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Old 10-08-2015, 06:53 PM   #1
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Correct inverter procedure

I have a 2007 Sig. and over the last 8100 mile trip, on two occasions the batteries were dead when I went to start the coach. The only thing done to charge the batteries was to turn inverter off and turn charge on manually. Then, after an hour or so there was enough power to start the engine. I suspect I am doing something different when I hook up to shore power and switch from inverter (elect. refrigerator). But after reading the manual (can you imagine that) I don't see what I am doing wrong. Should the inverter be left on even when hooked up to shore power? I read that it is automatic and will switch from DC to charge when shore power is detected. Or should I turn off inverter and turn on charger manually at remote station? Battery boost doesn't even start the coach (600 hp) when batteries run low.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:05 PM   #2
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Two things
A. The inverter is to be left ON all the time. Plugged in, unplugged, generator on or off. It is all automatic. The system (the coach) prefers, for the good of the batteries, to be plugged in all the time unless you are on a trip. If you have wet cell batteries they need to be checked for water level quite often. If you have AGM batteries, good for you cause they are bullet proof.
B. Perhaps your inverter is bad if it doesn't work as I said in A above.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:12 PM   #3
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I don't understand B nor its part of A.
Electronics does not stay better from use like a generator. An inverter should not require use to survive
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:15 PM   #4
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The other possible problem is the starter on your 600hp Cummins ISX engine. If the engine turns over slowly even with full batteries it's probably because Cummins in their infinite wisdom provided that 600 HP engine with a 42MT Delco starter. That is marginal when new and weak later. You would do better with a geared starter motor made by DENSO. Get a DENSO and the engine will really spin. Even if the battery is a little low.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
The other possible problem is the starter on your 600hp Cummins ISX engine. If the engine turns over slowly even with full batteries it's probably because Cummins in their infinite wisdom provided that 600 HP engine with a 42MT Delco starter. That is marginal when new and weak later. You would do better with a geared starter motor made by DENSO. Get a DENSO and the engine will really spin. Even if the battery is a little low.
Yep, same on the 650 HP ISX. Thought our starting batteries were getting weak so bought 4 new ones. They aren't any better than the 6 year old ones!.
Going to get a DENSO unit when I get the $$ set aside but other stuff (car repairs, property tax and medical bills) come first right now.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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You asked if the inverter should be left on even when plugged into shore power. The answer is yes you can leave it on when hooked up to shore power, BUT... keep in mind, especially in your case where you have a Residential refrigerator. What happens while your away from the coach for an extended period of time and the power goes out? You could run those coach batteries down to the point you might ruin them. Unless you have some good solar panels that will keep the batteries charged. Enough Solar capacity that will override whatever load you have on the Inverter/Batteries plus enough reserve to charge those batteries in the process.

As far as your engine not starting, then something must be draining your chassis batteries, or there no good to begin with. Since the coach batteries have nothing to do with the chassis batteries, except being connected together when you push the Aux Bat Switch.

You didn't mention what type of Inverter you have, but with your coach being a Sig. and if your Inverter is a Magnum, most of the Sig's, came factory equipped with a Magnum Smart Battery Combiner which should take care of keeping the Chassis batteries charged. This device pulls some of the current from the Coach batteries while your hooked up to shore power for extended periods.

By the way I work summers in the Rocky Mountain Region Magnum/Xantrex Factory Repair Shop and we see these types of issues all the time. By far the most problems we run into when customers bring their coaches in for repair are almost always battery and or battery cabling issues. Once in awhile the inverter does need repaired.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:32 AM   #7
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What Stretch said may apply to his inverter, but it doesn't to mine. Turning ON the Trace 2500 in our coach turns off charging. That makes sense when you consider why you would turn on the inverter: DC-AC conversion. When we are plugged in or running the generator the Trace is set on Charge.
As the other Bob pointed out, we also have a device that charges the chassis batteries from the house batteries when the charge current to the house batteries exceeds roughly 14V (don't recall exact level).

A few months ago the chassis batteries went dead and I never did figure out why, either. New-ish batteries, plugged in to shore power, measured charge current going to them from house batteries, etc. etc. I had to recharge them off line, but once I did that I haven't had a hint of a problem since.

Cheers,
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:28 PM   #8
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I'll chime in about the slow starter. I too had that problem and put new starter batteries in and guess what? Same problem. Thought I was going to have to buy a new starter as well. I have all AGM House batteries (8) and read that their starter AGM batteries have the most cranking power of all. Lifeline is the brand, so I bought 2 of those for the truck. Still slow cranking, so figured someday I would buy a Denso. Went to Elite RV in Harrisburg, OR for some updates to the coach and told them of my dilemma. Erik said that there was some grounds he would clean that were known problems and didn't really think I was wise in purchasing the Lifelines for the truck. He then went to the Magnum control panel to check on my charge setting. I had set it for the AGM when I installed the 8 new house batteries, but there is a AGM 2 setting that he said would work better where I have all AGM Batteries. Between those two things he did, she cranks right up now. Not saying it wouldn't be wise maybe to upgrade the starter, but it starts so good now I'm not going to spend the money until it craps out. Oh, and Doug, leave your inverter on, its just like mine and you won't have any trouble. its automatic like Stretch said. When I first go this coach my BIRD was no good and I was having trouble getting the house batteries to charge going down the road, used the auto start on the gen to keep the batteries up. I really paid attention to the Magnum to see that I was getting the charger on when the gen ran. That's when I learned if you leave the inverter on it is automatic, if you shut it off, then you have to manually turn the charger on. JMO Randy
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:31 PM   #9
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Still not sure why "battery boost" from house batteries (4 new AGM) doesn't work unless chassis batteries are shot and not allowing current thru to starter from the boost batteries
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:33 PM   #10
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What brand of chassis batteries did Monaco use in 2007? Have no record of chassis batteries being replaced and they are not date coded. Brand in coach is Alliance batteries and I am not familiar with them.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:40 PM   #11
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Mine came with Interstate U2200s.


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Old 10-09-2015, 11:41 PM   #12
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Doug, on mine it shows in the literature somewhere that it came with Lifeline AGM for the house, I'm not sure about the chassis batteries. If your jump start is not working I would guess you are due to either clean or replace the BIRD solenoid in your rear run box. You can purchase them on eBay and it is easy to change. If it hasn't been done it would save you some headaches down the road to replace it. I had no idea about all this when I purchased my coach but have learned tons on this forum. Also if you are handy clean all your battery connections, grounds where they attach to the frame especially. Since doing all that and replacing my batteries with new Lifeline and replacing the BIRD I have had no starting or charging problems.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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It is possible the inverter is not functioning properly, hard to tell from your description.

It is DEFINITE your Isolator is not isolating. Depending on your RV when you turn off the engine the isolator should ISOLATE the chassis from the house system.. ON SOME when the house batteries are CHARGING it will re-connect them to keep the chassis charged as well but if the voltage drops below 13.5 or so it should drop out and isolate once again.. It's not doing this.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:58 AM   #14
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Thanks, I believe you correctly identified my problem. Went out and turned shore power off and back on. Now batteries are charging as designed. Apparently when the BIRD solenoid is in open position not only will the chassis batteries not charge but the battery boost will not work either. Once solenoid closes then both charging and boost appear to work properly. Thank you for your help.
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