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Old 01-29-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
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Newbie question on charging batteries in storage

I just purchased a Berkshire XL 40C recently and I'm overjoyed and overwhelmed at the same time. I apologize if this question has been posed in the past but I don't have much experience with inverter/converter charging system. I will be storing the coach with access to a 30A outlet. I know I have get an adapter for the 50A service the coach provides but my question is this. When hooked up to the 30A outlet in storage can I leave batteries in the on position to charge them and leave the fridge on to keep it running. From what I've read (and its not a lot at this point) I would need to change the Shore Max setting on the remote (ME-RC Remote Control) to 30A. I don't plan on running any other appliances, including the A/C, but of course they would be in the on position so they would draw some electric. I think I read somewhere that the fridge draws about 6A and with everthing else, minus the A/C units, I will probably draw about 10A. Is this doable and if not please feel free to steer me in the right direction.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:53 PM   #2
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Welcome. My 38A is plugged into 30 Amp. Your MC-RE will know that you're on 30 Amp and the display will say so. So you don't need to change anything. You can charge the batteries and keep the fridge plugged in. You could run one A/C unit if you needed to but not two A/C's. Since you're in storage I'd be sure both A/C's are off. Keep reading the manuals, there's a ton of stuff to learn!
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
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Actually, I don't think the ME-RC automatically knows you are on 30 Amp service. You have to tell it that. OTOH, if the OP just wants to use a Fridge, there is no problem with it on any other setting, such as 15 Amp.

The ability to make this setting in the ME-RC is for a situation where you only have 15 amp or 20 amp service, and don't want to pop a shore breaker by overloading the coach circuit with an Air Conditioner or two.

If he is plugged into a 50 amp service, the ME-RC automatically recognizes it as 50 amps, because it is 220V and the only 220V circuits we have in the RV business are 50 Amp. That may be what is confusing the previous poster.

If you are plugged into 110 v service (15, 20 or 30 amp), the ME-RC has no way of telling how much amperage the circuit has.

–Gordon
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:43 PM   #4
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Telling the RC a lower amperage is to tell the CHARGER to chill out. If you were to plug in to 30A with a bank that needed quite a bit of charging and the charger threw the full 80 or so Ah at it you would be consuming 80x12=960W/120 is 8A+overhead Ac. If you were camping this would leave you with about 20A to do the camping. You would have to greatly reduce the use of other devices until the bulk charging stage has passed and the draw by the charger goes down. By limiting the amount of energy dedicated to the charger it will take a lot longer to charge the batteries, but you will have more energy available to do other things in the meantime.

I do not believe that the RC will limit what you do in the bus. I mean, is it going to turn circuits off? The RC only communicates with the Inverter Charger which is on ONE of the 120V legs and has NO KNOWLEDGE of what's on the other one. The idea of this protecting you from popping breakers on the pedestal is IMHO incorrect. The only AC circuits the Inverter/Charger and thus the RC are in control of is the ones that it feeds, either by pass through when external/generator 120V is available or by making 120V when on battery power.

In fact, you could turn OFF the main for the leg that the Inverter/Charger is NOT on and it wouldn't know.

I have popped enough pedestal breakers, and analyzed/adjusted my load as a result, to know. One of the reasons I installed AMMETERS on my AC panel so I could more accurately manage my load. (See my blog)

When in storage with only a fridge on there is no point in doing this. UNLESS you're plugged into say a 10A circuit. Now the charger plus the lone fridge could in fact spike above 10A.

That said.... why leave the fridge on? There's only so many hours of life in the thing. I turn mine off and make sure the doors are not fully closed to keep air circulating in there.

I'm going to leave a caveat for the multiplex system as I am not completely familiar with it, but again on my "steam" bus the RC has NO IDEA whether it's plugged into 50A or 30A. There are NO 220V circuits on board, consumption or control. Period.

For all intents an purposes using the term 220V anywhere in RV land is pointless and only adds to the confusion of those trying to get their head around this. The ONLY place I know where 220V comes into play is in very high end coaches that in fact DO use 220V appliances but again, this does not apply to anyone on this page.

If you're plugged into 50A service you send TWO 50A 120V feeds into the bus that feed several circuits that NEVER MEET, each protected by a 50A breaker on the bus. They happen to be in counter phase (which makes the voltage between them 220 but they don't know that about each other and it matters none). If you plug into a 30A service that SINGLE 30A is split and you, again, send two 120V feeds into the bus that happen to be the same phase but again don't know that about each other, nor do they care. You can run 30A on one and none on the other or 15A each etc etc. Each feed runs through a 50A breaker on your panel and you'll never reach the limit on either. The limiting factor is the 30A breaker on the pedestal.

(Now if you paid attention above you will have concluded that on 50A service you have in fact 2x50=100A available, whereas on 30A service you have only 30A available.... so 30A service is 30% of 50A service.....)
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:14 PM   #5
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Oscar,
Sensata, which now owns Magnum, has manuals posted at https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/ma...emote-controls

I've got Revision 2.8, which is not the latest.

In the Setup Menu, Item 1 allows the user to search for 5-50 watts in 5 watt intervals, or no search. This means that it searches through the various circuits for parasitic drains below the search level that is set, and turns those circuits off. So, it is true that the Magnum does turn off circuits. OK, I see that it might turn off all circuits if the drain is below the threshold, not just some.

The Shore menu item has settings in the range 5 to 60amps (which is wider than I stated). You are correct that it only adjusts the charge level to keep under the rated shore rating.

But, maybe I'm wrong that it automatically picks up the 50 amps when on 220. I might have to set that manually.

So, it looks like I'm learning something and things don't work quite as I had assumed with the ME-RC.

–Gordon
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:17 PM   #6
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To the OP.... In storage I have just about everything off, including the fridge, and am plugged into 20A service. I don't change anything on the RC.

Do make sure your batteries are watered before you leave it. The house (not chassis) batteries can consume quite a bit of water. (See link to my blog below)

Not sure what you mean by "not running the AC's but they'll be in the on position so will draw a little electricity"..... Do you mean they are On but the thermostat is turned way up so they (probably) won't come on? If you don't want them to come on, turn them off. They will not draw electricity. If you leave them on, regardless of how the thermostat(s) are set they MAY come on.

On 30A you should be OK once the batteries are charged and in maintenance phase with the fridge and ONE AC. But again, why leave them on?

https://dragonship.blog/batteries/
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
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Thanks guys for all the input. To clarify, my wife, kids and I will probably be using it on weekends for now (I'm still working) so the reason to leave the fridge on is so that I don't have to empty the non perishables and freezer every time I put it back. I don't plan on using any of the A/C units when in storage, what I meant by "on" was really the touch screen control panel. The only thing using juice would be the fridge and the clock on the microwave so it seems I should be fine. Oscarvan, I'm about 1/4 way through your blog and its truly impressive (a lot of stuff way over my head) but its great. I guess my main concern was whether to leave the "shore max" setting alone at 50A or switch it down to 30A when in storage and you guys explained it well. Thanks again guys, this forum is really helpful to guys like me who are new.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:04 PM   #8
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Anytime. And feel free to reach out if you need more help.

One of a few serious complaints I have about the product is the compete and total lack of documentation and instruction. Once you sign they give you they keys and you're on your own. Those delivery inspections are a joke. Mostly done by sales people that don't know their stuff and rushed through. Plus, you can't remember it all with all the excitement of the moment. Useless.

If I was in charge it would come with a binder with DVD's and there would be a paper with how to fire up the DVD player and you would stick the first one in and it would take you through all of the things you need to know to ENJOY these expensive units.

Time and again new owners have the same anguish over the same (non) issues or make the same avoidable mistakes, or the same easily fixable things go wrong. Those fortunate enough to find these pages we can help, and we help each other get to the bottom of the trickier things. Some of us have gone further and built knowledge bases we can share.

I truly am happy that it helps people.

FR I know you read these forums.... when the heck are you going to do something about this? You've admitted your shortcomings to me over the phone.... three years ago. C'mon, this is NOT rocket science.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:17 PM   #9
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Oscarvan, I totally agree with you on the "owner's manual". Prior to purchasing the coach I went to FR website and clicked on the owner's manual to try and read everything I could so I would be ahead of the game when we did the "walkthru". I have a 2019, the manual online is not the one I have. Example, mine and I think a few previous years, have an induction cooktop. The manual explains have to use a gas cooktop. Just 1 simple example but you think when your buying a "second home" they might update it a little more often. I think online forums are great (I use them with some other hobbies as well), they truly give you real world situations and how to solve them. Keep up the good work, all of you, this forum really is helpful.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:52 PM   #10
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Here is a quote from the manual: SHORE: Shore Max – This ensures the inverter AC loads receive the maximum current available from the utility/generator. Whenever the utility/generator is connected to the inverter (via AC HOT 1), the current used to power the AC loads and to charge the batteries is monitored. When the total current used to power the AC loads and charge the batteries begins to approach the Shore Max setting, the current that was used for charging the batteries is automatically reduced. This ensures the AC loads have the needed current (not available on MM/MM-E/ MM-AE/MMS/MMS-E models).
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