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Author Topic: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?  (Read 953 times)

idahored

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I normally just plug in my coach during our cold Idaho winters, and use a Battery Tender Jr on the starting battery, but someone told me if I keep electrical power to the coach for that long, it may damage the coach batteries. I've done this with all my rv's in the past, so maybe I was doing harm to the batteries all this time ? I've owned many rv's and never had any battery troubles before  :-\
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

aboatguy

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 12:18:00 PM »
BLUF: No/Yes/ it depends

Modern multistage converter/charger will not overcharge your batteries.  So leaving your coach on shore power for the winter will not hurt your batteries if you have a converter like progress dynamics or others that  wont overcharge your batteries.  However, some older converters will overcharge your batteries and boil out your electrolyte.  What converter /charger do you have in your coach? 

and if your question is just in regards to the battery tender you should be good to go leaving it in all winter since that is what they are designed for (long term trickle/maintenance charge) on your batteries 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 12:23:52 PM by aboatguy »

Gizmo

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 12:26:19 PM »
The answer is it depends.  If the coach is equipped with one of the new multistage chargers, particularly those where the voltage can be customized and set to the battery manufacturers specs, no the batteries will do fine and serve you well.  If on the other hand, the coach has one of the older chargers without a multistage charging profile, while the batteries will survive, they likely will not receive the full charge and maintenance to get the most out of the batteries and for the batteries to live a long healthy life.  The reason being is the older chargers trying to avert an overcharge situation which could boil the batteries, typically set the maximum voltage much lower than optimal and certainly less than what the battery manufacturers specs indicate.  This not only cheats the end user out of the full potential of the battery, but can reduce the lifespan.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 02:00:20 PM by Gizmo »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 01:13:57 PM »
If your 99 Itasca still has the original converter/charger, then yes it might. However, the risk is overcharging and loss of the electrolyte. As long as you check the level in the cells and add distilled water as needed, they should be fine.  And far better than the alternative, which would be to allow them to discharge completely. Some method of charge maintenance is necessary to keep the batteries healthy while in storage.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, right?  If your house batteries are not going dry and failing prematurely, then you must be following an acceptable procedure.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Mile High

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 03:26:39 PM »
My storage owner put in an outlet for me after having discharged batteries last spring.  I tried plugging in the coach but as soon as the surge suppression finished checking and allowed for power to go through, it would pop the owners GFCI.  It also complicates things as the draw on the coach is pretty high with all of the fridge, micro, etc coming on with the power available.  I decided to abandoned that idea and just go with battery minders, one 8A for the 6 AGM coach batteries and another 1.5A for the chassis batteries.  Time will tell!

Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238

aboatguy

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 04:01:53 PM »
My storage owner put in an outlet for me after having discharged batteries last spring.  I tried plugging in the coach but as soon as the surge suppression finished checking and allowed for power to go through, it would pop the owners GFCI.  It also complicates things as the draw on the coach is pretty high with all of the fridge, micro, etc coming on with the power available.  I decided to abandoned that idea and just go with battery minders, one 8A for the 6 AGM coach batteries and another 1.5A for the chassis batteries.  Time will tell!

I installed a solar battery minder on my house batteries and an Amp l start for the chassis batteries a few years ago and haven't had to add  water or start the generator to maintain the batteries during storage,  They are now always topped off, seems like it really doesn't take much to keep batteries happy in my case a 15 watt solar panel powering a smart charger has kept two sets of batteries GTG in between trips for about 4 years now and one year the coach was unused from October until the following October.  (15 watt is only a little above an amp @ float charge voltages)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 04:14:54 PM by aboatguy »

Arch Hoagland

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 04:13:57 PM »
Mine has been plugged in 13 years. Batteries are still good although I am on my second set due to age.

I have to check mine for water every 4 to 6 weeks. 
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SCVJeff

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 03:55:59 AM »
My storage owner put in an outlet for me after having discharged batteries last spring.  I tried plugging in the coach but as soon as the surge suppression finished checking and allowed for power to go through, it would pop the owners GFCI.  It also complicates things as the draw on the coach is pretty high with all of the fridge, micro, etc coming on with the power available.  I decided to abandoned that idea and just go with battery minders, one 8A for the 6 AGM coach batteries and another 1.5A for the chassis batteries.  Time will tell!
Como?  Why would any of that come on unless to turn it on?  Popping the GFI should be looked into tho
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Bill N

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 07:25:47 AM »
No power in my storage bin so I just take the coach out every 3 to 4 weeks and run the generator for about 1/2 to 3/4 hour. This keeps the generator exercised (with a load such as elec heat), the tires in good shape and the batteries charged.  I also have a kill switch for the coach batteries and it kills all power to the coach for such things as the propane detector, pump, lights and other parasitic draws.  I do frequently check the electrolyte levels in the batteries and clean the posts.

Bill
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billwild

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 08:20:27 AM »
Bill, I agree with one of the above comments, and install a decent solar panel, and not have to worry about running the gennie. Just have to check the water level once in a while.


Bill

idahored

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 12:07:45 PM »
I think I'll try watching the battery water level, and plugging into the shop power every other month and see what results I get.  Thanks for all the replies to my question  :))
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

Bill N

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 12:35:50 PM »
Bill, I agree with one of the above comments, and install a decent solar panel, and not have to worry about running the gennie. Just have to check the water level once in a while.


Bill

I do have a small factory installed solar panel but since the coach is stored inside it is not providing any power.  But running the generator is a requirement of Onan in order to keep things in running order. 
Too technical for me to explain (others can do it)  but exercising keeps the gen portion in good condition.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John From Detroit

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 05:54:57 PM »
I will support the "It Depends" Response

With my 9180 + Wizard I kept the RV plugged in nearly all winter (Save for when the power failed.. and even during most of the power failure thanks to the On-Board Generator)

Today I full time so save for when I'm moving it is plugged in  likely an average of 24:59/day (Driving counts as plugged in) Only time I run on batteries is power failures and overnights on the semi-annual migration hike.
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Mile High

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 09:22:48 AM »
Como?  Why would any of that come on unless to turn it on?  Popping the GFI should be looked into tho
Jeff, I assume that is Spanish or a typo?  My fridge and micro come on when plugged in (at least the clock on the micro).  There is not real switch to turn them off or on other than breakers.  I did look into the GFCI popping as far as I want to take it after finding out it is a pretty common thing with RVs.  It doesn't pop mine at home, so I'm not too worried about it.  It's possible he only gave me a 15A circuit so it actually may have been overloading.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 09:33:43 AM by Mile High »
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238

Mile High

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Re: does it hurt batteries to be charged from shore power all winter ?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 09:24:06 AM »
 duplicate
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 09:26:04 AM by Mile High »
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238