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Old 06-15-2014, 09:22 AM   #1
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Imagine my surprise!

After glamping for 3 weeks at our summer place (Lake Tyee Camping Resort) I went to open a smartbed and discovered that the engine battery was down to 7 volts. I had no idea that 1. the Xantrex didn't charge the engine battery and 2. that the HWH got it's power from the engine batteries. As luck would have it, Costco has Battery Tenders on sale for Fathers Day and that the Battery Tender is a three stage charger. I can now charge the engine batteries and open the smartbeds. Now I need to remember why I needed in there in the first place
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #2
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[QUOTE=Janet and Todd;2095872Now I need to remember why I needed in there in the first place [/QUOTE]

I resemble that remark.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:51 AM   #3
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Fact is--it does charge the chassis bats----lots of conversation on this forum about how the charging solenoid on Vansco equiped Alpines can fail, which keeps the inverter from charging the chassis bats .....
Interesting--Tiffin actually installs an off-the-shelf bat tender as OEM on its lower end coaches to keep the chassis bats charged while on shore power-- a cheap and simple solution.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:45 AM   #4
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And earlier coaches were fitted with the "Echo charger" to achieve the same result.
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algoma View Post
And earlier coaches were fitted with the "Echo charger" to achieve the same result.
My Echo Charger is erratic. Sometimes it maintains the chassis batteries fine. Other times, not so much. If the voltage drops to 12.3V, I connect an external charger/maintainer. Haven't really figured out what's going on.

OP - please pardon the hijack.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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Is your Echo Charger connected correctly? Some coaches were shipped from the factory with the house and chassis connections reversed.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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Todd & Janet- either something is wrong with the charge solenoid circuit or it had been disabled at some point.
Engine should change house & inverter should charge chassis
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:57 AM   #8
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Engine should change house & inverter should charge chassis
Other way round I think.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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Which solenoid should I be looking at? Is it the Trombetta or one of the other ones mounted to the rear wall of the battery compartment? How would I test it? Remove it and take it in to a Cummins shop? Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:01 PM   #10
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Todd- Check this thread for solenoid diagnostics & follow links there for more than you ever wanted to know about solenoids.

BTW, I learned a new trick today. Apparently the irv2.com search feature is disabled for threads more that ~1 year old, and has been a source of frustration for me for some time not finding older threads I know bloody well are there.
As a crutch, as it doesn't work as well as the iRV2 search which can be limited only w/in say the Alpine forum, use the Google Search window at top of page, click the iRV2.com button (which adds ":irv2.com" to the end of your search string) so as only to return hits w/in this domain. But that's how I found the above older thread which is quite definitive on the solenoid subject.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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There are several different methods of charging batteries while parked versus while running.

Solid state battery isolators are commonly used to "split" the alternator output between the house and chassis batteries. The isolator also prevents any current flow from one set of batteries to the other, (hence the term isolator). Most inverter/chargers are only connected to the house batteries, so that means that some method of charging the chassis batteries is still needed. One method is to insert a solenoid between the two battery banks and use a controller which monitors the state of charge of both banks and connects the two banks together when appropriate. This solenoid is also used to provide "Emergency Battery Boost". so that in a low voltage situation, you can maybe start the engine using the house batteries.

In rigs that do not charge the chassis batteries while "plugged in". the Trik-L-Start is a small solid state device which will deliver a charge from the house batteries to the chassis batteries when certain conditions are met. 1. The chassis battery voltage is less than the house batteries. 2. The house batteries have to be above 13 volts ( ie. they are being charged ) The Trik-L-start can supply up to 5 amps of charge to the chassis batteries, so there is plenty of capacity to overcome parasitic voltage loss.

Simple 3 wire hookup, install and forget.
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