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Old 05-02-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
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alternator not charging my deep cycle batteries

I used to have 2 deep cycle batteries in the front of my 5th wheel to power up when Im not on shore power. My alternator in my truck charged them fine. I then paid someone to add a 3rd battery and a power inverter and now my batteries are only charging on shore power and my truck is not charging them. I have a 2004 Forest River Wildcat. Any advice? Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:47 PM   #2
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alternator not charging my deep cycle batteries

Your truck is not a very good source to charge your batteries through the umbilical cord.
I doubt it charged your two batteries very good as you claim.
It would take most if not all day to charge two batteries via the umbilical.
Your truck charging wire is good only to maintain while driving down the hiway, it's not meant to charge deeply discharged batteries.

You probably blew the charging wire fuse on your truck.


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Old 05-02-2016, 10:55 PM   #3
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Your truck is not a very good source to charge your batteries through the umbilical cord.
I doubt it charged your two batteries very good as you claim.
It would take most if not all day to charge two batteries via the umbilical.
Your truck charging wire is good only to maintain while driving down the hiway, it's not meant to charge deeply discharged batteries.

You probably blew the charging wire fuse on your truck.



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2015 Columbus 320RS
2016 nights camped "2"
2015 nights camped "34"
Even while driving down the highway my truck shouldnt charge the batteries? The batteries dont charge at all and they are far from depleted. I would think if Im driving 5 hours, my batteries should charge. No?
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:15 PM   #4
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Even while driving down the highway my truck shouldnt charge the batteries? The batteries dont charge at all and they are far from depleted. I would think if Im driving 5 hours, my batteries should charge. No?


No.
At best especially if running fridge while traveling it will trickle charge your batteries and just maintain voltage , in 5 hours it will NEVER charge 3 deep cycle batteries.


The charge wire is 20 + foot long and small gauge, it cannot carry very much current.

As far as not charging at all "separate" issue, you need to check the charging wire fuse in you truck.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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Truck alt will never charge 3 deep cycle batteries. Ever. Too small for a very large load.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:12 AM   #6
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Truck alt will never charge 3 deep cycle batteries. Ever. Too small for a very large load.


Agreed!
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:17 AM   #7
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OK...we need some definitions here. His alternator should put some charge back in his batteries, unless they are so depleted as to draw too much current and blow the fuse in his TV. Now that is often pretty hard to do since the cable length and gauge, as others have said, prohibits the alternator from putting any significant current into the batteries and even should probably prevent it from going into an overcurrent condition and blowing the fuse.

I would check the fuse and check the TV connector with a multimeter to see if the TV is supplying anything to the aux charge connection. The OP stated that it used to "charge" before he added another battery. Could be a wiring problem...who knows.

That being said, he shouldn't expect his TV to help all that much, even after a 5 hour drive, if the batteries are overly depleted.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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I'm not sure what the OP is driving but on most Fords the battery charging is controlled by the body control module thru a 12 gauge wire, 25 amp fuse, and relay. It takes a very long time to change a full size dead battery.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:20 AM   #9
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I'm not sure what the OP is driving but on most Fords the battery charging is controlled by the body control module thru a 12 gauge wire, 25 amp fuse, and relay. It takes a very long time to change a full size dead battery.


Let alone 2 or 3
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:02 PM   #10
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Here's a test...with the unit just attached to the truck and the truck engine running....go to the coach battery posts with a voltmeter and take a reading on the negaive & positive posts.
IF you see anything over 13.2 Volts...your alternator charging system is working. If you see less..then you have a problem with:
1. The alternator...unlikely since it is working for the truck.
2. The wiring or fuse to your rear connector. Take a volt reading on the appropriate connector pins to confirm (13.2+V)
3. The wiring from your coach side pins to your battery bank. After checking #2 this is the only possibility. Check connections for continuity.

If all this checks out, then you are experiencing a system that is working properly to put a small trickle charge on your LARGE battery bank and will not under normal circumstances provide anything beyond a maintenance charge while driving. Plugging in or charging with a separate generator or large bank of solar cells are your choices for actually putting a bulk charge on your batts. Your converter should be sized to be 20-25% of your battery capacity in amp hours for maximum efficiency in cost of fuel and charging time.
With 3 coach batteries I assume you have somewhere between 225 and 300 amp hours of battery capacity so a charger with 50 to 75 amps charging current would be ideal.
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