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Old 08-25-2013, 02:12 PM   #1
Weekend Camper
Texas4's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 38

My question
(comment) is about methods to maintain the charge on the RV battery.

I have 1-12v deep
cycle and only do camping with hookups and store it in a facility with power in
a warm climate. It is a 5th wheel, so do rely on the battery for the slides and
landing gear at times. Have owned this RV for 3 yrs (original battery) and use
it year round with maximum non-use of about 2 months at a time (but have
followed same practices with many campers for years).

I have read many
posts about whether to keep shore power connected or not, and effects on the
battery. I wanted to determine the correct method for my RV today with the
system I have as I was considering an on board maintainer or cut off switch.
But, I am a big believer in if has worked so far, don't change, so, thought I'd
throw out my thoughts ...

I have a "Power
Converter". It provides the 12v to the RV, but also senses when the
battery is less than 13.2VDC (if connected to shore power) after 4 hours and go
into float mode to recharge the battery.

This means to me
that when the RV is connected to the shore power, the system will maintain the
charge level of the battery (whether at camp for a week or at storage for 2
months, however, I would remove it if in a cold climate and plan to not use it
for an extended period of time though).

So, for my
situation, I don't see the need for either a cut off switch or battery
maintainer if connected to shore power in storage. (assumes proper water levels
and battery is in good working condition).

I realize this might open up some differing comments, but I am looking to learn more viewpoints as </span>I was ready to disconnect the battery and use a maintainer … but convinced myself not to!

Is there a reason to not utilize shore power for this?

Thanks ... Rich

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Old 08-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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Location: Oak Harbor, WA
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I personally don't leave the rig plugged in just becauseif something were to go wrong it would be when I am away from the house. You never know when a mouse/rat will chew into wiring and short something out, the converter may short out and/or whatever else. I have a battery cutoff which I use between trips, and in the winter I pull the battery out and store it in the garage. I leave it till I de-winterize, charge it, and reinstall it. Have been doing this since the rig was new and I still use the original battery (7 years). I can really only think of one good reason to leave the rig plugged in during the winter and that is to run a dehumidifier. Others will chime in with different thoughts, but these are mine.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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Location: Mebane, NC
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I don't have the opportunity to plug in but even if I did, I wouldn't. You have to worry about power surges, critters chewing things etc. To me it is worth the extra few seconds to just disconnect the battery and trickle charge as needed. Our usage is about 1 weekend every 1-2 months in season and from late Nov to Feb or early Mar every winter. Battery sits in garage in the winter. We are on 2 1/2 yrs with original battery. Only issue we had as when DH hooked it up backwards the first year. Oops. Few new fuses and we were good to go.

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Old 08-26-2013, 12:59 AM   #4
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Mine is plugged in all the time. Maintaining the battery is just an added extra. I stay plugged in for the refrigerator. The type of refrigerators in an RV do do not well with non-use. The chemicals tend to settle out. At least that was what was taught in the old school and I've never replaced a fridge.. And very few batteries at less than 5 years old.

You can "what if" until the moon falls but that's what I pay insurance for.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:49 AM   #5
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Posts: 476

Mine is plugged in all the time. I do check the battery fluid level from time to time and refill as necessary. I have had batteries last anywhere from 4 to 10 years.
Rick...Millersville, PA
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:03 AM   #6
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Location: DeSoto,KS
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We leave ours plugged in all of the time at home. I just installed a battery disconnect switch so when it is plugged in at home I switch off the battery so we do not overcharge or dry it out. That did happen once on another rig. During the winter I will turn it on once a month for a few hours to charge it.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:05 AM   #7
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Leave it plugged in. The converter acts as your trickle charger.

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Old 09-03-2013, 05:31 AM   #8
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Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 38
Thanks everyone for your replies!Looks like I am doing the same as most. Living in a warmer climate with easy access to the RV as well as using it through the year,allows me to monitor the system too. I stopped by the other day and checked everything andall looks good for our nextweekend trip!On to the next project ...
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