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Old 12-14-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
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SlaterDoc's Avatar
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Posts: 350
Why wasn't the Onan charging the house batteries?

Well, I would know nothing if it weren't for my time here!
So, while I have been going stem to stern on my 04 Bounder 38n DP resolving my electrical and other issues, I have been searching and reading these posts and running between the Coach, my computer and the parts store! I just could not understand why the Onan was not charging the house batteries and would die off when they had been drained down! They charged up fine off the engine alternator! I thought I was heading to buy new batteries when I finally took one more look at the electrical plan (from Fleetwood) and another trip to the electric bay. Then and only then, did I notice that sitting under the curled up 50AMP line were two large "battery cables"(taped over) and there were a few sections of Romex that were capped together that didn't look as they should (hanging out there in the open)! Then the framework sitting at the bottom of the bay revealed what looked like 4 holes on which something had been mounted! The "Inverter/Charger"(as listed on the plan) AIN'T THERE??
Now. I am quite sure I have figured this out. BUT, just to be sure, I am going to cast my fate to the smart ones here to help confirm what I have deducted!
I am also deducting that I am going to have to buy one if I am ever going to count on charging those house batteries off the generator.
Or, does someone have another idea??
I don't intend or need to run any 120v off the house batteries. So, do I need an "Inverter/Charger" or can I replace the thing with a "Converter/Charger"?
My piggy bank is depleted and I am looking for the cheapest way out! Since the difference between the Inv/Ch and the Con/Ch is night and day price wise is $1000 or $100. Can I get away with that?
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Ford Super Duty Owner
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Location: northern IL
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I would think you could but you might have to change some connections with the 120 to bypass what was your inverter.
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
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The Onan doesn't charge the batteries - it merely supplies 120v power to the house charging system, the same as shore power does. And your charger seems to be missing!

You don't need an inverter, so you can install a converter/charger. Get a good 3-stage charger like the Progressive Dynamics 9260 or 9280 (60A or 80A). Your original charging system was probably 100A for fast charging if the batteries are really low, but 60-80 should be entirely adequate for typical use.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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batteries, charging, house batteries, onan

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