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Old 12-21-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
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Jumper from house batteries to chassis batteries?

Our motorhome is going into storage for the winter this weekend and I started to wonder something. Can I place jumper wires between the house battery bank and the chassis battery bank so that the chassis batteries would be maintained by the onboard charger rather than running a second battery tender on the chassis batteries? The coach is plugged in but not in a heated storage area. This seems logical and shouldn't be too much load for the inverter/charger as there would only be a total of five batteries. I don't see how this would be any different than having five house batteries. Any thoughts or insights would be very much appreciated.

Matt
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cusn Edy View Post
Our motorhome is going into storage for the winter this weekend and I started to wonder something. Can I place jumper wires between the house battery bank and the chassis battery bank so that the chassis batteries would be maintained by the onboard charger rather than running a second battery tender on the chassis batteries? The coach is plugged in but not in a heated storage area. This seems logical and shouldn't be too much load for the inverter/charger as there would only be a total of five batteries. I don't see how this would be any different than having five house batteries. Any thoughts or insights would be very much appreciated.

Matt
Just install a "Trick-L-Start" and leave it there. It connects the house batteries to the chassis batteries and will charge them when plugged it. The nice advantage is that the house batteries can not drain the chassis batteries because the voltage only goes one way.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cusn Edy View Post
Our motorhome is going into storage for the winter this weekend and I started to wonder something. Can I place jumper wires between the house battery bank and the chassis battery bank so that the chassis batteries would be maintained by the onboard charger rather than running a second battery tender on the chassis batteries? The coach is plugged in but not in a heated storage area. This seems logical and shouldn't be too much load for the inverter/charger as there would only be a total of five batteries. I don't see how this would be any different than having five house batteries. Any thoughts or insights would be very much appreciated.

Matt
UNLESS you KNOW that your coach converter is a "smart" charger, it will likely overcharge and / or boil the fluid out of you coach batteries when left plugged in for long periods of non-use (storage) . Hooking up the chassis batteries to the coach batteries via "jumper wires" isn't really a good idea, and may only cause the converter to over-charge even faster-if that's possible.

You will be treating all the batteries much better if you use small maintenance "smart" chargers like the Battery Tender or the Battery Minder. A separate one for the chassis and the coach banks. Not cheap, but they do an excellent job of maintaining batteries, and I think the Battery minder even has a "de-sulphating mode" to help clean the plates and extend battery life.

I suggest you visit www.RVUpgrades.com and shop there.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:21 PM   #4
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Yes, you can jump from positive on house to positive on chassis. You can just use the one cable. Use at least a 10 gauge wire. I would suggest fastening it to the batteries via an eylet on a stud rather than an alligator type clip.

On edit: I see that you've now got conflicting answers. I've done what you originally asked about....it works. And you are correct in your thinking that it's just like adding more batteries to your existing bank. I do have a smart charger and check for electrolyte levels when stored. And yes, should you experience a battery failure it can bring all connected batteries down too.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Just install a "Trick-L-Start" and leave it there. It connects the house batteries to the chassis batteries and will charge them when plugged it. The nice advantage is that the house batteries can not drain the chassis batteries because the voltage only goes one way.
I agree with this poster. I purchased a Trick-L-Start 4 years ago and it works well. My coach is plugged in 24/7 when we are at home. We do have a 3 stage charger.

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Old 12-21-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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I had never heard of the "Trik-L-Start" but think I might give that a try. I do have a "smart" charger so this looks like it will get me what I want. I just don't want to deal with another extension cord to run another charger. Mounting this permanently will give me an out-of sight, out-of-mind solution I was looking for. Thanks for all the great information!!!
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #7
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yes I did't do it on mine cause it was already there. I can tell you the little smart trickle charger treats your starting batteries kindly- in keeping them at the right level. The three level invert chargers are usually good. If you have a digital volt meter you might measure the voltage directly across the house battery bank after you system has finished charging and is in it's maintain level -- to confirm what voltage it settles down to. If it's about 13.1 volts -- it's good cause much higher than that you start to bubble off water over a period of time and that's bad if you don't stay on top of keeping enough water in the battery. Also shortens the life of your batteries. So that's the "why" it's done-- to maximize the life of the batteries.

Also a manual disconnect switch is good if you're not around power. Batteries only need to be topped up once a month if totally isolated by a switch.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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I had never heard of the "Trik-L-Start" but think I might give that a try. I do have a "smart" charger so this looks like it will get me what I want. I just don't want to deal with another extension cord to run another charger. Mounting this permanently will give me an out-of sight, out-of-mind solution I was looking for. Thanks for all the great information!!!
WBGO includes a T-L-S on the DP coaches, but us gassers have to buy them aftermarket. They work as described.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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WBGO includes a T-L-S on the DP coaches, but us gassers have to buy them aftermarket. They work as described.
Say hello to Clark.
Hi Ed

My Winne gas pusher even came from the factory with one.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Just install a "Trick-L-Start" and leave it there. It connects the house batteries to the chassis batteries and will charge them when plugged it. The nice advantage is that the house batteries can not drain the chassis batteries because the voltage only goes one way.
this would be my recommendation as well
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #11
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Hi Ed

My Winne gas pusher even came from the factory with one.
Hi Wayne Maybe they do all their pushers, and just leave us pullers to buy our own.

Merry Christmas to you and Roberta.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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Hi Wayne Maybe they do all their pushers, and just leave us pullers to buy our own.

Merry Christmas to you and Roberta.
I wondered at the time why they only did the pushers.

Merry Christmas
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:06 AM   #13
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You might want to research putting mineral oil in the batteries. 4 oz per cell for 6 volt and 2 oz per cell for 12 volt. Keeps the out gassing and evaporation to a minimum and reduces corrosion. I haven't added water to mine since I added the oil in April and this was through 115 summer weather.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:31 AM   #14
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You could use a diode.

There are diodes that would allow you to tie the chassis battery to the house bank so it would receive a charge but would not be discharged. It may take some research to get the right one, but this is a common issue in sailboats, trucks, etc. that want to operate off batteries. Solar systems use some type of diode to prevent discharge when it is dark.
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