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Old 03-28-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
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Trickle Start is the perfect solution

This little gadget now keeps the chassis battery up with no maint. I never have to worry anymore that the battery is draining and I don't have to switch off the chassis battery when it's stored.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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Came equipped on my Winnebago.

I just had to learn that to charge both batteries when stored I had to leave both disconnect switches in the "ON" position. Oh! And plug into at least 110v.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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After blowing up two sets of expensive batteries (the last ones a set of AGMs), I mounted a pair of 130 watt solar panels on the roof to keep the batteries charged, even when the chassis switch is off. I'm looking forward to trying them out with a little dry camping this spring!
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:53 AM   #4
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Follow up - I "blew them up" by letting them drain, and then freeze, during winter storage - probably because I inadvertently turned the chassis battery switch off.
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by puttin View Post
This little gadget now keeps the chassis battery up with no maint. I never have to worry anymore that the battery is draining and I don't have to switch off the chassis battery when it's stored.

Thanks for the info. I've got one on order.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:34 PM   #6
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Hi All,

A really great alternative to the Ultra Trik-L-Start is the Xantrex Echo~Charge. It passes up to 15 Amps. with a little lower voltage drop, which will charge the chassis batteries much faster and even protect you if you accidentally leave the parking lights on. It is more expensive but not quite three times as much. I have seen it on the web at a price of $115.00.

I installed one on our coach about 5 & 1/2 years ago and it has worked flawlessly sense. We are still on the original chassis batteries. Our charger/converter is two Prosine 2.0s in parallel for a total charge output of 200 Amps. Only one is wired for AC output and the other is the installed spare. With remote meters up front, I always know what the batteries are doing. Right now the coach is at 13.41 Volts and the chassis is at 13.05 Volts thanks to the Echo~Charge.
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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MrTransistor,

Thanks for the info. I don't need that much current, the 5A. trickle start is all the charge I need. The average weekend plugged into shore power or on the gen.tops off the chassis battery. What you suggest would probably work better if you find yourself leaving things on by accident. I have a gas coach too which only has the starting battery-so it would be over kill I think. If you have a link-I'd like to check it out anyway though.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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Charging

I use the Battery Tender. I just hard wired one into our rig. We leave the rig on shorepower so the starting battery is alwawys good to go. Amazon has the for under $40.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:25 AM   #9
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Hello badge,

For that price, I can only assume that you are referencing the Battery Tender Junior 12V @ 0.75A. This may work for a Gas RV but would be woefully inadequate for todayís Diesel RVís. Residual loads can be as high as 2 to 3 Amps. to provide standby power to all the computers on our motor homes these days. Ours seems to run close to 3 Amps. which is borderline even for the Trik-L-Start. That is why I decided to use the Echo~Charge. Way back when, I started to track down the residual current loads on the chassis batteries but gave up and just installed the Echo~Charge instead.

Iím also stunned by the prices of the higher current rated devices by Deltran Corp. Their minimum device for a diesel RV would be the Power Tender Plus 12V @ 5A and it has an MSRP price of $125.95. And since it is a battery charger, requires a bit more installation effort owing to the requirement to provide 120 VAC to the charger.

Hi puttin,

The link to the Echo~Charge information is: Xantrex Technology Inc. - Recreational Vehicles - echo~charge - Product Information

The Trik-L-Start, even with its 5 Amp. limit should provide ample current for a gas RVís residual current requirements. Obviously, it also works with the diesel RVís since Winnebago is now installing them at the factory. And, as we all know, price is a consideration for anything installed on a retail product these days and why should Winnebago opt for the expensive, potentially overkill, unit versus the less expensive unit?
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #10
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Thanks MrTransistor,

The Xantrex certainly is a heavier unit in all respects. I'm glad I don't need that much standby charging capability but nice to be aware of the product anyway. Nice motorcycle too.

Happy Camping,
Drew
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MrTransistor View Post
Hi All,

A really great alternative to the Ultra Trik-L-Start is the Xantrex Echo~Charge. It passes up to 15 Amps. with a little lower voltage drop, which will charge the chassis batteries much faster and even protect you if you accidentally leave the parking lights on. It is more expensive but not quite three times as much. I have seen it on the web at a price of $115.00.

I installed one on our coach about 5 & 1/2 years ago and it has worked flawlessly sense. We are still on the original chassis batteries. Our charger/converter is two Prosine 2.0s in parallel for a total charge output of 200 Amps. Only one is wired for AC output and the other is the installed spare. With remote meters up front, I always know what the batteries are doing. Right now the coach is at 13.41 Volts and the chassis is at 13.05 Volts thanks to the Echo~Charge.
Mark,
Have just ordered the Xantrex Echo~Charge for our 2003 Monaco Camelot, and am trying to determine the best place to mount it. I believe I read in a recent thread someplace that "after market" installation of this unit routinely done by Monaco or other installers was to mount it in the electrical bay in the front of the coach below the driver's area, however the installation instructions for this unit that I read on line indicated that it needed to be mounted within two feet of the batteries to reduce the current drop. I have also read that it is not a good idea to locate it in the battery bay because of the harsh environment and ventilation issues present in that area. So, any recommendations as to the best location to mount this unit? If the battery bay is not a good location is the electrical bay still a possibility, or does it need to be closer? There is a battery cable connection post at this location.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:13 AM   #12
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Hi Monaco,

Iíve only dealt with the Winnebagos so I donít know the cable runs for the Monacoís. Winne usually mounts electrical equipment fairly close the batteries to reduce the size of wiring required for connection to such items as inverters. In the case of our 04 Horizon, the bay on the opposite side of the coach from the battery trays houses the transfer switch, both battery disconnect and tie contactors and the inverter. It was a simple install to mount the Echo~Charge to the cover over the contactors which is just above the original inverter location. As you can see, I replaced the original inverter with the ProSine and subsequently piggybacked the spare unit to the first to increase the charge current to 200 Amps. Each inverter has 30 Amp. pig tails to make for a quick swap in case the inverter of #1 were to fail.

Since the cable size of the wiring to the inverter is in our case 0000 and the cable size to the chassis batteries is 000 from the tie contactor, this proved to be a good place to mount the Echo~Charge. Easy access to the plus and minus at the inverter and the plus connection of the chassis at the tie contactor. As to Voltage drop over the cables, over this short a run with cables of this size, it is insignificant to the maximum 15 Amps. of the Echo~Charge. Specifically, less than 10 milli Volts at 15 Amps. and less than 2 milli Volts at 3 Amps. and the normal load should be less than 3 Amps. once the batteries are charged and only float and residual load currents are required for the chassis batteries.

I hope this helps with your installation. If your battery banks are in the rear of the coach and the tie contactor is in the front, the cabling will probably be a bit smaller unless the inverter is up front as well. Even so, there should not be a problem with installing the Echo~Charge using the two main terminals of a front mounted tie contactor. The simple math says the Voltage drop will be on the order of 40 milli Volts or less at 3 Amps. Thatís for 50 feet of #4 per positive connection. It probably is not wired this way since #4 cable would render the tie contactor virtually useless.

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Old 05-06-2010, 03:06 PM   #13
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Thanks Mark for the picture and description. The house and chassis battery cut off switches are located in the battery bay on our MH, and the inverter is in an adjacent bay with an indirect wiring route between the two. From a wiring standpoint the easiest location to mount this Echo Charge unit is on the back wall of the battery bay right above the house and chassis batteries, but from an environmental standpoint I am not sure that is the best or safest place to locate the unit. Am going to pose this question in the Monaco section to see if someone has done this installation on a similar Monaco wiring configuration. Thanks again for your info.
Jerry
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #14
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Jerry- IIRC the front compartment you reference has the BIRD in it or at least a contactor to intertie battery strings for charging under some condition. If that is correct, the wire size going to the contactor for the battery intertie should be of sufficient size to avoid meaningful volt drop. If there is no battery-cable-size cable going to the battery strings within this front compartment, the distance is too long.
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