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Old 03-08-2017, 12:02 PM   #1
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Charging batteries

I have a 12 volt 90 amp Iota charger for the house battries (4 6 volt Trojan) plus the 100 amp charger with the inverter. The Iota is used when parked. I was wondering if I can wire up a switched system to connect the house and chassis battries (2 12 volt ) to maintain both sets of battries when parked?
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:25 PM   #2
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If your RV doesn't have a battery isolation solenoid, I'd add one. If it has one but doesn't work, I'd replace it. Using a switch to connect both battery groups together is a chance for a future dead battery situation. If you forget to turn the switch off, both house and chassis batteries could be discharged when not connected to shore power.

A good battery isolation manager (solenoid) will connect when there is a charging current of >13.4v and disconnect when voltage drops back to just battery voltage (~12.7v) It will allow all batteries to charge when engine alternator is charging, shore power, or generator running. In addition, most RVs will then have a 'Boost' switch on the dash to connect all batteries together for hard start situations.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:43 PM   #3
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Actually that's a great idea. The charger could activate the solenoid to connect both sets of battries when the charger is charging. The solenoid would automatically disconnect when the charger was deactivated.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eangleton View Post
I have a 12 volt 90 amp Iota charger for the house battries (4 6 volt Trojan) plus the 100 amp charger with the inverter. The Iota is used when parked. I was wondering if I can wire up a switched system to connect the house and chassis battries (2 12 volt ) to maintain both sets of battries when parked?
Eangleton
Many of us have added this Trik-L-Start "automatic"...(no switching... or solenoid required)... "starting battery charger/maintainer": Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

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Old 03-08-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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The Trik-L-Start is a $45 box with a diode and maybe a few other components imbedded in epoxy. It 'steals' from one battery to add current to the other until both are the same. For the same price or a little more you can install a battery isolation solenoid that connects when charging is available. The BIS also allows a dash switch to connect for emergency power when needed. It's like using jumper cables from the driver's seat, no hood raising, etc.

It's also not limited to 5 amps like the Trik-L-Start. Trik-L-Start is made by the same folks that sell the Toad Charge which a $109 solution for connecting RV to Toad. The same can be done by folks with any 12v knowledge for under $20.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eangleton View Post
I have a 12 volt 90 amp Iota charger for the house battries (4 6 volt Trojan) plus the 100 amp charger with the inverter. The Iota is used when parked. I was wondering if I can wire up a switched system to connect the house and chassis battries (2 12 volt ) to maintain both sets of battries when parked?
The best thing to do is call RV Custom Products the manufacturer of your Battery Control Center (BCC) and ask for the troubleshooting guide for your BCC. They will email it to you, the information will explain how your BCC controls the charging of your house and chassis batteries. The most common problem when the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is a bad interconnect relay.

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Old 03-11-2017, 08:44 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=chboone;3495519] The most common problem when the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is a bad interconnect relay.

chboone
I believe the "most common reason" that the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is because many motor homes have no provision for charging the chassis batteries using shore power....(just like cars and trucks which have neither house batteries or inverter/chargers).

To automatically charge and maintain the chassis batteries on those coaches when on shore power some type of accessory charger MUST be added.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:12 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Woodchopper;3495891]
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Originally Posted by chboone View Post
The most common problem when the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is a bad interconnect relay.

chboone
I believe the "most common reason" that the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is because many motor homes have no provision for charging the chassis batteries using shore power....(just like cars and trucks which have neither house batteries or inverter/chargers).

To automatically charge and maintain the chassis batteries on those coaches when on shore power some type of accessory charger MUST be added.
I think you're wrong about "...no provision for charging.." I believe most RVs for quite awhile have come with a BIS (Battery Isolation Solenoid) that isolates when no charging voltage is available and connects when it's got a charging source. Often the BIS can go bad and if the owner didn't know they had one, they then go looking for a solution like an additional battery charger. A Trik-L-Start is NOT an additional charger, it takes from one and gives to the other. Besides having pretty little colored LEDs, (taking power from the batteries) I really see no use for the things.

A BIS isn't that much more, if any, than the Trik-L-Start and it does a lot more. Check your RV for a dashboard 'Boost' button, if you've got one, you've got a BIS.
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:55 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=BFlinn181;3496113]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchopper View Post

I think you're wrong about "...no provision for charging.." I believe most RVs for quite awhile have come with a BIS (Battery Isolation Solenoid) that isolates when no charging voltage is available and connects when it's got a charging source. Often the BIS can go bad and if the owner didn't know they had one, they then go looking for a solution like an additional battery charger. A Trik-L-Start is NOT an additional charger, it takes from one and gives to the other. Besides having pretty little colored LEDs, (taking power from the batteries) I really see no use for the things.
A BIS isn't that much more, if any, than the Trik-L-Start and it does a lot more. Check your RV for a dashboard 'Boost' button, if you've got one, you've got a BIS.
BFlinn181
I agree.
(However much depends on how one's definition of "quite awhile").

For quite awhile, (21 years, 150k miles), my 1996 Safari coach has not had a provision for charging the chassis batteries with either shore, (or generator), power.
Battery isolation in my coach is done by a Solid State Battery Isolator..... (not a Battery Isolation Solenoid).

BTW are you saying that the "boost button" on my dash can somehow be used to charge and maintain the charge in my chassis batteries.
If so how?
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:58 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=BFlinn181;3496113]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchopper View Post

I think you're wrong about "...no provision for charging.." I believe most RVs for quite awhile have come with a BIS (Battery Isolation Solenoid) that isolates when no charging voltage is available and connects when it's got a charging source. Often the BIS can go bad and if the owner didn't know they had one, they then go looking for a solution like an additional battery charger. A Trik-L-Start is NOT an additional charger, it takes from one and gives to the other. Besides having pretty little colored LEDs, (taking power from the batteries) I really see no use for the things.
A BIS isn't that much more, if any, than the Trik-L-Start and it does a lot more. Check your RV for a dashboard 'Boost' button, if you've got one, you've got a BIS.
BFlinn181
I agree.
(However much depends on how one's definition of "quite awhile").

For 21 years, (150k miles), my 1996 Safari coach has not had a provision for charging the chassis batteries with either shore, (or generator), power.
Battery isolation in my coach is done by the Solid State Battery Isolator..... (not by a Battery Isolation Solenoid).

BTW are you saying that the "boost button" on my dash can somehow be used to charge and maintain the charge in my chassis batteries.
If so how?
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:57 PM   #11
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Having a Boost button is usually an indication of a solenoid that can be activated to join the House and Chassis batteries together. I was actually going to say "mid 90's" in my declaration that most newer RV's have a BIS, or B.I.R.D., etc., but I didn't want to start a urinating match about that part of the issue.

I really think Trik-L-Start and Toad Chargers are devices that are way over-priced and neither is a true charger, like they claim. They are just using power from one battery to give a bit of voltage to the other. Why not use the capabilities of the charging systems present that can be shared by a BIS?
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:32 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Woodchopper;3496248]
Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post

BFlinn181
I agree.
(However much depends on how one's definition of "quite awhile").

For 21 years, (150k miles), my 1996 Safari coach has not had a provision for charging the chassis batteries with either shore, (or generator), power.
Battery isolation in my coach is done by the Solid State Battery Isolator..... (not by a Battery Isolation Solenoid).

BTW are you saying that the "boost button" on my dash can somehow be used to charge and maintain the charge in my chassis batteries.
If so how?
Certain models of the Intellitec BBC did charge the chassis battery when on shore power or generator. They did use the boost solenoid to do this. The boost solenoid was activated when the ignition switch was in the run position, when the boost switch was activated and when the converter had 120vac. Don't remember what the model number was, but my 98 Damon Daybreak had this system. I had to trouble shoot it and found the boost solenoid was the problem. You do have to have a continuous duty solenoid. You can wire in a 120vac relay to do this automatically when your panel gets 120vac. The boost relay may be activated by many different sources without harm. You don't have to worry about the bump with dc.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:41 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Woodchopper;3495891]
Quote:
Originally Posted by chboone View Post
The most common problem when the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is a bad interconnect relay.

chboone
I believe the "most common reason" that the chassis batteries are not being charged when connected to shore power is because many motor homes have no provision for charging the chassis batteries using shore power....(just like cars and trucks which have neither house batteries or inverter/chargers).

To automatically charge and maintain the chassis batteries on those coaches when on shore power some type of accessory charger MUST be added.
This is a National RV Owners Forum and I am talking about National RV's.

All National RV have perversions for charging the chassis batteries when connected to shore power and charge house batteries from engine alternator. Most National RV owners do not have the documentation that explains how the BCC works. As I said most common problem of cross charging failure is a bad interconnect/boost relay. If your the boost relay is working properly there may be a problem with the BCC logic circuit. The only way to know is get the documentation from RV Custom Products.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:48 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=chboone;3496901]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchopper View Post
This is a National RV Owners Forum and I am talking about National RV's.

All National RV have perversions for charging the chassis batteries when connected to shore power and charge house batteries from engine alternator. Most National RV owners do not have the documentation that explains how the BCC works. As I said most common problem of cross charging failure is a bad interconnect/boost relay. If your the boost relay is working properly there may be a problem with the BCC logic circuit. The only way to know is get the documentation from RV Custom Products.
That's why I'm here. I just bought a 03 Dolphin and drove it home 5 hours and it DIDN'T charge the house batteries on the way home. It did charge them after I plugged it in, the PO said the house batteries were good but I haven't verified that yet. I did send an Email to get the schematics for the BBC but have not received it yet, so I don't know how it is supposed to work. I can't imagine a 03 model doesn't charge both ways. The paper work that came with this coach is almost useless for trouble shooting anything. I'm here to learn about the Dolphin as I have a west coast trip planned at the end of May, and I want it to be trouble free.
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