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Old 12-16-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
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Keeping batteries charged

Hello to all it's nice to find this forum for Damon owners. I have had my 2007 Daybreak 3270 for a year and now that it is winter I am taking it out once a month to drive it around. I know that the alternator charges the starter battery as I drive but does it also charge the coach batteries? I have been running the generator for about an hour at the same time as I drive in order to help charge the coach batteries. Am I doing the right thing by running them both?
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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The alternator should charge both battery banks...if everything is working right.

My 07 Damon Outlaw wouldnt charge the chassis/house battery with the alternator because of a blown fuse on the crossover switch.

If everything is working properly, then you do not need to run the gennie while driving to charge the chassis battery.

This is easy to check. Turn on all the lights in the coach. Let them run for a bit until you can see that they dim a tiny bit. Then start the engine.
If the alternator is charging the house batteries, then the lights will glow brighter with the engine running.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2.

Your alternator should charge both the chassis battery along with your house batteries when the engine is running. Might want to check you vehicle specific owners manual or call the manufacturer.

There are various chargers / maintainers for batteries when not in use and in storage. I have a BatteryMINDer that is permanently mounted to charge both my chassis battery and my house batteries depending on what I want to charge.

Most of the time it is connected to my chassis battery. Once a month (while checking the water level) I disconnect the house batteries (via the battery disconnect switch) and plug the BateryMINDer to them and let them charge / desulfate for 2-3 days.

Hope this helps and hope to see you around the board.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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You should go ahead and use that drive to excersize your gennie anyway.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Not all Class A RV's charge both sets of batteries.

My engine alternator, for example, is not designed to charge the house batteries.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #6
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^^ Interesting, the original poster needs to contact his manufacturer to get the correct answer.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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In my HR manual it highly suggests using the generator to charge the batteries if they are low versus letting the alternator do it. Their reasoning is the heavy load on the alternator. As suggested this is a great way to exercise the generator as well.

As for Arch, do you mean it does not charge the coach batteries or do you mean the generator should be run versus letting the alternator do the job.

If your rv does not charge the coach batteries I would love to see a schematic for your rv. If you have an auxiallry start button you then at least have a solenoid that brings the batteries together during that time. I would make sure that function is working. If not, then finding the cause could give you coach battery charging.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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My 2001 Damon Daybreak uses a BIRD and constant duty solenoid for bi-directional charging. If all is working correctly the coach and chassis batteries are hooked togeather when either one is being charged. I did a lot of work on this system because it didn't work. I ended up installing a newer type of BIRD to replace the one that didn't work. Works great now. I can't believe Damon would go backwards on technology. I bet yours has the same system as mine.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies to all of you I am going to do some more investigating but I think that for now running the gennie while I take my drive is the best option. From April until Sept it has access to shore power and last year it worked perfectly. I am just trying to avoid a problem during the winter months. Glad to be on the forum I really have enjoyed my year with my Damon and look forward to many more.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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Great plan. Look forward to your posts in the future.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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Battery Minder X2...Run generator once a month
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
In my HR manual it highly suggests using the generator to charge the batteries if they are low versus letting the alternator do it. Their reasoning is the heavy load on the alternator. As suggested this is a great way to exercise the generator as well.

As for Arch, do you mean it does not charge the coach batteries or do you mean the generator should be run versus letting the alternator do the job.

If your rv does not charge the coach batteries I would love to see a schematic for your rv. If you have an auxiallry start button you then at least have a solenoid that brings the batteries together during that time. I would make sure that function is working. If not, then finding the cause could give you coach battery charging.
The engine alternator does not charge the coach batteries. The only way to charge the two coach batteries is with the generator.
I, in fact, have the schematics and that is how it is supposed to be, checked this out several years ago. Believe me I've read a few schematics in my life.
I like the idea of separation for the two electrical systems. After repairing high power radio transmitters and mainframe computers all my life I've come to the conclusion that the simpler it is the better it is.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:56 PM   #13
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Thanks for the response Arch. I too am an RF guy. I have an FCC 1st so that dates me a bit. I own a business that services commercial two way radios. I believe in the kiss method too. With your feedback on being able to read the schematics I will keep your system in mind. If it was mine though the alternator would indeed charge the batteries. However, I cannot disagree with using the generator. This truly protects the alternator from abuse. It is really not designed to be a battery charger, just a replenisher. Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
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Chief....If you are running the coach generator and also the engine is running, which I do all the time in the summer, which device (Alternator or Generator) controls the peak charge voltage to the batteries...engine battery and coach battery?
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