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Old 06-06-2021, 08:11 PM   #1
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Help! New alternator not charging batteries!

We have a 2004 Holiday Rambler Ambassador ó Cummins 300 8.3 liter. We have replaced the alternator, because the old one stopped charging the batteries on a recent trip, or so we thought. Got the new one all hooked up, and chassis batteries still not charging. Double checked all electrical connections. There are 3 white wires that are close to the alternator but not hooked up to anything. They have been previously taped up, and I donít know if they have anything to do with this problem.

Prior to the trip, we had replaced the chassis batteries, and it has been since this time that we have noticed the problem. Maybe it is a problem with the new batteries? Perhaps the wrong size?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Iíve searched the forums and couldnít find anything that was helpful to our situation.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:43 PM   #2
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So I just took my alternator off and had it rebuilt, I reinstalled it and it was not charging... of the 3 little wires on the back I had two of them crossed. did you have your old alternator checked?
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:58 PM   #3
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Have you checked the grounds? On a 17 year old coach that is a very likely source of your problem. Since you replaced the alternator and the problem didn't go away it seems the alternator is not the issue. Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:52 AM   #4
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2004 was at edge of years using a diode battery isolator. If it's bad ,it won't charge the batts. You could put both alt and chassis cables to the center/same stud to test. You can use a multimeter but it's also possible diode won't carry heavy load. These last a long time but do fail.
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarburgerJ View Post
Prior to the trip, we had replaced the chassis batteries, and it has been since this time that we have noticed the problem. Maybe it is a problem with the new batteries? Perhaps the wrong size?
If the problem started after the batteries were replaced. Did you take picture of the cables before disconnecting them. Did all the cables/wires it put back the same as they were before? Only way the batteries would be wrong is if you installed 6V in place of 12V or installed 12V in place of 6V batteries and are not connected correctly.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:32 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum:

Take some pictures of the wires on the alternator and measure the voltages. Not running of course but at least with the key turned to the run position.

There may be couple of fused lines feeding it. Post the part number of the alternator as well.

There is a ton of talent on this forum so be patient while folks find the thread.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarburgerJ View Post
We have a 2004 Holiday Rambler Ambassador ó Cummins 300 8.3 liter. We have replaced the alternator, because the old one stopped charging the batteries on a recent trip, or so we thought. Got the new one all hooked up, and chassis batteries still not charging. Double checked all electrical connections. There are 3 white wires that are close to the alternator but not hooked up to anything. They have been previously taped up, and I donít know if they have anything to do with this problem.

Prior to the trip, we had replaced the chassis batteries, and it has been since this time that we have noticed the problem. Maybe it is a problem with the new batteries? Perhaps the wrong size?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Iíve searched the forums and couldnít find anything that was helpful to our situation.
This type of problem can be annoying. If it was mine, I would take the new alternator to get it tested. Sometimes even new can be bad. If the alternator checks out to be good youíve started your elimination process. Then the culprit could be a ground wire as was suggested. Also check wires that run close to a manifold or heat source for possible broken wire due to heat. Check simple things like good clean battery cables.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:42 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone for the input. We are checking on your suggestions and thought the battery isolator was the problem. Replaced that today, and still no luck. My husband is wondering if there might be a relay out somewhere (don’t know yet where that is), and is also wondering about the batteries. Would the wrong size/type batteries cause a problem like this? The old batteries were Marine-style batteries, but were sold regular “high cycling” Interstate batteries from a local diesel shop.
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:09 PM   #9
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You may have a solenoid that went bad. My Winn View had a similar problem and there was a bad solenoid hidden under the passenger seat. Replaced it and all works fine.
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:24 PM   #10
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Charging systems of that era often used diode-based battery isolators that required a DU-VAC alternator and a sensing wire connected directly to bats for feedback to control alternator output. Trying to sort out all this gets kind of complicated --the temptation is to throw new parts at it--that can get expensive. Changing out the batteries may or may not have been a root cause....
Ps--having three OEM wires taped-off suggests you are now dealing with someone else's after-market "handy work!"
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:24 PM   #11
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First thing I would do is look carefully at the back of the alternator. If you have a Diode-based isolator, you should have a DUVAC alternator.


Pull out your wiring diagram and verify that those "extra wires" are really extras and just not hooked up to the proper terminal on a "proper for your application" alternator.


Don't throw any more $$ at parts until you have an understanding of what is/is not happening.


This is very basic RV wiring which IS different than OTR truck wiring as you have two separate battery banks, not just one.


Feel free to post a picture of the back of the alternator or the alternator PN.
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:53 PM   #12
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Picture of back of the New alternator

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Old 06-11-2021, 07:00 PM   #13
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As a test, jump the center terminal of the battery isolator to the chassis battery terminal.

If the alternator works, you lost the battery sense wire to the alternator. ( it may have been directly on the battery positive post )

Alternators need to sense battery voltage to work. Battery isolators block that. That's why Duvac was designed into the system.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:27 PM   #14
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Twinboat is right on but I want to add that you probably need 12 volts showing up on the Key Switch post/terminal on the alternator.

A model of the alternator or better yet, a wiring diagram picture would help instantly,.


One way to see if the alternator is seeing the battery would be to put a voltmeter on the alternator + post.

I'm guessing here that at some point in time an external regulator alternator was replaced and that is why the empty wires near the alternator.

The diode isolator you replaced may be wired around at some point in the system.

Alternators with built in regulators are pretty simple generally. They need to be connected to a battery and have some sort of ignition wire to control it.

In any case, turn the ignition key to the run position and without the engine running see if there is voltage on the posts on the alternator.
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