View Poll Results: Do you leave your Rv plugged in all the time
Yes 62 74.70%
No 21 25.30%
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:41 AM   #1
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Leaving RV Plugged In

Hi All -

I had my trailer in for some warranty work (unrelated to this topic). While it was in, I mentioned in passing to the service manager at my dealer that my trailer is plugged in all the time (I have RV parking at my house). He said he would not recommend continuing this practice, as it is "hard on the converter". Instead he recommended plugging my fridge in directly to 110V (via the outside access panel) and keeping a charger on the battery. The main reason I leave the RV plugged in is to maintain the fridge, as we don't empty the fridge between our regular weekend trips/holidays.

I'm not sure that I really believe this; does anyone else have any thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:44 AM   #2
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I leave mine plugged in all the time. I believe most that have that option do as well.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:45 AM   #3
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Wow, never heard the question OR the response. I really wonder about the advice since there are many people here that camp very full time and I would imagine stay plugged in all the time. I know I would not hesitate to stay plugged in if possible so I will be checking back to see some responses.
Good question.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtEngineer View Post
Hi All -

I had my trailer in for some warranty work (unrelated to this topic). While it was in, I mentioned in passing to the service manager at my dealer that my trailer is plugged in all the time (I have RV parking at my house). He said he would not recommend continuing this practice, as it is "hard on the converter". Instead he recommended plugging my fridge in directly to 110V (via the outside access panel) and keeping a charger on the battery. The main reason I leave the RV plugged in is to maintain the fridge, as we don't empty the fridge between our regular weekend trips/holidays.

I'm not sure that I really believe this; does anyone else have any thoughts?

Seems odd since your fridge is 110v and the converter has nothing to do with the 110 to the fridge. Totally separate lines.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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His argument was that leaving the RV plugged in all the time and running 110V through the converter (battery charging and other small loads when not in use) is unnecessary work for the converter. By plugging the fridge in directly, the fridge would still operate, but there would be no power going into the converter.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DirtEngineer View Post
His argument was that leaving the RV plugged in all the time and running 110V through the converter (battery charging and other small loads when not in use) is unnecessary work for the converter. By plugging the fridge in directly, the fridge would still operate, but there would be no power going into the converter.


Seems the risk your going to burn up a heavy duty converter at low voltages is negligible, but if your the kinda person that unplugs all your home electronics and turns down the water heater when you go on vacation, guess it makes sense.

Be good to hear from some folks that seasonal camp their trailer (leaving it plugged in) and find out how many folks lost a converter.

I personally only had one where the unit somehow came unplugged behind the wall.


They do charge an arm and a leg for those converters though.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:13 AM   #7
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Nonsense. We leave our unit plugged in from April to October. The converter does see some load, but I can't imagine it is significant.

Battery charge circuitry will stop charging battery once it is full. I suppose leaving a bunch of 12V lights or devices would be bad, but we have left unit plugged in like that for years.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:10 AM   #8
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I also leave our unit plugged in all time when it is parked between trips, first I have ever heard of this.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
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Don't forget to vote in the poll. It's at the beginning of this thread.

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Old 06-04-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
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I don't leave it plugged in, never have even thou we do have the capability to do so.
There was some stories here on the forum awhile back about fires starting.
I don't remember all the particulars.
Hopefully Larry Day will see this thread and respond cause I believe was the one that had that info.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #11
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The only downside I have ever read about leaving it plugged in is that the converter does not have a "smart charger" in it and can run the battery dry and ruin it after a period of time.
If your unit has a smart charger, then no problem.
The alternative, (unless you are running the fridge) is to use something like a Battery Tender + or similar on the battery and not plug the trailer itself into 110.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:49 PM   #12
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I've had three different camper and they all stayed pulgged in except when on the road. No problems yet.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rv-rick View Post
The only downside I have ever read about leaving it plugged in is that the converter does not have a "smart charger" in it and can run the battery dry and ruin it after a period of time.
I heard this before too. I looked at the info on mine and it does function as a "smart charger". Don't worry, plug it in.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:48 PM   #14
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I do not leave my RV plugged in all the time even though it is inside my RV garage. And I certainly don't leave the frig. on except in preparation for a trip. I guess most on the forum are not aware of the large number of RV fires caused by frig. failures, both Dometic and Norcold issued recalls. I don't know the details of the Norcold problem. The Dometic issue was an ammonia leak, my '04 Cruiser was affected by the Dometic recall, the fix was a band-aid solution, didn't stop the ammonia leak, just reduced the probability of a fire. While the biggest concern was a fire while running on propane, there are cases of fires occurring when the frig was on electric as well. A few yrs ago, our neighbor lost their MH for this reason, the fire clearly started at the frig, front and back of the MH was undamaged. A number of RVers add automatic fire extinguishers in the frig. compartment to minimize the risk of losing the entire RV in the event of a frig fire.

Then there is a valid concern with the converter overcharging the battery and boiling off the water, destroying the battery and possibly starting a fire. Finally the converter can fail and cause a fire. Forget about the risk of fire, but the longer a converter is operating the greater the risk of failure. Doesn't make sense to me to pay for electricity just to wear out an appliance (the converter or the frig). I don't leave my house TV operating when I'm not watching it even though it is probably more reliable than the converter in the RV.

Every single electronic or mechanical component in an appliance has an "infant mortality failure rate" and an "end of life failure rate" associated with it. Just because an appliance hasn't failed yet, is no guarantee that it won't happen tomorrow. And one RVers good experience is no guarantee for another RVer. While most component failures will simply result in the expense of replacing the appliance, some will result in further damage to other items and/or fire.

When we leave on a long trip, we do unplug almost all appliances at the house or turn the breakers off.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:29 PM   #15
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What I learned at RV UNIVERSITY. COM:

Quote:
Some older RV converters charge the batteries at a constant rate and will continue to charge the batteries when they are fully charged. This can result in the battery or batteries losing water, so battery maintenance and inspections are important when you have the RV plugged in for long periods of time. Newer converters have 3 stage chargers that know when the battery is fully charged and at that point in time only provide a float charge (less charge) to prevent overcharging conditions.
AND

Quote:
The converter battery charger is designed to keep the batteries topped off with this trickle charge. Another problem with older RV converters is they charge at a fixed voltage in the range of 13.5 volts. If your batteries are fully charged this can be too much for a float charge and over time it will deplete the water level in the batteries cells. This is why itís important to check the water level in your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you leave the RV plugged in for extended periods of time. You need a three stage charger that can provide a bulk charge then an absorption charge and finally a float charge. Newer RV converters on the market are capable of charging the batteries this way.
Informative website.

Plus you can sign up there for a free monthly newsletter on RV articles, tips, tricks, video clips and advice
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:44 AM   #16
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we just picked up our camper yesterday and I was wondering about this. my previous camper I didn't leave plugged up just because I had a friend tell me he did it and all of his water dried up in his battery. What about the AC. If you leave it plugged up, do you have the AC come on every now and then? I was worried about the moisture building up in the camper between uses and mildewing everything.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:58 AM   #17
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What about the AC. If you leave it plugged up, do you have the AC come on every now and then? I was worried about the moisture building up in the camper between uses and mildewing everything.

I guess the simplest way to answer that is---Do the dealers have the units on their lots plugged in because of moisture? No.

What I have done for years is leave the windows open a little so air can circulate. I do this year around.

I realize down in FL. you have a little more problem with moisture, but it could get to be and expensive thing to have your AC running all the time.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:05 AM   #18
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Fire Danger - not in all cases is that a concern..
everyone's situation is different. Different storage locale, fridges, etc....

Agree, certainly it CAN happen,
but how many times have any of us seen or heard of it? In our particular case (since ours is a residential fridge), I think that is low on the concern list...
besides, isn't that expensive insurance for something?

and we WISH we had a moisture problem here in TexUS !!!
I leave the fridge open when stored and can open a couple of covered roof vents ...
(BUT, that might let more dust into the rv so just let the covered storage do it's thing )
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonclick View Post
we just picked up our camper yesterday and I was wondering about this. my previous camper I didn't leave plugged up just because I had a friend tell me he did it and all of his water dried up in his battery. What about the AC. If you leave it plugged up, do you have the AC come on every now and then? I was worried about the moisture building up in the camper between uses and mildewing everything.
AC will not come on unless thermostat is set for it to do so. Just like your home. I would just check it every so often. You can place some Damp Rid inside if worried about it. If yours is a new camper I would not worry about battery. Check it every so often too if able.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonclick View Post
we just picked up our camper yesterday and I was wondering about this. my previous camper I didn't leave plugged up just because I had a friend tell me he did it and all of his water dried up in his battery. What about the AC. If you leave it plugged up, do you have the AC come on every now and then? I was worried about the moisture building up in the camper between uses and mildewing everything.
I keep a couple of these in the unit year round. Just be sure to dump accumulated moisture before travel. I also use these in our rural home where we do not heat when we are not there.
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