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Old 06-05-2021, 12:39 PM   #1
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When I attach a battery maintainer to my van battery, it also charges the house batte

When I attach a battery maintainer to my van battery, it also charges the house battery. Is it supposed to do that? I have a 2016 ford transit.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:20 PM   #2
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Unless you have a battery separator installed i think that is what will happen. My van has a Blue Sea separator with a switch that is either always both connected, both separated, or combined automatically depending on state of charge. Is this a Sportsmobile conversion?
https://www.bluesea.com/products/762..._-_12V_DC_500A
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Old 06-05-2021, 04:24 PM   #3
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Yes, a 2016 Sportsmobile conversion from the Texas shop. I had the van battery on a maintainer and the house battery on shore power. The van battery looks to be bad. It it is charging at around 14.3 watts (absorption stage). I disconnected shore power, but the house battery is still charging at 14.3 watts. I thought they told me the two are separate except that the alternator charges both. Is it okay just to continue charging both with the maintainer?
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:17 PM   #4
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Sounds like a separator/automatic control relay (ACR) connecting the two batteries, which is correct, whether due to alternator or charger.

When connected to shore power, what is the voltage of your van battery, is your house charger/inverter charging the van battery? Assuming you have a charger/inverter.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:28 PM   #5
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Same thing with my Transit. I use a trickle charger to charge the starting battery and the house battery receives a trickle charge, as well. I was surprised. I thought that the two systems were separate unless the alternator was charging the house batteries. The good news, there is no draw down to the charging battery from the house system.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:33 PM   #6
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When the ACR senses the house battery below the start battery, it separates the two batteries so you don’t drain the start/van battery.
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marret View Post
When the ACR senses the house battery below the start battery, it separates the two batteries so you don’t drain the start/van battery.
Yes, and the opposite is true as well, which @Charliesmom and @RockRock need to understand. Both batteries are charging when you either plug in shore power or start the van (and start getting power from alternator) because the way an isolator works on the charging side is that when they 'feel' full charge they combine and start charging the second battery. ACR's are bidirectional and what you guys are seeing is the proper operation.

To be more precise, both battery banks aren't getting a charge right when you plug in or start the van, it's usually a few seconds later when the battery closest battery receiving the charge signals the isolator that it is topped up and current can be siphoned off to the second battery. If you watch the light on the ACR it will confirm this. You'll also hear it click a few seconds after you plug in or start the van.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:12 PM   #8
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I put this video together a couple of years ago, should help explain the features of the 7620 -22. https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...2-a-16340.html

I have also seen multiple sportsmobile locations screw up the installation. But in this instance the ACR sounds like it is working like one would expect.

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Old 06-05-2021, 08:15 PM   #9
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I don''t think that when the house battery is on shore power that the van battery is also charging, but I will check and get back with you. Sometimes, when the van battery is low, the van battery maintainer kicks the charge on the house battery to 14+ amps. On shore power alone, I usually don't see the house battery charging above 13+ amps. I guess my question is, what is the best way to maintain both batteries? Is having both on separate chargers a safe way to do it?
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:54 PM   #10
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Well, that is a loaded question. First we really need to know that you have a BlueSea ACR installed, and if you do you have the switch that comes with it installed. I believe SMB gets them in bulk, and don't get the switch. It is my opinion a crime to install without.

If you have a correctly installed 7620 -22 you could charge both the house and starter with shore power. This can be good and it can be bad. The second question I would ask what are your battery types, AGM house , and standard lead acid for the starter? There is a theory that if charging the starter all time, the absorption phase will reduce the water level enough to damage a cell overtime and lead to early life failure. This will still take a while to show, so you could be talking more like fails in 5 years instead of 7 years.

Obviously, sitting for long periods of time, necessitates the need, for some occasional charging. So in this case, the switch installed on the ACR would allow you to turn off. I generally about once a month brought the starting battery up to full charge.

I would defiantly not use a tender for a starting battery as my, general device to keep the house healthy. I expect you have a better charger as the shore power charger.

In my opinion there are two ways to maintain a health house battery, the first is to leave plugged in and watch that it is in float. Check that your charger is as close as possible to the specified float voltage of the battery. I know it sounds stupid, but many times they don't really match and many chargers don't have programable features.

The second way is to come home from your trip and put it on the shore power charger, make sure is goes thru the absorption phase (14.x) and goes to float(13.X), the disconnect all power from the battery, obviously if doing this for extended periods you will need to occasionally plug back in and top off.

AGM batteries do not like to remain in a discharged state for long periods of time. Even worse is to charge them but not with a full charge, this is called PSOC or partial state of charge. This is a sure fire way to take life out of your battery.

I know a lot of people keep it on solar and consider it good, again it may be , but it needs to be monitored. I have seen to many times when the sun goes away before the full charge cycle is complete. The other cruel thing is as solar goes away and the controller can't keep the absorption charge level we see it drop down in to the 13.x range. This is commonly seen as it has gone to float voltage and thus has been completely charge. I have battery monitors faked out by this.

Even if you are sure your solar system is doing its job, I recommend a good plug in charge at least once a month. The shore power charger id sized correctly for the bank size, is probably the most powerful charger you have. AGM batteries like a good charge now and then.

And don't think that charging with alternator will ever do as good as job as a two or three stage charger. This is just not going to happen, don't care what somebody at Sportsmobile told you.

And in all cases check the specifications of your battery manufacturer. On a side note this data is for AGM and possible wet cell deep cycle batteries. Lithium of course changes that. Although I have seen at least one manufacture say they would like to see their battery go to absorption level at least once in two weeks.

-greg
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