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Old 06-04-2018, 06:56 PM   #1
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Location: Cameron Park, CA
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RV Plugged in Full time to Electrical Plug

We have an 2011 Itasca Ellipse. In reading the owners manual it stated that you should not leave your RV plugged in all the time. We are almost full timers and if not in a campground we are home and have the RV plugged in. Can anyone explain why we should not have the RV plugged in all the time? Will this cause damage to the full size fridge or batteries or something else? We are just not sure why we cant be plugged in full time.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:40 PM   #2
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The below is a warning from our Owner's Manual. It is likely applicable to your situation also.

NOTE: We do not recommend leaving the
shoreline plugged in continuously during
storage periods because the batteries can
lose electrolytic fluids and become
damaged from continuous charging
without periodic use. We recommend
following regular battery inspection and
maintenance especially in cold weather.
See “Battery Care” in the Electrical

When not rolling, we moor alongside our sticks-n-bricks with full hookups (50amp, water, sewage dump to our septic system). Makes a great guest house!

Electric is on all the time, however, we are religious about checking the battery water weekly. The warning above accurately states the electrolyte status.

To go one step further, we will often shut off the 50amp and listen to the TV, on battery, while we are cleaning/working on the rig. A little discharge/recharge is not a bad thing.

Fair Winds and Following Seas!
Terry & Rosalina
2007 Winnebago Journey 34SE
Retired Navy Mustang & Navy Wife
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:51 PM   #3
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The charger will cook your batteries unless it has been changed out to a five stage or one that has a maintainer mode.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:58 PM   #4
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" we are religious about checking the battery water weekly."

That's the best practice, Oldchinahand. My T125s are on a 25 solar watt charger when Winnie is resting and I check monthly. Weekly checking when camping and the 300 solar watts are on. Batteries are expensive!
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:14 PM   #5
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We have a 2005 Itasca Horizon. We have an attached garage for the coach. We leave it plugged in 24/7 12 months of the year except when we are traveling. We have group 31 Interstate batteries that are sealed and we can't check the water. This set of batteries is nearly 4 years old and still not causing any problems. We do have a 3 stage charger that goes into maintenance mode.

Don & Bev Morgan Weyauwega WI, 05 Itasca Horizon 40KD, 400 HP Cummins, Delorme GPS LT 40, Toad 07 Saturn Vue AWD, Air Force One, TST 510 TPMS, Mayor of Weyauwega 2007 - 2013, Waupaca Co Board Supervisor 2010 - 2014
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:19 PM   #6
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24/7 plug in seems unnecessary. Why not a small solar system with the panels mounted outside?
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:38 PM   #7
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Bought new to me '07 Meridian last month. It has a 10 watt solar battery charger that will not even keep up with the draw of detectors, etc. that are always on unless you disconnect the house batteries. Maybe a larger, stand alone solar panel with a trickle charger would work fine but the cost is outrageous.
I keep mine plugged into shore power. Inverter in 'Float' mode and batteries stay at 12.9v. Due to the heat I am checking the batteries weekly - tomorrow is check day and I'll be hitting the road in a week to really give everything a shakedown.
For more than 40 years of RVing I've never cokked a battery but have had a couple die of old age.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:47 PM   #8
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The cost of solar prevents “payback” for a number years, yes, but payback isn’t the reason for solar. It’s the quiet, the maintenance free recharging, the quiet...oh I said that. I maintain my batteries with a 25 watt/1.4 amp panel but my Winnie’s cut off switch is deployed.

WindyNation weatherproof PWM controller is twenty bucks. A 25 to 30 watt solar panel is under fifty. I’m unsure if heat causes battery water loss. Thought it was just natural use and charging.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:49 PM   #9
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Progressive Dynamics makes a "charge wizard", it will not let your battery burn up.
It won't let it boil, but you still need to check your battery each month,
if you don't use AGM batteries.
2002 36' Journey
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:26 AM   #10
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If your batteries are not sealed AGM type and you leave it plugged in you just need to check your electrolyte level during storage. Your coach has a trickle charge feature on your inverter so it is not a major issue. I had a 2010 Tour with lead acid batteries and kept the coach plugged in all the time without issue. Made sure the batteries were full when it went in the garage for the winter and that was it until spring. In the spring I topped off the batteries and off we go. My 2016 Tour has AGM batteries so there is no maintenance and it stays plugged in all the time as well.
2016 Winnebago Tour 42QD
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Happy Trails, Tom
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:01 AM   #11
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Everyones equipment and needs differ. As an example my 1000 watt inverter from the factory does not have a charger function. Also some converters do not have a trickle charge function. AGM's recommend different charging profiles then lead acid. The morale of the story is check your hardware before just throwing batteries in. IMO
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:56 AM   #12
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Plugging in during storage isn’t the “safest” route. Surges and low voltage can happen at home not just the CG.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:03 AM   #13
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Andrew, Since your RV is a 2011, in may be on the 'cusp' of changes in charger technology. I'd assume that there is a good reason why the Owner's Manual's prohibition against 'full time' charging exists. The charger is 'old school' and does not have multiple charging regimes and cannot vary it's charging rate sufficiently to protect the battery from 'cooking'. I'd follow the OM and check the electrolyte levels on a regular basis.

It would be a good idea to research exactly what charger is in your RV. WBGO should know or maybe there's documentation in that big bag of paper work hidden under the bed. If it's an old school design, it might be worth your effort to replace it with a newer model that has a 'boost, normal, storage & desulfating' modes.

WBGO has been providing Progressive Dynamics Converter/Charger PD9245s on the Views/Itascas for quite a few years. Go to Progressive Dynamics and look up the PD9200 series for information on how it works.

Yes, PD offers a 'pendant' that will tell you what the converter/charger is doing and give you the 'limited' ability to control the process. "Limited" in that you can direct it to a different regime but it will reset after a period of time to the 'automatic' mode.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:10 AM   #14
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Here is an old practice, for those with flooded cells, that dates back to Edison. Put a small amount of mineral oil in each cell. This reduces or even eliminates corrosion of the terminals and protects the plates if the water does go low. Did that on my start batteries several years ago. No problems.
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Servants On Wheels Ever Ready. Best job we ever paid to do . (full time volunteers)
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