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Old 11-29-2014, 04:54 PM   #1
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How to use my new solar system to charge my engine battery also?

I just got finished installing 675 Watts on the roof of my RV.
Now I no longer have to have a cord running across my front porch in order for my battery's to stay charged.
Now that I am relying on just my solar to maintain my battery's it has dawned on me that only the house battery's are being charged not the engine battery.

In the past I had a separate trickle charger that ran to my engine battery so while on shore power my 3 stage smart converter took care of the house battery's, and the trickle charger took care of the engine battery.

I know I can turn on my 1000 watt Xantrex inverter and it would in turn power the trickle charger.

But is there another way?

I have the morning star MPPT 60 for my charge controller and the Bogart 2030-RV monitor.
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:11 PM   #2
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A Bird or similar device that interconnects the house and chassis batteries for just such a charging need is the way many people go.

A few solar controllers gave outputs for a second battery set. For example, configure 90% of the solar harvest directed to the house batteries and 10% to the chassis batteries.
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:16 PM   #3
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Google battery combiners, yandina, cirix. Blue sea all good with little current draw
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:46 PM   #4
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Thank u twinboat,, I did some looking they start around $50.00 I see.
I was just wondering what other people do, like do they leave there inverter on for over 30 to 60 days so it can power the trickle charger that will maintain the engine starting battery.
While RV is parked in drive way between RV trips.
letting the solar panels do the job of keeping both battery's up.
Or is there any reason that I would be better off plunging up to shore power and let my inverter do the work and just shut down the solar system?
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:49 PM   #5
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I have my solar controller set for 90/10 as mentioned above. I also have a factory installed Trik-L-Start.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:32 AM   #6
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Trik-L-Start...it is made to do exactly what the OP wants.
Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

Best luck
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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Ktoutoor, what about mounting a small 20-100 watt panel just to trickle charge your chassis battery? If it is small enough you don,t need a controller.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:28 AM   #8
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Definitely do not try the inverter route. Bad weather could lead to dead house batteries.
The trik-l-start device is what I used on a couple of rv's. The Yandina makes a good product as well. A simple jumper will suffice too.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:50 AM   #9
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Two Systems Installed Side-By-Side

While on the roof installing the coach PV, I installed an extra 100watt panel for the chassis batteries. Ran the wires down to a small charge controller alongside, and in the same chase as, the PV wiring for the coach battery charge controller. The nine panels appear as one array on the roof, but PV#4 (in the center of the array) is dedicated to charging the chassis batteries.

\ken
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:39 PM   #10
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Thats a good ideal.
Very clean looking install
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:50 PM   #11
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This is just the thread I was looking for. I have to eliminate the cord to the RV, because i fear I will drive off with it attached. Almost did it today.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumps View Post
While on the roof installing the coach PV, I installed an extra 100watt panel for the chassis batteries. Ran the wires down to a small charge controller alongside, and in the same chase as, the PV wiring for the coach battery charge controller. The nine panels appear as one array on the roof, but PV#4 (in the center of the array) is dedicated to charging the chassis batteries.

\ken
Thats an expensive way to do it and wastes much of the PV power. The Trik-L-Start is only about $45 and will charge from any source with or without the sun shining. Then all that extra PV power can be utilized by the house battery system and loads.

And, for others reading this, Blue Sky Energy IPN charge controllers have an auxiliary battery charger built in so no need for extra PV solar or a Trik-L-Start.

Larry
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJerryP View Post
This is just the thread I was looking for. I have to eliminate the cord to the RV, because i fear I will drive off with it attached. Almost did it today.
Write the words "Power Cord" on a clothespin and put it on your steering wheel or somewhere you can't miss before driving away. I leave my key in the ignition and clip my notice pins there so I can't start the engine without the reminder(s).
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Write the words "Power Cord" on a clothespin and put it on your steering wheel or somewhere you can't miss before driving away. I leave my key in the ignition and clip my notice pins there so I can't start the engine without the reminder(s).
Good idea, On saturday, I did drive off with the extension cord attached to the RV. Friends were visiting from out of town, and we all piled into the RV, to go to the Louisville RV show. In my excitement to see them, and actually do a trip in the RV, I forgot to unplug it, and now i know the extension cord almost reaches to the end of the driveway, as it was laying there, when returned.
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