Plug in at home???

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Scot w/1T

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We had 30 amp service installed at our home in order to be able to use the RV AC if we have visitors who use the rig (in my side yard).
My question is…..does leaving the coach plugged in full time do any damage to the batteries or charging system?
 

CharlesinGA

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It depends on your power converter. If a new or newer RV with a multi-stage converter, no, it is actually better for the batteries, but if an older single stage converter, it will cook and boil the batteries, shortening their life.

In addition, you may want to use a EMS electrical device to protect from electrical surges from nearby lightning strikes that may cause brief power interruptions and surges on return of power.

Charles
 

Mark_K5LXP

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The other side of that coin is to not tempt fate, and leave it disconnected. Surge protectors only protect so far, and power can go out for a multitude of reasons that could leave your batteries to die a slow death. As someone that has fixed a *lot* of mains connected equipment, it's not even close - stuff that's unplugged lasts a lot longer than stuff left plugged in. Even between trips I'll disconnect and use a maintainer. It's a no-lose option, if a surge takes out the maintainer it's a $35 loss. If the power goes out, it just sits there because the batteries are disconnected from the house. I know some folks like to use their RV's as an office or extension of home and in that case you have to have it plugged in but at least it's in use and being monitored. Plugged in and simply left to chance in my view is asking for problems.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

John From Detroit

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The simple one-word answer is "no".

On some older (last century far as I knwo) RV's there may be a crappy converter that destroys batteries if left plugged in too long but that product line was purchased by a company that promptly discontinued it and made an much improved version Most Motor homes today have 3-stage or 3-stage + converted that treat the battery very well.. I kept mine plugged in full time. of course I used it every day even when parked (For about an hour in the winter) but it was still plugged in full time.
 

dabrooks

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I keep ours plugged in and the only thing I do is check the water in the batteries twice a month.
 

whiteva

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North Florida
We Installed a multi stage converter/charger many years ago. Since then, the batteries have a much longer life and require very little topping off of water. (always use distilled water in batteries).
Adding a battery status display allows you to monitor the health of your battery(s).
 

Larry N.

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The simple one-word answer is "no".
Don, that answer is wrong. It should be "maybe" or "it depends" because of what Charles expressed:

If a new or newer RV with a multi-stage converter, no, it is actually better for the batteries, but if an older single stage converter, it will cook and boil the batteries, shortening their life.
Those single stage converters do exist, and behave as described above. John essentially made a similar statement.
 

CharlesinGA

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My question is…..does leaving the coach plugged in full time do any damage to the batteries or charging system?

It depends on your power converter. If a new or newer RV with a multi-stage converter, no, it is actually better for the batteries, but if an older single stage converter, it will cook and boil the batteries, shortening their life.
I just wanted to clarify, when I say NO, it is in response to the way the question was asked, "does..... it do any damage" ....... "If a new or newer RV with a multi-stage converter, no"

I bought my first RV, a 2007 Winnebago View motor home, in September of 2015. It had fairly new coach batteries, and after reading on the View Forum on Yahoo (since migrated to io.groups) I think one of the first mods I did was to replace the original single stage Parallax converter with a Progressive Dynamics 4655 which is a multi-stage and has a desulfating mode in it also. After that the motor home stayed plugged in pretty much continuously in my shop for the next two years, and every time I checked the battery water, I wondered why I was bothering, it never needed any.

Now with my Bigfoot trailer, bought at Thanksgiving in 2019, one of the first things I checked was the converter. It also has a Parallax power center (I really like the solid metal power centers that Parallax builds) and I discovered that someone had converted it to a WFCO 9845 deck mount converter (three stage) in a open tray that replaced the metal box the Parallax converter was in. (Actually a WFCO kit to do the conversion it turns out) After repeatedly checking the voltage I found it would never drop to 13.2v float charge, and doing a heavy discharge on the battery, it would not go to the 14.4 volt absorption mode either, it just stayed in 13.6v bulk mode (a good place to be stuck I suppose), so out it came and in with a PD4645 conversion kit. The PD works as advertised and the group 24 battery that was in the trailer when I bought it is still there and gets me thru a couple of days of no power camping. I haven't had to add water after the Progressive conversion.

Charles
 

DonTom

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Don, that answer is wrong. It should be "maybe" or "it depends" because of what Charles expressed:
Did you miss my next sentence where I said:

"Or else you have other issues that you first need to take care of."

For an example of such an issue, an old single stage converter needs to be taken care of, by throwing it in the trash and replacing it with a new decent converter. :)

-Don- Crescent City, CA
 

Larry N.

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Did you miss my next sentence where I said:

"Or else you have other issues that you first need to take care of."
I didn't miss that Don, but it did not say to me anything about converter type (even if that was your intention), and I didn't want someone boiling their batteries from a misunderstanding. Careful wording sometimes makes a difference in people's understanding.
 

DonTom

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even if that was your intention
And it was. If you cannot keep the RV plugged in all year, it proves a problem already exists that needs to be dealt with.

But some lith batteries are best to NOT stay at a full charge all year, that is the only issue I can think of and that is even with a good quality converter--at least until they design the lith converters correctly and start having a way to stop charging at a certain SOC. I assume we will soon be seeing such on the market as lith RV house batteries get more common.

Fortunately, my lith batteries are best held at a full charge even when not in use. At least it says that clearly in my Ampertime manual for my 300 AH lith batteries. One in each of my RVs. For now, that is a good reason to use those batteries--until they design the lith converters correctly with a LPR (Long Period Rest) mode as in my Energica Electric motorcycles. They charge to 82% SOC in that mode. But even that can be adjusted to stop the charge at any reasonable SOC.

-Don- Crescent City, CA
 

Reinigm

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Westminster, CA
I keep mine plugged into a 15Amp on the exterior of my house. I occasionally run my AC just to exercise it, so I'm not sure if it actually damages anything. I've never had it go out except during the multiple outages we get here is So Cal these days. But even then it's never harmed it. I had the converter replaced this year and the rest of the 110 Circuit so that could be why.
 
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