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Old 10-30-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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Echo charger or similar

I'm really a noob at MH's and I have been trying to understand how the electrical systems in them work. I was an electrician for 45 years and I'm having trouble grasping the whole inverter- dc systems.
I just bought a 2000 windsor pb 2 weeks ago and have already had house battery problems. I'm trying to take care of that problem before it comes back and haunts me.
Will an echo charger solve the battery issues in my MH?
Will it charge the batteries if I'm driving or running the gen?
I know that my equipment is working right now but want it failsafe.
Thanks for your help and understanding!
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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In most motor homes there are two battery "systems" the one for the Engine, Consisting of the battery, Alternator and regulator and of course all the "Vehicle" electrical loads,,, And one for the house, Consisting of the Converter (Which may be part of a dual-function inverter like a Prosine) the house batteries and all the "House" 12 volt loads (Too many loads to list)

Usually when the engine is running the two systems connect together so the engine can charge the house batteries..

ON SOME rigs, when the rig is plugged in the relay that connects them will also pull in so the house can charge the CHASSIS (ENgine) battery as well.. BUT ON MANY RIGS THIS IS NOT SO.

The Echo Charger, and the Trick-L-Start, add this feature to a rig that does not have it.

They will not help with the House battery.. But may help you leave a campground. (or go to one) by keeping the chassis charged when you are plugged in.

Now: A question for you before we go on:

Make and model of the CONVERTER please.
In some cases this is on the fuse/breaker box door.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:41 PM   #3
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It's hard to tell from your post just how much information you need.

First, what is the nature of your battery problems?

Next, what is it about your inverter that has you confused? Most modern motor homes have an integrated converter/inverter. The converter takes 120VAC and converts it to 12VDC for battery charging. The inverter takes 12VDC from the house batteries and changes it to 120VAC for "house" appliances.

You have two battery banks. One is for starting and other engine functions and the other bank is for the "house". Depending on how the manufacturer wired the charging circuits the most likely arrangement is House batteries are charged by the engine alternator, or the converter powered from either the shore line or the 120V gen-set.

Usually, the chassis or start batteries are charged by the engine alternator and trickle charged by a roof-top solar panel. There is a boost switch to allow using the house batteries to boost the current for starting.

An improvement that many of us use is some sort of connection from house batteries to chassis batteries to allow them to charge from the gen-set or shoreline. Choices are jumpers, Echo charger, or Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:17 PM   #4
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Hey Bugze..... we have a 2000 Windsor also.... LOVE IT!!!!! Bought it a year ago from the original owner. We have a small 90 Watt Solar panel, 4 "house batteries" and a chassis battery. We replaced all the batteries when we got it so we knew we'd be safe for boon docking, etc. We got 4 AGM 6 volt, 220 amps for the coach and a 1400 regular battery for the chassis (diesel starter). If your coach is the same as mine, probably is, the new 220 AGM (Interstate) will fit in the drawer but the cables will be 2" too short!!!!!!!!!! Went to a Generator rebuilder and he made up to cables to be able to hook them all together.... that was a tense moment... thought they would fit the original cables... almost didn't count!!!! Unless you batteries are really new... I'd spend the money NOW and get that all squared away..... cause you know how Murphy NEVER sleeps!!!!!! Everyone above explained all very well..... plus the auxiliary switch on your dash for emergency power transfer to start is there.. on the left side of the dash... very handy!!!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:19 PM   #5
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It's 2000 watt trace with rc 6 remote. I have had it plugged into shore power for 48 hrs and the batteries are still way low. (can't bring slide in)
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:26 PM   #6
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You appear to have a problem, Bugzme. Either the charger part of the inverter isn't working or the batteries are bad. The latter is the most common cause. Do you know which battery bank powers the slide? And therefore which battery is low? Or if the slide runs off the chassis battery, then having it plugged in may not be charging the chassis battery by design. Some coaches do not.

What have you done so far with the batteries? Checked the water level and topped up if needed? Tested voltage at the battery terminals?

An Echo charger is used when the coach's own electrical system does not provide cross-charging between house and chassis batteries while on shore power. If your slide runs off the chassis battery, that could help you. If the slide runs off th house battery bank, an Echo charge isn't the answer.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:08 PM   #7
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It runs off of the house battery. Guess I'll go out and spend some money on batteries. Naturally the dealer that sold me the motorhome says everything is ok but after 2 days of shore power I should be able to bring the slide in. Any and all reccomendations for batterys would be appreciated.
Have checked water level and voltage- 13.5 volts
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugzme View Post
It runs off of the house battery. Guess I'll go out and spend some money on batteries. Naturally the dealer that sold me the motorhome says everything is ok but after 2 days of shore power I should be able to bring the slide in. Any and all reccomendations for batterys would be appreciated.
Have checked water level and voltage- 13.5 volts
Now I'm confused.

If your batteries are reading 13.5VDC they are charged.
Is anything else not working in addition to the slides?

I would have the batteries load-tested before replacing them. I'm guessing that it's not your batteries that are at fault.

Perhaps your automatic switch is stuck. Try charging with the generator operating and the shore-line detached.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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The batteries might be fine, but the connecting cables may be the problem. We had a similar problem, it was one cable that had one end that was corroded in one spot that we couldn't easily see. New cables and everything worked fine.

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