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Old 11-29-2006, 11:31 AM   #1
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Plugged or Un-plugged in the Driveway

Ok, I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find from my searches of previous threads any good answers.

I have a 2003 International CCD - DO I LEAVE IT PLUGGED IN OR UNPLUGGED in the driveway over the winter?

The fridge is running and the PO said he always had it plugged in. I can turn off the fridge but don't want it to get the mold smell. I'm not so concerned about the battery charge - or over charging with the newer electronics. On my 66 Caravel - I only plug it in for a day twice a month to keep the battery up and if there is a freeze. The old Univolt can damage the battery if left on I have read.

OK - What do some of you do? Full time plug in sure makes it nice to just walk in the camper.

Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
Ok, I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find from my searches of previous threads any good answers.

I have a 2003 International CCD - DO I LEAVE IT PLUGGED IN OR UNPLUGGED in the driveway over the winter?

The fridge is running and the PO said he always had it plugged in. I can turn off the fridge but don't want it to get the mold smell. I'm not so concerned about the battery charge - or over charging with the newer electronics. On my 66 Caravel - I only plug it in for a day twice a month to keep the battery up and if there is a freeze. The old Univolt can damage the battery if left on I have read.

OK - What do some of you do? Full time plug in sure makes it nice to just walk in the camper.

Mike
I stayed plugged in, fridge is off with the door cracked open.

Jim
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:42 AM   #3
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Mike

I remove my battery and then plug the trailer in for the winter. I have a small heater that I leave on that keeps the trailer to about 55 degrees. I do not have the fridge on = I turn it off, leave the door ajar, and put a package of baking soda in it. I unplug any other electrical devices so the only draw is the heater. We've been doing this with our trailers since 1969 and never had a problem both when we lived on the prairies and for the past 18 years on the wet coast.

Barry
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
Mike

I remove my battery and then plug the trailer in for the winter. I have a small heater that I leave on that keeps the trailer to about 55 degrees. I do not have the fridge on = I turn it off, leave the door ajar, and put a package of baking soda in it. I unplug any other electrical devices so the only draw is the heater. We've been doing this with our trailers since 1969 and never had a problem both when we lived on the prairies and for the past 18 years on the wet coast.
I'm curious what the benefits are of keeping the trailer plugged in if you aren't using it.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:47 AM   #5
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Winterizing

Hi there Mike-

Everyone has their own preference for what to do over the winter. Of course what you need to do vs. what you could do depends on your local. We live in NE and Thanksgiving weekend was our last trip of the season. Here is what we did: Parked our baby where is will remain till the first trip of the spring (April), Removed anything that would freeze or go bad (canned goods etc.)took out clothing, turned off everything. Cleaned the fridg out, cleaned all the interior surfaces and have it clamped to be open 3", cleaned the oven, blew all the water lines and emptied the tanks and water heater. Put anti freeze in all the P traps and some in the black and gray tanks for good measure, shut the LP valves and removed the battery. The battery is now in the basement and will receive a trickle charge every 30 days or so. We also filled two old pillow cases with cedar chips and placed on the floor of the Safari. Sadly we are all set till spring. I am sure lots of others will add their thoughts. Have a warm and short winter!
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:49 AM   #6
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99.9% of the Airstream world probably have theirs unplugged. To prevent the moldy smell I always open the fridge doors and put a dishtowel across the freezer-fridge divider to keep them ajar (was easier on the old Dometics). Closing the fridge doors is on my mandatory startup list when I pick up the trailer from storage.

In the real cold it is necessary to bring the batteries into the house since I want to put them on a battery minder to recharge at least once a month. The parasitic trailer loads will probably drain it a little quicker if you leave batteries hooked up -- even with the master switch off. In that case I'd probably plug it in to house current for a day 'bout every two weeks. You are correct about the old Univolt equipped Airstreams -- they'll cook the battery dry.

We keep hearing that refrigerators/freezers are not built to properly cool and maintain recommended interior temperatures if left on in a cold environment. It might be a good idea not to store food unless you are monitoring temperatures. I tried to Google and all I could find was, "Can I put a refrigerator/freezer out in my garage?Yes. But, if the refrigerator is self-defrosting, don't let the garage temperature drop to much below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the oil becomes thick and causes premature compressor failure."
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
Mike...... We've been doing this with our trailers since 1969 and never had a problem both when we lived on the prairies and for the past 18 years on the wet coast.

Barry
That's a pretty good track record, Barry. WHat kind of heater are you using? One of those oil filled radiant types? I've thought about using one of those along with a small fan of soem kind to keep moisture down (lots of humidity here in the south).

Jim
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:03 PM   #8
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We leave ours unplugged, too. All winterized, of course, and fridge open a few inches (even though mold isn't a big issue up here).

We got a cheapo solar charger that feeds just a trickle to the battery. It just stays on for the whole winter.


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Old 11-29-2006, 12:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
I'm curious what the benefits are of keeping the trailer plugged in if you aren't using it.
It's our emergency shelter. We've always had it set up for an emergency winter haven. Propane tanks are full, warm blankets and extra winter clothing, non-perishable food, candles, etc. It's cheap to keep that way, and should we be without power for whatever reason we go out to a trailer that's still reasonably warm, light up the propane system, put the battery back in and we are warm and comfortable until whatever has happened is dealt with. On the prairies it was winter blizzards while on the coast it has been anything from a potential earthquake (hopefully not in my lifetime) to most recently winter storms taking out the power lines. It may be overkill but we've never once been sorry and we've had to use it a few times - just enough to realize we have the right idea.

Barry
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
That's a pretty good track record, Barry. WHat kind of heater are you using? One of those oil filled radiant types? I've thought about using one of those along with a small fan of soem kind to keep moisture down (lots of humidity here in the south).

Jim
Hi Jim, for the past ten years I've used a small ceramic heater I got at Sears. I think I paid $19 for it and it's run steady four months of every year since then, plus been put to use on cold nights when we are out camping and want to warm things up a bit. The fan is just starting to get noisy so I'll replace it yet this winter once the buying rush is over and prices get a bit more reasonable. I'm thinking I might get an oil filled radiant - I use one in my shop and it works very well, but so far have not looked too hard at them. We are experiencing an unusual cold snap here, setting records for cold and snow, so everyone is out buying extra heaters. If you have any suggestions on better options for heaters let me know.
Thanks
Barry
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
I'm curious what the benefits are of keeping the trailer plugged in if you aren't using it.
We are always using it, pool house in the summer. Ebay sales office now and again, Ham radio shack sometimes. Project center, get away from the wife/husband. Dog even likes to hang out in the trailer. I sometime watch TV in the trailer. Trailer is also used for Hurricane Evacuation if needed. Oh I forgot you guys have a winter.
Jim
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
Mike

I remove my battery and then plug the trailer in for the winter.
Barry
Why remove the battery if you leave the unit plugged in? I thought the convertor would keep it charged and if kept charged it does not have to be kept warm.

Second, what winter in Kiln, MS?
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rickandsandi
Hi there Mike-

Everyone has their own preference for what to do over the winter. Of course what you need to do vs. what you could do depends on your local. We live in NE and Thanksgiving weekend was our last trip of the season. Here is what we did: Parked our baby where is will remain till the first trip of the spring (April), Removed anything that would freeze or go bad (canned goods etc.)took out clothing, turned off everything. Cleaned the fridg out, cleaned all the interior surfaces and have it clamped to be open 3", cleaned the oven, blew all the water lines and emptied the tanks and water heater. Put anti freeze in all the P traps and some in the black and gray tanks for good measure, shut the LP valves and removed the battery. The battery is now in the basement and will receive a trickle charge every 30 days or so. We also filled two old pillow cases with cedar chips and placed on the floor of the Safari. Sadly we are all set till spring. I am sure lots of others will add their thoughts. Have a warm and short winter!
rickandsandi - Ohhhhhh - P-traps - there is one I forgot - THANK YOU!!!!!!

Chaplain Kent - winter can sneak up on you here - may not be cold for long BUT long enough to do damage. I guess I am being overly cautious with our new AS. Why re-learn what all of you have experienced and go through the frustration all over again.
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:17 PM   #14
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What's all this winterizing talk? You should all move to Phoenix. On second thought, just visit.

I had an old motorhome a few years ago that I left plugged in when I wasn't using it. I was sitting in the office one night and heard a loud BOOM. I looked out the window, but couldn't see anything.

Went out the next day to see my battery compartment door blown across the yard and acid all over my driveway. It was a 1983, so I'm sure the newer charge controllers are more reliable, however, food for thought.
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