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Old 02-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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2010 25' FB International
Arlington , Texas
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2010 Int'l 25' Battery Maint question.

I've had my stream about a week now and I've kept her on shore power the whole time. Have done a little driveway camping spend some time in there just to admire her, but not really living in her. She is at the rear of my house plugged in. Should I ever unplug her and to give the batteries a workout? Should I let them run almost to zero then charger it back up? Whats the best sequence. This weekend we will do more driveway camping. The week after that we are going to a park and camp there. then about every other weekend we will be on the road.

Thank-you so much,


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Old 02-11-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
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What I think is not definitive, perhaps someone will have an expert correction. Plus, there are other threads concerning battery maintenance. I can say that a battery's life will be severly shortened the more times it is allowed to drain past 50%.

I find myself disconnecting for a week at a time and then being sure to reconnect and bring it back up. If you use the disconnect switch, then there should be no phantom drains and the battery should be just under fully charged when you reconnect.


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Old 02-11-2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Blaine , Washington
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There are 2 phantom drains, the 2 detectors for Carbon Monoxide and Propane. With the disconnect switch off, ( ie no red light), it will take about 3 weeks for the batteries to go past 50%.

If you leave it connected to shore power all the time, about the only thing I can think of that will be used is the converter and its cooling fan.

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Old 02-11-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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You can eliminate phantom drains by using a marine battery isolator, which completely disconnects the batteries from the trailer. If properly used, it can also reduce overcharging. Search this site for other forum entries on this subject.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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So Leave it Plugged for a week, then unplugged for a week and just keep rotating?



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Old 03-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
So Leave it Plugged for a week, then unplugged for a week and just keep rotating?


When I had a trailer in my driveway, I would charge it for 24 hours every 3 -4 weeks. I don't know what trailers have what converters, but unless you have a three stage converter that has a true maintenance mode, you can damage the batteries by staying connected to AC for too long a time, with no DC loads turned on .

This is an excellent place to started reading.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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Try a timer

The converters installed by Airstream are not well temperature compensated will overcharge and run the batteries low on water if kept powered on constantly in hot weather.

My trailer is kept constantly powered while in storage. I use a heavy-duty lamp timer to power up my converter twice a day for 1/2 hour each time. My batteries are always well charged and never go low on water.
John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:43 PM   #8
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For maximum battery life, do not discharge them repeatedly below 80% or approximately 12.5v while the battery is at rest, meaning no significant loads being drawn from the battery. If you do draw the batteries down to 80% or lower, you want to get them back up to full charge as soon as possible in order not to shorten their life.

This table is a guide to the state of charge at 77degrees and the batteries resting (no charge or discharge for appx 3 hours)

100% 12.7v
90% 12.6v
80% 12.5v
70% 12.4v
60% 12.3v
50% 12.2v
40% 12.1v
30% 12.0v
20% 11.9v
10% 11.8v
0% <11.7v

The problem with the factory charger converter is that it is a single stage charger meaning it will pump the same amount of charge into the batteries whether they need it or not. This will in time cook the batteries if they are continuously left connected. John Erwin's solution is a good work around, whereby he is limiting the time the charger is pumping into the batteries. The factory charger converters have a history of being unreliable. I would say that 1/2 the people I know with a later model Airstream with the Parallax charger/converter have had to replace the unit at least once. If you run into that situation you can use the opportunity to upgrade to a three stage charger/converter which will extend the life of your batteries. An example of such a unit is Parallax to Xantrex Upgrade

If you want to monitor exactly where you are with your batteries in regard to how much charge is going in or out and how charged they are you need a good battery monitor such as the Trimetric 2020. The factory monitor tells you nothing other than if there is some charge or if the batteries are dead. Trimetric TM2020 Battery Monitor System

Using these items and paying attention to how the batteries are charged, discharged and maintained, I have a pair of five year old Interstate lead acid batteries that still have very good capacity.

Paul Mayeux
A&P Vintage Trailer Works, Inc.
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