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Old 08-15-2014, 09:08 PM   #1
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2014 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Charging with two batteries

I have a 2014 EB 25 with dual batteries. I have a Batter Tender battery charger for two batteries. Should I hook up the charger to both batteries? Or, just one? Or should I disconnect one of the batteries and then connect it to both? Or should I just plug the trailer into my 110 V wall outlet and assume its all good. I am a bit embarrassed that I don't know the answer to this question.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Did you get a manual?

If not you can download one from airstream.com. It should explain the intricacies of the 12V DC and 110 V AC electrical systems. But if your EB is like very other trailer I'm aware of, it has a charger (actually called a converter) built in. Just plug the trailer in and the converter will charge the batteries.

Do you have a 30A 110V outlet? If not you will need an adapter to hook up to a standard 15A household outlet. Be aware you can charge your batteries and maybe run a microwave, but you will not be able to use tha air conditioner unless you have 30A service.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wanna EB View Post
I have a 2014 EB 25 with dual batteries. I have a Batter Tender battery charger for two batteries. Should I hook up the charger to both batteries? Or, just one? Or should I disconnect one of the batteries and then connect it to both? Or should I just plug the trailer into my 110 V wall outlet and assume its all good. I am a bit embarrassed that I don't know the answer to this question.
Unless Airstream has decided to upgrade the convertor they put in new Airstreams, do not just plug it in to AC and leave it that way with everything in the trailer turned off for more than a couple days. The stock converters do not have a maintenance mode built in. It will overcharge and ruin both batteries in no time at all. I and many others have replaced the stock converter with one that will maintain the batteries without overcharging. A little searching will find many threads on the subject. If you want to use your trickle charger, I would recommend disconnecting the positive cables (with the converter off) from the batteries and hook one side of the trickle charger to each battery. There are probably others with different ideas.
Ken
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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very helpful Thank you.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:39 PM   #5
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The safer thing to do is disconnect the negative side. If the negative side is left connected, the slip of a wrench on the positive terminal can short out the battery and start a fire, or cause the battery to explode. The negative battery cable should always be first off and last on.

Al
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Sort of an add-on questions.
I like to leave my AS plugged into the house current when not traveling.
That way I can use the lights and fans dehumidifier etc. if needed while not using the batteries.

After making sure the batteries are charged, I use a battery disconnect at one terminal to make sure they are off the current.

Is this necessary?
Would the constant house current damage the batteries if they were left connected?

Seems like this would just be like staying at a camp ground hooked up for a wek or so.

Thanks guys
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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Sort of an add-on questions.
I like to leave my AS plugged into the house current when not traveling.
That way I can use the lights and fans dehumidifier etc. if needed while not using the batteries.

After making sure the batteries are charged, I use a battery disconnect at one terminal to make sure they are off the current.

Is this necessary?
Would the constant house current damage the batteries if they were left connected?

Seems like this would just be like staying at a camp ground hooked up for a wek or so.

Thanks guys
Actually this depends on the design of your converter. As I posted earlier in this thread, unless Airstream has upgraded the quality of the converter in new trailers, leaving the trailer plugged in for prolonged periods, with little or no load, will overcharge the batteries. This will cause their early failure. Leaving your trailer plugged in for a week or two while camping is not the same, because there will be various loads being switched on and off and this will help limit the charging current. I upgraded my converter when the trailer was a year old just to solve this problem. Before the upgrade, I had to remove the batteries and charge them with a trickle charger. With my new converter, I can leave the trailer plugged in all winter. If you are interested, there are several threads on upgrading to more sophisticated converters.

Ken
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #8
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I guess the best way is to make sure the batteries are fully charged at the end of a trip, disconnect them while at home, thenm re-connect test and charge as needed before the next journey.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:28 PM   #9
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I guess the best way is to make sure the batteries are fully charged at the end of a trip, disconnect them while at home, them re-connect test and charge as needed before the next journey.
This will only work if you use the trailer often enough. (every couple weeks) Batteries will, even without any connections, discharge over time. If they discharge totally and sit for awhile, they will probably be ruined and unable to accept a charge.

There is no easy way, You must either keep a trickle charger on them continually, put them on a regular charger periodically, or upgrade your converter and leave the trailer plugged into shore power.

Ken
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:14 PM   #10
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One more option -- a Marine Battery Isolator Switch:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ch-109379.html

For a PDF of these instructions that includes photos of the installation, please send me a PM (private message).
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:30 PM   #11
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The AS manual days if you put it in storage mode while hooked to shore power, it won't charge the batteries. So you could charge, then go to storage mode just to run stuff.


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Old 08-20-2014, 02:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post
Unless Airstream has decided to upgrade the convertor they put in new Airstreams, do not just plug it in to AC and leave it that way with everything in the trailer turned off for more than a couple days. The stock converters do not have a maintenance mode built in. It will overcharge and ruin both batteries in no time at all. I and many others have replaced the stock converter with one that will maintain the batteries without overcharging. A little searching will find many threads on the subject. If you want to use your trickle charger, I would recommend disconnecting the positive cables (with the converter off) from the batteries and hook one side of the trickle charger to each battery. There are probably others with different ideas.
Ken
Wouldn't a 'maintenance mode' be considered a fairly rudimentary function of a charge/converter? That blows my mind that it wouldn't automatically do this.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post
Unless Airstream has decided to upgrade the convertor they put in new Airstreams, do not just plug it in to AC and leave it that way with everything in the trailer turned off for more than a couple days. The stock converters do not have a maintenance mode built in. It will overcharge and ruin both batteries in no time at all. I and many others have replaced the stock converter with one that will maintain the batteries without overcharging. A little searching will find many threads on the subject. If you want to use your trickle charger, I would recommend disconnecting the positive cables (with the converter off) from the batteries and hook one side of the trickle charger to each battery. There are probably others with different ideas.
Ken
The manual would seem to indicate otherwise... I have a 2007 Safari. The manual indicates: Whenever possible use the automatic built in charge of the converter system for charging. The charging circuit automatically controls the current, reducing it as the batteries increases in charge.

It also indicates that placing the disconnect switch in Store mode will prevent charging, but I also know that when I plug my trailer into shore power, the little red indicator lamp remains lit regardless of which way I toggle the disconnect switch which would indicate to me that it is in "use" mode. Can anybody shed some light on this?

At any rate, I am not sure the stock controller is all that dumb, and I know folks with glassmat batteries (solar upgrades) often replace the controller for a more sophisticated one because of the special requirements of those types of batteries...

But it leaves me wondering, which is worse, leaving the unit in store mode and having the batteries run down or leaving it in use mode with it plugged in to shore power? I tend to favor the latter...
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:21 PM   #14
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Check the voltage at the battery terminals after the unit has been plugged in for a day or two without any draw in the unit (no lights, fans, fridge etc. ) If the battery voltage is over 14 volts you will likely boil off the water in the battery over time. Bulk charging should be in the 14 -14.5 volt range to provide enough amps to charge in a reasonable time, but as the battery reaches full charge ( 13.8 Volts) the charger should drop back to 'float' mode to maintain a charge of 13.5 - 13.8 volts, That's what the fancy new chargers do and also the Solar Panel charge controllers
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