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Old 12-03-2021, 06:26 AM   #1
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How to keep main batteries and house batteries full when in storage.

Can batteries be charged while in storage by plugging into standard outlet and keeping invertors on? What is the procedure? 2010 Fleetwood Discovery 40GI have 2 invertors. HELP!
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Old 12-03-2021, 08:09 AM   #2
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Are one or more of your inverters, inverter/chargers? If so and that is the only means of charging your batteries, then yes leave that one on. If they are just inverters they have no charging capability so you should leave them off. But you do have a converter/charger and as long as shore power is available (and no other big AC loads on that could blow the shore power outlet's fuse) and the battery disconnect switch is on then the house batteries will charge.

Will the chassis batteries also get charged? That depends on what kind of battery isolation manager (BIM) you have and if it is wired correctly.

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Old 12-03-2021, 08:20 AM   #3
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Inverters don't charge the batteries. Converters do. There are some Converter/Inverter combos. And the inverters should be OFF when in storage because they aren't 100% efficient and draw from the batts even if there's nothing plugged into them.

Most modern UPPER END RVs provide for charging of both banks when plugged into shore power. You can plug into 20 amp outlet at some storage lots but not all and that's all that's needed to keep the sets charged by the converter. BUT...it's best to measure the voltage on the chassis batts when on shore power to be sure it's getting 13.xx volts or above when plugged into shore.

What you can do that's the easiest is just keep a pair of gloves and a wrench in the battery bay. When you park it at a storage lot, just disconnect the chassis battery grounds, and disconnect the jumper cable between the 6 volt house batteries. Empty and wedge open the refer of course.

They will hold a charge for months, (if they don't, they were on their last legs anyway). The acid in the batts will keep them from freezing and they are good down to -72 F. But you'll need to plug in if you have Lithium batts as they can't stand the cold.

Anyway, if you disconnect the batts you just head to storage the day before pick up and reconnect them and then plug into shore power. OR, just head to storage with a set of jumper cables and jumper the chassis batts for 20 minutes. Usually you won't need the jumper cable. I left my older batteries disconnected for 2 full months in CA and it started right up when I reconnected them. Several times over the years. 6 months when wintering up in Alaska.

Note that you can't really trust ANY storage lot to care about your RV so if they have a power outage or if sections of their facility has power shut off, you likely will never hear about it. And you arrive and find all your batteries dead. I've read about that sort of thing happening many times over the years.

Someone with experience with Lithium or other types of batts will be along soon with their take on it.
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Old 12-03-2021, 09:44 AM   #4
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Long term battery storage

Good advice posted above!

Here is the owner's manual. See section 8 for answers to your questions.
https://www.fleetwoodrv.com/wp-conte...overy-2010.pdf

How to keep main batteries and house batteries full when in storage?

Lead acid batteries must be stored fully charged for long service life. Fully charge for 14 to 18 hours before storage. (Yes, that long. It is in the chemistry.) Fully recharge 10 hours before battery terminal voltage drops below 12.4 volts.

Check water level after charging. Charging consumes water.

Different RV’s are wired differently. Make sure you are reading battery terminal voltage. Get a $20 digital voltmeter from your local hardware store to be sure. Sometimes built in panel meters are monitoring something else.

There are two main methods for battery maintenance. They are disconnected, and plugged in.

Plugged in:
Most motor coaches can maintain batteries for storage while plugged into a 15 amp 120 volt outlet. Make sure any high power 120 volt devices are “off”. Electric water heaters, electric space heaters, microwaves, air conditioners, and everything else should be “off” to avoid tripping circuit breakers on the shore side of the outlet.

The Fleetwood Discovery 40G built in battery charger charges both house batteries and engine start batteries. (See owner’s manual referenced above.)

Sometimes a home outlet has other outlets on the same circuit. High power appliances on other outlets can load the circuit and combined with RV draw can trip a circuit breaker.

Sometimes home 15 amp outlets are actually 20 amp outlets. Of course 20 amp outlets can support more 120 volt appliances. In any case a circuit breaker will trip if you try to draw too much.

Inverters convert 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC. Some people call an inverter/charger an “inverter”. Inverters should be “off” when stored on 15 amp shore power. Chargers should be “on”. See inverter/charger operator’s manual for instructions.

Different RV’s are wired differently. Monitor battery terminal voltage using your digital voltmeter until you know voltage is being maintained at proper storage level. 13.2 volts is optimum for long term storage. 13.6 is acceptable for flooded cell lead acid batteries. 14 volts or higher is too much for long term storage.

Monitor water level until you get a feel for how much is being consumed. Higher terminal voltage will consume more water.

Storing disconnected:
Lead acid batteries must be fully charged 14 to 18 hours before disconnected storage. Flooded cell batteries in good condition may last for 6 months. Fully recharge for 10 hours before terminal voltage drops below 12.4 volts.

RV’s often have a disconnect switch near the entry door. Switch it “off” for disconnected storage. Monitor battery terminal voltage until you know how long your batteries will last. It could be 1 to 3 weeks.

Usually the door switch does not disconnect all 12 volt appliances. A parasitic draw remains and batteries don’t last more than a week or two. Engine start batteries may last for a month or more.

RV’s sometimes have a main disconnect switch near the battery bay. These switches usually disconnect all 12 volt appliances. Fully charge, then monitor terminal voltage until you get a feel for how long your batteries will last. Flooded cell batteries usually last up to 6 months.

For long term disconnected storage without a disconnect switch near the battery, remove the negative cable from the battery bank. If you have a Magnum inverter/charger, refer to the Magnum owner’s manual for disconnect instructions. It probably requires disconnecting the positive cable first.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 12-03-2021, 09:53 AM   #5
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This question sure gets asked A Lot Is there a sticky somewhere that covers it?

Persistant's answer covers it pretty well in plain english.
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colton2015 View Post
Can batteries be charged while in storage by plugging into standard outlet and keeping invertors on? What is the procedure? 2010 Fleetwood Discovery 40GI have 2 invertors. HELP!


If you put in storage why have investors on?
Bulk charging batteries could draw close to 15 amps.
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Old 12-03-2021, 08:01 PM   #7
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Lots of solutions but my favorite and what I've implemented on 2 MHs is to use batty maintainers.
I mount ring terminals on both batty banks, permanently installed a maintainern on each as well as an extension cord that powers them and is convenient to my storage location power outlet.
Plug in 12V lead on 2 maintainers, plug in extension cord. Shut off chassis & house bank switches. Lock up and go home.
No overcharging, don't need to run inverter/ chargerv24/7 and storage location doesn't charge for power if only maintainers vs plugging in MH, no problembw MH andcstorage GFCI tripping... EZ- PZ
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:57 AM   #8
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I am with winemaker2. My last batteries lasted 11 years. They still worked, but failed the load test. So I replaced them.
I use the battery minder. I like it because it sends a spike that breaks up any buildup on the plates.
You can find the battery minder on sale for $25.00 or so. That is so much cheaper than a converter or inverter/charger.
As a service manager, I can tell you that inverter/chargers and converters do not like electrical storms. I have changed dozens because of leaving the motorhome plugged in all the time.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
I am with winemaker2. My last batteries lasted 11 years. They still worked, but failed the load test. So I replaced them.
I use the battery minder. I like it because it sends a spike that breaks up any buildup on the plates.
You can find the battery minder on sale for $25.00 or so. That is so much cheaper than a converter As a service manager, I can tell you that inverter/chargers and converters do not like electrical storms. I have changed dozens because of leaving the motorhome plugged in all the time.or inverter/charger.
As a service manager, I can tell you that inverter/chargers and converters do not like electrical storms. I have changed dozens because of leaving the motorhome plugged in all the time.
I've read about that on the 3 big RV'ing forums too. Electrical storm rolls through and sections of the storage lot loses power and staff are often unaware of tripped Circuit Breakers in the facility. Which ends up with a few to many of the RVs without power, sometimes for weeks. Or as you mention, the converter is damaged in the RV. Or the CB pops.

Which is why I just recommend disconnecting the batts. Simple. Lower cost too as storage facilities charge extra for power.
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Old 12-09-2021, 07:38 PM   #10
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Our 1999 37V is stored inside but unheated. We have power available. I check the batteries every month or so and if below 12V I plug in. On our rig we must turn the battery switches on via the inside power panel in order for the batteries to charge. In a day or so the batteries will be over 13V. I unplug and repeat the process as needed throughout the winter.
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