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Old 09-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Chassis Battery wiring?

I know this will be mere guessing on the part of those replying, nevertheless I will appreciate the response. Looking at my two 12v chassis batteries, right and left. R has the big cables, two to each terminal, then of couse a red to P of left and a black to N of left to couple the two. 1. Big cables are to engine and what?
2. Left battery has several smaller cables about size of wall telephone wire, some in pairs going to P then couple of singles to N, two even smaller size wires, about #14 g are attached to N. Are most of these wires from left battery just dash instruments, radio, etc.

Considering my chassis batteries often fall below cranking power after a couple of weeks, I assume none of these wires are coming from Xantex F458. Any thougts?

Bill
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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1) One red cable to starting motor, one red cable to a distribution point for all the devices that need 12V, including power coming from the alternator.

2) Dash, steps, safety devices, etc. are probably fed by the smaller wires.

Probably your chassis batteries losing cranking power after a couple weeks is because, typically, depending on model of RV, there is no charging system when on shore power. The house batteries are charged by the converter. Except perhaps an optional, very weak, solar panel on the roof. Most people install either a Trik-L-Start, or a $20 1.5Amp float charger plugged into AC to keep it charged while parked.

If it's parked without shore power, just disconnect the battery grounds from both house and chassis sets.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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Shore power is no problem and I believe you are quit rigt about chassis batteries not getting xharged via F458. A floater seems to be the device I need. I currently have chassis switch off on coach and moniter the voltage on batteries every day or so. After a couple of days they are at 12.2v so if they fall much more I will asume the drain, although small, is not eliminated via switch inside door.

Would like to find nice US made floater. I know, lots of luck on the made in USA. Anyway, do you have a recommendation of brand on floater? Tender stricks me as being more than just a floater but may still be best device, although more expensive than some.
Thanks bill
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Schumacher. They make both a 1.5Amp and a 2Amp. Available at most auto stores. Walmart has them for $17. There are some around at 5Amp...with your dual batts, that might be better for you.

There are several parasitic loads on both battery sets. All of the safety devices will bypass the Salesman's switches. Some rigs have computers in the engine and tranni, they will also bypass them. Then the radio memory has a constant supply for the station memory. And on and on.

If you put it in storage, just disconnect the grounds. If you're parked and have shore power, add the auxiliary charger to the chassis batts.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Jim,
Will a single floater work by connecting red from floater to say P of right bat and black of floater to N of left battery? Does smaller amperage have anything to do with longer battery life?

Does it seem strange that chassis battery reads less voltage than 2-6v house bats, or is this common......like 12.2-.6 to 13.1-.3. Usually each 6v will read 6.5.....O but I am on shore power so guess the F458 is keeping that charge.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Your first description led me to believe you have 2X 12V batteries wired in parallel. So a float charger could be wired to either pos and either neg. In your case, because you have 2X 12V batts, I'd look for a 5 amp float charger. I know Schumacher makes them, I've seen them in some Walmarts. They're about $25.

I've been using a 1.5A for many years, even spending the winter in Alaska at -50F, without issues come spring. So for my big rig, with just one 12V chassis battery, 1.5A is adequate.

It does not seem strange to me that the house batteries are reading 13+ volts and the chassis batteries are not when on shore power. Just means you need a float charger on them. So, yes, your F458 is keeping the house batts charged.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Because they are in parrallel (judging by the connection of two batteries, P to P and N to N) made me wonder if they would be connected at each end, one to left, one right. It really probably would not make a lot of difference. B
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:20 AM   #8
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You are right...won't make any difference. Those are heavy cables connecting the two batteries together, and essentially the charger see them as one large battery.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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I would just install one of these and forget about it.

http://www.lslproducts.net/ALS_Overview_Page.html
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:50 AM   #10
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On my Class C, I have 2 extra small wires also. Turns out they are for the CO and Smoke alarms which are on all the time and drain my coach batteries when stored. Mine each have an inline fuse which I take out while in storage.
Could this be your problem also?
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 319DSF View Post
On my Class C, I have 2 extra small wires also. Turns out they are for the CO and Smoke alarms which are on all the time and drain my coach batteries when stored. Mine each have an inline fuse which I take out while in storage.
Could this be your problem also?
There are many phantom draws in a modern RV, like the memories in radios, engines, and trannis. Best to just disconnect your battery grounds and be done with it. If they are maintained, and full charged when stored, they'll hold their charge for months.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
There are many phantom draws in a modern RV, like the memories in radios, engines, and trannis. Best to just disconnect your battery grounds and be done with it. If they are maintained, and full charged when stored, they'll hold their charge for months.
If I disconnect the batteries, I'll have to reconnect to exercise the generator every month.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 319DSF View Post
If I disconnect the batteries, I'll have to reconnect to exercise the generator every month.
Are you sure? Sometimes the Genset is on the Chassis and sometimes on the House Battery. If it's on the House Battery you could disconnect the Chassis Battery ground and still start the Genset.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:35 AM   #14
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Everything said above is true enough, but your chassis batteries should not fall that quickly unless some non-standard load has been added to them. Radio memory, ECM, etc. won't drag them down for months. You have an unusually large number of extra small wires connected to the chassis batteries - it is possible that one or more is for some add-on accessory that really should have been on the house batteries instead.

Your entry step is powered from the chassis batteries - make sure the under-step light isn't staying on while parked. In some step switch positions, this light could be on when the step is extended.
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