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Old 10-27-2014, 12:30 AM   #21
avanti
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

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Originally Posted by Peter Tourin View Post
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?
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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?
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In your case - when you are storing outdoors and have solar - is it working exactly the same way?
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- 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?
Yes.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:07 AM   #22
cdcorpe
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

I have a 2014 Unity & am confused as to which seat the solenoid is under.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:08 AM   #23
Peter Tourin
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Well that's succinct and to the point <lol>... Thanks, now I've got it all, and it makes sense - at the price of the unit, I'm sure I'll go ahead and do it.
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:29 PM   #24
Gamma1966
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

I recently purchased the Trik-L-Start device, ($49.57 - LSL Products TLS-OEM Ultra Trik L Start 5 Amp Starting Battery Charger Maintainer) on-line from RVupgrades.com I have installed the device in my 2014 Unity ( 2013 Sprinter 3500 Chassis ). In order to access the positive lead connected to the Coach Batteries, under the steps in the van, I removed the drivers’ seat and swivel mount. First you will need to disconnect the seatbelt wiring connector under the seat. Then using an 11 mm socket wrench, I first removed the drivers’ seat from the top of the swivel mounting. Next, in order to access the 4 bolts holding the swivel mechanism, rotate the swivel 45 degrees, then remove the bolts. Finally remove the cloth covering over the drivers’ seat pedestal.

The wiring schematic B51743 from LTV; which I have annotated and included here, shows the positive side of the coach battery system connects to the “Battery Isolation Solenoid” under the drivers’ seat. Since the LTV diagram does not provide the solenoid part number, and there are 3 200 Amp solenoids under the seat I had to determine which solenoid has the direct connection to the coach battery system. The ignition was off, then I disconnected the van from the coach battery system before the next step. As you will see in the attached photo, I removed the solenoid, closest to the center of the van, and put a small blade screw driver into the input slot. Then I re-connected the coach battery system and measured the voltage between the blade of the screw driver and the chassis ground. This showed 13.85 volts, so this is the “Battery Isolation Solenoid”.
In order to splice a wire into the red # 4 Awg cable input to the solenoid, I had to unclip the solenoid from the holder. This is done by reaching under the holding rack and pressing inward a small metal clip on the base of the solenoid, then push downward to remove from the holding rack. See attached photo of this solenoid removed from holding assembly. I spliced in a about 3 feet of #14 red wire using an in-line saddle splice connector.

Next I had to bring a wire over from the starter battery and chassis ground into the same area under the drivers’ seat. I removed the carpet, and floor covering in front of the drivers’ seat to exposed the starter battery location. You will need a star tool to remove the 3 screws which hold down the flooring covering the batter compartment. The same tool will be used to remove the metal cover over the battery compartment. As you will see in the attached photo, I use a pair of # 14 wires ( lamp cord is adequate ), connecting one to the chassis ground and the other connected to the positive side of the battery. I routed this wire pair under the same metal cover used for the positive cable going to the starter solenoid under the drivers’ seat.

Next I drilled a small hole in the lower right quadrant of the fuse panel cover. Then I mounted the Trik-L-Start module onto the cover, feeding the 3 wires thru the small hole. Finally I again disconnected the coach battery system from the van, and then connected the 3 wires from the module to corresponding wires I had run into the pedestal area. I used disconnect connectors on the 3 wires, so it will be easy to remove module in case of failure or other service requirements. Once the wires were connected, see attached photo, I reconnected the coach battery system to the van.

The Trik-L-Start module is now visible on the front of the fuse panel, and the “Maintaining Battery” Led is currently blinking. So it appears to be working as required. When you re-install the cloth cover over the pedestal, you may want to provide an opening to expose the Trik-L-Start module, although it is just as easy to left the cloth cover and view the modules status.

A planned improvement .. I will mount a digital DC volt meter on the same fuse panel cover, and hook it up to the two wires connected directly to the Van's starting battery, so I can always see the current battery voltage when I enter the van. Not necessary, but nice to have, and easy to add into existing installation.

Note: The install worksheet that comes with the Trik-L-start module shows how to hook it up to the starter solenoid; which is also located under the driver's seat. I chose not to go that route, because access to the solenoid is more difficult than the access to the starter battery, and I also like to keep things simple.

Last edited by Gamma1966; 10-28-2014 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:02 PM   #25
Peter Tourin
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Perfect! Thanks, that's really nice - I'd imagine I'm going to be doing this, so I'm really glad to have the write-up and pics.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #26
Gamma1966
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Arrow Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries - Update on Install

My posting #24 of the Oct 27th has an error in identifying where to connect the "Coach Battery" lead of the Trik-L-Start device. This error was pointed out to me by cdcorpe on this forum, thanks.
Yesterday I rewired my van to correctly have the "Coach Battery" lead connected to the coach battery, at the Isolator Solenoid under the driver's seat. Photo # 1 shows the solenoid, with the relay mounting rack removed to expose the solenoid. I used a #4 crimp connector and a short piece of # 6AWG cable, plus the # 12 wire to connect to the right side ( Coach Battery Side of Isolation Solenoid ), as shown in Photo #2. I also connected a # 12 wire on the positive post of the Coach Battery side of the Trik-L-Start and used it to power up an auxiliary Power port located in the base of the driverís seat. ( See Photo # 3) I use this to power up a portable 12 Vdc fan to cool down the van on warm evenings and nights.
The Photo #4 shows the Trik-L-Start unit mounted on the access panel on the driverís seat base, as well as a volt meter which displays chassis battery voltage.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:20 PM   #27
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

Just for the record, I had a failure of my Trik-L-Start module that is worth documenting:
After a few weeks of sitting, I found my chassis battery flat. This surprised me because that is what the Trik-L-Start is supposed to prevent. I charged the battery and all seemed fine. Then I noticed that none of the lights on the Trik-L-Start were illuminated. This should never be the case. I then made a strange discovery. With the master switch on my coach electrical system turned OFF, my LED ceiling lights still worked! Trying to understand this, I disconnected the feed from the coach battery completely and STILL had power (and, the coach was not plugged into shore power). Obviously, then, the power was coming from the chassis battery. WTF? Then I though of the Trik-L-Start. Sure enough, it had failed in such a way as to permit a backward current path from chassis to coach, bypassing the isolation relay. I clipped the wires and the mystery power went away. I sent an email to the manufacturer and a replacement unit was in my mailbox in about three days--no questions asked. Excellent customer service.

I'm sure that this was just a random failure, and I am still very happy with the product and the company. I just wanted to document this slightly unusual failure mode.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:32 PM   #28
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

My expected storage location won't have the ability to plug in, so it the Trik-L-Start isn't going to do me any good, at least during storage. But this begs the question; if I disconnect both the chassis and house batteries, am I asking for trouble after 3 months of non-use? If the batteries are fully charged when disconnected, won't they hold (most of) their charge for 3 months or so?
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:37 PM   #29
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

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Originally Posted by RoadHog View Post
My expected storage location won't have the ability to plug in, so it the Trik-L-Start isn't going to do me any good, at least during storage. But this begs the question; if I disconnect both the chassis and house batteries, am I asking for trouble after 3 months of non-use? If the batteries are fully charged when disconnected, won't they hold (most of) their charge for 3 months or so?
If you REALLY have the batteries fully-disconnected (e.g., by removing the ground cable), then, yes, healthy batteries will easily last 3 months. I have gone twice that long without issue.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:09 PM   #30
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Default Re: Trickle Charger for Sprinter Batteries

I am installing the Trik-L-Start and cannot find the Battery isolator solenoid under the seat on the 2014 model year. Does anyone know where it might be on the 2014 Mercedes
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