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Old 03-02-2016, 11:12 AM   #1
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02 Islander Daisy Chaining Chassis Battery w/ House Batteries??

Hello All,
I've mentioned elsewhere that I had a VERY expensive repair experience lately..
As I travel Full-Time, I tend to stay at locations for a period of 1 to 5 MONTH'S at a time.
When I was moving over X-Mas holidays I backed out of my brothers driveway and the Allison just stopped.. no forward.. no reverse.. 1/2 ass-way into the street. Engine running the whole time, There were a series of flashes from the Allison dash control panel, CHECK TRANS light on dash lit-up but after a $500.00 tow to the ALLISON shop and $2000.00 labor bill I was informed the Chassis battery was at 10.8 volts and that's low enough for the tranny to quit. (Even the tranny sent codes to engine, and then engine would not fire back up) Until fully recharged.

I have 3 of the BIG batteries.. as if 3 batteries in one.. looks like nine, but only 3 sets of terminals. One seems destined to the chassis, 2 for the house. They are all 12 volt batteries!!

(please note, a couple days & couple miles after the repair, I was broken down again with the same issue. The Allison Repair Shop sent a service truck to me on the highway, the mechanic quickly read the notes from the 2K repair mechanics receipt.. and said If I unhook your cables from chassis battery and connect them to house batteries.. the problem will disappear) AND, IT DID! I arrived in Fl. 8 hours later.

So Chassis cables have been connected to the HOUSE batteries until yesterday when I returned the chassis cables back to the chassis battery.

Is it feasible to daisy chain the chassis to the 2 house batteries, so when inverter is keeping house batteries charged fully, it could tend to the chassis battery as well??

Any thoughts? Ideas? experiences? Please share. I will be here 3 months in Tallahassee when I leave on the 31st of March. The periodic starts and high idles, just don't seem to do it :( I've used an external charger to keep chassis battery fully charged since here)

BTW, The 3rd or chassis battery holds a fine charge at 12.8 volts when I keep it trickling a day or two a month..

Thanks
Ed
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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It was my understanding that most motor-homes keep the chassis and house batteries electrically separated, with an emergency push button on the dashboard to connect them together if needed. Our '02 Georgetown was wired in that fashion. I used it just twice in four years, each time to start the engine after I'd left the headlights on and run the chassis battery down.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:33 AM   #3
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I don't see why you could not run a wire from positive to positive with a fusible link in-between. No reason it should not work
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:14 AM   #4
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I'll fuse a link and reply with results..
Ed
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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If your chassis batteries are going dead, why aren't you addressing that issue ?

The engine alternators job is to keep them charged and supply power to the chassis.

As a bonus, it charges you house batteries.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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Ed, I think you are OK. Here are my similar experiences:

Several years back with a 1995 6.5 Diesel Safari TREK. Driving happily along and didn't notice the voltage had dropped (GM chassis have crappy dashboards anyway). Eventually, the tranny wouldn't hold in gear, I exited a Chicago expressway, and then the engine would hardly run. Finally looked at the add-on voltmeter, saw around 8 volts, pushed the emergency start button, saw 13 V, everything came to life and we continued to our evening stop where I replaced the alternator.

Earlier, on the same Diesel coach, I had an alternator dead short that would blow a fuse. I disconnected the alternator and drove from Dayton Ohio to Lexington KY by periodically pushing the button.

And, even earlier, the one-way diode to the coach batteries failed on our Winnebago so no charge (My memory is that there wasn't a start button, or it also was not working). The coach batteries ran down so far the propane refrigerator stopped working. I bought some battery cables, jumped coach to engine battery and left it this way until we sold the Winnie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed mulvaney View Post
...Is it feasible to daisy chain the chassis to the 2 house batteries, so when inverter is keeping house batteries charged fully, it could tend to the chassis battery as well??... Thanks, Ed
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:25 PM   #7
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UPDATE on Battery "Daisy Chaining"

It's 11 April, all is well.. I've relocated to Mid-Florida.. Crystal River for the rest of the week and the coach ran perfectly.


HOWEVER... Mu main slide would not retract and I found the Switch Box is on upper shelf of Battery Box.
Just so you know, it's a likely fault area!
The relay was loose and all it required was a pair of needle nose pliers and some relay cleaner.

So Long for now..
Mr. Ed
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:44 PM   #8
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If all that was wrong the first time, what did the repair place charge you $2000 for? We had this similar thing happen on our first trip with our Winnebago with the Allison transmission. Lots of flashing lights and no forward gears or reverse. I figured that since the transmission is run by a computer, why not just reboot. I turned off the ignition for a few seconds, and then restarted the engine, and everything was fine, as has been for the last five plus years. As to the $500 tow, one of things we did before traveling the first time was to sign up with Coachnet.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:53 AM   #9
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Paul,
The tow was covered by Good Sam, the $2000.00 was labor rate of $140/hr. x to finally figure out the Solo Chassis battery was weak. I've figured electricity is the root of all RV evil
Ed
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