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Old 10-04-2015, 01:59 PM   #1
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More coach batteries not charging 35U

Hi All,

I have read numerous threads about the charging of the coach batteries and have attempted to address and check all the issues.

I have a 2002 Adventurer 35U with a ford V10. Both coach batteries are new 12v group 29dc batteries. Today, I changed the left solenoid under the steps in hopes of getting the coach batteries to charge via the alternator. Unfortunately, nothing changed. I have 14.4v (chassis) on one terminal and 12.3v (coach) on the other. The momentary switch on the dash works so I am stumped. Is there a fuse or something that I need to check?

Or, does my MH not charge the coach batteries via the alternator?

Any help would be appreciated. Martin
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
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Generally the coach batteries are not charged with the alternator. They are only charged when plugged in. You could install a battery isolator so they charge when the coach is running.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:46 PM   #3
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I have owned four motorhomes and they have "ALL" charged the coach from the alternator! I believe yours should also. Check with Winnebago or service dept somewhere. My current m/h is an 2007 adventurer and it charges the coach from the alternator. This is as built by winnebago, no add ons needed.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:53 PM   #4
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Generally the coach batteries are not charged with the alternator. They are only charged when plugged in. You could install a battery isolator so they charge when the coach is running.
the coach batteries in our 2000 Suncruiser 35U were charged by the alternator. the charging diode on the alternator likely has failed and will need to be replaced...or...or the connecting wire has worked loose. if you're handy it's a simple replacement or any competent automotive service tech can do the job.

the other possibility is that the OPs batteries are dead and cannot be charged.

good luck.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:19 PM   #5
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Generally the coach batteries are not charged with the alternator. They are only charged when plugged in. You could install a battery isolator so they charge when the coach is running.
Your coach batteries should charge from the alternator, if not you have a similar problem to the OP.

The ignition switch should activate the battery isolation solenoid. The OP said the boost switch worked. It may be a fuse in the ignition circuit.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TigeDuner View Post
Hi All,

I have read numerous threads about the charging of the coach batteries and have attempted to address and check all the issues.

I have a 2002 Adventurer 35U with a ford V10. Both coach batteries are new 12v group 29dc batteries. Today, I changed the left solenoid under the steps in hopes of getting the coach batteries to charge via the alternator. Unfortunately, nothing changed. I have 14.4v (chassis) on one terminal and 12.3v (coach) on the other. The momentary switch on the dash works so I am stumped. Is there a fuse or something that I need to check?

Or, does my MH not charge the coach batteries via the alternator?

Any help would be appreciated. Martin
Your coach batteries SHOULD be charged by the alternator when the engine is running, via the left-hand, 'battery mode' solenoid (shown on page 2 of the Body, 12 Volt Wiring Diagram for your coach). The solenoid is activated via the YELLOW wire labelled LR [From the Wiring Identification Guide that is LR / 14 YEL BATTERY MODE SWITCH (AUX START SWITCH) BATTERY MODE SOLENOID (AUX START SOLENOID)].

That wire can be followed to page 11 (Sheet 4, C-8) of the Automotive Wiring Diagram for your coach, where it enters a plug for the DUAL BATTERY switch (which is the momentary switch on the dash). The other wires connected to that switch are LS [LS / 12 YEL OVERCURRENT PROTECTION 20A BREAKER TYPICAL,COACH FEED GENERAL PURPOSE (BATTERY MODE, RADIO POWER,BATTERY CONDITION] and KE [KE / 14 YEL RUN ONLY POWER SOURCE GENERAL PURPOSE(RELAY TRIGGER, REAR AUTO HTR,DRL,MONITOR,ETC].

The momentary DUAL BATTERY switch normally connects KE to LR, causing the battery mode solenoid to be activated when the engine is running. Depressing the momentary switch connects LS to LR, activating the solenoid whether or not the engine is running.

If the momentary switch works but you don't see the solenoid being activated when the engine is running then either wire KE isn't providing the run only power or the dash switch is bad--possible, but less likely. I would open up the dash and check for power on KE when the engine is running.
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:39 PM   #7
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Chris,

You mentioned the DLR circuit. I had issues with my DLR's so I pulled the fuse that is in the panel under the dash when it is lifted up. Unfortunately, I have misplaced the ford manual that indicates which fuse goes where in most of the fuse panels. Any chance you or anybody else could post that information or lead me to the information on line? Maybe that little 5 amp fuse is the issue. My DLR's would not shut off one day so I had to pull the fuse. Probably the last time I had the ford book out.

Thanks,
Martin
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:56 PM   #8
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Chris,

You mentioned the DLR circuit. I had issues with my DLR's so I pulled the fuse that is in the panel under the dash when it is lifted up. Unfortunately, I have misplaced the ford manual that indicates which fuse goes where in most of the fuse panels. Any chance you or anybody else could post that information or lead me to the information on line? Maybe that little 5 amp fuse is the issue. My DLR's would not shut off one day so I had to pull the fuse. Probably the last time I had the ford book out.

Thanks,
Martin
Sorry, I don't have any info on the Ford (or Workhorse, for that matter) chassis. All of my info comes from the online Winnebago wiring diagrams, etc. I'll bet if you put that fuse back in your batteries will charge with the engine running!

There is a Day Run Lamps Wiring Diagram for your coach, but I don't know if it will help at all. Likewise with the Auto Lamps Wiring Diagram.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:38 PM   #9
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Found my manual and reinserted the fuse in slot 19 under the dash. No change with the charging and my DRL's stayed on so I pulled the fuse out until I can figure out that problem. Looks like I need to check the dash switch for the momentary connection of both batteries.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:43 AM   #10
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Are you sure you purchased the proper solenoid? It looks like the old Ford starter solenoid, however it has a 100% duty cycle. The Ford starter solenoid only has about a 5% duty cycle and will burn out in a matter of minutes. You'll need the longer duty cycle because the solenoid is supposed to be activated to charge the house batteries anytime the engine is running.

I doubt you'll be able to get the right solenoid from an auto parts store. They are available from most RV dealers and online RV stores. They generally range in price between $22.00 and $40.00 depending on brand and point of purchase.

Here's one like the one we replaced our original with in our 2001 Winnebago Adventurer from Red Trailers.com for a little over $22.00
7001 - Tekonsha Battery Switch #7001 - RedTrailers.com
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:13 AM   #11
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The one I installed looks the same except it only has one small single terminal on the front. Got it on line for $20. The momentary switch works fine so I know the solenoid is good. It is a continuous duty unit.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:47 AM   #12
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Here's a link to the solenoid wiring diagram for the 2002 Adventurer 35U.

http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_138208.pdf

Note this diagram shows 6 wires to the solenoid. Wire FM appears to be a ground connected to the solenoid body at one of the mounting bolts. Is it possible one of the wires is attached to the wrong point, or there is no ground?
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:43 AM   #13
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The solenoid I removed was the original Winne part and it appears that it may still be good since the new unit did not fix the problem. I will research the momentary switch in the dash since it plays a part in this circuit.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:04 PM   #14
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I was able to see that the wires on the solenoid match the wires on the wiring diagram. This is a tough one-bet it is in the switch.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:44 PM   #15
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So here is the latest. I removed the momentary switch from the dash and found the following. LS-1 wire in #1 position, LR wire in #2 position, and FT-1 is in the #3 position on the switch. With the engine running, there is no power traveling from the switch on LR to the small post on the front of the solenoid. When the momentary switch is pushed, the solenoid clicks to lock the batteries together.
But testing the solenoid with the engine running, I get 14.3v on one side and 12.2 on the other side.

Also, the pins on the back of the switch did mate with the wires in the plug. One other poster noted that one of his pins was out out of place in the plug.
So why is there no power on the LR wire?

Also, my DRL are deactivated by removing the 5 amp fuse under the dash. Some have said there may be a connection between the DRL system and the battery solenoid. The DRL would not turn off, so the fuse was removed. Just one more thing to resolve.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:50 PM   #16
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I have owned four motorhomes and they have "ALL" charged the coach from the alternator! I believe yours should also. Check with Winnebago or service dept somewhere. My current m/h is an 2007 adventurer and it charges the coach from the alternator. This is as built by winnebago, no add ons needed.
Same here, in fact the last rig that didn't charge the house batteries when on shore power was our last TT in about 1980 or somewhat earlier. Changed to a different inverter to fix it.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:58 PM   #17
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Fortunately, my inverter does charge the coach batteries when on shore or generator power, just not by the alternator.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:59 PM   #18
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So here is the latest. I removed the momentary switch from the dash and found the following. LS-1 wire in #1 position, LR wire in #2 position, and FT-1 is in the #3 position on the switch. With the engine running, there is no power traveling from the switch on LR to the small post on the front of the solenoid. When the momentary switch is pushed, the solenoid clicks to lock the batteries together.
But testing the solenoid with the engine running, I get 14.3v on one side and 12.2 on the other side.

Also, the pins on the back of the switch did mate with the wires in the plug. One other poster noted that one of his pins was out out of place in the plug.
So why is there no power on the LR wire?

Also, my DRL are deactivated by removing the 5 amp fuse under the dash. Some have said there may be a connection between the DRL system and the battery solenoid. The DRL would not turn off, so the fuse was removed. Just one more thing to resolve.
Are you sure that third wire on the switch is labelled FT and not KE? FT should be the ground wire for a docking light, and that doesn't make sense. In any case, have you determined whether there is power on that wire in the plug when the engine is running (and no power when the engine is off)? If so, you have a problem with the switch. If not, that wire is the problem.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:24 AM   #19
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Are you sure you have the correct solenoid? My Journey uses 150 amp solenoid to bridge the house and chassis batteries when the engine is running. There will be a significant current flow from the alternator to your house batteries when charging and I doubt the solenoid you discribed could handle that current. The solenoid is discribed by Winn as the "Charge mode solenoid". I suspect yours is worn out - the contacts "pit" on opening and closing over time due to the high current flow and fail as a result. Mine seem to last 2+ years. It is usually located by Winnebago near or with the Chassis wiring for your coach in the same location in my coach as the slide wiring and controllers. Sounds to me that it is your issue. The control wiring to the solenoid as others have suggested earlier, is much less likely to be the problem than the solenoid itself. Good luck,
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:47 AM   #20
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My mistake guys on the switch wiring. It does say KE/0001 on the wire as well as FT-1, which is probably some wire description. So it appears I have the correct wires to the switch. I will check which wires have power and when later tonight.

As far as the solenoid, I replaced it a week or so ago with a new continuous duty unit and the momentary portion of the solenoid works fine when the switch engages the solenoid. I just do not have power to the solenoid when the engine is running to activate it to charge coach batteries.
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