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Old 06-15-2015, 07:14 AM   #1
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Which smart charger?

Since my coach does NOT charge the engine batteries when on shore power, I want to add a charger. The question is which one: Intellitec's Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay, the Echo Charger, the Magnum Smart Battery Combiner or some other unit?

As always....your experienced advice will be most appreciated!
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:40 AM   #2
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I have been using the Echo charger since the coach was new and it hasn't failed yet. If I was installing new. I would go with the Magnum Energy

I would order it from http://www.imarineusa.com/ as they have the cheapest prices and free shipping.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan&Jacquie View Post
Since my coach does NOT charge the engine batteries when on shore power, I want to add a charger. The question is which one: Intellitec's Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay, the Echo Charger, the Magnum Smart Battery Combiner or some other unit?

As always....your experienced advice will be most appreciated!
Well Stan,
As you indicate, there's quite a few of them out there on the market. Each one has what ever it claims as benefits. As with yours, our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with C-7 330HP CAT, also did not charge the chassis batts while on shore power or generator power. So, I didn't have to do much research since I had a pretty fair amount of experience with battery chargers, work for SDFD for 30 years. We tried them all.

And what we ended up with for the last 10-15 years was the NAPA 3 Stage battery charger. The part number is: 85-320. It's the same one we installed on over 100 fire trucks to keep things fully charged, WITHOUT OVER CHARGING, for many years.

But, I installed that charger about 3 years ago and, I just tried to look up the part number and, well, at this time, I can't find it. So, anyways, if you have some sort of smart charger in mind, you can't go wrong. Many advocate the use of either the Trik-L-Start or it's newer brother, the Amp-L-Start. Both are good units. They've served many owners well.

I'm just one of those that likes the charging for the chassis batteries, separate from the charging of the house batteries. That way, if anything goes arry with the house battery charging system, it won't effect the charging of the chassis batteries. Just a preference.
Scott
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:37 PM   #4
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The option I went with is call the Trik-L-Start. Extremely easy to install and keeps your engine batteries charged up. Might be worth looking into.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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I also use the ultra trik l start, easy to install, works great, reasonable price.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:57 PM   #6
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You forgot Trick-l-start (A competitor of Echo Charge) But will say you have the right idea.

Trick-L
Echo or BIRD..All 3 are good..

The first 2 however (Echo or Trick-l) are very very easy to install.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:58 PM   #7
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I used to have the Trick-l-Start on a previous coach and it worked fine. On this coach, I went with the Amp-l-Start. Instead of 1.5 amps it charges with 5 amps. It takes charge off of the house batteries whenever the coach is plugged into shore power or when the generator is running. Pretty simple operation and simpler install. It will not deplete the house batteries when not plugged in.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:10 PM   #8
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I have an Echo charger and it works ok, but would buy the Magnum if doing it over again. Or maybe Trik-L-Start, which gives just about all the benefits at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:57 PM   #9
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I have. CTEK that I use for the race car and one for one of my trucks that gets very little use. They can be mounted to the vehicle. The charger will check voltage on a monthly interval and slowly ramp in a charge.

I am very happy with mine.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:58 PM   #10
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Also, depending on the model, they can function as a normal charger if you need to use it for something else.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:56 PM   #11
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On my last coach, I originally bought the TrickLStart and it worked well fro two years, but the assembly started to swell and I felt it would fail. I went with the Echo charge that seemed like a well built unit. It was still working fine, 7 years later when I sold the coach. After I bought it, Magnum came out with their unit. My personal choice would be the Echo charge or the Magnum, but the Magnum was a little pricey.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:11 AM   #12
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My Phaeton came with a Battery Minder (1.5amps).
It also has a desulfate feature.

I have not had a need for more charge current.
During camping, the chassis battery is fully charged when you arrive, so you only need a maintainer. For storage, I use the chassis Battery disconnect switch.

I also prefer a charger that runs on 120v rather than on that runs from the house batteries.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:55 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that people are talking about two different systems here. One requires a 110 volt outlet (separate battery charger) and must be plugged in to work. The TrikLStart, Echo Charger and Magnum do this all automatically by simply connecting to both sets of batteries. You can even connect just a wire between the two batteries and do the same thing, but not recommended.

I just don't care for having to run a cord to a 110 volt supply that may be quite a ways away on some coaches, or has to have an outlet added to the battery bay. All of your new coaches come with their own automatic systems that is wired between the two batteries with no need for a separate 110 volt source.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
My Phaeton came with a Battery Minder (1.5amps).

It also has a desulfate feature.



I have not had a need for more charge current.

During camping, the chassis battery is fully charged when you arrive, so you only need a maintainer. For storage, I use the chassis Battery disconnect switch.



I also prefer a charger that runs on 120v rather than on that runs from the house batteries.



Regards,



Dan

We'll guys, many thanks for your most helpful input. I've decided on the Magnum ME-SBC because it doesn't require 120v.; it can work through the solenoid and is adjustable. Since my coach also charges the house batts on solar power, the adjustable feature will allow me to fine tune it when boondocking and on solar only.

You guys are awesome....thanks so much for your assistance....saved me again!!!
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