House battery charging via vehicle - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:44:PM Thread Starter
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House battery charging via vehicle

I'm considering installing a house battery, the same spec as the vehicle battery. I'll connect the house to the vehicle battery via a relay to disconnect the 2 batteries when the vehicle engine is not running. When the engine is running, the alternator will charge both batteries. I've the standard alternator. I plan to only run a few components off the house battery - lights, radio, fan, small blower to inflate beds, etc. My concern is that the house battery will be discharged more than the vehicle battery and will this discharge difference present an issue/problem for the standard alternator/charging system. Any and all comments will be appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 05:36:PM
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I have just been exploring this issue on another thread. Solar setup question. You need a battery to battery charger.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 05:45:PM
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Originally Posted by ftrcrussell View Post
I'm considering installing a house battery, the same spec as the vehicle battery. I'll connect the house to the vehicle battery via a relay to disconnect the 2 batteries when the vehicle engine is not running. When the engine is running, the alternator will charge both batteries. I've the standard alternator. I plan to only run a few components off the house battery - lights, radio, fan, small blower to inflate beds, etc. My concern is that the house battery will be discharged more than the vehicle battery and will this discharge difference present an issue/problem for the standard alternator/charging system. Any and all comments will be appreciated! Thanks!
It's unpredictable with that configuration. Using a Blue Sea ACR would work best.

2016 T250, MR, LWB, 3.5L EB, 3.73 LS, Sync, Tow Package.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 07:38:PM
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Check out this thread: How to charge new agm house batteries

Own: 2015 T-350 long and tall cargo van, 3.5L EB, 3.31 rears, Espar B-4 heater, 245/75 R16 Michelin LTX M/S. Used in nation wide expedited freight delivery.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 10:26:PM
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I think he has the single calcium battery.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:37:PM
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Originally Posted by ftrcrussell View Post
I'm considering installing a house battery, the same spec as the vehicle battery. I'll connect the house to the vehicle battery via a relay to disconnect the 2 batteries when the vehicle engine is not running. When the engine is running, the alternator will charge both batteries. I've the standard alternator. I plan to only run a few components off the house battery - lights, radio, fan, small blower to inflate beds, etc. My concern is that the house battery will be discharged more than the vehicle battery and will this discharge difference present an issue/problem for the standard alternator/charging system. Any and all comments will be appreciated! Thanks!
I have the 2 battery + relay + standard alternator setup and I have been using it for a while, so I can answer specific questions. I was also concerned that running the house battery down, then connecting it to the charged chassis battery might cause problems, but I ran my house battery down very low, put it back in my van and started the van without issue. You can read more about my setup in my posts on the thread blow (and the threads referenced by those posts):

Vanistan - a minimalist diy camper
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:02:AM Thread Starter
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I have the 2 battery + relay + standard alternator setup and I have been using it for a while, so I can answer specific questions. I was also concerned that running the house battery down, then connecting it to the charged chassis battery might cause problems, but I ran my house battery down very low, put it back in my van and started the van without issue. You can read more about my setup in my posts on the thread blow (and the threads referenced by those posts):

Vanistan - a minimalist diy camper
PJT,

thanks! Sounds you and I are on the same page - something simple !
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:03:PM
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AFAIK every motorhome out there (including my class A) works like this. In fact I have two very different size battery banks although they are both lead acid. An isolator separates them when not driving and connects them when engine is running. Works good, lasts a long time.

Now, my upcoming build will feature a inverter to supply the all electric house components, and a 120V charger to feed the battery bank when on shore power or generator. In my case it's an easy step to switch the inverter supply to the vehicle 12V output when driving and charge the house bank that way.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 05:24:PM
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AFAIK every motorhome out there (including my class A) works like this. In fact I have two very different size battery banks although they are both lead acid. An isolator separates them when not driving and connects them when engine is running. Works good, lasts a long time.

Now, my upcoming build will feature a inverter to supply the all electric house components, and a 120V charger to feed the battery bank when on shore power or generator. In my case it's an easy step to switch the inverter supply to the vehicle 12V output when driving and charge the house bank that way.
As I did my best to explain in the "vanistan" thread, there are various reasons you *might* want something other than a simple relay, but, in my case, the relay, triggered by the van's AUX signal, has been good enough so far.

Some modern inverters, like the AIMS unit I have, include a battery charger and automatic shore power transfer switch.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:04:PM
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As I did my best to explain in the "vanistan" thread, there are various reasons you *might* want something other than a simple relay, but, in my case, the relay, triggered by the van's AUX signal, has been good enough so far.

Some modern inverters, like the AIMS unit I have, include a battery charger and automatic shore power transfer switch.
Yes, I know the reasons to automate all or part of it..... Call me old and stubborn, but I grew up on boats, understanding the relatively simple electrical systems and operating the switches by hand...... Less stuff to go bad.

A combined inverter/charger would NOT work in my system....


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