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 > How often to disconnect from shore power

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Sir Traveller

La Mesa Southern California

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Posted: 02/05/21 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello Everyone…

I have a 2003 Ford F-53 RV

I have questions regarding charging house & chassis batteries, How often to disconnect from shore power

I usually stay hooked up to shore power for 6 months, then leave the RV in storage for the other 6 months … So after 3 years of this schedule the chassis battery died even though I was hooked up for months , and now the deep cycle batteries are leaking .. (I did replace the starting battery )


What are my options in this case to increase the longevity of both the starting and house batteries? (Since the charging system is built in) disconnect from the shore power for few minutes every day? For few hours every week? Should I remove the negative terminal from the starting battery even when hooked to shore power? If so then how often?
Take into consideration that my fridge and microwave work only when connected to shore power… I do not know much about how electric systems work so that is why I ask all these details to make sure I get it right

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 02/05/21 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unplug prior to moving MH

As for batteries going dead while in storage for 6 months
That is NOT unusual
They are probably dropping in voltage after 2 weeks then sit dead for 5 months or more.
That reduces the LIFE of the batteries


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way2roll

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Posted: 02/05/21 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Prior to having a solar charger if the RV wasn't going to be used for longer than a month I would pull the batts and put them in the garage on a trickle charger. 6 months without a charge even if the disconnect switch is on will kill them.


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bukhrn

Lanexa, Va

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Posted: 02/05/21 01:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sir Traveller wrote:

Hello Everyone…

I have a 2003 Ford F-53 RV

I have questions regarding charging house & chassis batteries, How often to disconnect from shore power

I usually stay hooked up to shore power for 6 months, then leave the RV in storage for the other 6 months … So after 3 years of this schedule the chassis battery died even though I was hooked up for months , and now the deep cycle batteries are leaking .. (I did replace the starting battery )


What are my options in this case to increase the longevity of both the starting and house batteries? (Since the charging system is built in) disconnect from the shore power for few minutes every day? For few hours every week? Should I remove the negative terminal from the starting battery even when hooked to shore power? If so then how often?
Take into consideration that my fridge and microwave work only when connected to shore powerI do not know much about how electric systems work so that is why I ask all these details to make sure I get it right
If in storage, why do you need the Fridge or microwave to work??


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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 02/05/21 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Install a couple of solar panels.

mfinnerty

Wentzville, Mo.

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Posted: 02/05/21 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd disconnect the chassis battery if the MH is not being driven for 6 months at a time. Disconnect the house batteries when the MH is in storage. The house batteries need to be checked for water levels frequently when not disconnected.


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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 02/05/21 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lead acid batteries prefer to be fully charged, and self-discharge over time even if there is no load on them. (Obviously, a load will discharge them as well.) The rate of self-discharge depends on several factors--the age and type of the batteries, etc.--but is very strongly related to their temperature. Cold conditions have much lower rates of self-discharge than warm or hot conditions: several months at subfreezing temperatures is equivalent to a few weeks or less at Florida summertime temperatures.

Anyhow, ideally the RV should be connected to shore power or have some other means for maintaining the battery charge all the time. Depending on the converter you have and what it's long-term output voltage is, it may be necessary to check and add water to the batteries fairly regularly if it's left plugged in all the time; if that's the case, a timer to turn it on for a couple hours per day or something like that would be helpful. On many RVs, the chassis battery is not maintained automatically by the converter, and there are various ways of getting around that (putting in a float charger for it, for instance, or installing an LSL Trik-L-Start unit, or having a little solar maintainer). Others have setups to keep it charged.

If you have to leave things for an extended period with no way of keeping the charge up, disconnecting the batteries entirely (by removing the ground lead) eliminates any parasitic loads that may be tending to discharge them.





dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 02/05/21 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When plugged in the chassis battery does not get charged, only the house batteries. The converter/charger on an 03 is as basic as they come so it can very well over charge the house batteries after extended time plugged in if you don't routinely place a load on the batteries.

Personally, I would upgrade the inverter charger to a newer style that can go into a "float mode" so it doesn't overcharge the batteries. and go with 2 new AGM batteries. A couple solar panels with a good charge controller will keep them charged up whuile in outside storage. you could also add a small solar panel to keep the chassis battery charged while in storage. and for when your plugged in and not running the engine get a small 1.5A battery maintainer.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 02/05/21 02:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Unplug prior to moving MH


That right there is some of the best advice I've seen on this forum!


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 02/05/21 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Add solar, or charge once every 30 days while in storage.

When in use--make sure the converter is smart enough to drop to a float voltage. Overcharging is just as bad as undercharging.

I'll be moving to SiO2 batteries next summer as they can tolerate a LOT of abuse.

Get a tric-l-start for the chassis battery.

* This post was edited 02/05/21 04:04pm by pianotuna *


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

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