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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Plugged in or Trickle Charger

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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/12/20 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Upgrade the outlet to make it switched.

Add a trickle charger.

Find out the parasitic draw on the RV, and discharge rate of the battery bank. (depends on age, among other factors)

Add a timer and power the charger for one more hour per day than needed to cover parasitic losses.

I do this with my car when I snow bird for 4 months each year. The battery is OEM and from 2013.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

AJR

Close to Madison Wisconsin

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Posted: 04/12/20 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP…. Looking at your convertor (WF-8955PEC) it is a three stage charger. That means you can have your camper plugged in 24/7 all year to shore power. You just have to refill the batteries with distilled water when they get low. Look at them three times a year or more.

I do that so I do not have to remove the batteries in the winter. I should also add it gets real cold up here.

To keep it plugged in all year you should have 20A rated extension cables to your 30A RV from a 20A outlet. If the camper is close to the 20A outlet you may be able to run the AC even. Depending on the size of the AC unit. A 15A cable will work if all you want to do is charge the batteries, nothing else all year.


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oyarsa

Central Washington

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Posted: 04/12/20 04:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been using two 30 amp cables (the one directly attached to the trailer, and a second extension) with the 20 amp adapter at the outlet. Still, the second 30 amp extension and adapter makes me nervous.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/12/20 05:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

oyarsa wrote:

Still, the second 30 amp extension and adapter makes me nervous.


Why does it make you nervous? The demand from the converter is not terribly high--and with nearly fully charged batteries at best 2 or 3 hundred watts. If you chose to run the fridge that may be another 325 watts.

beemerphile1

Ohio

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Posted: 04/12/20 08:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

oyarsa wrote:

jdc1, how do you mean, exactly?

The converter is a WFCO model WF-8955PEC.

Still trying to figure out the charger.


You said battery tender. Do you truly have a Deltran Battery Tender or are you using battery tender as a generic term?

Do NOT use a trickle charger without supervision. The Deltran Battery Tender is a battery maintainer, not a trickle charger, and is an excellent device.


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Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 04/12/20 09:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarneyS wrote:

Huntindog wrote:

If you have a WFCO, it is a bad idea to just plug the trailer in.... WFCOs never go into float.

Nope. The converter is a WFCO but does go into float when appropriate.
WFCO 8955 description and specs.

OP, you should be able to leave the trailer plugged inn 24/7 without damage. Our trailer has a PD converter with the charge wizard and is usually left plugged in 24/7/365 and our batteries last about 8 years on average.
Barney
I know what the spec sheet says.
But WFCOs are nortorious for not going into float, and for not going into bulk charge cycles.
Many many posts on this. Mine misbehaved according to script. It was essentially a single stage charger, stuck at 13.6 volts.

If one owns a WFCO, I urge them to check it for themselves.



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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/13/20 12:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beaker wrote:

Quote:

Sounds like a 30 amp outlet would be fine, then. However, I only have a 20 amp outlet currently available, and have to use two cords to reach it. Based on Beaker's post, that might not be a great idea?


Was parked at house, sleeping in house, thought I smelled electrical fire but didn't see anything. A couple of days later, was around the back side of trailer where it was plugged into extension cord with adapter and saw a black mark up the trailer where it was plugged in. Adapter was melted.

Was washing the present trailer and got a tingle when washing the bumper. Measured voltage bumper to ground(wet concrete) and got 10 volts. Replaced adapter and voltage disappeared.

Maybe cheap adapters, maybe not, maybe the cord.

No longer is it plugged into house except when in use. I do put a battery charger on it now and then.


Are you afraid to leave it plugged in at a campground or into a generator?
Same thing. Except if you draw more than your household circuit can handle, the breaker blows at a lower draw than the other 2 options if it's a 15 or 20 A service.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/13/20 12:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Upgrade the outlet to make it switched.

Add a trickle charger.

Find out the parasitic draw on the RV, and discharge rate of the battery bank. (depends on age, among other factors)

Add a timer and power the charger for one more hour per day than needed to cover parasitic losses.

I do this with my car when I snow bird for 4 months each year. The battery is OEM and from 2013.


What good is a switched outlet? Too hard to pull a cord out of an outlet?

And they make a replacement for trickle chargers and timers. They're called battery tenders.
Unless you like 20th century battery charging.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/13/20 12:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

oyarsa wrote:

I've been using two 30 amp cables (the one directly attached to the trailer, and a second extension) with the 20 amp adapter at the outlet. Still, the second 30 amp extension and adapter makes me nervous.


Then get smarter about what you're doing instead of just being nervous.
We have no idea how long the 2 30A cords are, but good news, since you basically have the heaviest cords you can get, there's no issue.
Unless you have like 200' of cord and are trying to run the AC or something.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/13/20 12:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

beemerphile1 wrote:

oyarsa wrote:

jdc1, how do you mean, exactly?

The converter is a WFCO model WF-8955PEC.

Still trying to figure out the charger.


You said battery tender. Do you truly have a Deltran Battery Tender or are you using battery tender as a generic term?

Do NOT use a trickle charger without supervision. The Deltran Battery Tender is a battery maintainer, not a trickle charger, and is an excellent device.


What's special about Deltran? There's dozens of brands of battery chargers.

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