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Old 07-20-2014, 11:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
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Fixin' the battery shut down issue ..... finally

Well, after a couple years now owning and maintaining our RV, I continue to be reminded how very important battery care and maintenance is. I've replaced all our batteries and installed a new charger with better battery management capabilities. But we still had small "phantom loads" that drained our batteries, particularly when stored.

I have just installed a new battery cut-off switch that solves a number of those problems. The switch is a double pole, double throw variety which will connect/disconnect/interconnect both battery banks. With the addition of a couple digital voltmeters, the project cost was about $100 and two hours of my time.

The switch is model number 5511e, made by Blue Sea Systems.
e-Series Dual Circuit Plus™ Battery Switch - Blue Sea Systems

My initial goal was a hard disconnect for both battery banks. But I discovered I can also interconnect the batteries when I want to charge both systems or draw from both systems. The 12V distribution board (BCC) supposedly has the "smarts" to know when to interconnect the chassis and coach batteries for charging. It's behavior on my rig seems a bit erratic. Now I can easily defeat that system, or override it, when I want to charge both systems ( on shore power ). When we are boondocking, I can keep the two battery banks independent. And if I ever need the "boost" from the coach battery to help start the engine, I can do that manually as well..

For the installation, I disconnected the chassis and coach battery cables at the 12V distribution board (BCC) where they attach to the interconnect solenoid. I moved these cables to the "input" side of the switch. I purchase two #2 AWG red battery cables and connected these from the interconnect solenoid to the "output" side of the switch I also moved the existing engine starter cable from the chassis battery to the "output" side of the switch.

Since I was looking for more battery monitoring info, I put two voltmeters on the output side of the switches, so I can check voltages of both chassis and coach batteries while independent, or interconnected, or charging. The voltmeters were mounted in a small electrical box with an on/off switch to control them. DROK White LED 0.36" 3.0~30V Small Voltmeter Digital 18650 Cell-phone Lithium Battery Tester 5/12V DC Voltage Meter - - Amazon.com


Here is a shot of the installation.Click image for larger version

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cheers,
Karl
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:03 AM   #2
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Looks good and works too.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:52 AM   #3
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Karl

Nice install. I like the digital meter install. Nice touch.
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