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Old 01-31-2015, 01:44 PM   #1
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Charging in Storage

This is my first storage season for our coach. I have an indoor storage facility that provides access to a 110 outlet. I want to plug in my coach to keep the batteries charged. My question is do I leave the chasis and domestic disconnects "on" or "off"? I appreciate any advise.
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Mark
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:01 PM   #2
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Good question.

With modern 3 or 4 stage smart charger-power supplies you can leave the power on without any harm to the batteries. The batteries will thank you for keeping them charged through your off season.

The answer to your question however is this: Where, in line, are the disconnects located? Do the disconnects need to be turned on to charge the batteries?

One (more) upgrade to my 30 year old home on wheels as soon as winter is over will be a bi-directional voltage sensing disconnect relay so that when I'm on shore power in the summertime my chassis battery stays charged.

IMPO, I'd leave the disconnects on.
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:25 PM   #3
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To keep your chassis batteries charged while plugged in just install one of these

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Old 01-31-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
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Well I am not sure I how to answer the question where "in line" the disconnects are. The physical location for the switches are in the back compartment passenger side. When these switches are thrown it controls all power for the coach so that is the source of my question. If the switches are off there is no power so does that mean the batteries will not charge when I plug in?
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:41 AM   #5
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Good chance your inverter/charger will do this well for you. If you have the manual, take a look at the float charge settings to be sure they're not too high. The house batteries should be charged first, and then when charged, power should be fed to the chassis battery.

You mentioned the two battery shut off's. The 'Salesman Switch' usually inside the front door of the coach, does not shut off quite as much as the Main Disconnect usually in the rear fuel filter bay. The inverter/charger should still work, with the 'Salesman Switch' off, and I've seen Main Disconnects wired where the do shut off the inverter/charger too.

If you have a multimeter, you can play with the Salesman and Main Dosconnects, and test at the battery to see if a charge is present with both off, or one off.

If wet cells, be sure they are topped off, and do go check them regularly.

After saying all of this, if you have any question about the charger's setting and if they might 'cook' your batteries (I am not positive of the inverter/charger in the 99 Allure.), Mike's link is a very safe and low cost way to go. Good chance it is a kinder more gentler charger that would take better care of your batteries. May be worth the investment!

Hopefully someone with your era coach will fill in the gaps!!
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #6
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Yes Batteries will charge with house battery turned to off

I turn my house battery switch to off and the apply 16 dcv to the batteries during the Freedom 25 inverter equalization charging.

You can test for yourself by plugging the coach in and take a reading of the voltage at the house battery terminals. If 13.5 dcv or higher, they are being charged.

The engine battery will not charge whether the switch is on or off and the rig is plugged to shore power (or on generator power).

You can install the Trik-L-Start shown above and that will transfer voltage from the house battery to maintain the chassis battery when the rig is plugged to shore power.

Once again. Satisfy yourself by measuring the voltage at the chassis battery for charging level voltage.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:01 AM   #7
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I want to respectfully dispute the thought that a 15A disconnect switch is a kinder gentler way to maintain your chassis battery in storage.

Well, maybe I'm trying to eliminate confusion. If you home has a multi stage computer controlled battery charger, which IMHO it should one way or another, this is the best way to maintain your batteries because not only will it provide just enough voltage to match the self discharge rate of the battery but every so often it will go to a higher voltage to stir the electrolyte and prevent the electrolyte from forming layers of different density.

Me? I'm flipping a coin to decide between springing for a 100A or 200A Bi-Directional Disconnect Relay for my house to chassis battery connection.

8-12 inches of snow tomorrow.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldToolmaker View Post
I want to respectfully dispute the thought that a 15A disconnect switch is a kinder gentler way to maintain your chassis battery in storage.

Well, maybe I'm trying to eliminate confusion. If you home has a multi stage computer controlled battery charger, which IMHO it should one way or another, this is the best way to maintain your batteries because not only will it provide just enough voltage to match the self discharge rate of the battery but every so often it will go to a higher voltage to stir the electrolyte and prevent the electrolyte from forming layers of different density.

Me? I'm flipping a coin to decide between springing for a 100A or 200A Bi-Directional Disconnect Relay for my house to chassis battery connection.

8-12 inches of snow tomorrow.
Well said, I can never figure out why someone would want to add another charging device to maintain batteries when they already have one that they paid good money for and is designed specifically for that coach.

Plug it in and leave everything in the same position you would if you were plugged in to Shore Power at a CG. Just don't forget to check the batteries every 6-8 weeks for water and clean connections.
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:05 PM   #9
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Well said, I can never figure out why someone would want to add another charging device to maintain batteries when they already have one that they paid good money for and is designed specifically for that coach.

Plug it in and leave everything in the same position you would if you were plugged in to Shore Power at a CG. Just don't forget to check the batteries every 6-8 weeks for water and clean connections.

On my rig and probably the OP's rig, without the Trik-L-Start installed, the chassis batteries will not charge from shore power.

So, the options are for a fully charged Chassis battery:

Use the chassis battery shut off switch and recharge somehow occasionally.

Remove phantom loads by disconnecting the negative cable on on the chassis battery.

Charge the Chassis battery from shore power via a house to chassis battery link.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:23 PM   #10
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Thanks

I wanted to thank everyone for thier contribution and responses to my question.
Best regards
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:49 PM   #11
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I wanted to thank everyone for thier contribution and responses to my question.
Best regards
You can't just thank us and bail out now! We're just getting warmed up!

Good luck to you,

and FWIW if I'm gonna buy a 15A one way switch I'll spring the extra money and buy the bi-directional 100A switch.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:54 PM   #12
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Okay I have plugged it in to the 110 outlet. Switched both Chassis and House breakers to on. I grabbed the Owners Manual and will report back as to what CC says speciffically if the Chassis batteries are getting any charge. Look for a report within a few days. Don't want to bail.....Ha

Stay tuned
Mark

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:19 AM   #13
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I was able to source some great information that hopefully will help anyone else with the same questions on charging your chassis and domestic battery banks. Country Coach installed on all late models a device manufactured by Xantrex Corp called the "Echo Charger". This device will transfer a trickle charge from the domestic batteries to the chassis battery when the domestic battery voltage is 13 volts or higher which will help keep your chassis battery charged when your coach is connected to shore power. Installation on earlier model coaches is simply a matter of connecting three wires, one to ground and one to each chassis and domestic battery bank. Also I found out that DynoMax Coaches are equipped with a charge/boost relay in place of a battery isolator. This relay connects the chassis and the domestic batteries together when the engine is running so they both recieve a charge. It also connects the two battery banks together when the "battery boost" switch is operated to start your engine when the chassis batteries are low. So now the only question is do we have a CC with an Echo Charger installed? I hope this has helped someone because I know I have learned a few things in the process like keeping your domestic and chassis breakers on while connected to shore power for charging.
Best regards
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:27 AM   #14
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Attached is a picture of the Echo Charger and I found out that my '99 Allure did come with one istalled. It is located in the battery bay or maybe above the batteries in the same location.
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