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Old 03-24-2020, 07:59 PM   #1
Senior Member

Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 155
Engine generator not charging the house batteries.

Last fall going from Montana to Arizona my alternator was not charging my house batteries. They ran completely dead at least once forcing us to stop somewhere with shore power each evening. I had lead core batteries then at at one of them was shot. My buddy checked it with his hydrometer. I've replaced them with AGM's and have been hooked up to shore power since Jan 1. I know there's something called a "bird" that's supposed to make sure they get charged.Is there a way to check and see if it's functioning properly?

2005 Newmar Essex 4502
500 hp Cummins
2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Toad
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:24 PM   #2
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 14,596
Check the house battery voltage with the engine running - 13.something or more. Without engine running - 12.something.

Your system may wait some period of time before it connects the alternator. Like maybe ten minutes.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Yes, push the boost switch and see if the battery volts of house and chassis even out.

If not, push that switch on and off while someone listens for the solenoid clunking.

That solenoid is the same one that creates the connection between the chassis battery and the house batteries.

If it has house batt volts on one side and chassis batt volt on the other, even if it clunks, with the boost switch held, its bad.

If it don't clunk, follow the small wires to a control box or circuit and look for a fuse. That would be the brains of your BIRD or IRD.
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batteries, charging, engine, generator, house batteries

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