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Old 11-05-2016, 01:47 PM   #1
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Chassis battery charge

I was looking to install a Trik-L-Charge on my 2012 Suncruiser, but I am slightly confused as to what I see. There is a 4 gauge wire jumping from the house positive to the chassis positive. I checked the Winnie schematics, but it does not show this jumper. It appears as if the previous owner installed it to avoid installing some type of charger. Is this safe? Normal? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:04 PM   #2
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The previous owner did what he did to keep the chassis battery from going dead, while on shore power.

It works, but if you are boondocking, you will run down your chassis battery battery along with your house bank.

If your going to install the Trik-L-Charge, remove the jumper.

With the jumper installed, I would think you didn't have a dead chassis battery problem.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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vegas1, Safe Yes, Normal No I would remove it and install the Trik-L-Charger. The jumper bypasses the isolation relay. The relay may be bad or the previous owner was looking for a cheap way to charge the chassis battery when on shore power.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:14 PM   #4
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Now that I recall, a while ago I was boondocking and forgot to shut the electric off to the water heater after powering down the generator and switching to inverter. This quickly drained both house and chassis batteries. Guess I will remove the jumper and install the Trick-L-Charger to avoid further problem. Thank you for the reply!
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:23 PM   #5
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Jumping the two battery systems, house and chassis, like that can be an issue. With both systems tied together, they could both be discharged so low the engine won't start. Rather than a Trik-L-Charge, I recommend a true Battery Control Center. (BCC) When a charging voltage is detected, from the engine or converter/charger, it connects both battery groups to be charged. When the charging voltage goes away (engine off, shore power unplugged, or generator off) it disconnects the batteries. It also provides fuse protection and often an optional dashboard switch to temporarily connect both battery groups for emergency starting.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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With a Trik-L-Charge or any similar device you might run down the house but the chassis will still be charged so the engine will start and usually a few minutes running will let the generator start when the combiner button is pressed. That will let the generator pick up charging duty for both banks. A BIRD is nicer but more complicated and more expensive for little more functionality.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:49 PM   #7
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I would think that he already has a IRD installed on a 2012 MH.

That takes care of the chassis charging the house bank, while running.

For that matter, he may already have a BIRD. As someone mentioned, the solenoid may be bad and the eazy fix for the previous owner was a wire.

Remove the jumper and start your engine. Check for charging voltage on the house bank.

If you have that, then shut off the engine, plug in shore power or run the generator and check your chassis battery for charging voltage.

If you don't get the charging voltage from the engine to the house, you probably have a bad isolation relay ( solenoid ). If that's bad, the second test needs to wait until you get the solenoid replaced.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas1 View Post
I was looking to install a Trik-L-Charge on my 2012 Suncruiser, but I am slightly confused as to what I see. There is a 4 gauge wire jumping from the house positive to the chassis positive. I checked the Winnie schematics, but it does not show this jumper. It appears as if the previous owner installed it to avoid installing some type of charger. Is this safe? Normal? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Vegas1,
Well, the very first thing I'd do if I were you is, sh...can that jumper, it's not supposed to be there, as others have said. The second thing I would do is, LEARN what YOUR coach was equipped with, FROM THE FACTORY in terms of how your house batteries are being charged while plugged into shore power. Do this BEFORE you go adding ANY additional sources of battery charging.

Just because it's 2012 coach, that doesn't mean anything in terms of what the manufacturer did or didn't do normally when it comes to battery charging. These boys cut corners all the time so, while you SHOULD have some form of house battery charging built into the coach from the factory, do make sure it's there and, is working correctly.

If you find out there's an issue with whatever kind of charging system that IS presently on your coach, you should remedy THAT first, before going out and buying ANY auxiliary battery charging equipment. I'm kind-a going out on a limb here and assuming that, since your coach is a gas unit, you'll have some sort of "converter/charger" on board. Now, that term might be old school since I've not delved in Gas coaches for a while but, it's what used to be used, maybe still is.

If so, the "charger" side of that converter, IS the house battery charging system for the house batteries and, sometimes it's tied into the chassis batteries, if designed correctly, but not always. So, some investigation is needed before I'd go spending money on something that's already there.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
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If your owners manual says your motor coach will charge the coach batteries when the engine is running then you have a fairly beefy battery isolation device with a big power contactor and a small control board that you may or may not see depending on the type. At least on my Vista it's located behind the Chassis Electrical Box where all the 12 Volt Coach Battery side circuit breakers are. I have a battery monitoring system and if coach batteries are low and I start the motor coach I can see as much as 95 amps flowing into the coach batteries from the alternator, even with the engine only at idle. But not for long, this will quickly fall to well below 75 amps within seconds.

- the dash switch manually energizes the contactor connecting the batteries together

- the isolator's control board sees about 13 volts or more on the chassis battery side, it will energize the contactor after aproximately a 15 second timed delay. You generally will hear it make a "click" and connect the batteries about 15 seconds after you start your gasser.

- the basic ones won't connect the chassis battery to the coach battery when coach battery is on charge ( 13 volts or more ). It's smarts are "directional".


Some of the latest ones available are smarter and are bi-directional and will connect the batteries together when the coach batteries have a charging voltage on them.

At least in my 2015 Vista Winnebago was still using the directional kind and if parked long term the chassis battery will slowly discharge even if you are keeping the coach batteries charged. Winnebago has a chassis battery disconnect "salesman" switch on mine so you can keep the chassis battery from running down if you are going to be parked longer than for than a week or two.
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