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Old 11-06-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

On my '07 SMB with the Tripplite 2000W inverter, can I charge my two 6.0L starter batteries from the system by plugging into shore power? I don't think it does that automatically like it does the house battery. Is there a magic connector I need?
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:04 PM   #2
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

As soon as the separator detects a voltage over 13.2 the separator should close and charge the engine batteries. That's provided you have a bi-directional separator which was a common install SMB used in 07. Even if the jump start feature was set to manual (using a switch) it still should be closing when the charger is engaged. At least that was the common design they used Jeffery.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

Thanks, Dave. That's the answer I wanted to hear. I've been charging with my little 110v charger box but now I'll just plug the van into shore power and I can do that at home or at the shop. My problem came about because I have been only driving the van a mile or so each day and on weekends moving it out of and back into the driveway so not enough run time to keep the starters up to level. Got to use it more!
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

Just check out the charge rate from time to time Jeffery. If any one of the batteries being charged starts to fail, the inverter will ramp up to high amp levels and start to boil typical starting batteries. I'd avoid long term charging...give them a full day or so, checking every 8 or so hours after you start charging, then plug in every couple of weeks (provided everything is off in the van) and give them a overnight charge. If you have an amp gauge on board (or on the inverter), you should see the rate lower to an amp or two once fully charged. Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

Success! I plugged in to shore overnight and today the starter kicked in full speed. I now will begin a program of occasional charges whether I think I need to or not. If only I'd known about this earlier. Im on my third set of starter batteries.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

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Originally Posted by Jeffrey
Success! I plugged in to shore overnight and today the starter kicked in full speed. I now will begin a program of occasional charges whether I think I need to or not. If only I'd known about this earlier. Im on my third set of starter batteries.
Glad to hear it works. Do you have a solar panel? I guess it wouldn't matter if your van wasn't getting exposure to the sun.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

For me life has been much better since I switched to AGM starting batteries but will admit YMMV. They still require charging and W/O solar AGM's might go faster, but even though my van is kind of a every other day driving vehicle, I was going through starting batteries every year. Think I'm on my 4th year with Odyssey AGM's.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

Will my 2003 have this function? Thanks for the information.

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Old 04-09-2014, 12:11 AM   #9
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

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Will my 2003 have this function? Thanks for the information.

TexGX
The ability to Charge via shore power? That would depend on the inverter/charger. Some converters also have built in chargers.

IIRC 2003 vans had isolators that provide a charge via the engine alternator but depending on the original owners options that were selected you'd have to look for the inverter or converter model to see if the unit can charge. Those like the tripplite and xantrex will usually have a button on the inverter or a separate control panel that has a "charge button" provided the model can charge. There are both inverters and converters that don't have chargers built in. In some cases the previous owner may have decided to just use an automotive, trickle, or standalone charger.

Multi stage charger are preferred and generally promote battery life compared to standard chargers. Solar can be the same.

I've seen vans come off the line with no inverter-chargers and the owner just charges via driving and solar so it just depends how it was set up. You should have a packet with all the items installed on the van. If not many times SMB might still have a file of what is on board your rig.

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Old 04-16-2014, 05:37 PM   #10
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Re: Charge start batteries from inverter/charger?

daveb,

I have the xantrex and it has the charge button on the panel. So if I understand, I need to hit the Charge button when plugged in to charge the starting batteries.

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