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RVing message boards => Tech Talk => Topic started by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 25, 2017, 07:08:04 PM

Title: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 25, 2017, 07:08:04 PM
For those of you with Freightliner chassis diesels, do any of you have a motorhome model that charges the house batteries while the engine is running, i.e the diesel alternator output is also directed to the house batteries?
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Neal on September 25, 2017, 08:24:08 PM
Our Winnebago does. Don't know if Freightliner does the installation or Winnebago. One time the solenoid went out that connects the house batteries when the alternator is charging and our house batteries would go flat, unexpectedly. Installed a new solenoid and everything went back to normal. We run the inverter while driving and run the frig on electric instead of gas.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: taoshum on September 25, 2017, 08:38:09 PM
Yes, like Neal mentioned.  In the front, there's a box, I forget the label name, trickle charge or something like that.  I've heard that it diverts some of the engine alternator power to the house batteries.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Jim Godward on September 25, 2017, 11:28:20 PM
For those of you with Freightliner chassis diesels, do any of you have a motorhome model that charges the house batteries while the engine is running, i.e the diesel alternator output is also directed to the house batteries?
There is a device made by Intellitec that is usually installed by the MH manufacturer that does this. I can't remember the exact name but will look for it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 26, 2017, 12:11:53 AM
Gary,

Can I assume you have the ISB engine as well? I am not finding any ISL engine coaches with that feature.

I was having a conversation with a Thor Tuscany owner who says his does, but he has the smaller XTE coach with the smaller, ISB-XT engine. Interesting that the Winnebago folks (so far) have that option.

Kim
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Ken & Sheila on September 26, 2017, 05:42:07 AM
Kim,

This feature is added by the Coach manufacturer. Our Monaco Camelot (25ISL) uses the Intellitec Diesel BIRD 2 (Bi-Dierctional Relay-Delay) and their "Big Boy" It also charges the Chassis batteries while parked. (Bi-Directional)

https://www.intellitec.com/assets/pdf/1453-intellitec-pdf-template-53-00839-000.pdf

ken
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Alfa38User on September 26, 2017, 08:11:18 AM
The 'other' brand that is/was installed by Winnebago from about 2006 or so in their diesel pushers units was the Trik L Start....  FWIW
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 26, 2017, 08:45:35 AM
Quote
For those of you with Freightliner chassis diesels, do any of you have a motorhome model that charges the house batteries while the engine is running...

All of them, to the best of my knowledge.

1.This is a coach function and has nothing at all to do with the brand of chassis. It also has nothing to do with the engine size or brand.  The chassis just provides the engine and alternator - the coach builder adds everything else.

2. I don't know of any brand of coach, Class A or B or C, that does NOT charge the house batteries while the engine is running. The function has been standard in motorhomes for decades!  It's a very simple function that requires at most a simple relay or solid state isolator box.

Are you perhaps thinking of charging the chassis batteries from shore power? That is a less common function but still not related to the chassis brand.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Neal on September 26, 2017, 08:48:09 AM
It was my understanding that the Trik L Start charges the engine batteries, from the house batteries, while plugged into shore power, but the house batteries may be directly connected to the alternator through a solenoid, while the engine is running and charging.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: John Beard on September 26, 2017, 08:48:50 AM
Is there a way of determining if the chassis battery(s) is being charged by the house power?
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: boatbuilder on September 26, 2017, 09:58:47 AM
What I don't understand is the marine world has been using what we call automatic charging relays since the early 2000's. Blue Seas make some of the better ones. They close automatically when the voltage on either side reaches ~13.6V and disconnects at about 12.8V. They can also be manually operated for an emergency parallel feature.
I realize the RV world made their own boxes before the marine ones were available but I would think that by now they would have switched over to a less complex system.
https://www.bluesea.com/products/category/35/Automatic%20Charging%20Relays (https://www.bluesea.com/products/category/35/Automatic%20Charging%20Relays)
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 26, 2017, 10:58:23 AM
Quote
I realize the RV world made their own boxes before the marine ones were available but I would think that by now they would have switched over to a less complex system.

I think they have already done that. Intelletec has replaced their big Battery Control Center with the smaller and less expensive BIRD, Magnum offers their Battery Combiner, etc. These are all bi-directional units that manage the flow both ways, house to chassis and vice versa, as needed. The cost is modest enough that all Rvs can use them.

Blue Sea, BEP, Marinco, and now Progressive Industries are all part of the Power Product LLC group of companies. I wouldn't be surprised Power Products push them collectively to produce more product variants targeted at the RV market.

Fleetwood and National RV provided bi-directional charge control on nearly all models since the early 90's. Some of the others were a bit later getting on the bandwagon, but pretty much everybody does it now. Digital electronics have made it inexpensive.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 26, 2017, 11:06:48 AM
Mine definitely does not charge the house batteries while under way. The battery monitor shows them drawing down enroute.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 26, 2017, 11:40:21 AM
Quote
Mine definitely does not charge the house batteries while under way. The battery monitor shows them drawing down enroute.

Then yours was broken, cause it certainly was not the way it was designed. All it takes is a faulty relay or a broken wire and the system doesn't work.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 26, 2017, 05:45:28 PM
Well, mine has never worked and I bought the coach new.

That said, my initial contact with Thor ended with them telling me where they thought the Intellitec BIRD (and I know what I think it looks like) was located but it was not. This is not the first incidence of this kind of problem and I attribute it to the fact my coach was actually started at Damon, is titled as a Damon, and was apparently an early delivery while Thor was buying Damon.

None of my electrical schematics have this system on it, but I will be requesting the engineering drawings.

Supposedly there are fuses on the 12v bus that can trip keeping the charging function from working, but again discovering and identifying them is a problem without a little better documentation.

It's complicated when you don't know what you don't know.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 27, 2017, 12:16:44 PM
If your coach has an Aux or Emergency Start switch on the dash, I can pretty much guarantee it was designed to charge the house batteries from the engine alternator.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 27, 2017, 01:15:50 PM
I think we're past that question of function; Thor has confirmed the functionality of charging both sets of batteries exists. The question at the moment is locating the BIRD piece and determining where fuses may have been blown or wiring issues that are keeping that charging from happening.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 27, 2017, 01:35:30 PM
Since the BIRD requires battery relay connections, it ought not to be too hard to find.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 27, 2017, 01:44:32 PM
You have not seen how they wired this coach. But on the bright side, it's only 42 feet I need to search... :'(
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kevin Means on September 28, 2017, 11:27:05 PM
Kim, our Winnebago Tour has a Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) which functions similarly to a BIRD, but it's not the same thing. It's a sealed circuit board that's bolted right to the House Battery relay and it monitors the status of the house and chassis charging systems, and both battery banks. It will NOT allow the engine alternator to charge the house-batteries unless two conditions are met.

The house batteries have to be at or below 80% SOC AND the chassis-batteries have to be nearly fully charged. If the BIM doesn't detect both those conditions, it won't allow the alternator to charge the house-batteries. This is a relatively new charging system that Winnie started using in their larger coaches. I'm wondering if your coach has a similar setup.

Kev
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 29, 2017, 12:03:07 PM
Kevin,

Thor confirmed I should have a BIRD. Apparently, it has flown the coop or I would have found it already. It was NOT where they said it was and if you can't trust the people who built it, what do you do?  :'(

Still looking...

Kim
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Ken & Sheila on September 29, 2017, 04:07:15 PM
Kim,

In the rear you should have an electrical panel/box. It should connect a Large solenoid (BigBoy) used to connect the two battery banks (house, Chassis)together. From it trace the control wires. One should lead either directly to the BIRD or to a relay(or in my case 2 relays) and then to the BIRD.

See attached pictures.

btw. My BIRD failed and had to be replaced. Also the BIRD control voltage profile to charge the Chassis battery when parked doesn't always work when the charge profile is set to AGM for Lifeline. The BIRD looks for 13.2 volts before connecting and the AGM/Lifeline voltage is only 13.1. The work around is the change the charge profile to Flooded for a day every couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: taoshum on September 30, 2017, 12:55:02 PM
Gary,

Can I assume you have the ISB engine as well? I am not finding any ISL engine coaches with that feature.

I was having a conversation with a Thor Tuscany owner who says his does, but he has the smaller XTE coach with the smaller, ISB-XT engine. Interesting that the Winnebago folks (so far) have that option.

Kim

Yes, we have the little ISB... probably like most of the Dodge PU's with a Cummins Engine.... reading the other posts, I suspect that the box I'm thinking of is the Trik-L-Start box and it probably charges the engine batteries when on shore power.  I'm convinced that the engine power does charge the house batts underway though since the fridge keeps going for many hours...  I assume that you have a handle on it now based on the other comments.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on September 30, 2017, 07:45:49 PM
Ken,

The picture of the Big Boy relay was helpful, and I knew what the BIRD looked like, but am still tracking. I have a set of connections similar to yours that have Littelfuse Mega  bolt down fuses and I am not sure how to test them unless they simply test like a regular fuse. Thor suggested there is a set of fuses that can blow when batteries are replaced but .....

I attached a picture of the connection block.

It has rained for the last four days in Taos, but hopefully tomorrow I will get a chance to trace some of the wiring and find both the relay and the controller.

Kim
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 01, 2017, 11:39:03 AM
Those fuses test for continuity like any other. They are just bigger.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: SargeW on October 01, 2017, 12:10:31 PM
I am following your odyssey closely Kim, I am curious how it comes out!
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on October 01, 2017, 12:31:14 PM
I hate odysseys!  (:(

Having recently entered our eighth year of full timing, I am constantly amazed at how much information you have to accumulate to stay on top of your lifestyle.  8)

I will not have a machine beat me.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Ken & Sheila on October 01, 2017, 03:43:48 PM
I hate odysseys!  (:(

Having recently entered our eighth year of full timing, I am constantly amazed at how much information you have to accumulate to stay on top of your lifestyle.  8)

I will not have a machine beat me.

Seems like I've had more issues in the last month and 1/2 than the previous 8 years. Not really true, but certainly far more than any other trip. Good news is that we made it to Alaska and back before the problems started. Most issues are solved, but a alignment shop told me my drive shaft is dented and should be balanced. Truck shop remove and replace and a driveshaft/machine shop to balance. Hopefully I'll get this done next week before we leave Indiana and head south. Harder to fix is finding out what is causing wear to the drivers side tag tire. This has been going on for ever (probably since I've owned the coach). 3 alignment shops say everything they see is prefect. I had the last shop check to make sure the 2 tag air bags are the same. Weighing the coach shows no real difference side to side. Next week I will just have the 2 tag tires flipped and worry about this later.



 
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on October 01, 2017, 04:47:54 PM
I guess on the upside, the driveshafts are relatively short and easy to pull...
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on October 01, 2017, 04:56:37 PM
Those fuses test for continuity like any other. They are just bigger.

It's a leap, but would you hazard a guess about what those circuits are controlling, i.e. what's on either ends?
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Jeff on October 01, 2017, 05:05:05 PM
Kim if the Bird is bi-directional is ground power charging your chassis batteries?
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Ken & Sheila on October 01, 2017, 05:20:10 PM
I guess on the upside, the driveshafts are relatively short and easy to pull...

True, but it's just one of many issues. Next week I should get a new driver side window dual shade (screen & solid). The old one failed. I thought it was made by United Shade in Elkhart and hoped they could repair it, but it wasn't theirs. The current version of Monaco said it was MCD, but no not theirs. So I ordered a replacement from United Shade since the're nearby. Later I found out the shade was made by AutoMotionShade from Ontario.

ken

Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on October 01, 2017, 09:12:06 PM
Kim if the Bird is bi-directional is ground power charging your chassis batteries?

Shore power and the generator both charge the batteries without issue.
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on October 02, 2017, 03:03:45 PM
Latest update from Thor Support (and a tech who was very interested in resolving the issue):

As I suspected, the Damon transition was happening when my coach was built and my born on date is three weeks before the oldest technical schematics for my unit. His comment being that Damon might not have been as good at documentation. Luck is fickle.

However, he was able to give me some additional information and rabbit holes to climb down so the good weather will help me help myself. And a troubleshooting tree to isolate the issue!!!

He did, however, tell me they are installing the BIM (Battery Isolation Manager) (see attached) on all new coaches, gas and diesel. Seems a little smarter and he thought it would be a valuable upgrade.

More wire tracing to be done! Off we go!
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Ken & Sheila on October 02, 2017, 03:17:30 PM
I find it odd that they refer to charging voltage without specifying the actual voltage. Seem like it's a compact version of the BIRD/BigBoy combo which is nice, but its seems to do the same thing.
I also assume you still keep the large solenoid because it doesn't appear that the BIM will connect the batteries using the Dash switch (aka battery boost).

Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram on October 02, 2017, 03:50:54 PM
My unit has a Trombetta instead of a Big Boy and they are apparently wired a bit different for use with the BIRD controller.

I have a voltage test to perform as we try to isolate which component failed. Some documentation indicates these Trombettas have a history of early failure. I still have not found the BIRD controller but I must be getting close.  8)
Title: Re: Freightliner Chassis Owners - House Battery Charging
Post by: Ken & Sheila on October 02, 2017, 06:13:48 PM
One thing I found odd about the BigBoy (and probably the Trombetta) is that the signal voltage from the BIRD to keep it closed is only 3+ volts, not 12. I found this out when the first BIRD died and I wanted to close the BigBoy to charge the chassis batteries while we were park. So dumbly I just ran a 12 volt line to the BigBoy signal  input. Checked on it a few minutes later and the BB was hot. Disconnected my line and found the BB documentation. I could have damaged the coils in the BB if I had left that 12 volt line on.


Yes I heard that the Trombettas were subject to early failure.


Follow that signal line off the Trombetta. It has got to lead you to the BIRD.


I have found relays in the stupidest places. I was doing some additional insulation in the rear and opened the floor of the closet on the rear pass side. Under the floor is one of the Aquahot heat exchangers, obviously I knew that was there, but behind it is a PC board with 4 relays. 2 of them control the Bedroom slides. Not sure about the others. My wiring diagram shows them in the circuit, but not where - a lot of help! At least I now know where they are located.
Good luck finding the BIRD, with these coach manufacturers who knows where they though was a good location.