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Old 04-24-2021, 12:18 PM   #1
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Engine/Alternator intermittently not charging batteries

I was driving home the other day from a camping trip and the monitors showed the batteries were not being charged by the engine/alternator. Got home, a bit later went out to put the RV on the leveling jacks and the engine/alternator started charging again. (This is based on inverter panel reading 12.5 when not charging and 14/14.1 when alternator first starts charging. Same with the battery monitor on my Precision Plex panel.

Worked fine for a day, shut everything down and then came out this morning to add some stabil to the RV. When I first fired it up it wasn't being charged by the engine/alternator. I then turned on the generator and the batteries started charging according to the panels. Let that run a bit, shut it down and once again the inverter panel was showing a charge from the engine alternator. Turned the engine off, waited a few minutes, then started it up again and the inverter panel/Precision Plex started showing the charge again. No inverter error codes being shown either

Not a fuse or it wouldn’t work at all. It’s intermittent. I thought it might be the alternator but it’s still going strong and showing 14.1 volts when it charges. I can't find any loose connections. Any ideas?
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:21 PM   #2
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Loose and/or corroded connections comes to mind.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WanderMore View Post
Loose and/or corroded connections comes to mind.
Haven't found any yet and there is no issue charging off the generator or shore power.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the update.

Ray
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:55 PM   #5
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It appears you don't have a problem and the cross charging is functioning correctly. This is an excerpt from the scenarios for earlier year GT's. The numbers for your unit may be different but the sequence of events is the same.

For the purpose of charging the coach and chassis batteries, power for the control
electronics is obtained from the ignition switch and coach battery through diodes D 1 and
D2. Underway, when the charging source is the engine generator, +l3.2vdc on the
ignition line triggers the electronics. After a lSsec. delay, the interconnect relay closes,
paralleling the batteries. Should the battery voltage go below 12.7vdc, the interconnect
relay will open after around a 15sec. delay. When the vehicle is parked and on shore
power, when the converter brings the coach battery up to +13.2vdc, the interconnect relay
will close after the 15sec delay, charging the chassis battery as well. As before, the relay
will open when the battery voltage goes below 12.7vdc
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
It appears you don't have a problem and the cross charging is functioning correctly. This is an excerpt from the scenarios for earlier year GT's. The numbers for your unit may be different but the sequence of events is the same.

For the purpose of charging the coach and chassis batteries, power for the control
electronics is obtained from the ignition switch and coach battery through diodes D 1 and
D2. Underway, when the charging source is the engine generator, +l3.2vdc on the
ignition line triggers the electronics. After a lSsec. delay, the interconnect relay closes,
paralleling the batteries. Should the battery voltage go below 12.7vdc, the interconnect
relay will open after around a 15sec. delay. When the vehicle is parked and on shore
power, when the converter brings the coach battery up to +13.2vdc, the interconnect relay
will close after the 15sec delay, charging the chassis battery as well. As before, the relay
will open when the battery voltage goes below 12.7vdc

I have always seen a 13.9 to 14.1 on the inverter panel when starting the RV engine up when first running the engine. It has always shown some level above 12.7 when driving. This morning it was at 12.3 when I started the engine and after running about 5 minutes there was no indication that it was charging so I started the generator to see if that would make a difference. Then it kicked up to 13.1. After turning off the generator and starting up the engine it popped up to 13.9 again for a short time. Anyway... . I'll look into what you posted and I understand what you're saying but it didn't act like that before.

I'm only reading this from the panel readings at the moment and as a crappy electrician at best I'll get a friend to help me look further,
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:07 PM   #7
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I had a problem with our Sunseeker's chassis engine's alternator sometimes charging the coach batteries and sometimes not. Invariably it would charge fine when I checked it out in the driveway and quit while we were on a trip. I finally traced it to the battery interconnect relay, which would engage but the contacts weren't good. I've had no problems since I replaced it.

If you replace it, but sure you get one rated for 200 amps. Trailer repair shops sell identical ones for trailers that are rated for 30 amps. Thirty amps is fine for a trailer where the relay only carries current from the batteries to the trailer distribution panel, but the motorhome interconnect relay has to carry a much higher current when you use the battery boost switch to start the engine with the coach batteries.
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:35 PM   #8
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This of course could cause issues but seems there would also be an issue with charging the chassis battery when on shore/generator power and also aux (emergency) starting for your Sunseeker. Maybe there was.
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Old 04-25-2021, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
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This of course could cause issues but seems there would also be an issue with charging the chassis battery when on shore/generator power and also aux (emergency) starting for your Sunseeker. Maybe there was.
The chassis battery never really needed to be charged when on shore power, so I never noticed a problem with that.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:44 PM   #10
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The chassis battery never really needed to be charged when on shore power, so I never noticed a problem with that.
It doesn't work that way. When on shore power and when the coach batteries reach a certain charge level the interconnect relay will close charging the chassis battery in parallel with the coach batteries. Also, if your converter has float charge capability the chassis battery along with the coach batteries will be maintained continuously at the float charge level (approximately 13.1Vdc or so). The charging system is not a demand type system. When the alternator is involved the opposite scenario (chassis vs coach batteries charging priority) is initiated. I do not have a coach like yours but this is how a typical Forest River installed charging system in a motorhome functions. How it gets done (B.I.R.D/BIM/BCC) may be different but the end result is, I believe, the same. Been wrong before.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:41 PM   #11
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Charge

I would check chassis ground 1 st.
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Old 04-25-2021, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
It doesn't work that way. When on shore power and when the coach batteries reach a certain charge level the interconnect relay will close charging the chassis battery in parallel with the coach batteries. Also, if your converter has float charge capability the chassis battery along with the coach batteries will be maintained continuously at the float charge level (approximately 13.1Vdc or so). The charging system is not a demand type system. When the alternator is involved the opposite scenario (chassis vs coach batteries charging priority) is initiated. I do not have a coach like yours but this is how a typical Forest River installed charging system in a motorhome functions. How it gets done (B.I.R.D/BIM/BCC) may be different but the end result is, I believe, the same. Been wrong before.
I understand quite well how the battery interconnection system works. As I stated, the chassis battery never needed to be charged from the coach system. In other words, it was never dead so whether the coach system charged the chassis battery or not it would not have mattered, nor would it have been noticeable without putting a voltmeter in the chassis system.
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:01 PM   #13
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Not sure if this applies, but my Forester has a precision circuits BIM in the step well that regulates what get charged. They have mine set up where the alternator will only charge the house batteries for the first hour of diving and wonít start charging again until the batteries drop to a certain voltage or the engine is turned off for 10 minutes to reset They have the process on their web site.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:41 AM   #14
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I had a similar problem with my coach and it turned out to be a loose battery terminal. It was intermittent and not easy to find. Only when I gave the terminals a good shaking did I find the problem. Tightened the terminals and everything is fine.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:36 PM   #15
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Forest River directed me to the Battery Control Center where there is a solenoid that may be working intermittently. It may be a bit but I'll check there next time I get a chance.
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Forest River directed me to the Battery Control Center where there is a solenoid that may be working intermittently. It may be a bit but I'll check there next time I get a chance.
Forest River switched from a Battery Control Center (BCC) SDC-107A from RV Custom Products to a Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) from Precision Circuits in the 2019-2020 production of the Georgetown & FR3.

Please check to see if you have a BCC or BIM.


The Battery Isolation Manager has a duty cycle.
The BIM monitors the battery voltage of both the chassis and coach batteries over long periods of time. If it senses a charging voltage, it connects the two batteries together. If the charging system is drastically overburdened, the batteries will be isolated, however, if the BIM sees a long term charging of both batteries it will allow the batteries to remain connected and allow the charging system to do its job. Once the batteries have charged for one hour, the BIM will isolate the batteries to prevent overcharging, and will only reconnect the batteries for charging if one of the batteries drops to approximately 80% charge, and the other is being charged. This long term monitoring of the batteries prevents the annoying relay clicking that exists in simpler isolation modules today. The BIM does not guarantee 100% battery charge, but prevents harmful battery charge levels.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rk06382 View Post
Forest River switched from a Battery Control Center (BCC) SDC-107A from RV Custom Products to a Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) from Precision Circuits in the 2019-2020 production of the Georgetown & FR3.

Please check to see if you have a BCC or BIM.
Tom's 2019.5 Georgetown and my 2020.0 Georgetown both have a Precision Circuits Battery Control Center. Mine is model number 8421.

https://precisioncircuitsinc.com/pro...trol-center-6/

Ray
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:12 AM   #18
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Mine is actually the RV Custom Products SDC-107A. There's an isolator relay that may be bad. I'm going to take a look at it tomorrow but there is another poster that had similar problems with a different source on the same model BCC.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...7a-194843.html
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TominVegas View Post
Mine is actually the RV Custom Products SDC-107A. There's an isolator relay that may be bad. I'm going to take a look at it tomorrow but there is another poster that had similar problems with a different source on the same model BCC.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...7a-194843.html
Whoa, my apologies for the incorrect note I put above. I thought you had a 2019.5? The ones with the Precision Plex touchscreen system. No?

Ray
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:31 PM   #20
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Whoa, my apologies for the incorrect note I put above. I thought you had a 2019.5? The ones with the Precision Plex touchscreen system. No?

Ray
I have the Precision Plex touchscreen in my unit like you do. It just has the RV Custom Products BCC. Hard to say exactly when they switched over. I'm pretty sure all the 34H5 have the same Precision Plex touchscreen as they were started after some of the other GT5 series.
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