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Old 11-28-2020, 01:55 PM   #1
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2020 16' Bambi
Port Hueneme , California
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 6
Trickle Charging

I don't have power at my storage area and I've been told to get a trickle charger and bring the battery home to maintain the charge. I have a few questions.



1 - any specs I need to be aware of for my 16' Bambi Sport? Currently one battery but planning to add a second.

2 - what is a good brand? I've seen Battery Tender mentioned in some posts.
3 - I read that some have a float mode, does that mean that I can leave the battery hooked up for long periods and not have to worry about overcharging?

4 - If I eventually put a solar panel or two do I still need to trickle charge at home?
5 - What if I change to another type of battery instead of the standard lead acid type that I have now?'


Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:35 PM   #2
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2017 23' Flying Cloud
Hiawassee , Georgia
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Originally Posted by buttnerd View Post
I don't have power at my storage area and I've been told to get a trickle charger and bring the battery home to maintain the charge. I have a few questions.



1 - any specs I need to be aware of for my 16' Bambi Sport? Currently one battery but planning to add a second.

2 - what is a good brand? I've seen Battery Tender mentioned in some posts.
3 - I read that some have a float mode, does that mean that I can leave the battery hooked up for long periods and not have to worry about overcharging?

4 - If I eventually put a solar panel or two do I still need to trickle charge at home?
5 - What if I change to another type of battery instead of the standard lead acid type that I have now?'


Thanks!
I have a CTek charger that I use for things other than my airstream. It’s pretty nice. Whether you need to bring your battery home and put on a charger depends on how long you’ll have your trailer in storage. If you’re going only 2 months or so between trips I would disconnect the negative connections on the battery and leave it in place as long as it starts fully charged. The LP gas detector in the trailer always draws current and will run down the battery after a while.

If the trailer will be in storage for many months, I’d do as you plan: take the battery home and keep it in a trickle charger. And, yes make sure it has ‘float’ mode.

If you’re going to add another battery you should do it while the first one is new. The 12VDC batteries are in parallel and should be “matched” so to speak.

If you’re adding solar, you should be able to leave everything in place as the solar will keep ‘em charged up.

If / when you upgrade to Lithium batteries you have to make sure your charger is compatible with that battery type as the characteristics are different than lead acid. But, Lithium’s can be left for a long time without a battery maintainer so you may not need to worry about a charger in that case. I’d still disconnect the negative leads so the battery doesn’t run down.

I don’t know if this helps.

My AS never sits for longer than a couple of months between trips. I just disconnect the negative lines and leave the battery in place.
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:33 PM   #3
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2020 16' Bambi
Port Hueneme , California
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Thanks, my use has been non existent in the past few months due to work and the COVID. Even then it's unpredictable how much time between use. I thought I'd like to be on the safe side and pull it so that it's ready when I do go out. What model CTeK do you use. I've seen the CTEK-56-353. Is a $147 a lot to pay for a decent charger?
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:06 PM   #4
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2020 16' Bambi
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Another question. Does the amp output mean anything other than how long it will take my battery to recharge? I've seen 1.25 amps to 8 amps.
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:36 PM   #5
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Another question. Does the amp output mean anything other than how long it will take my battery to recharge? I've seen 1.25 amps to 8 amps.
The amp output just gives an idea of how long it would take to charge from a discharged state... I generally think of a maintainer as something to use on already-charged batteries so I bought a low-output one that's weather resistant and set it up to plug into the Zamp plug that came pre-installed on my trailer. More amps gives you more options, as long as it has a true "maintainer" mode (like a CTEK maintainer or a BatteryTender would) then it'll be fine, the device throttles back to a float charge when the battery is full.

$147 seems high for the CTEK you mentioned... Amazon has it for $117 and may not have the best price, it's just where I habitually look to check prices.
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Old 11-29-2020, 06:38 PM   #6
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Baileys Harbor , Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by buttnerd View Post
Thanks, my use has been non existent in the past few months due to work and the COVID. Even then it's unpredictable how much time between use. I thought I'd like to be on the safe side and pull it so that it's ready when I do go out. What model CTeK do you use. I've seen the CTEK-56-353. Is a $147 a lot to pay for a decent charger?
You can get a good Battery maintainer for less. NOCO GENIUS5, 5-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger, 6V And 12V Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, And Battery Desulfator With Temperature Compensation Amazon for 70.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:16 PM   #7
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I had my batteries in my garage. It was an attached and insulated garage, but not heated. It rarely, if ever, got below freezing in that garage, mostly due to a freezer that was in there, putting out heat while it was running from time to time.

Anyway, if your batteries are in a decent place, say a basement, or garage that doesn't get too cold, you don't have to have them on a charge 24/7.

I charged my batteries every month or two over winter, checked them regularly with a meter. Never had a problem.
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