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Old 11-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
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Battery charge question

I have one chassis and two coach 12 volt dc batteries. I have heard I should charge them at least once per month during winter storage to keep them healthy.

question, since I don't have an electrical source to plug in my trickle charger to my RV, can I startup generator, plug trickle charger to it and connect trickle charger to my dc batteries ?I don't plan to remove batteries during winter,since I plan to fldrive it 1-2 times per month. I plan to leave batteries in camper and jus hookup tricker charger.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:00 PM   #2
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A 15 watt solar panel is the best way to maintain your batteries, and will keep them running for a good ten years!

Since you have a Winnebago, I am surprized that your rig didn't come with a solar charger. I thought that was pretty much standard on Winnebago products.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:46 AM   #3
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I don't know if using a trickle charger is going to be enough to maintain the batteries properly if you are only going to visit the coach once or twice monthly using the generator as a power source. It would depend upon the current condition of the batteries and any parasitic draws your coach may have on the batteries. You could always try your method and each visit check the battery voltage (or hydrometer test) before beginning charging.

How long did you intend to run the genset when you visit?

As Stan suggested, a solar panel would be a good choice provided your storage area is not covered overhead.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #4
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Another idea. I would think you have a built in charger/converter that will charge the batteries as you exercise the generator. For some good reading google, "the 12 volt side of life"
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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Running the RV's engine should charge both the chassis and house batteries. How often and how long you have to run the engine depends on parasitic draws that are on both battery systems, and how long between visits, as well as overall condition of batteries.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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thanks for your input. This is my first year with this RV. I plan to drive it periodically during the winter and will look into the solar trickle charger, sounds like a good idea. that with a mix of driving and parking it outside and tricle charging all day periodically hopefully will help. This being my first year with a type c mh, we plan to learn alot, from yall and reading and practical time learned from camping. i appreciate you input and wisdom on many topics. Have a blessed Thanksgiving
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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From what you say, I don't think you need a trickle charge or solar. Driving it charges both sets of the batteries. Running the generator charges at least the house batteries and, in some newer Winnebagos, the chassis batteries as well. Note that in most rigs the battery disconnect must be in the On or Use position for the charge to reach the batteries.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Not sure why you would want to start and drive your coach during the winter. That is not doing anything any good except causing moisture that will then freeze, then rust. It would be best to remove the batteries and take them home and store them where it is warm and trickle charge them.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
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I just use one of those 15w solar panels from Harbor Freight, sitting in the sun on my big dash. Whenever I go into the RV, the volt meter reads 12.5v to 13v. The Bounder came with a little solar charger on top of the front AC, but it is only about 12" x 12", and surely can't be putting out much juice.

I am contemplating adding 45 more watts of their panels to put a little more charge during the day when I am dry camping. Might not have to run the generator as long at night to get the batteries back up.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbmsu View Post
Not sure why you would want to start and drive your coach during the winter. That is not doing anything any good except causing moisture that will then freeze, then rust.
X2!
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I am contemplating adding 45 more watts of their panels to put a little more charge during the day when I am dry camping. Might not have to run the generator as long at night to get the batteries back up.
45 watts only is enough power to run a couple 12 v light bulbs; not something that's going to alter your electrical/gen needs.

A useful solar panel(s) would run around 700 watts and cost thousands of $$$.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:39 PM   #12
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Solar will keep your batteries charged up assuming no snow is on it and your ghost loads are not excessive. If you added solar and you are running LED bulbs and do some basic power conservation it will significantly extend your stay. I can stay for 6-7 days without running the generator on 155 watt solar panel. I would suggest you add the solar trickle charger and see how that works out for you.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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You should run the Generator at least once a month, under load (Space heaters work well here) for at least 1/2 hour.. IF you do this monitor battery state of charge both when you shut down generator and 2 hours later to insure they are not getting run down, May have to run genny several hours to keep em full.

Alternative:
Step one, Get a small can of RED spray paint and the POSITIVE post of the battery that has wires running off to "Somewhere" (Other than another battery) Paint it red along with the wires on it. Optional: Black on the NEGATIVE end of the battery and wires runnign off to "Somewhere".

REMOVE to a indoor storage space with power (A scrap of wood on a basement work bench or floor is good.. .NOTE: Many myths about batteries sitting on concrete.. The reason I recommend the scrap of wood has nothing to do with them... IF there is any acid on the outside of the batteries,, The scrap of wood is cheap to replace, the floor, not so much, and that is the reason for the wood,,, Sacrificial it is)

When you hook up next spring, Red wires to red painted end of the battery, black to black.

I would leave the chassis battery in place.. You can use a jump start pack to crank up the generator every month, and that will keep the chassis battery up.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
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...It would be best to remove the batteries and take them home and store them where it is warm and trickle charge them...
That was my thinking, too.
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