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Old 11-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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Charging Chassis Batteries

When I am hooked up to shore power, does my onboard charger charge the chassis batteries? I know that it is charging my coach batteries but I am not sure about the chassis batteries. The reason I am asking is that I am plugged into shore power and have been for at least three weeks. I went out and started the engine and noticed that it said that the batteries had a low charge.

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Gary
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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Many RVs come from the factory without an axillary charging system for the chassis battery. Some have an optional solar panel that does, but it's useless. Many of us add either a Trik-L-Charge device or just a small 1.5Amp charger for $20 to keep it topped off.

Just get a digital voltage meter and while plugged into shore power, measure the voltage across the chassis battery. If it's 13V or above, you do have a charger on the chassis battery. If it's below, you need to add one or just disconnect the ground cable to the battery. But then you won't be able to listen to the dash radio.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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I have one of these on the dash for both house and chassis batteries. My rig has a "never off" feed from the house batteries to the radio memory supply. Since turning off the house batteries leaves this alive it is perfect for seeing house battery voltage. I picked up chassis battery voltage at the main feed to the ignition switch. Both meters are switched through a DPDT switch so I can turn them off if the glow in the dark annoys me at night. Current draw of the meters is so low it takes a quality multimeter to read it. One voltmeter is red and the other green to avoid confusion.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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I put a volt meter to my 12 volt battery while it is plugged into shore power. It read 12.6 volts so I guess that it does charge the chassis and coach batteries while plugged in.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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12.6V is just a fully charged battery. You should see over 13V if it is on a charger.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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My southwind charges both batteries, it also has a solar charger on the roof to keep it charged when not on 110V
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
12.6V is just a fully charged battery. You should see over 13V if it is on a charger.
I am new at this. If I am connected to shore power and my batteries are fully charged, can I assume that they have been charged while plugged in? I have been plugged into shore power for about a month.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:26 PM   #8
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If your chassis batteries are at 12.6V, and you have'nt driven the coach in a month, I'd guess your converter/charger is keeping them charged .
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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For mine, I have no idea. Doesn't matter! If the chassis battery won't crank it, I push the magic button, and plan to check the batt for corrosion and water level etc, or if over 5 years old, replace it. Nuff said?
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmadams View Post
I put a volt meter to my 12 volt battery while it is plugged into shore power. It read 12.6 volts so I guess that it does charge the chassis and coach batteries while plugged in.
The quick and easy way is to check the chasis battery voltage before and after plugging into shore power. THe voltage should be higher when pluged in vs before.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmadams View Post
I am new at this. If I am connected to shore power and my batteries are fully charged, can I assume that they have been charged while plugged in? I have been plugged into shore power for about a month.
As 96 Wideglide said you should read 13.5 or so volts on the chassis battery when connected to shore power if it is being charged by the converter.

The exception would be if you have the system used by Fleetwood products that only charges the chassis battery part of the time based on the relative voltages of the house and chassis batteries. Then you might be making a measurement when the device is not charging the chassis battery.

I think the device (a battery control center) is made by Intellitec . This is their web site HERE
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