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 > The various batteries and their charging sources

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TreeSeeker

San Diego

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Posted: 02/06/18 01:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

The Trik-L-Start will never work if you don't have some source of power charging the house battery, be it shore power (and the converter) or solar or whatever. That's not at all surprising, since the power to charge the chassis battery needs to come from somewhere, and the house battery can't supply that forever without discharging.

A charger, even when in float/maintenance mode, holds the voltage above 13V on the battery being charged. The house battery when so connected isn't being discharged at all; the parasitic loads are powered by the charger, not the battery. This is pretty easy to verify if one has a battery ammeter installed.


Yes, I understand all that.

The situation is complicated and I can't find any information that explains exactly how the Trik-L-Start works. This is all I can find:

Quote:

"Steals" DC power from your RV's house battery charger.


OK, I am guessing that it monitors the voltage of the engine battery and when it gets too low it connects the engine battery to the house battery which then causes the house battery's voltage to drop causing the house battery's charger to come on.

What happens next, we don't know. I am guessing from the device's size and price that it is just a relay that connects the two batteries when the engine battery's voltage is too low. Then the house battery's charger kicks off and does a multi-stage charge on the now connected "battery bank."

As you may know, battery banks ideally consist of all the same type, size, age and state of charge batteries. The Trik-L-Start is making a battery bank of the starting and house batteries (I am guessing). This is not good. One battery will get charged too much and one not enough.

Certainly, any charging is better than no charging, so the Trik-L-Start is much better than nothing, but I don't know that it is better than using two different chargers, one for each battery.

I want to like the Trik-L-Start because it is inexpensive, small, and hardwired so it is install and forget. I like that. If it also somehow does a multi-stage charge independent of the house battery, then I would get one.

Harvey51

Alberta

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Posted: 02/06/18 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trick-L-Start discussion

Looks like it only charges the engine battery when the house batteries are being charged. Nice idea.

I have a pretty simple Motorhome - the built in Ford engine has a fuse and relay to provide charging to an "auxiliary battery", and this is used to charge the house batteries while driving. The relay connects the engine battery to the house battery when the engine alternator is charging. Trick-L-start in reverse. When parked at home I wanted to have the batteries connected so the solar panel could charge both house and engine batteries. I unplugged the relay in the fuse box and put a piece of wire in its place.

I never intended to use that connection in other situations but it was nice when camping and of course made no difference when driving so the batteries have been left connected for a couple of years now, except in winter when all the batteries are disconnected. The solar panel has kept the house batteries over 80% charged all the time so no worries about the house draining the engine battery when camping.


2004 E350 Adventurer (Canadian) 20 footer - Alberta, Canada
No TV + 100W solar = no generator needed

CharlesinGA

South of Atlanta, Georgia

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Posted: 02/06/18 07:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trick-L-Start will not charge chassis batteries until the coach batteries are well above their resting voltage (which is usually about 12.8 or so, and "well above" is around 13.6 or so).

Charles


2007 Winnebago View 523H on a 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles on it, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dymanics PD4645, Chill Grille, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar.

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 02/06/18 08:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As I understand it, the Trik-L-Start amounts to a current limited (to 5A) voltage controlled diode. If the house electrical system is at a higher voltage than the chassis, and the house system voltage above 13.x volts, it turns on and allows up to around 5A to flow, though it could be less current if that's all the chassis battery will accept at whatever voltage is applied (the house voltage minus any wiring losses and whatever drop there is in the Trik-L-Start circuitry).

It does not implement a multi-stage charging regimen independent of the house battery. At a 5A limit, I'm not sure how useful that would be anyhow. If the house converter or charger has a periodic equalizing charge (or something vaguely similar), such as e.g. the PD converters with the charge wizard attempt, that higher voltage would be reflected across the Trik-L-Start, but not independently.





TreeSeeker

San Diego

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Posted: 02/07/18 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE,

So it seems, that you are agreeing with me, that the Trik-L-Start does not do as good of a job charging the engine battery as a dedicated multi-stage charger would?

You can get a dedicated multi-stage smart charger for about the same price as the Trik-L-Start.

The question remains, how much better would a multi-stage charger be?

For many people the Trik-L-Start still is probably a better choice, since once it is installed you don't have to remember to hook up a dedicated charger. Any charger is better than none.

Harvey51, thanks for the link to the Trik-L-Start discussion. Good info.

* This post was edited 02/07/18 10:04am by TreeSeeker *

Bordercollie

Garden Grove, CA, USA

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Posted: 02/07/18 11:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed a Trik-l-Start a few years ago and it has worked fine to keep the engine starter battery charged when rig is connected to 110 vac shore power. Installation was not quick and easy on our 2004 Tioga 26Q. I had to run a long heavy gage hot wire along the frame and up into the engine compartment, through a 15 amp circuit breaker, and finally to the positive engine battery terminal. Your installation may be easier if you can find/have the solenoid device mentioned in the instructions.

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