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Topic: Generator won't charge coach batteries

Posted By: Appleman on 06/09/12 01:36pm

We have a 2010 Hurricane class A. The coach batteries will not charge when gen set is running. (Onan 5500) Everything else works and the batts charge fine when shore power is hooked up. All other systems work fine. Both breakers on genset have been flipped off then back on. I used a stand alone charger plugged into a 110v outlet and hooked directly to the batteries to charge them and this worked fine. Help!


Robert & Joy Appleman - 2010 Four Winds Hurricane V10


Posted By: wolfe10 on 06/09/12 02:49pm

You have a puzzler there, as once power gets to the ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) the rest of your electrical system is exactly the same when on generator and on shore power.

Is this a 30 or 50 amp wired coach?


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Posted By: wild bill on 06/09/12 04:13pm

The Onan 5500 only makes 110 ......not set up to charge 12 volt batteries....your coach sould have a 110 powered converter to charge your batteries once the Onan starts up.....


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Posted By: mockturtle on 06/09/12 04:41pm

You don't by any chance have a battery disconnect switch turned on (off), do you? Everything will run in my coach, 110 & 12V, when hooked up to shore power but it will bypass the batteries when turned to the off position, as for storage.


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Posted By: OnaQuest on 06/09/12 05:10pm

The coach is 50amp. Sure sounds like a bad ATS to me.


Posted By: Appleman on 06/09/12 05:29pm

This is a 50 AMP service. When the unit is "plugged" to 110 it does charge the batteries which tells me the power converter should be ok, I checked both of the genset breakers , and the main shut off switches ... all are on. The only reason I know it's not charging is I keep a LED monitor plugged into a 12v connector I installed in the kitchen wired directly into the coach system, not the chassis system. I feel that it has to be a generator problem, but since everything else works I am at a loss.


Posted By: mena661 on 06/09/12 06:07pm

Does your A/C and microwave work on generator power?


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Posted By: Appleman on 06/09/12 09:07pm

On Gen power everything works, AC, microwave, 110v outlets all have power. the ONLY thing wrong is genset not charging batteries.


Posted By: smkettner on 06/09/12 09:11pm

What is the brand and model of the converter that is doing the charging?
Have you changed batteries or anything else electric lately?
Otherwise if the converter is getting 120vac in it should have 13.6vdc out... whip out your voltmeter and start poking around.


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Posted By: dougrainer on 06/10/12 06:48am

You may know this, but the Genset (APU) does NOT charge 12 volt batteries. ALL the APU does is supply 120 volts to the RV and the RV's CONVERTER or INVERTER/Charger (whichever you have) charges the batteries. So, your task is to determine, do you have a Converter or a Inverter/charger. Then make sure you have 120 current to it. You also need to determine the CORRECT 120 voltage from the APU. Maybe the APU output is too low. Your Converter or Inverter/charger may have a problem with the frequency of the 120 current. Since you have a 5500 Onan, is itn possible the voltage is too HIGH due to a faulty voltage regulator on the Onan? Can you repost with
1. Type charger--Converter or Inverter/charger and brand and model
2. The output voltage of the ONAN--NO LOAD and model on Onan. Doug


Posted By: MrWizard on 06/10/12 08:31am

as strange as this may sound
it seems the converter is wired ahead of the ATS
in other words directly to the shore power input or the shore power main breaker
between the ATS and the breaker panel
do you have a built in inverter? is it an inverter/ charger is there another ATS switch for the inverter circuits?


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Posted By: Appleman on 06/10/12 04:57pm

The Power converter is an WFCO 55AMP Model: WF 9855. This is working fine when plugged into shore power and charges the batteries ok. It is only on generator power that it does not charge. And, since all other 110v stuff works fine on generator power it's confusing.

The ATS is an IOTA ITS 50A.


Posted By: smkettner on 06/10/12 05:09pm

Well do you know what breaker the WFCO is connected to?
Or you need to dig in and discover where WFCO gets power when on the generator.
Could one of the generator breakers be tripped? Otherwise you need to fire it up and trace power to the WFCO.


Posted By: dougrainer on 06/11/12 05:32am

Your converter has a standard 120 cord plug. UNPLUG it and check for 120 voltage at the plug. THAT is the FIRST thing you do. Post the results. Doug


Posted By: fischer on 06/11/12 09:42am

Appleman I assume you have a ford chassis and if you do the output of the converter goes to a battery control center in the front of the coach. Inside they have a main battery dissconect, aux battery disconnect,and a isolator charge solenoid and a electronic board.
My coach batterty would not charge unless the engine was runing my charge relay was bad napa had the relay in stock.
If you go to the web and search for " rv custom products Battery control center trouble shooting guide " you get 6 pages of how to troubleshoot the box and the schematic.
I typed in battery contol center trouble shooting
you pick the one that came fom www.irv2.com and the guide will appear
good luck

* This post was edited 06/11/12 10:09am by fischer *


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Posted By: dougrainer on 06/11/12 09:48am

fischer wrote:

Appleman I assume you have a ford chassis and if you do the output of the converter goes to a battery control center in the front of the coach. Inside they have a main battery dissconect, aux battery disconnect,and a isolator charge solenoid and a electronic board.
My coach batterty would not charge unless the engine was runing my charge relay was bad napa had the relay in stock.
If you go to the web and search for " rv custom products Battery control center trouble shooting guide " you get 6 pages of how to troubleshoot the box and the schematic.


The battery control center has nothing to do with Ford or any brand chassis. The OEM Coach maker installs these type components. Doug


Posted By: Appleman on 06/12/12 09:37am

Thanks to all for your responses. I have a broken collar bone so my mechanic skills are a little hampered right now. What I did today was
1. Check 120v outlet where power converter is plugged in. It was ok.
2. Tried generator and the plug had 120v yet the converter was NOT on.
3. Now it is the same result SOMETIMES when plugged into shore power.

My conclusion to this is that my power is ok TO the converter but SOMETIMES it does not come on. I just tried it again and it worked fine on both shore and generator power. Both fuses on power converter are ok. All breakers are ok. So, it would seem I have a bad power converter. Perhaps now is the time to put a real one in the coach as this one is probably the chintzyest one on the planet. Any recommendations as to what to replace this with ?? What I was thinking was the Inteli-Power PD9160A as I already have the plug in wizard from a previous coach. WFCO sure advertises well, but I think Inteli Power is a better charger.


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