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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 07-23-2022
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Default Isolation, Charging and Inverting....

I am still in the process of searching, so bear with me. Sometimes it is about knowing what terms I need to search for!

I'm trying to get the coach ready for a 7 day trip that will involve one or two days without hookup. Not a huge issue, but I don't want to be stranded. I just replaced many of the cables with new ones.
  • When I bought the bus, the PO said he wasn't sure if the inverter worked or not, or how to tell. There is a power button on the overhead area right behind the driver, but it always appears to be off. When the engine was running recently, I discovered that the light was illuminated on that panel, indicating that the inverter was operating. When I turned off the engine, the light went off on the inverter.
  • The original owner did not want the house and engine batteries connected. (I don't know what her reasoning was, though I know why others do it). I have a bill that indicates that they did this, though I don't know how they did it.
  • I have two battery charger/converters - Intellipower 9100 with Charge Wizards. One is labeled "BUS" and one is labeled "GEN". The one labeled "GEN" charges the generator battery. The one labeled "BUS" charges the engine battery bank of four on the driver's side. The house batteries measure 12.6V (without a load) indicating that they are NOT charging when connected to shore power. None of the outlets or anything appear to work and the Inverter power button is not illuminated.
  • When the engine is running, but the House and the Engine batteries receive just above 14v from the alternator.

My questions:

Does the inverter only work when the engine is running?

Should the house batteries only charge when the engine is running?

I do have a manual, but I don't know what is true or not because of the batteries no longer being connected to each other.
Thanks in advance, and I will continue to search the forums for answers as well.
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1986 FC35
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2022
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Just in case you don't already have it, here's a charging diagram from a 1986 FC Owner's Manual:
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2022
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The Intellipower 9100 are chargers only, I would think that the charger labeled bus would charge all your house/engine batteries even if someone separated the battery banks.
Your inverter...probably a PAC inverter is separate. It probably only powers one or two outlets, your curtains and the TV
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2022
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If it is a PAC inverter toss it in the garbage
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2022
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On my '83 FC separating the house batteries from the start batteries was an interesting endeavor. Here is the final description.

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...0&postcount=36

On mine there was a battery isolator that separated the generator batteries from the start batteries. The alternator is on the start battery side of that isolator. When the engine is running both the start batteries and the generator batteries are being charged. When there is no charge source then you can discharge the start batteries without discharging the generator battery. Do you have an isolator to keep the Generator battery from being discharged? If so maybe hooking the Intellipower 9100 that currently just charges the generator the the Start side of your isolator would allow it to charge both.

This is the isolator I have, there are less expensive ones now.

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...50&sr=8-3&th=1

An interesting experiment is to disconnect your house batteries and see if you can start the engine. That will tell you how good a job they did separating the two systems.

Would you like to charge your house batteries when the engine is running?
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselbird01 View Post
Just in case you don't already have it, here's a charging diagram from a 1986 FC Owner's Manual:
I do have this one, but thank you. I am trying to find out what is missing or has been changed, but chasing some of the cables has been difficult
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atckip View Post
The Intellipower 9100 are chargers only, I would think that the charger labeled bus would charge all your house/engine batteries even if someone separated the battery banks.
Your inverter...probably a PAC inverter is separate. It probably only powers one or two outlets, your curtains and the TV
It is the PAC. There is no power to the TV, although the PAC manual says that some TVs won’t draw enough to turn on the outlet (it is automatic?)
I don’t have power curtains, but I have heard that there should be a way to chase down the wiring behind the sink area
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2022
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Everything charges when the engine is running, but just the start and generator batteries charge when it is parked.

That test is actually what led me here - I thought for some reason the house batteries were under the driver and the start batteries were in the other side, but found I could start the coach without the batteries hooked up on the right side.

I think they did a decent job in isolating, although I could see the benefit of the added amp hours if they were tied together - it would triple the total time. Of course, then if the battery gets low I am stuck.

I was thinking about either tying the gen charger into the house batteries or adding another intellipower.

Another option would be to install an inverter/charger and sending that to the bank that doesn’t charge unless the engine is running.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clyndes View Post
On my '83 FC separating the house batteries from the start batteries was an interesting endeavor. Here is the final description.

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...0&postcount=36

On mine there was a battery isolator that separated the generator batteries from the start batteries. The alternator is on the start battery side of that isolator. When the engine is running both the start batteries and the generator batteries are being charged. When there is no charge source then you can discharge the start batteries without discharging the generator battery. Do you have an isolator to keep the Generator battery from being discharged? If so maybe hooking the Intellipower 9100 that currently just charges the generator the the Start side of your isolator would allow it to charge both.

This is the isolator I have, there are less expensive ones now.

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...50&sr=8-3&th=1

An interesting experiment is to disconnect your house batteries and see if you can start the engine. That will tell you how good a job they did separating the two systems.

Would you like to charge your house batteries when the engine is running?
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Rev. Beau Dansizen
Avon Lake, Ohio
1986 FC35
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
If it is a PAC inverter toss it in the garbage
I am seeing that sentiment more and more, both here and in other vintage RV forums where this thing was used. I will research a replacement…
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2022
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If it works why throw it away?
Its not the latest and greatest,but your coach is an oldie too.
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