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Old 08-08-2022, 05:31 PM   #1
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inverter, coach battery and charger

we just took our first long trip in hot weather. we had a few problems but here is one that i need help with. during travel, our refrigerator started beeping low battery and our inverter shut down due to hot battery. i thought the alternator charged the chassis battery and the coach battery, I thought my coach batteries were maybe bad but when i got home and load tested them, they were very strong. im to the point of not knowing how diagnose the problem.
thanks for any help you can give.
2005 winnebago vectra frieghtliner chassis 400isl cummins
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Old 08-08-2022, 05:38 PM   #2
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P.S.

the batteries appear to charge like they should with the generator running.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:06 PM   #3
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Yes, the alternator SHOULD charge both battery banks.


Pull out your digital voltmeter and check voltage at both banks with shore power and generator off, engine off.


And, then again with engine on and at around 1,100 RPM.


Let us know what you find.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
Yes, the alternator SHOULD charge both battery banks.


Pull out your digital voltmeter and check voltage at both banks with shore power and generator off, engine off.


And, then again with engine on and at around 1,100 RPM.


Let us know what you find.
It was 12.1 both ways. the engine battery went up to 14 so its charging the engine battery at least.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:45 PM   #5
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Start diagnosing at your battery isolator because you are correct-- 12.1 is NOT charging!
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
Start diagnosing at your battery isolator because you are correct-- 12.1 is NOT charging!
the inverter manual shows a fuse between the alternator and the battery. Anyone have an idea where that might be located?
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:54 PM   #7
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The alternator output is connected to the chassis battery, only. There will be no fuse.

What charges your house batteries while driving is a solenoid between the chassis battery and house battery. It will have large, battery cable size wires on it.

If the chassis battery is showing charging while the engine is running, the alternator and wiring are good.

Look for the isolstion/boost start solenoid. That's likely where the problem is.
It is very common for the solenoid to sound like its closing but passing no current.
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Old 08-09-2022, 07:28 AM   #8
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during travel, our refrigerator started beeping low battery and our inverter shut down due to hot battery.

Please post make and model of refrigerator for better advice.

Is your refrigerator an absorption type or compressor type?
Was it running on 120 volts through the inverter or on 12 volts direct from the battery?

The inverter may have shut down due to a hot battery, or it may have shut down due to low battery voltage. Was there a fault code?

Different RV's are wired differently and have different refrigerators. Many RV's have an absorption refrigerator. Running the absorption refer on inverter is not a good idea. Power consumption is too high. Run on propane. Shut down the inverter.

Some absorption refers can be run directly from the battery using 12 volts. It consumes excessive 12 volt power. Switch to propane while driving.

i thought the alternator charged the chassis battery and the coach battery, I thought my coach batteries were maybe bad but when i got home and load tested them, they were very strong.
2005 winnebago vectra frieghtliner chassis 400isl cummins


Different year and models have different bridge circuits. Some bridge circuits do not charge the coach battery until the chassis battery is nearly fully charged. Even if it did, it may not provide enough power to run all 12 volt devices you have running in the coach. This is especially true when using an inverter to power an absorption refer.

What other 12 volt or 120 volt devices were running?

Were both chassis and coach batteries at 12.1 with the engine "off"? If so, chassis battery is not fully charged and bridge circuit may not charge coach until chassis reaches a higher SoC.
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Old 08-09-2022, 07:44 AM   #9
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While we don't have a Winnebago, when driving our chassis batteries are being charged. Once they reach fully charged, about 13.4 volts, the charged is switched to the coach batteries. If the load on the chassis batteries has been high with accessories and lights the switch to coach batteries may not occur and they may be excessively depleted by refrigerator and other coach battery loads. Once we get connected to shore power the converter or converter section of an inverter will change the chassis batteries and then switch to coach battery charging.
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:14 AM   #10
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The temp probe to/from inverter may be bad . Sounds like you were not over charging the batteries as you showed low battery. Should be hot ,unless high resistance cable where it's bolted plus very high draw. A 350 watt fridge heating element from 12v is 29 amps. and add some for loss inverting.Most DP alternators should be able handle that if batts not run down prior.
Seems like everyone has had an issue with what ever type of battery combiner/isolator used at one time or another Usually contacts combiner solenoid.
Start with basics check/clean cables, don't misplace any wires or cables.
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Old 08-09-2022, 11:40 AM   #11
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Winniewinnie-

Wiring diagrams for your coach are available at this link.

Here is a post from a current thread for a coach very like yours. You should find the AUX START SOLENOID in the same location as shown in the post. It is likely the problem.

I went through the diagrams and confirmed that the AUX START SOLENOID should be connecting the chassis and house battery banks whenever the coach engine is running. This allows the alternator to charge the house battery bank.
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Old 08-10-2022, 10:42 AM   #12
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I tested the solenoid and it clicked but did not boost the voltage. I have just ordered a new solenoid. i will keep you posted if this doesnt correct the problem but otherwise, Thank you all once again for helping me out!
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