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Old 04-17-2012, 07:08 AM   #1
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2006 38J Battery Charge Schemes

Picked up my coach from the dealer 5 days ago. When we first viewed the coach a couple weeks ago, house batteries were dead, purchase agreement called for 2 new house batteries. Predelivery inspection went well, new batteries observed, all was good.

Drove the coach back on Friday straight to a storage lot to give us a couple weeks to get to know it and stock it up. All seems good. We have run the generator at least 45 minutes a day and started the engine. BUT...

Last night (Monday) we went to do some more work on it and the EMS said the house batteries were dead and there were no lights working. The EMS also showed 12.4 volts on the chassis battery but it wouldn't start the engine. After disconnecting and reconnecting the chassis battery it started. Probably need to give those posts some cleaning attention.

I jumped the house batteries and was able to get the generator started. I was only able to run both the engine and generator for about 30 minutes and we had to leave. But after we shut things down, we were able to start both the engine and the generator. So we left. Went back this morning, engine started, house batteries totally dead.

So...Help me get a basic understanding of charging systems.

1. Does the motor alternator/generator also charge the house batteries?
2. Does the coach generator charge the house batteries only?
3. Can a good day of sunlight allow the solar charger to get the house batteries in reasonable shape?
4. Of course, now that I have had 2 full discharges of the house batteries, I am concerned they are TOASTED already. Is that to pessimistic? LOL

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athuddriver View Post
Picked up my coach from the dealer 5 days ago. When we first viewed the coach a couple weeks ago, house batteries were dead, purchase agreement called for 2 new house batteries. Predelivery inspection went well, new batteries observed, all was good.

Drove the coach back on Friday straight to a storage lot to give us a couple weeks to get to know it and stock it up. All seems good. We have run the generator at least 45 minutes a day and started the engine. BUT...

Last night (Monday) we went to do some more work on it and the EMS said the house batteries were dead and there were no lights working. The EMS also showed 12.4 volts on the chassis battery but it wouldn't start the engine. After disconnecting and reconnecting the chassis battery it started. Probably need to give those posts some cleaning attention.

I jumped the house batteries and was able to get the generator started. I was only able to run both the engine and generator for about 30 minutes and we had to leave. But after we shut things down, we were able to start both the engine and the generator. So we left. Went back this morning, engine started, house batteries totally dead.

So...Help me get a basic understanding of charging systems.

1. Does the motor alternator/generator also charge the house batteries?
2. Does the coach generator charge the house batteries only?
3. Can a good day of sunlight allow the solar charger to get the house batteries in reasonable shape?
4. Of course, now that I have had 2 full discharges of the house batteries, I am concerned they are TOASTED already. Is that to pessimistic? LOL

Any thoughts?
1.The motor alternator charges both the House & Chassis Batteries

2.The House Generator charges only the House Batteries unless there is a Trik-L-Charger from House Batteries to Chassis Batteries

3. The Solar Charger provides almost nothing

4. While totally discharging the batteries didn't help them any, they probably aren't TOASTED
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:57 AM   #3
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From another thread:

You should have a house battery disconnect switch. This switch operates another solenoid that disconnects most loads from the house batteries. Radios, smoke detectors, etc still have power. Open it when you leave and close it to use the RV. It may have to be closed to even charge the house batteries, not sure on yours.

That has me thinking but I do not recall such a switch. HMMM....Need to research that one but any feedback this item?

THANKS JOHN for your response!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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The House Battery Switch is probably beside the Basement Light Switch by the steps
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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It' a good practice to switch the battery disconnect off if you are leaving the coach for some amount of time without it plugged in. My switch is also near the steps. Sounds like you need to give your batteries a full charge; it is surprising how long this takes. It can be a day to bring dead batteries back to full charge depending on your converter. Running the engine or genny a few hours won't do it, you should plug it in if possible.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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OK...

Sounds like I am kinda in a bad position for the short term. I don't have access to shore power or even AC to run a charger. I can park in front of my home for several hours but not real fond of that idea with my street. That is why I grabbed a storage lot for short term parking. I plan to have it in a park this weekend with shore power.

I guess I need to investigate why the battery connector switch isn't allowing my to start the generator from the engine battery? Just for clarification, in theory, that should work, correct? If so, then I need to look into other issues?
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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House Batteries will not charge if the switch is turned off. Solar will most likely maintain but be overwelmed with a total recharge. The engine alternater will recharge both chassis and house but running it for only 30 minutes is not enough. The generator will recharge as well but the same problem is there, 30 min. is not long enough. The life span of a battery is generally determined by how many complete discharges and recharges it can handle. That is usually several! Most inverters are battery chargers when the coach is plugged in to shore power and convert the batteries to 110 when unplugged. If you are storing the coach without it plugged in and you do not turn off the inverter it will be draining the battery by powering things like your TV, refrig, etc. You have to get the batteries completly charged and then turn off the switches while in storage. (or keep it plugged in)
Winnebago has a manaul for each model that they built and the manual will describe how the batteries are charged and what they are used for. In other words the chassis battery will start the coach, power the slides, the jacks, etc. The house batteries will handle the inverter, the house lights, the the awning, etc. Each model and year will have some differences. I know that you can read or download the manuals from their web pages if you do not have one.
I just reread my manual yesterday and am reporting only a few of the things (as I remember them) that they had in the manual. My coach is a 2012 model and will be a bit different that yours.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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Yeah, don't panic about anything until after you can get them batteries fully charged and then start investigating things.

You indicated only the house batteries were replaced. What is the condition of the chassis batt? Yes, if the chassis batt is healthy and charged and you hold down the boost switch for a few minutes with the engine running, you should be able to start the generator. I guess if the house batts are completely dead you might need to hold the boost switch longer.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:05 AM   #9
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Bryan,

Chassis battery seems in good condition. If I read you correctly, I need to hold the boost switch for a little while to get the house battery charged enough to start generator. That kinda makes sense. I'll give that a try.

Larry,

If I am reading you correctly, the AUX BATT switch needs to be on for the either the generator or engine alternator to charge the house batteries. I would assume that the logical extension is that nothing associated with the house batteries (generator starter as an example) will work unless the switch is on. Thanks for the tip on the manual. I need to re-prioritize what I read in it. LOL
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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I have an identical coach to yours. I bought it last year and have been very pleased with it.

One small problem I had to deal with initially was the disconnect switch (located next to the cargo light switch in the step well) needs to be clicked several times to activate the house batteries. I'm planning on replacing it. It may be the source of your problem. Just a thought.

Also, I got rid of the bedroom radio after inadvertently turning it on several times. That is very annoying when rolling over at night. The push-button switch is a good idea, but certainly not in this application. We couldn't even make the bed without turning the danged thing on. This may be the source of your power drain if it's bumped at any time without being aware of it.

I use the radio opening as a nifty storage for the remote (don't be too far from the remote) and other convenient things like ear plugs (for noisy parks) and other necessary sleeping aids for 75 year old people. I had to cut a small piece of masonite to cover the holes on the bottom.

BTW: There are three rubber antennas on the roof. The two in the center of the roof are for the bedroom radio and the exterior radio. The front is for the dashboard radio.
Now I have a spare.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cardiffman View Post
I have an identical coach to yours. I bought it last year and have been very pleased with it.

One small problem I had to deal with initially was the disconnect switch (located next to the cargo light switch in the step well) needs to be clicked several times to activate the house batteries. I'm planning on replacing it. It may be the source of your problem. Just a thought.

Also, I got rid of the bedroom radio after inadvertently turning it on several times. That is very annoying when rolling over at night...
I think we made a mistake in not understanding to use the disconnect switch more effectively?

Also, my wife said the same thing about the radio switch.

TANX!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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Let me ask something to clarify what I am reading. However, let me start by saying I have left the the INVERTER off and the panel confirms this.

As it appears I have yet to discover the virtues of the AUX BATT switch use...and assuming I am smart enough to make sure all obvious items (lights, radios...) are off...are there some "hidden" things (someone mentioned the converter) that are still drawing off of the house batteries?
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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You also have two switches on the dash for the radio and speakers. When storing they should be on engine, so their of when the ignition is off. I had simiular problem and was told along with switch disconnect. To check speaker and radio switch . I guess there is a drain when left on. So far so good!

"Off subject" incase you haven't check tire dates.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #14
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You also have two switches on the dash for the radio and speakers. When storing they should be on engine, so their of when the ignition is off. I had simiular problem and was told along with switch disconnect. To check speaker and radio switch . I guess there is a drain when left on. So far so good!

"Off subject" incase you haven't check tire dates.
YA...Even I figured out the dash switches for radio and speakers. LOL

Tires...well...don't want to drift too far and plan to start a thread on that just as soon as I can plug my laptop into an AC jack in the coach. LOL... Force prioritization?
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