their surface charge used to start the engine. If you can confirm this BIRD function later, it would be good to know.

Actually, that brings up a different issue concerning the slides which will not work when the engine is running. When "breaking camp" the latest information I have from Monaco is the Sig should be returned to its travelling height before attempting to bring in the slides. This means I need to start the engine, turn it off after the travelling height is adjusted to normal, then bring in the slides, then restart the engine. I was a bit worried what may happen if the engine didn't start the second time. It turned out not to be a problem during my last trip, but was a "nail biter". I allowed the engine to run awhile and warm up a bit which may have helped out with starting the engine the second time.
On mine the slides will go in with the engine running and the brake set, but will not function to go out, safety feature I'm sure.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:45 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDZ SIG View Post
Steve - That sort of makes sense to me that when the engine has started and is running, the charging from the alternator would first go to the chassis batteries - which may have depleted some of their surface charge used to start the engine. If you can confirm this BIRD function later, it would be good to know.



Actually, that brings up a different issue concerning the slides which will not work when the engine is running. When "breaking camp" the latest information I have from Monaco is the Sig should be returned to its travelling height before attempting to bring in the slides. This means I need to start the engine, turn it off after the travelling height is adjusted to normal, then bring in the slides, then restart the engine. I was a bit worried what may happen if the engine didn't start the second time. It turned out not to be a problem during my last trip, but was a "nail biter". I allowed the engine to run awhile and warm up a bit which may have helped out with starting the engine the second time.

Monaco recommends to only move the slides when the coach is at ride height. Makes for a cumbersome procedure. I certainly am not recommending that anyone do what I do, but I pull into the site, hit the air level button while the engine is running and let the coach level. I shut off the engine & deploy the slides. The S Series chassis is very stiff & the other procedure is because owners were tweaking the coach & breaking windshield in the RR chassis. In almost 9 years of full timing it has been no problem.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:40 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDZ SIG View Post
Steve - That sort of makes sense to me that when the engine has started and is running, the charging from the alternator would first go to the chassis batteries - which may have depleted some of their surface charge used to start the engine. If you can confirm this BIRD function later, it would be good to know.
I mentioned this earlier, the BIRD unit doesn't charge one or the other sets of batteries first, it has a delay before it closes the BigBoy, and if it sees a drop in voltage, it opens it again. This is based on the idea that at various times there will be significant loads on either charging system, and the design prevents additional loads from charging the other battery bank from overloading the side that has a charging voltage.

Here is the language from the BIRD service manual (note coach battery refers to the house and chassis battery refers to the starters)-

How It Works

The BIRD operates in conjunction with a continuous duty solenoid to provide the isolator/battery charging functions of a motor home. It senses voltage on the coach and chassis batteries. If the voltage on either one is above 13.3 volts, indicating the battery is being charged, it closes the isolator relay, paralleling the batteries, charging both. It operates in two directions, charging the batteries from the engine alternator and charging the batteries from the converter. These functions are similar but operate at different thresholds.

Engine Alternator Charging the Batteries

When the ignition switch is turned on and the engine is running, the system senses the level of voltage on the chassis 12 volt system. When this voltage goes above 13.3 volts for approximately 2 1/2 minutes, as happens when the engine is running normally (normal alternator output voltage of a cold engine is approximately 14.4 volts), it will close the isolator relay providing charging current to the coach battery. This delay allows a cold engine an opportunity to start and warm up before having the heavy load of a discharged coach battery placed on it.

If the voltage should fall below 12 volts for more than about one minute, the relay will drop out to feed all the alternators available output to the chassis battery to keep the engine running. This might happen when the alternator is not able to supply sufficient current to all of the loads and charge the coach battery at the same time. When the chassis voltage goes above 13.3 volts again, the relay will again close in about one minute to retry to charge the coach battery. The resultant flickering of lights would alert the driver of the system overload.

Converter Charging the Batteries

When the coach is plugged into shore power and the ignition is off, the unit senses the voltage on the coach batteries. When this voltage goes above 13.3 volts for approximately 2 minutes, as happens when the converter isn't heavily loaded, it will close the isolator relay providing charging current to the chassis battery.

If the voltage should fall below12.8 volts for more than about one minute, the relay will drop out to prevent the coach loads from discharging the chassis battery. This might happen when the converter is heavily loaded by coach loads. When the coach battery voltage goes above 13.3 volts again, the relay will again close in about one minute to retry to charge the chassis battery.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:27 AM   #34
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Monaco Battery Boost Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDZ SIG View Post
I easily found the Big Boy solenoid located in the motor compartment of my Sig. Someone had told me earlier that if it was warm to the touch when I was connected to shore power, it was doing it's job charging the chassis batteries. I haven't looked for the Bi-Directional Isolator Relay (BIRD) if I have one in my 2003 Monaco Sig with the 525 HP ISX engine. I printed out the cut-sheet but don't recall seeing anything that looked like that. Are you guys saying if the Big Boy is a "Bad Big Boy" that could be the source of my Battery Booster switch failing to connect the chassis and house batteries during my attempt to start a cold engine?

Just because the Big Boy is hot doesn't mean it's operable.
If it's hot its engaged but not necessarily contacting correctly.
The heat is from the magnets holding the contact ring up against the 2 poles.
There would be no heat produced by the contact ring itself.
Don't discount Big Boy failure. You need to test it.
As far as charging goes you can connect any positive of chassis to any positive of house and they are now connected.
So 50amp or gen set will charge them


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Old 01-11-2016, 01:31 PM   #35
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Steve - I was doing exactly what are doing when I pull into a site, i.e., leave the engine running, level the rig, turn the engine off and put the slides out. The problem I encountered during my last trip was one of the slides would not retract when I wanted to leave and I had to first start the engline to bring the rig to travelling height and only then was I able to bring in the slide.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:56 PM   #36
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Actually, that brings up a different issue concerning the slides which will not work when the engine is running. When "breaking camp" the latest information I have from Monaco is the Sig should be returned to its travelling height before attempting to bring in the slides. This means I need to start the engine, turn it off after the travelling height is adjusted to normal, then bring in the slides, then restart the engine. I was a bit worried what may happen if the engine didn't start the second time. It turned out not to be a problem during my last trip, but was a "nail biter". I allowed the engine to run awhile and warm up a bit which may have helped out with starting the engine the second time.
You can always run the generator while breaking camp which should keep the batteries at full charge if they were already at Float State of Charge to begin with due to being hooked to shore power for so long.

Obviously, this is only true IF your battery charging system is working as it has been designed to work. When hooked to shore the House Batteries are charge first and then the Chassis Battery. When underway with the engine alternator running the Chassis Battery is charged first and then the House Batteries are next.

Based on previous posts it sounds like you need to validate whether the battery charging system is working properly first.

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Old 01-11-2016, 06:09 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Steve - I was doing exactly what are doing when I pull into a site, i.e., leave the engine running, level the rig, turn the engine off and put the slides out. The problem I encountered during my last trip was one of the slides would not retract when I wanted to leave and I had to first start the engline to bring the rig to travelling height and only then was I able to bring in the slide.

I've never had the problem. When the slide would not retract, could you hear the pump running? Were you in a really out of level site? Was it the electric bedroom slide by any chance?

The hydraulic system is really robust.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:21 PM   #38
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Steve - I was doing exactly what are doing when I pull into a site, i.e., leave the engine running, level the rig, turn the engine off and put the slides out. The problem I encountered during my last trip was one of the slides would not retract when I wanted to leave and I had to first start the engline to bring the rig to travelling height and only then was I able to bring in the slide.

I've never had the problem. When the slide would not retract, could you hear the pump running? Were you in a really out of level site? Was it the electric bedroom slide by any chance?

The hydraulic system is really robust.
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