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Old 01-29-2013, 10:15 PM   #1
srh
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Chassis Battery Charging 07 Allegro Bus

Does anyone know for sure whether using shore power charges the chassis batteries in a 2007 Allegro Bus? I have been connecting to shore power once a month for about 8 to 10 hours to keep my house batteries charged while keeping an eye on the water level. Keep in mind I have the coach in storage for winter. After about two months I found my chassis batteries dead. I called Tiffin MH and they told me that connecting to shore power does not charge the chassis batteries unless I had a trickle charger of some kind. I find this hard to believe!
If I do need a trickle charger, any recommendations as to what kind would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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Part and long term chassis battery charging.

Hi, When we park long term we have a small 20W solar charger that connects directly to the battery to keep it maintained. this prevents it from discharging over periods of time. Also your standby power for "memory" on clocks etc amount to just below 3 watts.
for short term "shore power" we alternate between the house and chassis battery with the 240V smart charger.

A quick trick is to connect to the chassis batteries with the charger and have the igntion set to on. this allows the charger to charge the chassis battery and then the system will kick over to the house battery and the charger will cycle through again.

To quickly check if the two systems are connected, Have a 12v test light connected to the chassis battery and then switch on the shore power. If the light becomes brighter then they are connected.

We've just installed a KBI from Gsl to assist whilst driving and then have a VSR and diode for shore power. (only caution is to not have the charger on when engine is running)
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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Invest in a Trik-L-Start and your chassis battery will be charged with your house batteries, either by shore power or by solar.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:38 AM   #4
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Another vote for Trik-L-Start here.

I had a draw on my chassis batteries that would run them down in 10 days I added the Trik-L-Start and the problem is no more.

Keep in mind the Trik-L-Start simply robs some of the power from your house battery charger to charge you chassis batteries, but it does so like a smart charger in that it goes into float mode once the chassis batteries are charged.

A quick Google search will reveal several places to purchase this device.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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X3 on Trik-L-Start.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srh View Post
Does anyone know for sure whether using shore power charges the chassis batteries in a 2007 Allegro Bus? I have been connecting to shore power once a month for about 8 to 10 hours to keep my house batteries charged while keeping an eye on the water level. Keep in mind I have the coach in storage for winter. After about two months I found my chassis batteries dead. I called Tiffin MH and they told me that connecting to shore power does not charge the chassis batteries unless I had a trickle charger of some kind. I find this hard to believe!
If I do need a trickle charger, any recommendations as to what kind would be greatly appreciated.
A few motorhomes charge both the house and chassis batteries on shore power, but most do not. Tiffin is definitely in the not category. They may have a hard-wired Trik-L-Start charger available as standard or optional on some later models, but the charge does not come from the inverter.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the very informative and constructive suggestions. Yes, I would definitely go the trickle charge route, perhaps the Trik-L-Start as many of you have suggested!
Best regards to all!
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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In 2008 and after, Tiffin stated using a Trik-L-Charger as standard in their Allegro Bus. The charger was in the narrow compartment on the aft end of the driver side and is in the new 2013 Bus as well.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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Thank you, Pigman!
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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I would hope on a 2007 it would but I can tell you how to figure it out,, You need to find a light or fan that is on the CHASSIS system,, Suggestion turn key to ACC position and turn on HEVAC blower (Dash blower) Now plug into shore power (or have your partner plug in) if within 2 minutes the fan kicks up speed (or light gets brighter) YES it does.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:34 AM   #11
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Thank you, wa8yxm. Great suggestion, but I have a feeling it doesn't - I will try it anyway. The coach has two solar panels, but right now it is parked inside. It might be that the solar panels are setup to charge the chassis batteries. How can one check that, do you know?
Regards,
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:57 PM   #12
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I've been using a battery maintainer from Wally World for years. It's only 2 amps and it has a "float" mode when it senses the battery is fully charged. For around $20 it's good insurance that your battery won't be dead after an extended time off the road.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srh View Post
Does anyone know for sure whether using shore power charges the chassis batteries in a 2007 Allegro Bus? I have been connecting to shore power once a month for about 8 to 10 hours to keep my house batteries charged while keeping an eye on the water level. Keep in mind I have the coach in storage for winter. After about two months I found my chassis batteries dead. I called Tiffin MH and they told me that connecting to shore power does not charge the chassis batteries unless I had a trickle charger of some kind. I find this hard to believe!
If I do need a trickle charger, any recommendations as to what kind would be greatly appreciated.
Get a Battery Tender which stops charging once the battery is fully charged. That avoids slowly boiling off the liquid (yea boiling is the wrong term but gets the point across)
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:37 PM   #14
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Tiffin started adding a Battery Minder in late 2006. But the Battery Minder has a very low output and will not even come on if the battery voltage is too low. Mine will barely keep up with the parasitic loads if plugged in all the time, so I doubt a few hours every week would keep the batteries charged.
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