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Old 02-04-2015, 02:53 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: British Columbia
Posts: 3
THOR #1516
26A Citation Chateau

Hi all,

New to this, just purchased a new Chateau and I'm very disappointed to find the dashboard radio only operates when the main coach battery switch is "on" - or am I wrong?? have not switched something on on the dashboard?
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:47 AM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
Posts: 1,274
THOR #531
That is how it works. It is actually the preferred method.

The battery disconnect allows you to keep from discharging the coach batteries in storage, as you don't want any "parasitic" loads draining the battery.

While the radio's keep alive (parasitic) load by itself is usually not a significant factor, there are several other parasitic loads that can drain the battery while the coach is in storage, including the furnace, water heater, and refrigerator circuit boards (all of which are DC), TV antenna amplifier, and so on.

The battery disconnect keeps this from happening. Otherwise, you would have to pull all of the fuses when putting the coach into storage.

Thor used to wire the radio to the engine battery but changed I think in 2013. My 2011 28Z is wired to the engine battery.

In reality, the change is for the better.

When you are driving down the road, the alternator charges both the engine battery and coach battery, so the radio running off the coach battery (or any of the other appliances) is not an issue as the engine's alternator is keeping it charged.

Does your motorhome's engine charge your coach battery?.

(note that Sprinter chassis coaches may not charge the coach battery from the engine, but Ford/Chevy based chassis do. Mercedes for some reason has very strict policies on what the aftermarket can do to their vehicles).

And when you are parked, you can run the radio off the coach battery without worry that you are discharging the engine battery - which is not charged by the charger in the coach.

I suppose though if you ran down the engine battery, you could use the coach battery emergency switch to start the engine, but those are deep cycle batteries and really don't like being used to start an engine frequently.

So you actually have it the better way.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:07 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: British Columbia
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THOR #1516
Thanks for the info, as you explained I suppose it's a good thing, just something I'll get used to, it's just different from the Sprinter I owned before.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:01 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,877
THOR #908
yeah, generally a good set up I suppose....
but there have been times when I want to jump in and drive the coach without the house powered up...... then find out that I would like to use the rear camera..... dough!

2 things I REALLY wish that the would have done is to put two switches on the dash....
one for the house power for just this purpose
one to start/stop the generator from the helm
and one to power off the fridge and water heater as I'm pulling into a gas station
.... yeah, i know.... I can't count.....

I might maybe add the generator switch some day, the others I can't imagine that I will every have the time
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:41 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
Posts: 1,274
THOR #531
One of my future project desires is to put in a 2 source power switch for the stereo so we can power it off either battery bank. I can see where each battery might have an advantage at certain times.

But this is an issue that has plagued both RVs and boats for years. There are two issues unique to RVs/Boats:

- They tend to be put into storage or are otherwise not used for significant periods of time.

- RV/Boat owners tend to want to power the stereos while not moving; i.e. at a campground or anchored in a cove.

Both of those situations seems to favor being powered by the house batteries. However, when the RV/Boat is in operation, its often desirable to power the stereo via the engine alternator/battery.

I have to admit, I have thought of some crazy schemes about this, including powering the keep-alive circuit with it's own dedicated battery, transfer switches, etc.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:05 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo
State: Florida
Posts: 113
THOR #2248
Anybody familiar with Amp-L-Start LSL Products / LSLProducts.com - Problem-Solving Gear & Gadgets or Trick-L-Start from LSL Products. I used the Amp -L-Start on my previous RV and was very happy with it. It connects the two battery banks when charging voltage is present and engine not running and drains a small amount to charge the coach batteries. It keeps the coach batteries charged while hooked up to shore power or running genset. Before adding this I ran down my coach batteries while boondocking for extended time and thinking the small radio drain would not be enough to drain those two big 12 vdc batteries! WRONG! The difference between the two products is amount of charge diverted to coach batteries. I used the Amp-L-Start but probably would have been happy with the Trick-L-Start. I have looked at adding it to the Palazzo but not sure how with the different system they use to isolate batteries. LSL is a very proactive company so they would help me with info but I have other projects to keep me busy now and since we are transitioning to part time from full time not sure how important this will be yet!
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