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Old 01-30-2015, 09:47 AM   #1
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Another chassis battery question

I've read several threads on chassis battery and charging. Seems some are supposed to charge when connected to shore power and others don't.

Does any one know for sure about the Berkshire? I leave it plugged in to 120v 24/7, but do I need to add a trickle charger for the chassis batteries ?

Thanks,
Ken
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
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It's easy to find out with a voltmeter if your convertor is charging your chassis battery. Turn off everything you can that runs on 12 volts. With the coach on shore power and the battery disconnect on (batteries supplying power to the coach), check the voltage across the chassis battery. If you have at least 13.2 volts, and maybe up to 13.7 volts, the convertor is charging the battery. If you have about 12.5 volts, the battery is fully charged but is not being charged by the convertor. It easy to see what's happening if you read the chassis battery voltage while someone else connects the shore power. You would see the chassis battery voltage increase as the convertor starts charging it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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I believe your MH is like all FR MH's I've tested. When on shore power coach batteries have priority and when driving chassis batteries have priority but all batteries are charged with either configuration. Of course this is predicated upon correct interconnects and functioning hardware.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #4
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I was told by Frieghtliner that only the house batteries charge while on shore power. I tend to believe it because when I first start the engine after it's been sitting awhile I get the low battery warning.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:46 AM   #5
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The following excerpts were taking from Intellitec & RV Custom Product Battery Control Center Manuals, describes the associated charging circuit operations.

I'm not sure if these BCCs are used on a DP, but a quick email to either
manufacture could provide further information

Intellitec
BATTERY CONTROL CENTER - MINI GAS
Charging Circuit

The charging circuit, (which utilizes an isolator solenoid to connect the two batteries
together for charging) will charge both batteries if either battery is being charged.
It operates by sensing the voltage on the Main and Auxiliary batteries. If either
voltage goes above 13.3 volts (the minimum necessary to fully charge a battery)
for more than 14 seconds, the isolator solenoid will pull in, charging both batteries.
If, while the ignition is on, the voltage falls below 12 volts for more than 4 seconds,
the isolator relay will open keeping all of the alternatorís outputs available for the
chassis functions. If the ignition is off and the auxiliary battery voltage should drop
below 12.8 volts (voltage of a fully charged battery) for 4 seconds, the isolator
relay will open, preventing the coach loads from discharging the Main battery.

RV Custom Products
SDC-I07A Battery Control Center
Interconnect Relay

Control electronics on the circuit board parallels the coach and chassis batteries with the
interconnect relay. In addition, the batteries can be paralleled with a momentary pushbutton
switch on the driver's console that applies +12vdc to P3-1.

For the purpose of charging the coach and chassis batteries, power for the control
electronics is obtained from the ignition switch and coach battery through diodes D1 and
D2. Underway, when the charging source is the engine generator, +13.2vdc on the
ignition line triggers the electronics. After a 15 sec. delay, the interconnect relay closes,
paralleling the batteries. Should the battery voltage go below 12.7vdc, the interconnect
relay will open after around a 15 sec. delay. When the vehicle is parked and on shore
power, when the converter brings the coach battery up to +13.2vdc, the interconnect relay
will close after the 15 sec delay, charging the chassis battery as well. As before, the relay
will open when the battery voltage goes below 12.7vdc.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:56 AM   #6
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I have been told that the coach batteries have priority, Once fully charged you will charge the chassis battery. The switch on the dash that ties the batteries together, I forget the label on it but when the chassis battery is charging you will see the light on faintly.

Regarding low battery when starting the coach that is due to the energy required to heat the manifold as well as run the starter. It is not because the battery was not fully charged.

Rather than leaving the coach plugged in all winter I use a three stage charger/maintainer from Harbor Freight. Item Number 99857 on sale for $19.99. I have one on each bank of batteries. What is nice is they never have to come off. Stay connected all summer and just plug in in the fall. Work great.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:57 AM   #7
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I'm not sure the battery set ups we have are considered auxiliary. We have dedicated house and dedicated chassis batteries. It would be nice if we could get something like you posted but I don't believe we have it now.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campin Cajun View Post
I'm not sure the battery set ups we have are considered auxiliary. We have dedicated house and dedicated chassis batteries. It would be nice if we could get something like you posted but I don't believe we have it now.
All MH's have dedicated batteries (coach/chassis) as you say. The emergency start switch ties the coach batteries to the chassis for starting the engine when the chassis battery is to low. If you have such a switch then chances are all the batteries are charged as previously stated. Best advice then, contact FR (MH manufacturer), not Freightliner for clarity.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:10 PM   #9
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I just spoke to a tech on the diesel pusher help line (574-522-1368) on another topic, and he did confirm to me that the chassis batteries are charged when connected to shore power. The house batteries come first in the charging sequence, and then the chassis batteries come second. You can tell when that is happening by looking at the Aux Start button on the dash. When it has a low glow, and blinks, the chassis batteries are charging. Hope that helps.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:46 PM   #10
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My 2014 Berkshire does indeed charge both sets of batteries while plugged into shore power and from the alternator. I know this because my chassis batteries kept dying on me when plugged in. My dealer told me that shore power does not charge them. I called Randy at FR. And he said they do! He called my dealer and told them what to check and how to fix it. Here is what I was told.

On shore power, your house batteries charge first then when full, there is a switch (mine was bad) that closes the charge to the house and charges your chassis batteries. You know this is happening because your aux switch will light up dim and flash when charging your chassis batteries while on shore power.

While driving down the road, your alternator will do the same thing only charging your chassis batteries first.

Again this was all coming from Randy and his guys at FR. Since my switch was replaced, I've never had dead chassis batteries again. There are still many things in our coach that run off the chassis batteries that we all use while camping or living in the coach and if the shore power didn't charge them, we'd all have dead batteries more often...

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Old 01-30-2015, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campin Cajun View Post
I was told by Frieghtliner that only the house batteries charge while on shore power. I tend to believe it because when I first start the engine after it's been sitting awhile I get the low battery warning.

I used to get that too all the time until they replaced my switch and now it's all good. PM me if you have more questions and I may be able to help with how and what they fixed for me.

It is normal though that for the first minute after start up to see you voltage gauge go up and down and get the low voltage warning intermittent. It will do this because the coach is running through a series of diagnostics that require higher battery usage. But before you start the coach, the voltage warning should never be on but mine would be or even dead where the coach wouldn't start...

Jadon
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
All MH's have dedicated batteries (coach/chassis) as you say. The emergency start switch ties the coach batteries to the chassis for starting the engine when the chassis battery is to low. If you have such a switch then chances are all the batteries are charged as previously stated. Best advice then, contact FR (MH manufacturer), not Freightliner for clarity.

I did contact Freightliner. They told me that my motorhome does NOT charge the chassis batteries while on shore power. Other makes or models might.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:02 PM   #13
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So Freightliner says no and Forest River says yes ?

Since some of the comments here contradict, I will go out tomorrow and measure the voltage on the chassis battery so see what's going on.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment. !

Ken
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:06 PM   #14
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Ken it would not be the first time that same model RVs are wired differently.

I have the switch inside my coach that a few have mentioned. My question is why do we need a switch if they are already tied together?
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Ken it would not be the first time that same model RVs are wired differently.

I have the switch inside my coach that a few have mentioned. My question is why do we need a switch if they are already tied together?

They're only tied together when you hold the switch in. Other than that there is another switch that switches between both for charging that is in your battery compartment. That is the one that went bad on mine
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:38 PM   #16
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I'm so confused. I should go to camp fl
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:58 PM   #17
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LOL!! Hear ya!! I would have been too until it was explained to me when mine was messed up too. Now I understand it and makes sense

Jason


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Old 01-30-2015, 05:19 PM   #18
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Bubbles. Would the genset sharge the same as shore power?
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:32 PM   #19
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Bubbles. Would the genset sharge the same as shore power?

Yes

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Old 01-30-2015, 09:03 PM   #20
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If plugged into shore power, does it matter if the battery switches in the battery compartments are turned off or on?
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