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Old 11-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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Battery vs. winter storage

I have recently moved into a new house and haven't had time to install a 50 amp receptacle to plug in my coach...any ideas how I can protect the batteries over the winter? I do run the generator at least once a month for the better part of a morning (or afternoon) with load, but the engine batteries only registered 11.5v the last time I exercised the generator and it's not even freezing outside yet. I anticipate that the coach will be in storage for most of the winter. I have a 2006 Winne Tour 40KD.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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If you can get an extension cord to your coach you should have enough power for the converter or charger. Obviously you can't run heaters off the cord, but the charger draws much less than 15A, probably only a one or two amps when the batteries are fully charged.

Also, does your charger charge both the coach and engine battery (most higher-end coaches have a BIRD or something like that that charge both batteries from the coach charger)?

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Old 11-25-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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While I would recommend you exercise your generator monthly in storage, I would not use it to charge your batteries. You have a couple options:
1. Hook up a small mtce. charger to your batteries and plug that in to a 20 amp outlet.
2. Get a 50amp to 20amp adapter to plug your coach in and utilize the coach converter.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Hi carandles,

11.5 Volts on the chassis batteries is not good! Iím assuming you donít gave any kind of Trik-L-Start device to keep the chassis batteries up when your charger is operating so that would be one of the first thing Iíd install. After that, just run an extension to the coach and all should be well. In the mean time, a separate charger for the chassis batteries to bring them back up to full charge may save them. Then, either the charger, or run the engine to top them off ever once in a while. For the Freightliners, about once a week, for the Fordís and Chevyís, once every two weeks should be sufficient. Best bet though is something like the Trik-L-Start. Do a search to find all about them.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #5
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I did everything mentioned by the others above about a year ago and have had no problems with my batteries keeping their charge during storage. I bought and installed the Trik-L-Start (about $50) with little effort. I bought a 50 to 30 adapter and a 30 to 20 amp adapter at Walmart (you should have these on hand anyway). I keep the coach plugged into a 115 volt/20 amp outdoor outlet and the batteries stay well charged (draws only about 1 amp on the coach gauge). I also run a small heater (draws about 8 amps) and that keeps the interior of the coach at about 50 degrees all winter. The coach is parked at my stick home, so I can continuously monitor the interior temperature by having a wireless outdoor thermometer inside the coach (usually in a place that I think gets the least amount of heat). The receiver sits on the table next to my recliner in the stick house.

Some day I may run a 50 amp line to the coach, but retiree's inertia has so far prevented me from doing that.

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Old 11-25-2009, 08:17 PM   #6
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I don't know about your 2006 Tour, but my 2008 Destination charges both chassis and house batteries when plugged in. I had to find that out the hard way by calling Winnebago and talking to a technician. An extension cord with an adapter for your umbilical cord should do fine, that is what I use in my storage place away from home. (I do have 50 amp here at the stick house, but I do not store here.) Make sure you leave the house batter switch turned on, and the chassis battery disconnect turned on. I was also told to turn the "step" switch to off. That's a trick with just the screen door closed and a long stick to push the switch. Technician said that leaving that switch on could drain the battery faster than the charging rate. (go figure)

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Call Winnebago and ask them if your system charges both batteries and the recommended way to do it in storage.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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Yes, I do have a Trik-L-Start installed, but I don't have a 50 amp plug installed in my house yet. I see now that I can use adapaters to plug my coach into the house and run the charger, which was something I had not considered. Thanks to all.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:39 PM   #8
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I installed a 50 amp outlet in my mom's house when we parked there for extended periods, but haven't done that yet in our new house. It wasn't easy, but it sure is convenient!
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:15 AM   #9
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IF you start with the batteries full.. a common extension cord (I'd get the 12ga type from Sears or K-mart (first choices) Lowes, home Depot et-al (Second choices) as you will only draw a couple of amps to keep it charged.. In fact with such a cord and a 20 amp outlet (not a 15) you can run an air conditioner come spring or the water heater come spring to clean up before you return to service.

a 15 will maintain the batteries and MIGHT be enough to run one appliance... but I'd not risk it.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carandles View Post
I have recently moved into a new house and haven't had time to install a 50 amp receptacle to plug in my coach...any ideas how I can protect the batteries over the winter? I do run the generator at least once a month for the better part of a morning (or afternoon) with load, but the engine batteries only registered 11.5v the last time I exercised the generator and it's not even freezing outside yet. I anticipate that the coach will be in storage for most of the winter. I have a 2006 Winne Tour 40KD.
One question arises and that is, do you plan to have people living in the RV occasionally during the 'storage' times? If not, why the need for a 50A service. A 30A or a heavy wired 20A box would supply all the power you need at much less expense.
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