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Old 12-02-2017, 03:19 PM   #1
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Question MH Diesel Engine Batteries - How do engine batteries receive a charge?

I have two 12v engine batteries on my diesel MH. I understand the engine batteries receive a charge when driving, but I have a few questions.

1. Are the two 12v engine MH batteries receiving a charge when I am plugged into shore power?


2. Are the two 12v engine MH batteries receiving a charge when I run the generator?


3. Can the two 12v engine MH batteries receive an overcharge? If yes, what would cause this (a bad board, etc.)?

I appreciate any help/advise you may have. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:36 PM   #2
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1, Depends on your system. Plug it in and check voltages on both house and chassis batteries.

If you take some pictures of the battery control center, the components may be able to be identified.

2, Generator power is the same as shore power, as far as charging your batteries. The generator is a substitute to shore power. They both run the same charging system.

3, If your chassis batteries are charging over 14.4 volts with the engine running, you may have an alternator problem.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travel8 View Post
I have two 12v engine batteries on my diesel MH. I understand the engine batteries receive a charge when driving, but I have a few questions.

1. Are the two 12v engine MH batteries receiving a charge when I am plugged into shore power?


2. Are the two 12v engine MH batteries receiving a charge when I run the generator?


3. Can the two 12v engine MH batteries receive an overcharge? If yes, what would cause this (a bad board, etc.)?

I appreciate any help/advise you may have. Thanks.
I would say a lot of coaches do not charge the chassis batteries when on shore power. If the do they would have something like an echo charger. When I got my coach mine was bad and in 2 weeks my chassis battery was real low. I went back with the Magnum Combiner a set up I really like.
https://www.amazon.com/Magnum-Energy.../dp/B007HS0UYO
My daughter has an 05 Monaco the same set up as your coach 2 battery chassis and there batteries would go dead so I got them this for Christmas 2 years ago, works great.
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/15-Am...mp-l-start.htm
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:02 PM   #4
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If you check the battery voltage as Twinboat said and find the chassis batteries are not being charged you might consider this Echo Charger. It is VERY easy to install and will keep the chassis batteries maintained while plugged into shore power.


https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-82-01...x+echo+charger
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travel8 View Post
I have two 12v engine batteries on my diesel MH. I understand the engine batteries receive a charge when driving, but I have a few questions.

1. Are the two 12v engine MH batteries receiving a charge when I am plugged into shore power?


2. Are the two 12v engine MH batteries receiving a charge when I run the generator?


3. Can the two 12v engine MH batteries receive an overcharge? If yes, what would cause this (a bad board, etc.)?

I appreciate any help/advise you may have. Thanks.
Well Travel 8,
From your sig, it appears your coach is an '01 Discovery, correct? If so, I'm not familiar with how Fleetwood setup your battery charging in your Discovery. Fleetwood utilizes in many cases, what's called a BCC or, Battery Control Center in many of it's gas lineup. But, as for it's diesel rigs, my guess is it's a different setup than a gas rig.

Now, you're also on a Freightliner chassis. First off, it's easier to refer to your "MH Engine Batteries" simply as "Chassis batteries". The other set are "House Batteries". No biggie, it's just the lingo. Anyway, as has been stated, it's quite common in your era of coach, that the "chassis" batteries DO NOT receive a charge, when on shore power or generator power. For some odd reason or, reasons, motorhome manufacturer(s) in that era, didn't deem it necessary to provide charging to chassis batteries when on shore power, for many diesel rigs.

Many of us have remedied this situation with various forms of providing a charge to them while on shore power or generator power. I can provide a small list of ways to accomplish this but, the smart move for you to do in the mean time is find paperwork, manuals, or any form of electrical wiring for your chassis and see what kind of system charges your HOUSE BATTERIES. The engine's alternator does provide a charge to both sets while driving down the road. But, when stopped, engine off, and plugged into shore power, other systems take over.

Once you know that, you can find out if purchasing and installing something like a "Trik-L-Start" unit will work for you. It's one of many ways to take care of your problem, that is IF you do have a problem. I can tell you how many of the Winne and Itasca Diesels of your era work in this situation, and it might help you but, no sense in sending in technical info when it may not help your situation.

As for your question of potential "over charging", well, it's possible but, not likely. Again, we have to know what Fleetwood used for charging the house batteries IN YOUR COACH, not any gas units. My guess is, since it's a diesel unit, that you have an "Inverter/charger" on board. And, the charger side of that unit, provides a charge to your house batteries while on shore power. But, again, I'm only presuming. Once that info is known, better advice can be issued. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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Travel 8,
I was goofing around and looked for an '01 Fleetwood Discovery Owners Manual and found one online. According to it, here's what it says about your battery charging;

Both sets of batteries will be kept charged by the chassis
engine alternator and charging system while you are driving.
The DC power converter will charge the chassis and house
batteries when plugged into 120-volt AC service or by the
generator (if equipped). If the battery needs to be charged
from a different charging source, please follow these safety
guidelines:


Scott
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Travel 8,
I was goofing around and looked for an '01 Fleetwood Discovery Owners Manual and found one online. According to it, here's what it says about your battery charging;

Both sets of batteries will be kept charged by the chassis
engine alternator and charging system while you are driving.
The DC power converter will charge the chassis and house
batteries when plugged into 120-volt AC service or by the
generator (if equipped). If the battery needs to be charged
from a different charging source, please follow these safety
guidelines:


Scott
Sounds like Fleetwood also uses a BIRD module;https://intellitec.com/index.php/pro...rging/The_BIRD
My MH has this feature, would not be without it.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:29 AM   #8
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on my 2000 cc, these are the sources of charge to chassis battery -

1) alternator - when engine is running, alternator charges chassis battery directly.
2) echo charger - from house battery. this is manufacturer set up.
3) generator - my powertech cd8000 has a separate 8a dc output to chassis battery, in addition of outputing 120v ac to inverter.

as for shore power, it charges house battery via inverter/charger como. in turn the echo charger does its job to charge chassis battery.

don't know your setup but might be similar.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well Travel 8,
From your sig, it appears your coach is an '01 Discovery, correct? If so, I'm not familiar with how Fleetwood setup your battery charging in your Discovery. Fleetwood utilizes in many cases, what's called a BCC or, Battery Control Center in many of it's gas lineup. But, as for it's diesel rigs, my guess is it's a different setup than a gas rig.

Now, you're also on a Freightliner chassis. First off, it's easier to refer to your "MH Engine Batteries" simply as "Chassis batteries". The other set are "House Batteries". No biggie, it's just the lingo. Anyway, as has been stated, it's quite common in your era of coach, that the "chassis" batteries DO NOT receive a charge, when on shore power or generator power. For some odd reason or, reasons, motorhome manufacturer(s) in that era, didn't deem it necessary to provide charging to chassis batteries when on shore power, for many diesel rigs.

Many of us have remedied this situation with various forms of providing a charge to them while on shore power or generator power. I can provide a small list of ways to accomplish this but, the smart move for you to do in the mean time is find paperwork, manuals, or any form of electrical wiring for your chassis and see what kind of system charges your HOUSE BATTERIES. The engine's alternator does provide a charge to both sets while driving down the road. But, when stopped, engine off, and plugged into shore power, other systems take over.

Once you know that, you can find out if purchasing and installing something like a "Trik-L-Start" unit will work for you. It's one of many ways to take care of your problem, that is IF you do have a problem. I can tell you how many of the Winne and Itasca Diesels of your era work in this situation, and it might help you but, no sense in sending in technical info when it may not help your situation.

As for your question of potential "over charging", well, it's possible but, not likely. Again, we have to know what Fleetwood used for charging the house batteries IN YOUR COACH, not any gas units. My guess is, since it's a diesel unit, that you have an "Inverter/charger" on board. And, the charger side of that unit, provides a charge to your house batteries while on shore power. But, again, I'm only presuming. Once that info is known, better advice can be issued. Good luck.
Thank you Scott for all the information. I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Travel 8,
I was goofing around and looked for an '01 Fleetwood Discovery Owners Manual and found one online. According to it, here's what it says about your battery charging;

Both sets of batteries will be kept charged by the chassis
engine alternator and charging system while you are driving.
The DC power converter will charge the chassis and house
batteries when plugged into 120-volt AC service or by the
generator (if equipped). If the battery needs to be charged
from a different charging source, please follow these safety
guidelines:


Scott
Thanks Scott for taking the time to lookup my owners manual. I appreciate your help.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:35 PM   #11
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Thanks Scott for taking the time to lookup my owners manual. I appreciate your help.
You're certainly welcome Sir, hope you get things figured out.
Scott
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:25 PM   #12
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Even if you have a BIRD, check the voltage in the house and chassis batteries after you have been connected to shore for a while. You should see the same or less than 0.1V difference between the two, somewhere around 13.3V+. If you see this, then you are good. If they are only reading 12.6 or so, then the isolation relay may not be working. I have had this problem in the past.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:21 PM   #13
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Even if you have a BIRD, check the voltage in the house and chassis batteries after you have been connected to shore for a while. You should see the same or less than 0.1V difference between the two, somewhere around 13.3V+. If you see this, then you are good. If they are only reading 12.6 or so, then the isolation relay may not be working. I have had this problem in the past.
I just tested the voltage of the chassis batteries and house batteries.

Plugged into Shore power

Voltage at chassis batteries tested in series: 13.98v
Voltage at house banks batteries tested in series: 13.99v


Unplugged from Shore power

Voltage at chassis batteries tested in series: 12.93v
Voltage at house banks batteries tested in series: 12.02v

Do you know if these voltage readings normal?
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:06 PM   #14
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The house batteries are low. They should be at 12.6 or more, if they have been charging for 4 to 6 hours or more.

You may have a bad one in the set. Disconnect them and check each ones volts.
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