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Old 11-03-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
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Question Spending the Winter on a Timer. Good Idea?

I have a nice safe place to store my baby through the cold WI winter. The place comes with power, but we are asked not to abuse the privilege. So I'm thinking of plugging in my camper to the wall, but through a timer. I was thinking of setting it to run 2-4 hours a day. What are the feelings out there about this approach? I don't want to hurt my batteries in any way. Leaving it plugged in 24 hours a day, seems a little over kill. Ideas??
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
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I'm thinking abusing it would be camping there with everything running. Haveing everything off and just keeping the batterys charged is a very low use of the electric.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
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I spent much of last winter turning the power on for a day or two then off for a couple weeks needless to say I wasn't as faithful when there was a foot or two of snow. I started to look at timers for this year. While looking, I learned the converter used in our Sunseeker is a triple stage unit which charges at different rates based on voltage, supposedly then protecting the batteries from discharging and from boiling off the liquid in the cells. So I decided to not use a timer and keep the power on, I agree that keeping the batteries up wouldn't be abusing any privilege. If you think about a 60 watt bulb burning 24 hours a day you would be using somewhere around 20 cents of electricity a day which would be less than $6/month, I think you would be hard pressed to even draw half that.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
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If you decide to have power on all the time, perodically check the water level in your batteries, including the chassis battery if it is not maintenance free. The convertor is supposed to go to trickle mode after the batteries are charged, but in my experience from living in our Sunseeker for months, the batteries still lose water. Hydrogen gas released when charging with low water can set off your LP/CO alarm.

If you won't be occupying the coach, you may want to remove the battery from the smoke alarm. It serves no purpose during storage, but may run down. The LP/CO alarm run off the 12 volt system, so it should be active any time you have shore power or the coach battery switch is on. (The battery switch must be on for the batteries to charge.)
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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If you do go with a timer be sure to check the current rating of the timer. Some of these are rated for 5 amps.
When your timer cycles to ON, your converter charger will likely go to middle (absorption) to high (bulk) charge output just to top off the batteries before going to trickle (float) mode. The converter can draw as high as 12+ amps AC.

Just a thought.

Bobby
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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I would disconnect the batteries, hot/+ lead from the coach and put a trickle charger on the batteries rather than using the converter/charger. It can be left on 24/7 it draws very little power and will not over charge the batteries. It would be better to bring the batteries home and that way you can keep an eye on them through the winter, Out of sight out of mind as they say lol; Frank
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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I would buy a couple Battery Tender Jrs for about $25 a piece and put them full time on the disconnected batteries rather than use the on board system. Better yet bring the batteries home and keep them in your basement which is better than subjecting them to severe cold and temperature swings.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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around here all the lots have the same sign/rules....reason being is not u running ur charger all winter. ..its the yahoos who put in space heaters or other high amperage devices....depending on how the lot is wired there may be several spaces sharing 30amps....and then some bafoon hooks up a cple space heaters (abusing the power) and the breaker pops for EVERYONE on that circuit.....our old lot said "plugs for charging purposes ONLY. ..please limit amperage to 5amps...
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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I do this - bought a very good timer, have all circuits except the charger/converter off and run the timer for 3 hours every evening. Been doing this for several years The new coach has a good converter in it now, but our last rig didn't and I believe this helped to extend the battery life. (we use the timer all year unless the fridge is running or we are using power for something)

Walter
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