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Old 08-03-2021, 03:36 PM   #1
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Supplemental Battery Charging

I store our 2001 Cruisemaster with a Freightliner XC chassis and 300 Cat diesel on a full hookup slab beside our house. 50 amp shore power is always connected. I also charge the chassis batteries (there are 2) weekly with a supplemental charger at 2 amps for 8 to 10 hours. I recently started the coach one day after a supplemental charge and it was a sluggish start. The Cat did fire up but I wasn't sure it was going to. Is there something wrong with my supplemental charging method? My charger iis 2 amps/10 amps/50 amps.

Advice/Suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

2001 Cruisemaster/300 Cat
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:52 PM   #2
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8 to 10 hours every 2 weeks ?

I would be charging every week for 12 hours at least wuth2 amps.

Best is to get a battery maintainer that stays on full time.
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:11 PM   #3
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You’ll need to determine the load on the batteries while stored, in order to determine the amount of charging required. Short of that information, it’s just guesswork.

A .75A Battery Tender that’s on 24/7 might work.
A 2A maintainer might work.
A 10A charger, on a timer, set to run X hours every X days might work.
A 20-50W solar panel and charge controller might work.
Jumper cables from the house to chassis batteries might work.
If your batteries are shot, none of the above will work.
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Old 08-03-2021, 05:56 PM   #4
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You're probably better to charge the batteries on the 10amp setting for 8 hrs once a week. To get a better idea of the amount of charge required , you should measure the battery voltage before and after charging. Depending on the age of the batteries and now they were treated, they could be at the end of their life.
I installed battery disconnects on my motorhome and if the motorhome is going to sit for more than a few days, I disconnect the batteries.
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:09 PM   #5

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You might want to consider an "Echo Charger". It is designed exactly for your application, and is a very easy install in many motorhomes. Installation is only 3 wires, one on the starting battery bank, one on the house battery bank and a ground. When the house bank gets above a preset voltage the echo charger allows some current, up to 15 amps max, to charge the starting bank. Both banks would stay charged as long as you are plugged into shore power and your house battery charger system is working properly. If your motorhome has a solenoid, battery isolator, or some other location where cables from both battery banks are fairly close to each other, that is somewhat protected from the weather, the Echo Charger can be mounted there and just connect one wire to each bank.

Hope that link works, if not just do a search for Echo Charger; lots of places selling them.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:42 AM   #6
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You could measure the voltage and see both how far discharged your chassis battery is getting as well as know if your periodic charge regimen is sufficiently replenishing it. Rather than bother with that you could just use a maintainer that's on 24/7 and not have to wonder, or suffer from a damaged battery. That egg may already be cooked if you've let your chassis battery stay undercharged.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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battery, charging

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