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Old 06-20-2012, 06:10 AM   #15
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So I need a Battery Tender for the chasis/engine battery and if I leave it plugged in "they don't get charged at a very high rate" , does that mean that the coach's batteries do get charged while plugged in?
Anytime you are plugged in the coach batteries will be charged. So staying plugged in is a good thing. You can buy a Battery Tender for the chassis battery. I would however get a Trik-L-Start instead. Cheaper, smaller (match box), it's permanent and stays with the coach. It doesn't need to be plugged in. This is how RVers in the know handle chassis battery charging.

http://www.rvupgradestore.com/Ultra-...t-p/trik-l.htm
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:42 PM   #16
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I have to leave mine at a storage location. It has a switch that I can throw to disconnect the house battery. This is necessary because if I don't the gas sniffer stays on and will eventually discharge the battery. I visit it periodically to do various things. Then I connect the Honda EU2000 generator and run it for a while. I throw the battery switch back to the ON position so it gets a little charge. Occasionally I'll start the engine for 10 minutes or so and run the Onan.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by clyon51 View Post
Anytime you are plugged in the coach batteries will be charged. So staying plugged in is a good thing. You can buy a Battery Tender for the chassis battery. I would however get a Trik-L-Start instead. Cheaper, smaller (match box), it's permanent and stays with the coach. It doesn't need to be plugged in. This is how RVers in the know handle chassis battery charging.

Ultra Trik-L-Start 5 Amp Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer
Wow! That seems like the way to go! I like the fact that it steals power from the house battery's while they are being charge, and there are no cables or extension cords to fool with.
I feel like I am now enlightened and "in the know"
Thanks for that very useful suggestion. I am going to order one for sure.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:02 PM   #18
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I would say if you have the option of having it plugged in, do that to just keep the batteries charged. As mentioned it's a good idea to start the generator once a month and let it run with a load for about 10 minutes or so.
Most generator manufacturers state to run the gen set for an hour a month with a half load. This heats up the coils and burns moisture off them which is a major factor in gen. failure.
I start the gen, then put one heat pump on heat and the other on air con, then after an hour I reverse the heat pumps. That way they get "exercised" as well as the gen set.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:34 PM   #19
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I don't leave ours plugged in. Actually I set the salesman's switch to OFF (house bank), and disconnect the chassis battery. (It has a knife switch disconnect). Once a month I fire up the genset, set the convection oven for 450* and let it run for about 1/2 hour - 45 minutes. The oven puts a good load on the genset thereby exercising it.
I had heard leaving it plugged in 24/7 is not good as the water level will diminish faster than not leaving it plugged in. If you do this plan on checking the levels often.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:03 PM   #20
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I don't leave ours plugged in. Actually I set the salesman's switch to OFF (house bank), and disconnect the chassis battery. (It has a knife switch disconnect). Once a month I fire up the genset, set the convection oven for 450* and let it run for about 1/2 hour - 45 minutes. The oven puts a good load on the genset thereby exercising it.
I had heard leaving it plugged in 24/7 is not good as the water level will diminish faster than not leaving it plugged in. If you do this plan on checking the levels often.
Does it hurt anything if you let the water levels sit there empty, and plugged in, until you are ready to go away?
I am really revealing how much I don't know about RVing, aren't I?
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #21
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Does it hurt anything if you let the water levels sit there empty, and plugged in, until you are ready to go away?
I am really revealing how much I don't know about RVing, aren't I?
If you are talking about the water levels in the batteries yes it hurts to let them go empty. You want to keep the water above the plates in the batteries to keep them charged. This applies if the coach is plugged in or not.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baraff
I don't leave ours plugged in.
I had heard leaving it plugged in 24/7 is not good as the water level will diminish faster than not leaving it plugged in. If you do this plan on checking the levels often.
Leaving a coach plugged in 24/7/365 does not hurt batteries, especially if you have a multi stage charger. They maintain batteries with 13.2 volts, which will not boil the water out. I'm plugged in 24/7 and haven't added water in 8 months.

On the other hand, a single stage charger puts out a constant 13.6v, which will boil the batteries so they need to be ckecked more often.

Batteries self discharge just sitting there and never should be allowed to get below 12.0v. A well maintained set of 6v batteries should last a minimum of 7 years.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #23
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This is how RVers in the know handle chassis battery charging.
In my 55 years of RV'ing I haven't found it to be true and our OEM house batteries were still OK after a few months short of 10 years. Rig was plugged in while in storage 100% of the time. I did add 4 oz of mineral oil to each cell which cut down on the water adding and corrosion in the battery "box".
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:23 AM   #24
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So I need a Battery Tender for the chasis/engine battery and if I leave it plugged in "they don't get charged at a very high rate" , does that mean that the coach's batteries do get charged while plugged in? Also, where exactly do you plug the Kill a Watt Electricity use meter in? In the outlet in your shed with the shore line going into it? Is that how it's connected?
Thanks Dick!
The meter is plugged into the outlet in the shed and then I run a 12 AWG Extension Cord to the coach. With the meter in the shed I don't have to go out to the coach to monitor power usage. As far as the chassis batteries, mine have never needed charged even with sitting all winter. I have sealed batteries for the chassis and I don't think the inverter charger charges them. Go figure...I know there original and the coach is a 1999. The house batteries were replaced last year and the ones taken out were the originals. I check the water in the house batteries monthly but I only have to top them off once or twice a year. The charger just doesn't charge at high enough rate to boil off the water.

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Old 06-21-2012, 05:20 AM   #25
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What type of water do you add to your house batteries? I used to add distilled water to my motorcycle battery before I went to the sealed battery.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #26
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Always distilled water in the batteries. I believe your question about water also referred to water in the fresh water tank. I keep mine about 3/4 full of fresh water. That way if something happens in the stick house or whatever, we have about 75 gallons of fresh water available.

I leave mine plugged in all the time. Check the batteries and also run the genset under load about once a month for an hour. I don't start the engine unless I am going to drive it for about 20 or 25 miles at least.

I keep the tires covered and they are sitting on mudflaps that keeps them away from the concrete, it will leach oils out of the tires if you leave them on concrete for extended periods of time. The mudflaps are rubber, but the hard plastic ones will work also. As yours is in a pole barn, as long as the sun doesn't get to the tires, you wouldn't need the tire covers.

I don't worry to much about the engine batteries, you have an AUX start button of some type more than likely. What this does is allow the coach engine to use the coach batteries to start the engine. Once I start driving it after winter storage, I have never had a problem with the batteries going dead in between trips, usually less than a month. If so, just hold down the AUX start button and crank her up.

Always check the power pole for correct wiring before you plug in, get a wiring checker at your local big box store that tells you if the recepticle is correctly wired.
Plug it into a dog bone connector that is either 30 or 50 amps and plug that in first and check for proper wiring. 95% will be right, maybe even higher, only found one or two that was miswired, or the netural wire was disconnected, not a good thing!

Surge protectors are a good thing, most will cut off the power if it goes to low, or to high, your electronics can be damaged either way.

Here's a link to a page full. I prefer the hard wired models but some like the ones that are plugged into the pole then into your RV power cord.

Search - Surge protector - Camping World

My wife and I love Camping World we get a lot of our supplies there, some at Wally World and some from E-Bay, so take your pick.

Anyhoo, that's my advice and it is worth exactly what you paid for it

Happy trails
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:58 AM   #27
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Quote:
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This is how RVers in the know handle chassis battery charging.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
In my 55 years of RV'ing I haven't found it to be true and our OEM house batteries were still OK after a few months short of 10 years. Rig was plugged in while in storage 100% of the time. I did add 4 oz of mineral oil to each cell which cut down on the water adding and corrosion in the battery "box".
You have me a bit confused Mr_D....what's not true? I was referencing a system to maintain the chassis battery(s) for those who have RVs who's systems don't provide for that.

I certainly agree, keeping your batteries maintained properly will extend their life out to 10 years. Mineral oil is always a good idea too as it reduces out-gassing and evaporation. Being a locomotive engineer, I quickly found this out years ago as almost all railroads used it in the batteries. It really cut down on maintenance and no doubt saved them a ton on battery replacement.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:54 PM   #28
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You have me a bit confused Mr_D....what's not true? I was referencing a system to maintain the chassis battery(s) for those who have RVs who's systems don't provide for that.

I certainly agree, keeping your batteries maintained properly will extend their life out to 10 years. Mineral oil is always a good idea too as it reduces out-gassing and evaporation. Being a locomotive engineer, I quickly found this out years ago as almost all railroads used it in the batteries. It really cut down on maintenance and no doubt saved them a ton on battery replacement.
So you fellas are saying that in addition to adding water (distilled) to the batteries, we are to add 4 oz. of mineral oil to each cell?
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