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Old 08-12-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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alternator getting hot

We have a 1996 Itasca 34' 5.9 diesel. The alternator is getting too hot and is charging the engine and the house batteries at the same time. Has anybody else had this problem? What caused my alternator to go bad? The alternator has been checked and it is good - newly rebuilt and tested. Is there and isolator or something that I am missing? If there is - where is it?
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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run the engine well over idle (but not crazy) with all lights, cab AC, accessories, etc on and check the voltage at the batteries.
you should be getting 13.8 volts minimum and closer to 14.5 as a working charge voltage.
the alternator needs to be tested under running conditions.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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re alternator getting hot

Should engine and coach batteries be charging at the same time on the alternator?
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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cherinscoop,

Yes, coach and engine batteries charge at the same time. The isolator or separating relay only serves to isolate the coach batteries from the engine battery when the ignition is off and engine isn't running.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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(for others who read this)
I believe both banks charging from the alternator isn't that common. I read somewhere that winnies do it so assumed itasca would also.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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Alternators do get hot particularly if they are producing a high current to charge bad batteries. You need a clamp meter that you hook over the cables to check how much current is being produced. The current will start high but after a few minutes should start to taper off as the batteries charge up. If this does not happen I suspect you have bad batteries.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #7
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Thumbs up alternator getting hot

Thank you everybody for your responses. We found out that all the batteries do indeed charge with the engine running. We were concerned because our 76 Winnebag had a switch to select which battery to use and charge from the engine and the generator charged the house batteries. There is no mention of this in our Itasca manuals - anywhere - so thank you everybody. We are good to hit the road again!
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherinscoop View Post
Should engine and coach batteries be charging at the same time on the alternator?
To answer your question .. I would hope so, that is normal operation..

Now to the O/P. There are several things that cause an alternator to run hot.. It may be in a location that is too hot, ducting fresh air over it may cool it off some.

Or it may be a bit ..er.. anemic,,, Using a LARGER alternator may help.

And some folks like to use an inverter to power a home type fridge (or even an RV absorption type) This is not the best idea in the book.
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