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Old 12-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Battery, Charger, inverter, converter, electrical experts inside

I came across some posts about storage charging where guy were having issues with Chassis batteries not charging while on shore power.

Also that some do and some don't charge the chassis batteries.

There was a mention of a Bird, Curious what this is?

My coach has 4 of the Same Odyssey Deep Cycle AGM Batteries.

2 Are dedicated to the Chassis 2 are House.

I took out my volt meter and sure enough My Chassis Batteries don't charge on Shore power.

So I had an Idea, I put a set of mini jumper cables from the house batteries to the Chassis batteries for Storage only at this point.

My thought was Why not permanently tie all 4 batteries with HD cables it would be very simple since all the batteries are in a row.

Here in lies the big Question What are the Possible draw backs or Problems with the electrical systems?????

Note, My coach is Not Equipped with an INVERTER, it has a Converter Charger.

Ted.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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The most obvious drawback to your proposal is that you would have no isolation between the battery banks to prevent house loads from discharging the chassis batteries while sitting for long periods of camping or inactivity.

BTW - Your Gulfstream is designed to charge both battery banks from shore power. You obviously have a defect in that system.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loulong View Post
The most obvious drawback to your proposal is that you would have no isolation between the battery banks to prevent house loads from discharging the chassis batteries while sitting for long periods of camping or inactivity.

BTW - Your Gulfstream is designed to charge both battery banks from shore power. You obviously have a defect in that system.
I figured that, as 1 possible issue, I suppose I would have to boondock for a very long time to draw down 4 batteries compared to 2

What Defect could I have?

Ted.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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Got boost switch? Jumper across its relay and you have basically same thing. I recommend to install a Trickle-Start - similar function of a bird.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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BIRD: Bi-directional Isolator Relay Diesel, a battery isolator relay device from Intellitec.
Used Intellitec RV motorhome Bi Directional Relay Diesel Model 00 00839 000 | eBay

Intellitec makes several devices with similar function, and there are probably other brands as well. My coach has the big brother of the BIRD, a device called the Intellitec Battery Control Center (BCC). Similar, but more function.

If your coach is designed to charge the chassis batteries from shore power, you have a relay of some sort that gets closed to connect the two battery banks. The defect is that the relay is not closing, either because the relay is not functional or becasue the required conditions to make it close are not present. The latter generally means a bad battery somewhere that is holding the voltage below some minimum.

Jumpering the batteries: Not a good idea for long term. Sooner or later you will go to start the coach and find all the batteries dead. Yeah, you say "can't happen to me", but so many people did it that RV manufacturers finally put in isolators to prevent that problem. But for short term use, sure.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
BIRD: Bi-directional Isolator Relay Diesel, a battery isolator relay device from Intellitec.
Used Intellitec RV motorhome Bi Directional Relay Diesel Model 00 00839 000 | eBay

Intellitec makes several devices with similar function, and there are probably other brands as well. My coach has the big brother of the BIRD, a device called the Intellitec Battery Control Center (BCC). Similar, but more function.

If your coach is designed to charge the chassis batteries from shore power, you have a relay of some sort that gets closed to connect the two battery banks. The defect is that the relay is not closing, either because the relay is not functional or becasue the required conditions to make it close are not present. The latter generally means a bad battery somewhere that is holding the voltage below some minimum.

Jumpering the batteries: Not a good idea for long term. Sooner or later you will go to start the coach and find all the batteries dead. Yeah, you say "can't happen to me", but so many people did it that RV manufacturers finally put in isolators to prevent that problem. But for short term use, sure.
How can I be sure My Coach has this Relay.

All the Batteries are NEW and test Perfect.
All connections are Clean and tight.
This coach only has 16,500 Miles on it.

Ted.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GULFSTREAM37 View Post
I figured that, as 1 possible issue, I suppose I would have to boondock for a very long time to draw down 4 batteries compared to 2

What Defect could I have?

Ted.
I have 4 batteries. They can discharge pretty fast. The previous poster is correct. You do not want to tie all 4 together or else you have the real possibility of not being able to start the engine after boondocking for a while.

You said you had a converter charger. By the very definition of the name it should charge your batteries. If it is converting ac to dc to power the coach it should be able to charge the batteries.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Got boost switch? Jumper across its relay and you have basically same thing. I recommend to install a Trickle-Start - similar function of a bird.
This statement is wrong on many fronts.

First - the aux start (Boost) relay is also your battery bank isolator. Jumping across this relay cripples the isolator.

Second - there is NO similarity between the BIRD function and the cheap Trickle Start. The Trickle start applies a small maintenance charge in one direction only. The BIRD is a true Bi-directional charge controller. It will apply the full charging capability of either the alternator or converter to all batteries as required. When no charging voltage is present from either source (or the load on either bank is significantly high) the BIRD will drop the relay and isolate the batteries.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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I'm sure there are different ways manufacturers have set up their wiring but my old '94 does not charge the chassis batteries from shore power. I can press a button on the dash to connect the chassis and house batts together for extra starting current but so far have never needed to do so. Shortly after engine start, that same relay automatically closes and ties all batts together to charge from the engine alternator. I personally would not want to put permanent jumpers between the chassis and house batteries because you would then have only one battery bank that would deplete evenly with house usage and possibly not be able to start your engine Also the chassis/starting batts are most likely not deep cycle and would fail prematurely due to the deeper discharge cycles. The battery banks are wired the way they are for a reason. You want the starting batteries separate so when the neighbors become annoying you can crank up and leave. Haha! Read the etiquette thread.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:06 AM   #10
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I have 4 batteries. They can discharge pretty fast. The previous poster is correct. You do not want to tie all 4 together or else you have the real possibility of not being able to start the engine after boondocking for a while.

You said you had a converter charger. By the very definition of the name it should charge your batteries. If it is converting ac to dc to power the coach it should be able to charge the batteries.
My converter does charge my house batteries but not the chassis batteries.

Above said my converter should charge all 4 and there is suppose to be a relay somewhere that closes to do so when there is power coming from the Converter while on shore power.

My question is how do we know that My particular coach is set up to charge all 4 on shore power.

I will have to start it and check the the voltage at all 4 batteries to see if it charges all 4 while running.

Ted.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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I have used a Trik-l-start (5 amps) but now use an Amp-l-start (15 amps). Both have provision to maintain discharge isolation between the battery banks. Very easy to install (3 wires and 2 mounting screws) and cost $65. No more wondering about batteries being ready to go.
Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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The problem with tying all the batteries together is two fold.

ONE: what happens if you are on a long trip, stop say for dinner and leave the headlights on.. CHASSIS battereis dead and you gonna have to call for help.

OR;; Chassis batteries dead and since they are ISOLATED the house is good, you can still start the genrator or simply hold the EMERGENCY START button (may be called AUX START or just Aux) and re-charge as you drive.

Or,,, You run the house down .. The main engine still has power so you can start it, and once the isolator clicks in you can start the generator and re-charge...

OR NOT. once again.

That isolator is there for a very good reason.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:18 PM   #13
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GS37...I think there's some good advice for you above. You should know that your Odyssey AGM's are also Thin Plate Pure Lead design (TppL) and about as good as it gets...EXCEPTIONAL batteries that may be HEAVILY DISCHARGED in terms of current AND also heavily charged...being capable of taking a charge in AMPS that is at LEAST as large as their rated amp hour capacity with no danger. You don't say the size you have but if we were to assume around a 100amp hour battery like a group 31 or 27...then your FOUR batteries if joined could take as much as a 400 amp charge!
As it is...if you stay 2+2...then you can deliver a 200 amp charge to each bank....or one at a time with a properly operating BIRD.
This can cut your charging and generator run time WAY down IF you have a big charger...so my advice is to determine WHAT you have in terms of amp hour capacity...and then goose up your charging system IF you intend to boondock and dry camp where running the generator for hours on end is expensive and annoying. If you will almost always be plugged in somewhere, then you can disregard this.
If you do decide to upgrade your charger...the IOTA engineering line of DLS chargers with their SmartIQ module is a great choice and they can be daisy chained to get you huge charging capacity if needed.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The problem with tying all the batteries together is two fold.

ONE: what happens if you are on a long trip, stop say for dinner and leave the headlights on.. CHASSIS battereis dead and you gonna have to call for help.

OR;; Chassis batteries dead and since they are ISOLATED the house is good, you can still start the genrator or simply hold the EMERGENCY START button (may be called AUX START or just Aux) and re-charge as you drive.

Or,,, You run the house down .. The main engine still has power so you can start it, and once the isolator clicks in you can start the generator and re-charge...

OR NOT. once again.

That isolator is there for a very good reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
GS37...I think there's some good advice for you above. You should know that your Odyssey AGM's are also Thin Plate Pure Lead design (TppL) and about as good as it gets...EXCEPTIONAL batteries that may be HEAVILY DISCHARGED in terms of current AND also heavily charged...being capable of taking a charge in AMPS that is at LEAST as large as their rated amp hour capacity with no danger. You don't say the size you have but if we were to assume around a 100amp hour battery like a group 31 or 27...then your FOUR batteries if joined could take as much as a 400 amp charge!
As it is...if you stay 2+2...then you can deliver a 200 amp charge to each bank....or one at a time with a properly operating BIRD.
This can cut your charging and generator run time WAY down IF you have a big charger...so my advice is to determine WHAT you have in terms of amp hour capacity...and then goose up your charging system IF you intend to boondock and dry camp where running the generator for hours on end is expensive and annoying. If you will almost always be plugged in somewhere, then you can disregard this.
If you do decide to upgrade your charger...the IOTA engineering line of DLS chargers with their SmartIQ module is a great choice and they can be daisy chained to get you huge charging capacity if needed.
Thank you all, The question of weather to combine the batteries is clear, so I will not be doing that.

They are Group 31s with 105 Amphere Hours each.

But this discussion has raised another question that has not been answered.

Via testing I found My converter while on Shore Power only charges my House batteries.

Without a House Service Manual How can I check if my Coach is Suppose to or Not charge the Chassis batteries on Shore Power?

Some say Yes Some Say No on Shore charging Chassis batteries.

Ted.
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