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Old 02-27-2006, 01:32 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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The guy from Freightliner told me an interesting fact today.

He said if you have alternator problems with the diesel pusher and start losing electrical power you can start the gen set while going down the road and it will provide power to the instrument panel, etc. It will allow you to continue on your trip and get the big alternator fixed at your leisure.

Everybody but me probably already knew this.

Doug
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:32 PM   #2
Winnie-Wise
 
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The guy from Freightliner told me an interesting fact today.

He said if you have alternator problems with the diesel pusher and start losing electrical power you can start the gen set while going down the road and it will provide power to the instrument panel, etc. It will allow you to continue on your trip and get the big alternator fixed at your leisure.

Everybody but me probably already knew this.

Doug
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
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I found this out the hard way two years ago when I "lost" my alternator. The FL shop I called tipped me off to this. I'm sure others will appreciate the reminder.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:31 AM   #4
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Is this a general feature or is it specific to certain makes, models, DP's?
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:12 AM   #5
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I don't know. The guy I talked with was from the Freightliner service center.

Maybe a call to your chassis maker could tell you something.

Doug
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:37 AM   #6
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That's a useful bit of information to file away - thanks for sharing it.
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:57 AM   #7
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That's generally applicable to ANY class A, gas or diesel. There's a charge solenoid that connects the chassis batteries to the house batteries once the ignition key is turned on. Normally that allows the alternator to charge both sets of batteries when the engine is running. When the key is switched off, the solenoid opens and the two battery banks are separated.

If your alternator fails, the solenoid will still be engaged (by chassis battery power) when the engine is running. Therefore, the two systems are tied together. When you fire up your generator set, it will provide AC power to the converter or inverter/charger to charge the house batteries. Except, the chassis and house batteries are both connected through the charge solenoid so you are charging both sets of batteries.

I found that out when an alternator failed one night on a trip. I thought about it and fired up the genset. The inverter/charger provided enough battery charging power to bring the batteries up as I drove at the same time as it ran the lights and windshield wipers so there's plenty of capacity there to cover you until you can get the alternator replaced.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:18 AM   #8
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Mark,

Once again you've provided great information! I had the charging solenoid fail on my last cross country trip and replaced it to solve the problem. I just didn't understand the theory behind how it works. Thanks again for the insight!

Best Regards!
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