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Old 05-16-2011, 06:16 AM   #1
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another question

Does it harm the Batteries to keep a motor home plugged in?

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:35 AM   #2
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Hi Flyflicker,
The short answer is no.

The answer assumes the coach battery charger is smart enough to reduce to a maintenance charge (about 13.5 VDC) once the batteries are fully charged.

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:36 AM   #3
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It depends on what type of charger the motorhome has. If you have a 3-stage charger, it will not hurt. Older or less expensive chargers only charge at one voltage, which tends to overcharge and "cook" the batteries.

We're full-timers, and we have an inverter with a 3-stage charger. We rarely boondock so our motorhome is plugged in all the time except for travel days.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:45 AM   #4
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Not if you keep an eye on the battery water level. However - this has a lot to do with what inverter/charger you are using, battery age, and how you use the RV. Mine has been plugged in for 11 years and the only issue has been that a battery exploded because I didn't recognize the warning indications that it was failing (it progressively used a lot more water that the other battery). Like everything else on an RV, you need to learn your 12V system, clean all the connections, keep an eye on the fluids, know what normal indications are, and recognize 'not normal' indications.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:11 AM   #5
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Its not the charging, its the maintaining.

One of the best things you can do for your batteries is to upgrade your converter to one that not only knows about multiple stage charging but also has a maintenance mode that will keep a full charge on the battery and do something to inhibit sulfation.

As Tom notes, keep an eye on the battery water level. If you have to keep adding water, your system is overcharging the batteries which is not good. Check the voltage as Gary suggests. If it is lower than 13.2v then it is not being kept at a full charge (depending upon temperature).

Most RV batteries spend most of their time in maintenance mode and you'll get best life from them if you use equipment that knows how to properly manage battery maintenance. Some Progressive Dynamics and WFCO converters do this. The BatteryMINDer(tm) is another option. Trickle chargers are not in this list as they don't do anything to inhibit sulfation.
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