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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2009
Luvoekars Luvoekars is offline
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Default explain charging?

As a new wanderlodge owner could any of you help me understand the charging system? From reading on other post I see that the generator battery is charged through a diode off the house battery bank. There are 2 chargers in the charger compartment, which I felt were tied together to the house batteries. I also hear mention of a switch to tie the house and chassis batteries together, but I don’t seem to have that. The only switch I seem to have is a momentary switch that ties the house and generator battery together. You would certainly think there would be a way to connect the house and chassis batteries. Also, I hear mention that the 2 chargers might be charging the two different sets (house and chassis). Only one my chargers appear to be getting warm, and it takes forever to bring the gravity up in the house batteries.

Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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What type of BB do you have? Model, year, etc will help us help you! You can add that to your signature by going to the "User CP" are at the top left of any forum screen. Just scroll down and you'll see a place for "signature". You can put your coach year and type there, so it shows everytime you post.
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Old 02-11-2009
Luvoekars Luvoekars is offline
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Sorry, I recently purchased a 1987 PT 38. It is a gorgious coach, one owner, stored inside, absolutely perfect, including most of the original appliances have never been used. The problem is the dealer who had it won't get me in contace with the original owner!

Thanks,
Adam
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Old 02-11-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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You may find some paperwork that will lead to the owners name. Does the coach have a name? If so, somebody may know it and be able to help that way. Otherwise, don't worry as everybody here is very willing to share their knowledge and insight! Unfortunately, I have a 96 and am just learning it, so I can't provide any help to your 87! As a previous car saleman (years ago), I think I'd be chatting with the dealer GM to see if he will contact the previous owner to see if it's okay for you to then contact them.

Did you get the blue box for your coach?
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Last edited by fxdwg; 02-11-2009 at 12:59 PM. Reason: adding question
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2009
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Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
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I found the first owner of my coach by going through the blue box. The build sheets were there and some warranty receipts with his name on them.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2009
GPSGary GPSGary is offline
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Default Charging system

Getting back to the original question of how the charging system works (or doesn't as the case may be).

The earlier 70s, 80s BB electrical systems were designed for relatively short trips and depended heavily on the generator for electrical support.

The chargers commonly referred to as "battery boilers" on this forum are "dumb" chargers. From the tests I've done, they appear to be current sources. In other words, they pump out gobs of current into whatever battery they are connected to up to about 13ish volts.

This isn't the best for battery health. There have been bunches of links to stuff about batteries on this forum. I suggest you read a few because knowing what keeps your batteries healthy will vastly improve your enjoyment and lessen your expenses.

Very basic BB battery charging circuit (diode to the generator battery), is flawed in a few ways. The generator battery only charges to one diode drop less than the main battery bank. If your alternator is putting out a marginal 13 volts or worst your main batteries are only capable of charging to 12.6 volts or so, you will get one shot starting the generator if you're lucky.

The switch that engages the solenoid to short the generator battery to the main battery bank is less than worthless. If your main batteries are weak it will drag the generator battery down and rarely give you sufficient boost to start the engine. The best thing you can do with this switch is hold it down for a few minutes before shutting off the engine in the hopes of charging the generator battery to the same voltage as the main batteries, instead of one diode drop lower.

There is a simple improvement you can make to this arrangement. Install a lower drop isolator like a Shottky diode or a voltage sense smart relay.

Consider very seriously upgrading your charger because the "battery boilers" are exactly that. They cause excessive water loss and don't properly "energize" the batteries. The smart chargers present their own challenges because now you have voltages up to 15 volts on some of your house circuitry and you need to be careful and know how that impacts the various electrical equipment.

Read, read, read.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2009
Luvoekars Luvoekars is offline
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Thanks for the info, I know the previous owner's name, but unfortunately he is in a nursing home, and the dealer says he is too bad to communicate. The coach name was "Our Way" and it is a burgundy and silver PT 38.

Another good thing I have is that my family used to own a large auto/truck battery company, so I am somewhat knowledgeable on batteries. I’m very curious right now as to how the chassis and house batters are connected, and at what times? Also how do the 2 banks charge?

Adam
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2009
GPSGary GPSGary is offline
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Default Explain charging

I may be wrong and I'm sure someone will be happy to correct me but stock BBWL configurations only have the main battery bank (which people refer to as starting or alternatively and confusingly, house batteries) and a separate generator battery.

The generator is assumed to be the "fail safe" starter by firing up the AC and charging the main batteries. Only if people have retrofitted their coach with a secondary battery bank is there truly a "house" battery bank.

The subject of separating the main batteries into two banks or adding oomph to the generator battery plus the size, type and location of a true second battery bank probably account for close to 50% of the electrical posts on this forum.

There are as many solutions and opinions as flees on a dog in August.

Please share your thoughts based upon your family business.

Regards,
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2009
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Default Thread Moved to Electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvoekars View Post
Thanks for the info, I know the previous owner's name, but unfortunately he is in a nursing home, and the dealer says he is too bad to communicate. The coach name was "Our Way" and it is a burgundy and silver PT 38.

Another good thing I have is that my family used to own a large auto/truck battery company, so I am somewhat knowledgeable on batteries. I’m very curious right now as to how the chassis and house batters are connected, and at what times? Also how do the 2 banks charge?

Adam
Hi Adam,

It's the Signature Police here, please make up a signature that follows the suggestions found in this thread How To Post A New Topic Message Or A Reply To A Topic and Add Your Signature be sure to click on all of the links in that message and follow the suggestions, this is the way to create that permanent signature that will be posited the bottom of all of your messages automatically, you will find that you will get a better response to your questions if the members don't have to scroll through your previous messages to find the year and model of 'Bird that you own.

You never mentioned if you received the material contained in what we refer to as the BLUE BOX, that will contain manuals and drawings that pertain to your 'Bird. If you haven't got the BLUE BOX go to Wanderlodge Owners Group > Frequently Asked Questions > Manuals and Files Stored in This Forums Software DATABASE > 1987 Wanderlodge WLP..> 29-Nov-2008 20:47 10.1M this is a very large PDF manual for your 'Bird, so it will take a while to download. There is a drawing of the standard battery configuration in that manual, but hopefully you will have some better and bigger drawing that came from the factory when it was new, by following the routing shown in the factory blueprint drawings it will help you to better understand how these things are put together.

Thanks to the contributions of material and information from our members, our Database found at Manuals and Files Stored in This Forums Software DATABASE currently has one of the largest collection of Wanderlodge related material and information for our members free use and download privileges, with a content of 119 Files and 60 Directories and currently the total size of the forums Database is 251,947,895 Bytes. So take the time to look through it and download onto your computer the items that you think will help you. Be sure to check back every so often as we are always updating the content of the Database.
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2009
Luvoekars Luvoekars is offline
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I found the "blue box" but it really did not have much in it that I felt like helped me I'm assuming that maybe the previous post was correct, because there is no talk at all of different house/chassis batteries. It also appears that the battery chargers only charge my "house" batteries" not the chassis batteries. When the coach is running, there must be a "merge" switch that hooks the 2 sets together, as the voltage in both banks come up to alt. voltage. If it originally did not have 2 different sets, it would solve why different coaches have different looking battery trays, and prevent different issues for accesing things on the rear of the engine.
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