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Old 08-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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Generator question on a Monaco Diplomat

Hello All,

Having a great time at Crater Lake but having a problem. We are dry camping here and need to start the generator to keep the house batteries charged. What batteries are used to start the generator? Generator will not turn over fast enough to start without the rear engine running. I am thinking the house batteries are used to start the generator, am I correct? The main drive engine starts right up without a problem and then I can start the generator without a problem. I have not had this problem before and can use some good advice. Thank You.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:09 AM   #2
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I think you are correct, however look at your side panel by the driver's seat for an Aux Start switch. When you press that it ties both sets of batteries together. Using that should allow you to start the generator without starting the engine first.

You will need to let the generator run a long time to charge the house batteries as the charger function of the inverter is the charging source. An hour or two will not do the job. If the house batteries are really low, and it sounds like they are, it could take from several days to a week to fully charge the house batteries from the generator.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Rex, I have a Batt Boost switch next to the drivers seat. Should I push and hold for a few seconds before attempting to start the gernerator? I think you are right, our motorhome sat in a storage area for a year and was not plugged in, we took it out last week and have not had it plugged in for long periods of time. We are now full timers in a park with no electricity and finding our house batteries are very low. We are going to a place with electricity on Tuesday and will keep it plugged in for a few days and maybe that will fully charge our house batteries. I hope. We are new full timers and probably have a lot to learn but it is still very fun.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
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Hansville...
Please go to this link for the Magnum ME series inverters. I have been asked to tell you to read it and find where it tells you how to "equalize" your batteries. Sacs did this and it makes a huge difference. You may have to run the generator for about 5 hours in order to perform the "Equalize" but it will help immensely. Our coach is a year newer than yours - and we have done this action twice since we have owned the rig. IMPORTANT NOTE - Please make sure to check the water levels in the batteries before starting!



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Old 08-23-2009, 11:12 AM   #5
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Hans- If your drive to CLake was substantial at all, either 1) your rig doesn't have a link to tie house batteries to alternator while driving, 2) the link is broken and needs a fix (probably new intertie solenoid or something like it), or 3) house batt's didn't take the charge for some reason that needs to be determined (maybe lack of water, which if so and you put a heavy charge on the batt's you will kill them).

As to charging, check the inverter manual for charge settings. On page 27: "The ME Series inverter/charger must be configured for Low Battery Cutoff (LBCO), Shore Power Current, Charger Amps, Battery Size and Battery Type." Be sure to follow thru on getting these settings correct (my rig came from factory w/this all screwed up) or it will take forever to charge the batteries. One thing frequently in error when charger will tie both house & chassis batts is "Battery Size," which (if both banks tie together) should include both battery banks in the sizing to get the charge rate up to a level that won't take forever.

Hope you are enjoying the cool nights at the Lake.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Yep, the Battery Boost is the Aux Start switch. Just hold it while you start the generator and then turn it loose. Check the water level in your batteries, and use ONLY distilled water if any needs to be added. Batteries will discharge over long periods of non use if not connected to a charger.
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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You may also want to check the condition of your batteries. Specific gravity gauge done for each battery. Water levels and will they hold a charge. Any good auto parts store will do this for free.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #8
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I am starting realize that there must be a bad house battery. Ran the generator for about four hours today and checked the panel for the charging status and it started out on bulk charge then moved down to float charge and I felt good about that. I turned that generator off after four hours of charging and did not put a load on the house batteries at all. I looked at the voltage panel toggle switch and the house battery read about 12.7 volts after about an hour I went back to the panel and the voltage for the house battery read about 10 volts. I believe the charger is working fine and I must have at least one bad battery that will not hold a charge. I have made it a regular habit to keep the distilled water level full on all batteries. The motor home was in storage for about six monthes and Possibly the house batteries ran down on charge and possibly one or all of them went bad. I hope to find an honest and reputable repair place when I leave crater lake on Tuesday. I will also check the inverter manual to see if it is set correctly. Thanks for all of the advice.
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