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Old 05-04-2021, 06:29 PM   #1
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Chassis battery charging...

Shouldn't chassis battery get charged by being plugged into shore power? Shouldn't it get charged by running gen?
Both of these charging methods do successfully charge the house batteries, I have verified that.

I went to start my coach for The first time in a few weeks, dead. It has been plugged into short power continuously. I connected my multimeter to the chassis battery and it read approximately 11.6 volts. I started the generator and my house battery display shows house batteries charging from the generator, but the voltage on the chassis battery was staying the same. Thus the question shouldn't either shore power or generator charge the chassis battery?

In a slightly separate issue, while the multimeter was attached to the chassis battery and I could see the display, I activated the auxiliary boost switch and saw no jump and voltage. I'm guessing this means my solenoid needs to be replaced. I was able to attach a jumper cable from the house battery positive to chassis battery positive, saw an immediate jump and voltage on the multimeter and the engine started right up, effectively bypassing the auxiliary boost switch.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:55 PM   #2
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Millions of RVs have no provision to charge the chassis battery from shore power. Millions of others come from the factory with a B.I.R.D. circuit which does that job. And of course there are the inevitable jury rig circuits, either DIY or from the factory, that have a timer that operate the AUX start solenoid after a length of time for the house batts to get fully charged...then it closes the AUX solenoid so the chassis batt can get charged too. The delay is basically for old batteries...want them to be fully charged before making the converter work hard when charging the chassis batt.

Many of us use either an Trik-L-Start or Amp-L-Start to keep the chassis battery topped off. You can also just use a simple 2.5 amp float charger wired to the battery and powered by some nearby 120Vac outlet or splice into a line.

It would help if you put your Year, Brand, Model, and Engine in your signature for more focused answers.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:29 PM   #3
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You didn't specify the year of your Winnebago, but our '06 Itasca did not have a provision to charge the chassis battery from shore power. I added a Trik-L-Start at the boost solenoid to keep the chassis battery charged. It's an easy addition if yours doesn't have a trickle charger or BIRD system to keep it charged.

You may not have a problem with the boost solenoid. On some it's powered from the chassis batteries because it's powered when the ignition is on. If those are dead there's not enough power to activate the solenoid.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:31 PM   #4
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none of the three MHs we've owned since 1986 were provisioned to charge the chassis battery from the genny or shore power. on our second and current MH we added a Trik-L-Start which diverts a small amount of energy from the house battery(ies) charging circuit.

Mega TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:37 PM   #5
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If your chassis battery is charged by the house system, It would go thru the same solenoid as the boost switch controls. That one solenoid serves double duty.

Change that and then test again. Of it still doesn't charge, then you'll need an add on device.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
You didn't specify the year of your Winnebago, but our '06 Itasca did not have a provision to charge the chassis battery from shore power. I added a Trik-L-Start at the boost solenoid to keep the chassis battery charged. It's an easy addition if yours doesn't have a trickle charger or BIRD system to keep it charged.
Same solution for me. 06 Winnebago Outlook. I wired the Trik-L-Start to the chassis battery and plugged it in to a coach 120v outlet. When the coach is plugged in to shore power, the chassis battery is maintained. The Ford chassis battery only lasted about 13 yrs, obviously not compromised by the maintainer.

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Old 05-04-2021, 08:05 PM   #7
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The OP's 2005 Adventurer as manufactured did not have any mechanism to charge the chassis batteries when on shore power or under generator. Winnebago started adding the Trik-L-Start to diesel pushers in 2006, but I don't believe anything was done on the gas side until more recently.

I would recommend adding the Trik-L-Start as recommended by others. (Btw, the current 'Mega' version now charges at twice the rate of the original version.)
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:22 PM   #8
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Cheapest method is to use jumper cables between battery banks during storage.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Millions of RVs have no provision to charge the chassis battery from shore power. Millions of others come from the factory with a B.I.R.D. circuit which does that job. And of course there are the inevitable jury rig circuits, either DIY or from the factory, that have a timer that operate the AUX start solenoid after a length of time for the house batts to get fully charged...then it closes the AUX solenoid so the chassis batt can get charged too. The delay is basically for old batteries...want them to be fully charged before making the converter work hard when charging the chassis batt.

Many of us use either an Trik-L-Start or Amp-L-Start to keep the chassis battery topped off. You can also just use a simple 2.5 amp float charger wired to the battery and powered by some nearby 120Vac outlet or splice into a line.

It would help if you put your Year, Brand, Model, and Engine in your signature for more focused answers.
I have the year make and model in both my garage and signature, I assumed those would show up on posts, sorry about that. 2005 Winnebago Adventurer 35A Workhorse W22
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:23 PM   #10
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If your chassis battery is charged by the house system, It would go thru the same solenoid as the boost switch controls. That one solenoid serves double duty.

Change that and then test again. Of it still doesn't charge, then you'll need an add on device.
Here is a photo of the solenoid. The red wire on the left goes to chassis batt, the red wire on the right goes to house batt. When activating the dash switch for boost the solenoid gives an audible click as well as you can feel it by hand, so something is happening.

Would the question of the chassis battery gets charged through the shore power depend on whether the house battery aux cutoff is in on or off position? I have mostly been leaving the house system off (cutoff active) during storage. Today though while testing house batteries were on.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:47 PM   #11
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In case you haven't seen them, here are all of the Wiring Diagrams for your coach. Of particular interest are the Automotive Wiring Diagram and Chassis Electrical Box Assembly diagram. Page 9 of the Automotive Wiring pdf shows the Battery Boost Switch which is connected to the three wires LR, LS, and KE. Looking at the Wiring Identification Guide you can see the following:
LR / 14 YEL BATTERY MODE SWITCH (AUX START SWITCH) BATTERY MODE SOLENOID (AUX START SOLENOID)

LS / 12 YEL OVERCURRENT PROTECTION 20A BREAKER TYPICAL,COACH FEED GENERAL PURPOSE(BATTERY MODE, RADIO POWER,BATTERY CONDITION

KE / 14 YEL RUN ONLY POWER SOURCE GENERAL PURPOSE(RELAY TRIGGER, REAR AUTO HTR,DRL,MONITOR,ETC
In its normal position the Battery Boost Switch connects KE to LR, thereby activating the Battery Mode Solenoid to join the two battery banks whenever the engine is running. When depressed the Battery Boost Switch connects LS to LR, activating the Battery Mode Solenoid regardless of whether the engine is running or not.
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