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Keeping camper plugged in


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Is it ok to leave my camper plugged in when not it use?  I had a 30amp plug installed on the outside of my house to keep it plugged in while my mother was living in it.  Now that she has her own place and the camper in only used occasionally  I wasn't sure if it was a good idea.  My old pop-up only had one battery and I would take it into the garage and put it on a tender over the winter.  

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Posted (edited)

Yes. Ive got a 3 stage converter so there is a storage mode that keeps the batteries at 13.2 volts. Im going to be installing a 30A plug for my RV. Also I've kept my plugged in when at home.

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Best to disconnect battery from camper because of parasitic loads drawing them down and causing sulfation.   A battery tender should be used for storage to keep the charge up.  If where you live gets really cold it is recommended to remove the batteries and store them inside.

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7 hours ago, IBMobile said:

If where you live gets really cold it is recommended to remove the batteries and store them inside.

 

So what do you do for your vehicle batteries then? If my truck can be parked outside in minus temps, why does a RV battery need to be removed if it hooked to power and being trickle charged?

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Last time I checked all RV's have a 12V converter and can maintain the batteries through a winter time. The only thing I've got to do is check the electrolytes monthly. Vehicles don't and require to be driven from time to time or install a trickle charger. Still even then you need to add a trickle charger being vehicles do not come with a 12V converter/charger. 

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3 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

Last time I checked all RV's have a 12V converter and can maintain the batteries through a winter time.

Not everyone can store their RV where they can plug the 12V converter in to a 110V outlet. 

 

3 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

The only thing I've got to do is check the electrolytes monthly.

 Not everyone who does will diligently check the electrolytes monthly.  

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I use a 1.5 amp trickle charger on mine and leave it in the camper all winter.  I was told not to leave it on the invertor  all winter I don’t know about that really. I used to take it out.  Pain in the butt. Also bought a really good high dollar camper battery last  time works great. Also I plug a small light bulb into the cord. So I can see the power is on gfi did not blow.  Also I can see it’s on thru my ring doorbell when I’m not there. I do take a volt meter and check voltage thru out the winter. A charged battery cannot freeze. Also I can see the lit bulb out my front window.  Tells me the powers on 

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My camper lives plugged in when not camping, but I also disconnect my batteries after a few days of charging post camping. 

 

I am not a fan of leaving batteries sitting on a trickle charger, especially ones that don't have a load on them. The only batteries I'll leave on a trickle charger is my 2018, but there are so many electronics using power on it all the time that the trickle charger isn't over charging them. All my other batteries get a top off every couple months and they seem to last longer than most batteries. 

 

Standard 3 stage converters are known to overcharge RV batteries, even aftermarket upgraded converters. If your batteries are wet and plugged in they need to be checked  at least every 60 days. 

 

My batteries are sealed AGM and more robust, but I still don't like to leave them on a charger all the time. They are currently on their 8th season and will still be at 13.1V after months of sitting without a charge. 

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Posted (edited)

That's a good result going 8 seasons. Mine are wet cells and go about 6 seasons. I tried to go 7 one time but, I had to have IBMobile pick up new pair of group 31's went he made a run to Walmart from camp. I am around 200 bucks every 6 years is the best I can do. I installed a Xantrax charger that has computer control. The rv converter went in the garbage at about 3 mos old. It was one of the old ones without 3 stage charge.

 

How many seasons can some of you all go and what type batteries do you have? :popcorn:

 

IBMobile may have a picture of Dripley's 20 year old batteries.

Edited by JAG1
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Good topic for sure   My battery is very heavy and barely fits the hole.  It was a top of the line battery when I bought and expensive but has went 7 years in the cold. I do check it with the volt meter in the winter as I have had trickle chargers go bad before. I use battery tender 1.5 amp if I can get them   I keep at least one spare around here.  I don’t want to have to pull the battery out of that small hole at 30 below   I was told that leaving the invertor for the camper plugged in cooks the battery.  To hot . My camper is 21 years old.  Certainly not a state of the art invertor now days. I can go in my camper and turn the lights on etc in the winter to let the battery cycle etc.  I think this is a good idea also. I keep my slide in as close to ready to go as I can.  We used to go snowmobiling etc it’s insulated with a 20 btu heater.  A little much bit when your wet and cold its pretty nice . All my cars etc have trickle chargers on them or a plug to plug them in.  Another thing I did a few years ago that turned out really good was to replace all the lights with led m4  cost about $90 much better bright white light   It was really a nice now I can see to tie on my fishing lure before I go out the door 

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Just to clarify, converters are what most campers have to charge the batteries and provide 12V power. 120VAC to 12VDC

 

Inverters are for inverting 12VDC to 120VAC, and are not commonly installed from the factory in RV's. 

 

I have both, an upgraded converter and an inverter. 

 

For the converter I went with the Progressive Dynamics PD4655. It's been great!

 

For the inverter I have a Xantrex 1500W (3000 Surge) inverter and a pair of auto-transfer switches. When I'm on battery power and the inverter is on every outlet in the camper has power aside from the fridge, microwave, a/c, electric element on the water heater, and the converter. It's been a great setup. 

 

My batteries are 6V 300AH Lifelines. 

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Yes your right my stepson and I had a heated discussion on this   My bad sorry it’s a converter.  120 to 12v I have a 1100 watt invertor under my sink to make my coffee no running Honda or Cummins 12v to 120 v

I wrote both of those down in case in have to replace.  Thanks 

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I only have a 1100 watt inverter.  I didn’t know how much my 12 v battery would do.  Why do you use 2 -6 volt battery’s paralleled together I presume. More amp hours  ?.I could probably fit two in the bin  interesting

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I am at 5 years on my Duracell 6v 230 amp hr. wet cell batteries, I have a pair wired in series, not bad for 150.00 each.
 

I maintain them with the ways mentioned already, the trick is if your going to charge them and leave them hooked up, Do a parasitic draw test, some CO detectors can be a big power drainer with an RV sitting at idle with 12v power alone, If I am keeping it plugged in to 120 for extended periods I will leave something on, preferably the fridge, If leaving it with just batteries I will give them a full charge then dis connect them. I will do this if I take it to the lower country for winter storage, absolutely the best method to avoid snow removal, 

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29 minutes ago, Turbo Terry said:

I only have a 1100 watt inverter.  I didn’t know how much my 12 v battery would do.  Why do you use 2 -6 volt battery’s paralleled together I presume. More amp hours  ?.I could probably fit two in the bin  interesting

You connect two 6V together in series to get 12V. 
 

 

 

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Your right but why not buy 1 12 volt you get more amps ???

I don’t know if I got room in my bin    I with measure it 

Lifeline battery for me next time if I can get one here and it fits the hole. Sorry I get my inverters and converters mixed up and my parallel and series always did its dc.   I was a ac electrical lineman for 42 years I didn’t have much time to worry about.  High voltage.  Plus I knew you guys would remember right.  Thanks

Most lineman don’t even own a volt meter. But I do.  Makes me very dangerous 

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11 hours ago, JAG1 said:

How many seasons can some of you all go and what type batteries do you have? 

My last set was 10 years from carqwest, not sure who makes them or made them. They were still good but I decided to change them out last year with Walmart ones. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Dieselfuture said:

My last set was 10 years from carqwest, not sure who makes them or made them. They were still good but I decided to change them out last year with Walmart ones. 

I must be running mine down a bit too far at times when boondocking because I've never come close to ten years in the RV batteries. I'm still on incandescent bulbs which I like the type of light it gives. 

 

 

Edited by JAG1
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