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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 10-20-2011
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Question Battery isolators, house charger, and alternator question

I've finally been able to work on my new (to us ) Bird this week. I was seeing a short when plugging in my Crown house charger. This morning I started tracing cables from the batteries to the isolators. Someone had run the cables from the isolators directly to ground on the batteries. I now have the house charger operating correctly. The isolators check out OK with the multimeter. I have 6 12v batteries, 2 for start, 4 appear to be for house, but wired to different circuits( frig is separated as is lighting /instrument panel).

Right now all batteries, including start batteries, are hooked to isolators to charge from house charger. I also have a few small gauge wires that are connected to the positive of the house batteries( not start batteries) that go to the buss fuses in the battery compartment, I did not have time to trace them out this morning.

I have no wiring diagrams from the previous owner from when the isolators were installed. I don't know if he installed them incorrectly or someone changed batteries not knowing what they were doing. I am not sure if install was ever finished as I'm finding some cables hanging yet near the isolators.

My question is how do I hook up the alternator from engine to charge while going down the road? Do I need to isolate (via a solenoid) the alt input from the Crown input , or is there something internal on the Crown to do this?

Also , I have one positive cable from a house battery that goes to something behind the battery box. It is marked Stewart Warner, looks like it has a corrugated? copper strip between 2 terminals. What is this for?
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Craig and Mary McGuire
Dover, Ar
1979 FC35XV (SOLD)
1974 Avion Travelcade 28'
1984 Dodge Travel Wagon Class B
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Old 10-20-2011
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Your last question I would bet is a shunt. do you have a way to post a picuture?
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2011
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I googled shunts and I believe you are correct. Since it said Stewart Warner I thought it may be instrument related, just never thought of a shunt. Thanks for that answer!
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Craig and Mary McGuire
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1979 FC35XV (SOLD)
1974 Avion Travelcade 28'
1984 Dodge Travel Wagon Class B
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Old 10-20-2011
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Those small gage wires on each end of the shunt may run to a SW AMP meter.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2011
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Craig,
My coach uses the same battery bank for start and house. The alternator is connected dierctly to the batteries and my Xantrex charger/inverter is also directly connected. The alternator and Xantrex both try to charge the batteries but neither is aware of the other. The internal voltage regulators adjust the output and they come to a balance, each taking part of the load. The Xantrex and alternator are actually only both charging when the engine is running and the generator is also running.

Diode battery isolators result a in less than full charge of batteries since they drop some voltage. Newer solenoid type isolators are better since they transfer full voltage.
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Old 10-21-2011
jerpicard jerpicard is offline
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I had to take my bus to a mechanic to get the scoop on my wiring. All of my batteries are wired to the alternator, something to do with the alternator needs a charge to start charge (not self-igniting), which was new to me

Not sure if this helps but it helped me understand how my isolator was hooked up.
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1985 Wanderlodge FC 35' RB
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Old 10-21-2011
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I found that when I hook the shunt cable up, I get a .2Amp draw on it with nothing on that I know of. Need to do a little checking there.
Otherwise this morning I aired the tanks up with my shop air and worked on my brake light issue. Found the brake light switch is bad so I ordered a new one before I left for work.
Blew all the water out of my air tanks while I was looking for a small air leak on the step retract valves.Checked my fuel solenoid voltage too, is reading low(9.3V) , so need to look at that a little further.
At least I have it now so I can leave it plugged in to shore power while working on it. Will have to verify charging on alternator once I start it back up to change oil some morning next week. Thanks for the help everyone.
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Craig and Mary McGuire
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1979 FC35XV (SOLD)
1974 Avion Travelcade 28'
1984 Dodge Travel Wagon Class B
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Old 10-21-2011
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.2 Amp is a very low draw. Is your XV equiped with any LED indicator lamps? Is there a indoor/outdoor theometer? Roof top AC units that are switched from the drivers seat? Even the Voltage gage. Lots of places for juice to flow.
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