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Old 11-05-2018, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default Solution for no battery separator

It seems that the battery separator and the GU (underhood generator) are mutually exclusive on the Roadtrek. And because I have the GU, I don't have a battery separator. This cause me problems in two situation...

1. When I don't use the unit, I connect it to shorepower so the charger could keep the house battery charged. But because I don't have a battery separator, it means the starter battery won't be kept charged.

2. I plan to use the radio received to listen to music but because there is no battery separator, it mean the radio will drain the starter battery even when I'm connected to shore power.

What is the best solution? A small battery tender (pluged in the van AC) could probably address the first case. But what about the second case? A battery charger (again pluged in the van AC) with a 15A output capacity?
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:25 AM   #2
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It seems that the battery separator and the GU (underhood generator) are mutually exclusive on the Roadtrek. And because I have the GU, I don't have a battery separator. This cause me problems in two situation...

1. When I don't use the unit, I connect it to shorepower so the charger could keep the house battery charged. But because I don't have a battery separator, it means the starter battery won't be kept charged.

2. I plan to use the radio received to listen to music but because there is no battery separator, it mean the radio will drain the starter battery even when I'm connected to shore power.

What is the best solution? A small battery tender (pluged in the van AC) could probably address the first case. But what about the second case? A battery charger (again pluged in the van AC) with a 15A output capacity?
For #1, the standard (and best) solution is to install a Trik-L-Start.
For #2, I would consider powering a radio from the house system. With some radios, it isn't too hard to add an A/B switch to select how the radio is powered. This is not always easily done, though. Could you use a separate, house-powered radio?

Of course, you could always simply install a simple battery isolation solenoid, controlled by a switch on the dash. This has the added advantage that it could serve as a starter "boost" if you ever have a low starter battery state. This requires fairly hefty wiring, though.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:49 AM   #3
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The biggest issue is that the engine generator is only connected to the coach batteries, so even if you had a separator it would not connect the shore charger to the van starting battery. On top of that, you really don't want to have any kind of disconnect in the coach cable from the UG as if you disconnected it will the engine was running you would likely fry the Balmar regulator and the UG itself. The GU has to have a battery in the circuit whenever it is running or being connected or disconnected.



As Avanti says, a trickle start will work well and moving the radio to the coach batteries if you want to be able to use it when parked is a good idea.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:01 PM   #4
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For #1, the standard (and best) solution is to install a Trik-L-Start.
For #2, I would consider powering a radio from the house system. With some radios, it isn't too hard to add an A/B switch to select how the radio is powered. This is not always easily done, though. Could you use a separate, house-powered radio?
Beside doing the wiring, what could be the difficulty to power the radio from the coach battery?
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:23 PM   #5
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Beside doing the wiring, what could be the difficulty to power the radio from the coach battery?
Well, modern OEM head units can be complicated. Just a few examples:

1) There are often powered components "outside the box", such as powered antennas, subwoofers, etc. You have to track down and switch any such items.

2) There are often both "always on" and "ignition-sense" inputs so that the radio goes on and off with the van. The logic of how you want this to work has to be thought through.

3) Some head units (including modern Sprinters) have radios that are completely controlled via the vehicle CANbus. They are always powered, and various functions are controlled via vehicle ECUs.

Things aren't as simple as they used to be. Most of these things can be addressed, but it can become a science project. Honestly, a separate radio is likely more practical.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:28 PM   #6
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I think I will simply use a few amps battery charger. Some models have a supply mode (13.6V).

Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:19 PM   #7
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Why is the egine driven alternator not connected to the house batteries. how can u recharge house batteries if not connected to shore power?
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:09 PM   #8
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That particular RV has 2 alternators and two batteries. Each alternator connects to only 1 of the batteries. Both batteries charge while driving.

Shore power in that RV charges the house battery but not the chassis battery.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:11 PM   #9
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Avanti and Booster, if you have the trickle charger, why couldn't you listen to the coach radio?
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:59 PM   #10
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Avanti and Booster, if you have the trickle charger, why couldn't you listen to the coach radio?

My understanding of the issue may have been wrong, but if the goal was to be able to listen to the raido, when parked, that would indicate parked, but not necessarily shore power. For the radio to work, you would need the key to accessory or run to get radio, but if connected to shore power the ignition would stay on, but on charge, so no chance of killing the starting battery if trickle charge is there. If you always have shore power and a trickle charge or a trickle charge through the coach batteries, it is a non issue.


I think many of us have found that anything that requires the key to be on has a high probability of being forgottenon, which is not a good thing.
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