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Old 03-16-2016, 04:19 PM   #11
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I like your system better than my system, or at least what I think my system is, as described to me by Berkshire Diesel Division Warranty Department. I'm not really knowledgeable enough to be able to prove if mine really is an "either/or" system.


As far as seeing the "Bulk Charge" indicator light on the MM-RC remote panel upon pulling into a campground and hooking up, following a trip with the inverter in the "On" position; that just means the house batteries dropped below 12.5v enroute, which isn't all that bad.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NV245 View Post
On Berkshire it is easier to see if the "emergency start" switch lamp glows or blinks indicating that battery voltage is 13.3 and the chassis and house batteries are linked together, it happens when drive engine is running and chassis batteries are 13.3 or above, or when plugged in and house batteries are 13.3 or above.
So specifically is this how you run the test:
  • Start engine
  • Press and hold "Emergency Start"
  • Emergency Start switch blinks: house batteries are above 13.3v and not linked to the alternator (along with the chassis batteries)?
  • Emergency Start switch glows steady: house batteries are 13.3v or below, and have been linked to the alternator (along with the chassis batteries)?
So then the chassis batteries or a FR Berk are always on charge from the alternator if the engine is running?
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hallen01 View Post
So specifically is this how you run the test:
  • Start engine
  • Press and hold "Emergency Start"
  • Emergency Start switch blinks: house batteries are above 13.3v and not linked to the alternator (along with the chassis batteries)?
  • Emergency Start switch glows steady: house batteries are 13.3v or below, and have been linked to the alternator (along with the chassis batteries)?
So then the chassis batteries or a FR Berk are always on charge from the alternator if the engine is running?
I really doubt that is the procedure. Start the engine, if the emergency start switch glows that means that the BCC has already connected the house to the chassis and that the system voltage is above 13.3 (that is the reason why the BCC connected the two banks!)

On my past rigs, if you hear the solenoid click when you press the emergency start switch, the solenoid wasn't engaged. When you run the engine and for at least a minute after you shut down, when you press the switch you won't hear the solenoid "clunk" since it was already engaged by the BCC using the 13.3 volt system voltage.

Now, as far as the inverter discharging the batteries during a long drive, that just shouldn't be possible if the alternator was charging the house. I would bet that you have at least a 175 amp alternator and that would mean that the inverter was supplying more than 2,000 watts of AC all the time you were driving. Even a really big residential refrigerator only draws half of that and it only runs 4 or 5 minutes out of each hour anyway.

Virtually all modern RVs charge the house with the engine whenever it is running (MB Sprinter aside.)

Your coach is trying to tell you something...
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:12 PM   #14
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How about L16 batteries at 500 lbs?

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Originally Posted by Hallen01 View Post
four Lifeline 300 Ah GPL-6CT @ $435.55 each (13 high, total 360 lbs) recommended if residential refrigerator added or if dry camping frequently
requires reprogramming the ME-RC50 remote to a value other than the default 220 Ah battery capacity
probably also requires an additional plywood liner on the battery compartment floor to accomodate the additional 96 lbs; slide weight bearing capability and axle rating should also be checked for additional refrigerator and batteries weight; AC receptacle that powers the residential refrigerator needs to be connected to a circuit powered by the inverter output, not the GFCI AC shore power pass-through circuit which the LP gas refrigerator supply was connected to
Wow, this thread is very informative and well-reasoned, so I'll archive it. Thanks.

I've been thinking about some of these issues of a battery upgrade, and I'm thinking of getting L16 batteries, which are nominally 16" high (and 6volts), but have basically the same footprint as a golf cart battery. They are available flooded or AGM and would weigh about 500 pounds for a set of 4. They would deliver 700+ nominal amp hours. My Berk has enough height for them and enough slack in the footprint to take their bases.

One issue of concern is whether this overloads the house battery bay. I'd hate to have it break while going over a bump on a road. I'm planning to ask the Diesel Division folks about the weight rating. The golf cart batteries are about 250 lbs for the set, I think.

The other issue is cost. In Canada, the AGMs would be about $2K for the set.
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