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Old 12-05-2021, 12:50 PM   #1
PB2
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2014 Via House/Chassis Charging

This past summer we purchased a 2014 Winnebago Via which is based on the MB Sprinter chassis.


I recently bought a portable 100 w solar panel with the intent that it maintains the batteries while in storage as well as freshening the batteries when we're boondocking.


My question deals with maintaining both the house and chassis batteries. I understand there is a device called a Trik-L-Start that allows some voltage to go to the chassis battery while the house batts are being charged by solar. I read somewhere that this was built in some model years but i can't find that info now.


So my question is this "Is this circuitry built into my coach or do i need to add the Trik-L-Start?"


I don't know if this is a Winnebago question or a Sprinter question, but i thought i'd start here.


Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2021, 02:38 PM   #2
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Hi, it's a Winnebago question.

I do know that some older Class A motorhomes had this built in. But Class Bs????? I'm not certain but have doubts about it.

What does your Operator's Manual say. I think it would be covered there.

However, the Trik-L-Start is not the only way this is handled at the factory. Many times a solenoid takes care of charging the chassis batteries when the house batteries are full. Again, I know of this on some Class As, but don't know about the Class B Via.
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Old 12-05-2021, 03:26 PM   #3
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If you have the newer Precision Circuits BIM 160 or the older Intellitec B.I.R.D/Trombetta relay, either of those will keep your chassis batteries charged. They are OEM devices usually installed in the engine compartment. The Trombetta relay does have a history of failure though, so if you have one make sure it works by watching the coach and chassis voltages. They should be the same when the solar panels are charging at 13.5 volts or better .

See the attached data sheets for each.

David
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Precision Circuits BIM 160-Rev7-1.pdf (711.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: pdf Intellitec BIRD 53-00362-100.pdf (105.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old 12-05-2021, 03:28 PM   #4
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The Via is actually a Class A but I can tell you that my 2011 did not come with it. Since I store at home I use a plug in battery maintainer. You can also disconnect the chassis battery down by the accelerator pedal to keep it from discharging due to the Sprinter's parasitic loads.
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Old 12-05-2021, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigb View Post
The Via is actually a Class A
D'oh! I knew that. When I think Sprinter I think Class B, even though I know that there are many that are actually Class C and a few that are Class A.

I have only seen one or two Via motorhomes on the road.
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Old 12-05-2021, 04:38 PM   #6
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The Via is a very nice, short Class A coach. I came close to buying one about a year ago, but ended up buying an almost identical Thor Axis. The Via seemed better made though, although the 2012 model I was considering had too many PDI problems.

David
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Old 12-05-2021, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
The Via is a very nice, short Class A coach. I came close to buying one about a year ago, but ended up buying an almost identical Thor Axis. The Via seemed better made though, although the 2012 model I was considering had too many PDI problems.

David
That Axis is a nice looking rig. How does the 7.3 pull? It looks like you have a good amount of payload and towing capacity too.
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Old 12-05-2021, 06:27 PM   #8
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That Axis is a nice looking rig. How does the 7.3 pull? It looks like you have a good amount of payload and towing capacity too.
The new Ford 7.3 engine runs great. The chassis was apparently upgraded as well and handles fine. I get 12 mpg driving in the low 60s on an interstate. A year ago the price of diesel balanced out the better mpg of the diesel Via. Not so today.

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Old 12-06-2021, 06:43 AM   #9
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David, thanks for the info on the isolator circuits - i'll look for those devices. We also looked at a Thor Axis -similar floorplan to our Via - but liked the build quality of the Winnie and the Sprinter chassis with a diesel engine. The Ford engine felt more powerful in the Thor, but this MB v-6 has pulled every hill we've come across.
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