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Old 04-26-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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Electricity 101

I am a new Fleetwood Bounder owner -2011 33U. My qustion is , when the MH is in storage ( heated garage) will there be a problem if I leave it connected to 120VAC, through adapter, for a month or 2 at a a time? Will this keep ALL my batteries topped off?
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:56 AM   #2
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Not exactly sure about going with 120v service, I assume it would be fine. But I do know that you need to makes sure you keep good levels of water in your batteries. There are some good discussions on this forum on the subject. You can look it up through the search feature. I keep our coach hooked up to 50Amp service year around. I feel keeping AC circulating helps tremendously as far as moisture and what not. I have never seen a house unattended without power stay in good shape too long.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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Generally speaking, that's a good idea. Since I dont know your coachs specific electrical system, there are two things you need to find out.

1. Does your system charge the chassis battery when on shore power. If so, you're good to go. If not you'll need to keep charged separately. Its easy to find out with a volt meter. When on shore power, the chassis batt will show 13 - 14 volts. If its 12 - 12.7 then its not being charged.

2. Is your converter/charger a "smart" one. In other words, does it charge in 3 stages of voltage. These 3 stages are about 14.2, 13.6 and !3.2 volts. A single stage puts out 13.6 volts continous. At that voltage, it will begin to "boil" the battery. This will prematurely evaporate the water in the battery and must be closely monitored.

I have a 3 stage charger and it stays plugged in for many months at a time (anytime camping and all the time we are home) and its been almost a year since I needed to add water.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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There are two things that make a difference in answering your question and both have solutions.

1: The converter. I expect a 2011 Motor home will have a decent 3-stage converter such as the Progressive Dynamics unit with Charge Wizard Damon put in my 2005.. However the key word is "Expect" I often do not find what I expect.

If yorus has a SINGLE STAGE converter, like a Parallex 7300 (WITHOUT the T suffex) you might consider an upgrade, the 7300T is an upgrade, ... but there are better ones.

Single stage converters either never properly charge a battery, or they do not know when to quit, 3 stage are better in that they should know when to quit.. The 7300T is a 2 stage (like the song "T for 2" (Ok that was Tea for Two))

The second is does the house system keep the chassis (Starting battery) charged, This is not so easy to answer by model number.. Mine does (intelletec Battery Control System) but if yours does not then either an Echo Charge, Trick-L-Start or Battery Minder (or Battery Tender) should be installed to provide for the chassis battery.

I used to use a Battery Minder on my towed, when I had one, and on my wife's car when we were travelilng.. Great product, Took off from like a month and the car's battery was still full... Same with my towed.. It was always full.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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Our coach when parked I plug it in with a timer and it only charges for a 1/2 hr. a day and the batteries stay nicely charged and it doesn't boil the water out. I had a fiver that I left plugged in constantly and it would boil the water out of the batteries, so I tried the timer last winter and it worked good for me.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesvinton View Post
I am a new Fleetwood Bounder owner -2011 33U. My qustion is , when the MH is in storage ( heated garage) will there be a problem if I leave it connected to 120VAC, through adapter, for a month or 2 at a a time? Will this keep ALL my batteries topped off?
It is OK to do what you propose. I keep ours plugged in to 120v all the time and check the batteries at least once a month for water level and I always have to add some. Keeping it plugged in all the time does require that you not let the battery water level get so low that it exposes the plates or you will have damage to the batteries. Just fill them up with distilled water only and check them again in a few weeks.

If you don't plug in, you must eliminate as many small trickle 12v loads as you can think of and then throw the disconnect batteries switch so there is no draw at all on them.

I have done this but there always seems to be a draw from somewhere that I cannot find so I just keep it plugged in.

Don
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akadeadeye View Post
...
If you don't plug in, you must eliminate as many small trickle 12v loads as you can think of and then throw the disconnect batteries switch so there is no draw at all on them.
...
Don
I have been wondering about something along these lines. I just started plugging my coach in after getting an adapter. I know that some coach makers may be different, but as a general rule of thumb, will the batteries charge if the disconnect switches are thrown?
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
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Would we guess that my 1990 pace arrow has a three stage inverter???
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by homeless
Would we guess that my 1990 pace arrow has a three stage inverter???
No, I would guess a single stage converter/charger (junk), unless it's been replaced recently.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:24 AM   #10
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Your Fleetwood coach will indeed charge all the batteries from shore power. Not all brands of coaches do this, but all Fleetwood Class A's do.
Plugging into shore power while in storage is a good thing to do, but make sure the batteries are checked periodically for adequate water in the cells. Top off with distilled or de-ionized water as needed. Flooded cell batteries should be checked every 30 days or so whenever the charger is running, whether in use or in storage.

If you have AGM, Gel or other "maintenance free" batteries, checking is not necessary nor possible (the batteries are sealed).
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