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Old 02-17-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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Charging The Battery Question (Again)

i have seen a couple of battery charging questions. but none of them are quite the same as mine.. i dont have a generator i have a wildwood tt. and since our last trip my battery has drained. last time i looked it was about 1/3 left. i then disconnected it from the cables.. well we are going out in two weeks. and i suppose the car can charge it back up on the way to the site and then i can plug it in there.. but the dealer gave us a adaptor that will let us plug in the master power cable into the 110 at the house. will that be enough to charge my battery, and do i have to flip the breakers on?

sorry if this is a basic question but i am still a first time owner.

thanks for all imput
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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Well, you at least have to turn the breaker on for the converter. It should have a built in charger inside of it, and will charge the battery. Now let me ask, you said the battery is drained. You did connect it back up before you came to this conclusion didn't you? I also don't know why you would have the breakers turned off. If the campground doesn't have a breaker in their power panel, I will turn my "MAIN" breaker off when connecting, or disconnecting, other than that, they all stay on all the time, even when not connected.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
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Battery Charge

You battery will charge when plugged in; but the converter chargers on most campers do not charge the battery properly. In order to get the battery back to full capacity it needs to have an equalization charge. This means that the battery needs to be charged at a rate of about 14.5 volts. The charger contained in the camper usually only reaches 13.7 volts. Thus you will only get your battery back to 3/4 charged. Eventually as this continues your battery 's capacity will be reduced and you will notice that it will not last as long as it used to. If you are always plugged into a land line then it doesn't matter as you never use the battery under these circumstances. If you dry camp; then your battery needs to be fully charged if you want it to last more than a day or two. There are battery chargers that have a three stage processor. (it will equalize; charge and maintain the battery at 13.2 volts without drying up the electrolyte in the battery) The converter charger on most campers will keep the battery at 13.7 volts which will eventually use up the electrolyte so you will have to check the cells and add distilled water when needed or you will end up with a shorted battery.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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crossfire;
the only place we go are the federal campgrounds around the local lake. so i may not be too bad off. this should be the only time for awhile this should be a issue.. because we had the lights on while santa was putting together a doll house for christmas. so hopefully we will have no problems but i will have to look into this three stage battery charger. see if i had a battery charger then this would be a non issue

windrider: the last time the batter was hooked up i pressed the little indicator inside my camper. it was at 1/3 charged then.. and with no outings planned i decided to disconnect the battery then.. it has not been hooked up since. so i am only going on memory (and it is sometimes fuzzy). the reason i turn the breakers off is because when we first got the tt they were in the off position. the reason i remember is i actually called the ranger and told them my power did not work. well the guy got there and plugged some kind of electritians tool up to it and said "well the power works" he then went inside and turned all the breakers on and the trailer came to life.. i was so embarresed!! ever since then we turn them on when we get there and turn them off when we leave.. i just figured it was supposed to be like that since it came to us from the dealer that way. after the walk through.. maybe i am just being ov er protective of a new toy.

thanks to both of you for your reply
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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Bente,

No problem on the breakers, just didn't understand it. Also get the manual for your converter. My 2008 Work and Play has a 3 stage charger built in to the inverter. Crossfire may be right on his converter, but not on mine. Check your manual on your converter, you may just need to plug the camper in for a couple of days before you leave. I know I'm going to get flamed for this, as someone will say there are better chargers than the converter, and that's true, but why spend a lot of money on a charger when the converter has one that is adequate in most situations?
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crossfire View Post
but the converter chargers on most campers do not charge the battery properly.
I respectfully disagree. It totally depends on the power
center in your RV. Some/many? are 3 stage and do a fine
job on their own. My last trailer was 4 years old when I
traded it and the original battery was still going strong.

Also Bente mentioned something about the car charging
it on the way to the CG. NOT gonna happen.
Due to the distance and voltage loss between the engine
alternator/voltage regulator and the battery in the trailer,
it will likely not receive much of a charge while driving.

Finally, Bente, be careful. A discharged battery can freeze
and break in the winter. It's also bad for a battery to
be stored in a discharged state. You don't mention where
you store your trailer but you need to consider either
making sure it's charged B4 you store it or plug it in
when you get home or to the storage facility.
If none of these are possible you might need to remove
it and take it home when the trailer is in storage.
In that case I highly recommend a battery tender charger.
Just google battery tender. Amazon.com has them as
well as some automotive parts stores.

my 4Ę
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:52 PM   #7
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ok after getting home from work and reading all of your responses i went out to the camper(it stays in my back yard). i looked at the panel where all the fuses are and looked through all of my paper work and my manual. i did not see where it is a 3 stage or not. i also did a little maitnence on the battery. filled it with water, checked the battery all around for cracks, looked to see if there were any tell true signs of leaks, also dried out the compartment.. i left it in the battery compartment. not really thinking about it. but since i live far enough south it does not get too cold for too long. it did get quite cold and i never even thought to bring the battery in the garage. but i will change that practice when i winterize next winter...

so here is my plan::: this saturday i am going to plug it in. from the responses it does not sound like i am going to hurt anything.. i will turn all the breakers to the on position and make sure no appliences are on (because i did not see a breaker marked converter). then i will wait a while. while i am waiting i am going to use my new bottles of black stripe remover.. i will also proabably clean some on the inside.. then after a few hours i will check the levels from the internall level indacator box (you know the onethat tells how full the tanks and battery is) then when it is fully charged i will leave it plugged in for a hour or so longer to make sure..

thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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When the indicator says it's fully charged leave it plugged in
another 12 hours.
The indicators are just an indication, not very accurate.
It won't hurt to leave it plugged in 12/24 hours past the indicator
saying it's full.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:42 PM   #9
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One more thing, if you remove the battery, be sure you do not store it on concrete, always set it on a block of wood or something between the battery and concrete, I don't understand the theory, but I know concrete kills batteries.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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yea i knew about the concrete thing and i also don't understand it either

and i will leave it plugged in an extra 12 hours
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:57 PM   #11
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One other note, never fill a discharged battery to full. The electrolyte actually increases as the battery is charged. There needs to be enough to cover the plates before charging, but not necessarily to the full mark. Since you did this, remove the caps, and place a rag over the holes to soak up any water that may overflow. Be sure to toss the rag, and clean the battery box if it does overflow as this stuff is acid.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrotor View Post
One more thing, if you remove the battery, be sure you do not store it on concrete, always set it on a block of wood or something between the battery and concrete, I don't understand the theory, but I know concrete kills batteries.
This is not true anymore. Modern batteries will not go bad or be killed by leaving them on concrete.

Article here

Discussion about it here.

Common myths about batteries here.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:13 AM   #13
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I know this discussion covers a lot, especially for a "new guy" but
I'm gonna add one more thing to consider.

I've found that the batteries in both my current and previous
trailers would run down while in storage.
This discharge rate was much faster than one would normally
expect for a lead acid battery that was not in use.
I found that there were items in the trailer including the
onboard power center itself that were slowly but surely sucking
the juice out of my batteries.
Even if I pulled fuses to LP detectors and other things onboard
the battery was still going down WAY too fast. I found the
powercenter charger was the biggest culprit.
The only way I could prevent this was to pull both main fuses
that connect the power center to the batteries.
Now the batteries stay charged when in storage.
(Not counting normal internal discharging)

I quickly got tired of getting down on my hands and knees
to pull out and later replace the fuses so I added a battery disconnect
switch. I think they should be standard equipment in a new
trailer but they aren't.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:31 AM   #14
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Question, My 2006 Rockwood came with a battery disconnect, If I flip the switch to off will this completely disconnect the battery from any draw from the camper? The reason I am asking is because there has never been a time where my camper has ever been unplugged from an ac out let so I have never had a dead battery.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:24 AM   #15
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This is my battery disconnect, the handle was red at one time.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:26 AM   #16
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Question, My 2006 Rockwood came with a battery disconnect, If I flip the switch to off will this completely disconnect the battery from any draw from the camper? The reason I am asking is because there has never been a time where my camper has ever been unplugged from an ac out let so I have never had a dead battery.
No it won't. The LP gas detectors are wired directly to the batteries on all RVs so they will still draw power. And, although not a issue on 5ers or trailers, on RVs with power steps, those too are wired directly to the batteries. Beyond that I don't know what else (or haven't found yet) what else may be still connected. The disconnect will remove most loads and stop the batteries from charging. As the chargers on most rigs are not all that good unless you have a 3 stage, I keep ours disconnected while hooked up to power in our garage unless we are a day or so away from heading out dry camping. Then I will connect the batteries so they can charge. I will also turn on the switch once every two weeks or so for a couple of days to top off the charge.

This is the major reason why I will soon be installing the Trimetric 2025 battery amp meter. With that I will be able to see what phantom loads are on the batteries in storage as well as keep things under control while dry camping.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:51 AM   #17
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I always just totally disconnect my battery and hook up a Battery Tender to it. Fool proof if you have power available. Always a 100% charge, anti-sulfation, and never boils out the battery. Most of my batteries on lawnmower, tractors, motorcycle, etc last at least 7 years and I've had some go for 10 years using this product. AND, I never worry about whether something is going to start after sitting for extended periods. On my vehicles, I don't even bother to disconnect the battery. Deep Cycle on my trailer will be starting its 5th year this summer and is holding up very well.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #18
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No it won't. The LP gas detectors are wired directly to the batteries on all RVs so they will still draw power. And, although not a issue on 5ers or trailers, on RVs with power steps, those too are wired directly to the batteries. Beyond that I don't know what else (or haven't found yet) what else may be still connected. The disconnect will remove most loads and stop the batteries from charging. As the chargers on most rigs are not all that good unless you have a 3 stage, I keep ours disconnected while hooked up to power in our garage unless we are a day or so away from heading out dry camping. Then I will connect the batteries so they can charge. I will also turn on the switch once every two weeks or so for a couple of days to top off the charge.

This is the major reason why I will soon be installing the Trimetric 2025 battery amp meter. With that I will be able to see what phantom loads are on the batteries in storage as well as keep things under control while dry camping.
Thanks for the info. With the LP detector still powered up thats a good thing, if the camper is in storage and a leak develops from the LP system this would let someone know that there is some thing wrong before they open the door to the camper with a cigarette hanging out of there mouth....
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:52 AM   #19
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Thanks for the info. With the LP detector still powered up thats a good thing, if the camper is in storage and a leak develops from the LP system this would let someone know that there is some thing wrong before they open the door to the camper with a cigarette hanging out of there mouth....
More importantly the detector will close the valve at the tank and stop the leak
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:59 AM   #20
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More importantly the detector will close the valve at the tank and stop the leak
NWJeeper, does it work like that on travel trailers with removalable tanks? I don't see anything on my system to indicate that would happen.....no wires or anything going to the regulator.

Maybe just on MHs with built-in tanks?
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