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Author Topic: Charging house batteries while driving  (Read 10562 times)

4DogsRV

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Charging house batteries while driving
« on: April 26, 2013, 07:11:50 AM »
Hi guys,

I am certain that this subject has been covered on numerous occasions throughout this forum but being a "Newbie" here I could not locate its whereabouts  :'(

Here is the issue - I would like the house batteries to be charged on our '02 Brave (34D) when the engine is running. I have researched and rejected the Trik-L-Charge option as that, to my knowledge, just keeps the vehicle battery topped off (using power from the house batts) should the vehicle have been standing still for any length of time. Am I correct in that assumption, or can said TLC (which also stands for Tender Loving Care by the way  ::) ) be utilized to charge the house batteries when the vehicle is in motion? If not then I was considering wiring in a kill switch configuration between the 110 amp alternator (on the Ford V10 Triton) and the house batteries. I would appreciate some valid input on that point if poss.

Once again, forgive me if I have re-started a topic that has already been extensively covered (somewhere.....)   

Mark
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

John Hilley

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 07:23:41 AM »
The battery isolation solenoid charges both battery banks while the engine is running. It is a common failure and probably needs to be replaced. It is located under the steps behind a panel on most Winnebagos although it is on the outside firewall on the drivers side on some. It is also used in conjunction with the momentary "Boost" switch on the dash. The solenoid is activated either by the ignition switch or the momentary "Boost" switch to connect both battery banks for starting.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
  Handicap Lift & Hospital Bed

4DogsRV

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 07:37:50 AM »
John,

Thank you for your prompt reply. I had located the isolator (hidden behind the step as you so rightly said). So the house batteries are (or should be) getting charged while the vehicle is in motion? I guess I could just go ahead and do a voltage test across the batteries and start the engine to see if I get 14 volts or so (that is how I would do it on a car, I guess the Winnebago is no different....?)
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

Weewun

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 07:38:44 AM »
Most Class A MHs have the facilities to charge the House Batteries when running the Engine built in upon delivery. 

1. I would get out my trusty VOM and measure the voltage at the House Batteries with Shore Power disconnected and Engine not running, should be 12.5vdc to 12.8vdc.

2. Next start the engine and measure voltage at the House Batteries again, should be 13.2vdc to 14.3vdc.  If it is all is well.

3. If the voltage still reads the same as #1 above, measure voltage at Chassis Batteries to make sure Alternator is working.  If measured voltage is 13.2vdc to 14.3vdc the Alternator is working. (Engine running of course)

4. If Alternator is not charging either the Chassis or House Batteries work you way back to the Alternator.

5. If #2 fails and #3 is alright then it is probably your Battery Boost circuitry.

 The Battery Boost Contactor (solenoid) is picked when you engage the Battery Boost/AUX switch to parallel the House and Chassis Batteries to assist in starting the Engine.  Battery Boost Contactor is also picked by the Ignition circuitry to parallel the Chassis and House Batteries during driving so that the House Batteries will be replenished.   

Check to see if your Battery Boost Contactor is working (engage the momentary switch without engine running and you should hear a click each time you engage the switch).  The Battery Boost Contactor is generally in the Battery Bay or mounted very close to the Batteries.

Good luck

John Canfield

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 07:59:14 AM »
Hi Mark,

This is a common problem that we have discussed many times in this Winnie board.  I'll summarize for you:  With the engine running, you should measure about 13.2-13.7 volts on both the chassis bank and the house bank.  There could be a tenth of a volt difference between the two readings.  You can measure this with the Winnebago supplied voltmeter in the OnePlace center or you can measure it at the battery bridging solenoid itself.

If the two readings aren't about the same (and above 13 volts with the engine running), then there is a 99% likelihood the solenoid is bad.  Search this board for solenoid.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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4DogsRV

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 09:29:55 AM »
John,

I measured the voltage across both the vehicle and the house batteries. The vehicle one read 12.75 dcv without the engine running and 14.3 with it on, indicating that everything appears to be working fine right there. The house batts also read 12.75 dcv (they are wired in parallel) without the engine on, and still read 12.75 dcv when I turned it over...... Will take your advise and search for solenoid within the forum. Thank you.

Mark
vb
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

srt20

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 03:32:22 PM »
I just replaced mine on my 37g winne. In addition to the solenoid bad, I had a blown fuse in the dash. The fuse was for when the ignition is on to bridge the battery banks to charge from the alt. You might want to make sure the battery boost function isn't working before you replace the solenoid.

John Canfield

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 05:00:27 PM »
...The house batts also read 12.75 dcv (they are wired in parallel) without the engine on, and still read 12.75 dcv when I turned it over...
You almost certainly have a bad solenoid then.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
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bobmacc

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 08:02:57 PM »
Mark:
The real advantage of the Trik-L-Charge is that it will keep your chassis batteries topped up when you are on shore power - they are not charged when on shore power otherwise.. This is important as the chassis battery powers the door steps.

Bob
09 Winn Journey 39Z
Southern Ontario

4DogsRV

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 05:02:22 PM »
Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I am off work on Thursday and by then I will have checked the information concerning the solenoid on this board and hopefully found a replacement part (I work in an automotive parts store). 


Mark:
The real advantage of the Trik-L-Charge is that it will keep your chassis batteries topped up when you are on shore power - they are not charged when on shore power otherwise.. This is important as the chassis battery powers the door steps.

That is certainly something that I hadn't considered. Perhaps it is worth looking into. Thank you for that little gem of information.
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

4DogsRV

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 05:22:18 PM »
I do have one quick question........ on my 34d which one of the two solenoids found in the box above and behind the batteries is the one that I should be checking, replacing?

The Newbie :)
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

cbeierl

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 09:43:16 PM »
I do have one quick question........ on my 34d which one of the two solenoids found in the box above and behind the batteries is the one that I should be checking, replacing?

The Newbie :)


Take a look at the upper right corner of the last page of the Chassis Wiring Installation for your coach.  One is labelled RELAY-BATTERY DISCONNECT -- you want the other one.
Chris Beierl
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD

John Canfield

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 10:08:20 PM »
Take a look at our write-up when I changed out ours.  Yours might look very similar.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 10:28:38 PM »
Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I am off work on Thursday and by then I will have checked the information concerning the solenoid on this board and hopefully found a replacement part (I work in an automotive parts store). 

Make sure the replacement solenoid is rated for continuous duty.  Starter solenoids look the same but overheat if they're energized for more than a couple of minutes.

srt20

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 02:41:39 PM »
Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I am off work on Thursday and by then I will have checked the information concerning the solenoid on this board and hopefully found a replacement part (I work in an automotive parts store). 


That is certainly something that I hadn't considered. Perhaps it is worth looking into. Thank you for that little gem of information.

I actually got mine from autozone. It is a Bargman 3 terminal battery isolator. I forgot the part#, but I'm sure you can figure it out. It is a continuous duty solenoid. About $20 for me.

Btw mine is the all metal 3 terminal one on the left. The 4 terminal one on the right is the battery disconnect. Verify with a test light.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 02:43:53 PM by srt20 »

John Canfield

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 04:06:04 PM »
The other factor in choosing a solenoid besides the continuous duty rating (thanks for mentioning that Lou) is to make certain it's happy being continually energized with 13-14V on the coil (the alternator output.)  I am convinced all of my Trombetta failures were caused by the coil being rated at 12V and not >=14 volts.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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4DogsRV

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 05:23:05 PM »
Make sure the replacement solenoid is rated for continuous duty.  Starter solenoids look the same but overheat if they're energized for more than a couple of minutes.

Thank you for mentioning that Lou, it is a very valid point. I had read about that whilst searching for in depth info on other wiring matters yesterday.

I actually got mine from autozone. It is a Bargman 3 terminal battery isolator. I forgot the part#, but I'm sure you can figure it out. It is a continuous duty solenoid. About $20 for me.

How small the world is, I work at Autozone.... I will be checking the part out tomorrow. We have a NAPA store just down the highway so I will be asking there too.

The other factor in choosing a solenoid besides the continuous duty rating (thanks for mentioning that Lou) is to make certain it's happy being continually energized with 13-14V on the coil (the alternator output.)  I am convinced all of my Trombetta failures were caused by the coil being rated at 12V and not >=14 volts.

Another very valid point John and one I will certainly be looking out for when I make my purchase. Looking forward to Thursday.... :)
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

4DogsRV

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Re: Charging house batteries while driving
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 05:27:12 PM »
Take a look at the upper right corner of the last page of the Chassis Wiring Installation for your coach.  One is labelled RELAY-BATTERY DISCONNECT -- you want the other one.

I copied that very wiring diagram to my desktop folder yesterday :)
Thanks
Mark and Leah
2002 Winnebago Brave 34D
4 Dogs (2 Labs, 2 Chihuahuas)
Kia Soul toad
Canon EOS 7D

 

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