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Old 12-18-2013, 12:07 PM   #1
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Are my chassis batteries supposed to charge from shore power?

Searched for and read some older threads about battery chargers/maintainers that can be added so chassi batts will be maintained while I'm docked for extended periods. Then I found threads about Monaco building in a Trombetta relay and batt maintainer to the system at the factory. My coach has a Trombetta relay in the batt bay but my chassi batts are at 11.6VDC and the house batts are at 13.5VDC. I've been docked here for about a month without starting the Cummins.

Do I have a bad Trombetta relay or is my system lacking a maintainer? How can I test the relay to see if it will close (its stone cold)? I have a basic understanding of electrical circuits but I can't tell what's really going on in this system. Do I replace my Trombetta relay or buy a trickle charger for the chassi batts? Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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Maybe one of my previous threads will give you some ideas. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/dead...ies-92297.html
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
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That is VERY helpful, thanks. I checked in the left front electrical bay panel and can see that the IRD has wires connecting it that are plugged in so this coach must not have a BIRD (also none visible in any of the places that are likely).

In your old post Drifter said (above those great pictures) that given no BIRD and the IRD plugged in I would "need something added to charge the chassi batts." I take what he's saying at face value. However, if that's the case what is the Trombetta relay for that is in my batt bay?
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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OK...those posts are VERY helpful - thanks for pointing me in that direction. Based on all that was said (discounting those who weren't answering your actual question) I've discovered that I don't have a BIRD. Based on Drifter's post in your old thread if the IRD wires on the circuit board are plugged in there isn't a BIRD. Also, from one of the other posts in your old thread I surmised that the Trombetta relay is present to allow emergency starting when the chassi batts are too low to start the Cummins.

All that taken together I translate to mean that I'm now asking Santa for a new trickle charger/maintainer for Christmas. Thanks so much for your help - have happy holidays.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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I think Monaco got the message. On my 2013 HR DFT all batteries are charged during shore hookup as well by the coach when your on the road.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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All batteries are charged on my '08.
I'm surprised a '07 coach, does'nt .
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanandBetty View Post
OK...those posts are VERY helpful - thanks for pointing me in that direction. Based on all that was said (discounting those who weren't answering your actual question) I've discovered that I don't have a BIRD. Based on Drifter's post in your old thread if the IRD wires on the circuit board are plugged in there isn't a BIRD. Also, from one of the other posts in your old thread I surmised that the Trombetta relay is present to allow emergency starting when the chassi batts are too low to start the Cummins.

All that taken together I translate to mean that I'm now asking Santa for a new trickle charger/maintainer for Christmas. Thanks so much for your help - have happy holidays.
Yes Dan, that big relay is just for a boost start using the switch at the console near the driver. I installed the Trik-L-Start across that big relay and the chassis batteries are always full and start the engine almost instantly even a 18 degrees.
Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

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Old 12-19-2013, 06:24 AM   #8
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On our '06 Dynasty, the "Big Boy" relay is normally energized, when established on shore power, and both the coach and the chassis batteries are kept fully charged. On ours, this relay is pulled in by a full 12V source, but the effective coil voltage is reduced by by its controlling circuitry to allow holding the coil in for extended periods without producing excessive heat.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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If you have an IRD on your rig then the chassis batteries won't charge. The IRD only closes the big boy relay when you are driving.
I installed a echo charger which depending on the voltage on the house battery voltage will charge up to 15 amps to the chassis batteries while you are on shore power or generator.
I'm surprised a 2007 doesn't have a BIRD system. I'd check to see if there is 12v on the big boy coil when you are plugged in to shore power. The house battery voltage has to 13.5 v to turn the BIRD on, that puts 12v on the big boy coil
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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I have a 2007 Knight like you and it does not charge chassis batteries when plugged in. I installed a trikl charger and it works good.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:38 PM   #11
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Our previous coach was a Safari (Monaco product) and even tho the manual said that the engine batteries would be charged when connected to shore power.....they didn't. Called Monaco Tech and they informed me that this feature was only on the mid to high level DPs and my entry level Simba did not have it. Bought a Battery Minder and used it for a while but got tired of stringing an extension cord under the mh over to the engine heater electrical outlet and at the advice of others, bought and installed a Trik-l-start. Three wires, no 120vac required, and no messing with it once installed.

So, not all Monaco models have this feature and yours is probably one of them. Get a Trik-l-start and forget about it.

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Old 12-19-2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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Our 2011 Monaco didn't charge the chassis battery when plugged into shore power. The service people at Coburg installed the Trik-L-Start.......now everything is always charging. When in outside storage the solar panel keeps the batteries up. deSanford
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:39 AM   #13
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Okay...problem solved (I think). I believe Monaco installed the BIRD only on some coaches. I have no idea how they decided which ones got it and which didn't. Thanks to your help I now know mine doesn't have it.

I measured the voltage on the Trombella relay (same thing as big boy coil?) while plugged in to shore power. On the house batt side it measured 13.7vdc and on the chassis side it measured 11.7vdc and the relay is cold indicating it's in an open position. Of course I was just measuring what those batts had at the moment independent of each other but doing that confirmed that the house and chassis batts are not connected while on shore power. Just to be sure I then ran the Cummins for 10 mins and the chassis batts came up to 12.8vdc by the time I shut it off. It would have been higher if I ran it longer I'm sure.

I found (online) an Ultra Trik-L-Start for $45 so I ordered it....should be in within a week and I'll install it.

I'm thinking about installing a voltmeter in line with the chassis batts in the same bay so I can just open the door and see what level those batts are in at any time. A double check against the lights on the Trik-L-Start. It would be nice to have the volt meter inside the coach on the panel with the Magnum charger display and power EMS display but that would mean figuring out how to get wires to that location....easier in the batt bay outside.

Thanks guys for all the info....I really appreciate it.
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