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Old 04-16-2012, 05:27 AM   #1
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Should I Trickle Charge Batteries or Replace?

I've got a 2006 Travel Supreme Select and we sit in one spot for 28 days then move. It usually only takes a week before the vehicle batteries die on us. Each time we move I have to jump the vehicle with my pick-up. The house batteries are fine, don't have any problems with them. The two vehicle batteries are maintenance free batteries.

I have two trickle chargers in the basement which I used to use on my Corvette and wife's BMW. My questions are. is this pretty much normal, or do I need to replace the batteries? Or could I use the two trickle chargers on the two vehicle batteries to keep them charged?

Thanks for your help
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:37 AM   #2
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A lot of units do not charge the starting batteries and they will loose their charge just
sitting there. The more this happens the less life you will have on those batteries.
One can install a battery maintainer to keep them charged or use a trickle charger.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:34 AM   #3
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At this stage I don't know what you can hurt with the trickle charger but it sounds like it's time for some new batteries.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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I don't know your coach but I know on our Enterga Aspire there's the alarm and other stuff dragging on the chassis batteries all the time. That's why they put a solar charger on the roof which is great while parked outside but when stored inside the batteries are flat in about three weeks. So if you don't have a solar charger, a battery tender is the way to go. I've have some vehicles in the past that I permanently mounted a battery tender on and just plugged in every time it was going to be parked for an extended time.

One other note, all the motorhomes I've had going back to the '80s have had a boost switch which uses the coach batteries to start the chassis saving you from having to use a second vehicle to jump start.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
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i have the same problem with my 03 beaver, for some reason my chassis batteries go down. i have replaced them and none of my friends with MH can figure out why
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Your chassis batts may or may now be good. Chassis batts can only be fully discharged a hand full of times before they are shot.

I would take them in to your local battery center and have them load tested. If they're shot, trade them in.

You can certainly use a trickle charger on them while you're parked. For a cheap and permanent fix, look into a Trik-L-Start.

http://www.lslproducts.com/TLSPage.html

Any time you're plugged into shore power or running the genny, your chassis batts will be charged.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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A true chassis battery disconnect switch would stop this discharge action.
I have yet to find a vehicle that does not run the batteries down over time unless
they have a full disconnect switch.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tys03beaver
i have the same problem with my 03 beaver, for some reason my chassis batteries go down. i have replaced them and none of my friends with MH can figure out why
Many MH out there do not charge the chassis batteries. They only get charged when the engine is running. Mine was the same way. I installed a Trik-L-Start a year ago and no problems since.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #9
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If you are plugged in and your chassis batteries do not charge you can run a jumper from the chassis battery positive post to the coach battery positive post to keep them charged.
Start with a charged chassis battery. At least a 12 or 14 gauge wire.
Discharging a starting battery fully and letting it sit there will greatly shorten its life and reduce the capacity.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:12 AM   #10
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Gary is correct this can be done BUT remember to remove this jumper before
starting the motor or you could see it get very hot and smoke if the starting
batteries are weak and it tries to draw power from the coach batteries.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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On my MH the clock on the dashboard, backup camera system, radio (channel preset) all use the chassis battery. Although the draw is not much over a month or so it will deplete the battery. I installed a trickle charger and plugged it into the same plug that the tv goes into. That way when the engine is running the charger does not receive power.

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Old 04-17-2012, 12:28 AM   #12
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Cilrah......Some of the suggestions will work, but require you to constantly fiddle with them. The proper way to fix your issue is to add a system like the TrikLStart as Cylon mentioned. The TrikLStart is a good product, but the Xantrex unit is even better Battery Chargers | Auxiliary Battery Charger | Xantrex.

This unit simply charges your chassis batteries while the house batteries are being charged by your coach charging system. You can install the unit in about 15 minutes. Only three wires to attach, one to ground, one to the coach batteries and one to the starting batteries.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:29 AM   #13
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Do you have a solar panel to charge the starting batteries? Our DSDP has a little 5 watt unit and, until the battery went bad (after over 9 years), I've never had it go dead.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:22 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the ideas mentioned everyone It sounds like my problem is not that uncommon. There is a small solar panel on the roof but I'm not sure what it is for. I'm going to look into mounting one the trickle charge systems mentioned. My trickle chargers require extension cords and probably are not the best for this situation.

The captains chairs are the fist sign that the chassis batteries are going dead, they won't recline or run slow when the batteries start to die. The other weird thing is, the washer dryer combo won't work when the batteries start loosing charge
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