Battery

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Shawnski0414

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Illinois
Hello all!!. Been camping for awhile recently “upgraded” to a 94 Damon challenger class a. Does anyone know if I drive with the coach battery on or off?! Does it charge while I’m driving?
 

Shawnski0414

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I’m sorry I meant house battery. It needs to be on when I’m driving to run fridge, microwave, toilet, ac etc correct??
 

DonTom

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Auburn, CA or Reno, NV or Cold Springs Valley, NV
I’m sorry I meant house battery. It needs to be on when I’m driving to run fridge, microwave, toilet, ac etc correct??
House batteries should always charge when driving, just as does the coach battery.

You need a cheap voltmeter to check if you're unsure if it is really charging. But all your batteries should be charging as you drive.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Larry N.

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Westminster, Colorado
I’m sorry I meant house battery. It needs to be on when I’m driving to run fridge, microwave, toilet, ac etc correct??
Yes, it should be on except when you're storing your coach. A surprising number of things (including water heater and fridge) need 12 VDC for the control boards and, of course, lighting is mostly 12 VDC also.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Yeap, leave the house battery "on" unless you have a specific reason to turn off all 12v power, e.g. storing the RV for long periods. Every motorhome make & model I've ever encountered was designed to charge both house and chassis battery while driving, but not all of them charge the chassis battery from shore power.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Does it charge while I"m driving
Only if ON

Note that this answers your other question too.. ON, alwaus ON less parked and empty (not in use) or filliing gas or propane tanks (then off engine off, all sparke genertors off (Furnace, water heater, Fridge)
 

Shawnski0414

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Illinois
Ok thank you. My dash ac doesn’t work so we used generator to run roof ac when we are driving. Do I still leave it on? If we pull over for a lunch etc do I shut it off? Leave it on when plugged in to shore power too?
 

Ex-Calif

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Bottom line is that you should leave the batteries on any time you are using and occupying the RV.

To answer another way...

12VDC power is needed in the house at all times you are "using" the RV. Batteries need to be on.

House Batteries - A reservoir of DC power available (when charged) any time the house needs it as long as they are switched "On." They also act as a "buffer" for momentary high usage events. With modern charge systems they generally can't be over charged and multiple charge sources at the same time are no problem.

Chassis alternator - Provides 12VDC for charging purposes and running all the chassis systems. When engine is running and coach batteries are on the coach batteries are charged while driving and the alternator (effectively) is also providing the 12VDC needed for all the house equipment.

Generator - Provides a supply of alternating current (110VAC) to be used by all the 110VAC house systems. The house control systems (fridge, furnace, A/C etc.) also need 12VDC to run the controller boards.

"Shore Power" - A plug in to either and RV park or a suitable socket at home. This provides 110VAC much like the generator will.

House converter/charger - This is a 110V device that converts 110VAC into DC power for use in the house. Almost all of them are also a battery chargers that will charge at least the house batteries. It is powered from generator or shore power depending on what is hooked up.

There are several different ways that the house and the chassis battery can/will be linked together.

Primarily when there is no charge source the chassis battery is disconnected so that the RV will start if the batteries are inadvertently flattened.

After that there are a number of ways that coach builders will connect them together.

Anything recent will likely link the chassis battery in when parked, anytime there is a charge source on the house side.

On something from the 94 era it is possible that the shore plug and the generator feed are the same thing. On my coach I unplug the cable from the generator socket and plug it into the RV park post. Either source will run my charger/power supply.

My coach has a paralleling relay that connects the chassis battery to the house battery anytime a charge source is available.

On my coach there is also a dash switch that is called "Eng Start" - This is a momentary switch that will allow the house to be connected to the chassis with NO charge source. It is a convenience feature that would allow the coach to be "jump started" from the house batteries if the coach battery ever went flat.
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
I am with most of the other posts here, I doubt my battery disconnect switch has been turned off more than 2 or 3 times in the last 5+ years I have owned my current coach (I have AC power at my storage shed, so it is kept plugged in and the converter keeps the batteries charged when not in use, if the disconnect switch were turned off the converter would not be able to keep the batteries charged)
 

Shawnski0414

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Illinois
Ok I think I got it. Leave it on all the time when I’m driving. Do I leave it on when I’m plugged in to shore power too?
 

Kirk

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Oct 30, 2005
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Full-time , Escapee
Do I leave it on when I’m plugged in to shore power too?
If you are using the RV in any way, that battery must be connected. It is only there to save the battery when the RV is stored and not being used at all.
My dash ac doesn’t work so we used generator to run roof ac when we are driving.
As well as leaving the battery isolator in the on position, if you wish you can also leave the generator running and the air conditioner on while you leave the RV for a short time, much as you would in a stick house so that it is comfortable when you return. It will use gasoline, but it probably will burn somewhere between 1/2 and 1 gallon of fuel per hour of run time. When staying in a location with no hookups, I have run the generator without stop for as long as 4 days.
 

Ex-Calif

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I don't have an issue with what Kirk said about leaving the generator running while gone.

Personally my coach is old and the systems are old. I probably would never leave my generator running if I was not there. I would deal with waiting for the A/C to pull the temp back down when I got home. I would be homeless if my generator caught fire while I was gone.

I also turn of the shore water supply if I am gonna be gone more than like 8-10 hours.

If I had a new(er) coach I might feel more comfortable.

In fact in my to do list is to install a fire protection system in the generator compartment that detects and warns of fire and also automatically shuts of fuel supply to the generator. A genny fire is rare but I think all genny compartments should at least have fire detection.
 
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