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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Dashboard Alternator light

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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 08/02/21 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RLS7201 wrote:

BFL13 wrote:

So if that light on means the alternator is shut down, the only amps coming in are from the solar and batteries. Not many solar amps, so battery will run down but with the house batts also on line, that would take longer.

The solar controller would stay in Bulk but not be able to keep the battery voltage at 14.6 for long. What happens next?

In my test when the charger was removed, the voltage went back down to spec, but the light stayed on. I don't know if the alternator came back on. It did when I restarted.


Pretty simple. When the line voltage drops, the regulator does its job and sends voltage to the rotor winds and the generator goes back to work.

Richard



In my test, I was not able to tell if the alternator stopped charging when the voltage got to 14.99 and the engine stumbled but then kept running. The red light came on.

Then with charger removed , voltage fell to 13.8ish and the light stayed on. I think that means the alternator was on then, or voltage would have dropped to 12.x and not been 13.8ish.

So at that point the alternator was on but the red light was on too. I don't know if the alternator ever quit, or just got left behind on supplying amps to the loads when the charger's voltage got the battery higher than the alternator's.

Whatever, the OP wants max amps while driving at the proper voltage for his batts, which is high enough to make his red light come on.

He needs to test when that happens with the monitor set to read the amps to the house batts and not just read the voltage. He needs to see if the alternator is supplying amps added to the solar amps or not when that happens.

If not, then a Dc-Dc charger could help, where it isolates the alternator system from the house system, but still supplies amps to the house to add to the solar's amps, and it can be set to the same proper battery spec voltage as the solar's so they both add their amps fully.

Without them being at the same charging voltage, once the batts get to a higher voltage than the alternator's voltage, no more amps from that source.

If the RV has a gen that can be run while driving, then the OP could have three chargers on the house to bring them up faster like he wants, if he can set the charger run by the gen to the same voltage as the other two are at.

Refer to the thread(s) on how many amps of a DC-Dc charger can be used with how many amps the alternator is so it won't over-heat the alternator. In there is also the way to reduce the DC-Dc draw on the engine batt/ alternator by using fatter wire for the DC-Dc-input.

Also, get more amps by maxing out the roof space with solar if it isn't already.


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
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2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 08/02/21 05:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eric1514 wrote:

Hi all,

The MPPT controller on my coach will deliver 14.6 volts in bulk mode which is fine. In fact it’s exactly what the specs on my GC2 house batteries call for. But when I turn on the engine and the system connects the coach and starter batteries together, the dashboard alternator light will illuminate, presumably because Ford thinks 14.6v is to high.

Couple of questions. Do I care? As far as I know, 14.6v is not excessive and the condition should only last a couple of hours until the charger drops to absorbtion mode and a lower voltage. Or, is there an easy way to reprogram the light or turn it off completely? I’m monitoring all the batteries while I travel with an app constantly running on an old cell phone so I know what’s going on without an idiot light. I can change the profile of the charger to a different battery type and lower the voltage to 14.2v but I don’t wanna if I don’t have to.

TIA,
Eric


what year is your coach?

Steve


2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 08/02/21 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

His sig says:

https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2015-winn........go-travato-class-b-floorplan-59g-tr24274

Seems to be the big brother to the Ram ProMaster City van I did the test with. [emoticon] Edit--except ProMasters are Rams, so how can it have a Ford in it? Our little van has a Dodge engine and transmission

* This post was edited 08/02/21 06:57pm by BFL13 *

eric1514

AZ ID

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Posted: 08/02/21 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:


what year is your coach?

Steve


The coach is 2006 Dynamax Isata built on a Ford E450 chassis. It's about 27ft.

[image]


2006 Isata Touring Sedan 250


eric1514

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Posted: 08/02/21 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

His sig says:

https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2015-winn........go-travato-class-b-floorplan-59g-tr24274

Seems to be the big brother to the Ram ProMaster City van I did the test with. [emoticon] Edit--except ProMasters are Rams, so how can it have a Ford in it? Our little van has a Dodge engine and transmission
Nah, we're talking about the Dynamax in this thread. Sorry for the confusion.

eric1514

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Posted: 08/02/21 08:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

...snip

He needs to test when that happens with the monitor set to read the amps to the house batts and not just read the voltage. He needs to see if the alternator is supplying amps added to the solar amps or not when that happens.


That's a good test to perform and I'll do it. I can read amps going into the house batteries with the engine on and with it off and do the math. I am curious as to what the alternator is doing when the alt light is lit. I don't have a clamp on amp meter but this might be a good excuse to buy one. I could then test the alternator directly.

BFL13 wrote:

If not, then a Dc-Dc charger could help, where it isolates the alternator system from the house system, but still supplies amps to the house to add to the solar's amps, and it can be set to the same proper battery spec voltage as the solar's so they both add their amps fully.


I don't think a DC-DC charger is in the works mostly because the removal of the present system, which works really well, would be more complex than I think I'm capable of.


BFL13 wrote:

If the RV has a gen that can be run while driving, then the OP could have three chargers on the house to bring them up faster like he wants, if he can set the charger run by the gen to the same voltage as the other two are at.


The coach has a generator but running it while the engine is on would, I think, present the same problem the panels are causing. The generator runs the converter which charges both battery banks. In truth, I've never done it so I'm not 100% sure about that.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/02/21 09:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eric,

I think you mentioned you use a trik-l-start. If wired between house bank and chassis battery there will be up to 5 amps of charging. This would also happen with the generator powering the converter.

Let me know if I am not remembering correctly.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

eric1514

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Posted: 08/02/21 09:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

eric,

I think you mentioned you use a trik-l-start. If wired between house bank and chassis battery there will be up to 5 amps of charging. This would also happen with the generator powering the converter.

Let me know if I am not remembering correctly.


This coach does not have a or need a Trik-L-Start. That was in my Class B. Funny thing, I bought one to install in this coach before I understood how the battery control system worked and it is on a shelf in my garage.

Simply put, the battery control in this MH will charge both battery banks if it senses a charge on either one, from any source. The alternator will charge the chassis and house batteries and shore, generator or solar will charge the house and chassis batteries. It will isolate them during discharge. It's pretty slick but it's also the reason I'm having issues with my charge light.

abdulal

mexico

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Posted: 08/03/21 03:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

is your ***Link Removed***car insurance paid already?

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 08/03/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eric1514 wrote:

It would be nice if I could disable the chassis battery charging from the solar while the alternator is running but I'm not that smart. I'm going to study the wiring diagram but this is not my line of work.

You need a relay with the charge line routed through the NC terminal and the coil powered by an ignition source (i.e. on when running) from the fuse box.

Basically like an isolator relay, but by using the normally closed connection it will open when running.

The problem is if you are driving at night and solar isn’t putting anything out you lose the alternator charging the house batteries.

On second thought, why not just install a manual switch or switch the controls a relay?

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