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Old 01-29-2017, 03:51 PM   #1
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Generator battery(s)

I'm sure the answer is in here but I can't find it on my iPhone. My 2002 Monaco DP is in storage hooked up to shore power. I start it every couple of weeks and it starts fine but my generator won't. What set of batteries does the generator rely on to start? Will a short road trip charge those batteries? It must be the house batteries, but I thought that's what the shore power was for. Sorry, I'm a tad confused.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:57 PM   #2
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House batteries are dead. Check voltage.

Did you turn on the charger in control panel?

Hope this helps?
Dave + Linda
2015 Palazzo 36.1
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:13 PM   #3
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"Txice".....If I understand you correctly, you're saying that you're constantly plugged in and you start the engine every couple of weeks. If that's the case, you may have a generator issue. On your year Monaco, the engine batteries did not charge automatically when plugged into shore power, only the house batteries. Many figured this out early on and added a device, sometimes called a "B.I.R.D." which is basically a device that connects the two battery banks (engine bank and chassis bank) together. This way, when you're on shore power, your engine batteries will charge to. This may have been done by a previous owner. The device will typically be located in the battery bay. A popular one is green and called a TrikLStart, about the size of a box of matches.

So, you need to disconnect the shore power and see what shape your coach batteries are in. Are they dead, or does your battery gauge show them in good. If they're okay, you have an issue with the generator starting, not a battery issue.

Lastly, unless you're driving your coach for 15-20 miles and getting it up to temp, you're actually doing more damage than good. There is nothing wrong with letting your coach engine sit during winter storage.
Don & Mary
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:12 AM   #4
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The generator on mine uses the coach batteries to start. I have two switches, one to turn on starter battery and one that turns on coach batteries. If coach switch is off while plugged in, the batteries don't charge.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:36 AM   #5
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There's some discussion in another thread talking about Monacos, some start from house batteries, some from chassis batteries. Mine starts from chassis batteries. If you still have the manual, it does tell you in there which batteries are used for yours, in the generator section.

Are you holding the gen start down until it starts, or are you just pressing and letting go?

Speaking of Trick-L-Charge, I recently installed the larger Amp-L-Start on mine. I don't know if all Monaco coaches are like this, but all my wiring is very easy to get to. I wired mine across the relay as recommended, and it was literally a "few minutes" job.

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Old 02-02-2017, 07:56 AM   #6
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There is no single standard for the battery used to start the genset, and a few coaches even have a separate battery just for that. I don't think your '02 Monaco is one of those, though.

Since the engine starts, we can presume the chassis batteries are OK. As you say, the house batteries should be charged from shore power, but have you verified that is actually happening? What does your battery status display show? Do house lights work?

It's possible that your inverter/charger is supplying house needs but the house batteries are actually dead. Try unplugging from shore power and then check house battery status, house lighting, etc. If house 12v power is lacking without the shore connection, you may have a problem with charging, or maybe just bad batteries that cannot accept a charge anymore. How old are the batteries and when were they last checked?
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:22 AM   #7
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One thing to note, when you are plugged in 24/7 the water in the house batteries will need to be checked once per month most likely. Mine evaporate down quickly since I am also plugged in 24/7.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:05 AM   #8
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First not a good idea to start the motor every two weeks without going for a good 30 or more mile drive. Most wait until the end of storage time. As to the Gen monthly start and run for 60 minutes, this is for the Gen to drive out moisture not the Gen motor, at 1/2 load, AC or electric heaters or heat pumps work well for this. With a meter check house batteries for charge, most if not all Monaco' s of that era use house batteries for Gen start. While on shore power have house battery switch on. If house batteries are up and no Gen start look for ground issue from batteries. Also check power to Gen as the hot lead may need cleaning, either end. Check the start switch on the Gen itself as other start switches can fail. HAVE seen some who install a start battery in in Gen area with a diode to keep from running it down by low house batteries.

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battery, generator

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