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Old 11-18-2020, 06:43 PM   #1
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Maintaining House and Chassis Batteries

Gents (and ladies)

Some peope say not to plug in your motorhome (dry dock) to permannet power source over the winter. I have always plugged in a 110 service on my Itasca 36G (07).

What do you do? Dry dock or do you leave a trickle charger on it? I would like to leave a 110 service on it to charge batteries and run mouse deterent device, but is that eneough to keep batteries going? I personally like "smart" trickle chargers that create load on the batteries to reduce build up - I do the same on my motorcycles.

I am sure there are some smart chaps out here that can give me some sound advice.

thanks!
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:08 PM   #2
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Some depends on the age of the RV as it determines how advance your onboard charging system. Older systems tend to overcharge and boil off the water but newer are much more likely to haves stages of charge built in and work very well. With a 2015, I find it works well for me to just reduce the amount of power used by flipping a bunch of the breakers off to things I don't want/need and just letting it float. No need to have the microwave, frig controls, etc. using power when stored. Older RV, I could not do that but in either case, I would want to check the battery water occasionally until I found what it was actually doing in your RV. Dry batteries are soon dead batteries!
I added a Trik-L-start to the system so that the start battey is also kept up as the onboard charge only takes care of the coach batteries.
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bebopboer View Post
Gents (and ladies)

Some peope say not to plug in your motorhome (dry dock) to permannet power source over the winter. I have always plugged in a 110 service on my Itasca 36G (07).

What do you do? Dry dock or do you leave a trickle charger on it? I would like to leave a 110 service on it to charge batteries and run mouse deterent device, but is that eneough to keep batteries going? I personally like "smart" trickle chargers that create load on the batteries to reduce build up - I do the same on my motorcycles.

I am sure there are some smart chaps out here that can give me some sound advice.

thanks!
Side note...I’m interested in the rodent deterrent part of this post...I’m all ears...
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:20 PM   #4
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I have opined on this subject in other posts, always willing to jump back in.

At home we leave our rig on 50amp.

We run Interstate batteries coach and chassis (not schillin', just sayin') and have been working with our local distributor since back in the day when logistics helped pay the bills.

On their advice, and common sense, we maintain a small load by running the main room roof vent 24/7. Does two things: keeps pulling that float charge off and it maintains a good air flow to cut down on that "empty house funk". After all these years, just replaced the fan motor last August. Cheap insurance.

But for us, dead of winter is 65'.

Fair Winds and Following Seas
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice!

I use an sound device that keeps them out. Have had no issues (Touch Wood!)
https://www.electronicpestcontrolpro...dex.php?p=home
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:33 AM   #6
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As Morich notes above, older RVs have crude converter/chargers that may cook your batteries if left plugged in too long. So I would first check the specs of your converter. If it doesn't say, three step or maybe four step charging, then maybe you should just replace it with a modern one.

Then you can keep it plugged in indefinitely.

Also it is very unlikely that you have a bi directional charging relay that will also charge the chassis battery. A Trik L Start will do that for you.

David
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Old 11-26-2020, 01:36 AM   #7
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Here's an idea for under $20 that I am going try that I found on Amazon. It is a BN-LINK 7 Day Outdoor Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer that you can set up to 8 on/off programs for the timer’s two grounded outlets. Both outlets are controlled simultaneously, and settings can be as short as one minute. You could set it to turn on for a few hours one or two days a week to top off your batteries. I have already installed a small 2 amp trickle charger on the chassis battery that I also plug in with my coach batteries to a 115 volt 20 amp outdoor outlet. I have been doing that for a few hours once a week for now, but I'd like to "set it and forget it" this way. Charging my coach batteries usually draws only a few amps with nothing inside running so I'm sure it wouldn't overload the timer, which is rated at 15 amps. My coach is a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38R, so I want to minimize the time it is plugged in so I don't overcharge the coach batteries since it doesn't have a "smart" charger/converter. For your set-up, it would only annoy the rodents for a short time every few days, but that might be enough to keep them from moving in.

https://www.amazon.com/Century-Heavy...370349&sr=8-10

✓ VERSATILE & CUSTOMIZABLE: Easily set up to 8 on/off programs for the timer’s two grounded outlets. Outlets are controlled simultaneously, and settings can be as short as one minute.
✓ JUST SET & GO: Choose your own individual days or simply select one of the convenient pre-set combination days. Switch to Daylight Savings mode with a press of a button. Please Install one AA Battery(not include in package), the long-lasting backup battery keeps your settings even in the event of a power outage.
✓ PROTECT YOUR HOME: Activate the “Random” Vacation mode to randomize your programmed lights. Make your home look “lived in” even when you’re away.
✓ FOR OUTDOOR AND INDOOR USE: WEATHER PROOF construction for the outdoor Christmas/garden/landscape lights, pool pump, fountains and other electrical outlets.
✓ SAFE & RELIABLE: Heavy duty material, 18 inch cord, and two grounded outlet makes it safe and durable. Rating: 125V, 60 Hz, 15A/1875W Resistive, 8A/1000W Tungsten.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:49 AM   #8
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I keep my rig plugged into 50 amp shore power when not in use. Sometimes she will sit for a few months but when we're ready to go, so is she. I have agm batteries so I don't have to worry about adding water either.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:18 AM   #9
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On my old 2000 Newmar DP I left it plugged in 24/7 when not in use. I checked my batteries 2 times a year and never had a problem. It had a converter/charger and it did charge both house and chassis batteries. System worked great. Now in my 2014 Tour I also leave it plugged in 24/7 when not in use. It is all electric so it has plenty of parasitic loads to keep the charger cycling.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:13 PM   #10
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Battery University for those who want to know more; https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...d_acid_battery


This is an excellent article about lead acid battery dynamics.
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