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Old 12-10-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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Battery Charging Question

I am putting my ignorance out for all to see. I keep my coach in storage and have power available. I need to use a charger of some sort to maintain my batteries. I have two 12 volt for the chassis and 4 six volt for the house. I know that leaving the coach plugged into shore power is not good for the 4 six volts due to the lousy converter that came with the coach (have to add water). Also, plugging in does nothing to keep the chassis batteries charged. I see where many are using Trickle chargers to maintain. It also helps that they are relatively inexpensive. Can anyone recommend a charger for my situation AND (this is where my ignorance comes in) explain to me how they hook up to the battery banks.? I have never used a charger on sets of two 12 volts or a set of four 6 volts and am worried I will screw something up. Sorry for the drawn out post.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:08 AM   #2
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Check to see if your converter is a Inteli-Power 9100 series. If it is, there is a Charge Wizard availabe for about $35. The 2000 era converter puts out a constant 13.6V. Thus the water boiling off after a month or so. The Charge Wizard is an easy to install plug in that makes it a smart charger. It will use 14.2V to quick charge, then 13.6 to get to 100%, then 13.2 tomaintain the charge. You can find the Wizard on e-bay.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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Upgrade the converter! That is one of the best things you can do for your batteries. The ChargeWizard based converters do well and some promote the Iota which has similar charge maintenance and desulfation techniques.

Then, for storage, plug in the unit and bypass the house and engine battery isolator so they are connected in parallel.

A trickle or float charger is old school. There are much better options available these days. While I think a converter upgrade as described above is the best bet, something like the Battery MINDer(tm) is another way to go if battery maintenance only is desired. Check the specs to see what it does to keep a full charge and inhibit sulfation growth as those are the two things batteries need when not in use.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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Okay. I confirmed that I do have the 9100 series converter and I will add the Charge Wizard. Not often you find such an inexpensive solution.

Now, what is the best solution for keeping the two 12 volt chassis batteries maintained while stored.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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Sir....

Quick and cheap way to charge the engine battery... buy 4 large alligator clips such that come on a battery charger and a couple feet of heavier wire not sure what size but 10 gauge or so would be enough for a charging jumper.

Then just hook the jumpers up between your coach and engine batteries.

I am new to a MH also and wonder why one needs to have them plugged into shore power all the time for winter storage. Just plug it in for a day once a month and the batteries would stay charged. Probably be better than over charging them.


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Old 12-10-2011, 01:38 PM   #6
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While with some older coaches with say a Magnatek 6300 converter leaving it plugged in full time is not a good idea.. Modern ones .. That is not the case.. I like the gentelman who mentioned tne PDI 9100 (So long as it has the charge wizard it's one of the best) I might add the PDI 9200 is identical, save teh wiz is built in.

Many coaches today also charge the chassis battery off the house system once the house batteries are charged.. NOT ALL but many do.

Next: I would like you to change your thinking just a bit on those 4 six volt house batteries.

Think of them as two, two piece, 12 volt batteries (Each pair is treated as ONE battery 12 volt, about 220 amp hours) Makes lots of things easier and answers a lot of questions.

While we are discussing batteries.. Pick up a couple of small cans of spray paint, TESTOR's BRAND is good, or you can use bottles of nail polish.. One RED, one BLACK.

Paint the wires hooked to the "MOST POSITIVE" terminal on the house batteries, and the positive terminal on the chassis battery RED.

then do do the same on the negative end but with BLACK.

Now.. You won't have a blue or white or green or purple or whatever wire you don't know the location of when you remove and replace batteries.

Finally: IF your choach does not charge both batteries off the converter.

Battery Minder or Battery Tender (Both TM) are good products for this.. Any automotive store or departmenet or Batteries Plus store should have them.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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Winnebago started using the Trik-L-Start on all of its diesel coaches starting with the 2006 models. Here's a Winnebago Service Tip on how to install it yourself: Trik-L-Start Install . It's a very easy install.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #8
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Having had a lot of differnt employees, With different opions and different ways on thinking of how things should be done, I would like to make this statement.. Buy a good tappering Battery charger Maybe two of them, Put one on each battery... Then That ONE fellow says WHY.. Here is why With all the electronic equipment In the Motorhome . Just a small spark can ruin a lot $1000.00 dollers worth of equipment. I had a Guy install A alternater on my vectra. The new one would not charge. (Now I had installed Meny of them ) Took it back they run a check and found the DIODES blown out.. Now if you have a spark, or just for a second reverse the leads. what happens, ??? Hooking wires up and dissconnecting can spark and blow a battery up/explode. If you are lucky you will not lose your eye sight;; The liabelability Is much to great to suggest hooking up jumper wires;; I do not in any way mean to dissagree or down grade any fellow poster.. I just want everyone to be safe..
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:22 AM   #9
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I use a Xantrex "Echo charge" just install it per the instructions an all is good.
add the charge wizzard and you're good to go.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:29 PM   #10
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Thanks to all that have replied to my questions.

After reading all of the replies it sounds like there are two steps that I should take.

First, add the Charge Wizard to my existing converter. That will them make it a "smart" charger and eliminate the over charging of the house batteries and subsequent "boiling" that is causing me to have to add water regularly.

The second step is then to add the Trick-L-Start as mentioned by "cbeierl". The Trick-L-Start will then monitor the chassis batteries and keep them maintained as needed.

In regards to "Hot Mech", it looks as though the Echo Charge is Xantrex's version of the Trick-L-Charge. Is that correct?

If I am mistaken on any of this, please (anyone) let me know

Thanks again to everyone that has tried to help me here. To "wa8yxm",
I have learned much over the years by following your posts and would love the opportunity to speak with you to have you educate me more in the electrical systems. Thanks again.

Hope you all have a great Christmas.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
Okay. I confirmed that I do have the 9100 series converter and I will add the Charge Wizard. Not often you find such an inexpensive solution.
Well, I was wrong about which converter I had in the coach. It is actually a Magnetek 7455. Guess I am buying a new converter. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:56 AM   #12
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trickle charge question

so many different ideas on this subject and I am confused. Please clarify. So If I have three house batteries and one engine battery why can I not just hook a separate trickle charger to each of those to maintain the batteries so that I am not having to hook up to shore power when storing over the winter?? My inverter is a 1000 on an itasca 34Y. Your help is appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:16 AM   #13
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Here's what I did. I put a switch on the BIRD so I could lock it off. I put a 1.5 amp battery conditioner on each circuit. Coach and chassis. I switch off the "salesman switch" and let the let the float chargers work. I don't like charging deep cycle and conventional batteries at the same time with the same charger. If I discharge the coach batteries I leave them connected to the RV converter until the are recharged then switch off the salesman switch and let the float charger work. That said, you may need a larger automatic charger for your 6V coach system. For $40.00 I am very happy. Cheaper that a converter upgrade. My converter works well, but the coach batteries will need refilling once a month. I am now on 6 months with no water added. The float charge rate is 13.1 volts while the converter is at 14.3.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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Btw, here's an updated link for the Trik-L-Start (LSL Products changed from a .com to a .net address, so the old link no longer works).
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