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Old 11-26-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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To keep plugged in or not. That is the question.

In years past I have had a travel trailer with AGM batteries. I would still bring them inside during the winter months of non use.

My question is with our (new to us) 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 33V should we leave it plugged in while not in use and check the water level in the batteries once a month? Or.. charge them up and disconnect everything.
It does have a small solar panel to trickle charge the batteries. Does that still work when the coach battery disconnect is turned to "off".

During the months of non use I plan on starting everything up and bringing it all up to operating temperatures at least once a month.

Any suggestions or comments are appreciated.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:19 PM   #2
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We have A DP. the barreries are 8 years old. in it they checked out good The MH is A Winnebago 2000 Advantage, It is allways pluged in.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:49 PM   #3
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plugged in

We keep our coach at a storage site with no electric. We live in Florida, noooo winter. We travel in the state 2 to 3 times a month and run the generator weather we need it or not. This keeps the battery's charged.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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Mine DP stays plugged in.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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We keep our's plugged in too. Not to add another topic to this thread, but lots of opinions changed my thinking on starting it once a month and letting it idle up to temperature. I now exercise all the systems (inc drive trane) with a load on them. This includes the generator. I do it every 4-6 weeks.

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Old 11-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #6
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My coach is always plugged in (when parked).

Unless you can actually drive the coach up to operating temp, consider letting it sleep. Do run the generator once a month or so for 1 hour at at least 1/2 load.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
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What type of batteries do you have? Do you have the stock charger? Most likely a Parallax? If so the float voltage on those chargers are a bit high...my View owners manual does not recommend leaving the charger on full time...I don't have to worry since I have solar panels and a Trik L Start that keeps my batteries up to snuff...
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MutinyGuy View Post
What type of batteries do you have? Do you have the stock charger? Most likely a Parallax? If so the float voltage on those chargers are a bit high...my View owners manual does not recommend leaving the charger on full time...I don't have to worry since I have solar panels and a Trik L Start that keeps my batteries up to snuff...
They are wet cell batteries (Interstate). I would assume I have the stock charger. I just purchased the MH.

Thanks for your responses.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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I pull all of our batteries when I put the motorhome into storage and connect them all to automatic battery tenders. It keeps them fully charged without overcharging them throughout the winter.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:49 AM   #10
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If you live in a cold climate and will not use her, just put her to bed and leave her sleep!

If she's out in the cold, remove the batteries and take them someplace warm.

DO NOT succomb to the temptation to fire everything up once a month. Absolutely no good purpose to be served by that. None. Really.

In the spring, put the batteries back in, she'll fire right up, (yes do a full walkaround and checkout) drive her 3-4 hours, then change the oil (and all the rest of the maintenance items) and you're ready for the season.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
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I have always left it plugged in before, but trying something different this winter. I have 2 battery minders. One hooked to coach and the other to the chassis battery. Will keep batteries charged and desulfated all winter.

Have also run engine and generator once a month, but have been reading a lot on this forum about NOT doing that, as JimM68 mentioned above. I am a little confused as to why they shouldn't be run. I have MH covered and it would be hard to move, but I did hold the brake and run transmission through the gears to cirulate fluid.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #12
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I'm always plugged in keeping AGM's full charged than chassis battery is fully charged with the BIRD system.
Have done the same for all coach's, you never know if you need a fast escape.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:12 PM   #13
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I always keep the batteries in the coach. Been doing that for 19 years. The vintage coach had a dual battery switch that could tie the two batteries together for a "permanent" boost, and an isolator to let them charge together while not connected together.

The DP has the typical non-shoreline charge on chassis batteries, so I now use a Trik-L-Start.

As far as exercising the genset and the engine. Onan says it should be run at approx 1/2 load for at least an hour each month to prevent corrosion forming on the stator. So, I do it.

I haven't followed the comments on this forum about exercising the engine but on other forums AND directly from my CAT manual it is recommended that the coach be DRIVEN at least 50 miles once a month, or less preferably don't turn the key if you can't drive it.

Why would I ignore the knowledge of the engineers who designed these items?

Actually I find it enjoyable. I fire up the genset, hook in a couple of 1500 W auxiliary heaters, start the engine and go for a pleasant ride for an hour or so. I do a 4 month clover-leaf. First go north, next month go south, etc. That hour is good for my mental health.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #14
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Hi John H,
The reason not to start the coach every month is because of contaminates and moisture and where they will rest. Part of the job of the engine oil and tranny fluid is to suspend contaminates and carry them off to the filters where they will be kept. The fluids can not do their job well unless they are up to operating temp.

In addition there is moisture. The ingredients for moisture will exist through out the automotive drive train. Adding heat (by starting the engine) to the ingredients allows the moisture to form from the engine to the tail pipe. Moisture is burned off as the automotive parts get to and remain at operating temp. To get to operating temp the coach must be driven. Do not look at the temp gage and think the engine and drive train are at operating temp. They are not. The temp gage is coolant temp.

The bottom line is if one really wants to do this one must drive the coach. How long and under what conditions depends on the outside temp and humidity. The lower the temp and the higher the humidity, the longer the drive.

When I lived up north and did not use my coach during the winter, I let it sleep.
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