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Old 02-21-2019, 12:58 PM   #1
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2017 Basecamp
St George , Utah
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Power switch position for battery charging

We are moving our 2107 Basecamp to a covered storage facility. The solar panels won't be able to keep the batteries charged. The facility does have power outlets and they recommend leaving the trailer plugged in.

Do I need the main power switch in the on position to keep the batteries charged when connected to mains power?
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Battery Minder

Consider a Battery Minder.
Provides trickle charge / Desulfation.
Hook it to the batteries and leave trailer in Storage mode.

Anyone want to comment on the over-charging risk using the on-board battery charger that comes with the Basecamp for long term?
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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What does your owner's manual say?
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:33 PM   #4
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2007 22' International CCD
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First of all, the typical Airstream's batteries won't charge unless the use/store switch is set to "use". That connects the batteries to the output of the convertor. Note that the red LED on the use/store switch panel DOES NOT tell you the thing is set to "use". It only tells you either the battery or the convertor is putting 12 volt power on the circuits of the trailer. The best way to be sure is to disconnect shore power, press "use' on the switch, and see if the red light is on at that point. That tells you the batteries are actually putting out power. Then go ahead and plug shore power back in.

That said, unless you are absolutely sure your 2017 has the newer, better 3-stage convertor installed to properly charge the batteries, you need to religiously check and refill the water in the batteries as needed at least once a month. I'm assuming you have conventional "flooded" lead-acid batteries.

Some have suggested using a plug-in timer to limit convertor power to 4-5 hours a day to avoid excess battery water consumption. YMMV.

I use solar panels to keep my batteries charged in open storage, and still, although the MPPT charger is a decent one, find the batteries in my rig (2 6 volt GC-2 Golf cart deep cycle flooded batteries in series) need a little squirt of water about once a month. I have a battery watering system that makes this quick and easy.

On edit: A battery minder is also a darn good alternative, connected direct to the batteries with the use/store switch set to "STORE."
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:43 PM   #5
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Is the Basecamp Use/Store setup the same as regular Airstream trailers?

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Old 02-22-2019, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Is the Basecamp Use/Store setup the same as regular Airstream trailers?

Not sure. There is an on/off battery disconnect switch. The manual says it disengages, or engages, the 12 volt power supply from the batteries to everything except the LPG detector. The switch is used to cut power when the trailer is not being used, or being put into to storage to preserve the battery charge.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
What does your owner's manual say?
Nothing regarding charging the battery through the connection to shore power. My Basecamp has solar panels. They keep the battery charged when the battery disconnect switch is in the off (storage) position.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:58 AM   #8
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Thanks, so Rich’s earlier comment probably applies . . . to keep the switch on/use when you are on shore power. The question remains whether your converter is a single stage old one or a multi stage newer design. See Post #4 on this too.

Peter
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:02 AM   #9
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Thanks. I'll see if my dealer, or Airstream, can tell me which convertor that I have.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:08 AM   #10
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The manager of the storage facility told me that the mains (shore) power they supply acts as a trickle charger. I know that cheaper trickle chargers are not a good idea because they are always feeding a charge; whereas a Battery Tender doesn't. I'll ask him about the behavior of their power supplies.

FWIW - my Basecamp has an AGM GPL-24 battery. I believe that these are sealed and don't require adding water?
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:10 AM   #11
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That is correct IMO. Your AS paperwork should include a pamphlet from the mfg. of the converter.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
That is correct IMO. Your AS paperwork should include a pamphlet from the mfg. of the converter.
Unfortunately; it doesn't.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:34 AM   #13
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Thanks to everybody who replied. I believe that I have my answer. The battery disconnect switch needs to be in the on position
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:59 PM   #14
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Lady Lake , Florida
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Tenders

Good advice!

I have a Battery Tender 4 amp, Battery Minder is also quality. This is the best way to maintain the batteries while in storage. Make sure you are on the positive of battery one and the negative of battery two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeSag View Post
Consider a Battery Minder.
Provides trickle charge / Desulfation.
Hook it to the batteries and leave trailer in Storage mode.

Anyone want to comment on the over-charging risk using the on-board battery charger that comes with the Basecamp for long term?
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