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Old 11-07-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Can you leave an AS plugged in in storage?

Hi All,

Is it OK to leave an Airstream plugged in to shore power all (or most) of the time?

For our previous non-AS trailer, the answer was no per the manufacturer because the charger would eventually "cook" the battery; it wasn't smart enough to deal with constantly being plugged into shore power.

Any ideas if an AS could handle that? If not, any ideas what it could handle before it should be unplugged (days, weeks, months)?

Thanks in advance,
Jeff
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:21 PM   #2
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I would think with a 2012 you would have a converter with a 3 stage charger and if so yes you can leave it plugged in.

What converter (charger) do you have ?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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In another current thread, it was pointed out that even today, new trailers do not come with a multi-stage converter.

If this is true, I would not recommend leaving the power always on. It is possible that this could destroy the battery.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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I replaced the old uni volt system in our '66 Trade Wind with an intellicharger. 6 years on always 24/7/365 and still have the same battery.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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I leave the trailer plugged in when stored here at home. It has it's own shelter and a modern converter. But I also remove the battery and store it in my shop where I have a RV/marine intelligent charger on a timer. Going on the 4th year with the same Wal Mart battery.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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If you have a single stage charger (I have no idea what AS provides today) you could put the thing on a timer, set for say an hour a day and you would be ok. If it is a 3 stage "smart" charger you could leave it on all the time.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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I don't really know the proper answer. We have a 2005 Safari 25FB that we have had since new. We always leave it plugged into shore power with either the air conditioner or heat pump on. We also leave the refrigerator on and cold with food in it. Our Airstream has been plugged in for as long as two months straight between trips.

Our OEM batteries lasted for 5 years before we needed to replace them.

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Old 11-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Yep me too---Moosetags---I am always plugged in and no problems with my battery.

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Old 11-07-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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We leave our rig plugged in all the time, with the frig running ... and the AC set to come on if it reaches a certain temp inside...

No problems so far...
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #10
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I fried 2 AGM batteries keeping it plugged in with the original charger. Trailer would sit for 3 - 6 months not being used. Changed out to an updated 3-stage charger with a battery conditioner added. That was over 2 yrs ago and no problems now keeping it plugged in
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:03 PM   #11
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I don't see why leaving it plugged in is any different than living in the AS all winter in a warm climate like Florida. I am sure that mant users here are snowbirds, do they remove the batteries?

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Old 11-07-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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Yup, as TG said.. Don't forget to disconnect the batteries as they will burn out pretty quick.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:12 AM   #13
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???storage??? If this is at your home you can keep an eye on it, its one thing. If it is not where you can check it every day, 3 stage charger or not, I would question their electrical supply (outages, spikes, etc). If the only reason you want to keep it plugged in is to keep the batteries charged, I would pull it/them and keep them home to monitor.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:16 AM   #14
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Our Airstream is always connected to shore power at all times. So far no problems with the batteries
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #15
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WE have an Iota charger and keep it plugged in while in storage with 2 AGM batteries on board.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #16
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We leave our Airstream plugged into shore power all winter while it is parked in Mesa, AZ, December through March.
Airstreams still come equipped with a Univolt converter/charger, an inferior choice in my opinion that is hard on batteries.
So, this summer I replaced the Univolt with an Iota DLS-55. It's great! Two things I have noticed are no more dry batteries, and much more efficient charging when using a generator.
Hope this helps!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:31 AM   #17
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if you can't check your trailer from time to time, i'd disconnect or remove the batteries. while a battery failure with a new battery is rare, it is still a possibility. you could have a power outage to your trailer and the batteries will discharge to zero requiring new batteries. the battery disconnect does not disconnect the CO detector. it doesn't take much to pull the negative post from the batteries.

during the winter i'm plugged in for months in sunny florida. about once a month i check the heat coming from the batteries and add water if needed. i'm also there to notice the smell of a cooking battery.

if you're leaving it in to run the furnace i'd go with the suggestion of putting the converter on a timer for an hour a day to minimize any chance of long term cooking. you'll still have to deal with the possibility of a loss of power to the trailer such as a tripped breaker or disconnected cord, etc.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:20 PM   #18
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I confess I don't know anything about this subject, so don't shoot the messager! Here is the FAQ from the Parallax website:

Can I leave my Parallax converter system constantly connected to 120VAC power? Will this damage my batteries?

Applies to 500,6700,7100,7300,and 7400 series Converter/Chargers.
These converter models deliver a nominal "float voltage" output of 13.2 -13.8 volts DC. Leaving the RV connected to 120VAC and the converter output connected to the battery should present no problems as long as this "float voltage" is between 13.2 - 14.1 volts DC and recommended battery maintenance is performed.
In order to keep the battery at 100%, the charging source (converter) must "stir" the electrolyte in the battery. This results in a normal amount of water vapor loss in non sealed batteries. This water must be routinely replaced. Failure to periodically "top off" the water level will expose battery plate surfaces to air. This leads to battery sulfation. The battery will develop internal "short circuits" as a result of the battery sulfating. A defective battery will "mimic" the symptoms of "over-charging" since the "effective" voltage and resistance of the battery system remains low and the defective battery or batteries will continue to accept a charge. Also see Battery Charging and charging rates.
Non-sealed batteries should be checked for fluid level at least once a month. Check the water level more often in hot weather.
All voltages generally referenced by battery manufacturers and converter manufacturers assume an ambient air temperature of 70 degrees F. When the battery temperature is above 70 degrees, the "rule of thumb" is for every 20 degrees of temperature rise, the float voltage should be lowered by .5 volts. Inversely, for every 20 degrees of temperature drop below 70 degrees the voltage should be raised by .5 volts. The problem is that no converter manufacturer, at present, controls voltage by temperature. Converter manufacturers currently provide the float voltage based at 70 degrees F as an output meant to "generally" cover most locations and conditions. This leads to the need to check water level more often if the battery is continually "seeing" temperatures above 70 degrees F.
If the RV provides charging from alternate sources, (ie alternator, generator, inverter, solar, etc.) voltages should be checked for recommended output. In many cases the voltages provided from these additional sources may be 14.5 volts or above.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:30 PM   #19
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With recent production Airstreams equipped with Parallax 7300 series converters, the float voltage is low enough to be safe for long-term use with batteries connected at temperatures below around 70 degrees or so. At higher temperatures the batteries will gas excessively and require frequent addition of distilled water, and probably shouldn't be left connected for sustained weather above 85 degrees or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by extiger View Post
All voltages generally referenced by battery manufacturers and converter manufacturers assume an ambient air temperature of 70 degrees F. When the battery temperature is above 70 degrees, the "rule of thumb" is for every 20 degrees of temperature rise, the float voltage should be lowered by .5 volts. Inversely, for every 20 degrees of temperature drop below 70 degrees the voltage should be raised by .5 volts. The problem is that no converter manufacturer, at present, controls voltage by temperature. Converter manufacturers currently provide the float voltage based at 70 degrees F as an output meant to "generally" cover most locations and conditions. This leads to the need to check water level more often if the battery is continually "seeing" temperatures above 70 degrees F.
This is no longer true. Xantrex TrueCharge converters, and some of their inverter-chargers, have a battery temperature probe available and use the data from it to adjust the float voltage:

Battery Temperature Sensor
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #20
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Also, FWIW, I leave my Airstream plugged in all winter. I do check on it occasionally.
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