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Old 11-07-2015, 01:48 PM   #1
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Power to motor home during storage

I have my 05' Endeavor winterized and stored beside house. I have it plugged into 30 amp service. This may be a no brainer but here goes : Do i need my battery cutoff switches in the "ON" position to receive a charge ? Living in Canada I do not want to risk freezing Batteries. Or , is there some kind of wiring routing to inverter so you can just plug in and put batt cutoff switches in the "OFF" position ? My friend says who cares your plugged in.
Just wondering. First winter storing for extended period.......like six months !
Also is it ok to leave plugged in.....any risk of overcharging as there is no load on batteries ? I assume when there fully charged a regulator or other magic device does its job............
Thank you and have a great winter,
Lloyd livin in the Igloo
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:51 PM   #2
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Endeavor inverter.

Your Endeavor probably has a Heart or maybe the later Xantrex inverter in it. Leaving it plugged in and assuming the inverter has a charger in it will keep your batteries charged and maintained. You will need to be sure and check battery water. Monaco used a battery maintainer in the days of the original company from an outfit called Tric L Start so as to provide a trickle charge to the cranking battery and keeping it up. Prior to the Tric L Start they used a maintainer called something like Keep It Up. They are not around anymore. If you run into something like that on yours you will probably be replacing it on down the road. Sooner than Later. You can do this without the inverter itself being turned on. Plug the coach in, leave the main battery switches on and the inverter charging unit will handle it. Monitor battery water frequently until you have an idea of water usage and how often water is needed.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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I would unhook the ground cable and install a "Battery Tender" on the house battery bank and another on the chassis battery. These chargers are inexpensive and work well without putting unnecessary wear and tear on your inverter.
Personally I pull my batteries and store them in my garage warm and dry and attach the chargers there. I can monitor the charge and water level without going out in the cold too.
Lynn
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LETMGROW View Post
I would unhook the ground cable and install a "Battery Tender" on the house battery bank and another on the chassis battery. These chargers are inexpensive and work well without putting unnecessary wear and tear on your inverter.
Personally I pull my batteries and store them in my garage warm and dry and attach the chargers there. I can monitor the charge and water level without going out in the cold too.
Lynn
I bought two Battery tenders and installed them on my house and chassis batteries in 2007. Batteries are in great shape and still load test good after 8 years. I do not disconnect the ground cable, I just hit the battery disconnect switches.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RIDER FAN View Post
I have my 05' Endeavor winterized and stored beside house. I have it plugged into 30 amp service. This may be a no brainer but here goes : Do i need my battery cutoff switches in the "ON" position to receive a charge ? Living in Canada I do not want to risk freezing Batteries. Or , is there some kind of wiring routing to inverter so you can just plug in and put batt cutoff switches in the "OFF" position ? My friend says who cares your plugged in.
Just wondering. First winter storing for extended period.......like six months !
Also is it ok to leave plugged in.....any risk of overcharging as there is no load on batteries ? I assume when there fully charged a regulator or other magic device does its job............
Thank you and have a great winter,
Lloyd livin in the Igloo
Lloyd,
Point one, the very first thing you need to do is, learn about your inverter or, "Inverter/Charger". Find out what make and model it is. And, once you determine just what the make and model is, if you don't already have an owners/operating manual for that specific Inverter/Charger, then you can look up that model on line and, I'd just about guaranty that you'll find one on line. It will tell you everything about that Inverter/Charger and, how it operates which, will include all phases of battery charging.

Point two, turning the HOUSE battery switch to the OFF position, will in some cases, also disconnect the ability for the Inverter/charger to keep the house batteries from being charged. Not all coaches are wired the same.

Point three, as has been stated, in many cases, Inverter/Chargers ONLY charged the house batteries while, the chassis batteries were left to be discharged during storage. Also as has been stated, some factory coaches/brands/makes/models, in or about late '05 or early '06 started using what's called the mentioned, "Trik-L-Start".

That unit IS NOT A BATTERY CHARGER! It's simply a small brain that is wired between the two battery banks. The way it works is this: When the coach is plugged into shore power and the inverter/charger is charging the house batteries, that little brain will look at the difference in voltage between the house batteries and the chassis batteries. If it detects .5V difference between the two sets, it steps into action and, it will start sending some of the intended charging for the house batteries, to the chassis batteries.

The Trik-L-Start will only allow a maximum of 5 amps to be directed to the chassis batteries. And that, in most cases, is plenty of amperage to bring up and maintain the chassis batteries. But, it won't continue to actually put 5A into the chassis batteries, as the house batteries are brought up to top condition, so will the chassis batteries and, both will only be given absolute minimum charge to maintain them.

Point four, it's important to learn just what kind of system(s) you have, and how they work so that, in the future, you can determine if they're functioning correctly and or, not at all.

Point five, while some systems, i.e. "Inverter/Charger" types, can be very well designed and, work quite well, they can still screw up, every now and then. So, I don't know what how much access you'll have to your coach while it's in storage or, how often you might visit it to check up on things but, it would be a good idea to stop in probably around once every couple of weeks, maybe even once a week in the early stages of storage, to make sure things are working as planned and, you're not having battery issues early on. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:46 PM   #6
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I bought two Battery tenders and installed them on my house and chassis batteries in 2007. Batteries are in great shape and still load test good after 8 years. I do not disconnect the ground cable, I just hit the battery disconnect switches.
I'm just old school about some things. I always worry a little about a mouse or some other critter chewing on a wire and possibly causing a short which could lead to a fire. If I leave my motor home for any extended period of time I throw the battery disconnect switch I installed on the negative battery post off. Not everyone has these so I suggested disconnecting the ground cable.
Lynn
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:45 PM   #7
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I have a Magnum 2012 2000 Watt inverter. In manual it says it has a Battery Saver mode. Designed to keep batteries fully charged over long periods [storage] without drying them out.Whenever the charger is in float for four hours with no DC loads running , the charger will turn off. If the battery voltage drops below 12.5 VDC, the charger will automatically initiate Float mode to return them to a full charge. I will leave it plugged in and monitor whats happening with meter. Anything goofy and there all going in garage with battery tenders. Thks for all your input and my ears are still open. Learned a lot on this forum from good people. Cheers.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LETMGROW View Post
I would unhook the ground cable and install a "Battery Tender" on the house battery bank and another on the chassis battery. These chargers are inexpensive and work well without putting unnecessary wear and tear on your inverter.
Personally I pull my batteries and store them in my garage warm and dry and attach the chargers there. I can monitor the charge and water level without going out in the cold too.
Lynn
My charger is separate from the inverter. I turn on the charger alone, no wear at all on the inverter. If the OP has a smart charger that's all that is needed.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:55 PM   #9
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So many words. TL;DR all the posts, I'm probably duplicating someone else.

Just plug it in, take a DVM and measure the voltage across both banks. If you read 13 Volts then your converter is charging both sets. If you only read 12 V plus, then you need a separate charger for that bank. You can get one for $25 at Walmart. Schumaker 'float' charger at 2.5A will work for the chassis battery (3 winters in Fairbanks, AK tells me that). You might need bigger or you might not need one at all, depends on how cheap the RV manufacturer was that year.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:13 PM   #10
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Ho Hum another maybe not so brilliant question : As mentioned i'm plugged into 30 amp service. I was in the beast today and looked at InTelitec monitor panel and the little green light correctly showed 30 amp and it said "Float Chatging 12.9V". What i'm wondering is when i'm plugged in do i have to go to that monitor panel and actually turn on inverter or battery charger......or is it automatic ?? When i'm camping i just plug into shore power and all is good , I do not need to turn anything on. I have manually turned the inverter on in the morning to run coffee maker while over nighting in truck stop,[without genny] so that part i have fiqured out , and i know its limits, [2000 watt] converting DC to AC. Just a few procedure un-certainty's.
Thanks
Lloyd livin in the Igloo
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:27 PM   #11
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Ho Hum another maybe not so brilliant question : As mentioned i'm plugged into 30 amp service. I was in the beast today and looked at InTelitec monitor panel and the little green light correctly showed 30 amp and it said "Float Chatging 12.9V". What i'm wondering is when i'm plugged in do i have to go to that monitor panel and actually turn on inverter or battery charger......or is it automatic ?? When i'm camping i just plug into shore power and all is good , I do not need to turn anything on. I have manually turned the inverter on in the morning to run coffee maker while over nighting in truck stop,[without genny] so that part i have fiqured out , and i know its limits, [2000 watt] converting DC to AC. Just a few procedure un-certainty's.
Thanks
Lloyd livin in the Igloo
Lloyd, if you are plugged in and seeing 12.9 VDC, you are good for the winter. Just remember to check the water levels in the house batteries every 4-6 weeks to make sure they don't go dry. That's the important part. Turn on the Fireplace and crack open the Wine.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:30 PM   #12
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+1 on the small dedicated maintainers. Many reports of even "intelligent" chargers overcharging the batteries. Happened to me. Just keep in mind that you should perform a FULL charge before storage. It's a good time to do an "Equalization Charge" also.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:33 PM   #13
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Everyone has a different opinion on this. I'm not leaving my RV powered up all winter. An electrical problem could result in a burnt down RV. I use a battery tender, like others I will not keep my batteries connected over winter. Besides the disconnect switch, I usually disconnect the battery terminal (in my opinion it doesn't matter which one). Never had a problem doing it this way. My 2 cents.....
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:19 PM   #14
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Everyone has a different opinion on this. I'm not leaving my RV powered up all winter. An electrical problem could result in a burnt down RV. I use a battery tender, like others I will not keep my batteries connected over winter. Besides the disconnect switch, I usually disconnect the battery terminal (in my opinion it doesn't matter which one). Never had a problem doing it this way. My 2 cents.....

Well, I respect your opinion but,
Over the past five years, my coach has been plugged in 24/7 unless I am traveling down the road. Fully charged batteries are the primary requirement for maximum service life of a lead acid battery. My battery banks (Coach and Chassis) are just over five years old and have at least another 3-4 years or more left in them.
If you don't have the luxury of leaving the coach plugged in during storage, disconnecting the Negative cable on each bank is the next best option. IMHO
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