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Old 12-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #15
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13.6V is considered nominal float in most automotive electronics industries.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
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You could hook your converter up to a timer, I use a 7 day programmable timer for the block heater on my car that would work well. You could program it to come on once or twice a week for 2-4 hours each time.

Similar to this one.
15-Amp 7-Day Dual-Outlet Plug-In Heavy-Duty Timer-15117 at The Home Depot
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #17
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I don't think I agree with you on that, Jammer. During float, at 13.4V, the unit is only delivering between 5 and 200mA. I don't think you can harm a battery at any temp (within reason) at that current flow. If it were 13.4v and 2 amps at 80*f, I'd agree.
Is it not a combination of higher voltage AND an elevated current that kills the battery at higher temps? And more a function of current?
If the battery is warmer more current will flow at the same charging voltage. If the battery minder is current limited at 200 mA then there would probably be about that much current flowing and the voltage would be somewhat lower.

That's enough to exceed the self-discharge rate of the battery and so the power has to go somewhere and so there will be some slight gassing and therefore some slight electrolyte loss. Sure, if you stay on top of it and water the batteries every two weeks, you'll be fine, and that's exactly what I do during hot summer storage conditions, because my converter isn't temperature compensated.

But you do have to stay on top of it, and you don't want to try that with an AGM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:23 PM   #18
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13.6V is considered nominal float in most automotive electronics industries.
Yes, it is. And in automotive applications that works out fine because most people don't leave the engine running on their cars 24 hours a day in hot weather.

Unless they're a courier, taxi driver, or cop in Florida, in which case they buy two new batteries a year. No kidding. Although, for the last ten years or so, cars have had temperature compensated voltage regulators, so the float voltage varies from nominal, and that sort of thing is less of a problem than it used to be. It also helps in the frozen north, where we have the opposite problem of undercharging in cold weather.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #19
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If the battery is warmer more current will flow at the same charging voltage. If the battery minder is current limited at 200 mA then there would probably be about that much current flowing and the voltage would be somewhat lower.

That's enough to exceed the self-discharge rate of the battery and so the power has to go somewhere and so there will be some slight gassing and therefore some slight electrolyte loss. Sure, if you stay on top of it and water the batteries every two weeks, you'll be fine, and that's exactly what I do during hot summer storage conditions, because my converter isn't temperature compensated.

But you do have to stay on top of it, and you don't want to try that with an AGM.
I practice, this is not the case. With both my BatteryMinder as well as my Iota, I check my electrolyte level in spring, when installing and in fall when removing. Very little water needed...maybe 3 ml in some, virtually none in others.

My understanding is the BatteryMinder is not proactive in it's current output, but rather reactive. IOW, if it sees the battery voltage drop, it will step up current output until the 13.4 V is reached then back off current. It is a "smart charger" whatever that marketing term means mfr to mfr.

Edit: I just went out to the garage. Today the BatteryMinder is putting out 15mA at 13.49V
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:20 AM   #20
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Great information, thanks to all!

Is there a down-side to remaining plugged into 110v year round to maintain a full charge if you monitor and fill, as needed, the distilled water in the batteries? As "Christine" remains in our driveway when not in use, it sure would be easier, and less costly, to plug her into a 15 amp outlet.

The '04 LY MH uses an Intellitec Battery Control Center and I wonder if this unit has the safeguards to prevent "boiling the batteries"?

Thoughts or experiences, good or bad, regarding this way instead of a battery charger/maintainer?
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:47 AM   #21
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That's what I do. I also check the water level every month or so. My 92 LY came with a charger/power converter built in.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #22
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The question is whether your MH has a modern 3 stage converter/charger. I was never happy nor comfortable with my old SOB as well as the OEM AS converter. Even plugged in for weeks at a time, it would "overcharge" and use a lot of water.

If you would like GOOD advice on the science behind chargers and batteries in RVs. Call Randy at Bestconverter.com. He is a member here and is very willing to spend time with potential customers.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
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The question is whether your MH has a modern 3 stage converter/charger.

If you would like GOOD advice on the science behind chargers and batteries in RVs. Call Randy at Bestconverter.com. He is a member here and is very willing to spend time with potential customers.
The installed unit in my '04 LY 30 is an Intellitec P/N 00-00777-000; I don't know about stages, but you would think it has some auto charging controls/limits.

Your suggestion regarding Bestconverter.com is appreciated and a call will be placed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #24
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Alot of the newer replacement charger/converter come with a battery tender built in. Your MH could very well have it, being a newer model, contact Intellitec to make sure.
My 1993 didn't have that feature and fried the batteries shortly after I purchased the coach pluged into shore power. I've used a battery tender ever since with no problems.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:42 PM   #25
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RE: BatteryMinder
I've used a BatteryMinder 12248, with the battery temperature sensor, on my large house bank of AGM's on our sailboat for off-season maintenance/conditioning and they've performed very well. In fact, when my onboard charger failed this year in Mexico, I had a visitor fly in with in a second 12248 and used the two to provide our daily battery charging for five weeks. (I don't know of any sailboats that use converters, all 12v power is from the batteries). That was very heavy use in a marine environment.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #26
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If you would like GOOD advice on the science behind chargers and batteries in RVs. Call Randy at Bestconverter.com. He is a member here and is very willing to spend time with potential customers.
X2 this remark. Check out the website, lots of good stuff. Randy does reply to e-mails.

Steve
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