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Old 11-18-2005, 05:22 AM   #1
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During travel, I run w/the inverter On so I can power my laptop (with AC) for GPS navigation. After about 3-4 hours of travel, I note that the house batts are down to 12.3 volts (on the OnePlace). Q: Is this normal? Seems low volts to me. Are the house batts not being charged by the alternator?

I have the standard issue 300W inverter (above the Pax seat).

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Old 11-18-2005, 05:22 AM   #2
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During travel, I run w/the inverter On so I can power my laptop (with AC) for GPS navigation. After about 3-4 hours of travel, I note that the house batts are down to 12.3 volts (on the OnePlace). Q: Is this normal? Seems low volts to me. Are the house batts not being charged by the alternator?

I have the standard issue 300W inverter (above the Pax seat).

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Old 11-18-2005, 06:22 AM   #3
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Your house batteries should be being charged by the engine alternator, provided you have turned on the "coach power" switch at the doorstep. Your inverter will create 110vac for the outlet you're using on the laptop, plus send 110vac up to the DVD/VCR and TV; - I suspect some small parasitic loads up there, even if the video stuff is turned off.
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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You may have a bad house battery too. When my coach was only a few months old I found my house and engine batteries were discharging as I drove. If I brought on the generator I could bring them up but not with the engine alternator. I thought the alternator was bad and went to a Spartan dealer. The first thing they did was test the batteries under load and one was a sink hole. If you do find a bad house battery, change all you house batteries.
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Old 11-20-2005, 06:55 AM   #5
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I'm not sure that just a 300W inverter would pull down the battery voltage that far with the alternator charging. If my memory is accurate, I think my house batteries are reading in the high 12s with a fairly good inverter load (we usually run 500-700 watts inverter output while traveling) and being charged.

Pat might be on to something suggesting that a bad battery might be the culprit; that would be a great place to start.
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Old 11-20-2005, 04:09 PM   #6
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Thx guys. I'll look into the batts. Just bought new house batts a few months ago, but still could have a bad one.

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Old 11-22-2005, 02:55 PM   #7
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Not sure about a gasser, but I would assume it would be the same. My DP has a battery isolator to isolate the chassis batteries from the house batteries. The isolator looks like a Ford starter solenoid. When mine went bad, the alternator wouldn't charge the house batteries. For mine, the indicator is the power point for the cigarette lighter. I know now when the power point doesn't work, check the isolator!
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Old 11-22-2005, 04:18 PM   #8
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Exchanged (free) the 2 house batts yesterday for new ones, & installed them. Reading 13.7 on the OnePlace w/shore power. Have not yet let the batts deplete (unplugged from shore pwr) to see if the alternator will charge them.

Called Winnie Tech Spt. He said it may be a bad charger solenoid, which allows the house batts to be charged from the alternator. The chassis batt is wired directly from the alternator & bypasses the charger solenoid. Now to find this solenoid. I'm guessing it's under the steps. If I can find it, I can jumper around the solenoid to verify that it's bad.

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Old 11-23-2005, 04:04 PM   #9
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I can't find the charger solenoid. Does anyone know if this is the same solenoid used to isolate (turn Off) the House batts?

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Old 11-23-2005, 04:38 PM   #10
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Thudman;
I am not sure about your coach. The charging solenoid is the same one used for emergency start. Mine is located in the front electrical box under the hood on the drivers side. I had to replace one on a previous Adventure. That solved the problem.

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Old 11-24-2005, 12:35 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Mine is located in the front electrical box under the hood on the drivers side. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Do you mean under the instrument panel; or in the engine comparment, accessed from the front of the MH?

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Old 11-24-2005, 02:59 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Mine is located in the front electrical box under the hood on the drivers side. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:18 PM   #13
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The Tech's at Winnie think the problem is the battery charging solenoid. I found its location: under the steps, above the batteries, behind the second panel (behind the CB's). Took one look at that mess of BIG wires & decided it's beyond my pay grade. I'll let Lazydays do it, even tho it's going to hurt my wallet. :-/

Thx for all your inputs.

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Old 01-03-2006, 03:34 PM   #14
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It was a bad house battery charging solenoid. R&R'd today at Lazy Days; works ok now; 13.7V on OnePlace voltmeter with engine running.

Here's another issue for you 'lectric wizards: With the alternator charging the house batts for 5 or 6 hours down the road w/my little 300W inverter running, is there too much charge going to the house batts? Or does something manage the charge?

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Old 01-03-2006, 07:12 PM   #15
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Hi Thudman,
13.7V should be just fine for the house batteries. The inverter should not draw more than 24 Amps. and the engine alternator can handle that as well as the charging and other loads just fine.
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