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Old 07-20-2016, 06:06 PM   #1
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Charging Chassis Batteries from Shore Power

A thought came to me while I was reading about chassis batteries discharging
while on shore or generator power, so I thought I would throw this out there for discussion.

If while driving the house and chassis batteries are connected via the boost solenoid could a fellow run a switched hot wire to this and turn it on if parked for an extended time?

I know things can be bought for this , but I just wondered about this since I am
somewhat of a cheapskate. thanks to all.....
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:33 PM   #2
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You could hold the boost switch on but I would wonder how long the solonoid would last.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:36 PM   #3
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Winnebago didn't use B.I.R.D. (Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay) systems in gas RVs for many years. Your method would work, except when you forget and find all the batteries dead someday. Your 'cheapness' may come back to get you one day. A Trik-L-Start would be another way to go, but I prefer the B.I.R.D. for mindless charging when ever a charging current is present.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:43 PM   #4
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You can get a real ACR like a Blue Sea ML-ACR, I have a smaller version in my boat that keep both batteries charged from engine or shore. These relays are designed for long term usage a marine enviroment, much better than the cheapies they put in RV's which will wear out.

I might put one in my RV eventually but another fine option is a AMP-L-START which I have and works great.

If your cheap just spend the $30 on the TRIK-L-START.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:47 PM   #5
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Winnebago didn't use B.I.R.D. (Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay) systems in gas RVs for many years.
My 2016 Winnie doesn't have a bird, just a cheap solenoid tied to ignition switch with a momentary boost override, I was pretty surprised the cheaped out like that, its ok though I will replace with nice Blue Sea one at some point.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:43 PM   #6
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Two other combiners are made by Cyrix and Yandina. Both are automatic.

I have one across the 2 big terminals of the boost solenoid, to let the solar keep all batteries up, while stored.
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:26 AM   #7
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Our coach has an echo charger, you can google it. It hooks to house and chassis batteries. When the echo charger senses 13+ volts or so it then trickle charges the chassis batteries. Pretty simple and easy to hook up.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:06 AM   #8
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To answer your question, yes. You could put a very simple toggle switch right next to the solenoid. Take power from either large post to the switch and then the other post of the switch to the terminal on the solenoid that needs power to engage. The solenoid may get very hot to the touch even if it is a continuous duty type so be careful touching it after several hours of use.
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:02 PM   #9
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Charging chassis batteries from shore power

I purchased a Battery Minder charger, connected to chassis battery and plugged into receptacle in the storage bay behind the passenger side front wheel. This is where the power converter is plugged in. you might have to convert this receptacle to a duplex, as I had to do.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:46 PM   #10
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Perhaps jumper cables from house to chassis batteries?
This would leave your solonoid out of the equation.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:01 AM   #11
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charging chassis batteries from shore power

Well, you could do that. No disrespect intended to anyone, but think about it. Do you want to carry a set of jumper cables and go through that every time you hook up, or just do a permanent installation of a charger? It is easy, will take you less than 1/2 hr to do this. I did it over 5 years ago and it is still working fine, never any worries about battery. I also use a regular 110 volt extension cord at home to charge both house and chassis batteries (duplex receptacle on end of extension cord, plug in both converter and Battery Tender, although I also have an inverter/charger on board), instead of plugging in the 50 amp power cord. This is especially helpful for those who do not have a 50 amp receptacle available at home. Obviously, you would need to have an AC to DC converter on board to use the 110 volt extension cord. It will still work if you have inverter/charger instead. Just plug in 50 amp cord
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:30 AM   #12
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Even simpler would be the TRIK-L-START, two positive wires, one to each battery and one ground wire. Now you have a DC to DC maintainer that will work with Shore, generator, or solar.

I have similar setup with big inverter/charger but left my old converter unplugged as backup. I may add pigtail to plug it in separately for bad shore power . I also have a solar charger on house. Any one of those 3 chargers will also maintain my start battery through the AMP-L-START.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbates1944 View Post
A thought came to me while I was reading about chassis batteries discharging

while on shore or generator power, so I thought I would throw this out there for discussion.



If while driving the house and chassis batteries are connected via the boost solenoid could a fellow run a switched hot wire to this and turn it on if parked for an extended time?



I know things can be bought for this , but I just wondered about this since I am

somewhat of a cheapskate. thanks to all.....

One problem with this is if the shore power drops, then BOTH sets of batteries will drain, and you won't be able to start the engine. Better to use a Trik-L-Start which will keep the batteries isolated but maintain a charge in the chassis batteries.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:51 PM   #14
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My 1998 Southwind has a Battery Control Center that originally provided the same functions as a BIRD. However, some of the functions, including charging the chassis battery from shore power, no longer work. The manual cross-connect switch and solenoid for starting from the house batteries still does work. I found that fixing or replacing the Battery Control Center is a bit expensive and a lot of work.

This Spring, I bought and installed the $35 version of the Trikl-Start. Problem solved. My Chassis battery now stays charged. (I plug in to shore power at home when not on the road.) I'm happy.
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