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Old 12-12-2017, 11:24 AM   #1
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Engine battery charger -not house

I have my 2004 Itasca Meridian 39 DP.
My house batteries have a great charger inverter that does an amazing job, but if my coach sits for a month, my coach /engine batteries are almost too weak to crank the motor.
I know newer coaches have a charger built in for the coach batteries.
There must be an option for someone with an older unit like mine to keep the batteries charged and conditioned.
I am also keenly aware that not all battery chargers are the same and some will cook my battery even if they are labeled automatic.
What are my options?
Any ideas?
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:36 AM   #2
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just add something like this

https://www.googleadservices.com/pag...9aACCDE&adurl=
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:36 AM   #3
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Block the battery booster switch closed periodically. 3-4 hours a week or so should keep them charged.

Or you could buy a Trik-l charge and wire it in. Mine is still in the package.
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:29 PM   #4
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Add a Trik-L-Start as described by Winnebago in this Service Tip: 2006-04 Trik-L-Start - . (Note LSLProducts link in pdf is out of date--my link above is current.)

Very inexpensive, simple to install, takes a few minutes, works great! Winnebago started installing as standard with 2006 year model (DPs). (Current units have a different solution, but that's not really relevant here.)
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:31 PM   #5
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There are a few options to consider. I have installed this one for a friend and can say it is very easy to install and does a very good job of maintaining the chassis batteries without worry of overcharging.

https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-82-01...x+echo+charger
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:04 PM   #6
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Here are 2 more.

https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Cyrix.../dp/B00ZWLBZME

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...9976&id=605576

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Old 12-12-2017, 01:13 PM   #7
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Trik-L-Start did it for our 2004 Vectra. Same as the Meridian. It was easy To do. Now as long as the house batteries are charging the chassis batteries are too. Installed it 5 years ago. Still working.
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:05 PM   #8
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I had been thinking battery isolator and wiring but this Trik-L-Start looks like the best and easiest.
Thanks for all the ideas!
I just ordered one.
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:24 PM   #9
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Good choice.

Isolators don't work with many alternators and you would need to re-wire the alternator wires. You also have to get around the voltage drop thru the diodes by using a battery sense wire to the voltage regulator.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:58 AM   #10
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what does the alternator have to do with anything , he is charging the truck battery's from the camper house battery's . the .7 voltage drop is great it will keep from over charging the truck battery's , when the engine is running the isolator will do nothing ,
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2587n View Post
what does the alternator have to do with anything , he is charging the truck battery's from the camper house battery's . the .7 voltage drop is great it will keep from over charging the truck battery's , when the engine is running the isolator will do nothing ,
Your right, I missed that.

Now what do you do about the .7 voltage drop to the house battery, when you connect the inverter/charger output to the center tap of the isolator. Besides, now you need a 350 amp isolator to carry the inverter draw.

If your suggesting just using 1 output of the isolator, now you are not isolating the house battery from the chassis battery when not on shore power. In storage or boondocking, as the chassis battery drops, the current will flow from the house to the chassis battery.

These are some of the problems with diode isolators and why voltage sensing relays are used.

Even the link you supplied says they are for alternator use, but not all types.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your right, I missed that.

Now what do you do about the .7 voltage drop to the house battery, when you connect the inverter/charger output to the center tap of the isolator. Besides, now you need a 350 amp isolator to carry the inverter draw.

If your suggesting just using 1 output of the isolator, now you are not isolating the house battery from the chassis battery when not on shore power. In storage or boondocking, as the chassis battery drops, the current will flow from the house to the chassis battery.

These are some of the problems with diode isolators and why voltage sensing relays are used.

Even the link you supplied says they are for alternator use, but not all types.
Winnebago doesn't use diode isolators. They use a continuous duty solenoid that is activated by the RUN terminal on the ignition switch. But that is used to charge the house batteries when the engine is running.
The OPs question is about charging the engine battery when the engine is not running and the motor home is connected to shore power.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:23 PM   #13
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yep

Yes I am suggesting just using 1 output of the isolator, the .7 volt drop is ok the currant will not be that much and yes house batterys will give some power to the track batterys all the time when the voltage of the engine battery is with in .7 volts . the .7 volts less is good . and the camper side can not ever run the engine batterys dead , if the house batterys go down to 12 volts and the engine battery is more then 11.3 no currant will flow at all . the hole point is to keep the engine batterys charged . a solenoid would make all the batterys as one , that could be bad for a fue reasons like dissimilar batterys and on isolation with some type of elaborate control of the solenoid .

like when the camper is parked the engine battery will be like 12.4 volts if the house batters drop below 13.1 no currant will flow so the engine battery will not draw the camper batterys .
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:27 PM   #14
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Here is a scenario. Park the RV and don't plug it in. No charging source from anywhere. Leave the headlights on by mistake.

24 hours later, you have a bunch of dead batteries.

With a diode in the line from the house battery to the truck battery, as the truck battery dies, so does the house batteries.
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