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Old 10-17-2016, 12:30 PM   #1
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2016 30' International
Florence , Alabama
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Shore power during storage?

What's the concensus on connecting shore power during storage to keep the batteries charged, etc? In the past I didn't have it available; but now I have room to store at our house and can stick a 50AMP outlet next to where I park the AS.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:35 PM   #2
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I have only had my trailer for about 6 months. I installed a power outlet next to my parking spot. We just had a major storm that knocked out power. I was able to go out to the trailer and enjoy heat, tv, etc.

Its nice to have power if you are getting ready to go or clean up after a trip. I installed the outlet myself so it was very economical.

Dave
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:08 PM   #3
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There have been several discussions here about this topic. There are several considerations, such as will you use the AS at all or will it just sit there? Do you have a multi-stage charger so that you won't overcharge the batteries? Will you check water levels periodically to ensure you aren't boiling them dry?

Batteries, if they are in good shape, will generally hold a charge for quite some time and as long as they are charged won't freeze. Some people will put battery tenders or timers attached to an external charger. Some just plug them in and let them stay on all winter.

If you're going to just let the AS sit there, I would go out maybe once a month and check the charge on the batteries. If needed, put the Use/Store switch in Use for the day and check the acid level in the batteries, adding distilled water if needed. (not needed for AGMs) If you have a multi-stage charger you can just leave it in Use position, check water levels if not AGM or maintenance free.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, joshjack!

As Rich mentioned there are lots of threads on this issue, so if you "bounce up" [my term] to this sub-forum's list of topics, you will probably see many of them:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/

It will be helpful if you identify what model and year of Airstream you have, and whether the battery charger/converter is original to the trailer. You could also add this info. to your User ID to the left, so that everyone can answer based on your actual unit. Is she new/used and how old? Purchased from dealer? Age of batteries, etc. . . .

Your questions are difficult to answer without knowing more, but for sure you cannot just plug it in and leave it for the winter. Rich hit the high points, but the situation may call for a more thorough answer IMO, depending on what you have.

Good luck.

Peter

PS -- In addition to the info. above, could you tell us what your trailer's battery monitor gives you for the battery voltage right now? This monitor will be one important factor to proper maintenance of your batteries.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Welcome to the forum, joshjack!

As Rich mentioned there are lots of threads on this issue, so if you "bounce up" [my term] to this sub-forum's list of topics, you will probably see many of them:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/

It will be helpful if you identify what model and year of Airstream you have, and whether the battery charger/converter is original to the trailer. You could also add this info. to your User ID to the left, so that everyone can answer based on your actual unit. Is she new/used and how old? Purchased from dealer? Age of batteries, etc. . . .

Your questions are difficult to answer without knowing more, but for sure you cannot just plug it in and leave it for the winter. Rich hit the high points, but the situation may call for a more thorough answer IMO, depending on what you have.

Good luck.

Peter

PS -- In addition to the info. above, could you tell us what your trailer's battery monitor gives you for the battery voltage right now? This monitor will be one important factor to proper maintenance of your batteries.
Sorry guys - I created my new account through the Tapatalk app and it didn't let me set up the user details. I'll go there now and add them.

In the meantime - stock 2016 International Signature 30.

I would not leave the water heaters running; we will go weekend camping 1-2 month. My intention was to keep the batteries charged and maybe the fridge cold. I am familiar with using a trickle charger for marine and aviation "winter storage" so I was thinking shore power and the built-in charger would serve that purpose here.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:57 PM   #6
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Thanks. I don't know what stock charger you have, but you should check in your owners manual, and the assorted pamphlets that came with the trailer. There will be a manual for your exact battery charger/converter. If it is a newer "smart" charger, you are probably good to go. If not, maybe best to "Store" the trailer [Use/Store switch usually inside the entry door] and add a battery tender trickle charger.

These recent threads have battery tender details, in addition to what you probably know already:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...er-158152.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...me-156249.html

Here are a couple of general resources to use, FWIW, as you monitor your batteries' voltage over time:

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

Voltage table on its own: http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/voltchart1.gif

Good luck with the new trailer!

Happy Trails.

Peter

PS -- Even though you have your own 50-amp circuit, it would be wise to add a surge protector like this for protection IMO:

http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-pt50c
https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I.../dp/B002UC4SWM

Lots of threads here on this also, for instance:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...on-156503.html
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:44 PM   #7
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PS -- Your owners manual is here I believe:

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...ernational.pdf

and on p. 5-9 it says you have a Parallax 8300 battery charger/converter [p. 41/112 of the PDF], which is not a 3-stage smart charger, as far as I know.

These threads discuss this or similar converters:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f514...al-142652.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...al-157583.html

Happy Trails.

Peter
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:49 PM   #8
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Joshjack,
If you want to leave your Airstream connected full time you can and there is really no reason not to. If you have the stock Parallax which was likely delivered with your unit, you will need to monitor your batteries closely. Some have no problem but other loose batteries in the first year. Its a game you will play with the Parallax and sometimes you will win. You have to be the coach.
If you upgrade to a multi-stage, the good cards fall in your hands and you will not have to worry about that (albeit you still have to check your batteries, just rarely have to do anything) The other appliances, are a non issue and I'll go so far as to suggest they last longer if you keep them functional and running full time. Mine sure have. Water heater is designed for winter use, etc. Don't be afraid to use anything in the winter, anything. You paid for a 4 season coach! Obviously covered or indoor storage is better but not always reality. Mine is ready to go tomorrow but I'm not.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
Joshjack,
If you want to leave your Airstream connected full time you can and there is really no reason not to. If you have the stock Parallax which was likely delivered with your unit, you will need to monitor your batteries closely. Some have no problem but other loose batteries in the first year. Its a game you will play with the Parallax and sometimes you will win. You have to be the coach.
If you upgrade to a multi-stage, the good cards fall in your hands and you will not have to worry about that (albeit you still have to check your batteries, just rarely have to do anything) The other appliances, are a non issue and I'll go so far as to suggest they last longer if you keep them functional and running full time. Mine sure have. Water heater is designed for winter use, etc. Don't be afraid to use anything in the winter, anything. You paid for a 4 season coach! Obviously covered or indoor storage is better but not always reality. Mine is ready to go tomorrow but I'm not.


Thanks Overlander! We will be using ours in all four seasons for sure! I may do the parallax upgrade soon. We'll see.
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:55 PM   #10
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I recently started plugging up when at home, although the 50 amp receptacle has been there nearly 4 years after noticing that the refrigerator will no longer cook on gas. I don't suspect anything to do with the propane system because the furnace, cook top, and water heater work on propane. I might need a control board?
It seems easier or about as easy to plug in to shore power at home and keep the refrigerator cool than trying to turn on the propane and cool it with propane.
So now the refrigerator is always cold and the a/c keeps the trailer cool to so we don't have to sweat when loading or unloading.
I decided that I no longer want to run the refrigerator on gas while traveling due to "what if". What if I have a collision or blowout while traveling with the gas valves open?
Once the 12-24 hours cooling has occurred, the fridge will stay cold for 5-6 hours on the road if no one opens the door.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:29 PM   #11
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Constant shore power

Installed 30 amp shore power next to the garage. Hold the A/C at 83 while not in use and keep all up and running. I am not sure it is the best practice to run the A/C all the time but, living in Florida would let the inside temperature climb to triple digits which might shorten laminate life, joints, glue, electronics, expansion and contraction issues. We will see.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
. . .
I might need a control board?
. . .
Have you checked the fridge flue for spider nests? Does the propane try to ignite, gets an incomplete flame etc., then shuts itself off?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...as-151077.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...ne-153298.html
https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...est&gsc.page=1

Or control board as you say . . .

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:22 AM   #13
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Winterize or Not

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
Joshjack,
If you want to leave your Airstream connected full time you can and there is really no reason not to. If you have the stock Parallax which was likely delivered with your unit, you will need to monitor your batteries closely. Some have no problem but other loose batteries in the first year. Its a game you will play with the Parallax and sometimes you will win. You have to be the coach.
If you upgrade to a multi-stage, the good cards fall in your hands and you will not have to worry about that (albeit you still have to check your batteries, just rarely have to do anything) The other appliances, are a non issue and I'll go so far as to suggest they last longer if you keep them functional and running full time. Mine sure have. Water heater is designed for winter use, etc. Don't be afraid to use anything in the winter, anything. You paid for a 4 season coach! Obviously covered or indoor storage is better but not always reality. Mine is ready to go tomorrow but I'm not.
I live in Virginia Beach. We do get some freezing during the winter but normally it is not a long protracted freeze. I usually blow out my irrigation system and the water lines on my dock. Our 2017 28' Serenity International is parked on a pad behind our house and is plugged into a dedicated 50amp outlet I had installed. We have only had the AS since August. I am trying to determine if I need to winterize the trailer or not. I intend to keep it plugged in plus I have the factory solar package. Any recommendations? Thanks,
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:07 AM   #14
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You might want to peruse the posts on these two sub-forums for folks located in Virginia, as you are in a zone which might require winterization IMO:

Winterizing: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458/
Plumbing: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f163/

Once there, you can "Search this forum" for "Virginia" and hopefully find others nearby AS owners. [toggle on "Show Posts"]

The winterization process is fairly simple, and helps one understand the trailer's systems much better. The last thing you want is a cracked pipe buried deep inside an inaccessible wall someplace. All it takes is one overnight heavy frost to reach the unheated portions of your trailer . . . [and leaving the heat running does not cover all the hidden pipes located at the extremities of the trailer]

You might also want to read up on the issue of whether your battery charger/converter is going to cook your batteries over the winter. Perhaps it is one of the better 3-stage smart models which I believe AS is finally putting in some of the new trailers?

Winterize the pipes? When in doubt the answer should be "yes" IMO.

Good luck!

Peter
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