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Old 04-21-2022, 09:15 PM   #1
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New Member bought 2017 Ford Transit 250 needs guidance

I just bought a 2017 Ford Transit 250 Sportsmobile RB and am looking for a patient experienced Sportsmobile coach to help me gain some understanding and confidence with the ME inverter/charger, the panel and the battery separator.



I realize this seems basic, but I need to understand if my house batteries are being charged when I drive. The vehicle window sticker shows a heavy duty alternator. I found the battery separator under the van, but not sure how to confirm recharging when I drive. When we purchased the vehicle a few weeks ago, an RV repair business did an "inspection" for us and told me it wasn't set up to charge the batteries when driving. This seems contrary to everything I read on the Sportsmobile website and the 2017 owners manual which I received directly from Sportsmobile.
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Old 04-21-2022, 09:37 PM   #2
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It could be either. It all depends on how the original owner spec'd the vehicle. By and large though most SMB's charge house batteries while driving if everything is working correctly.

Does the van have any power points (cig lighter charger ports) in the back? I do not mean the dash ones, I mean any in the cabinets/wall panels in the rear? The easiest way to tell if you are not proficient with a voltmeter is to plug in a digital voltage display to one of these power points.

https://www.amazon.com/INNOVA-3721-B...%2C104&sr=8-13

House battery voltage should ideally read around 12.8 volts when parked and anywhere from 13.2 up to almost 14 while driving (or while the van is started). If it goes up at all when you start the van your house batteries are charging.

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Old 04-22-2022, 03:02 AM   #3
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If thereís a battery separator present itís almost definitely set up for charging. I canít imagine any SMB that doesnít have this. The method described by 86Scotty is the easiest way to tell.
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Old 04-22-2022, 08:27 AM   #4
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For the ME Inverter/charger you most likely have a remote panel like the one below.



I have circled the two most important buttons on the control. One turns on the charger and one turns on the inverter. The charger will only work when the Van is plugged into Shore Power, best practice is have the charger off, plug-in and then turn the charger on. The corresponding LED will light up if the charger is on. While the charger is on the display will most likely be in Bulk, Absorption or Float charging. Float will mean the battery has been fully charged.

The inverter button will work when either plugged in to shore power or not. But, it will be in two different states. If plugged in and the inverter is on you will be suppling AC from shore power, if that was to fail, the inverter will automatically come on and supply AC.

If you are not plugged in, then you will not have any AC (120 Volt) power unless you turn the inverter on, and depending on the settings will need to see some minimal load. For best battery life practice it is best to leave the inverter off, until you need to use something that is powered off of 120 volts. When done, turn the inverter off. You can leave it on buy being on standby will use up power on it's own.

I would think that the ACR would be installed inside, I haven't seen tany "Sportmobiles" with it installed outside from factory. The most likely installed device will be the Blue Sea 7620.


The method 86Scotty described would be a good way to check if it is working, in fact I generally would recommend two of those plug in meters one for a Ford outlet and one for a Sportsmobile outlet. The ACR also makes a very noticeable clunk when connecting and disconnecting.

When you start the van the alternator should bring the charge voltage up into 14.x voltage range. The ACR will close when the voltage is above 13.0 volts for 90 seconds or 13.5 volts for 30 seconds. If the ACR closes the voltage on Sportsmobile 12 volt outlet will be close to the voltage of the van 12 volt outlet. They will not be the same because of some voltage loss, but should track. It is possible that the ACR also has the control wire connected to the Van "run" circuit, which means it will close as soon as the van is running.

Turn the van off and the voltage will drop and once it 12.75 for 30 seconds or 12.35 for 10 seconds it will disconnect.

When plugged into shore power and charging with your magnum, it will work pretty much the same way, except it be based off of the charge voltage on the Magnum.

I made a video on the operation of the unit a while back, it can be found here Understanding the Blue Sea 7620 or 7622


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Old 04-23-2022, 07:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77 View Post
The charger will only work when the Van is plugged into Shore Power, best practice is have the charger off, plug-in and then turn the charger on.

-greg
I've never heard this before, we just leave ours on 100% of the time. When we picked up the finished van from SMB West and got the "tour", the sales guy pointed at the control panel and said "see all these buttons? Except for the inverter, just don't ever touch any of them".

What's the downside of leaving it on? Vampiric drain? Surge risk when connecting power? We also typically leave the circuit breakers on, since the breaker box is awkward to get to.
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Old 04-23-2022, 08:16 AM   #6
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What's the downside of leaving it on?
Surge risk when connecting power? I should say I called it best practice, and not one that I follow much. I would say I would be more prone to do it if connecting to a unknown or new shore power source. The same could be said of the breakers.

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Old 04-23-2022, 08:46 AM   #7
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Thanks Greg, makes sense. We're not very "promiscuous" when it comes to plugging in at sketchy locations, so I think we'll keep not worrying about this!
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Old 04-24-2022, 06:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AndrewInSeattle View Post
I've never heard this before, we just leave ours on 100% of the time. When we picked up the finished van from SMB West and got the "tour", the sales guy pointed at the control panel and said "see all these buttons? Except for the inverter, just don't ever touch any of them".

What's the downside of leaving it on? Vampiric drain? Surge risk when connecting power? We also typically leave the circuit breakers on, since the breaker box is awkward to get to.
The sales guy is an idiot, no offense.
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Old 04-25-2022, 01:09 PM   #9
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Thanks a bunch!

I just told my wife I have a whole new family that loves me! ;o)
Thanks for the responsive posts. I don't have any cigarette lighter charging ports in the rear - only 110 outlets and USB ports.



Good info and so helpful. I will continue to follow your post advice and keep on learning. I may be back.
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Old 04-25-2022, 09:40 PM   #10
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My wife and I are driving our SMB from Iowa to South Carolina over Memorial Day weekend to connect up with our daughter and her family. We will be passing through Tennessee. As we bought used with no orientation, I'm wondering if you would be available for an hour or so to orient us to the electrical system. Of course you may be miles off our route... We will be passing through Nashville to Chattanooga


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