Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-29-2019, 11:22 AM   #1
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 27
Keep RV plugged in over winter?

This has probably been asked in the past, but here goes....is it OK to leave an RV plugged in to shore power over winter, to keep batteries charged? The RV is stored in a pole barn in central NY, and it gets really cold here. The RV has a "smart charger system" that has a float charge stage.

On our old RV, which had a "dumb charge system" - I removed the batteries and put them on a battery tender, charge for a few days, then let them sit for a week. Repeat.

So, any advice? I did change over the 12V system to a 6V system wired up to 12V, if that matters.

John
__________________
John
2019 Winnebago Vista LX 35f
John Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 11:51 AM   #2
Winnebago Master
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 777
Recently serviced batteries that are in good condition don't need to be charged. Just remove the grounds from the two sets, I keep a wrench and gloves in the battery compartment just for that. Next spring, reconnect the grounds, plug in the RV and a few days later, they will be ready to go. The only batteries that freeze up in Alaska where it can get to -55 F repeatedly were in poor condition when stored. A 100% charged battery can withstand -76 F.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : http://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 12:31 PM   #3
Winnebago Owner
 
Eagle5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: South Bend, WA
Posts: 179
I too have a 2019 with the smart charger, and I leave mine plugged-in year-round. I also run a Davis Air-Dryer 1000, and I also use a battery tender for the main motor battery, plugged into one of the motorhome's live 120VAC outlets to the 12VDC cigarette lighter port on the dash of the E-450. Be sure to keep your battery tops clean and topped-off with water.
__________________
2019 Minnie Winnie 22M on an E-450 frame
Eagle5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 05:01 PM   #4
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Martinsville, IN
Posts: 57
I keep mine plugged into shore power all winter.
__________________
2017 Vista LX 30T
jhedges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 05:39 AM   #5
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Branson MO area
Posts: 82
Mine is plugged in all year also. Just take care of the batteries and you should be fine. Just remember that once a month go and start the MH and run the generator.
__________________
07 Meridian 36G
Roadmaster tow dolly
Great Wife!! & Max the Frisbee chasing dog.
be happy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 06:42 AM   #6
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Martinsville, IN
Posts: 57
Yes, I also start the MH at least once a month and start the Gen. My batteries though have always been good. I try and drive it as well if I can and there isn't a ton of salt on the roads. Depends on the winter we're having.
__________________
2017 Vista LX 30T
jhedges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 08:08 AM   #7
Winnebago Owner
 
Podivin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Posts: 132
Personally, I recommend against starting any engine if you're not going to make it WORK. Starting the MH engine and letting it idle isn't really doing it any good because while idling not everything in the engine gets hot enough to remove moisture from condensation. Starting it and driving it is great, starting it and just letting it idle for a while, not so great.
The same with the generator. You shouldn't just start it, you start it and then turn on a bunch of electrical stuff so that you can put a load on the generator.
MY way is start it and use it, or don't start it at all.
__________________
2013 Winnebago Sightseer 36V
Podivin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 08:48 AM   #8
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Martinsville, IN
Posts: 57
According to the Onan manual you should run the GEN under 2/3 load once a month for an hour.

According to the Ford Manual, you should start the engine and let it get to normal operating temperature every 15 days.

I would however, not run the engine past operating temperature. Longer is not good.

But I think driving it whenever you can is best. Or whenever you can.
__________________
2017 Vista LX 30T
jhedges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 06:35 PM   #9
JCM
Winnebago Camper
 
JCM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Williams Lake,BC Canada
Posts: 18
I have left my coach pugged in all winter (3 different ones). Each having 3 stage charger - inverters. I always check the batteries, top them up and equalize them before fall sets in. I have had -40.f winters.
I also change the oil and filters before storing the coaches - to flush out the blow by chemicals in the oil. Also grease them while you are at it.
Every spring a simple turn of the key and away they go. Oh yes top up your gas to stop condensation and add some gas treatment 9 5-6 month shut down).
I do go out and check them every month looking for little beasties - none yet (moth balls).Oh yes, I live in a dry climate up in the middle of British Columbia so I am not worried about armature corrosion in the generator.
Have a good winter
__________________
2007 Triple E - Empress Elite - Freightliner
WH 22 owner for 7 years
JCM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 07:37 PM   #10
Winnebago Camper
 
71_340's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: ST. Robert, MO
Posts: 36
I will drive mine at least once a month for about 30 miles, which brings the whole drivetrain up to normal operating temperature. I will also run the generator for about 30 minutes and run an electrical heater with it to apply a load. Don't forget to run all your systems as well.


When parked I always take some load of the tires by taking some of the weight off by slightly raising the suspension with the leveling jacks. I just paid over 2K for a new set of tires and don't want flat spots.
__________________
2006 Sightseer 30B, P32, GM 8.1L, 4L85E

One of the "Quiet Professionals"
71_340 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 07:57 PM   #11
Winnebago Master
 
AFChap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: ...hopefully on the road!
Posts: 1,588
I always have my rig plugged in to shore power … smart charger. That allows me to run light bulbs in the critical water areas in light freezing weather, and/or the LP furnaces during even colder weather. I NEVER start the engine unless I am going to drive the coach for at least 30 minutes. You cannot get an engine to "operating temperature" without driving it … idling won't do it. I do run the generator for a minimum of 30 min under load at least every 6-8 weeks. It is extremely rare than our coach sits more that 6 weeks without being driven … several years ago when we were not traveling quite so much, if we were not going somewhere I would just take the coach out for a 30-45 minute drive on a sunny day.
__________________
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
AFChap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 07:58 PM   #12
JCM
Winnebago Camper
 
JCM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Williams Lake,BC Canada
Posts: 18
Where I live I feel that doing that ie. starting the unit up at -20.f --30.f is just too harsh on the machine + snow and ice on the roads and as I said before I live in a dry climate so I don't have to worry about armature corrosion. I has worked for the last 10 years on 3 different coaches. (gas and diesel). If I lived near the coast I would be worried.
__________________
2007 Triple E - Empress Elite - Freightliner
WH 22 owner for 7 years
JCM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 08:50 PM   #13
Winnebago Watcher
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
This is my 3rd RV motorhome.we have always left our motorhomes plugged into Shore power. We have never had any problems with batteries. We store it in a metal building with concrete floors and keepit above freezing. I do try to run the generator every 40 days for 30minutes and apply load to it.
Jdhargis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2019, 08:42 AM   #14
Winnebago Owner
 
nova 42qd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Middleburg, Virginia
Posts: 120
Batteries can freeze if not used and it gets cold enough. Keep your rig plugged in if you have a trickle charger for the batteries.
__________________
2012 Tour 42QD
nova 42qd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2019, 09:25 AM   #15
Winnebago Owner
 
jcurtisis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 88
I read that batteries which get fully charged won’t freeze. Yes?
jcurtisis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2019, 09:37 AM   #16
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: NW WI
Posts: 91
Batteries in great condition will not freeze. I leave mine in my lawn mowers all winter and they start fine in spring. Ideally I should pull them and put them on a tender.

This is our 1st winter with our MH. I know I have an onboard charger for the starting batteries. Ideally, I would like to run 50amp circuit, or 30, down where it's stored outdoors and leave it plugged in all year.

I don't have the luxury of going down the road for a quick run since our rds are white all winter. And I've had issues with other vehicles in spring that sit all winter by starting them periodically.

I just added fuel conditioner and anti gel additives. Topping the tank has always been debatable in any vehicle upon layup. Flat spotting tires is a temporary condition and will work itself out quickly when it goes down the road. I've never felt it on any stored vehicle, boat trailer etc...
__________________
2003 Ultimate Freedom 40', Diesel Pusher, Cummins 400, Spartan Chassis
SaltLife is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2019, 09:45 AM   #17
Winnebago Owner
 
millsrv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Placerville CA
Posts: 74
I have had problems with several RV's we have owned over the years by leaving them plugged in constantly. In all cases the water boils out of the batteries and they are ruined. Now if I had been more responsible and checked the water weekly or biweekly the whole problem may have been avoided. My simple solution was to buy a timer like you use to control the lights in your house when you are away. I purchased a 15 amp timer from Amazon and plugged the RV's 12 volt power supply / battery charger into it. I have it set for 2 hours a day. All of the other outlets in the RV remain fully functional 24/7. I use a cheap low current Harbor Freight battery maintainer for the 12 volt chassis battery and it runs constantly. This method has worked very well for years and the batteries are not being overcharged and damaged. This is an inexpensive simple solution that works for us.
__________________
Jim
2007 Winnebago Voyage 35L, W24
Retired and Having Fun
millsrv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 04:58 AM   #18
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sausalito CA
Posts: 17
Hi. I would not let the coach plugged in. The reason is the battery charging system.

To keep a battery's life long it's necessary that a battery will be "hold in action". Especially lead-acid batteries and when it's cold. It's like a generator which goes on the fritz if you never use it. If you let your rv plugged in, the batteries are always fully charged but never "busy" and this is shorten the possible life of your batteries.

There are smart battery chargers (nowadays you get them for about $25) which charge and discharge the batteries in the way that the battery is "forced to keep working a little bit". With this, your batteries will live much longer. I have lead-acid batteries on my oldtimer-cars (which are most of the time in the garage) which are 12 years old and still work great.


Important: If you use those smart battery chargers you have to set the battery disconnect system on "off"! You find this warning also in you owners manual.


Just as a hint to our friends in Forest City, Iowa: It would be a kind of "genious engineering solution" (not really that genious...) if Winnebago builds not only a "on-off" battery-disconnect system in, it would be great if we had a battery-disconnect system with a third option like "On - Battery-Charge-Only - Off" with a smart charging device. That would simplify the battery charging for all of your customers (just keep the coach plugged in), the batteries lives longer and we all could save money.
cj_calva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 05:50 AM   #19
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podivin View Post
Personally, I recommend against starting any engine if you're not going to make it WORK. Starting the MH engine and letting it idle isn't really doing it any good because while idling not everything in the engine gets hot enough to remove moisture from condensation. Starting it and driving it is great, starting it and just letting it idle for a while, not so great.
The same with the generator. You shouldn't just start it, you start it and then turn on a bunch of electrical stuff so that you can put a load on the generator.
MY way is start it and use it, or don't start it at all.
....and if that engine as you say, is not under load...tons of water vapor condenses in the entire length of the exhaust system, and rots it out, much too early, let alone moisture that is added to the oil sump...and the oil never getting hot enough to vaporize out of the oil...and what do you end up with?--->sludge. Motorcycle owners are also not encouraged to start their engines during the winter hibernation, until Spring, and their first ride.
Sun_Seeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2019, 12:03 AM   #20
Winnebago Owner
 
Five2o's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 76
10 years and never leave it plugged in. Remove the negative leads... 2 years ago I replaced original batteries with AGM's...they can freeze solid without any issue. (we get to -40 in winter...global warming my ass lol)
Five2o is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
winter


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winter camping in real winter conditions michealwhela Winnebago Lifestyle 21 11-03-2014 07:35 AM
Keep coach heated during the Winter? PeteB Winnebago General Discussions 8 11-15-2008 08:37 PM
Backsplash - How do you keep your review camera clean? mis3s Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 18 09-04-2007 04:31 PM
Onan Emerald Plus 5000 won't keep running Romer1 Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 24 08-22-2007 05:42 PM
How To Keep Engine Battery Charged While on Shore Power FLYTYER Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 15 06-18-2006 06:09 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×