Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-25-2018, 05:22 AM   #1
Member
 
soulman327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Indiana
Posts: 44
To plug in or not to plug in

That is one of my questions. I searched but got totally conflicting information. New to motorhomes and multiple batteries, my questions about my 2012 3170DS are:
1. If I leave it plugged in during months long winter storage in my shed will this keep the coach batteries charged?
2. If so, does the battery disconnect need to be in the "on" position for this to happen?
3. If not, should I turn battery disconnect to off and connect a trickle charger?
4. Will leaving it plugged in affect the chassis battery which I now have on a trickle charger?

Thanks a bunch!
John
__________________

__________________
"If I was any better, I'd be dead!"
"The sun's always shining, otherwise it would be dark!"
"God looks out for the stupid, so I keep Him pretty busy!"

2012 Forest River Sunseeker 3170 DS 32' w/2 slides
soulman327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 06:04 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
retireearly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulman327 View Post
That is one of my questions. I searched but got totally conflicting information. New to motorhomes and multiple batteries, my questions about my 2012 3170DS are:
1. If I leave it plugged in during months long winter storage in my shed will this keep the coach batteries charged?
2. If so, does the battery disconnect need to be in the "on" position for this to happen?
3. If not, should I turn battery disconnect to off and connect a trickle charger?
4. Will leaving it plugged in affect the chassis battery which I now have on a trickle charger?

Thanks a bunch!
John
In my experience if you plug into AC power it keeps all of the batteries charged, irrespective of the cutoff switch in the stairwell. The newer converters don't seem to cook the batteries as bad either, but I would still keep an eye on water levels.
__________________

__________________
2017 Forester 2291S
2015 Honda Accord on Master Tow Dolly
retireearly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 06:49 AM   #3
World Wide Wanderer
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Sprung Leak, NC
Posts: 1,612
Depends...

On my Coachmen Concord; I leave it plugged up 24/7 when at home. The converter charges the coach batteries only, as set up from the factory. Turn the battery switch off and it doesn't charge anything. We use ours at least once a month so the chassis battery gets topped up then. I check the water levels on all batteries once a month.

Eventually I will wire in a TrikLStart to keep the chassis battery charged up. You most likely have a WFCO converter, it has problems with the charge profile and sometimes will overcharge the batteries. For longer term storage I would either completely disconnect the batteries and use a battery maintainer charger. Using just the disconnect switch doesn't kill all the parasitic loads, like LP detector and whatever else they have wired past it.

Another option for keeping batteries topped up is a decent solar system.

Aaron
__________________
Aaron & Rhonda
wahoonc & Airangel60

2016 Coachmen Concord 300DS
2015 Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 10:28 AM   #4
Member
 
Shredder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Ontario
Posts: 92
You can plug you unit in and it will charger the batteries. However where i live it gets pretty deep into the minus numbers. I don't want to risk the batteries freezing so i take them in and trickle charge them. If you live where it stays a little warmer then by all means leave it plugged in.
__________________
2013 Forest River Sunseeker 3010DS
Shredder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 323
soulman327, I have a single axle travel trailer and a Georgetown 31L5.

Single Axle travel trailer: I winterize the trailer and pull the battery. I put the battery on a battery maintainer in my garage.

Georgetown 31L5: After wearing out multiple RVs from popup to 35' Class A, I learned that the worst thing you can do to an RV is put it in storage for the winter and let it sit lonesome the whole time. Lack of use is harder on the rig than using it. Something always doesn't work when checking out the rig in the spring.

Now I take my Class A for a "walk" every two weeks. In between times, nothing is plugged in. For the "walk" I start the generator, start the frig, start the engine, and drive for about 10 miles. This exercises everything except the air conditioner. Everything stays lubricated/used and everything holds up better, including the tires.
__________________
McCormickJim
2017 GT 31L5
McCormickJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 12:45 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Minnesota, St. Paul suburb
Posts: 330
I like the taking it for a walk every so often however I store my 5th wheel in the back yard and keep it plugged in year round. Unfortunately I can't get the rig out of the back yard because of the snow and I'm pretty sure I won't use the energy to plow it out for a 10 minute run. Not that I don't like the idea I just don't have the energy to do it. I've had my rig plugged in 24-7 since purchasing in August 2017 and have only added about 1 ounce of water to each of the 2 batteries. I would agree that the newer converters don't put a equalize charge on the batteries constantly. FWIW
__________________
2018 Cedar Creek Silverback 29IK
18 Silverado 3500 HD Dually 6.6 Duramax 4X4
Ultimate Aluminum 5th Wheel Hitch, TST tire monitors w/repeater
Semi-Retired February 3, 2014
Bob & Cindy
Lvn2tvl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 988
This topic should attract plenty of comments:

My recommendation:
  • Use the battery disconnect switch to eliminate any parasitic loads such as the CO/Propane detector, LED displays on entertainment gear, "pilot" LED indicators on this and that, and so on.
  • Once disconnected, batteries will hold charge for a long time...through the winter, for example.
  • When you plan a trip, turn on the battery disconnect switch, check electrolyte levels, and plug in to top off the batteries and cool your fridge between 24 and 48 hours before departure.
  • You should be good to go.
  • As for the engine battery, if you are running the rig...actually driving it...once a month, that should be fine. If not, a battery tender is all you need INTERMITTENTLY. While the battery tender should not hurt the battery if connected continuously, there's that word, should, again.

Your converter/charger "should" manage the batteries when plugged in 24/7, with emphasis on "should." But a battery tender or converter/charger pumping in juice relentlessly might lead to overcharging if something goes wrong.

I have solar on my rig, and the same is true of solar. Left to its own devices, the only thing between solar and your battery is a charge controller. They "should" regulate charging to prevent over-charging, but again emphasis on should. I don't have a disconnect so I manually disconnect the battery cables. Over the winter I bring my one battery inside for storage, but that's not really necessary. It just makes me feel good.
About 3 or 4 times during the winter, I hit it with the charger overnight then disconnect again.

My battery is going strong after 5 seasons, so my method is working OK.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 01:08 PM   #8
RV There Yet?
 
IsleDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Winona, MN
Posts: 630
remove the parasitic draw using the battery cut off switch. use either the charger built in or use a trickle charger to keep the batteries charged. a properly charged battery will have a very hard time freezing.

" if a car battery is discharged because of damage to cells, poor connections or a charging system that isn't doing its job, the battery could start freezing at the same temperature as water at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. "A 100 percent fully charged battery will not freeze until approximately minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit."

https://www.cars.com/articles/2014/0...attery-freeze/
IsleDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 01:20 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
cavie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Port Charlotte Fl/Hinsdale Ma
Posts: 4,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by retireearly View Post
In my experience if you plug into AC power it keeps all of the batteries charged, irrespective of the cutoff switch in the stairwell. The newer converters don't seem to cook the batteries as bad either, but I would still keep an eye on water levels.
I fail to understand why so many people have trouble understanding the battery disconnect. Disconnect means off. Off means no battery charging from the converter.
__________________
2002 27rk Wildcat 5er.
Port Charlotte Fl/Hinsdale Ma
Retired Master Electrician.

I know you believe that you understand what you think I said but I'm sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant
cavie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2018, 01:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
SeaDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shredder View Post
You can plug you unit in and it will charger the batteries. However where i live it gets pretty deep into the minus numbers. I don't want to risk the batteries freezing so i take them in and trickle charge them. If you live where it stays a little warmer then by all means leave it plugged in.
A charged battery is not going to freeze there is no need to remove the batteries if you have them on the converter or a battery maintainer. Think about your car sits out in the cold and the battery doesn't freeze.
__________________

__________________
Retired Navy
Jake my sidekick (yellow Lab)
2017 RAM 2500 CC 4X4 Cummins Diesel
2016 Flagstaff 26 FKWS
AF&AM & El Korah Shrine of Idaho
SeaDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:56 PM.