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Old 02-14-2020, 08:22 AM   #1
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Vista Chassis Batteries

We have a 2019 Vista and the chassis batteries are not being charged when on shore power. From what I read, for a Vista, this is normal as the charging setup from shore power will not charge the chassis batteries. Can someone tell me if this is correct? Also, I have purchased a Trik-L-Start battery maintainer and noticed on their website special instructions for some Winnebago models. Is there anything special I should know before installing this device on my Vista? Is tying the leads directly to the batteries the best solution or is there a better place to install the device and connect the leads? Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:26 AM   #2
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The instructions seemed to prefer locating at the battery isolator but I found no need to do that so used the alternate and put it on the wall next to the batteries. Obviously there may be some advantages to going for outside the compartment due to increased risk of corrosion near battery fumes, but I'm willing to go with the increased risk for the increased ease of checking all things related to the battery by only opening the one box.
We have a 2014 Vista with the batteries under the entry step and there is good room to drill and work there for an easy install.
Some extra thought might be worthwhile to decide how you personally run things. I like to keep a close watch on batteries due to past experience maintaining large sets of telco batteries and finding how much value there is in keeping them stable and not letting them run down nor run out of water. That means I do watch the water and charge and do often look at them, so having the maintainer nearby to take a look to verify it is still operating, makes it more logical to place it next to the batteries for easy checks rather than going to a different location.
But for those who do not check, putting it someplace away from the fumes may make more sense. They may be willing to do the tradeoff of shortened battery life if the maintainer fails to avoid the time/effort involved in doing the checks.
I spent lots of years doing electro-mech repair and do not trust anything to last forever!
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thanks Morich. I was hoping to install the tender in the same area as the batteries for many of the same reasons. Just wanted to make sure since there were some special instructions for other models. Hoping to get it on this weekend as I don't like batteries deep cycling that much. I also agree with checking the levels on the batteries. Always a good idea, especially in the winter months when "things" are not on your mind as much.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:26 AM   #4
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I can confirm by looking at the Chassis Electrical Box drawing for 2019 Vistas that Winnebago is not building Vistas to include a Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) that ties coach and chassis batteries together when one side has a charging voltage present and other side has a voltage indicating that it is not charged.

On more expensive coaches they still do this. They use the Precision Circuits Battery Isolation Manager 00-10021-X00, mounted in the Chassis Electrical Box, but this is not available for purchase by end users.

The Cooper Bussmann 100 Amp Bi-directional Battery Separator seems to the best value at $70 from HomeDepot.com

I would consider getting this and installing it in the Chassis Electrical Box.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:15 PM   #5
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Thanks PowerCat for confirming. That is what I figured as this is not the first time, but will be the last time my chassis battery will get low due to storage. I only recently got my 50A service installed in my RV bay, so this is the first winter it has been on shore power for the winter.

Good group of people here! Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:05 PM   #6
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You might consider disconnecting one of the chassis battery cables whenever you store for more than about a month. That would be the cheap fix :-)
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:49 AM   #7
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Thanks PowerCat. I have been doing some additional research on this. It looks like the Trik-L-Start and the BIM accomplish the same results, but in a different manner. From what I understand, the Trik-L-Start will pull power from the coach batter to keep the chassis battery charged. This could result in both battery banks being depleted if a charging system is not used for an extended period of time. A BIM will actually pull power from the charging system when used to keep the chassis battery charged. It will automatically connect and disconnect from the charging system as needed to keep the chassis battery charged. Do I have the concepts correct? If that is the case, then the BIM solution seems to be the best solution as it will not draw from the chassis battery. But this is only an issue if you are not on shore power for extended periods.

Again, thanks for your assistance.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:30 AM   #8
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BIM will allow the coach battery system to also also keep the chassis battery system charged, IF there is some means of putting charge voltage on the coach battery system. If both are below 12.6 volts they won't be tied together, except when you operate a manual "boost" switch, if you install one with the BIM. There's an input to connect a switch for that on the BIM.

I have solar on the coach battery system, so even though I'm not plugged in during storage the solar gets the coach battery system up to a high enough voltage (around 13.4) to operate the BIM and keep the chassis battery from running down. Having the coach plugged in would accomplish this , too.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:21 PM   #9
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I'm using the trickle charge and find no problems as it does stay plugged in. It does pull power from the coach battery but they are kept charged. When camping, I doubt that I would ever be in one place long enough to let both run fully down. The advantage that I find is that I don't have to run two systems of charging while stored as the one for keeping the coach up will also then trickle into the chassis battery on an "as needed" basis. I think of it as a one way path that is only working when the chassis battery where the parasitic drains are, gets low.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:02 AM   #10
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When the house and chassis batteries sit next to each other, like under the steps, I have used a heavy gauge clip lead to jumper between the house and chassis positive posts while on shore power. I made one long enough for a loop to stick out when the step cover was closed, as a reminder to remove it when traveling.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:04 AM   #11
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I installed an amp-l-start to the chassis battery.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BitSlayer View Post
We have a 2019 Vista and the chassis batteries are not being charged when on shore power. From what I read, for a Vista, this is normal as the charging setup from shore power will not charge the chassis batteries. Can someone tell me if this is correct? Also, I have purchased a Trik-L-Start battery maintainer and noticed on their website special instructions for some Winnebago models. Is there anything special I should know before installing this device on my Vista? Is tying the leads directly to the batteries the best solution or is there a better place to install the device and connect the leads? Thanks in advance for any assistance.
We had a 2012 vista and I installed a battery tender which was plugged in to the RV 120 outlet and I let it connected until we traded the Visra in on our Winn Forza. The chassis batteries always hah a good charge. I have done the same thing to our new RV. Hope this helped.
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