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Old 05-28-2011, 07:03 AM   #1
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Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

Don't have the money right now to do the house batteries, inverter, and solar stuff but am hoping to in the future, so I want to go ahead and get an electric poptop. SMB-West says they will connect the penthouse to the starter battery.
I did see a thread about problems in this area but think it was related to a bad penthouse motor:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2986&hilit=penthouse
As long as I don't go crazy pushing the up/down button do you think this will cause excessive wear on the starter battery?
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:37 AM   #2
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

When you pull into camp, leave the van running while you put it up. When you break camp, start the van and wait a few minutes (the system on my doesn't charge right away- you can watch with a cheapie voltmeter in the dash) and put it down.

This is what I did when having battery woes, basically just running it off the alternator. Even without this I don't think you'll destroy your battery, although I'm not sure what it really draws, or if there is something wrong with mine.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

Even if it drew a fairly huge amount, (which it doesn't), it's only doing it for about a minute and twenty seconds or thereabouts, so I wouldn't think it's going to hurt anything. Although, I do the same as Jage; let the engine idle while putting the top up. This also has the added benefit of letting your turbo cool off for a couple of extra minutes...
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywagon
This also has the added benefit of letting your turbo cool off for a couple of extra minutes...
And getting off on the wrong foot with any neighbors...
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #5
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

Jage wrote:

"And getting off on the wrong foot with any neighbors..."


Always a high priority in my mind
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

I don't know what a turbo is but thanks much for the good advice regarding the penthouse.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:38 AM   #7
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

A turbo is a little gadget that Ford puts in the engine compartments of their diesel vans to take up excess space. It's also handy for letting you become best buddies with the cheerful and competent mechanics and service people at your local friendly Ford store...
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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Re: Electric penthouse powered by starter battery

I would request them to wire it in such a way it is easy to move to the future house batteries at a later date. I'd imagine it will be a lot easier for them to do that at install time.
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