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I use a lot of devices in my work vehicle that are typically running when the engine is off. I was doing some reading into ways to maintain battery voltage and I read that there was a device that would start the engine to charge the battery if the voltage dropped below a preset amount. I've tried some Googling and haven't found any such device. Has anyone heard of something like this?

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    I believe that you are referring to the newly popular LITHIUM ION PORTABLE BATTERY CHARGER/BOOSTER. They're quite expensive though but would indeed come in handy in your situation. – TRIGGA Sep 2 '16 at 23:52
  • This is supposed to be an add on device similar to a remote starter. Something that is wired in and left alone. Are these chargers/boosters like this? – Jesse Elser Sep 2 '16 at 23:54
  • Another option would be to replace the battery with something like an OPTIMA YELLOW TOP AGM DEEP CYCLE BATTERY. Which deep cycle batteries are designed for constant drainage of power with or without the engine running. – TRIGGA Sep 2 '16 at 23:55
  • It's nothing like remote start at all. What I'm talking about is like a booster box that someone would use to jump start a car with. But the new lithium ones are much smaller, lighter, and much more powerful and in such a small package and doesn't require being charged nearly as often as traditional boosters. – TRIGGA Sep 3 '16 at 0:00
  • I've been looking into that. I'm planning on building a small battery bank so I can run approximately 1000watts of electronics for a day or so without fully draining batteries. – Jesse Elser Sep 3 '16 at 0:00
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I assume you're looking for something like this?

The key to this is you're looking for a remote starter which happens to provide a low battery protection option. You must have remote start to do what you're asking, and honestly once that's addressed it really isn't a big stretch to add low-voltage protection.

  • That's exactly what I was trying to find. Thanks 😀 – Jesse Elser Sep 3 '16 at 17:04
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Just my thought, but I have a similar issue on my race car trailer, which has a huge inverter which runs lights, an air conditioner, a microwave, a refigerator (frozen burritos and healthy hydration liquids) and the DVD player.

(These things are essential when racing a vintage car. Say nothing!)

My actual point is, I have a bank of 3 deep-cycle batteries in the trailer, that charge on the tows to-and-fro from an 8-gauge wire from the diesel tractor. They can also charge from a Honda genset if I throw the right switches.

The beauty is, I bought this "battery isolater" thing, so that even when I am too cool and eat too many burritos and watch too many DVDs, it doesn't kill the tractor (actually just a Ford F350) battery and prevent a start on a cold morning.

So, I'm thinking if you can find a place (trunk maybe?) for just one small RV type deep cycle battery (aka RV terms "house battery"), and get one of these battery isolator thingamajiggies, you can do all your "device" stuff all day long with zero risk of having to call AAA or not getting home.

The "device" [house] battery will be recharged by the vehicle alternator. Most of the "thingamawhatsis" also have a bypass switch that allows starting assistance if the "tractor" battery dies from lights left on, etc.

I can't remember what the brand of my battery isolator is, but I can certainly tell you the place to find this kind of information is in an RV forum. These folks deal with exactly this issue all the time.

In the long run I think this a more prudent and cost-effective solution than having some computer decide when to start your vehicle on a whim. The wiring is simpler and the result much more straight forward.

  • Well the vehicle in question is a work van that is going to have a portable air conditioner, small refrigerator, small TV, and a few smaller low wattage devices. Which will all be running 90% of the time. The accepted answer links to a product which fits the description of what I was searching for although I do plan on building a battery bank of deep cycle batteries. You may also find that device linked useful for your trailer application when it's connected to your truck. – Jesse Elser Sep 3 '16 at 17:11
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We've been having this technology in our 18 wheelers for years I don't know where you can find it for regular vehicles my 18 wheeler now has it I have a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia.. another place where I saw this technology I was surfing on YouTube and ran across it on an RV, on a dodge pro master chassis.. ironically I have a 2018.pro master and I have been looking for that damn video every sense... because I need it for my pro master and I don't remember what RV company had it .

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They make exactly what you are looking for in motor homes also. Check out this video. I would love to know the parts list to figure out a DIY option as well.

https://youtu.be/QCGzJ9U-G_M

Joe

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    It would be helpful if you were able to provide an outline on what is featured in this video, in case the link/video is taken town in the future. – MooseLucifer May 8 '18 at 17:25

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