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M380 (Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your M380 model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.....list your M380 Parts here too.

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  #1  
Old 10-29-2019
M380Iowa M380Iowa is offline
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Default Generator battery charging?

The generator battery on our M380 goes dead while in storage even though the coach is plugged into a 15A 110V outlet. The coach batteries stay charged, but the generator battery goes flat. I charged it overnight with my shop charger, then removed the positive cable and there was a decent spark when I held the cable close to the battery post. So something is drawing power from it. Any ideas what is draining it? Is the generator battery only charged by running the generator itself or do I need a battery tender for it while in storage? The generator battery is less than a year old.
TIA for any help.
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Steve Florer
West Des Moines, Iowa
2004 M380
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Old 10-29-2019
DW SD DW SD is offline
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Do you have a combiner switch for that battery?
I believe you need to have that switch on to charge. Otherwise it is only charged via alternator on generator.
As for your draw, that I can’t explain. But I would get a current meter on there and see what the real draw is.
I pay special attention to topping off that battery each time I use it through the combiner switch. I energize in the morning when the solar is pumping. Then turn off when in float.

Doug
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Doug W.
Encinitas CA
2004 M380
Ex-PT36
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2019
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Dc2x4drvr Dc2x4drvr is offline
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The genny battery is a standalone unit, just hookup a battery tender if your coach is in storage, the battery is only charged when the generator is on, and the alternator is working..
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Lance & Linda Hall
2004 M380
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Old 10-29-2019
hexspeed hexspeed is offline
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(Lance beat me to the “post” button so some of my response is redundant.)
Adding to Doug’s response, from the factory, the generator battery is isolated from the rest of the batteries and charges only from the alternator on the generator engine. Bluebird provided a “momentary” combiner switch on the dash that allows you to jump a dead generator battery from the house bank.

Because many of us have suffered from a dead generator battery, there have been several types of mods to keep that battery charged. I installed a Battery Tender that I plug in when in storage and occasionally when on the road without generator use. Some have replaced the momentary combiner with an “on/off” switch so the generator battery can be charged with the other batteries. Obviously, this strategy only works if you remember to move the switch to “off” when you’re not plugged in and drawing down the battery bank. It would be possible to insert a smart combiner that would protect the generator battery from dropping too low, although I haven’t seen anyone write that mod up on WOG. Lastly, I suppose a PO could have added something that draws from the generator battery - silly, but have heard of worse.

Agree with Doug - you need to make sure the generator battery is still isolated and use a meter to verify there is nothing drawing from it. I suppose it’s possible that the new battery sat discharged too long and has suffered a premature death - either you or a battery dealer can test for that.

Keep us posted with what you find!

Jim
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Westerville, OH
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Old 10-29-2019
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Could be a bad diode pack in the genset alternator if it goes flat quick. Mine stays charged, this post was a good reminder to attend to it occasionally...
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Chip Lamb
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2004 M380 99k/22xx hours
Former: 90 SP36, 92 WB40, 85 FC35SB & others
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Old 10-31-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiplamb View Post
Could be a bad diode pack in the genset alternator if it goes flat quick. Mine stays charged, this post was a good reminder to attend to it occasionally...
Chip, I'm not 100% sure, but I think that a prior owner did a mod. I don't think that blue, finned, box on the wall of the bay is stock. My thinking is that it is a diode isolator for power coming from the house batteries to the gen battery. Certainly never went low no matter how long it sat here.
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Don Bradner
Current: No RV at this time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Old 10-31-2019
M380Iowa M380Iowa is offline
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Thanks for all the help. I’m installing a “smart” battery tender and a battery cut off switch to isolate the generator battery while the coach is in storage.
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Steve Florer
West Des Moines, Iowa
2004 M380
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonB View Post
Chip, I'm not 100% sure, but I think that a prior owner did a mod. I don't think that blue, finned, box on the wall of the bay is stock. My thinking is that it is a diode isolator for power coming from the house batteries to the gen battery. Certainly never went low no matter how long it sat here.
Good to know, thanks, Don. Likewise I've not had a problem - gen always fires right off.
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2004 M380 99k/22xx hours
Former: 90 SP36, 92 WB40, 85 FC35SB & others
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