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Old 10-14-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
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Battery Charging

I have a 2005 HR Neptune and the inverter is putting out 13.5V at the inverter and to the junction (hot) and negative coach battery posts (there are two). The engine batteries (there are two) don't appear to be charged by the inverter -- is that normal. There is only 12.8V to the engine batteries with the inverter on. There is a solenoid that I know is used to help start the engine when the engine batteries are low but I am not sure if that solenoid is closed when all power is off. thanks!
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dperlman View Post
I have a 2005 HR Neptune and the inverter is putting out 13.5V at the inverter and to the junction (hot) and negative coach battery posts (there are two). The engine batteries (there are two) don't appear to be charged by the inverter -- is that normal. There is only 12.8V to the engine batteries with the inverter on. There is a solenoid that I know is used to help start the engine when the engine batteries are low but I am not sure if that solenoid is closed when all power is off. thanks!
Thats normal. Most charger/inverters are wired to charge the house batteries and NOT the start batteries. You might have a separate circuit to trickle charge the start batteries, but most older OEM's don't have this feature enabled.

Victron Energy has a multiplus inverter/charger that charges the house batteries at up to 120 amps, but the start batteries are not wired by default to receive anything. The VE Multiplus does have a separate connector that will provide a 4Ah trickle charge to the start batteries to keep them topped off, but this is only available with the inverter powered on.

More than likely, you have a bus-tie switch on your drivers console that is designed to momentarily tie the house batteries to the start batteries should your start batteries be too low to start the engine. The coach manufacturers enabled this circuitry but didn't spend the extra money to get a better inverter/charger like the VE Multiplus.

So, you could always put a trickle charger on your batteries and for Gods Sake don't listen to these folks out here who think a tiny solar panel is going to keep your start batteries topped off. You need a solar system of at least 200 watts (rated) to get enough actual power (900 watt hours per day) from them to keep two older AGM's topped off. If you are also thinking about keeping your house batteries topped off as well, then you'll need a proportionally sized solar system to meet that challenge.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:51 PM   #3
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There are a number of ways to do this from buying a simple trickle charger Or going with something more sophisticated like Magnums Smart Battery Combiner that automatically lets your house batteries share power with the start batteries when the house batteries have enough charge. A charging option for the start batteries is critical to have if you do a lot of boondocking. For instance, if you were to boondock or camp without shore power for an extended period of time, the start batts may lose enough charge over time to present a problem when needed. Older or weaker batteries are particularly prone to this. I have the Magnum unit and am very pleased with it though it is more expensive than a trickle charger.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:29 PM   #4
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Here's what I use to charge engine batteries, easy install.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Echo-charge-OwnerGuide(445-0204-01-01).pdf (618.4 KB, 7 views)
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dperlman View Post
I have a 2005 HR Neptune and the inverter is putting out 13.5V at the inverter and to the junction (hot) and negative coach battery posts (there are two). The engine batteries (there are two) don't appear to be charged by the inverter -- is that normal. There is only 12.8V to the engine batteries with the inverter on. There is a solenoid that I know is used to help start the engine when the engine batteries are low but I am not sure if that solenoid is closed when all power is off. thanks!
Converter changes 120 volts to 12 volts. and chargers the battery.

Inverter changes 12 volts to 120 volts.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:08 AM   #6
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dperlman-

As reported in this post (you may want to read the whole thread):

RelianceCM makes a BIRD daughterboard to replace the one made by Mega-Tech of Oregon
Part number MT970DC for the BIRD

I believe you can replace the IRD daughterboard on your coach with this BIRD daughterboard, but you should check with relianceCM.

Their phone number: (541) 758-8242

Even if you buy a BIRD, ask if there is a part number for an IRD daughtercard, in case someone reading this thread later wants one.

It would be nice if the daughtercards come with a connector to plug directly into the Monaco/HR Front Distribution Panel circuit board.

This post shows a picture of the IRD, mounted to the Front Distribution Panel (FDP).
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan&Jacquie View Post
There are a number of ways to do this from buying a simple trickle charger Or going with something more sophisticated like Magnums Smart Battery Combiner that automatically lets your house batteries share power with the start batteries when the house batteries have enough charge. A charging option for the start batteries is critical to have if you do a lot of boondocking. For instance, if you were to boondock or camp without shore power for an extended period of time, the start batts may lose enough charge over time to present a problem when needed. Older or weaker batteries are particularly prone to this. I have the Magnum unit and am very pleased with it though it is more expensive than a trickle charger.
Here is info on Magnums Smart Battery Charger:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Magnum Battery Combiner.pdf (1.02 MB, 2 views)
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:27 AM   #8
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Thanks, that is what I thought. I appreciate the additional info.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:37 PM   #9
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How long have you had this rig and is it a new problem or always been like this ?
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:28 PM   #10
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Yes. that is what the inverter should be putting out. That is normal, and it will keep You house batteries up to par. One thing You might look into and research, is the trickle and start, to put on house batteries so when You are not using the MH your cranking batteries will be fully charged. I have one on Mine and it just keeps You from being stuck some where with dead batteries.
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