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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Do you use a trickle charger/drip charger/battery tender or do you hook up to your vehicle every now and then if your camper is sitting idle for awhile?

Thanks.
 

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When my camper isn't in use I unhook the battery and store it inside on a shelf. Then charge it as needed. I am hooked straight to electric most of the time. I only use my battery once or twice a year.
 

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I disconnect my battery after each use and will recharge it before the next trip. During the winter months I keep it in my garage and charge it once every three to four weeks.

Hope this helps.

Ruide
 

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i have a switch that i turn that isolates the battery from the rest of the trailer. works like disconnecting it. i make sure the water is full. the trailer stays at my seasonal site, so once and awhile we go up for the weekend and plug everything in. if the weather allows it. seems to be working. battery has been holding a charge so far. i have been doing this for a few years now.
my son installed the same switch on his trailer and has been doing the same thing.
 

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The trailer is connected to shore power 24/7 when not in tow, so battery is charged as needed. When in tow, it's charged by the tow vehicle.
 

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I need to hook up my solar to my new camper. I have 2 60 watt panels. :icon_smile_sun:

Be careful if you have an older camper - leaving it plugged into shore can boil your batteries. Anything over about 5 years old doesn't have the smart charge capability to trickle down as needed,
 

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A few notes my father once told me.... Do not place a battery on concrete which will drain it. Do not leave it outside over winter as the water may evaporate.
 

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R3rjr,

At one point in the past your father was right. However, not storing on concrete is no longer applicable with today's batterie. Here is a Q&A from Interstate Batteries.

Will storing my battery on concrete drain the charge?

No. Regarding today's batteries, this is a myth. A battery placed on concrete will not discharge any faster, but a battery will discharge over a period of time wherever it is placed. If the battery has a surface layer of acid or grime which is conductive, the battery will self-discharge more rapidly than if it were clean and dry.

This myth does have some historical basis. Many years ago, wooden battery cases encased a glass jar with the battery in it. Any moisture on the floor could cause the wood to swell and possibly fracture the glass, causing it to leak. Later came the introduction of the "hard rubber" cases, which were somewhat porous. A current could be conducted through this container, which had a high carbon content, if the moist concrete floor permitted the current to find an electrical ground. The wise advise of the old days to "not store batteries on concrete" has apparently been passed down to us today, but it no longer applies."


Hope this helps

Ruide
 

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mine stays plugged in all the time when not camping, charger takes care of it.

thanks for the info on storing it on concrete. i'd always heard that but didn't see how it could hurt.

hey etech, are you sure it charges when hooked up to the truck, i was thinking that they didn't? not trying to argue with ya, just wondering. i may need to research that one, he's got me wondereing now. i can't remember who told me that, they may have been ful-o-crap.
 

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Bob,

Your TV alternator may be able to charge the RV battery but there are a number of requirements.

1. The TV must be wired and fused to do this. Note you will need a 5 way or greater plug system... but as you will see below the wiring to the plugs can be a limiting factor.

2. If the wire is of a small gage the voltage drop may be sure that the battery will never be charged. I've read where folks have use electrical welding wires to minimize the voltage drop between the alternator and the RV battery.

3. Charging while towing is one thing. However I read posts of auto-mechanics suggesting that recharging a RV battery while boon docking is not recommended because of alternator heat build up if the TV is stationary for too long a time. Other have said they have done this with no problems.

Hope this helps.

Ruide
 

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We have a seasonal spot for our camper and move it from there from time to time during the year. No power on the spots though just great people. Every one we camp with and around has solar panels so last spring I bought a package deal from Costco(also avilable from Harbor frieght) Cost just under 300 bucks and includes 4 15 Watt panels, regulator so you don't fry your batteries a frame for the panels and all wiring needed(witch is very simple to hook up). WHAT I GREAT DEAL. The best purchase I have ever made for my camper hands down. Esspecially camping with no hook ups. We leave it set up all summer and never have to mess with a thing. I think we went 3 to 4 months last year every weekend and then some with out ever plugging in or firing up our generator and never anything but full batteries. Even with lights on all night. Only down side to the kit is the panels can be a little awkward to store the panels on the frame are probably 3 X 4 feet but we just lay them on our bed when traveling and the ride fine. If a person wants to spend a litte more you can have one mounted to the roof and never have to mess with it. In the winter I just plug my camper in and the maintainer seems to keep batteries charged just fine, even in 30 below. Thats my 2 cents. Bob
 

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Yep. solar is the way to be. I have two 60 watt panels. Right now, one is hooked up to a 30 amp regulator to the camper, which is two sealed 6 volt batteries in series. The other is hooked up to a 30 amp regulator to the boat, which is two 12 volt batteries in parallel.
When we head to the no hook up places, I will take both panels. I use regular plugs and outlets, so all I have to do is is plug everything together and we're in business. I added hinges and some 1x6 boards for support, so I can put them however needed at the campsite. I also use outdoor extension cords so I can place them away from camper if in shade - I use one I got for Christmas lights :xmaslites: so I can plug both panels in at one time.
I don't bother with an inventor, as the only things that need 110 is AC and microwave. Where I boon dock it's never too hot :thumbup1:
But just for insurance, I do carry an extra 12 volt battery (that stays plugged into a maintenance charger in the laundry room at home) just in case it's too cloudy all week.
 
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