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Old 07-15-2018, 10:02 PM   #1
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House Batteries Not Charging When Underway

The chassis battery is fine but house two batteries under the entry step are not getting a charge. Dead. Shut down refer, gen start and everything else.

What could be happening?

I am assuming that the total batteries on board are three??
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:40 PM   #2
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There are multiple charging circuits for the house batteries. When a circuit is charging the house batteries, the voltage measured at the batteries should be over 13 volts (assuming batteries aren’t internally shorted).

Common house battery charging issues include:

Plugged in to shore power? Verify 120 volts in vehicle (plug something into an outlet). Check for tripped breaker on converter circuit.

Running generator? In addition to breaker on converter circuit, check breaker on generator. Also verify 120volts in vehicle, as above.

Running vehicle engine - charging house batteries by chassis alternator? A special bi-directional relay (BIRD) is supposed to start charging the house batteries after the chassis battery is fully charged, as I understand. May have to drive a while (hour plus?) before the BIRD starts charging the house batteries from the chassis alternator.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:26 PM   #3
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Assuming you have a house battery disconnect, make sure that didn't get switched off.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLeising View Post
There are multiple charging circuits for the house batteries. When a circuit is charging the house batteries, the voltage measured at the batteries should be over 13 volts (assuming batteries arenít internally shorted).

Running vehicle engine - charging house batteries by chassis alternator? A special bi-directional relay (BIRD) is supposed to start charging the house batteries after the chassis battery is fully charged, as I understand. May have to drive a while (hour plus?) before the BIRD starts charging the house batteries from the chassis alternator.
I installed two new batteries yesterday and they are not charging when running vehicle engine. They do charge on shore power and generator.

Is this BIRD a Mercedes part or a Forest River part?
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
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The BIRD would be a Forest River part.

Note that the BIRD will only allow house battery charging after the chassis battery is fully charged (as I understand).
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:47 AM   #6
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Just for piece of mind look under the hood and see if there is a 150 amp breaker coming off the alternator that goes to your battery charge controller I believe located by the front steps. I found this to be a problem on a sun seeker ( i know like your) not charging the house batteries underway, but worth a look.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:06 PM   #7
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A friend of mine just had this exact same problem with his brand new Sprinter Mercedes RV . The problem was that the output wire at the generator had not been stripped before the connector was crimped. Not a problem you would expect on a Mercedes factory installed part.

As always, this type of troubleshooting starts with a schematic and a good multimeter

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Old 07-16-2018, 01:47 PM   #8
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I did not see what model you have. I have a Prism that had a similar problem. A fuse had blown. Forest River developed a workaround to prevent the fuse from blowing. After installation I have not had that problem again.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:49 PM   #9
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Coachmen recommended a repair center and we spent the day there. Elizabethtown, KY.

They diagnosed the problem as a blown 100 amp bus bar located just behind the start battery (under the driver's floor) that sends power to the solenoid in the house battery compartment.

The did not have one so we are going to the Coachmen factory tomorrow to see if they will fix it.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoDoc View Post
Coachmen recommended a repair center and we spent the day there. Elizabethtown, KY.

They diagnosed the problem as a blown 100 amp bus bar located just behind the start battery (under the driver's floor) that sends power to the solenoid in the house battery compartment.

The did not have one so we are going to the Coachmen factory tomorrow to see if they will fix it.
Glad you found the problem. Hey, while at Coachman would you ask if the Chassis has to be fully charged before the House batteries charge as someone mentioned. Iíve wondered about that. Thanks.
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