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Old 10-27-2020, 06:53 PM   #1
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plugging in at home

Okay, I've looked at the forum a lot the past couple of weeks, and posted a couple of times, receiving lots of good information. Thank you to DennisL and several other people who have already helped me with pre delivery questions.
But as a total newbie, I have a charging question. BTW, we just took delivery of our AS today, a beautiful 2021 Caravel FB20. Couldn't be more excited.
During our walk through, I asked the tech about charging when not in use.
I'll be locating a power pole beside our parking area, so I asked him if I should just plug it in once a month or so to keep the batteries topped off.
His response was, these AGM batteries won't over charge, so just keep it plugged in all the time.
I certainly tend to believe he knows his stuff, but if I'm not mistaken, this information is counter to what I've read on this forum.
So what's the deal, all you engineering types ? Is there consensus on this ?
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:00 PM   #2
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With a multi stage converter, you should have no problem leaving it plugged in all the time. My trailer has a Progressive Dynamics and a pair of 6 volt AGMs and stays plugged it when we are home. You have a new Airstream and your converter should be fine.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:08 PM   #3
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Some of us have converters which aren't smart and if we stay plugged in all the time while the trailer isn't in use, the batteries will overcharge and the electrolyte will boil away, thus ruining the batteries. I think the new trailers and those who have replaced their originals have smart chargers now that go into a maintenance mode and only supply a minimal charge necessary to maintain the batteries.


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Old 10-27-2020, 07:10 PM   #4
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Agreed. My 2020 has a smart controller and I leave it plugged into a regular 120V outlet when it's in storage.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
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We leave Lucy Plugged in all the time when we are home. We do not have any fancy converter or batteries. We have been doing this for 14 years and have never had an issue.

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Old 10-27-2020, 07:26 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone. This helps a lot. I have so much to learn, but thankfully I found the site that will help me do just that!
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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When you have the electrician make up the electrical service be sure he knows it is for an RV and that it requires 120V 30 Amp 1 line, 1 neutral and 1 ground. You may want to run 220 (2 line) to the pole for some other reason but not for the trailer.

I keep my converter active with my AGMs full time. You can also completely disconnect them, as that is a good strategy. It is a bit risky to leave them connected and charge intermittently. You don't want your batteries to discharge below 50% (12.1 V resting) if you can help it.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:49 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=BayouBiker;2426881]When you have the electrician make up the electrical service be sure he knows it is for an RV and that it requires 120V 30 Amp 1 line, 1 neutral and 1 ground. You may want to run 220 (2 line) to the pole for some other reason but not for the trailer.

I keep my converter active with my AGMs full time. You can also completely disconnect them, as that is a good strategy. It is a bit risky to leave them connected and charge intermittently. You don't want your batteries to discharge below 50% (12.1 V resting) if you can help it.[/QUOTE

Brian, thanks for the info. I will let him know.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:51 AM   #9
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Sorry to just jump in, but no one has said this yet. If you have solar, there is no reason to stay plugged in to keep your batteries topped off. That is the beauty of even a small solar panel; it will provide sufficient amp-hours to make up for any parasitic loads and self-discharge.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:09 AM   #10
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plugging in at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Sorry to just jump in, but no one has said this yet. If you have solar, there is no reason to stay plugged in to keep your batteries topped off. That is the beauty of even a small solar panel; it will provide sufficient amp-hours to make up for any parasitic loads and self-discharge.

Larry


Can be a challenge in snow belt areas and where snow and ice stay longer than weeks. Efficiency depends upon them being clean also hindered by low winter sun angles, probably works with attention.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvr_Bullet View Post
Can be a challenge in snow belt areas and where snow and ice stay longer than weeks. Efficiency depends upon them being clean also hindered by low winter sun angles, probably works with attention.
Surely is true and although I have not lived North of 35 degrees for over 20 years just a piddly little book-sized solar panel keeps my truck lead acid battery fully charged, since I don't use the truck very often. It shouldn't take much of a charge rate to do the same for trailer batteries. Covered in snow is an entirely different kettle of fish.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:24 AM   #12
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I have multistage converters and have left them plugged in 24/7 for entire seasons, no issues and lead/acid batteries tend to last me 6-7 years and roughly 10 days worth of boondocking on average, so it's a safe bet to keep it plugged in.

You must have a multistage converter though. As jcanavera points out, if you don't you WILL cook the batteries. I am unsure what Airstream is putting in the coaches nowadays in terms of converters, but both of mine came with single stages that I quickly replaced after having cooked up a a pair or batteries after a year or two's use.

Also, one somewhat related suggestion. Make sure you have active surge suppression wherever you find you are parking it. Now more than ever, there are a lot more electronics in Airstreams and RVs in general. Once of prevention and such.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:32 AM   #13
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Probably fine to just leave it plugged in. That is what I do. Mine is a much older trailer with a new 3 stage converter. However, there is another alternative to leaving it plugged in. Put it on a timer, like a garden timer, and just have it come on for an hour or two a day.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:53 AM   #14
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Welcome Aboard 👍

SWMBO effect....We leave nothing plugged in 24/7/365 unless we are in the abode.
"Cloudsplitter" is stored on the pad and battery charge checked when thought of, wireless Victron.

POI..."won't overcharge"...is not gospel. When we had AGM's in "Cloudsplitter" I charged fully, isolated them and left the in over the Winter. 11 Seasons, they are still good and serving as back-up for the basement sump pump.

POOI...."Cloudsplitters" OEM Converter pooped the original Interstates at the dealership,(extended SP) and the second set in 2 Seasons for the same reason.👎

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Old 10-28-2020, 09:36 AM   #15
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Here's an option.
I use a trickle charger on the batteries and disconnect from the trailer.
I chose the NoCo Genius, 3500. I wired the pigtail to the battery terminals, one on battery one and the other on battery two so the load is even.
Then it's just a matter of plugging in the NoCo.

*I gave up on Battery Tenders, I have four and all died over time. I realize they are very popular.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:12 PM   #16
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All good advice above.

Here is something else to think about: If the dealer tech really thinks AGM batteries can't be over charged (unless your charger is maintaining them on float at 13.9 to 13.1 volts at your location in winter) I doubt that he knows his stuff.
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Old 10-29-2020, 08:17 AM   #17
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Thanks again to everyone who attempted to help me understand what I’m getting into here. And the suggestion about solar is excellent. Hadn’t thought of that, but it makes perfect sense especially in TX.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:47 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=rushmo;2426852]
But as a total newbie, I have a charging question. BTW, we just took delivery of our AS today, a beautiful 2021 Caravel FB20. Couldn't be more excited.

FYI. We have a Facebook page if you havenít joined it. Airstream 20s. Lots of helpful folks there too. Judy
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Old 11-02-2020, 10:27 AM   #19
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Is there any issue w keeping trailer plugged into standard 15\20 amp outlet on side of house instead of 30amp other than not being able to run as many appliances while its sitting there in the yard?
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Old 11-02-2020, 10:52 AM   #20
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I don't believe there's any issue with that approach. You won't be able to run your air conditioner/heat pump.
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