Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > iRV2.com General Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-11-2014, 11:09 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Alternator questions

I have owned a 1997 Europa (Chevy 350) for 4 months. It is currently 6 hours away, where I left it while waiting for parts (water pump and master brake cylinder). Ever since I've had it, the voltmeter has registered below 13, but I have not had any problems. I usually have it plugged in when I have it with me. The mechanic working on it now says that it has registered below 12, now that it has been unplugged for 2 weeks. The other repairs should be completed after tomorrow. Should I go ahead and have the alternator replaced while it is still in the shop? I would like to bring it back and have my local mechanic check it out, but I will have that 6 hour drive, and then only one week before I leave on another weekend trip with it.
__________________

__________________
burnes_c is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-11-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
Community Administrator
 
JohnRR's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Marquette, Michigan "Da UP"
Posts: 16,943

Reading 12 volts after sitting two weeks sounds normal to me.
__________________

__________________
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 14 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
JohnRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 4,691
burns_c,
Replace nothing until the alternator output has been checked. Your mechanic said it is below 12V. Which battery voltage is below 12V??? What does that mean??? If the coach has not been plugged in for 2-weeks it's very possible that the HOUSE battery is below 12V. There are constant drains on the HOUSE batteries even though the drains are small they will add up after some weeks.
If the coach has been plugged in and the voltage at the HOUSE batteries not the ENGINE/CRANKING battery is low then it's the converter that is not charging your HOUSE/COACH batteries. If the ENGINE battery is below 12V and the engine has not been run to use the alternator to re-charge that battery that may or may not be OK.

Your mechanic has to start the coach and place a volt meter across the engine battery and measure the voltage. It should be 13.6 volts or better. If it's either not at 13.6 or close to 12V then perhaps the alternator is not correctly charging. But again it should be tested unless you just want to replace it.

I've said this several dozen times on these forums. All electrical issues should be STEP BY STEP TESTED BEFORE REPLACING PARTS. And there is a specific step by step procedure that does not include skipping some of these steps just because so and so said to replace this or that and that will fix your problem.

Most parts houses have the ability to bench test alternators. That might be an option. Maybe your mechanic knows how to correctly test the alternator using a load tester which will determine the maximum current and voltage output. It's possible for some internal reason (electronic voltage regulator, diodes, windings, brushes etc) that the alternator is charging but at a reduced voltage and or current. Testing is the only way to determine that.

One more point. If your alternator is charging but at a low voltage you could drive it several hours if the battery is fully charged and you don't run a lot of current draining devices, like blower motors, headlights etc. I've done that several times. Keep in mind that today's computer vehicles may start shutting things off if it senses that the battery is getting weak. It will devote all it's poweer to keeping the ignition and fuel pump going.

TeJay
__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 10:25 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2
alternator questions

Thanks for the help. Tomorrow, the mechanic is supposed to get the part needed to make the Europa drivable and will then check the alternator. He has not yet recommended replacement. It does sound like I could get home with it and then have my regular guy look at it.
__________________
burnes_c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2014, 11:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
89sandman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 883
if you are worried take an extra battery with you just in case. if your alt fails and drains your battery you can install the fresh one to get you to a safe spot. if you have 12 volt house batteries you could always use one of those also.
__________________
89sandman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2014, 06:22 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,821
First step is to test the volt-meter.. use a digital volt meter of known quality. (Calibrate with dry cell battery) if you need to know calibration procedure google RCA WV-77E manual and follow the procedure in that manual. (That is a very old volt meter, Cria 1960's)
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2014, 08:04 AM   #7
Registered User
 
mel s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,777
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnes_c View Post
Thanks for the help. Tomorrow, the mechanic is supposed to get the part needed to make the Europa drivable and will then check the alternator. He has not yet recommended replacement. It does sound like I could get home with it and then have my regular guy look at it.
burnes_c
Hopefully your alternator is okay.
If yous is bad your regular guy might suggest having your alternator rebuilt, rather than replacing it with a new one.
Because of the various alternators used in coaches, that can/may save you from a lot of grief.
(How I know that is a subject for another post).
Most towns, even small ones, have a shop specializing in the rebuilding of alternators and starters.
Mel
'96 Safari
__________________
mel s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2014, 11:04 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnes_c View Post
I have owned a 1997 Europa (Chevy 350) for 4 months. It is currently 6 hours away, where I left it while waiting for parts (water pump and master brake cylinder). Ever since I've had it, the voltmeter has registered below 13, but I have not had any problems. I usually have it plugged in when I have it with me. The mechanic working on it now says that it has registered below 12, now that it has been unplugged for 2 weeks. The other repairs should be completed after tomorrow. Should I go ahead and have the alternator replaced while it is still in the shop? I would like to bring it back and have my local mechanic check it out, but I will have that 6 hour drive, and then only one week before I leave on another weekend trip with it.
Welcome to IRV2 !!! You will find Bunches of great people here,,, willing to help you... I've learned more here than I have forgot... You will know me from our Europa Group... As others have said, a simple volt meter check of the Chassis Battery WITH engine running will tell you if the alternator is working. Should be 13.6volts+ . When plugged into shore power, I use a simple small set of jumper cables (one side only) in the "batery control box" to jumper the battery boost solonoid.. It keeps both batteries charged by the onboard convertor. When plugged into shore power, on our Europa anyway, it only charges the "house" battery, not the engine or chassis battery. I can send you a pic if wanted... If your 97 is like our 95,, the engine?chassis battery is on the drivers side,,, Coach or House battery is on the passenger side... Ask all the questions you want here,,, as I said they are Great people !!!!
Darel
__________________
Monkey, pilot of a Great Dane hauler,
2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax/Alison 4x4 CrewCab 2016 Cougar 28SGS
1ST CAV
monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2014, 07:09 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
NorthernDriv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mission,B.C.
Posts: 238
Test FIRST......then spend money!
__________________

__________________
NorthernDriv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternator



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.