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Old 05-20-2018, 02:28 PM   #1
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Amp-L-Start not working?

So when I have it hooked up, the yellow "charging" light goes on, but if I meter the starting battery, I do not see "14.4v" or even "13.4"... The battery is all the way down to like 6v now and it will not go up. IF I start the RV, I get the higher voltage from the meter and the battery will charge. Just not with the Amp-L-Start.


Is it possible the unit is faulty? Is it possible the ground is not grounded?
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:47 AM   #2
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Sounds like it was installed wrong or defective. There should be no current flow from the house batteries to the chassis battery unless the house batteries are above 13v. Check your wiring, it almost sounds like it is installed wrong.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:41 AM   #3
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The Amp-L-Start instructions contain a section on troubleshooting. Any help there?
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:06 AM   #4
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It is not installed wrong. I even just ran the wires STRAIGHT to the batteries to test. The ONLY thing it could be possibly is the ground... I am not sure how to check that, but I think the unit would tell me that.

According to the website, the unit should "borrow" current "Anytime the batteries are charging". Also, the house batteries are NEVER above 13v as 12.6 is full. They get more than 14v while charging, but never end up with 13v.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
tommymsw-

The Amp-L-Start instructions contain a section on troubleshooting. Any help there?
No help there because the unit appears to be working perfectly. The yellow "charging" light is exactly what they say should be happening. I wrote their customer support, but I have never heard back. I feel like maybe it is a "scam" product and most people would never know as their starting battery gets charged by the engine anyway... No customer support makes me leary.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:21 PM   #6
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Not a scam. I have had them on my last two rigs and they have worked perfect. Must be a defective unit.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:25 PM   #7
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Not a scam. I have had them on my last two rigs and they have worked perfect. Must be a defective unit.
Sure, I know. I was somewhat joking. Seems like a small outfit though (even a weird email)... Their support is not great and their return policies are terrible. I assume I am out the $75 on the deal. For now though, I have no idea what to replace it with. :(
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:52 AM   #8
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The AMP-L-START has a one-year warranty. If out of warranty, I'd replace it with the same thing. There are lots of these out there; if they had a poor reliability record we would have heard about it.

Customer Support:

[email protected] (use "Customer Inquiry" in the Subject line)
877-257-4655
Support/Customer Service Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM CST Monday-Saturday

One last note: I installed a different LSL Products product (the Toad Charge) on our toad. At one point, I thought it had failed, so I ordered a replacement. Come to find out the problem was on the coach side of the connection, not with the Toad Charge. So, now I have a spare. That's a long-winded way of saying you can't be sure it's the device that's causing the symptoms you see.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:39 AM   #9
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Just looked back at your original post. At 6V your chassis is beyond the range of being charged by the Amp-L-Start. Try charging it with a standard automotive charger and see if it will hold a charge, however, I suspect it is beyond help and in need of replacing. Your Amp-L-Start is indicating charge which is what I would expect, however, there really isn't enough current there to charge a dead battery.

BTW 12.8V is a fully charged 12V battery. The 13.3V number you see is a surface charge that will, if the battery is left alone, bleed off.

The real question is whether or not your chassis battery is being charged by the alternator. A relay connects the chassis and house batteries when voltage is detected on the alternator circuit. You need to check voltage on both sides of that relay with the engine running.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:08 AM   #10
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Just looked back at your original post. At 6V your chassis is beyond the range of being charged by the Amp-L-Start. Try charging it with a standard automotive charger and see if it will hold a charge, however, I suspect it is beyond help and in need of replacing. Your Amp-L-Start is indicating charge which is what I would expect, however, there really isn't enough current there to charge a dead battery.

BTW 12.8V is a fully charged 12V battery. The 13.3V number you see is a surface charge that will, if the battery is left alone, bleed off.

The real question is whether or not your chassis battery is being charged by the alternator. A relay connects the chassis and house batteries when voltage is detected on the alternator circuit. You need to check voltage on both sides of that relay with the engine running.

I know the battery needs replacing, but I don;t want to do that until i am sure the Amp-L-Start works. So the next one does not also die.

I do charge the battery fully from the alternator, but it slowly dies over a few days. The alternator has no problem charging it. The Amp-L-Start is not throwing a charge. To me, it is not about if the Amp-L-Start is capable of charging the dead battery, but that it is throwing ZERO charge at all. There is NO charge coming out of the Amp-L-Start. If I meter the battery, I do not get a 13 or 14 volt read as I should. When I start my engine, the starting battery reads "charging" volts. With the Amp-L-Start, the battery reads no extra volts.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
tommymsw-

The AMP-L-START has a one-year warranty. If out of warranty, I'd replace it with the same thing. There are lots of these out there; if they had a poor reliability record we would have heard about it.

Customer Support:

[email protected] (use "Customer Inquiry" in the Subject line)
877-257-4655
Support/Customer Service Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM CST Monday-Saturday

One last note: I installed a different LSL Products product (the Toad Charge) on our toad. At one point, I thought it had failed, so I ordered a replacement. Come to find out the problem was on the coach side of the connection, not with the Toad Charge. So, now I have a spare. That's a long-winded way of saying you can't be sure it's the device that's causing the symptoms you see.
Hmm.... Their website said 120 days and I had to pay shipping and it needed to be in the original packaging (I no longer have). I have also contacted them several times via their support and have not heard anything back.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:25 AM   #12
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Over one week and ZERO responses from the Amp-L-Start people. Not about technical help OR my request to return the product.

Are there any competitor companies that sell a similar product? I am not going to order another Amp-L-Start.

For anybody looking, know that IF you get a bad product, you eat it.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:38 AM   #13
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FOUND IT! More expensive, but seems to be manufactured by a legit company. I expect they will stand behind their product.

https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-82-01...x+echo+charger
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Old 05-24-2018, 01:59 PM   #14
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I've seen a $50 Victron battery combiner installed which seems to do what you want, since both house and chassis batteries get charged, or am I missing something here?

https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Intel.../dp/B0738JGVZ9
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:50 AM   #15
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Yes, you are confused on this one. The Victron works the same as a relay that is already in the system.

An Amp-L-Start and its smaller cousin the Tric-L-Start are designed to keep the chassis battery charged when on shore, generator, or solar power by stealing a small amount of energy from the house batteries. The Echo charger works the same way.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:11 PM   #16
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Interesting thread. In 14 years of full time RV'ing and browsing numerous RV'ing forums, don't recall any Amp-L-Start failures. My first thought was a bad battery, not a bad ALS. I know something of the design and how simple and robust it is so failures are few and far between, but not impossible.


Good luck and come back and tell us how it went with the new product. Thanks.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:16 PM   #17
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“I feel like maybe it is a "scam" product”

Your’s isn’t working so everyone in that company is scamming? Couldn’t be you! Couldn’t be defective! Must be a scam!
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:48 PM   #18
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“I feel like maybe it is a "scam" product”

Your’s isn’t working so everyone in that company is scamming? Couldn’t be you! Couldn’t be defective! Must be a scam!
Hey, I get that there are posts in forums that say it is great. But I don't know who posted them. All I know for SURE is that mine did NOT work, and they have no support or return. And their email is "earthlink"... That is like some person's private email Not a "business" email... While it seems some of these devices may work, it also seems like maybe this is a company run by "A GUY" out of his home.

Either way, if you get a bad device, you are stuck with it. It may not have been a scam for you, but it was for me! i mean, what would you call it? I sent a few emails and not a single response. In MY case? I am out the $75. And no way can I be the ONLY person.

They don;t seem to sell them at any other retailer. My take is that this is just some guy doing it from his home. Maybe most of the devices work? I have no idea. But I do know there is zero support. So if you get a bad one, too bad.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:58 PM   #19
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Hmm.... Their website said 120 days and I had to pay shipping and it needed to be in the original packaging (I no longer have). I have also contacted them several times via their support and have not heard anything back.
I order two of these two weeks ago and they never arrive. He NEVER reply to EMails and that phone # just goes to a voicemail telling you to Email. He is totally unresponsive. I tried to reach him last year too, he never replies.

I wrote the company that take your money and complained. Said I wanted a refund.

As for the product, you have to have a charge level voltage and current, AND the house voltage at a full charge voltage, for the device to start to leak current to the chassis. Sounds to me you do not have either, enough current and enough voltage on the house battery.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:38 PM   #20
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I am disappointed to hear about the negative responses. I have one installed on my motorhome which I bought about four years ago. I remember calling the company back then to ask a question and spoke with someone on the phone on my first try. The product has worked flawlessly for me; however, customer service is a big deal for me. I would rather pay twice the price on a similar product then buy a cheaper product with poor customer service.
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