How do you keep your engine battery charged during storage?

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427v8

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Apr 25, 2006
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I keep my motorhome plugged in while it's in storage so the converter keeps the house battery charged nicely.

The engine battery however doesn't get charged. So it was down to 11.9 volts when I checked it today!


I have it on a charger now but what to do in the future?
Thanks for any advice.

Keith
 

Tom

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Use somethingt called a Battery Minder. Camping World also sells them. Alternatively, disconnect the chassis battery, which is what I normally do when leaving the coach unused for some length of time. I have a battery switch that allows me to do this easily, but when we first had our old coach I used to take one of the leads off the battery until I eventually installed a battery disconnect switch.
 

Ron

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Providing you have your MH stored outside you can use a solar panel that is made to provide a trickle charge to you batteries while stored.  In our previous life when we had the MH stored in Vermont when we were in canada we used such a device.

 

Carl L

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Cheapest is to do as Tom recommends, disconnect the battery, either by a switch or by disconnecting the positive lead.   

If you have inside storage get a ordinary trickle charger connect it to house power and to the battery.
 

Jeff

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Carl Lundquist said:
Cheapest is to do as Tom recommends, disconnect the battery, either by a switch or by disconnecting the positive lead.   

If you have inside storage get a ordinary trickle charger connect it to house power and to the battery.

Carl:

I have dried up batteries using normal trickle chargers, they maintain charging voltage iand lower amperage nstead of going to a float voltage setting as the Battery Minder does.
 

TNROY

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There are two products that will solve your problem. One (the most inexpensive) is LSL Products "Ultra Trik-L-Start" and the other is Echo Charge (the most expensive). Both product connect between the house and starting batteries. They use the house battery bank to charge the starting battery. When you are plugged in to shore power it uses the converter/charger to charge the starting battery. They are both multi stage and will reduce to a trickle when the battery is fully charged, and both will prevent overcharging. The Trik-L-Start is a 5 amp charger and costs about $50, Echo Charge is 15 amp and runs around $170. Both units are deisgned with diodes to prevent draining of the starting battery to the house bank. Neither will affect the isolater or the alternator. I prefer these solutions as they can be permanently mounted on your RV and no additional 120 volt wiring or plugs are needed. Trik-L-Start can be purchased direct at www.lslproducts.com or through some RV accessory stores. Echo Charge can also be obtained through RV accessory stores and the manufacturer, but I don't have a link for that. I have not been able to locate a supplier for either at a substantial discount.
 

Jeff

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TNROY said:
There are two products that will solve your problem. One (the most inexpensive) is LSL Products "Ultra Trik-L-Start" and the other is Echo Charge (the most expensive). Both product connect between the house and starting batteries. They use the house battery bank to charge the starting battery. When you are plugged in to shore power it uses the converter/charger to charge the starting battery. They are both multi stage and will reduce to a trickle when the battery is fully charged, and both will prevent overcharging. The Trik-L-Start is a 5 amp charger and costs about $50, Echo Charge is 15 amp and runs around $170. Both units are deisgned with diodes to prevent draining of the starting battery to the house bank. Neither will affect the isolater or the alternator. I prefer these solutions as they can be permanently mounted on your RV and no additional 120 volt wiring or plugs are needed. Trik-L-Start can be purchased direct at www.lslproducts.com or through some RV accessory stores. Echo Charge can also be obtained through RV accessory stores and the manufacturer, but I don't have a link for that. I have not been able to locate a supplier for either at a substantial discount.

Echo Charge is sold by Xantrex http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/103/p/1/pt/8/product.asp
and National RV installed it as standard equipment on our Tradewinds LTC. It works great to avoid the "phantom"  loads running down your chassis batteries with two caveats:

1. The Echo echos the charge being put to your deep cycle batteries, in my case 6V deep cycle golf cart batteries. The Freedom programs a temp corrected charge that ranges between 13..6 and 13.9 volts while my maintenance free Type 31 chassis batteries are supposed to float at around 13.2 volts. My first set lasted 5 1/2? years so that by itself is evidently not a serious problem.

2. The other problem is when equalizing the deep cycle coach batteries with the Freedom you are putting that 15+ volts to the chassis batteries and after I did that in March the coach batteries gave up the ghost. (I am going to install a disconnect on the echo charge so I can isolate the chassis batteries next time.)

Obviosly I am happy with 5 1/2 years of service from the chassis batteries and uintil the last month of their lives I never had a run down  chassis battery.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Back when we stored a trailer for awhile, I used to keep a small charger on a timer and run it a couple hours a day. That pretty much eliminated the possibility of overcharging but kept the battery up OK.

A float charger like the Battery Minder is supposed to do a good job, but I've never tried one. 

Best solution is to use the Rv more often!
 

427v8

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Apr 25, 2006
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The Ultra Trik-L-Start looks like the ticket. I now have 3 vehicles that are only ocassionally used andhave learned to keep them on batter tenders otherwise they die from self discharge.

The cool thing about the Ultra Trik-L-Start is that I have a transfer switch right by the chassis battery that I can tap for power from the house battery. so I don't have to run 110 volts all the way across the MH to the engine bay. And since the house battery is being charged it all works out...

Thanks, I knew you guys would have the answer :D
 
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