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Storing Batteries


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#1 bcrocke3

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 11:12 AM

I have a question about Class A motor home on a Freightliner chassis:

I have the motor home in an insulated enclosed garage. In the past few years (5 years ownership) I have kept it plugged into a 50amp receptacle. I have always had acid marks all around and underneath the batteries on a concrete floor. Recently I found the batteries to be bad and had to replace all 6 batteries...4 house, 2 engine. The RV mechanics told me the acid damage was from leaving the coach plugged in all the time, and overcharging the batteries. I don't think this was the cause, but I certainly don't want the same problem to arise, and I don't like the mess under the batteries. What is correct? I have it plugged into the 50 amp, the main disconnect on the inside coach panel set at disconnect. What is the correct way to keep them charged, yet not have the leakage and damage?

Thanks Bill C
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#2 wolfe10

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 11:34 AM

Bill,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum. A frequently asked, and important question.

Whether to keep the battery charging device plugged in 24/7 really depends on two things: IF you have a "smart" charger, converter or inverter/charger AND, repeat AND it is properly programmed, you can safely leave it plugged in 24/7. No, not all smart converters are programmable, but most smart chargers and inverter/charger ARE. Programming involves alerting your charger to several things, as it is smart enough to fine-tune the charging characteristics: Battery size (in amp-hrs), Battery technology (wet cell, AGM, gel). Ambient temperature. Even the smartest charger can ruin a battery bank if programmed with the wrong information. And clearly, since ambient temperature changes between summer and winter, you need to input the change at least twice a year!

Brett
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#3 Sundancer268

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:15 AM

My Magnatec Inverter came with a temperature probe you mount to the battery Negative Post or attach to the side of the battery. This is used to make all battery charging decisions that would have to be manually set for temperature variations. I leave my Motor home plugged in 27/7/365 with this system an have no problems with either the coach or chassis batteries. I also added an Intelitec B.I.R.D. box to my system to keep all batteries charged no matter what is providing the charge. I believe this is better than the Trickle-Start that other people recommend as this is Bi-Directional Charging system where the Trickle-Start is only capable of keeping Chassis battery charged when plugged in to shore power. My Battery Control Center (BCC) was suppose to have this capability but it was not working and was a lot cheaper to disable that circuit board and add the B.I.R.D. module. Besides the B.I.R.D. module is 15+ years newer technology.

Even with the temperature probe you still have to set the charger for the battery amp hours, type (AGM, Flooded or Gel) etc.
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