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Old 07-25-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
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Whats the name of the chassis trickle charger?

A while back I saw a device that connects the coach batteries to the chassis battery to keep it charged but won't let it drain the coach batteries. I can't seem to find it in my searches. When I'm plugged in I can keep the coach batts up but the chassis one can still drain, so I plug in a trickle charger separately for that one but I know there's a gadget that allows both. Thanks
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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Trik-L-Start. Here's a Winnebago Service Tip for installing it on some of the DPs, but you should be able to do the same thing on your gasser: 2006-04 Trik-L-Start -
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:48 PM   #3
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Thats the one, thanks.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:52 PM   #4
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I used the Amp-L-Start. I think it is a bit beefier.
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:52 AM   #5
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jerrybb-

I looked at the wiring diagrams for your coach, to see if the factory installed a house ---> chassis battery-charging module. It seems they did not. You should confirm for yourself.

I see your iRV2 signature is not correct; at least, it doesn't match the info in your profile. You have a Suncruiser, yes? When you correct the signature, you may want to add what chassis it's on, Ford or Workhorse, similar to my signature, below.

On your original question, either the Trik-L-Start or Amp-L-Start would do the job.
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:33 PM   #6
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Battery Tender is another such product.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrybb View Post
A while back I saw a device that connects the coach batteries to the chassis battery to keep it charged but won't let it drain the coach batteries. I can't seem to find it in my searches. When I'm plugged in I can keep the coach batts up but the chassis one can still drain, so I plug in a trickle charger separately for that one but I know there's a gadget that allows both. Thanks
http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_152791.pdf last sheet. I suspect that you have a bad Battery Mode Solenoid. The inverter, when plugged in to at least a 20A circuit, will charge both banks of batteries.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_152791.pdf last sheet. I suspect that you have a bad Battery Mode Solenoid. The inverter, when plugged in to at least a 20A circuit, will charge both banks of batteries.

I don't believe that's correct. The running engine should charge both battery banks, but in that absence of the Trik-L-Start or similar device the inverter/charger won't charge the chassis batteries (unless the 'Battery Boost') switch is held down or the engine is running.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:36 PM   #9
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I agree, I don't think there is anything wrong with my controls, it just isn't set up to charge both sets unless the engine is running. Yes, a battery tender will work and thats what I've been using. I have a connector exposed on the steps and I plug in the tender to the outlet above the steps. It works fine. I'm going to get a Progressive Dynamics converter right away, so with that in place and using the tender, I should be able to keep it plugged in all the time and not burn up the coach batteries. I thought I saw the Trik-l-Start for $30 a while back, maybe on Amazon, but can't find it now for less than $50 so I'll just keep using the tender.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:40 PM   #10
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I used the Amp-L-Start. I think it is a bit beefier.
Yes the Amp-L-Start will send more amps to the chassis battery than a Tri-L-Start... BUT the Amp-L-Start will incessantly click ON and OFF while you’re driving while the Trik-L-Start will be silent. I found out the hard way on our 2011 Winnebago View 24K and had to install a relay which automatically turned off our Amp-L-Start while we were driving.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:44 PM   #11
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RVupgrades.com is currently offering the Trik-L-Start for $34.62 (plus shipping).
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:46 PM   #12
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I really don't think I need the higher output, it gets parked with a full charge after a run, then gets plugged in for a trickle charge maintainer. I'm doing just fine with my maintainer at less than 1 amp. Maybe if I had a diesel with a larger battery (or 2) I'd think about it. Plus it's 50% higher priced.


Thanks for that info on the lower price at RV Upgrades but the ad says not available. If it becomes in stock I'll buy one just to save plugging in my tender
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:04 AM   #13
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I need to get educated here. I just bought my minnie winnie and am still learning MH stuff. If one is camped and plugged into shore power, I am missing why the engine battery would be a problem needing a trickle charger. Appreciate an education n this.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cbeierl View Post
I don't believe that's correct. The running engine should charge both battery banks, but in that absence of the Trik-L-Start or similar device the inverter/charger won't charge the chassis batteries (unless the 'Battery Boost') switch is held down or the engine is running.
I have much personal experience with this topic. Without getting into specific designs, all the batter coach manufactures design there charging circuits to maintain both battery banks when on shore power, generator or traveling. Some add a Trik-L-Start, others, like Winnebago, use the battery charge feature or the inverter and a bidirectional solenoid to select the battery bank being charged. The circuit I am referring to is sometime called a B.I.R.D.. This IS a real device. I have one on my coach.


In all my years I have been on the forums, when battery charge problems are posted, in many cases it is a failed solenoid. These rigs we own don't come off the assembly line mystically charging all the batteries until one day when the magic evaporates. The charging systems break and we must determine where the malfunction is.


The great thing about the forums is we all have a chance to learn from others before we spend lots of money doing a repair the way we think it should be done. I have stood knee deep in due due too often when applying my lack of knowledge to a RV problem that has a better solution. I often ask before I leap. I think the OP is doing that.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:10 AM   #15
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I've had several RV's in the last 40 years, class A and C and none had provisions for keeping the chassis battery charged, including my current Itasca. When plugged in the converter keeps the coach batteries up but the engine battery can go dead if it sits for a long time. There is always a slight draw on that battery, and mine may sometimes sit for a month between uses so I keep a battery tender connected to just that battery. The AC plugin takes care of the two coach batteries, hopefully without overcharging them.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
I have much personal experience with this topic. Without getting into specific designs, all the batter coach manufactures design there charging circuits to maintain both battery banks when on shore power, generator or traveling. Some add a Trik-L-Start, others, like Winnebago, use the battery charge feature or the inverter and a bidirectional solenoid to select the battery bank being charged. The circuit I am referring to is sometime called a B.I.R.D.. This IS a real device. I have one on my coach....

That may well be true today, but not for the OP's 2006 gas Winnebago coach, as an inspection of the wiring diagram linked above will show.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:31 PM   #17
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I installed a Victron Intelligent Battery Combiner Cyrix-ct 12/24V - 120 Amp. Purchased from Amazon.com for $44.20. It is supposed to allow charging the House batteries from my alternator without affecting the start battery. I may install another one to allow charging my solar system batteries while driving. Easy installation and simple instructions.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrybb View Post
I've had several RV's in the last 40 years, class A and C and none had provisions for keeping the chassis battery charged, including my current Itasca. When plugged in the converter keeps the coach batteries up but the engine battery can go dead if it sits for a long time. There is always a slight draw on that battery, and mine may sometimes sit for a month between uses so I keep a battery tender connected to just that battery. The AC plugin takes care of the two coach batteries, hopefully without overcharging them.
Jerry, please forgive me for strongly disagreeing with you here. Please look at your wiring diagram, last page: http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_152791.pdf
As I have previously stated, charging of all the batteries is standard on most coaches. Your diagram indicates the Battery Mode Solenoid which selects which battery bank is to be charged. On the road, both banks should also be charged by the engine alternator. The Battery Mode Solenoid is a common failure point in the charging system. Some times it fails to charge the house batteries and other times the failure is for charging the chassis battery.

You have a battery monitor panel and selection switch in your monitoring station on the wall. It makes no sense that Itasca would give you this tool and not provide charging to both banks in any state of travel or parking. Please take the time to investigate what I am saying. Check the voltages for yourself at the solenoid. You will see the chassis battery voltage on the left and the house battery voltage on the right.

Does your chassis battery go dead when camping for an extended period of time? Or do you observe higher and lower voltages over time with your panel meter?
Happy trails.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:50 AM   #19
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Jerry, please forgive me for strongly disagreeing with you here. Please look at your wiring diagram, last page: http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_152791.pdf
As I have previously stated, charging of all the batteries is standard on most coaches. Your diagram indicates the Battery Mode Solenoid which selects which battery bank is to be charged. On the road, both banks should also be charged by the engine alternator. The Battery Mode Solenoid is a common failure point in the charging system. Some times it fails to charge the house batteries and other times the failure is for charging the chassis battery....

Rick, I'm sorry, but this is incorrect for the OP's coach. Yes, there is a Battery Mode Solenoid, but this is just a solenoid with no smarts of any kind. It is activated either by the running engine or the Battery Boost switch on the dash, and therefore ONLY connects the two battery banks together in those cases.


If the engine isn't running and the Battery Boost switch isn't depressed neither shore power nor the generator will charge the OP's chassis batteries. If this solenoid does fail (as many have) then the engine won't charge the house/coach batteries and the Battery Boost switch won't have any effect.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:33 PM   #20
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I just installed a Xantrex digital echo charge. It uses the converter to charge the starting battery. I got it from Amazon.
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