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Old 11-29-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
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Batteries - charging question

Hi, I have a 2010, georgetown 330, for the winter I understand that I can leave the coach plugged in and the coach batteries will be kept charged and therefore not freeze. What I am wondering is, what about the chassis battery for the engine? Is it kept charged along with the coach batteries when plugged into shore power or do I need to have a separate charger on that battery?
thanks in advance
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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There is a deep discussion on coach battery charging within the following thread.

http://forestriverforums.com/forums/...ead.php?t=4560

Regarding the chassis battery, I would either pull it, charge it and keep it in a warm/dry spot or if you have power where you store the rig, you could put a multi-stage charger on it to keep it topped off.

A couple of good links regarding batteries:

http://www.explorerrv.com/articles/RVBatteries101.pdf

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/ow.../charging.html
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and info. What I am having problems getting a straight answer with though is just if the chassis battery will be kept charged with the coach batteries if the RV is plugged into shore power over the winter. I can't seem to get a straight answer from the dealer. One person says yes the other says no? I just don't want to loose the chassis battery if the RV converter won't keep it charged as well.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetown View Post
Thanks for the reply and info. What I am having problems getting a straight answer with though is just if the chassis battery will be kept charged with the coach batteries if the RV is plugged into shore power over the winter. I can't seem to get a straight answer from the dealer. One person says yes the other says no? I just don't want to loose the chassis battery if the RV converter won't keep it charged as well.
Georgetown, Maybe you're not getting a "straight" answer because no one seems to know....It's not that they are trying to evade your question.

The charger on the rig "should" charge the chassis battery. I have never had a problem with it being dead and I always keep my rig plugged in during the winter. However just like the other batteries you will need to check it once a month to insure that it isn't being boiled dry. You can tell for sure if the charger is charging it by disconnecting your rig from shore power. Turn your headlights on for about 5 or 10 minutes and then turn them offf, check the voltage of the starting battery with a volt meter and record the reading. Then plug back into shore power and check the voltage at the battery again. It should read higher as the charger is now putting a charge on the battery, If it doesnt then the charger isn't connected to the starting battery.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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You can find out easily enough if you have a decent volt meter.
Plug in the coach. Wait a few hours.
Check voltage on the coach batteries and then check voltage
on the engine battery.
I suspect the engine battery voltage will be lower indicating it does
not charge with the coach batteries.

You really don't want them together. What if you run your TV
and lights and kill the coach batteries? You want the engine
to crank even then so having them separate is the way to go.

FYI you can get a little float charger like the battery tender brand.
They are used by boater, motorcyclists and RV folks all the time
to keep batteries up. Battery Tender Jr is about $25.
You can also get a knock off version at Harbor freight and it's
under $10. I have both and they both work as expected.
They keep a battery topped up without over charging
and boiling the electrolyte out of it.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:32 PM   #6
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You really don't want them together. What if you run your TV
and lights and kill the coach batteries? You want the engine
to crank even then so having them separate is the way to go.

Dan, what's at issue is if the charger is a 2-bank which means the coach batteries and the starting batteries are charged as separate banks and are isolated from each other. If the charger isn't a 2-bank then it only charges the coach batteries. They never tie the starting battery in any way to the coach batteries on motorhomes so you can't run it down by running lights/TV etc...
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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OK so they are isolated fer sure.
You can still find out if you have a 2 bank charger by the
method I suggest.
Just plug in a while and then check voltage of any and all batteries.
If they all show the same voltage you have a 2 bank charger.
If the cranking battery shows lower voltage you don't.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:34 AM   #8
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Charging Question

I have a 2008 Georgetown. My chassis battery charges along with the two coach batteries. However I have to have the switch located near the stairwell switched to "connect" for the batteries to be charged. If I switch it to "disconnect" then I have AC power to the coach but no batteries are being charged. As in the previous post; hook up a simple voltmeter to the chassis battery while the motorhome is plugged in and the switch is in the connect position. The voltmeter will read around 13.7volts at the chassis battery as well as the two coach batteries. I placed a easy disconnect terminal on the negative side of the battery. I found that even with the disconnect switch there was still some battery drain. This way once your batteries are fully charged they will stay charged for at least a month. Then I reconnect the terminal and let them recharge for a day or two before disconnecting again. I have no problem with water being lost in the batteries/overcharging. Also even with the batteries disconnected; you can leave the coach plugged in and all your lights will work off the ac circuit. You don't have to have the batteries connected to turn on the lights; inn case you want to check out the coach during the storage period.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Crossfire View Post
I have a 2008 Georgetown. My chassis battery charges along with the two coach batteries. However I have to have the switch located near the stairwell switched to "connect" for the batteries to be charged. If I switch it to "disconnect" then I have AC power to the coach but no batteries are being charged. As in the previous post; hook up a simple voltmeter to the chassis battery while the motorhome is plugged in and the switch is in the connect position. The voltmeter will read around 13.7volts at the chassis battery as well as the two coach batteries. I placed a easy disconnect terminal on the negative side of the battery. I found that even with the disconnect switch there was still some battery drain. This way once your batteries are fully charged they will stay charged for at least a month. Then I reconnect the terminal and let them recharge for a day or two before disconnecting again. I have no problem with water being lost in the batteries/overcharging. Also even with the batteries disconnected; you can leave the coach plugged in and all your lights will work off the ac circuit. You don't have to have the batteries connected to turn on the lights; inn case you want to check out the coach during the storage period.
Crossfire makes some very good points here that many motorhome owners don't realize. That the disconnect switch does not disconnect all loads from the batteries and therefore they can still be drained however it does disconnect them from the charger. The practice of leaving the switch by the door off and turning it on once a month is a good point too and will greatly reduce the possibility of boiling your batteries.

Thanks Crossfire.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all your info. I'm new to the whole RV thing and this forum. I have had a lot of questions and found a lot of helpful info just reading through the posts. Thanks again, and can't wait for summer.
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