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Old 10-13-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Winterizing Question

We have a 2014 Wildwood that we recently winterized. Everything was cleaned and electronics removed. I have a question about leaving the trailer plugged in. Trailer is stationary and some of the trailers had mice enter their trailers over winter.

We placed drier sheets all over in combination with cedar moth balls. We also plugged in 3 electronic devices suppose to keep mice out.

Can I leave my trailer plugged in all winter to power the devices? Refrigerators are off so power consumption should be minimal.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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Personally, I would trip the breaker for the Converter so that it's not charging your battery all winter, and then activate the battery disconnect switch. Turn both of those back on for a day once a month.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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I actually removed the battery and its on trickle charge at home.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
Personally, I would trip the breaker for the Converter so that it's not charging your battery all winter, and then activate the battery disconnect switch. Turn both of those back on for a day once a month.
X2. Maybe check battery voltage frequently early on in the process to make sure that you don't have any parasitic loads that arn't disconnected.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Personally, I would trip the breaker for the Converter so that it's not charging your battery all winter, and then activate the battery disconnect switch. Turn both of those back on for a day once a month.
Barry, after our last debate on convertors and from what you found out from the progressive engineer and what I found out from WFCO, I have ordered the progressive 4 stage #4600 series 55amp. I keep my unit at home plugged in all the time. I'm hoping not to gas my batterys that WFCO will do. I will let you know how it works out. The reason was what you said that it will read parasites but will not kick in into absorption mode and stay at 13.6 which is charging in my opinion.(I'm not talking about turning loads on) I can not make the WFCO drop to 13.2. I measured at the battery post and even through they said it not charging the battery bank it is at 13.6. My batteries are hard to check the levels monthly. Also it will be cheaper then buying new batteries all the time from over charging.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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... I have ordered the progressive 4 stage #4600 series 55amp.
Cool! I'll look forward to the results of your experiments on that. (BTW, there will be a light which tells you what mode it's in.)
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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Barry, after our last debate on convertors and from what you found out from the progressive engineer and what I found out from WFCO, I have ordered the progressive 4 stage #4600 series 55amp. I keep my unit at home plugged in all the time. I'm hoping not to gas my batterys that WFCO will do. I will let you know how it works out. The reason was what you said that it will read parasites but will not kick in into absorption mode and stay at 13.6 which is charging in my opinion.(I'm not talking about turning loads on) I can not make the WFCO drop to 13.2. I measured at the battery post and even through they said it not charging the battery bank it is at 13.6. My batteries are hard to check the levels monthly. Also it will be cheaper then buying new batteries all the time from over charging.
13.6volts is the normal float voltage and does not indicate any charging at all. I personally think that even this slight voltage rise does harm a battery if it is held there over a long period of time. It is the converters that go over this voltage that do the most harm and that boil out the electrolyte.

The progressive unit will also float your batteries if it is plugged in.

It will be interesting what you find out over the winter, but the problem with all this is that it is hard to determine if a battery is the same year after year without a controlled set of discharge/charge cycles under know load conditions, and we don't typically do that.

I used to use a little set of 12v light bulbs to load my boat batteries with and test them every spring to see how they were holding up, but I havn't done that with my RV. A 100 AH battery would need a 5 amp load over 20 hours to compare it to it's 20amp spec.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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13.6volts is the normal float voltage and does not indicate any charging at all.
The chargers documentation says float is 13.2.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:38 PM   #9
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The chargers documentation says float is 13.2.
That's a little low for float, but not to far off (depending on temperature). From Battery University...

"Once fully charged through saturation, the battery should not dwell at the topping voltage for more than 48 hours and must be reduced to the float voltage level. This is especially critical for sealed systems because these systems are less able to tolerate overcharge than the flooded type. Charging beyond what the battery can take turns the redundant energy into heat and the battery begins to gas. The recommended float voltage of most low-pressure lead acid batteries is 2.25 to 2.27V/cell. (Large stationary batteries float at 2.25V at 25C (77F.) Manufacturers recommend lowering the float charge at ambient temperatures above 29C (85F)."

2.25 v per cell is 13.5V in a 12 volt and 2.27 is 13.62 v.

Note that all this is temperature dependent... and the float should be reduced above 85 deg. Maybe this is why the Float is low on the progressive unit. It is certainly safer at that voltage if you are going to be plugged in for an extended period of time without discharges etc.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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We had mice in our unit, the storage place is a large field with lots of mouse opportunities since there is over 100 units. I've plugged every hole underneath I can find, but still got a small one a couple weeks ago in a trap. I find Bounce sheets etc, don't work, one mouse made a partial nest out of one. We bought a box of Fresh Cab mouse deterrant, 4 packs in each box, and each pack is good for about 90 days, I guess we'll see... so far so good.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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That's a little low for float, but not to far off (depending on temperature). From Battery University... "Once fully charged through saturation, the battery should not dwell at the topping voltage for more than 48 hours and must be reduced to the float voltage level. This is especially critical for sealed systems because these systems are less able to tolerate overcharge than the flooded type. Charging beyond what the battery can take turns the redundant energy into heat and the battery begins to gas. The recommended float voltage of most low-pressure lead acid batteries is 2.25 to 2.27V/cell. (Large stationary batteries float at 2.25V at 25C (77F.) Manufacturers recommend lowering the float charge at ambient temperatures above 29C (85F)." 2.25 v per cell is 13.5V in a 12 volt and 2.27 is 13.62 v. Note that all this is temperature dependent... and the float should be reduced above 85 deg. Maybe this is why the Float is low on the progressive unit. It is certainly safer at that voltage if you are going to be plugged in for an extended period of time without discharges etc.
You'll have to take that up with the manufacturers. Both PD & WFCO manuals are in the FRF Library and they say 13.2.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:04 PM   #12
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You'll have to take that up with the manufacturers. Both PD & WFCO manuals are in the FRF Library and they say 13.2.
My WFCO floats at 12.7v so something ain't kosher.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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I mean 13.7, whoops.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:43 AM   #14
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So is there any harm in leaving the trailer plugged in all winter with the battery taken out while stationary at the campground? I have a built in surge guard protector and both fridges have been cleaned out and turned off. I'm thinking it shouldn't be a problem since its plugged in all Summer Long.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by EastlakeRoo View Post
So is there any harm in leaving the trailer plugged in all winter with the battery taken out while stationary at the campground? I have a built in surge guard protector and both fridges have been cleaned out and turned off. I'm thinking it shouldn't be a problem since its plugged in all Summer Long.
Depends on the converter that you have, look up your model in your literature or on the web and see what they say. there are some posts here about it.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by EastlakeRoo View Post
So is there any harm in leaving the trailer plugged in all winter with the battery taken out while stationary at the campground? I have a built in surge guard protector and both fridges have been cleaned out and turned off. I'm thinking it shouldn't be a problem since its plugged in all Summer Long.
It's none of my business but I feel compelled to ask WHY do that??
If everything's turned off and batteries are removed, why leave it plugged in?
Even with surge guard there is risk. Even without any surges the electronics
in the converter are still working but what is the point? Why not unplug it
and put the cord away or flip the breaker either in your onboard breaker
box or at the CG post? Inquiring minds want to know.....

Not trying to derail this post but I have battery tender Jrs on my trailer,
my truck and my motorcycle. They work wonderfully to keep batteries
fully charged. I doubled or tripled the average life of my motorcycle battery
by using one. My truck has the original factory battery in it now. My trailer is 5 years old
and original batteries. Camped off the grid last summer and
didn't note any appreciable loss of capacity in the trailer batteries.
You can find them online for $25 or so. I consider them some of the best battery insurance you can buy!!
YMMV!
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #17
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It's none of my business but I feel compelled to ask WHY do that??
If everything's turned off and batteries are removed, why leave it plugged in?
Even with surge guard there is risk. Even without any surges the electronics
in the converter are still working but what is the point? Why not unplug it
and put the cord away or flip the breaker either in your onboard breaker
box or at the CG post? Inquiring minds want to know.....
YMMV!
Primary Reason is again to keep the 3 electronic devices that are suppose to keep mices out powered on thru Winter. This is the only reason I have campground power to it or I would have unplugged it and forgot about it until spring.

Battery is out of trailer and on trickle charge at home so overcharging the battery isn't an issue.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by EastlakeRoo View Post
Primary Reason is again to keep the 3 electronic devices that are suppose to keep mices out powered on thru Winter. This is the only reason I have campground power to it or I would have unplugged it and forgot about it until spring.

Battery is out of trailer and on trickle charge at home so overcharging the battery isn't an issue.
You should have a breaker for the converter input power.
IF you shut that off you still have 120v AC to the outlets but the
electronics of your power center are off. Just a thought.... and sorry
your season is over!
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:40 AM   #19
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Cool! I'll look forward to the results of your experiments on that. (BTW, there will be a light which tells you what mode it's in.)
Barry, I'm now finished with my evaluation on the WFCO vs Progressive PD4600 convertors. I had to replace my WFCO do to fan failure they did it under warranty. As I promised I would get back to you. I now have the progressive unit installed with the intel charge wizard built in the new circuit board that comes with the unit. After 2 years of boiling my batteries from overcharging and the constant reading of 13.6 v the new unit after 6hrs. dropped to 13.2 . I still have the same parasites as before that WFCO claims that the there unit can not read any for 48 hrs or it will stay at 13.6 absorption mode. When I disconnected all parasites from the convertor and waited 96 hrs, my reading was still reading 13.6V at the batteries. When I turned off the power and disconnected the batteries they read 13.1 telling me they were over charged and gassing. I had to add 1-1/2 cups of distilled water to cover my cells. I have never seen my digital meter that is hooked up drop past that. Now I'm reading 13.2 as you will see below. Also I will try and post the specs on this fantastic unit. What you will not see is that the unit will increase my voltage to 14.4 for 15 mins to for desalination of the cells during what they are calling storage mode or float, and then drop back down to 13.2. I leave my unit plugged in all the time on a 30 amp homerun circuit. I would highly recommend this up grade. This unit also allows you to go into bulk mode by pressing the wizard button and then it will drop back down automaticly to the needed mode at the time. Thanks for the info that you got from them. It is an excellent 4 stage charger and converter. You will need to open the PDF file for the operation and specks that came with the unit
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:08 AM   #20
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I forgot to mention one more important factor that differs from the WFCO. Progressive 4600 will also shut down from any high or low voltage spikes and will not turn back on until the voltage is corrected to protect the unit and your batteries. In another words it has a built in surge protector another plus for this unit. The cost was $212.00 about $50.00 dollars more then the WFCO. Also it comes with 2 variable fans not one. People will see the cooling fins are atleast twice the size of the WFCO which is also a plus for heat dissipation and less fan useage. I see no reason now to remove my batteries to put on a charging buddy for the winter. LIFE JUST GOT EASIER FOR ME.
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