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Old 10-22-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
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Charging Chassis Batteries while in storage.

I will be storing our TropiCal T370 DP for 2 months in an indoor storage unit in Arkansas. I'm concerned with keeping my Chassis batteries charged since we won't be starting the engine for the 2 months.
We will be plugged into 120v while in storage. I have a Xantrex Freedom 458 Inverter/Charger which totally mystifies me. Will this unit keep both my Chassis Batteries and my House Batteries charged. Also. does this unit function like a Float Charger so that it only charges when necessary and will not overcharge the batteries?
Really appreciate your response in "Electrical Talk For Dummies" language.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:51 PM   #2
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The Freedom 458 is an excellent charger that manages the battery quite well, so you should have no overcharging problems as long as the batteries are in OK condition. A single battery with a weak cell, though, can fool the charger into continuous charging of the entire set of batteries, so keep an eye on it anyway.

The 458 itself does not control which batteries get charged. That is a function of the coach electrical system design. Some coach makers build in a charge controller that will monitor and charge the chassis batteries as well as the house set, and others do not. I'm pretty sure your TropiCal is one that does this, but not positive. I had a 2002 Dolphin Lx and it did that, and the TropiCal is a more upscale model that I suspect does at least as much battery management..
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Old 10-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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Ditto...the 458 is a good product and a 3 stage charger.

Check the chassis battery voltage when the 458 is on and the engine off. If the voltage is greater than 13V, the chassis batteries are being charged. Turn off the 458 and see if the 13V+ at the chassis batteries drops. If it does the batteries are being charged directly or indirectly through the 458.

Two months of indoor storage isn't long. Just remove the ground wire off the house and chassis battery bank leave all power AC power off. This way there's no risk of a power related problem.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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Not sure I understand "...leave all power AC power off". I will be plugged into at least household current, possibly 30 amp. Also, it seems logical to me that I should keep my "battery disconnect" switch off. Is that logical?
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:59 AM   #5
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Not sure I understand "...leave all power AC power off". I will be plugged into at least household current, possibly 30 amp. Also, it seems logical to me that I should keep my "battery disconnect" switch off. Is that logical?
I believe ImagineIF is telling you to not plug into anything. Assuming your batteries are in good shape to begin with, 2 months sitting should not be a problem, as long as everything is disconnected. Even though your battery disconnect switch is off, you can still have draws on the battery from things like propane or CO alarms. The only way to insure everything is disconnected is to remove the negative cables from the batteries.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:18 AM   #6
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Mine is plugged into 30 amp in indoor storage a lot of the year. It has the Freedom 458 and I don't unplug or disconnect anything. Never had a problem and all batteries are fully charged when we leave.


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Old 10-23-2014, 09:19 AM   #7
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I would leave your battery disconnect on with coach plugged in so your battery charging circuit can charge your batteries.
That's how it works with a Bird System, yours maybe similar.
If you plugging into 30 amp make sure its a proper outlet for a RV.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
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Not sure I understand "...leave all power AC power off". I will be plugged into at least household current, possibly 30 amp. Also, it seems logical to me that I should keep my "battery disconnect" switch off. Is that logical?
My point is that if EVERYTHING is shut down you shouldn't need to plug the coach in for 2 months. There's far less risk of damage due to a bad battery while unattended on a charger.

FWIW, I always leave mine plugged in and it has two 458 inverter/chargers. If unattended for days I will turn off the domestic 12V loads with the domestic power solenoid. Yep, it doesn't turn everything DC powered off, but almost everything.

If you leave your unattended coach plugged in, especially indoors, make sure your Automatic Generator Start is turned off. Also, make sure you disable the inverter function on your 458s. That's easy to do from the remote. They last thing you want is fully discharged batteries because your RV lost commercial power and your inverter kicked in. Even without any AC loads, the inverter will draw the batteries down. Finally, while in storage, turn off all AC circuit breakers, except the one to the charger. There's no reason to risk a power induced problem with anything except the charger.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:43 PM   #9
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Would it be simpler just to turn everything off, leave the coach unplugged and hook a float charger up to my Chassis Batteries? Mine are two 12v batteries connected in parallel. Can I hook up a Float charger to a positive on one battery and a negative on the other? If so, what amperage charger will I need? So embarrassed, so stupid about electricity.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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If left unattended get a small battery minder then disconnect the grounds and clip it on and plug it in.

Float charge needs to be less than 1 amp at correct voltage.

Generic chargers usually not good for this.

Harbor freight has one for about 10 bucks for lawn equipment that also works well BUT...it is not diode isolated so if it is plugged into a gfi that trips or it becomes unplugged it will drain the batteries...BTDT...
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Would it be simpler just to turn everything off, leave the coach unplugged and hook a float charger up to my Chassis Batteries? Mine are two 12v batteries connected in parallel. Can I hook up a Float charger to a positive on one battery and a negative on the other? If so, what amperage charger will I need? So embarrassed, so stupid about electricity.
If your current charger is an intelligent 3 stage charger then you already have a float charger. Don't waste your money buying another.

If your current charger is not an intelligent 3 stage charger then you should replace it. Dumb single stage chargers WILL shorten the life of your batteries.

As for the current being produced by a float or maintenance charger, it really depends on the amperage of your battery bank and any phantom loads that might always be on.
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