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Old 05-16-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
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No charge

Not getting any charge out of the chassis batt cables while on shore power. Im getting 13.5 volts out of the coach batt cables, so Im thinking a bad relay/solenoid?
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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Be happy to help but we need a whole lot more information.
Class A ?
year
make
model
engine (gas or diesel)
Is it new to you ?
Do you know if it ever charged the coach battery ? Many don't.
Do you know if you have a B.I.R.D controller and isolator relay
Does your emergency start switch work ?

That will give us a start
Tom
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
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Ok good point. I didn't include much info. But I did post this in the class C section so.... Ok, no more wise ass. '93 Fleetwood Tioga 29z. E350 Ford chassis, 460 v8 (gas).
Recently replaced original converter with new Progressive Dynamics 55amp converter/charger.


I'm getting charge current (13.5 volts) at the coach batt cables but nothing on the chassis batt side.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:33 AM   #4
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I don't know about your rig. The relay usually connects the batteries when you are driving. This way all your batteries charge. You should have an IRD located near your relay and controls the coil on that relay.
When parked on shore power only your house batteries charge. You can add a trickle or echo charger to charge your chassis batteries while on shore power.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
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The convertor is typically not wired to the chassis battery. If it charges the chassis battery uses a constant duty solenoid/relay that is controlled by an electronic device. These systems vary in how they work. Are you sure your chassis battery was ever being charged when on shore power ? Do you have an emergency start switch ? It uses the same isolator relay to combine the battery banks to boost the chassis battery. If you do, hold the switch in and check the voltage at the chassis battery while plugged in. The chassis battery should then be the same as the coach voltage.

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Old 05-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompen View Post
The convertor is typically not wired to the chassis battery.
Tom
Well that's good to know. I was under the impression that the charger/converter kept both batts charged/topped off. Wouldn't that be desirable to have it maintain BOTH batts while on shore power?

Not sure if it ever charged the chassis batt while on shore power. It was the original equipment pos charger.

I do have an emergency start toggle switch. Im gonna try what you said and put the volt meter on the chassis cables then hit the emergency start switch. See what happens.

Be right back.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:44 PM   #7
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Yep. I held the emergency start toggle switch and volts went from zero to 13.6.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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OK.
I would have expected the chassis voltage to be 12.6 or so. Not 0. Where did you check it.
Anyway, we need to find the relay that is activated by that switch. You may need help. It will click pretty solidly and may be under the hood or near the coach batteries. Someone with more knowledge of the C chassis might jump in. It should have heavy wires from the chassis battery on one stud and from the coach battery on the other stud. There will be a smaller wire (maybe 2) on smaller terminals. This relay is controlled in some manner for emergency starting (the switch) and possibly for charging the coach battery from the engine alternator. This is also used on some coaches to charge the chassis battery from shore power. So, it can be controlled by a B.I.R.D or I.R.D or by the battery control center (BCC). You can search these on this site. There is tons of information.
The question is if it is supposed to charge the chassis battery and is broken, or if it is not wired that way.
While you are searching look at a trik-L-Start. A lot of folks use this and it seems to work well. Mine has a B.I.R.D and I still prefer a battery minder for the chassis battery. When you locate that relay check voltage on both terminals. Should be as I described it. Then check it with the engine running and check the small terminal also.

Good Luck
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:00 PM   #9
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I disconnected the cables going to the chassis batt and checked the voltage coming out of the cables while on shore power and it was 0. When I pushed the emergency start toggle voltage jumped to 13.6.

I had my daughter push the switch on repeatedly while I was under the hood. Here is a picture of the relay that was clicking.

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Old 05-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
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Another pic
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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FYI, our chassis battery does not charge when on shore power, never has. 2006 Coachmen on a Chevy chassis. I keep a battery charger should I need to charge the chassis battery, but have also used it to charge the toad (when I forgot to shut off the ignition and remove the key...)
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:55 PM   #12
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OK good.
I didn't understand that you unhooked the cable. Good test though. So we know the relay is OK. Next test. Check the voltage on both sides of the relay with shore power hooked up. The coach side will be a little higher. Unplug from shore power. Start the engine and check voltages after a couple on minutes. Also check the voltage on the small terminal. We need to determine if the engine alternator charges the coach batteries using this relay. If the small wire is powered with the engine running than it does. If not you probably have a diode trio battery isolator to charge the coach battery. If that is the case, your system does not charge the coach battery on shore power. Good news-it's not broken, bad news is-its not broken. However you can have the coach battery charged with a trik-L-Start or a float charger for $20.00-$50.00.
You're close to your answer now.
Tom
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:26 PM   #13
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Our 2000 Jayco also does not charge chassis batt. when on shore power. Lazy on the part of the mfg., if you ask me. I just installed a Trik-L-Start this week. Easy install - hoping it does the trick (pun sorta intended).
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #14
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I use a battery tender JR when parked for the truck battery if camping for a long period. Truck battery does not charge while camping and plugged in, just as yours behaves.

My storage is offsite; I use the tender jr when prepping the rig the night before and it takes about 12 hours to get a full "green" (fully charged) light if the rig has been parked for 4 weeks or so. always starts fine even though this is the case. Less stress on the alternator, too. The house battery takes less time but I also installed a battery disconnect for the house battery; haven't done yet for the truck battery.

I pulled the propane leak detector fuse from the truck battery side so that it doesn't have that phantom drain while parked.
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