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Generators In this forum we will try to answer any of your questions about the different model generators that can be found on Blue Bird coach's.

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Old 02-01-2009
Rose Mary's Avatar
Rose Mary Rose Mary is offline
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Location: tenmile oregon
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Default genset dash voltage meter

Hi Group

Mom and I are still parked here in Q where the circle has dwindled to 3.
Been to lazy and warm to move yet...

anyway replaced the battery in the genset. The voltage on the dash gauge says its low -black hatch to red unless the cat is running which brings the voltage on the gen dash gauge up to normal.

Measuring at the batt. terminals with a voltage meter shows the battery to be good, 12.6 to 12.8.

after running the genset only the voltage on the dash drops...

why would the cat diesel charge the genset battery better?

I'm confused and it is probably one of those duh moments but could someone comment.
I know the bus is aging but those dash gauges were always right.

Rose Mary
82 FC 35
JP'S White Bird
presently in Quartzsite
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82 turbo FC 35
JP's White Bird
SW Oregon
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Old 02-02-2009
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose Mary View Post
Hi Group

Mom and I are still parked here in Q where the circle has dwindled to 3.
Been to lazy and warm to move yet...

anyway replaced the battery in the genset. The voltage on the dash gauge says its low -black hatch to red unless the cat is running which brings the voltage on the gen dash gauge up to normal.

Measuring at the batt. terminals with a voltage meter shows the battery to be good, 12.6 to 12.8.

after running the genset only the voltage on the dash drops...

why would the cat diesel charge the genset battery better?

I'm confused and it is probably one of those duh moments but could someone comment.
I know the bus is aging but those dash gauges were always right.

Rose Mary
82 FC 35
JP'S White Bird
presently in Quartzsite
Good morning Rose Mary,

First of all you don't indicate what type of genset you have on your 'Bird, is it a Perkins/Kohler, or an Onan or a different model, or if the genset motor is equipped with an alternator (some are and some are not) also what type of house battery charger(s) do you have?

I have an 85 amp house battery charger and in comparison when I'm running the Cat engine that Alternator is putting out 160 amps and always indicates a better charge. I always try to use the genset and house battery charger to charge up the house batteries good after prolonged dry camping prior to starting the CAT, that helps take some of the load off of the CAT alternator as it tries to charge up the low house batteries and my battery that I have exclusively for the CAT and supply the needs of the coach while under way.

Sometimes if I'm in a hurry to leave after dry camping, I will run the genset while under way to let the house battery charger HELP the CAT alternator, until I get a good charging voltage indication on the digital voltmeter and then I'll shut the genset down.

I personally don't put a lot of faith in the original equipment voltmeters on the dash, other than the needles move up and down, they are not the most accurate gauges I have seen, I actually go by a digital voltmeter that I purchased years ago that plugs into the cigarette lighter and it is a lot more accurate, I used this same type of digital gauge in my work van for years.



I personally didn't like the extra battery for the genset, so when I had my house batteries rewired (8 Trojan T-105's), I had them also wired to start the genset and I just make sure that I don't let the house batteries get too low before starting the gen set to recharge the battery bank with the battery charger, that has worked great for me ever since. I also installed another digital voltmeter for the house batteries bank above the stove to keep an eye on their charge level.

I just got into the habit of looking at it when ever I walk by it, or if I have a suspicion of something going wrong, that is how I caught the battery charger malfunctioning and then replaced it.
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