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 > Can I charge the house battery with the engine alternator?

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/11/22 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes you can and it’s common, as said, to have a charge wire from alt to house batt.
May or may not provide enough amps to effectively charge as fast as you want or need it to.


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klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 11/11/22 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my C, I installed two of these. Battery life greatly improved.

[image]

heyobie

Maryland

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Posted: 11/11/22 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks guys. I'll order the isolator.

Klutchdust,
What's the advantage of two 6volt batteries in series vs two 12volt in parallel?

heyobie

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Posted: 11/11/22 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gritdog,

To get the charge from the alternator to the house, can I just run a wire from the positive car battery terminal to the battery switch that goes to the house battery! I don't want to play with the alternator if I don't have to.

If so, does it need to be a large diameter cable or a 12 wire sufficient?

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 11/11/22 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the effort I would go #6 wire minimum.


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SJ-Chris

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Posted: 11/11/22 01:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most RVs are designed to have the alternator charge the house batteries through a solenoid while the engine is on (...presumably while driving from one campsite to the next). A built in feature of that solenoid is an "emergency start" switch usually mounted on the dash or near the driver side steering column. When working properly, if you push and hold that button you should hear a "click" and the solenoid temporarily connects the house batteries to your chassis battery so that you can use the house batteries to help jump start a dead/weak chassis battery. This is all by design.

It is not rare at all for that solenoid to wear out and break. They are cheap and usually fairly easy to replace. Let us know how it goes.

-Chris


San Jose, CA
Own two 2015 Thor Majestic 28a Class C RVs

IAMICHABOD

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Posted: 11/11/22 01:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This You Tube Video might be of help to you.


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SJ-Chris

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Posted: 11/11/22 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

heyobie wrote:

Gritdog,

To get the charge from the alternator to the house, can I just run a wire from the positive car battery terminal to the battery switch that goes to the house battery! I don't want to play with the alternator if I don't have to.

If so, does it need to be a large diameter cable or a 12 wire sufficient?


The positive car (chassis) battery terminal IS connected to the alternator output. So connecting to one connects you to the other.

This wire could be pumping 30-100amps of current back to your house battery(s) (depending on the alternator and # of batteries in your house bank), so it needs to be thick battery cable.

I assume when you say "battery switch" you mean the solenoid. The switch on your dash is an override switch to the solenoid to force it to be "on" (connecting the house batteries to the chassis battery). So you won't be hooking up your battery cables to the "switch"...you will be hooking them up to the solenoid. Make sense?

Good luck!
Chris

Ed_Gee

Central Oregon coast

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Posted: 11/11/22 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SJ-Chris wrote:

Most RVs are designed to have the alternator charge the house batteries through a solenoid while the engine is on (...presumably while driving from one campsite to the next). A built in feature of that solenoid is an "emergency start" switch usually mounted on the dash or near the driver side steering column. When working properly, if you push and hold that button you should hear a "click" and the solenoid temporarily connects the house batteries to your chassis battery so that you can use the house batteries to help jump start a dead/weak chassis battery. This is all by design.

It is not rare at all for that solenoid to wear out and break. They are cheap and usually fairly easy to replace. Let us know how it goes.

-Chris


What Chris said, above. Sounds, from your previous posts, that your old RV may have already have that feature. ... boost at least. you could simply change that momentary contact boost switch on the dash to a toggle switch that will stay on when you want it ... thus maintaining your starter battery connected through that solenoid you found to your house batterys. You should check that that solenoid still works ... they can and do fail at times ... but easy to replace.


Ed - on the Central Oregon coast
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bobndot

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Posted: 11/11/22 02:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

12v vs two 6v batteries

Just keep in mind that joining two 6v batts will keep the amps the same, where by joining two 12v batts, the amps will double.

The 6v batts are true deep cycle batteries that allow them to be discharged lower without damaging them. They have heavier thicker plates than the 12v batteries.

Most 12v deep cycle batteries are really ‘hybrid’ batteries. Maybe you can find a true deep cycle 12v , but you would have to have a knowledgable source to locate such.

IMO, it comes down to the size of your battery compartment. The 6v models might be too tall by a 1/2” or so.
As an example, If your battery compartment was under your entrance step, some people have removed the lid and installed some wood trim around the edge. Then reinstalled the lid allowing the clearance needed. 1/2” is not that drastic a change to become used to while going in/out of the rv.

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