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Old 10-01-2019, 09:07 PM   #1
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Battery light in dash keeps coming on

I have a 2019 Windsport 29m. Driving down the road or at idle the battery dash light keeps on coming on then going out. Not sure if this is indicating the house batteries or the chassis batteries. The house panel says the house charge is 13.6 and the chassis is 13.5 Driving down the road of course the Percentages drop and the motorhome is stationary. Not sure what the issue is.

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Old 10-01-2019, 09:24 PM   #2
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A scan gauge may reveal the problem. If it still under warranty, take it in. If you don't have a scan gauge and dealer can't check it soon, Advance Auto used to do it for free. Could be just a loose wire.
Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:32 PM   #3
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I agree: the RV should still have a warranty on it... put it to some good use!
Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:26 AM   #4
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Well you could try monitoring the chassis battery voltage while the engine/alternator is running to see if charging voltage from alternator is consistent. If the battery lamp only flashes while under way you could try rigging up a dash cigar lighter plug to a voltmeter.....so you can check it (voltage) while driving. Ensure no short ccts occur when doing this or you will be looking for the blown fuse next. When the light comes on you might see a major dip in charging voltage......so it could be anything such as slipping alternator belt (tensioner issue?), flaky alternator, bad connection in the alternator charge circuit etc. Visual checks might find some connection obviously loose.



At least you can tell them what you observe (if anything) if/when you take it in for warranty work.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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We have a 2013 ACE 30.1 and had the same problem. The red battery light would come on and the go off randomly. Sometimes it would come on immediately when the engine started and other times it would come on while driving - but, there wasn't a consistent pattern.

This went on for a couple of months and then one morning the engine just shut off while it was idling before a trip. Got it towed and it turned out we had a bad solenoid.

Just to be safe, I take it to a Ford truck center or a good RV repair shop and have them run a computer diagnostic before taking it on a long trip.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:08 PM   #6
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Yes this is exactly what it is doing. We are in a week long vacation and it just started about 150 miles from our home. I am trying to locate a schematic on the location of the solenoids but cannot find one.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JZ Adventures View Post
This went on for a couple of months and then one morning the engine just shut off while it was idling before a trip. Got it towed and it turned out we had a bad solenoid.
Do you happen to know which solenoid was the problem? Might be helpful to others.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:27 PM   #8
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Every time we stop I check the output of the battery with a volt meter and it is fully charged. Kind of unnerving to think it could quit will driving down the road. We are now campi g in a remote area and I ternet is sketchy.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:29 PM   #9
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Do you happen to know which solenoid was the problem? Might be helpful to others.
It was the Battery Disconnect Solenoid.

Part #94359

$201.96 + installation
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:20 PM   #10
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In 2013 (I think) Thor had a recall on many coaches that used the RV Custom Products BCC (battery control cabinet) which basically disconnected the chassis ignition switched connection on the BCC, and moved it to the BCC terminal that directly connects to the chassis battery. The reason for this change was to prevent the potential for the chassis disconnect latching relay failing open, which would kill the engine, lights, power steering etc., at any time (stopped, under way, night ...). So JZAdventure's relay failure is likely the chassis battery latching relay that failed prior to the recall being completed I suspect. After the recall the ignition cable is hard wired to the chassis battery and not dependent on the chassis battery latching relay in the BCC to complete the circuit. It would still be important to fix the chassis latching relay in the BCC though as it controls other loads (like steps etc).
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:04 PM   #11
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Thanks for the reply Javelin. So i know I do not have a charging issue with the chassis battery as it holds azad constant charge. What is chassis battery latch relay? This will show a battery problem on the instrument panel? Where is it located and what does it look like.
Thank you
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:43 PM   #12
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Hi my previous post was just trying to clarify that JZAdventures post on his/her 2013 ACE dash lamp coming on was a specific problem with the RV Custom BCC battery charging system. Your 2019 coach likely does not use the RV Custom BCC battery control system. If your coach charges both battery strings, either from shore/gen powering the converter “or” from alternator, you have bidirectional charging via a BIRD or BIM control system “probably”. But I am guessing. If your alternator is randomly and occasionally not putting out full charge voltage to the chassis battery for some reason (red dash lamp comes on during the voltage sags) you should be able to see that on a voltmeter (as long as those sags are a few seconds long at least). An analog meter would probably show them more easily than a digital, but if the drop out duration is long enough, the digital meter will work fine too. Your batteries should not care as long as the drop outs are short and occasional......as long as most of the time full charging voltage is being generated by the alternator. I would suspect something in the alternator ccts "might" be responsible as a start.
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:52 AM   #13
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Wow Javelin....you are very well versed in the electrical aspect and I appreciate your help. What is cct? What would be the easiest way to set up a volt meter gauge to get an accurate reading. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:42 AM   #14
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Well, I am sure there are experts on this forum that know much more about testing alternators and charging systems than I ever will. The easiest test is just run the engine/alternator and measure voltage across the chassis battery while in your driveway. Alternator should put out over 14+vdc consistently unless the battery is badly discharged or has other issues (shorted cells etc). Fully charged wet cell battery (not charging and lightly or no load on it) should read 12.6 volts. If the dash battery symbol only occasionally comes on when the engine is running then you could be standing there a while. If the dash battery lamp is on more than off you can probably measure the low point voltage value if the meter reading is not bouncing around. Basically it is a confirmation that the lamp flashes are in fact readable dips in voltage in the alternator/charging cct (circuit).
This may not be an alternator problem in the end, but I would shut off the engine and start checking as much in the alternator/charging circuit as you can first. This is much easier to do in a class C than your class A. You might be able to get a free diagnosis on your alternator charging/load test situation from some auto stores (assuming your RV will fit in the parking lot there). Call around and see if someone “reputable” will test it for you. I would do some checking on basic things first, like clean and tight battery cables; clean and tight alternator cables and associated wiring connectors. Good clean and tight ground connections. Maybe the voltage regulator is failing inside the alternator; bad connection somewhere.....etc. You Tube might also show some tests you can run to check the alternator using a voltmeter yourself, but in a class A, access will not be convenient. If you are “electrically challenged” then this might be a job for a Ford tech.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:02 PM   #15
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Well, I had my wife start the motor home while I had a volt meter on the chassis battery. After about a minute or so the battery light came on in the dash. Voltage was consistent when the light was on and when it was off at a constant 13.3 volts. I also checked the house batteries and they were also 13.3 volts. The battery dash light stayed on for approximately 15 minutes until we shut the rv motor off. The volts were consistent at 13.3 volts for the chassis and house batteries. I am thinking there might be a losse connection but not sure if it is in the chassis or the Coach.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:36 PM   #16
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Hi. It is strange that the dash battery lamp came on after a minute or two of the engine running......sounds about the time it would take for an interconnect relay between coach and chassis batteries to be turned on by a BIRD or BIM battery control system (give or take). Since your coach and chassis batteries are seeing the same charging voltage (clearly at a charging level of 13.3 vdc; BIRD, BIM are enabled by alternator above 13.1 vdc approximately if I recall correctly). So is the closing of the interconnect relay causing the battery lamp to light? I don’t see why it would be since you are not on shore and gen is also off. I wonder if both battery strings (coach and chassis) would test good on a load test? It also sounds like the battery light is staying on once it comes on.



The other issue to me is that the charging voltage of 13.3vdc is very low for a “working” alternator especially feeding healthy lightly loaded batteries;....should be 14vdc minimum I would expect (14.5 ish). So my WAG is a bad regulator in the alternator or bad diode(s) perhaps......assuming good batteries; all charging system cables/connectors are clean and tight. I am just guessing here and don’t want you to spring some $$ for a new alternator (and related “class A” work required to change it) if that is not the problem or there is some easily repairable connection being missed.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:02 PM   #17
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I thought the exact same thing. I thought the voltage should be higher. Around the 14.5 volts. The terminals are cleaned and connection's are good. Might be a bad battery being its ass cheap factory Thor battery. All of my cars and trucks had at least 14 volts at start up. Could be a weak voltage regulatory. Will not know for sure until I get home. There are other issues with my rv that I feel I am going to take it in for warranty. I will add this to the list and see what comes out of it. No reason for me to pay for it if it is under warranty
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:02 AM   #18
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The Ford RV alternator regulator is programed for a Motorcraft flooded battery. As such, its maximum voltage will be dependent on the regulator temperature and the load on the alternator. 14.20 volts is the standard for 80 F degrees, no load. As the temperature of the regulator increases, the max voltage will decease, so at 130 F degrees the max, no load, will be 13.9 volts. This lower voltage is to prevent boiling the water out of the battery. At 32 F degrees, the alternator will produce 14.5 amp. The greater the amperage draw the lower the voltage output of the alternator. Although the F-53 alternator is rated at 175 amps, that value predicated on the alternator maintain a 80 degree temperature and the output voltage will be 13.5 volts . Internal alternator temperatures of 150 degrees when under heavy load will only produce 99 amps at 13.5 volts.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:08 AM   #19
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So maybe my regulator is a little weak as it is not hot here (70 degrees) and not much load. No lights on for the chassis and charging the house batteries.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Machinetools1 View Post
So maybe my regulator is a little weak as it is not hot here (70 degrees) and not much load. No lights on for the chassis and charging the house batteries.
I have a question and maybe one of you wiring experts can answer.

I had the battery light coming on in the dash and could not get more than 13.2 volts out of the battery. I was thinking king the alternator was not putting out enough charge. I never could get more than 13.2 volts to the battery.

At the same time I had the converter not charging the house batteries when then generator was running. I ended up having a short in the converter and replaced it. Now the generator charges the house batteries.

Now the weird part. I was going to take the motorhome to have the charging system looked at. I started the motorhome and the battery dash light was off. I ran it for approximately 10 minutes and it never came on. I put a volt meter on the chassis battery and it was producing 14.3 volts. I turned the motorhome off. Had someone start the motorhome while I was checking the voltage. It was at 12.6 volts before the engine was started. It went back up to 14.2 volts after it was started. We turned on the air, all the dash lights, high beam with headlights on. I checked the battery voltage and it was still 14.2 volts.

No my question: could the bad converter be causing the battery sash light to xome on?
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