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Old 04-12-2015, 01:08 PM   #1
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2003 Kountry Star Electrical System Clarifications

Hi Everyone

I am familiarizing my son with the operation of this fantastic RV and I wanted to make sure I was giving out correct information. Hence, I have a few clarification (what to some of you will seem rather rudimentary and a bit silly) questions on how my 2003 Kountry Star 36' diesel pusher electrical system functions.

I continue to review the documentation that came with the coach but I am still a little confused about a couple of things and I knew that this group would have the once-and-for-all-answers. Thanks in advance for your help.

1) Role of the engine's alternator. When the coach engine is running I have always assumed that the alternator charge both the coach (chassis) and house (RV) batteries automatically. Or does the inverter need to be enabled to charge the house batteries?

2) Precise role of the inverter.
a. Is the inverter intended simply for use in a dry camping scenario when turning DC current into AC current is required for appliances, etc.?

b. Or is the role of the inverter more universal? Meaning it should be enabled at all times to facilitate use of DC and AC appliances at anytime (that is while the coach is being driven, parked and hooked to shore power, or lived in for dry camping, etc.)?

c. I guess my real question is--should I enable the inverter at all times as a matter of course? Or is that unnecessary since it is drawing power itself?
3) Role of the diesel generator. When the generator runs, does it automatically charge both the coach and house batteries? Or does the inverter need to be enabled to charge the house batteries?

4) Role of the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) and Electrical Management System (EMS) box in the electrical panel bay. The ATS kicks in when switching power sources between shore power and generator I understand. But does the EMS only function when the coach is either on shore or generator power?

My apologies for these seemingly inane questions. I truly appreciate your input guys. Thanks everyone and take care,

Carl Jackson
2003 36' Newmar Kountry Star
Lake Forest, CA
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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All batteries charge with the BIRD System monitoring the charge of both the house and chassis off Gen, shore power or alternator if driving.
The inverter/converter the converter, its plugged into a 110 outlet, convert portion supplies the 12v for charging the batteries through the Bird system.
Inverter supplies the 110 off the house batteries.
Here is a link to provide more information.
ATS is explained also in link, shore power will be working through the ATS to your load center, unless you start the Gen than ATS will disconnect the shore power and hook up the Gen to supply coach for 110 to load center.
As far as wiring this link will explain some of that.
All these links and much more info in QT's # 3 and links below in my signature.

Carl, Let us know how you make out a follow up post does help us when you ask questions, thank you.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
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I doubt that your inverter supplies 110V power to your appliances, usually only the TVs and entertainment center. Try unhooking from all electric, turn the inverter on and see what is on the inverter.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=heyskipper;2508587]1) Role of the engine's alternator. When the coach engine is running I have always assumed that the alternator charge both the coach (chassis) and house (RV) batteries automatically. Or does the inverter need to be enabled to charge the house batteries?[/quote;

your assumption is correct,, Invrter state does not matter save that it CONSUMES battery power if on.

Quote:
2) Precise role of the inverter.
Depends on the size of the invrter.. Small ones (like 500 watt) generally run TV and related electronics only.. Larger (1500 and up) may power microwave and kichen outlet and other stuff.

YES. you use the inverter when you do not wish to run generator and do not have shore power.. USE SPARINGLY .. I also leave my 2,000 watt one in automatic standby (Enabled) when I have shore power.. IF it Blinks, or otherwise fails.. My Electroincs are protected.

Quote:
b. Or is the role of the inverter more universal? Meaning it should be enabled at all times to facilitate use of DC and AC appliances at anytime (that is while the coach is being driven, parked and hooked to shore power, or lived in for dry camping, etc
More or less how I do it,, THough I can not use the appliances (other than this compter) when Driving (This is navi-comp/GPS when I am driving)
Quote:
c. I guess my real question is--should I enable the inverter at all times as a matter of course? Or is that unnecessary since it is drawing power itself?[/INDENT]
Matter of choice.. I normally DO leave mine enabled.. Unless I wish to keep the Digital Video Recorders powered down.. Only way to fully turn them off)
Quote:
3) Role of the diesel generator. When the generator runs, does it automatically charge both the coach and house batteries? Or does the inverter need to be enabled to charge the house batteries?
The Generator is a substutite for Shore Power.. Batteries are charged the same way, AND BY THE SAME DEVICE that charges them when you are on shore power.
Quote:
4) Role of the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) and Electrical Management System (EMS) box in the electrical panel bay. The ATS kicks in when switching power sources between shore power and generator I understand. But does the EMS only function when the coach is either on shore or generator power?
ATS looks for the generator to start.. IF the generator is running it counts down a timer then TRANSFERS the electrical loads from Shore Power to Generator.. WARNING DO NOT HOT SWITCH,, That is TURN OFF shore power for at least 2-3 minutes BEFORE starting generator.. Likewise do turn off Generator before restoring shore power.. and again wait 3 minutes.

the EMS.. There are two devices that go by that name.. If you have a 50 amp rig with a load Shedding type of EMS then when it senses 30 amp shore power (It can do that) it will activate,, On Generator or 50 amp it should basically sit there.


The other kind is also called a surge guard (if you do not have one get one) this device monitors shore power.. We have had some power flickers here in the park.. These are VERY HARD on the air conditioners and many other things (Technical stuff deleted).. The Surge Guard device I have insures power stays off for 3 minutes..... Recall I mentioned 3 minutes above.. Same reason.

The technical stuff: When an air conditioner is shut down,, IT should remain down for THREE FULL MINUTES or it will be re-starting with a head of pressure.. This is like trying to run the 100 yard dash with cement overshoes on (Very hard) and all sorts of things happen in that first few seconds of power restoration (Voltages go craZy) the Surge Guard type (Progressive Industries PT-50C or HW-50C) protect you.. They also protect you from the mis-wired power outlet.
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