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Old 12-22-2018, 03:25 PM   #1
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Chassis and coach batteries

Hi. I have a battery question I would respectfully like some help with. Have a 2018 Forest River Forester MBS. Storing it in a temperature controlled facility for the winter. I do not have a trickle battery charger. I thought I could just run the MB chassis engine every month for 30 minutes to keep batteries in good shape.

Here are my questions:
1-how long should I run the engine every 30 days to charge the chassis battery?
2-does running the engine also charge the coach batteries? Through the converter?
3-if so, will that charge the coach batteries sufficiently? Is 30 minutes of engine run time enough for the coach batteries every 30 days?
4-while running my engine the coach and the chassis batteries both read 13.80 volts. After I turned off the engine, both voltages went down to about 12.45 volts. Is that enough to keep it stored for another 30 days? Should I run my engine longer?

Thank you all for the help.
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzteuscher View Post
Hi. I have a battery question I would respectfully like some help with. Have a 2018 Forest River Forester MBS. Storing it in a temperature controlled facility for the winter. I do not have a trickle battery charger. I thought I could just run the MB chassis engine every month for 30 minutes to keep batteries in good shape.

Here are my questions:
1-how long should I run the engine every 30 days to charge the chassis battery?
2-does running the engine also charge the coach batteries? Through the converter?
3-if so, will that charge the coach batteries sufficiently? Is 30 minutes of engine run time enough for the coach batteries every 30 days?
4-while running my engine the coach and the chassis batteries both read 13.80 volts. After I turned off the engine, both voltages went down to about 12.45 volts. Is that enough to keep it stored for another 30 days? Should I run my engine longer?

Thank you all for the help.
Can you use an adapter and plug your coach in. I have found it keeps all batteries charged.
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:35 PM   #3
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I hesitate to run our Sprinter to charge the batteries. Believe there are potential (expensive) issues with the exhaust system (EGR valve, EGR cooler, dual catalytic conversion system, diesel particulate filter, etc.). Try not to run mine without driving it 30 or 40 miles.
If you can’t plug it in, maybe run the generator?
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:31 PM   #4
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Yes. I think I will try that. There are outlets for use in our storage facility I just need to find the right trickle charger.
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:32 PM   #5
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I hesitate to run our Sprinter to charge the batteries. Believe there are potential (expensive) issues with the exhaust system (EGR valve, EGR cooler, dual catalytic conversion system, diesel particulate filter, etc.). Try not to run mine without driving it 30 or 40 miles.
If you can’t plug it in, maybe run the generator?
Wow. I have never heard of any of those issues. You have given me something to research and think about. Do you recommend plugging in both the chassis battery and the coach/house batteries?
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:59 PM   #6
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On our 2012, the converter seems to charge both the house and the chassis batteries.
I have a 100 watt solar panel with a PWM controller connected to my house batteries. I turn the house battery switch “off” when I store. The solar seems to keep both the house and the chassis batteries fully charged.
I’m in California on the coast, so climate is easier on the batteries than in many other places.
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:54 PM   #7
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Here is one thread with comments related to Sprinter idling:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...er-119489.html

FYI
Jim
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Old 12-22-2018, 09:18 PM   #8
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On our 2012, the converter seems to charge both the house and the chassis batteries.
I have a 100 watt solar panel with a PWM controller connected to my house batteries. I turn the house battery switch “off” when I store. The solar seems to keep both the house and the chassis batteries fully charged.
I’m in California on the coast, so climate is easier on the batteries than in many other places.


Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. I have one question. If you connect the solar panel to the house batteries with the disconnect switch set to “off”, how does electrical power (energy) get to the chassis battery? I thought the disconnect switch would prevent that if it is turned off.
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Old 12-22-2018, 09:18 PM   #9
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Here is one thread with comments related to Sprinter idling:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...er-119489.html

FYI
Jim


Thanks!!!
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:40 PM   #10
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On our 2012, the Battery Control Center is under a plate held on with thumb screws on the left panel of the stair well. The BCC is connected directly to the house batteries ahead of the house main power switch, and, as I understand, includes relays which allow bidirectional house/chassis charging under appropriate conditions. Also contains fused and circuit breaker connections to other items which work when the house main switch is “off”. This circuitry, as I understand, allows my solar panel to charge both the house and chassis batteries.
Of note, again on my 2012 unit, if the house disconnect switch is “off”, the converter is disconnected from the batteries. I believe Forest River changed this on later models, connecting the converter to the batteries independent of the house disconnect switch.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:56 PM   #11
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I hesitate to run our Sprinter to charge the batteries. Believe there are potential (expensive) issues with the exhaust system (EGR valve, EGR cooler, dual catalytic conversion system, diesel particulate filter, etc.). Try not to run mine without driving it 30 or 40 miles.
If you can’t plug it in, maybe run the generator?
Running any engine for short periods, just idling, is never recommended. Engine never gets to proper operating temps where condensate from burning fuel is removed from oil.

That and the fact it takes hours to charge lead acid batteries, not 30 minutes or so

I'd recommend a Battery Minder or NOCO Genius battery maintaining charger. Leave it connected and plugged in all the time if you can and they'll keep battery charged, even desulfated if needed.
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Old 12-22-2018, 11:17 PM   #12
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It is recommended to run the generator under ~50% load monthly for a while (1 to 2 hours? Check your generator manual). Adding a 1500 watt space heater to your converter (charging your batteries) should get close to the desired generator load.

Keeping your batteries fully charged, as Mike recommends, will significantly extend their life.
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Old 12-22-2018, 11:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLeising View Post
On our 2012, the Battery Control Center is under a plate held on with thumb screws on the left panel of the stair well. The BCC is connected directly to the house batteries ahead of the house main power switch, and, as I understand, includes relays which allow bidirectional house/chassis charging under appropriate conditions. Also contains fused and circuit breaker connections to other items which work when the house main switch is “off”. This circuitry, as I understand, allows my solar panel to charge both the house and chassis batteries.
Of note, again on my 2012 unit, if the house disconnect switch is “off”, the converter is disconnected from the batteries. I believe Forest River changed this on later models, connecting the converter to the batteries independent of the house disconnect switch.


Thanks!!!! That is a great explanation. I will need to check it out. Thanks for the details - that really helps me understand the situation and the potential involved in its design.
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Old 12-23-2018, 12:07 AM   #14
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Running any engine for short periods, just idling, is never recommended. Engine never gets to proper operating temps where condensate from burning fuel is removed from oil.

That and the fact it takes hours to charge lead acid batteries, not 30 minutes or so

I'd recommend a Battery Minder or NOCO Genius battery maintaining charger. Leave it connected and plugged in all the time if you can and they'll keep battery charged, even desulfated if needed.


Thanks Mike. Looking at the NOCO now. Trying to decide on the proper model/construction.
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Old 12-23-2018, 12:10 AM   #15
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It is recommended to run the generator under ~50% load monthly for a while (1 to 2 hours? Check your generator manual). Adding a 1500 watt space heater to your converter (charging your batteries) should get close to the desired generator load.

Keeping your batteries fully charged, as Mike recommends, will significantly extend their life.


Thank you. You have been extremely helpful. This is a lot more complicated than one would think.
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Old 12-23-2018, 12:03 PM   #16
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Thanks Mike. Looking at the NOCO now. Trying to decide on the proper model/construction.
If you are going to just maintain a starting battery I found the G1100 to be more than adequate. The G3500 is also an option if you feel your battery needs a little more charging current. My truck is garaged and pretty much always at 60 degrees so charging is a little more efficient than if a truck/MH is left out in much colder weather.

For my TT "house batteries" I just use the charger built into my converter. It's a PD9260 with 4 stage charging.
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Old 12-23-2018, 05:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLeising View Post
I hesitate to run our Sprinter to charge the batteries. Believe there are potential (expensive) issues with the exhaust system (EGR valve, EGR cooler, dual catalytic conversion system, diesel particulate filter, etc.). Try not to run mine without driving it 30 or 40 miles.
If you can’t plug it in, maybe run the generator?
Concur, MB says not to idle the Sprinter excessively. I consider excessive anything over about 10 minutes, further I never run it unless I drive it getting to operating temperature for maybe 20 minutes. To blow out condensation in the crankcase, transmission etc.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:30 AM   #18
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My RV sits in a lot from November to April each year during the winter months. An Interstate battery rep told me that I was not helping the batteries at all by intermittently going out to the rv in winter and starting the engine up. He said I would have to run it for many hours to do any good and that I was harming the batteries by running the rig for an hour or so. He said it was better to not do that at all and just leave it alone with the batteries disconnected. The best method is to pull out the battery(s) and put it on a trickle charger.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:39 PM   #19
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Just a note that for storage you don't have to keep batts under charge. At room temps, batts will lose 10% of charge per month in self discharge...far less in colder weather. Once batts have been FULLY charged to 100% you can safely leave them with negative post disconnected for 3-4 months at a minimum in less than room temp conditions. With batts disconnected you don't want to get below 12.4 volts where 0 degree weather or worse is possible so just check once in a while and top up to 100% again as needed. I much prefer a full converter based bulk charge which will MIX acid and water and prevent sulphation which a trickle charger won't do.
(Note...a full recharge from 50% via a current generation converter will take a minimum of 6 hours. )
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