Ambulance converter question

rossiter78

Observer
When I bought my 2009 ambulance (Kodiak with 15' box) it came pre-wired with both an inverter and a converter (battery charger). However, it doesn't seem to be charging my battery when connected to shore power as I expected it would. Pretty much everything on the rig worked so my gut tells me that the converter works, i'm just not sure what it is doing. Does anybody have any experience with these things?
 

rossiter78

Observer
Couple of details
1. When connected to shore power my 110v AC outlets even when verifying that the inverter is off (so i'm getting shore power)
2. I have a little display inside the truck that shows me voltage of the batter when I put my key in the ignition. This is showing 10-11 volts when connected to shore power. When I crank the engine I get the expected ~14V from the alternator charging.
3. According to the guy I got it from there is a house battery and a truck battery. I'm unsure how these are hooked up, if they are totally separate, linked together, etc. Thus, it's possible that my converter is charging the house battery, but not the truck battery which might be the only thing connected to the display I referred to in number 2.
4. I have not noticed any sort of house to truck battery link switch. I remember having one of those in an RV I once owned - I pressed that and the house and truck batteries would connect together.

Thoughts?
 

SoCal Tom

Explorer
Couple of details
1. When connected to shore power my 110v AC outlets even when verifying that the inverter is off (so i'm getting shore power)
huh?

2)
This is probably just the starter battery voltage. 10-11 is low, so you may want to check the connections. If the key switch connects the house & starter batteries together then you may want to make some changes. You normally don't want the house connected until the alternator is running.
You need to figure that out. Its way more fun to work that out ( and create a schematic) in your driveway than it is on the side of the road in a mud hole in a freezing rain while laying in an anthill and it snowing, and your SO is yelling at you and your friends are waiting on you.

3)
Typically, a solenoid ( ACR) of some sort connects the two batteries when the alternator is running. That kind of button would allow you to "jump start" your rig from the house battery if the starter battery got low.
4)
My suggestions
Find the batteries. Check the voltage on the house battery when its plugged into shore power. If its less than 13.2 then you have an issue. Ideally the convertor would have a 3 stage charger that would run as high as 14+ volts, but drop down the voltage once the battery is charged. You might also try checking the voltage on the house battery with the headlights on . If the house battery voltage drops when you turn on the headlights, then they are all connected together all the time. This is not a good system.
Let us know what you find.
Tom
 

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Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
Also check for big fuses. All the medium duty rigs I have worked on had a string of ANL fuses. The one that comes from the converter does not go through the main isolator switch. Also they have all had the batteries as a single bank and not separate house and engine batteries.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Check to make sure you have power going into the converter. Mine has a breaker box with a separate for the charger. If it needs to be reset, it wont be charge.
 
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