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Old 10-22-2014, 06:14 PM   #11
blue
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Re: Posts #5 and #6 - more confusion! The manual for my 2011 Unity CB says "The Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay constantly senses the voltage of the coach and chassis batteries. If either voltage is above 13.3 volts, which indicates the batteries re being charged, the control closes the isolator relay. This parallels the batteries, charging them both." This tells me that the chassis battery would be charged if plugged into 120V or running the generator, but probably not from solar panels.

My Mercedes manual says that there is a Battery Isolating Switch near the accelerator pedal, but there is no switch to connect the coach battery to the chassis battery in that area.
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Old 10-22-2014, 07:00 PM   #12
cdcorpe
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

My post was based on my 2014 Unity. I called Leisure Van & asked if they used a bi -directional isolator & they said M/B would not let them. Under the accelerator is the M/B battery disconnect. (on my 2014) Sorry for any misinformation.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Now I am totally confused. So does LTV saying that there is no isolator block near the house batteries mean that hooking up a Trik-L-Start is impractical?

Joe
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:34 PM   #14
Peter Tourin
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

What is making this confusing is that LTV has apparently used at least 2 different types of isolators over the last few years. The isolator in my 2012 MB is apparently a hybrid, that is, software controlled and with solenoid contacts. It has a dashboard switch that allows you to start the RV from house batteries if your chassis battery goes dead. Nice idea - but apparently there were some issues with blowing a large line fuse when you used that feature. I haven't had that problem; I've started the RV twice from the house batteries. I understand that now they're using a different kind of isolator. I don't know any more than this - haven't had the RV in my hands long enough to check out what's there in detail. When we were taking our first trip in the RV I asked about the isolator (and a million other things <g>...), and the replies were also confusing until we figured out the different isolator issue.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

I have installed the Trik-L-Start in my 2014 Unity MB on a 2013 chassis. It was a simple matter of hooking the leads to the opposite sides of the relay which closes to allow the alternator to charge the house batteries. It is located under the drivers seat and I was able to do the connections without removing the seat. It well may have been easier to just remove the seat, but at the time I didn't have the necessary socket to remove the seat bolts.
I mounted the Trik-L-Start controller on the drivers seat pedestal so I can see the indicator lights when I open the drivers door.
There is not a good way to take a picture of the wiring, but it really is easy.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Just thinking, why is a Trik-L-Start type of trickle charger not part of the standard complement of electrical components in our RVs, when it is highly likely that it may be stored for extended periods of time, even with shore power? I know, cost , cost , cost, but still.

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Old 10-25-2014, 07:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

I just installed a Trik-L-Start this morning. A pleasant experience. Looks like it "just works". I did discover that the main house battery disconnect switch disconnects the wire to the battery isolator and hence, to the Trik-L-Start. Not good. I will have to fix that.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Let me make sure I understand this gadget. Is it true that its only function is to charge your chassis battery from your house batteries? So it gives you 2 things:

* If you're away from the RV for a long time and you have shore power, it keeps your chassis battery up, and the house batteries are kept up by the RV charger?

* And if you had no shore power for a long time, it would keep your chassis battery up at the expense of the house batteries, which presumably have enough capacity if the time span isn't too long. This would only be useful if you don't have the isolator setup with the switch that lets you start the RV off the house batteries.

Am I missing anything, or is that what it does?
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Tourin View Post
Let me make sure I understand this gadget. Is it true that its only function is to charge your chassis battery from your house batteries?
Not exactly.
Quote:
* If you're away from the RV for a long time and you have shore power, it keeps your chassis battery up, and the house batteries are kept up by the RV charger?
Yes.
Quote:
* And if you had no shore power for a long time, it would keep your chassis battery up at the expense of the house batteries, which presumably have enough capacity if the time span isn't too long.
No. It does not take power from the house batteries. It only charges the chassis battery if the voltage on the house side is above a certain threshold that should only occur if a charging source is present. The idea is to piggyback on the house battery charging source (shore power, genset, or solar) to also maintain the chassis battery.
Quote:
This would only be useful if you don't have the isolator setup with the switch that lets you start the RV off the house batteries.
Well, if you don't mind letting your chassis battery going dead, then, yes. But that is very bad for the battery. The real idea is to keep the chassis battery healthy. The benefit accrues if you leave your vehicle plugged in during storage or (as in my case) you have solar and park outdoors.
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Thanks Avanti, that's starting to help. So it's checking the voltage on the house batteries, and connecting to the chassis battery and charging it when the house battery is over some threshold voltage? So if the house battery voltage is being held up by at least float charging, it'll connect to the chassis battery, but if there's no charger holding the house battery over 12.8 or so, it won't connect?

On my last RV I put it in my garage for the winter, plugged it in - and when I needed it for an emergency late in the winter, I found that I had a dead chassis battery. I didn't realize until then that at least some RV's don't charge the chassis batteries when plugged into shore power. That seemed very counter-intuitive at the time - I would have thought that RV's would have a smart isolator that would sense when the house batteries are up and then connect and charge the chassis battery. Guess that's why you're buying the Trik-L-Start though... Have I got it right this time?

In your case - when you are storing outdoors and have solar - is it working exactly the same way? - the charger in your solar install raises the battery voltage just like any other charger and the Trik-L-Start senses the voltage and connects the chassis battery?
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