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Old 04-19-2015, 07:28 PM   #1
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Location: Victoria, B.C.
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More charging questions

I'm a relative newbie, and had my C-class diesel plugged in for about 4-5 months over the winter. The house battery is fine and shows full charge, the two chassis batteries are dead, though not low on fluid. Either the converter doesn't charge those batteries on shore power or there is a glitch or solenoid perhaps giving me trouble (and I don't know how to check for that). The manual makes mention of the house battery being charged but not the chassis batteries (I assumed they were also being charged).

Given that its a 2007 coach, I'm thinking an aftermarket smart charger simply wired up to the chassis batteries would do what I want. Can I run a lead to those batteries that are wired in parallel, leaving them installed, and have the charger inside the coach somewhere? Otherwise, it is a real bear to crawl under and take them down from the frame racks or even hook up alligator clamps. Too bad they aren't installed under the first step up into the coach, where there is already a metal compartment, but I'm guessing these wet batteries shouldn't be in a confined space anyway.
Any help appreciated.

Bob and Manola
07' Four Winds Siesta 27', 2 slides
E-450, Turbo-diesel
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:46 AM   #2
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Many rigs do not charge the chassis battery from shore power.

TriK-L-Start is one inexpensive fix.

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Old 04-20-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
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Dean is correct, a lot of coaches don't charge the chassis battery when on shore power. Here is a Trik-L-Start like he recommended installed. It's a very simple installation with three wires; one to the house battery, one to the coach battery and a ground. The cost is about $50 and it works like a charm.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:13 PM   #4
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There's a couple of schools of thought here. I think the Trik-L-Start is a good way to go. That unit, is basically linked to the charging system of the house batteries. It is NOT a battery charger. It is simply a "diverter" in the fact that, it determines a voltage difference between the house batteries and the coach batteries. And, that voltage difference is .5 volt. Once it sees that, it will engage itself to basically siphon off, a portion of the charging that is destined for the house batteries, and send it to the chassis batteries.

It's not a bad principle, it works very well as it's intended to. But, and this is purely my opinion, if anything should go wrong with the house battery charging mechanism, be it a "converter/charger" that most gassers have or, an "Inverter/charger that most diesels have, then you've lost ALL charging capabilities to ALL BATTERIES.

It was for this reason alone that I elected to install a three-stage NAPA battery charger, strictly for the chassis batteries. That way, it's two, independent charging systems while being plugged in. All I did was, mount the charger, close to my 120VAC breaker panel, under the bed. Then, I used an unused breaker for hardwiring it to. Then, because my chassis batteries are very close, just on the other side of the bulk head, I simply ran the leads through some grommets and tied them to the appropriate positive and negative posts.

Now, if ever anything should go wrong with that charger or, for some odd reason I need to disconnect it from charging the chassis batteries, all I have to do is, flip the breaker, at the foot of the bed. Done! Again, this is just something I wanted to do for my own reasons. Good luck.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:59 PM   #5
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Many thanks Dean/Dan and Scott. I think either method described sounds pretty doable. I'll try the wired in smart charger first and see how that goes. Since the existing system seems to be working fine with the house battery I'd rather not mess with that. I'll monitor things closely.
Thanks again for your detailed responses and leads to other good reading!
Bob and Manola
07' Four Winds Siesta 27', 2 slides
E-450, Turbo-diesel
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:38 PM   #6
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Not sure if this your problem but...I had no juice coming from my batteries either. I checked them with a battery tester and both were good and fully charged. I simply didn't tighten down the wingnut on the positive battery post enough.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for reply Timberdog,
The batteries are indeed bolted tightly to the leads, and that's one thing I'm probably guilty of (over-tightening).

Bob and Manola
07' Four Winds Siesta 27', 2 slides
E-450, Turbo-diesel
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