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Old 09-13-2019, 01:25 AM   #1
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Class-C- Does Engine Charge House Batteries?

Title is my question.

I installed a voltmeter on the wall in our SunSeeker 3100SS to monitor the house batteries. When first plugged in to shore power the voltage is around 14.5 volts, eventually settling to about 13.2 volts for the long term. Based what I've read and experienced, this is more-or-less normal operation.

Last week we took a 60-mile drive to exercise the machinery, and take the cats to the vet. While under way the voltage was 12.5, so I suspect the "truck" engine is not charging the house batteries.

Any advice on what to look for? The E450 manual has an entry in the under-hood fuse box for "modified vehicle," with no further description.

K-R.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:39 AM   #2
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The battery control center handles the bidirectional charging of the house and chassis batteries. The interconnect for that is a heavy gauge wire from the chassis battery through a Hi-amp circuit beaker mounted near the chassis battery. This wire then connects to the BCC interconnect solenoid. The switching of the solenoid is controlled by a controller that is part of the BCC.

Nothing in the chassis fuse box should be part of this circuit.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:55 PM   #3
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Sorry for taking so long to get back to it; "life" intervened. Anyway, I looked under the hood and did not see anything that looked like a circuit breaker near the battery. The battery is on the right (passenger/starboard) side of the engine bay and the fuse box is on the left. I just shook my head and closed the hood.

Suppose I should ask where the battery control center is in a 2006 3100SS E-450. Is that the charger under the bed? I replaced the WFCO unit with the one that everyone on the forum uses (the name slips me now- PD? Progressive?).

I looked in the house-battery compartment and found some components with wires all over them. They were encrusted with enough mud from our dirt roads that I could not tell what they were.

K-R.

P.S. Also wondering why I have to let the almighty Google spy on me, just to post a message...
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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Put a bolt meter on the house battery and record voltage.
Start motorhome.
Look at volt meter, did voltage go 1 volt or more?
Yes= engine is charging house battery.

You could do the same thing with battery charge indicator on wall since it is reading volts.
Or even start it at night and see if the house lights get brighter
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:56 PM   #5
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Voltmeter did not change when engine was running. On shore power or generator voltage went to charging voltage.

Does a schematic diagram exist for the battery system?

K-R.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:56 PM   #6
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not sure about the schematics.

But I "expect" my new Forester MBS has the engine charging the house batteries.
One reason I think this is forest river has the electronics setup so I am forced to start the engine and put on the parking brake to:
open/close slides (I can live with this)
lower stabilizers (when I start engine a very loud alarm right next to the stabilizer switch goes off telling me jacks are down.)
move awning. (so the wind starts to blow in middle of night and I left awning out? I am supposed to start the coach so I can close my awning?


I would follow the wires and see if there is a 12v relay in line between coach and house batteries (looks like an old Ford starter relay from the 60/70's)
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kchula-Rrit View Post
Sorry for taking so long to get back to it; "life" intervened. Anyway, I looked under the hood and did not see anything that looked like a circuit breaker near the battery. The battery is on the right (passenger/starboard) side of the engine bay and the fuse box is on the left. I just shook my head and closed the hood.

Suppose I should ask where the battery control center is in a 2006 3100SS E-450. Is that the charger under the bed? I replaced the WFCO unit with the one that everyone on the forum uses (the name slips me now- PD? Progressive?).

I looked in the house-battery compartment and found some components with wires all over them. They were encrusted with enough mud from our dirt roads that I could not tell what they were.

K-R.

P.S. Also wondering why I have to let the almighty Google spy on me, just to post a message...
I think the components encrusted with mud is probably your "Battery Control Center."



A relay like above connects the house battery to the chassis batteries for charging from the engine alternator. A 2nd relay is for the battery disconnect. The black box would be the relay control.

But I am only guessing as I have a FR3. My BCC looks like this:



From another thread from
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblerGuy View Post
.......
On our 2011 Sunseeker, it was manufactured by Intellitec and is the black box located beside the relay.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #8
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rk06382, I truly appreciate you crawling under the frame to take that photo, being in Alaska and all.

I think I remember seeing something like that relay/solenoid in our house-battery compartment before the mud flew. Have to take another look before everything here freezes. I suppose it would be safe to hose it all down, since it already catches all the crud thrown up by the rear wheels. Wouldn't they have placed these things out of the line of fire or, at least, put a vented box around it?

Being an old nerd, I hate seeing electronics treated that way.

Towpro, you're right! That relay looks like the starter solenoid from my 1970 Maverick. Still miss that little car.

Anyway, I'm not especially worried at the moment since we have the generator and our carport has shore power. We'll be laying up for the winter real soon here, anyway.

K-R.
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kchula-Rrit View Post
rk06382, I truly appreciate you crawling under the frame to take that photo, being in Alaska and all.

I think I remember seeing something like that relay/solenoid in our house-battery compartment before the mud flew. Have to take another look before everything here freezes. I suppose it would be safe to hose it all down, since it already catches all the crud thrown up by the rear wheels. Wouldn't they have placed these things out of the line of fire or, at least, put a vented box around it?

Being an old nerd, I hate seeing electronics treated that way.

Towpro, you're right! That relay looks like the starter solenoid from my 1970 Maverick. Still miss that little car.

Anyway, I'm not especially worried at the moment since we have the generator and our carport has shore power. We'll be laying up for the winter real soon here, anyway.

K-R.
That picture was my before. This is what it looks like now after upgrading to four Battle Born batteries.


I love my Battle Born batteries. I am in progress of upgrading to six Battle Born batteries. see the thread below for more info.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:46 PM   #10
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I love my Battle Born batteries. I am in progress of upgrading to six Battle Born batteries. see the thread below for more info.

Once you've experienced Battleborn batteries you'll never go back to Lead Acid.


I think I'll stick with two as it seems I never run them down below 50%, at least so far.


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Old 10-13-2019, 05:57 PM   #11
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Towpro, you're right! That relay looks like the starter solenoid from my 1970 Maverick.

It looks the same but if you have to replace it don't use the same solenoid for your 70 Maverick. You'll need a "Continuous Duty" solenoid. Most starter solenoids are only good for intermittent duty.

Common issues with solenoid type battery "connectors" are with control wire to the solenoid and the ground. In an installation like yours a rusty chassis ground can render the whole connecting system inoperative.

Check voltage at control connection of solenoid. No voltage with engine off, should be battery charging voltage when engine running. If present as described, check the ground wire from the solenoid if it has two connections. If there is voltage on the ground wire with engine running the ground is bad. If only one control connection just check body of solenoid for presence of voltage. If you read full battery charge voltage on solenoid body with engine running it's not grounded. A good ground should make the ground wire or solenoid body have very little voltage at all. The amount present will be an indication of how much resistance there is in the connection to ground.

Just a starting point.
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