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Old 02-16-2021, 09:47 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Old Crows View Post
Both generators are exactly the same as to measured noise levels using the Forest Service testing procedure. Exactly the same. The difference is the diesel has a lower tone and a bit more vibration. That means low frequency vibration which travels further and is transmitted to the interior of the RV. The LP has some vibration but is less objectionable IMHO.
I have to admit to being surprised by that. I always thought that LP generators were quieter than diesel or gasoline. Our present RV (2018 Winnebago Fuse) has an LP generator while our previous RV (2008 Pleasure-Way) had a gas generator and it has always seemed to us that the LP generator is less noisy, but perhaps that may have to do with vibration and the frequency of the sound.
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:08 AM   #62
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With the diesel generator running for hours at a time to recharge our lithium batteries, it's not that much louder than when the roof air conditioner runs in our 21VD.

It does create vibration when running.

And when it's off, I can hear the generators running continuously with the RV parked nearby - and because they must not have lithium batteries, they have to keep the generators running until the shore power is restored - which could be today - or another few days...
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:12 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Buddy’s RV View Post
I don't think anyone has mentioned this advantage with going with diesel but yesterday here at home in North Carolina we had an ice storm that knocked out the power from Duke Energy . Pulled the 2018 View 24D out of the shed cranked the diesel onan 3200 and powered our well pump , refrigerator and some lights , T.V ,etc. for 24 hours before the power was restored . We always fill our MH tank before we get home from traveling . So we are thankful we decided on diesel . Plus resale / trade someday is a lot better .

You're lucky that the QD3200 can run your well pump.

Years ago -- long before buying our View -- we got an inexpensive 5,000 watt (continuous) generator for power outages. It seemed to run fine and work well for most loads, but when the well pump tried to start it would struggle, and usually disconnect itself from the load -- even when the only load was the pump.

Rather than buy an even larger generator, I decided to switch gears and go with a "whole house" UPS system -- two Trace DR2424 inverters and 16 each Crown GC batteries. The inverters are 'only' rated at 4,800 watts for the pair, but because they have tremendous surge capacity (up to 8kW each!) they start the well pump easily -- and they are almost silent except for some 60 cycle hum.

Based on our experience, I doubt the QD3200 would start our well pump, but I may try it one day just to see. One thing I've noticed is that the QD3200 seems to have a heavy flywheel (it continues to turn over for a while after shutting it down) which would help it handle surge loads.

BTW -- our well is only 140' deep. The pump is either 1/2 or 3/4 hp (I can't recall). How about yours?

FYI -- there are a couple other posts above about using the QD3200 during power outages.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:28 AM   #64
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sajohnson . Our well is 90 + feet . Pump is submersible down approximately 70 feet , 1/2 h.p. running on 120 volt 15 amp breaker . Q D 3200 works fine . I isolate that circuit just to run pump and fill our home storage containers and View fresh water tank as needed . Then return to lights , fridg. , T V , etc . Only problem is hot water so we shower in the View . We are expecting another round of freezing rain tonight so we will be ready in case we get it . We have supplemental L.P. gas heat so we just need to run the fan and not the heat pump . Hope this information helps .
BTW , we leave Sunday for Bonita Springs Florida for 3 weeks . We hope when we come home middle of March spring has arrived !
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:35 AM   #65
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With a diesel engine the diesel generator that draws from the same fuel tank is the more practical approach and one does not have to worry about propane consumption where refilling is more difficult. Check the fuel consumption of the propane generators and you will understand why with my last RV that had a propane fridge and propane water heater and propane furnace, I chose to not have a generator at all as it would have been propane powered as well.

With the DC only fridge a generator is a necessity and with a diesel engine the diesel powered generator is better for attempting to dry camp. I would also go with the Lithionics battery upgrade as well for dry camping with the DC fridge. Having an electric induction stove burner in the newer models does not help either if one is without shore power.
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:25 PM   #66
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Hit an interesting problem on Tuesday morning after running off the Lithionics batteries all night - with the tank heaters on, gas heating and the refrigerator...

Started out at 100% around 9:30PM and by 7AM, was at 30% battery charge.

When I turned on the microwave to heat up breakfast, the power went out completely.

The Lithionics batteries evidently go into "reserve power" mode at 30% charge, automatically shutting off.

At that point, I tried to start the diesel generator - and it wouldn't start, because it needs power from the batteries.

Started the Sprinter engine, and still nothing (which may be a problem, since the engine is supposed to provide 12V power to the coach and provide some charging for the coach batteries).

After checking the Lithionics documentation, pressed the power buttons on both batteries, which brought power back to the coach - and was then able to start up the diesel generator.

Took about 3 hours (@ 30A charging per battery) to get back to 100%...
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Old 02-17-2021, 01:30 PM   #67
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Anything that produces heat is going to take a lot of electrical power. No need to run the tank heaters unless it is below freezing for 48 hours straight and even then the only issue I have encountered was a frozen water pump.

With our 2021 Navion the diesel exhaust is out the rear of the coach but we have to have the doors and windows closed when running the generator unless the prevailing wind is from the front of the RV.

I have found that the Lithionics batteries recharge more than 3 times as fast with the generator as when I had the factory lead acid batteries. The lithium phosphate can take 80 amps of charge and this makes a great deal of difference.

My house has a natural gas feed and so I installed a standby 16 kW generator that could run off the gas feed and it has been 100% reliable unlike the local electrical supply where routinely power to thousands of home will be shut off by PG&E when it rains or gets too windy or they need to do maintenance on transformers. It gives us peace of mind to be independent of the electrical grid. We had a 5 day power outage and this also meant that most of the local hotels and local restaurants were also without power. After that experience we bought the generator.

At the very least if someone does have natural gas or heating fuel at their house a small generator to keep the furnace operating along with the fridge is a good idea even if the generator burns gas to operate.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:17 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Buddy’s RV View Post
sajohnson . Our well is 90 + feet . Pump is submersible down approximately 70 feet , 1/2 h.p. running on 120 volt 15 amp breaker . Q D 3200 works fine . I isolate that circuit just to run pump and fill our home storage containers and View fresh water tank as needed . Then return to lights , fridg. , T V , etc . Only problem is hot water so we shower in the View . We are expecting another round of freezing rain tonight so we will be ready in case we get it . We have supplemental L.P. gas heat so we just need to run the fan and not the heat pump . Hope this information helps .
BTW , we leave Sunday for Bonita Springs Florida for 3 weeks . We hope when we come home middle of March spring has arrived !
Very helpful, thank you.

I think that your pump being at half the depth makes a big difference. Also, it cannot be using much power on a 120V/15A circuit. Ours is on a 240V/20A circuit. I can't now recall the running amperage, but 9A sticks in my mind. I'm sure the starting current is crazy high. I know the 5kW (>6kW surge) generator does not like it.

Sounds like you're in good shape. Have a great time in Florida!
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:44 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by rprochnow View Post
Hit an interesting problem on Tuesday morning after running off the Lithionics batteries all night - with the tank heaters on, gas heating and the refrigerator...

Started out at 100% around 9:30PM and by 7AM, was at 30% battery charge.

When I turned on the microwave to heat up breakfast, the power went out completely.

The Lithionics batteries evidently go into "reserve power" mode at 30% charge, automatically shutting off.

At that point, I tried to start the diesel generator - and it wouldn't start, because it needs power from the batteries.

Started the Sprinter engine, and still nothing (which may be a problem, since the engine is supposed to provide 12V power to the coach and provide some charging for the coach batteries).

After checking the Lithionics documentation, pressed the power buttons on both batteries, which brought power back to the coach - and was then able to start up the diesel generator.

Took about 3 hours (@ 30A charging per battery) to get back to 100%...
That's important information that everyone should have. I've never heard of LiFePO4 batteries with a "reserve power mode" that kicks in at 30% SoC. That's a significant drawback.

Does the mfr take that into account when making their battery capacity claims?

Also, it's odd that the Lithionics did not get a charge from the alternator. I'm not familiar with Lithionics -- once they are in "reserve power mode" do you have to press the power button on each for them to accept a charge? Or maybe they can charge while in reserve power mode, but must be turned on to supply power?

One thing to keep in mind is that many LiPo batteries have a 100A max continuous current output (200A per 12V pair). I'm not sure about Lithionics. The starter motor on the generator probably takes quite a bit of current, so if the batteries are significantly discharged starting it may be a problem. Just a guess.

FWIW -- I have an email from an engineer at Battleborn in which he recommends against frequent use of their LiPo batteries to start the generator. He actually recommended the use of a separate generator stating battery. I'm not sure what his concern is, and I've never heard that anywhere else, but Battleborn is a respected mfr.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:53 PM   #70
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According to the battery's user guide, the reserve voltage cutoff should happen when the battery is outputting 12V (3V per cell) - which should be around 10% of charge.

Ours triggered when the batteries were around 30% of charge.

It's possible temperature may also have been a factor - overnight temperatures outside were around 22 degrees - the battery box was likely in the low 30's.

If this happens again, before recharging the battery, I'll get the battery status code from the Lithionics app - which should indicate what triggered the shutdown. I assumed it was the Reserve Voltage Cutoff - though it may have been something else...
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:17 PM   #71
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I came across the email I mentioned in post #69, above:

~

(Battleborn Batteries) (unaltered received email)

Aug 27, 2020, 10:44 PM MST

Thank you for contacting Battle Born.

1. In general, you need at least two 100ah 12v batteries to start an Onan generator. The average Onan require a 440cca battery. Our 100ah 12v BMS limits discharge to 100 amps continuous, 200 amps for 30 seconds. A 200ah bank will provide 400 amps for 30 seconds. If you will be dependent on your generator for power, I recommend using a separate lead acid starter battery. If the generator will be used infrequently, you will have no problem starting the Onan with our batteries.

2. I do not recommend using our batteries to start your Sprinter.

3. Our batteries will accept a low amperage charge. You can either limit the charging amperage with a DC to DC charger, or use a Precision Circuits Li Battery Isolation Manager (LiBIM) that combines the batteries on a duty cycle, allowing the alternator to cool. The LiBIM is activated by an ignition signal, and operates on specific voltage parameters.

4. If the available amperage from your alternator is below the 0.5C charge rate for your Battle Born battery bank, you can install a Precision Circuit LiBIM in place of your solenoid. The LiBIM has an available Signal post that can be used with a momentary switch on your dash.
-If the available amperage is above a 0.5C charge rate, I recommend installing a DC to DC charger to limit the amperage.

(End of email)

~

Just FYI. The people at Battleborn are well respected.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:11 PM   #72
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Most likely the batteries shut down due to the temperature protection. The Lithionics batteries have a switch which allows the batteries to be turned back on. Lithium batteries can be damaged by trying to charge them below 32 F therefore the BMS turns the switch off to protect them.
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:05 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by rprochnow View Post
Hit an interesting problem on Tuesday morning after running off the Lithionics batteries all night - with the tank heaters on, gas heating and the refrigerator...

Started out at 100% around 9:30PM and by 7AM, was at 30% battery charge.

When I turned on the microwave to heat up breakfast, the power went out completely.

The Lithionics batteries evidently go into "reserve power" mode at 30% charge, automatically shutting off.

At that point, I tried to start the diesel generator - and it wouldn't start, because it needs power from the batteries.

Started the Sprinter engine, and still nothing (which may be a problem, since the engine is supposed to provide 12V power to the coach and provide some charging for the coach batteries).

After checking the Lithionics documentation, pressed the power buttons on both batteries, which brought power back to the coach - and was then able to start up the diesel generator.

Took about 3 hours (@ 30A charging per battery) to get back to 100%...
To summarize as I understand it, please correct any inaccuracies.

* The state of charge of your batteries was at about 30%.
* The batteries are in a box exposed to the outside air that was at 22* so the batteries were most likely in the mid to upper 30's. I say that warm, because you write that you were actively discharging them. Discharging at some fairly low amperage, probably less than 10amps, generates some small amount of heat to help keep the battery internal temp above freezing. The box they are in helps keep the heat in to some degree as well.
* You then hit the batteries with about 140+ amps of load to run your microwave. Maybe even more if there is a surge load to start up the microwave. Also you still had the amperage for the lights, tank heaters, etc.
* The protection circuitry tripped inside the batteries and you had to press the power button on the battery to restart.

My thoughts:
* The battery voltage was already somewhat low and when you hit them with 140 amps or maybe even more that tripped the batteries internal low voltage or current overload trigger.
* Yes the lithium batteries have a flat voltage curve over the SOC range, compared to lead acid, but the voltage does drop.
* Yes the lithium battery voltage sag doesn't drop under load like lead acid but it does drop some.
* The batteries were cold so that does reduce the capacity of the batteries to some degree. That combined with a low SOC could contribute to the battery protection triggering.
* Trying to start the generator. Since the battery protection tripped and you had to press the power button on the battery to wake up the batteries there was nothing there to start the batteries. Same with the engine supplying charging to the batteries. Nothing is going to happen until you press the power buttons on the battery.
* Once you pressed the power button on the batteries everything worked as it is supposed to.

Summation: Low SOC, cold temps, and a really high discharge current triggered the battery self protection system. Working as designed.
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:23 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by sajohnson View Post
I came across the email I mentioned in post #69, above:

~

(Battleborn Batteries) (unaltered received email)

Aug 27, 2020, 10:44 PM MST

Thank you for contacting Battle Born.

1. In general, you need at least two 100ah 12v batteries to start an Onan generator. The average Onan require a 440cca battery. Our 100ah 12v BMS limits discharge to 100 amps continuous, 200 amps for 30 seconds. A 200ah bank will provide 400 amps for 30 seconds. If you will be dependent on your generator for power, I recommend using a separate lead acid starter battery. If the generator will be used infrequently, you will have no problem starting the Onan with our batteries.

2. I do not recommend using our batteries to start your Sprinter.

3. Our batteries will accept a low amperage charge. You can either limit the charging amperage with a DC to DC charger, or use a Precision Circuits Li Battery Isolation Manager (LiBIM) that combines the batteries on a duty cycle, allowing the alternator to cool. The LiBIM is activated by an ignition signal, and operates on specific voltage parameters.

4. If the available amperage from your alternator is below the 0.5C charge rate for your Battle Born battery bank, you can install a Precision Circuit LiBIM in place of your solenoid. The LiBIM has an available Signal post that can be used with a momentary switch on your dash.
-If the available amperage is above a 0.5C charge rate, I recommend installing a DC to DC charger to limit the amperage.

(End of email)

~

Just FYI. The people at Battleborn are well respected.
I am not criticizing your providing the letter from Battle Born, but I do question the info the writer provided.

Thoughts on starting an Onan generator with lithium batteries.

In the initial communication to Battle Born, was the model of the generator specified? There is a world of difference between starting a 3500 watt gas generator and a 5000 or 7500 watt diesel generator. Perhaps the letter writer was thinking of a large diesel generator, rather than a smaller generator.

Since Battle Born states their single battery will produce 200 amps for up to 30 seconds, I can't see that most Onan generators would pull 200 amps to start unless they were large and cold. There is some amount of amperage going to the glow plugs, but it is not like there are 6 or 8 glow plugs like on large RV engines. Same with the starter it is not like starting the large RV engines.

Most RV's with 5000 or 7500 watt diesel generators come with multiple house batteries and I would think that most people with not replace 3 or 4 house batteries with a single lithium battery.

I don't know the size of the generator in a Sprint chassis RV, but I wouldn't think they would be so large that starting with a single lithium battery would be a problem
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:29 AM   #75
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View/Navion have QD 3200 generators. The generator requires at least 9V to get started - and I had no problem getting the generator started when the batteries were at 30%.

The batteries turned off with charge around 30%, with the battery temperature around 32 degrees, when I turned on the microwave.

Lithionics Group 31 125Ah batteries are rated to discharge in temperatures between -4 F to 131 F. So the battery was well within the rated discharging range.

The batteries are rated to discharge at up to 100A (each) with a surge discharge current of up to 400A (each) for 30 seconds. Since the batteries are in parallel, that means with the max supported load is around 2600W, with a surge of up to 10.4KW - which is enough to support everything in the RV normally, with the limitation that only the microwave or induction cooktop can run at one time (which is how the RV is wired).

But these specifications are at 77 degrees. Maximum load and surge is likely impacted by temperatures, and I suspect that the limits could be much lower at 32 degrees. I wasn't able to find any documentation from Lithionics about output current vs. temperature.

Winnebago uses a different battery box for the lithium batteries. These boxes are fully enclosed, providing some protection from the outside temperatures. At the time I lost the battery, the outside temperature was in the low 20s.

According to the Lithionics documentation, it is not supposed to trigger the reserve cutoff until the charge reaches 10%.

Since it triggered at 30%, it could have been triggered by placing too much load on the batteries when they were cold. At the time, the battery already had loads for the refrigerator, two tank heaters, LED lighting, 32" TV and a laptop. And then adding the microwave on top of that may have been too much when the batteries were around freezing - and that could have caused the BMS to shut down by trying to pull too much.

If I have this issue again, before starting the generator to recharge the batteries, I'll use the Lithionics app to read the status code on each battery, which will indicate which failure occurred (of course, it would be much simpler if the app would read the status code and display the error message...).

After reviewing documentation, I now believe the shutdown wasn't due to the reserve percentage - and instead was caused by putting too much load on the batteries.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:50 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by al1florida View Post
I am not criticizing your providing the letter from Battle Born, but I do question the info the writer provided.

Thoughts on starting an Onan generator with lithium batteries.

In the initial communication to Battle Born, was the model of the generator specified? There is a world of difference between starting a 3500 watt gas generator and a 5000 or 7500 watt diesel generator. Perhaps the letter writer was thinking of a large diesel generator, rather than a smaller generator.

Since Battle Born states their single battery will produce 200 amps for up to 30 seconds, I can't see that most Onan generators would pull 200 amps to start unless they were large and cold. There is some amount of amperage going to the glow plugs, but it is not like there are 6 or 8 glow plugs like on large RV engines. Same with the starter it is not like starting the large RV engines.

Most RV's with 5000 or 7500 watt diesel generators come with multiple house batteries and I would think that most people with not replace 3 or 4 house batteries with a single lithium battery.

I don't know the size of the generator in a Sprint chassis RV, but I wouldn't think they would be so large that starting with a single lithium battery would be a problem
The person who contacted Battleborn (and posted the email) owns an early model View. I am but the humble messenger.

I believe the View owner was asking about using *2* batteries, which makes the reply from Battleborn that much more odd. He could have been asking about one (1) though -- that would better explain the reply he got:

"In general, you need at least two 100ah 12v batteries to start an Onan generator. The average Onan require a 440cca battery. Our 100ah 12v BMS limits discharge to 100 amps continuous, 200 amps for 30 seconds. A 200ah bank will provide 400 amps for 30 seconds."

All Views/Navions have either the QD 3200 or the 3600 watt LP genset, with the latter being much more popular. I can't recall which unit he has, but as you said, even if it is the QD 3200, "...it is not like there are 6 or 8 glow plugs like on large RV engines. Same with the starter it is not like starting the large RV engines."

In short, I was/am as surprised by the email from Battleborn as you are. I cannot imagine why two (2) Battleborn LiPo batteries could not easily start the generator. Also, I question why it is OK to use them to start the generator occasionally, but not routinely. Typically, any given load is either OK, or it is not.

What I found interesting was that BB admitted that a DC to DC charger is often necessary. Almost all LiFePO4 battery mfrs and vendors like to pretend that their batteries are "A direct drop-in lead-acid replacement!" "Plug-n-play dude!" They are fully aware that those claims are misleading at best, but they also know that if they are 100% truthful they will lose sales.

FWIW -- I have two (2) Lion Energy UT 1300 LiPo batteries sitting in the battery box in our View, ready to hook up. They are rated at 105Ah/1,344Wh; with 150A cont. output (250A for up to 1 min). I intend to use them to start our QD 3200 whenever necessary. If Lion said we could not do that I would not have purchased them. I may yet return them, but for a different reason.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:11 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson View Post
"In general, you need at least two 100ah 12v batteries to start an Onan generator. The average Onan require a 440cca battery. Our 100ah 12v BMS limits discharge to 100 amps continuous, 200 amps for 30 seconds. A 200ah bank will provide 400 amps for 30 seconds."
I am not sure that I can add anything new to this conversation, but we have 2 BattleBorn 100 AH Lithium batteries in our Fuse and we use them to start our Onan propane generator whenever we need to run the microwave or AC both when the batteries are full and when their SOC is down near 50%, and we have never had any issue with them not being able to properly start the generator.

Had I thought otherwise I would not have bought them. Had they given us any issues I would have at least tried to return them.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:57 AM   #78
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One problem we may have with our View is the connection between the engine 12V and the coach 12V.

When the engine is running, there should be some charge sent to the coach batteries - which should also provide power to the coach 12V. Even if the coach batteries are offline, that may be enough power to get the generator started.

In our coach, running the engine doesn't send any power back to the coach - no charge is being sent to the lithium batteries.

I checked with Lichtsinn, and they confirmed the Sprinter engine should provide some power to the coach batteries while the engine is running - and will look at this issue when we bring our View in for service in April.
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:51 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprochnow View Post
One problem we may have with our View is the connection between the engine 12V and the coach 12V.

When the engine is running, there should be some charge sent to the coach batteries - which should also provide power to the coach 12V. Even if the coach batteries are offline, that may be enough power to get the generator started.

In our coach, running the engine doesn't send any power back to the coach - no charge is being sent to the lithium batteries.

I checked with Lichtsinn, and they confirmed the Sprinter engine should provide some power to the coach batteries while the engine is running - and will look at this issue when we bring our View in for service in April.
Lots has been written about it being possible to damage the alternator in a Winnie View if the Lithium batteries are directly to the alternator.

Did you install the batteries or did someone else, or did they come from the factory?

Could the installer, perhaps, not connect the batteries to the alternator because they are lithium?
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:23 PM   #80
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Lichtsinn installed the Lithionics batteries after purchase, using the same parts Winnebago uses at the factory.

Though they did miss putting the AMP-L-START (which they also installed) into "lithium" mode, so it's possible that is preventing sending power to the coach when the engine is running.
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