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Old 02-28-2017, 03:45 PM   #1
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Newbie question about battery charging

Hello all. My first post is a question about setting up for maintenance charging of batteries. I have a 2017 25' Flying Cloud which has been upgraded with a pair of Trojan 6V AGM batteries. I have a CTEK 3-stage smart charger that I plan to use to maintain them.

For the sake of convenience I'd like to stay hooked up to an outdoor 15A outlet so that I can use the electrics in the trailer when desired (except, I know, for the AC/heat pump and the microwave) with the power switch in the "store" position so as not to overcharge the batteries. I would then plug my smart charger into one of the 110v outlets in the trailer.

So, are there any problems with my plan? Thanks, and this forum looks like a great place for a newbie like me to learn something!

Mike
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
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Your plan sounds fine. Not sure what type of converter you have in your trailer, but if it's just a single-stage charger, then you are much better off using your CTEK 3-stage smart charger while in the "store" position. Sounds like you have a good handle on this stuff.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:39 PM   #3
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I'm not an electrician, but let me get this straight.

You'll have your airstream plugged in, then you'll plug in your charger to an airstream outlet, and hook up your charger cables to the batteries that are installed in your airstream, while having the use/store switch in the store position.

Hope you get clarification soon
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by majorairhead View Post
I'm not an electrician, but let me get this straight.

You'll have your airstream plugged in, then you'll plug in your charger to an airstream outlet, and hook up your charger cables to the batteries that are installed in your airstream, while having the use/store switch in the store position.

Hope you get clarification soon
Yeah, that's the plan. Looks like I got a positive reply....

Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
Your plan sounds fine. Not sure what type of converter you have in your trailer, but if it's just a single-stage charger, then you are much better off using your CTEK 3-stage smart charger while in the "store" position. Sounds like you have a good handle on this stuff.
Thanks, alano. I'm climbing the learning curve. My understanding is that the converter in the trailer is single stage and from, what the dealer told me and what I've read, I wouldn't want to use it for long term charging. I checked with CTEK and my model 7002 charger has the proper AH capability for my batteries. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't some pitfall regarding the trailer that I'd overlooked. I appreciate your quick response!
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:54 PM   #5
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Ideally, if you're planning long-term charging of the battery, you would want your charger to perform temperature compensation. Your charger might have temperature compensation already built-in, so the only additional step I would take is to try to make sure your charger and battery are near the same temperature.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:33 PM   #6
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CTEK makes a "quick connect" lead that is designed to be "permanently" connected to the battery. It has a plug on the end that mates to the charger. I plan to route that lead into the trailer where the charger can then reside out of the weather since my trailer is parked outside. The charger and battery should be close to the same temp and the charger is supposed to be able to compensate for a wide range of operating temperatures. Hopefully this will work!
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:26 AM   #7
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In the event when the CTEK charger is connected and charging, and if someone accidentally hit the switch to "use" position, any possibility of damage to either the CTEK, the trailer's charger, or the battery (now both chargers are charging the battery)?
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
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Being color blind, I saved this for reference and keep hard copies in the TV & TT.

Bob
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 7 PIN.pdf (51.6 KB, 120 views)
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
CTEK makes a "quick connect" lead that is designed to be "permanently" connected to the battery. It has a plug on the end that mates to the charger. I plan to route that lead into the trailer where the charger can then reside out of the weather since my trailer is parked outside. The charger and battery should be close to the same temp and the charger is supposed to be able to compensate for a wide range of operating temperatures. Hopefully this will work!
I posted this info on a previous thread. It could be helpful to you. We have 2013 International 30'.
I keep it plugged in to shore power 24/7/365 with the store switch on .
Original batteries,original equipment . I check the batteries frequently all is working as should be. No problems with batteries overcharging, cooking etcetera.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:30 PM   #10
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I keep my trailer plugged into 120v when not in use just like you do, Mike. But ordinarily I keep the onboard converter shut off. If the trailer hasn't been used in more than a month, I flip the converter on for a few hours just to top off the battery charge (manually performing what your "store" switch does automatically). However, I find there is really very little voltage drop on the battery, so I've never seen the need for any kind of trickle charging device.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
Being color blind, I saved this for reference and keep hard copies in the TV & TT.

Bob

My apologies, the above was posted to the wrong thread. It was intended for http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ms+-+Emails%29

bob
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:45 PM   #12
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Mike:

I use the exact same method to maintain my AGM batteries, plus two additions.

I use a "BatteryMINDer Charger-Desulfator - 12 Volt, AGM Batteries, Model# 2012-AGM". It fits inside my battery box. This is the same as your plan.

1. I also have a "Moroso 74103 Battery Terminal Disconnect Switch" on my batteries to isolate them from the coach as double protection from anyone turning on the on-board charger.

2. I turn of the circuit breaker that powers the on-board converter. I figure there is no need to have it on all the time, saving energy and avoiding possible damage from spikes from the power grid.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:48 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forums!

Your plan should work fine, but I would recommend just changing out the convertor in your AS. I upgraded to Lifeline 6v, otherwise I probably would have left the factory single stage. I was nervous about the install, but it took all of 30 min to do and now I don't have to worry about it. I just leave it plugged in.

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Old 03-01-2017, 06:08 PM   #14
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In the event when the CTEK charger is connected and charging, and if someone accidentally hit the switch to "use" position, any possibility of damage to either the CTEK, the trailer's charger, or the battery (now both chargers are charging the battery)?
No, there's no possibility of damage if an external charger and converter are operated at the same time. The configuration is similar when a solar charger is used with a converter.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:15 PM   #15
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I posted this info on a previous thread. It could be helpful to you. We have 2013 International 30'.
I keep it plugged in to shore power 24/7/365 with the store switch on .
Original batteries,original equipment . I check the batteries frequently all is working as should be. No problems with batteries overcharging, cooking etcetera.
Interesting as an anecdote, but it's not a very good recommendation for others. Your environmental conditions may very well be favorable for you, but the fact remains that a single-stage charger is not recommended nor desirable for folks who plan to stay connected to shore power and charge their battery from their converter. Temperature swings can and do occur which would result in over-charging of the battery and permanent damage.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:50 PM   #16
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but I would recommend just changing out the convertor in your AS.
^ Why bypass the OEM single stage charger and add a smart battery tender when you can just replace the OEM unit? That's what I'm going to do. About $215 on Amazon.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinwing View Post
In the event when the CTEK charger is connected and charging, and if someone accidentally hit the switch to "use" position, any possibility of damage to either the CTEK, the trailer's charger, or the battery (now both chargers are charging the battery)?
What you don't want is power applied to the AC side of the CTEK when it is not connected to a battery. Always connect the CTEK to the battery before applying AC power and disconnect it from the battery after disconnecting AC power.

Don't ask how I know.....

Al
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:49 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
What you don't want is power applied to the AC side of the CTEK when it is not connected to a battery. Always connect the CTEK to the battery before applying AC power and disconnect it from the battery after disconnecting AC power.

Don't ask how I know.....

Al
My CTEK has a connection point offering 2 pigtails of post clamps or eyelets. While they're on my bench, I leave the eyelets nutted down. Usually I just unplug the unit for a charging rest as opposed to just leaving it plugged in the letting the CTEK do it's work...charge or float.

This time for some reason, I disconnected at that connection point then powered off the unit. Maybe I should be unplugging the unit instead of disconnecting it and also powering it down? Maybe I should simply leave it plugged in and connected.

Listening for experience.

thanks in advance

Bob
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
What you don't want is power applied to the AC side of the CTEK when it is not connected to a battery. Always connect the CTEK to the battery before applying AC power and disconnect it from the battery after disconnecting AC power.

Don't ask how I know.....

Al
Al, there must be another explanation for your failure. It would be a colossal design failure on the part of CTEK where their battery charger would malfunction with no load on the 12 V terminals.
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:22 AM   #20
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Hadn't checked my thread for a bit...some great discussion....thanks for all the feedback to my original post.

A quick update: So I ran a CTEK "comfort" extension cable from the battery box to the inside of the trailer and proceeded to hook up my CTEK 7002 charger. Before starting this project I checked the spec on the CTEK website and it indicated that the 7002 is suitable for batteries with a 15-225Ah rating. However, by chance I came across my owner's manual and the spec there is listed as 10-150Ah. My Trojan T6 AGM batteries have a 20 hour rating of 200Ah. I have a message in to CTEK to find out which spec is correct.

Am I going to have a problem if the correct spec is 10-150Ah? The voltage output of the 7002 seems appropriate for my batteries but I know barely enough about this to be dangerous. A couple of other posters have mentioned using CTEK chargers. Which models have you successfully used? It's beginning to look like the suggestions to upgrade the on-board converter to a 3 stage unit might ultimately be the way to go. BTW, could anyone suggest exactly what I should be looking for in a replacement converter...make, model # etc. Thanks.
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