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Old 08-01-2016, 10:12 AM   #1
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keeping house batteries charged

was wondering how everyone keeps their house batteries charged up.

my motorhome sits for a extened length of time and i am concerned that my
house batteries do not get properly charged since i dont run the motorhome
often enough?

i do have a main battery on/off switch which i use when my coach sits fort
a long time. i know this does help keep the batteries from discharging, but
i also wonder if i should buy a trickle charger to hook up top the house
batteries? my house batteries are deep cycle maintenance free but i notice
that they are not as bright as before when they were newer.
house batteries are approx 5 years old and probably not going to get much
more life out of them? the are optima and have been pretty good so far?

any opinions are greatly appreciated. thanks
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:31 AM   #2
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If you have access to shore power, you can leave the RV plugged in. According to how good your converter/charger is, it will keep batteries charged properly. Some older C/C would overcharge the batteries, signaled by low water levels in battery.

If you can't plug in, a ~50 watt solar panel will maintain batteries. Third option is to physically disconnect battery terminals, or install disconnect switch in the circuit. The battery disconnect switch at the door doesn't 100% isolate batteries, LP detector, radio memory, clocks, etc. still stay connected and without charging will deplete batteries over time.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:36 AM   #3
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Plug RV in to shore power if available, preferably with a good multistage converter/charger.

Else 100-200w of solar panels and a good controller.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:53 AM   #4
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FWIW it does not need to be on charge all the time. Measure the voltage every day for a couple of weeks and see how long it takes to drop down in charge. Give it an overnight recharge somewhere around 75% then pull the plug again. That will give you a charge interval to repeat at.

Plugged in all the time will work with a 3 or 4 stage charger. With a single stage converter it will boil the batteries. The interrupted charging will work with any kind of setup.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW it does not need to be on charge all the time. Measure the voltage every day for a couple of weeks and see how long it takes to drop down in charge. Give it an overnight recharge somewhere around 75% then pull the plug again. That will give you a charge interval to repeat at.

Plugged in all the time will work with a 3 or 4 stage charger. With a single stage converter it will boil the batteries. The interrupted charging will work with any kind of setup.
I agree here. I used to store my boat for months and use a timer to run a small charger, one hour, every day.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. seaview View Post
was wondering how everyone keeps their house batteries charged up.

my motorhome sits for a extened length of time and i am concerned that my
house batteries do not get properly charged since i dont run the motorhome
often enough?

i do have a main battery on/off switch which i use when my coach sits fort
a long time. i know this does help keep the batteries from discharging, but
i also wonder if i should buy a trickle charger to hook up top the house
batteries? my house batteries are deep cycle maintenance free but i notice
that they are not as bright as before when they were newer.
house batteries are approx 5 years old and probably not going to get much more life out of them? the are optima and have been pretty good so far?

any opinions are greatly appreciated. thanks
mr. seaview
When my coach sits unused I keep it plugged into a 15A garage receptacle via a 50' 12ga extension cord.
The 3 stage charger in my on-board inverter/charger automatically maintains the charge in my house batteries, (has for 20 years).

BTW my coach is now 2 years on the 3rd set of batteries..(the 1st 2 sets lasted 9 years each).

Mel
'96 Safari, 148k miles
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:44 PM   #7
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I started RV camping in 1968. Keeping batteries charged has always been a problem. I tried many different approaches, with varying degrees of success. Several years ago, I read about battery minder. I liked the pulse charge, designed to break up any buildup on the plates. I use two different ones. One for the house and one for the chassis. I bought my motorhome in January 2007. The batteries were shot. I installed new batteries as soon as I got home. The batteries are now 9 and 1/2 years old and are still testing good. I do not like keeping the motorhome plugged in and using the converter. In Georgia we have many storms and converters don't like lightening.
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