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Old 03-12-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
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Question Good option for keeping batteries charged?

Just bought a used class c rv 4 weeks ago. Moved up from a popup.
I have read that battery maintenance is important. For storage this winter, I didn't know much what to do so I pulled out the house battery and am storing in my basement. I left in the chasis battery and threw the battery disconnect switch.
I have read about different options for keeping the batteries charged when not in use, but I am confused with all the options. I have an electrical outlet (120v) near the rv.
I am looking for suggestions which can help me narrow down my options.
Thanks
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxx View Post
Just bought a used class c rv 4 weeks ago. Moved up from a popup.
I have read that battery maintenance is important. For storage this winter, I didn't know much what to do so I pulled out the house battery and am storing in my basement. I left in the chasis battery and threw the battery disconnect switch.
I have read about different options for keeping the batteries charged when not in use, but I am confused with all the options. I have an electrical outlet (120v) near the rv.
I am looking for suggestions which can help me narrow down my options.
Thanks
RV's have built in battery chargers. There are many types and some do a very poor job while other properly care for the battery. Some RV's also have a relay or device for charging your starting battery whenever the house battery is being charged.

It's never good to keep any deep cycle battery more than 30 days without charging. If you leave the battery in your RV and plug in, the onboard charger will at least maintain it. After you are plugged in for a while, measure the starting battery voltage. If it is near the same voltage as the house battery, then it is being charged. If not, I recommend a Trik-L-Start device (about $45) to maintain the start battery. They take about 10 minutes to install.

Larry
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:49 PM   #3
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Buy a $5 lamp timer and connect it up to your RV with it programmed to give it power 4 to 6 hours a day. This will charge it some but not boil the batteries dry.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #4
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Battery maintainers are designed exactly for what you need. They keep the battery up at full charge, but do not overcharge. Simple 120V plug in and hook up direct to the batteries. Maintainer is not a trickle charger, although they do provide a trickle charge when needed. They measure battery voltage and keep it charged at the full level. Leave it plugged in and hooked up 24/7. You need fully charged batteries before hooking it up since it is not intended as a battery charger.
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:30 PM   #5
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I just turn the house disconnect off. For the chassis battery I make sure I take the RV out for a 45-60 minute ride once a month.

I've not had any problems whatsoever.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:55 AM   #6
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My unit only takes 60 watts to keep it ready at all times. About 350 when the fridge runs if I recall
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:45 PM   #7
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If you don't already have a smart charger/controller from Iota or Progressive Dynamics, then install one. It will have a maintenance stage, as well as smart charging for when you're plugged into shore power at a campground or your generator.


If your C wasn't built in the last 4-5 years, it probably doesn't have a smart charger. The old convertor-chargers have poor charging circuits. They only give you 4-6A from a 30A convertor and charge at a steady 13.6V, actually increasing amperage as the battery reaches capacity (opposed to decreasing amperage like a smart charger) causing your batteries to boil dry.

Smart chargers run higher voltage in the initial boost stage, higher amps early in the absorption stage, lower to the end of absorption stage, a float stage with 13+V to keep it topped off, and a maintenance stage that spikes the voltage occasionaly to keep the battery from growing sulfate crystals. They charge faster, deeper, and contribute to longer battery life.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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Most all RV's have converter/chargers.. Modern ones they range from OK to Darn Good.. to.. Well, Excellent

Some older rigs they .. To be kind, are not so good,,The old Magnetek 6300 for example... Was well known (And still is) as a battery KILLER.

What converter does your rig have... They still use a single stage in some models Even some very nice (otherwise) models

And I've seen some top rated 3-stage in some fairly inexpensive rigs...

Was helping a camper with his television in a brand new Forrester class C the other day..We were going through his owner manual packet looking for the one Camping World forgot to give him (he has it now thanks to the internet and my printer... Only 8 pages (4 sheets of paper)

Found the one for his converter... Progressive Dynamics Intella-Power 9200.

Better than that... I have yet to find. (Many as good, none better).
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:14 PM   #9
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Battery charger.

For over 10 years I use "BatteryTender SuperSmart" charger on all of my vehicles and I absolutely love it.
Very easy to use and works perfect on all different type of batteries.
Plug it and forget it.
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:06 PM   #10
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Anyone know about these converter/chargers :
ConvertersWF-9855, WF-9855 55 Amp Power Converter
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:54 PM   #11
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Based on the description, it's only missing a storage mode that is basically float mode with occasional 15min periods where it spikes the voltage to keep sulfate crystals from forming
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:46 PM   #12
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I just upgraded my old single stage converter to a four stage unit from BestConverter. Took about 2 hours to do the conversion. I did a similar conversion to my old Toyota Dolphin 3 year ago.

Upgrading converter to 4 stage | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB

To keep the truck battery charged, I installed a circuit that can tie the coach battery and the truck battery together when there is shore power applied.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxx View Post
Just bought a used class c rv 4 weeks ago. Moved up from a popup.
I have read that battery maintenance is important. For storage this winter, I didn't know much what to do so I pulled out the house battery and am storing in my basement. I left in the chasis battery and threw the battery disconnect switch.
I have read about different options for keeping the batteries charged when not in use, but I am confused with all the options. I have an electrical outlet (120v) near the rv.
I am looking for suggestions which can help me narrow down my options.
Thanks
Tmaxx, if your storage is open (not under cover), you could consider adding solar. I've had a trailer for 18 months, and due to joint replacements (on me, not the trailer!) have not had it out much. It sits in open storage, with a 160 watt panel servicing two 6v golf car batteries. I check on the trailer every few weeks, and find the voltage consistently reading between 13.8 to 14v. And, I have not had to add water yet. The latter part I'm sure is because the batteries have not yet had to work much, although there is a high amount of parasitic draw on the system. Point is, for storage, I'm not sure you can do better than solar, plus you get some extra benefit for dry camping. I bought a 15 watt panel for my truck too, which didn't get much use over the winter, and happily flattened the battery within two weeks. Putting the panel on the dashboard and leaving it plugged into an accessory port solved that problem nicely. Colour me happy with solar!

Nick B
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:16 AM   #14
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Probably the best option is to charge it, then remove it and store it inside for the winter.

The next best is to keep a trickle charge on it all winter.

I upgraded my converter to a four stage last week. I also added a circuit to allow me to charge the truck battery when plugged into shore power. The new converter has a trickle mode and a de-solfication mode. By tying the truck and coach batteries together, both batteries are kept charged with the one converter.

Attached is the diagram, You can read the article here:

Keeping the truck battery charged while on shore power | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB
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