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Old 01-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
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Starting Generator with Dead House Battery

I have a 2013 Georgetown 351DS and although I have not run into this issue... yet, I would like to know how to start the generator if the house batteries are dead.

In my old coach, the chassis alternator would charge the house battery. Is that the case with my new Georgetown? Will the "Emergency Start" switch work for this scenario?

My understanding is that it emergency start switch "couples" the house batteries to assist with starting the chassis if the chassis battery is dead.

Will it work in the reverse scenario or do I need a separate charging/jump source for the house batteries?

Thank you!
Steve
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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Since the system is designed to back up a failed Chassis battery, it needs the coach batteries to flip the relay. Your only recource would be a large jump to the batteries. The genset takes a pretty could current flow, don't kill a compact cars battery in the process. Charging over time would be a better course of action. Don't forget the engine alt will also charge them in time.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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Vince,

Thank you for the reply. I suspected that the chassis alternator provided a charge to the house batteries. However, I was unable to confirm this functionality in my Georgetown documentation and have not had an opportunity to put a voltmeter on the batteries to test.

Thanks again!
Steve
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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...... I suspected that the chassis alternator provided a charge to the house batteries. However, I was unable to confirm this functionality in my Georgetown documentation and have not had an opportunity to put a voltmeter on the batteries to test.
Steve
Steve I wish I knew also.....
I have always wondered while driving down the road does the engine alternator also charge the house batteries?
I have never found anyone who knew that for sure.

What I think is ....
I do not believe the engine battery is connected in any way except when you press the emergency spring loaded connect switch that hooks them together to help start the engine in case the engine battery dies while parked.

Iggy
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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Iggy,

It is relatively easy to test, simply run your house batteries down a bit and throw a volt meter on them. Make sure the battery disconnect switch is set to on (connected) and start the chassis engine. It may take a few minutes for the solenoid to kick in, but you should see the voltmeter jump when the chassis alternator starts providing a charge to the house batteries.

My rig is in storage and I assumed someone would know the answer, so I took the lazy way out and asked.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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Vince,

Thank you for the reply. I suspected that the chassis alternator provided a charge to the house batteries. However, I was unable to confirm this functionality in my Georgetown documentation and have not had an opportunity to put a voltmeter on the batteries to test.

Thanks again!
Steve
Sure, in fact in the past 4 or 5 years a a panel is installed to manage battery charging using the alternator and converter powered by shore or generator. Basically when its safe to do so (primary batteries are charged, it will also connect in the 2nd set of batterries also. Therefore when your traveling the alt charges chassis batteries first then coach. When you're plugged in or operating genset the coach batteries get topped up first and then cut in the chassis batteries. Panel is called SDC or Intellic located close to the battery bank. They don't provide voltmeters though I built my own gauge board and can tell at a glance all batteries and shore power.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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I'm pretty certain the alterntor charges all batteries when the engine is running. I have noticed that when checking the house batteries before a trip they may show about 3/4 charge, but when we arrive, they show as fully charged.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Iggy,

It is relatively easy to test, simply run your house batteries down a bit and throw a volt meter on them. Make sure the battery disconnect switch is set to on (connected) and start the chassis engine. It may take a few minutes for the solenoid to kick in, but you should see the voltmeter jump when the chassis alternator starts providing a charge to the house batteries.

My rig is in storage and I assumed someone would know the answer, so I took the lazy way out and asked.
I found a copy of the SDC inst. and schematic. FR also included a copy with my documentation. Its identical except for specific labling. It shows clearly how the transfer works and is good to have for troubleshooting.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:26 PM   #9
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Yes, I am convinced that the engine alternator trickle charges the house batteries. Simple test...check the battery idiot lights on your control panel. Start the engine and wait a minute then check the lights again. In my case the lights always go from where they are to all lit when the engine is running. And, like others I find my house batteries are always fully charged after a long drive.

Bill
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:38 AM   #10
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I have started the generator on our 2011 Sunseeker several times with dead coach batteries by starting the chassis engine. I don't know how this worked. I am planning to do some tests soon to try to figure it out. I'm an engineer and can't stand to not know what's going on with something like this.


There are a few recent threads with more information about the Battery Control System. One thread is named: Charging your house batteries
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