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Old 10-28-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
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Full timing and batteries

I've been full timing it for about 5 weeks now and read a post about disconnecting batteries and winterizing. If I'm plugged in full time in my 2013 international is there something I should be doing with my batteries to keep them functional? ( ie disconnecting, placing in stow etc)
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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Deep cycle batteries need to be maintained at a full charge to ensure their maximum useful life...

That being said, if you are hooked to shore power all the time with the converter/charger 'ON', assuming it's a 3-way or similar unit that will automatically switch to a 'FLOAT' mode (about 13.6 volts) when the batteries become fully charged - you'll be in good shape...

We have an older AS, and I'm not up to speed on the late model's battery disconnect switch system - your manual should explain the various settings - IE: I'm not sure if the batteries continue to charge when in the OFF position and still hooked to shore pawer...

I don't know if the late model AS's converter/charges have the FLOAT mode capability - check your manual for that info, etc... If it doesn't have a FLOAT mode, it will overcharge the batteries, evaporating the fluid and ruin the batteries - in any event, you should check the battery fluid level every month or so if you are always plugged into AC service...

Happy Trails...
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:05 AM   #3
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If I had to guess. The converter in your coach is the least expensive converter that a buyer at A$ could find.
You should get the brand name and model number and do some research on the capability of that converter.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:40 AM   #4
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When plugged into external power, place the battery disconnect switch by the door in the "store" position. That disconnects them from the converter. Just remember to switch it back to "use" when removing external power, or you will have no dc power to the trailer (the refrigerator will not work even on propane, for example).

You will still need a source to charge the batteries. If you have solar power, that will keep them up perfectly. Or when driving the truck will charge them. Or allow the converter to charge them for short periods.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar1dan View Post
I've been full timing it for about 5 weeks now and read a post about disconnecting batteries and winterizing. If I'm plugged in full time in my 2013 international is there something I should be doing with my batteries to keep them functional? ( ie disconnecting, placing in stow etc)

Full timing.....I would get rid of the cheep-o Parallax Converter and upgrade to one that will do the battery charge/maint thing much more reliably.

This has worked very well for us..


Bob
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:40 AM   #6
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When the trailer is connected to shore power, the converter supplies 12 volt DC power to both run the 12 volt items in the trailer and a charging current to the batteries.

The problem, as mentioned above, is the current supplied to charge the battery is not regulated very well by the less expensive stock converter.

This can lead to overcharging of the batteries and cause them to boil dry and ruin.

This issue can be manage several different ways:

Some folks choose to replace the factory installed converter with one of several on the market that do have better battery charging circuitry.

Some simply "manually" manage the situation by using the the battery disconnect switch.

This is the switch in the trailer that says "STORE" and "USE". Simply place the switch in the store position most of the time. This will disconnect the batteries from the converter and thus prevents the over charge.

But, remember to place the switch in "use" for 6-8 hours once a week to keep them charged. And, again place the switch in "use" when you have to unplug to move or travel.

The red led will stay lit in the "store" position when the trailer is plugged into shore power.

Regards,


JD
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
...
Some simply "manually" manage the situation by using the the battery disconnect switch.

This is the switch in the trailer that says "STORE" and "USE". Simply place the switch in the store position most of the time. This will disconnect the batteries from the converter and thus prevents the over charge.

But, remember to place the switch in "use" for 6-8 hours once a week to keep them charged. And, again place the switch in "use" when you have to unplug to move or travel.

The red led will stay lit in the "store" position when the trailer is plugged into shore power.


JD
Thanks Jeff, for the confirmation about that constant "glowing" pilot light as the disconnect switch operation is a "little" ambiguous (as is my learning curve). Wish AS would replace that with a regular toggle switch or a separate pilots for shore and battery.

Figure when the Paralax eventually craps out (seems to be a when, not an if), a 3-stage or 4-stage replacement makes sense. Managing manually until then is the plan and a marine wired-in disconnect seemed the best option. While the manual actually does cover the proper battery disconnect routine to avoid overcharging (who knew reading the manual would be helpful?), that rocker switch and constant glowing red light kinda fed my insecurities as I'm just a month into post-sticks & bricks FT vagabondery and first shakedown trip ended with $200 worth of new batteries to maintain more than overnight power.
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