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Old 04-01-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2012 30' International
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 31
Looking for a battery tender

Recently the batteries were fried in our 2012 International 30', after about 18 months of use. It could have been the fault of the dealer since it was in the shop for about a month, and I'm not sure what they did or did not do relative to managing the batteries. It could also have been misuse due to ignorance on my part, although since this has occurred I'm getting up to speed quickly thanks to the information in this forum. Anyway, the batteries were replaced under the warranty, so I now have brand new batteries.

We have just now moved into a different house, and I will no longer be able to store the Airstream on our property. Rather, it will be stored in a facility about a half hour away. There is electricity available there, but the owner admits there have been problems, and the power goes down from time to time. He's "working on" getting this fixed.

I'm thinking that I will pull the batteries out of the trailer, and keep them in my garage, connected to a battery tender, since I don't know how much I will be using the trailer in the coming months.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Also, does this battery tender sold by Amazon look like a good one for the job?
Battery Tender 022-0165-DL-WH 12-Volt 2-Bank Battery Management System : : Automotive

Thanks for any help, feedback, and suggestions.

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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1999 25' Safari
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,781
Images: 15
At Batteries Plus they also have quite a few battery tender in stock and at very good prices. Bought one there 4 years ago for about 20.00 works great, but I only have 1 to charge.

Jim D.
AIR # 56543 TAC# CO-10
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
retired USA/USAF

2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,020
Taking them home and putting a tender on them is a great way to go. Also gives you an excuse to inspect them, clean them, clean the terminals and battery box. If they are not fully charged when you remove them it would be best to put them on a charger and bring it up to full charge before putting the tender on. I guess the tender would eventually bring them up but it would take a long, long time.
Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
Winston Churchill 1948

TAC - NJ 18

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Old 04-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
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I have Battery Tenders. Work great pn motorcycle and tractor!

Removing battery is best! If you can't rely on storage folks, find new place.

If transporting an issue, disconnect batteries with switch then hook up Battery Tenders! They will power back up when power comes back on. With batteries disconnected you can do a Wellness check every week to see if power is up?
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:47 AM   #5
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2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,358
You may not need to constantly charge your batteries. See link below for information on a marine battery isolator switch, which may resolve your problems:
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
2012 30' International
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 31
Thanks everyone for the comments and help. I appreciate it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
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2010 22' Interstate
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 502
Images: 1
Check out the smart chargers from Ctek and pick one that is compatible with your battery size. I have 3 of them. They are excellent!
- wayne
2010 Interstate 3500 Twin Bed
(2008 Freightliner CRD Sprinter)
AIR #44779
TAC AK-1 !!
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:49 PM   #8
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
Another Battery 101, for those new to RV'ing....

1. You need to maintain your deep cycle AS batteries at full charge when stored to get the maximum life in years of service - Think about it - your auto's battery (non-hybrid) is always kept at full charge by the alternator as you drive, and lasts for many years of service... usually!

2. If you have an older AS with the old UNIVOLT converter/charger, and don't want to update with a newer 3-stage type model, you can use a plug-in timer on the UNIVOLT's power cord to allow it to only turn ON for an hour or so when in storage - It takes some experimenting to get the timer's 'ON' time for your own situation - you'll need the battery voltage to settle in at around 13.2+- Volts to properly maintain them at a 'FLOAT' setting...

3. Update your converter/charger to a modern 3-stage unit that will automatically maintain your batteries at the proper FLOAT voltage while keeping the AS plugged into shore power all the time when stored...

4. Another option would be, as discussed above, to attach a 'Battery Tender' type device (directly to the batteries) that will hold the battery voltage at the FLOAT level - in this case you would then turn OFF the converter/charger and only keep the Tender's plugged into AC power...Keep in mind that Battery Tenders are for maintaining the FLOAT voltage, and are NOT designed to recharge batteries from a discharged state... IE; if you were to store your AS with the batteries NOT fully charged, the Battery Tender's not going to perform perform properly...

As I've mentioned before, we use a modern 3-stage Converter/charger along with a digital Volt Minder...I use a 2K Watt Honda Generator to recharge the batteries EACH day when boondocking - I can monitor the Volt Minder's voltage reading and when the voltage drops to 13.2 volts from the 14+ normal charging voltage, I know the batteries are again at full charge...

The only 'upgrade' I'd do today is to install at least a 55 Amp rated converter/charger...I installed only a 45 Amp unit in our AS, as we were originally using two Group-27 deep cycle batteries...Four years ago I installed a third Group-27 battery, and recharge 'times' could be improved (speeded) with a higher rated converter/charger...

Happy Trails...
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:20 PM   #9
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2005 30' Land Yacht 30 SL
Castro Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 332
Thanks for the details, Mexray. About 2 years ago we were headed up to Casini and jsut before I got off the freeway there was a loud boom! I exited and got out, found that the top of one of the house batteries had blown off: I could see the plates and the bubbling acid. We docked and it kept bubbling regardless of whether there was a load, or if it was charging from the Univolt.
I had the moho plugged in for a few months, then topped up the water before we left, so probably baked/fried the batteries. Found out later that the chassis battery was done-in too, but it was about 6 years old. With the moho it was easy to get two battery tenders, one for the chassis and the other hooked up to the two coach batteries. Now, at home, I plug in the two tenders and plug the main power in about once a month.

Cliff & Andrea,
2 cats, but they stay home
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