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Old 10-22-2015, 07:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatteryPro View Post
Name one.

I have worked on nearly every RV brand made since the 1980’s, from Casitas to Prevost’s. I have yet to find one motorhome without the auxiliary charge circuit either by a solenoid or battery isolator.

Larry
I can't name year, make, or model, but I know from reading on here a number of RVs don't charge the chassis batteries while on shore power or generator. I have always been puzzled by this, anything less than both battery groups charging from whatever available source seems a weakness to me, but it's commonly referred to in the forum:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/chass...er-208028.html
POST #2

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/coac...ng-107593.html
POST #2

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/engi...es-266911.html
In this post, conflicting information on whether all RVs are equipped to charge all batteries on engine, shore cord, or generator.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/chass...ng-230561.html
Here again it's stated ...Most do not charge chassis batteries on shore power... but again it's argued back and forth.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f107/coac...no-184235.html
POST #5

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/chas...er-259148.html

BatteryPro, Your blanket statement, "I have yet to find one motorhome without the auxiliary charge circuit either by a solenoid or battery isolator." made it sound like you knew something I find not true in all cases. I've read enough posts on here that ask for help when both aren't being charged to know they aren't all just the result of a malfunction. I always suggest that the voltages be read after the batteries have been charged and rested to absorb surface charge, then again take a voltage reading when plugged in to shore power or on engine alternator. It's best to learn the capabilities of your particular RV so you will be able to more quickly learn when it's not performing as it should.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #16
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Many of the Winnebago gas class A coaches did NOT have the circuitry to charge the chassis batteries from shore power, via the converter, until about 2005/6. Some Monaco coaches also did NOT charge the chassis batteries from shore power.

Charging of the house/coach batteries, along with the chassis batteries,from the engine alternator has been standard on all coaches since at least the 1940's.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:14 AM   #17
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All of this is very interesting but I don't think a history lesson about charging circuits is what the OP is looking for. I think we need to get back on topic.

In my opinion, if the coach has a duel charging system that is broken it is best to fix it. I have replaced 2 BIRD solenoids on 2 coaches. The first one was a bear because of location. The other was not bad. The OP needs to know that he needs a continuous duty, high currant rating to exceed his charging limit and silver contacts.

In flooded cell batteries I recommend using mineral oil in each cell after topping off with distilled water. This helps keep the corrosion factor way down and reduces maintenance on the battery banks.

Happy trails,
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:16 AM   #18
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All of this is very interesting but I don't think a history lesson about charging circuits is what the OP is looking for. I think we need to get back on topic.

In my opinion, if the coach has a duel charging system that is broken it is best to fix it. I have replaced 2 BIRD solenoids on 2 coaches. The first one was a bear because of location. The other was not bad. The OP needs to know that he needs a continuous duty, high currant rating to exceed his charging limit and silver contacts. Rick Y
The OP was given that information in my very first reply, along with a link to the exact BIRD/BCC documentation to identify and fix his problem.

The "history lesson", as you call it, was for the benefit of the usual suspects responding without specific knowledge of the OP's coach.

As for the solenoid specs, the high current rating is necessary to support the Boost function, which can require currents many times higher than the typical charging limit. The need for silver contacts is a good idea, but still, just an opinion.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:46 AM   #19
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ALL Motorhomes have an Auxiliary Battery Charge circuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post

BatteryPro, Your blanket statement, "I have yet to find one motorhome without the auxiliary charge circuit either by a solenoid or battery isolator." made it sound like you knew something I find not true in all cases. I've read enough posts on here that ask for help when both aren't being charged to know they aren't all just the result of a malfunction....
I just want to make sure that anyone reading this in the future knows that what you are saying is wrong. Perhaps you are confusing shore power charging with the auxiliary charging circuit from the engine alternator. As Old Bounder and I have tried to tell you, every motorhome has one. This is why I instructed the OP to look for the solenoid and repair it. If you are reading posts where the house battery is not charged from the engine alternator, they have a malfunction of that circuit.

Larry
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:50 AM   #20
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I just want to make sure that anyone reading this in the future knows that what you are saying is wrong. Perhaps you are confusing shore power charging with the auxiliary charging circuit from the engine alternator. As Old Bounder and I have tried to tell you, every motorhome has one. This is why I instructed the OP to look for the solenoid and repair it. If you are reading posts where the house battery is not charged from the engine alternator, they have a malfunction of that circuit.

Larry
Good points Larry, there is always a tendency to add another device to sidestep the root cause rather than fix it right in the first place. Then complain because there batteries are not lasting.
Or even worse, end up with a short somewhere due to wonky wiring.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:58 AM   #21
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The OP was given that information in my very first reply, along with a link to the exact BIRD/BCC documentation to identify and fix his problem.

The "history lesson", as you call it, was for the benefit of the usual suspects responding without specific knowledge of the OP's coach.

As for the solenoid specs, the high current rating is necessary to support the Boost function, which can require currents many times higher than the typical charging limit. The need for silver contacts is a good idea, but still, just an opinion.
This is a good point. I think it is also safe to consider that the continuous duty rating is for charging purposes. A 150A BIRD won't necessarily last as long as a 200A on a battery bank that requires 140A charging current. I think the starter surge current can well exceed either if these ratings, especially with my DP.

I'm of the school of thought in this area that bigger is better. Give me big, fat, robust contacts as a replacement to my failed BIRD.

I wonder where the OP is doing? Did he find his charging components yet??

Happy trails,
Rick Y
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:55 AM   #22
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This is a good point. I think it is also safe to consider that the continuous duty rating is for charging purposes. A 150A BIRD won't necessarily last as long as a 200A on a battery bank that requires 140A charging current. I think the starter surge current can well exceed either if these ratings, especially with my DP.

I'm of the school of thought in this area that bigger is better. Give me big, fat, robust contacts as a replacement to my failed BIRD.
Rick Y
Absolutely, the continuous duty rating is required because the BIRD can keep the solenoid energized for very long periods, while driving, or while recharging.

However, if you have a battery bank that requires (or could even accept) 140amps of charging current for more than a few minutes, you've already got a problem.

The solenoid should never see any portion of the high current demand from the starter, except in the rare instance of weak chassis batteries that require use of the Boost function.

The OP's coach is a gas (ford) Bounder which wouldn't present the high current requirements of your diesel, but considering the minor difference in cost, I too, would replace the components with the most robust that I could get.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:04 AM   #23
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I have ordered the trik l start and have not been able (weather) to get a chance to look for the relay but I think there behind the circuit board in the battery control box. I guess I have to pull the board to get to the them?
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:17 PM   #24
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I have ordered the trik l start and have not been able (weather) to get a chance to look for the relay but I think there behind the circuit board in the battery control box. I guess I have to pull the board to get to the them?
Not sure why you ordered the Trik-l Start, but YES you will need to get behind the board to get to the solenoids. The Isolator/charge solenoid is the small tin one in the center between the disconnect solenoids.

Did you find the documentation that I linked, helpful?
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Old 10-25-2015, 09:10 AM   #25
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Absolutely, the continuous duty rating is required because the BIRD can keep the solenoid energized for very long periods, while driving, or while recharging.

However, if you have a battery bank that requires (or could even accept) 140amps of charging current for more than a few minutes, you've already got a problem.

The solenoid should never see any portion of the high current demand from the starter, except in the rare instance of weak chassis batteries that require use of the Boost function.

The OP's coach is a gas (ford) Bounder which wouldn't present the high current requirements of your diesel, but considering the minor difference in cost, I too, would replace the components with the most robust that I could get.
We do agree on some of this discussion. But we still have a problem with charging current requirements. Flooded cell batteries can't sustain a high current charge for very long, true. AGM's are in a different charging class. This is why the charger manufactures have different charging parameters for each type of battery. Gel-cells I will stay away from because they are just too delicate and expensive for most RVers. AGM batteries are now seen frequently as OEM or good choice replacements. The charger must be capable of meeting the requirements for this type battery. It survives best when charged at a full rate and 140A can flow into a big bank of 6, 12V batteries for a half hour when deeply discharged. Running this sustained current from a 160A alternator through the BIRD contacts is not uncommon it this case. This is my argument for the more robust BIRD and it can still be around a $45 to $50 good investment.

I hope the OP is enjoying all of this. This is a great discussion overall. We just have to remember that the forum mediators can get a bit testy if we get too far off topic.

Rick Y
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:28 AM   #26
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We do agree on some of this discussion. But we still have a problem with charging current requirements. Flooded cell batteries can't sustain a high current charge for very long, true. AGM's are in a different charging class. This is why the charger manufactures have different charging parameters for each type of battery. Gel-cells I will stay away from because they are just too delicate and expensive for most RVers. AGM batteries are now seen frequently as OEM or good choice replacements. The charger must be capable of meeting the requirements for this type battery. It survives best when charged at a full rate and 140A can flow into a big bank of 6, 12V batteries for a half hour when deeply discharged. Running this sustained current from a 160A alternator through the BIRD contacts is not uncommon it this case. This is my argument for the more robust BIRD and it can still be around a $45 to $50 good investment.

I hope the OP is enjoying all of this. This is a great discussion overall. We just have to remember that the forum mediators can get a bit testy if we get too far off topic.

Rick Y
Not to belabor the point, but deeply discharging ANY battery to the point that it requires 140 amps of current for a full half hour, is poor battery usage practice. After all, it is the state of charge/discharge of the battery that determines the charging amps, NOT necessarily the max capability of the charging system. Discharging any battery that completely can be destructive to the battery. Putting that heavy and lengthy load, even on a 160 amp alternator is certainly not recommended, either.

We don't have any disagreement on the value of a good heavy duty solenoid, just a slight variation on thoughts of why it may be needed.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:19 PM   #27
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Not to belabor the point, but deeply discharging ANY battery to the point that it requires 140 amps of current for a full half hour, is poor battery usage practice. After all, it is the state of charge/discharge of the battery that determines the charging amps, NOT necessarily the max capability of the charging system. Discharging any battery that completely can be destructive to the battery. Putting that heavy and lengthy load, even on a 160 amp alternator is certainly not recommended, either.

We don't have any disagreement on the value of a good heavy duty solenoid, just a slight variation on thoughts of why it may be needed.

This discussion needs a Campfire and a bottle of Rum.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #28
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Karl0525
I agree with the others who say if your chassis battery is not charging when the coach engine is running you have a charging problem that needs fixing.
However I do not agree with those who "think" some accessory add on charger, (like a Trik-L-Start or Echo Charger) will fix YOUR charging problem.
Mel
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Hi Mel,

I've had my Trickle-Start in use for 5 years now and it's always worked.
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