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Old 01-15-2014, 11:16 PM   #1
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Electrical System - Chassis Battery Not Charging

What was a minor irritation has turned into a full-blown pain in the posterior...
My 2008 Berk 360 QS will no longer run unless the generator is also running. Batteries were new in March 2013. They were load tested today by an Interstate dealer. They're all within specs. The engine alternator is not charging, so unless the generator is running, voltage drops below 12 volts within an hour of driving. Are there any fuses, breakers or other owner-serviceable devices that might cause this problem?
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:41 AM   #2
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Did they charge ever after replacement? I had a the same thing and found that the DA that reconnect the batteries after cleaning failed to reconnect correctly. I was told to keep my fingers off or spit correctly. You might check that. I looked at mine ten times and thought it was right. I wire had fallen behind the compartment and I didn't see it.



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Old 01-16-2014, 08:32 AM   #3
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Previous owner replaced the batteries and put the unit up for sale... so improper hookup is a definite possibility. Problem wasn't apparent until I started full-timing. Like you, I've peered in the battery compartment numerous times. I'll take another look this morning, but when you're not sure what you're looking for...
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:53 AM   #4
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A tech at FR pointed mine out. A wire fell behind the batteries and just couldn't see it. Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByForest River Forums1389880372.432845.jpg
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
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A tech at FR pointed mine out. A wire fell behind the batteries and just couldn't see it. Attachment 45002
Phil, I think it's his chassis batteries that are the problem, not the house batteries. But you are right, the same problem could possibly exist on those batteries too, although much less likely but worth a check.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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If like you said the engine alternator is not charging it needs to be replaced
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:03 PM   #7
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I need to read better. Sorry.



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Old 01-17-2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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I need to read better. Sorry.

That pic of your set up will be helpful for many, especially for those who pull their batteries out for the winter. I have a picture I took with my phone so I remember how they go back in come spring. I checked mine with yours to see if we are the same. What would be good is if Boowho posted a pic of his as I know he had a more optimal arrangement than the factory wiring.

Anyway any luck John on your situation?
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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Don't see Boohoo on here as much lately. Must be enjoying the AZ sun.



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Old 01-20-2014, 12:21 AM   #10
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January 19, 2014 update: Made it to San Antonio by running the generator the whole trip from Arkansas. Checked for loose wires, corroded connections, unhooked wires, blown fuses - no luck. Alternator is not charging the chassis batteries. Next step is getting a meter on the alternator itself OR getting the coach to a Freightliner shop where they can plug in and diagnose. I'd like to get a voltmeter on the alternator before I concede defeat. It looks like the only way to get to it is through the bedroom floor...has anyone with a 2008 Berk 360QS done any alternator troubleshooting/replacement? The flooring looks as if the bed frame has to be uprooted to get to the access panels. I hope I'm wrong...
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #11
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The bed frame is on gas charged shocks. Just lift the foot of the bed up. The shocks might be weak (something I had to replace) but you can use a broom handle to keep it from coming back down.

There are two panels on the floor. One big flat one on the floor and one that is smaller and higher. It is a one piece angled cover right below the closet. You should only need to pull the smaller one up. Take out all of the long bolts (use a drill or impact as they are about 4 inches of thread). Then grab it at the edge where there is a bit of a lip and pull upward. You'll then see how it will come out. The the verticle piece of carpet under the closet that covers the verticle part of the cover is not attached to the cover itself, so just hold it out of the way. The only real tricky part is when you are reinstalling the cover and getting the bolt holes lined up again. It will require some fiddling and maybe moving the cover around as there is some play in it. You have my number if you need a "real time" talk through when you do it. Once you do it once it will be a snap. Good luck!


P.S. Have an old blanket or piece of cardboard etc to set the cover on once you pull it off. It will be dirty and grimey underneath and you'll be standing there holding a 30lb cover going, "S#%T where can I put this now?".....or at least that was me....lol.
James
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:43 PM   #12
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Four screws located and removed, but the small panel won't budge. Can't get a grip to pull it up. Are there more than 4 screws?
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
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Several expletives later... The vertical surface of the carpet on my coach is stapled securely to the small access hatch, so the corner closest to the bed won't lift vertically. Once past that challenge, I found that the side closest to the closet will. Then the hatch can be folded back against the bed, mostly out of the way. Continuing the fun...
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:42 PM   #14
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...forgot to mention that the wood panel below the closet has to come off first as well. It uses the same latches as the cupboards. Will just pop off. This is the decorative trim panel that is about 5" wide by 3' long
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:03 PM   #15
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An attempt to shorten a long story and share lessons learned:
(1) Alternator is closer to the bottom of the engine than the top. Nothing gained by removing bedroom access panel.
(2) I'm chasing an intermittent problem. Started the coach to check voltage at alternator: 14 volts. Dash meter confirms. Now it's charging. Next time...???
(3) Search for loose wires/bad connection continues. Departing San Antonio Sunday for Mission, TX. Cold weather found us here.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:10 PM   #16
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Sounds a lot like a bad ground wire.



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Old 01-24-2014, 01:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
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An attempt to shorten a long story and share lessons learned:
(1) Alternator is closer to the bottom of the engine than the top. Nothing gained by removing bedroom access panel.....

.....sorry John I assumed you had the Cummins in your Berk, not the Mercedes as I now understand. I could have saved you some panel pulling had I asked what engine you had. My bad.

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Old 01-27-2014, 09:30 AM   #18
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Elation / Frustration: the alternator charged the chassis batteries perfectly for the first three + hours of our trip to the Texas Valley. Console voltage meter showed about 13.8 volts the whole trip and no low voltage alarm. Stopped to top off fuel in Edenburg, TX and we were back to no charging and low voltage alarms as soon as I started the coach. Had to start the generator to keep the engine running properly. This is one of the crazier problems I've ever encountered!

Does anyone have a functional diagram / schematic of how the 12 volt charging system components in a Berk 360 are supposed to work together in harmony? I've searched other forums, but come up empty-handed.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #19
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You can't help me James if I don't provide enough information! Besides, it was a learning experience, just not a successful fix. Thanks for all your help.

John
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:13 AM   #20
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Sounds like a bad solenoid.
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