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Old 05-11-2010, 11:08 AM   #1
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Should I Use a Battery Charger ???

I'm putting my coach into storage for an extended period. I don't have the coach hooked up to power. The solar panel is not able to charge because it is indoors and dark.
Question ..... After throwing the disconnect on both battery banks (starter and house batteries) is it okay to hook up a battery charger to the batteries to keep them charged and ready to go?
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:45 AM   #2
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Should not be a problem. All you need is a trickle charger though. You may want to actually disconnect the batteries. At least on my coach the disconnect switch does not disconnect everything.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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I agree I would disconnect both batteries to eliminate any phantom draws and then place a trickle charger on them.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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There are special chargers made just for that kind of service

Battery MINDer and Battery Tender are two trademarked brand names.. I have used both and can give either one an equal recommendation

In addition I believe one or both offer a "Plus" model that does some "De-sulfation" after it's made sure the battery is full up..

NOTE: these are designed for one type of battery.. I'm not sure if maintenance free or flooded wet. however the output current (1-5 amps depending on the model) is low enough that they won't harm RV batteries even if they malfunctoin.

Read the label, get the one you like best. When you come back and re-connect you should be FULL UP 100%, that's the only way to accomplish that.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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I don't think the Battery Tender uses any desulfation technique. The Battery MINDer uses a technique first published about ten years ago in Home Power Magazine.

Keeping batteries in storage at full charge with some sort of desulfation technique applied appears the best way to promote longest usable life.

That desulfation thing appears to be as important as the full charge.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:31 PM   #6
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I'm confused. If you have a good charging system built in but can't use it cause the coach will not be connected how are you going to run the charger?
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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If you can plug in an auxiliary battery charger, why not just plug in the coach? It probably has an excellent 3 stage charger built in and it doesn't take much power to run it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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Most all converters now have a 3 or 4 stage charging system on anything but their lowest models. So, what trailer or motor home do you think has the upper end converter models actually installed? Very darn few! To be sure, take the model # off the converter and check on line its specs. Trailer manufacturers will do almost anything to save a dime and they typically do not install a multi stage charger unless you are buying a high end model. So, do yourself a favor and check on your converter or buy a stand alone battery minder.
-Paul R, Haller-
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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I have a Xantrex inverter/charger (model RS2000) which boiled flooded cell batteries no matter what settings I used. I switched to AGMs a coupla months ago and its charge algorithms are different for AGM; it seems to be treating them well so far.

For long storage periods a charger w/a low-ish top end charge rate should provide some safety factor against abuse of the batteries. I use this one in my garage where I switch between a coupla spare flooded batteries, which it has kept in excellent shape for a remarkable time. I took a small tractor battery out of the over-the-hill tractor over three years ago, and that battery is still working fine (it was over a year old when I took it out). I believe the Griot's unit is made by this brand as the features are similar; Griot's has selections for AGM batteries and for 6V, both of which I have used (I charge two spare 6V AGMs which I bought cuz they were crazy stupid cheap). The Griots unit has a 3.5A charge rate which is high enough to handle some real charging but not so high as to cook large batteries (unless you put them to bed w/out enough water to cover the plates).
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RV Roamer [Gary] View Post
If you can plug in an auxiliary battery charger, why not just plug in the coach? It probably has an excellent 3 stage charger built in and it doesn't take much power to run it.
If I had a 50 or a 30 amp plug in the storage barn, I would definately plug in the coach and keep it plugged in all the time. But........ all I have is a residential 15amp wall receptical......... which can easily accommodate an extension cord and an automatic battery charger.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:06 PM   #11
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Let me add this to the question

I've been told that when I hook up the battery charger to either set of batteries, that there is no need to disconnect the battery cables running to the battery posts. Even though I have 4 batteries hooked up in series for the house circuit all I need to do is hook up to the appropriate pos or neg post with the charger. The charger is only looking at pos and neg and not 24 or 36 or 48 volts at the batteries. Is this true? I'd like some feed back on this. Because if this works, it will save a great deal of time when using a separate battery charger disconnecting and reconnecting cables when not needing too. Thanks for all your input.

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