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Old 08-28-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
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Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

I was thinking that I might find myself someday with dead starting batteries yet have perfectly good house batteries, so I called Peter at SMB about advice on how to jump the starting batteries with the house batteries. He said a work around was indeed possible and to use either jumper cables or a set of 10 AWG or better wire with clips and to connect them temporarily to the respective lugs on my battery separator under the sofa - he said everything could be done under the sofa and that I didn't have to connect the positive to the jumper lug outside on the chassis near my starting batteries. I understand the procedure for connecting to the lugs on the separator under the sofa, but I don't understand where to hook up in parallel the related lugs that he states are under the sofa so as to make contact with the starting batteries?

Couldn't find any information under the Battery FAQ or by searching but surely it must have been discussed before - maybe someone can point me in the right direction.

Thanks a bunch
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

The house batteries tie into the house electrical system under the sofa - at least on my floorplan. At that junction point, you can access the +12V. The grounds are always tied together. Jump the house 12V to the red post under the side doors of a 6.0 equipped van and you're ready to go.

But, I don't think a 10 Ga jumper will be enough. At least 4 Ga, 2 Ga is better would be my suggestion.

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Old 08-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

I think Peter was talking about making the jump between the two lugs on the separator. One lug goes to the house battery, one lug goes to the starting battery bank. Its all done under the seat.



Check out the following:
http://wiki.sportsmobileforum.com/image ... arator.pdf
http://wiki.sportsmobileforum.com/image ... switch.pdf
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

I put in a redundant battery switch for those possible occasions. It does no different the jumping the terminals previously discussed, just a little easier when needed. I used to carry about a 10" piece of 2 Ga wire lugged on both ends. There is a start assist function on the separator that can be tied high to close the separator.




I did an install of this switch along with a low voltage lockout in this thread. The battery switch was pretty straight forward install, the lockout was a little more complicated.


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4353&hilit=redundant+battery+ switch

Also switching to the Blue Sea 7622 separator gives you a built in manual override.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

Or you can use the small green wire labled "Start" IIRC- jump that tab from the good side and the separator will close. Optionally a switch can be put in place of the green start wire, which actually (on my van) jumped the batteries ALL THE TIME when starting, which of course means by the time you realize there is a problem starting, both sides are dead.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

You can also carry a charger with a jump mode and use your inverter to power it. That's how I jump others. I usually charge their battery for several min, then hit it with the jump mode. At least my own system is totally isolated from theirs. A diesel might be difficult to start especially in cold weather so I don't know if something like that would do any good if you had a shorted starting battery. I've also been told that the leads SMB runs between the house system and the chassis system is under sized, so you shouldn't keep cranking heavy when using the separator to start "dead" batteries. Its only to assist and might not have the capability to jump the engine. You're better off using standard 2 str or 1/0 jumper cables. The same principle applies as with the portable charger, you should let it sit connected for a while and absorb some charge before attempting to crank the engine.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:14 AM   #7
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

Thanks so much to all for all the detailed information. I'm going to get a short (2') jumper cable built out of 2 AWG to jump across the lugs on my Sure Power Battery separator in the event my starter batteries are shot so as to use the house batteries to get me rolling again.

Good advice to hook up the jumper for several minutes prior to cranking the engine over, in hopes of transferring some charge to the dead batteries.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:09 PM   #8
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

Had to jump my starting battery last week. We were using a 6 watt fan in conjunction with A/C to cool the van and penthouse down. I forgot and plugged the 12v fan into a vehicle outlet instead of a house outlet. The result was after 2-3 days of 24 hour operating the starting battery was dead. Took a few head scratchings before I figured out I was the culprit(in both use and DESIGN of electrical system).

Popped the hood. unbolted one of the isolator feeds (rr aux. battery cable). Bolted the house and van batteries together on the front isolator post (chassis battery) and started the van. Felt happy because I solved the problem. Turned the van off and left them wired together for the rest of the day so the battery charger (had shore power) would recharge the chassis battery. Undid the jump later and the van started fine 2 days later when we were ready to leave. OH YES, I also plugged that fan into a house outlet. Added "rewire front 12 volt outlets" to my to do list.

This is probably the 3rd-4th time I have had to do this in 10 years.

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Old 11-22-2010, 12:55 PM   #9
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

I ended up with dead starting batteries just as I was leaving the house on a trip. The little jumper wire on the Sure Power box clicked in the solenoid just fine, but I still couldn't crank the engine. Got it going with jumper cables off my other rig and had no other problems on the trip. When I got home I looked into the problem. Two things needed correcting.
I posted something here on the Forum a couple of years ago about using a little jumper wire on the Sure Power to activate the solenoid and that works fine, but decided it was time to hook up something better. On my '07, SMB has it wired so that the solenoid cuts in (assuming you have the required 3 volts) when you crank the engine. That's fine if you have a gasser and just crank and go, but with an oil burner you need power when you first turn the key to ignition to heat up the glow pins before you crank the engine. On a previous starting battery failure out in the boonies I was able to get going by just cranking the engine while the glow pins were heating (that way the house battery was assisting) and got going. What I did today is to wire in a monentary push button switch on the dash. Instead of running wires all the way from under the rear seat (I've got an RB-50) I did it all under the dash. On my rig, SMB has a 15 amp fuse added right under the steering column for the circuit that activates the Sure Power during cranking. I just spliced into that wire (the side that connects to a green wire, not the one going to the ignition switch) and ran my wire from the splice to one side of the new switch and the other switch terminal to +12 volts. Lots of places to grab that under the dash on the fuse box. Now when I push my switch the solenoid kicks in and I can get house battery assist to heat the glow pins afore I crank. Works great and is a bit easier then running wires from the rear.
The other problem I was having was that even when the solenoid kicked in, I still wasn't getting any help from my house battery. I pulled the Sure Power out from under the seat and removed the solenoid from it. There are four rivits around the bottom of the solenoid that hold it together and I drilled them out. When you open it up, you'll need to unsolder the two wires from the windings so you can remove everything to get to the main terminals at the top. On mine, there was a hard, shiny green layer covering the terminals on the inside. I got out a dremel and cleaned everything up and used four #10 machine bolts to put the solenoid back together. Now I'm getting power from the house battery. I don't know what that green stuff was, but it was all over the inside of the top of the solenoid where the two large terminals come through the plastic housing.
Anyway, I suggest all of you pull the wires off one side of the top of the solenoid and check the continuity across the two terminals when it's activated. Mine was almost totally open and that's why my two batteries weren't helping out each other. This also keeps the alternator from charging the house battery and my solar from charging the starting batteries. Same when you plug into shore power. I've had similar problems on other solenoids. Just cause it clicks doesn't mean there's a connection.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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Re: Jumping Starting Batteries With House Batteries

Mine did the same thing. I went through several of them...they just seem to corrode up and I don't know why. I got rid of it and went to the Blue Sea ACR. SMB was having so many problems with them that they dropped Sure Power and are installing the Blue Sea relays now. The model I have lets me manually control the unit, plus I have the remote switch so I don't have to crawl under the seat to operate it if needed.
I still am slightly concerned about trying to crank over the engine with totally dead starting batteries...the wire going from the seperator should be larger but I can manually connect and let the batteries suck up a little juice before attempting to crank up the engine. Same with the glow plugs; with dead starting batteries I have to switch to manual or it will try to protect the system and open.
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