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Old 11-13-2013, 04:28 AM   #1
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Where is my Isolator?

2004 Winnebago Vectra WKS40AD

I just got my Ultra Trik-L-Start and want to install it on the isolator posts. Only problem is I can't find it.

Does anyone know where it is?

On a side note: I have been trying to understand the confusing subject of keeping the engine batteries charged when parked "without shore power" for extended periods of time.

I discovered the previous owner had installed a XANTREX Digital Echo Charge which is working however after looking it up on my computer it only works when on shore power.

After thinking this thing through I think I will leave the XANTREX connected AND install the Trik-L-Start as well. My thinking is when I'm camping and on shore power the XANTREX will keep my engine batteries charged and when I'm parked without shore power the Trik-L-Start will steal a little power from the solar panel to help the engine batteries stay charged a little longer.

Does this make sense or do I have it all wrong?
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:43 AM   #2
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Here's a Winnebago Service Tip with all the necessary info: 2006-04 Trik-L-Start -

(You already have yours, but for others info, the Trik-L-Start website listed in the pdf has changed from a .com to a .net address and is now: Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer)
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:46 AM   #3
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For all intent and purposes, your external charger or the TLS will not maintain the chassis batt without shore power.

The only way the TLS will do this is if the solar panel can generate enough power to have the house batts charged so there is enough left over to charge the chassis. During dry camping, it's very doubtful this will ever happen. During storage with no drain on the house batts, the TLS will maintain the chassis batt as long as the panel is large enough and enough sun to do so.

So, as I see it, having both is a waste as the TLS will always charge the chassis when you run the genny, which is what you would need to do with the external charger.

It it were me, I would install the TLS and keep that charger as a backup. If your factory charger ever failed, connecting the backup to the house batts would maintain all.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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Thanks John,

I live in sunny Florida and I'm hoping my single solar panel will have enough ump to at least extend the charge some. That together with running the generator every month "have to do that anyway" will hopefully complete this complex project.

They tell me it's a good idea to take the motorhome out for a twenty five minute drive once a month as well, which I will most likely do.

I'm trying to keep my just replaced expensive engine batteries in good shape.

Thanks again to everyone here at irv2
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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Any idea what the watt output is of the panel?

Driving it once a month hurts nothing but wouldn't be necessary if batteries are charged. The basic rule of thumb is, if you are going to start it, drive it long enough to bring all up to operating temps. This expels moisture from crankcase, trans, exhaust, ect.

If you want to see how your solar is working during storage, just check battery voltage occasionally. Both banks should be 13+v if being maintained. 12.6-12.7v would indicate fully charged, but not currently receiving a charge. You might see this in the evening after a day of poor sun.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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Hi John,

I think it is 5 watt and we usually have sunny sky's 95% of the time. That's real good information about how to know whether batteries are charging or whether they are fully charged.

I wish I had shore power but I live in a retirement community and where I have to park there is no power available, just sunshine.

I've had just about every kind of RV for years now but this is my first experience with a massive Winnebago 40 footer. Just got back from a trip to WVa and the Cummings 400HP diesel was magnificent even on 9% grades just drop her back two gears and away she goes. Good thing it has the Jake Brakes as well for those 9% downhill grades.

Thanks again
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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5 watt is extremely small, even from the factory. So I would say 15 or more. Doesn't matter right now, only that it will do the job. Unless you already know, these panels the factory installs are sometimes only wired to the chassis batts. This is because the coach wasn't wired to charge both and they figure you will keep the coach plugged in.

A test would be check voltage on both banks after a day or two of storage. If the voltage is higher on the chassis than the coach, than this is your situation. The next step would be to move the solar wires to the coach batts and let the TLS charge the chassis.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Larry46, the battery isolator is located in the compartment behind the drivers side rear wheels.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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The standard Winnebago panel puts out 10W, I believe.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #10
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I looked back there where I found an inverter/charger, the barrel that holds the shore power cord and a model ATS 501 automatic line/generator switch. the 501 looks nothing like the two shown in the TLS installation manual and its sealed.

The 501 box is a big box with three large wire bundles going in to it. Am I missing something back there? Maybe I'm looking for something different looking from the one in the 2 shown in TLS install sheet.

By the way I was looking for the fuel filter water separator purge lock that the manual sais that I should purge before each trip looking for water in the fuel. It took a Cummings technician to show me where it was. I couldn't believe where it was, dead center under the motor next to the axle where I would have to crawl completely under the chassis in order to get to it.

Winnie hides important stuff real good.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:40 PM   #11
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There should be a rectangular black box built into the upper rear of the electrical compartment. Here's a picture of mine (with the light switch, circuit breakers, and cable/antenna inputs on it):



You will need to unscrew the flat panel that makes up the front side of the box to be able to get inside. Inside you'll find the solenoids shown in the Trik-L-Start instructions.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbeierl View Post
The standard Winnebago panel puts out 10W, I believe.
Mine is 5W according to the owners manual.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Mine is 5W according to the owners manual.
The 2004 Vectra Brochure says it has a 10W Solar Panel battery charger.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post

Mine is 5W according to the owners manual.
Really? That's only 0.41amps and that's when the sun is shinning. Might charge a flashlight battery :-)
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:58 AM   #15
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Thanks Chris and all,

I would have never found it on my own, like I said Winnie hides important stuff real good.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:33 AM   #16
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A 5W solar panel is NOT going to keep your house and chassis batteries charged. A 5W panel would work for a lawn mower size battery, but not much more.

The Ultra Trickle start and the Xantrex Echo Charger do almost the same thing, installing both of them is redundant. Working from memory, I think the Echo Charger will pass a higher current to the chassis batteries than the Utra Trickle Start, but if you are starting from fully charged batteries, this should not make any difference.

If your access to the batteries is easier than the isolator, you can install the Trickle Start between the battery banks to do the same thing. Theoretically it is even better to install directly between the batteries, but practically it makes no difference.

However, like I said a 5W panel is simply not enough.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #17
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You''re right John, it''s almost better than not having one IMO. This is a 2000 model MH, perhaps it was Winnebago's first attempt at solar power.
I plan to replace that 5W panel with a 100+ W panel next spring, it should keep the house and chassis batteries charged when unused.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:22 AM   #18
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Ray, same here on my '99. Only had a 10w from factory, but mine didn't work. Dumb me replaced with a 20w, which was useless in Michigan. You'll do well with a 100w panel. You'll need a charge controller with that one. :thumb;
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Old 12-23-2013, 04:23 PM   #19
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cbeieri, thanks for the picture, I got my Trik l Start today and was wondering where my isolator or solenoid was, now I know.
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