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Old 04-10-2012, 03:12 PM   #15
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Sounds like you have everything under control. One more thing, I understand you are concerned about charging your chassis battery due to the audio unit being wired to it.

Take a look around under the hood for a B.I.R.D.

Your coach may be equipped with a bi-directional isolator relay delay. If so, you don't need to worry about charging the chassis battery. The BIRD automatically switches a solenoid to join the battery bank and chassis battery together when charging. It also can detect battery discharge and will activate the solenoid to disconnect the chassis battery from the house batteries. It's a cool little thing if you have one, and since it sounds like you have higher end electronics, I wouldn't be surprised to find one. I attached a photo so you can see what it looks like.

Once you get your solar all sorted out, you probably won't have to run the engine or the genset very often.
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'98 Gulf Stream Sunsport 325, 7.5L Banks Power Pack, Koni FSD's, Air Bags, ReadyBrute Elite,
2000 Honda Accord

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Old 04-11-2012, 08:35 AM   #16
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If the 55Amp converter charger is working properly, it will be better for the battery than charging from the idling engine. (It is three stage - not three phase - makes a difference to EE types.) Use that and the generator as a first choice. If one fuse was loose, it may have taken out the other one. Check them both. If it is not working properly, get it repaired. If the loose fuse did not fix it, look for a loose connection. If you can't find a culprit, run the generator when it should be charging the house bank and feel for a warm connection.

If you do not have the manual for the converter it is available at:

Idling an engine even for an half of an hour is simply not good for the engine. First is the thermal cycle, an engine can only survive just so many cold starts before it needs major work. (Did you ever wonder why a guy that only drives long distances on the highway has cars that last forever?) Second is that idle will not get the internals and fluids to the temperatures they have to get to to maintain proper operation. I very much doubt that the generator uses more fuel than the idling engine, but I can guarantee that the long run cost will be very high if your main engine needs work.

If you don't have a meter on board, stop at some Harbor Fright and buy a cheapy. Yes, the are a POS, but they will tell you a lot more than looking at it.

Matt - a Detroit engineer for several decades

A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #17
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The fuses are intact and I am now recharging using all generator power. I was hoping to be back on solar today. I had the new solar charge controller shipped c/o general delivery at the local Post Office, and the supplier shipped it via UPS, which will not deliver to the Post Office. Not the brightest bulbs there!
Barb (RVM18), Sena (capuchin monkey, RVM Head Mascot) & Lily (Maltese/Yorkie)
2011 Shasta Cynara 230F, 2012 Smart Car toad, 372 watt solar FMCA #F466348
The Journey is Our Destination. Full-timing since 5/18/2011 - no end in sight
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:22 AM   #18
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I am assuming you have checked and you know you are charging on the converter.


Your current situation is a multiple FU.
The supplier should Know that UPS will not deliver to a PO or GD.
The driver should not have accepted the parcel addressed so.
UPS should have returned the parcel at the next drop.

I personally find this level of incompetence to be disturbing.

Good luck from here,


A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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batteries, charging

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