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Old 09-08-2013, 06:23 AM   #1
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Electrical question - chassis vs. House batteries

Own a (new to me) 2010 Winnebago 32H. After a week in a campground, found chassis battery dead (no start, reading lights inop, auto stairs inop, etc.). Appears that shorepower does not charge the chassis battery, but cannot find any wiring diagram in any owner's manual that confirms. Used the parallel switch to get the engine started, but that doesn't solve the problem. Anyone with experience here? BTW, very new to the RV world but finding many things are similar to my 45 years of sailing!
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find that your chassis battery is not charged while on shore power. My 01 didn't. However your battery should not die in one week unless there is a load on it that you're not aware of or its in need of replacement. I would have it tested.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:19 AM   #3
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If the parallel switch allowed the house battery to start the coach, then it will also allow the coach to be charged by the converter when on shore power. Just don't keep it switched if you are dry camping.

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AATim View Post
Own a (new to me) 2010 Winnebago 32H. After a week in a campground, found chassis battery dead (no start, reading lights inop, auto stairs inop, etc.). Appears that shorepower does not charge the chassis battery, but cannot find any wiring diagram in any owner's manual that confirms. Used the parallel switch to get the engine started, but that doesn't solve the problem. Anyone with experience here? BTW, very new to the RV world but finding many things are similar to my 45 years of sailing!
That is because WBGO did not include the "extra" device they recommend to solve that problem. It is called Trik-L-Start, and is a WBGO approved add-on that takes power from the coach batteries and feeds the chassis battery while you're on shore power. SOME of the WBGO pushers come equipped with T-L-S, but not us gassers.

While you can use the "boost" switch to help get engine started, running the chassis battery dead repeatedly WILL shorten its life. Better to get a T-L-S, or add a maintenance "smart charger" that you can plug in while parked. I have both. Ed
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
If the parallel switch allowed the house battery to start the coach, then it will also allow the coach to be charged by the converter when on shore power. Just don't keep it switched if you are dry camping.

Joel
I don't know about Winnie gassers, but I don't think this is the case on many of their DPs. As I understand it, they use a "Big Boy" isolator in place of a BIRD and since around 2005 they've included a factory installed Trik-L-Start to maintain the house batteries while on shore power.

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That is because WBGO did not include the "extra" device they recommend to solve that problem. It is called Trik-L-Start, and is a WBGO approved add-on that takes power from the coach batteries and feeds the chassis battery while you're on shore power. SOME of the WBGO pushers come equipped with T-L-S, but not us gassers.

While you can use the "boost" switch to help get engine started, running the chassis battery dead repeatedly WILL shorten its life. Better to get a T-L-S, or add a maintenance "smart charger" that you can plug in while parked. I have both. Ed
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
If the parallel switch allowed the house battery to start the coach, then it will also allow the coach to be charged by the converter when on shore power. Just don't keep it switched if you are dry camping.

Joel
JOEL:
AFAIK, all the "boost" switches used in MH are there to allow the operator to by-pass the isolator. They are only MOMENTARY switches. Otherwise, there would be little need for the isolator. I don't know if holding a momentary switch in the contacted position for extended period of time would be a good idea, but I guess that "could" accomplish the charging you suggested.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
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RICK: Didn't you mean to type "chassis" battery in the reply above ???
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AATim View Post
Appears that shorepower does not charge the chassis battery, but cannot find any wiring diagram in any owner's manual that confirms.
I think the wiring diagram for your rig is here Wiring Diagrams

Get familiar with the Winnebago website. It's one of the most helpful in the industry including all wiring and plumbing diagrams.

Rick
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Like me you have a Winnebago gasser. Connecting to shore power will NOT charge the chassis battery, only the house batteries. The easiest and most economical "fix" is to install a Trik-L-Start as mentioned above. On our previous unit I permanently mounted one that basically "jumps" the boost solenoid. Worked perfectly and required no monitoring or upkeep.

If your batteries are going flat after only one week, you should probably have your batteries tested. While only a few years old, if they were allowed to discharge several times they may have gone bad and need replacement. Had a similar problem with mine, replaced the chassis battery and the problem is solved. Mine will hold a charge for several weeks when parked.

I intend to install another Trik-L-Start in mine before putting it into winter storage this year. If you shop around you should be able to find one for $50 or less.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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My chassis battery takes about three weeks to discharge if the the engine is not started. I have used a BatteryTender Plus for eleven years to keep a float charge on the battery while connected to shore power. Works great. It is also a de-sulphater.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kazoo Tom View Post
Like me you have a Winnebago gasser. Connecting to shore power will NOT charge the chassis battery, only the house batteries. The easiest and most economical "fix" is to install a Trik-L-Start as mentioned above. On our previous unit I permanently mounted one that basically "jumps" the boost solenoid. Worked perfectly and required no monitoring or upkeep.

.
Question Tom.

On your previous coach did you install a Trick-L-Start which continuously applies a slow trickle charge to the chassis batteries while on shore power... or did you jumper the the solenoid to connect both battery banks continuously while on shore power?

I ask because I didn't think that chassis batteries could take the high charge rates that deep cycle batteries require.

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Old 09-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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I had the same problem on my last coach. The isolation/charge relay had failed. It operates by monitoring the battery voltage with a differential relay. The side with the low voltage is what gets switched to the charger. Changing it was a bear but doable with care. I found the relay at a automotive electrical repair shop. I think the term BIRD is correct as stated above. You want a minimum of "200A continuous" rating.

A separate charger for your start battery is a great and sensible idea. Winne has finally caught on and is equipping the new coaches with such a device on the diesels in any case. I hope they are respecting their gas buyers in the same manner!

In the meantime you can use jumper cables to your house batteries to charge your start battery.

Hope your get DW in the coach easyer soon.

Rick Y
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:53 PM   #13
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Question Tom.

On your previous coach did you install a Trick-L-Start which continuously applies a slow trickle charge to the chassis batteries while on shore power... or did you jumper the the solenoid to connect both battery banks continuously while on shore power?

I ask because I didn't think that chassis batteries could take the high charge rates that deep cycle batteries require.

Rick
The Trik-L-Start was set up to jump the boost solenoid. I only supplies a maximum of 5 amps, although they now have a Amp-L-Start that is rated up to 30 amps. The Trik-L-Start monitors the voltage and will not overcharge your battery, it also allows current to flow only one way. It will not back feed your house batteries if they should go dead. You can also install the Trik-L-Start directly to the batteries, whichever you prefer.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
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The Amp-L-Start only goes up to 15 amps, the Trik-L-Start 5 amps
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:56 PM   #15
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I am trying to follow this thread and am a bit confused... I have a 2005 Itasca Suncruiser 37B and my house batteries (2 6v) do not get charged while on shore power. I had read elsewhere that they are only charged when the engine is running or the generator is running. Please clarify this for me..

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:20 PM   #16
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I am trying to follow this thread and am a bit confused... I have a 2005 Itasca Suncruiser 37B and my house batteries (2 6v) do not get charged while on shore power. I had read elsewhere that they are only charged when the engine is running or the generator is running. Please clarify this for me..

Thanks
Your house batteries should be charged all three ways...shore power, genset and from the engine.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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Ed Gray

My Winnebago UFO came with the Trik-L-Start from the factory. I though Winnebago started installing them on all their MH's after a certain date? Did they just do them on rear engine chassis?
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:38 PM   #18
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Just on diesel motorhomes
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:47 PM   #19
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I mistakenly quoted the wrong amperage for the Amp-L-Start in my previous post, it is in fact 15 amps and the Trik-L-Start is 5 amps. I can speak from experience, the Trik-L-Start does indeed work very well.

To my knowledge Winnebago only installed them on the diesel units. I did notice on the one I purchased for our previous motorhome that it had a Winnebago part number on it.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:49 PM   #20
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Just on diesel motorhomes
My Winne is a gasser and it came from the factory with the Trik-L-Start.
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