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Old 02-01-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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MBS electrical question

This forum is a great help, and for over a year it has helped me accelerate my learning curve. Here is my question: Plugged into shore power and have a trickle charger/maintainer plugged into the 12V 'always on' cigarette lighter in the chassis from a 110 plug in the coach since it has been parked for the December - February with only a few day trips while winterized. On 110, the microwave clock lights up and I set the time, so I could tell if the power was constantly being provided to the trickle charger. After checking, I found the clock at 0 on the microwave, but all systems seem fine - and the MBS starts just fine. Power is on, maintainer on a working - but clock went to zero, so there must have been a power outage......

Can anybody enlighten me about this?
Seems the power to the coach 110 system would be constant. Maybe a problem in the residential electrical service I am plugged into?.....
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:23 PM   #2
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As far as I know, there's nothing in the coach itself which would interrupt, then reestablish, the 110 power. The coach has circuit breakers, but they have to be reset by hand.

So I'd look for something outside the coach - the supply cable, the circuit the cable is plugged into, or the external service to the house (or whatever...)

Dave
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #3
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Possibly a better way to keep your chassis bat up to snuff would be; connect a float charger to the jumper terminals under the hood. That way the small current you are bleeding into your chassis bat now, using your method, is not reduced by the long and winding road (great song btw) from the 12v aux plug port.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:04 PM   #4
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Thank you for the speedy answers

I have a 30 amp surge protector between the coach and power source, and I bought it because a code for a power spike caused a fault, and 'check engine' light after being parked for a week. No light when parked, and running fine - but couldn't get light to go off using method in owners manual - so off I go to the Sprinter repair and donate $145 to take a look-see. Codes revealed a power spike, and needed to replace a exhaust manifold sensor to the tune of about $400 total. Bosch+labor.
Advised to get battery checked although less than 6 months old, and also to keep a trickle-charger on when stored for winter......

So, got my chassis sealed battery replaced at no charge, and bought a surge protector:
Portable Surge Guard with LCD Display, 30 Amp - TRC 34830 - Surge Protectors - Camping World
and a trickle-charger/maintainer:
Robot Check

So, now have good stuff to maintain electrical power source integrity. Shouldn't get any more power spikes, but did find that power loss to microwave (hence 110 coach system) and now will see if I ever get a a 'check engine' light after being parked.

Again, starts up and runs fine - actually love this self-contained house on wheels that averages 15 miles per gallon on diesel. Now curious if any systems like the inverter or another system might be affected. Time to hit the road!

Thanks for the responses - great peeps.
"Lord bought me a Mercedes-Benz, now I just need to get my Picture on the Cover of Rolling Stone...."
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:13 AM   #5
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your microwave is 110, so a quick loss of 110 will kill/reset the clock. you would not notice the trickle charger loss of power. It will just start up again and charge.
So I agree, you had a power outage, maybe a quick one.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:51 PM   #6
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I installed a mod to constantly monitor the voltage at the battery terminals of both the house and chassis batteries (two separate full time digital meters)

I can tell you that on my model (see signature) that after the coach has been plugged into shore power for a while the charge voltage (~13.6 v) appears at BOTH batteries. Meaning both are being maintained by the on board converter.

Same thing happens on the road, after a while the full alternator charge voltage appears at Both batteries.

Conclusion, no 'battery maintainer required for the chassis battery.

btw, I replaced the original converter with one from Progressive Dynamics as has been recommended elsewhere.

Not sure that the new breed are wired this way...
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousin01 View Post
I installed a mod to constantly monitor the voltage at the battery terminals of both the house and chassis batteries (two separate full time digital meters)

I can tell you that on my model (see signature) that after the coach has been plugged into shore power for a while the charge voltage (~13.6 v) appears at BOTH batteries. Meaning both are being maintained by the on board converter.
....Not sure that the new breed are wired this way...
There has been a lot of traffic on this forum regarding your coach. I would have recommended an experiment like you did, although in my experience with battery control centers, the voltage appears virtually immediately. This whole idea of "charge this one first and then bring on the other" is really pretty much old hat. As long as the voltage rises to a level that a battery cannot supply without help, most BCCs just fire the solenoid and parallel the batteries. Generally it works both ways. Obviously it is absurd to not have the engine charge the house bank as that just wouldn't work. The house would go dead and you could drive for 10 hours and the house would still be dead. In addition, not letting the converter spill over to the chassis battery is equally dumb since, as you do, the RV has been plugged in for 3 months and the chassis battery is dead? Not good!

I don't know if all designs like yours operate like this but yours sure does. Perhaps it is just confusion about the lack of a "boost" switch. All this switch does is fire the relay that connects both banks manually, rather than based on voltage.

The only time that this may be a problem is with a solar charger when the owner continually hears the solenoid click on and then off when a cloud crosses the solar panel. The idea of wasting a few watts on a solenoid from a solar bank bothers a lot of people.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:18 PM   #8
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Positive: Good customer service - McCoy's Frightener Sprinter Service Center in PDX

Posting this as a good ending to this string. Final determination is that the check engine light (CEL) was indeed informing of a bad sensor, then the next time it happened - further investigation confirms there was a power outage, and subsequent power spike AFTER the new part was installed and rig parked. After that the surge protector and battery trickle-charger/maintainer prevented damage, but check engine light still reported the code.

The repair shop mentioned in previous posts was flexible, and offered excellent advice and follow up service. Without going into all the details, I will say that although repairs and maintenance seem expensive (my first MBS) - the quality of the service and expertise at McCoy's Freightliner Sprinter service center on Columbia Blvd in Portland is excellent. Extra thanks for Maggie and Troy's reasonable nature and helpfulness.

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Old 02-05-2016, 11:31 AM   #9
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Glad to hear the end result and that it was good - thanks!
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:26 PM   #10
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What code was pulled to reveal you had a power spike that cooked your exhaust sensor, just wondering.
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