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Old 05-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Question Best Way to Maintain Charge on Coach Batteries?

I'm wondering what the best way is to maintain the charge on my two series wired 6V coach batteries while my coach is in storage (on the side of my house). I'm assuming that plugging in the 30A connection on the coach and using the coach's built-in AC/DC electrical system is NOT the best choice for battery charge maintenance. What is the best method? I'm considering the purchase of a 12V "Battery Tender" or "BatteryMinder" for this purpose. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I figure that, while in storage, I'll disconnect the 12V house power via the coach's disconnect switch and then connect one of these chargers. If I need to briefly use power in the coach while still in storage, I'll unplug the charger from the wall and turn on coach power via the disconnect switch. Am I on track here? Any thoughts on "Battery Tender" vs. "BatteryMinder"? Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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i use solar pannels. one on the coach battery and one on the chassis battery.these are small pannels just ment to keep the battery's topped up.these have worked great when i put the old girl in battery's are always fully charged come spring.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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You do not tell use what kind of charger your rig has in it. If it is a good 3 stage charger/inverter then you can just leave it pluged in but if it has a converter then you are on the right track by getting a good charger like the battery tender.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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There is an old joke,,, They ask a group of young men, middle age men and senior men what kind of underwear they wore

Young men: Briefs
Middle age: Boxers
Seniors: Depends

Now, what does that have to do with it.. Well, the seniors have the right answer

It depends.

If your coach has a good, quality, 3-stage or 3-stage plus converter such as the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series, or the 9100 series with optional charge wizard or any of their other charge wizard models Or an IOTA with the IQ4, or a Xantrex Prosine 2.0 inverter/charger or .. Well it's a very long list.

Plugging in is, in fact, the best method.. it is hard to top any of the converters I just mentioned, all have a rating of "Best Plus" (And as I said there are many others in that group)

However if you have a single stage like a Parrlex 7300 (But not the 7300T which is a 2 stage) or a Magnetek 6300.. Then plugging in is a bad idea.

Try a Battery Minder or Battery Tender (Both Trade marks)
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:42 AM   #5
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For storage of greater then a couple of weeks and all winter I use a BatteryMINDer.

When using it I disconnect my house batteries (switch to off) then plug this in. I have it permanently mounted and can either charge the house batteries or the engine battery.

I will post back in a couple of years to tell you it is working and made my batteries last !!
Gene & Ginger 04 Winnebago Adventurer 33V, Workhorse, 11 Subaru Forester (Toad), Blue Ox Avail, BrakeBuddy, ScanGaugeII, BatteryMINDer, KONI FSD's
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:48 AM   #6
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In storage, there are two issues to address with your batteries. One is to maintain a full charge without causing plate corrosion. The other is inhibiting sulfation for best battery life.

The BatteryMINDer addresses both of these issues while the Battery Tender, as far as I know, is only a float charger that does not address the sulfation issue. Note that many inverter chargers and solar charge controllers also only provide a float level for maintenance and do not address the sulfation issue.

The IntelliPower with ChargeWizard and WFCO converters, for example, provide a maintenance mode that address both issues and make for a good upgrade to the usual RV OEM converter. These work with by bumping the voltage every few hours to top off the charge and mix the electrolyte.

If whatever you are evaluating only talks about a trickle charge or float voltage, it is stuck in fifty year old technology that often err on the side of slight overcharging resulting in plate corrosion. Modern devices avoid this err and do more to keep batteries healthy.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
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Location: Texas
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I don't know what model/year RV you have, but this is what I was told by Winnebago when I called and asked why my batteries would not hold a charge:

The technician said: Turn off the step switch. Leave the house and coach battery diconnects turned on. Turn off all other items and unplug all items that may cause a drainage of current. The trickle charger on my model coach will maintain the batteries.

I did all the above and I have not had a problem since. I do not like to leave my steps extended when in storage. My step disconnect (on/off) is right by the entry door. I close the screen, reach in with a long object through the screen opening and turn the step of when it is retracted. Close and lock the main door. The batteries have maintained a charge ever since. Although I have a solar charger also, I am parked under a cover so it does not assist any.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
(RVM-14) It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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I have a Trik-L charger on mine. Easy to install and has kept the batteries charged. Even while sitting for 5 months in Vegas
2012 Itasca Meridian 42E, Roadmaster Tow System, Unified Brakes on Toad
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:21 PM   #9
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I also have dead batteries! Parked in a nice place in Santa Fe. We plan on staying awhile so i can solve the problem while here to eliminate this glitch. I'm seriously thinking about upgrading to charge wizard and all necessary components whatever they may be.
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