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Old 12-14-2012, 08:34 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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house battery charging question

I have a 1998 35' Brave. It does not appear that my alternator charges my house batteries while the engine is running. I don't know if its supposed to on this model or not, but I want it to. What should I check, or what might I need to do to upgrade it to do this? Thank you.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum. I'm sure someone with your model coach will be along with the answer soon. It may well be that your vintage rig doesn't have the switching electronics necessary to charge the coach batteries from the alternator.

Best of luck

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum;

Every MH I have ever owned had a way of charging the house batteries when the engine was running. MY 97 Adventure, 2003 Chieftain, and now my Horizon all have charging solenoids that tie the coach and engine batteries together for charging when the engine is running. The emergency start button on your dash, if you have one, uses the same solenoid for tying all the batteries together for starting. I am not familiar with your model year but if you have a emergency start switch I would believe you have a charging solenoid. I have had to replace the solenoid on my Adventure and the Chieftain. The contacts on the solenoids get corroded and don't make good contact. MY solenoids were located behind my entry steps.

A call to Winnebago Help at 800-537-1883 should confirm if you have one and where it is located. Please report back on the resolution to your problem. We all learn that way.

Don & Bev Morgan Weyauwega WI, 05 Itasca Horizon 40KD, 400 HP Cummins, Delorme GPS LT 40, Toad 07 Saturn Vue AWD, Air Force One, TST 510 TPMS, Mayor of Weyauwega 2007 - 2013, Waupaca Co Board Supervisor 2010 - 2014
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:59 AM   #4
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Winnebago motor homes do charge the house batteries from the alternator. There is a continuous duty solenoid that is activated in two ways:
1) By a wire from the RUN terminal on the ignition switch
2) By the "AUX START MOM" switch on the dash - MOM is for momentary.

You can download wiring diagrams from HERE

The solenoid seems to be prone to failure. It is made by Trombeta. It can be found on the internet in several places. I got mine from Lichtsinn Motors , a dealer a mile or so from the Winnebago factory. If you call them have your VIN ready. They can cross that to your Winnebago ID number with which they can get a list of all parts on your Brave.
Clay WA5NMR - Ex Snowbird - 1 year, Ex Full timer for 11 years - 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N Workhorse chassis. Honda Accord toad.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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if your coach batteries are not charging from the alternator find the selonide that is activated. open it up and check the contacts. when mine wasn't charging, i opened mine up thinking i'd find burnt contacts. mine only had oxidation stoping contact. i got away with only having to clean the contacts.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:25 AM   #6
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I appreciate the responses I have received. I need some more help on this subject. I have an Intelli Power 9200 converter. Am I correct in understanding that it should charge my house batteries when on shoreline power/generator power?

With my house batteries removed, I'm not showing any voltage at the connections when the coach is plugged in. Do the batteries need to be in place to complete the circuit or something like that?

Also, with engine running and the batteries removed (for replacement), I get no voltage reading at the at the battery connection no matter what I do with those three switches on the dash.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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You should have 2 solenoids that may be a problem. There should be a latching solenoid that is switched by the "salesman switch" . It connects and disconnects the house batteries from the coach. It is a momentary connect-disconnect switch. You should hear a click both ways. You will need a house battery installed to activate it. To test it, jump across the large terminals with heavy wire and see if you have power at the batteries.
The constant duty solenoid that closes with the emergency start switch is the one that closes to recharge the coach batteries with the alternator and keep the chassis battery charged when on shore power. It should click when the switch is pushed on. This relay may be controlled by a "BIRD" or activated by the ign. switch. You can test this solenoid the same way. Be careful to not ground anything. Most motorhomes have these systems. I suppose yours could be different, or may have been modified over the years. Good Luck.
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