to plug or unplug? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-03-2018, 12:05 PM   #15
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Name: Brian
Trailer: 2004 17ft CB 1500 Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Thank you all for your informative responses! I will check my Bigfoot handbook. Should have done that first....ooops. I believe the 2004 17 ft Bigfoot may have a built in smart charger when plugged into shore power. If not will fully charge and disconnect. Thanks trapper,
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:55 PM   #16
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Name: Derek
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Hi Brian. I'm not sure what part of the province you live in but even here on Vancouver Island it gets chilly (below freezing in the Winter) though I'm fully winterized I have a low wattage heater in the middle of my unit. Not warm enuff to live in but it keeps the dampness down. The trailer is hooked to a proper outdoor timer. In the off season it goes on for one hour every day - so I never have a battery problem. In this season it's on (and heater) for 6 hours every night. Don't try using an indoor timer buy a proper amperage outdoor timer.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
That's a carry over from early automobile time. Doesn't apply to fiberglass trailers.
Reason for the disconnect negative first if you should hit a metal part of the automobile chassis with a wrench connected to positive terminal the wrench would get welded to the frame and batter terminal clamp,
Since is no metal chassis there no chance of the above happening.



Therefore it doesn't matter which terminal you disconnect or the order of disconnection.
The frame on my Scamp is the same as the metal part of the auto.. the frame is metal and IS at negative potential (i.e. grounded). The frame makes electrical contact with propane tank hold-downs that are bolted to the frame cross supports, and the tank itself. Its all metal. A wrench on the positive battery post making contact with the tank hold-downs could make for a very bad day. And its always good to form good habits, so whether its a MFGRV or a auto, therefore I remove the neg first.



For the record, this is not my Scamp, but mine has about the same layout with the battery and tank.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:50 PM   #18
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Name: Mac
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' LD
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
The frame on my Scamp is the same as the metal part of the auto.. the frame is metal and IS at negative potential (i.e. grounded). The frame makes electrical contact with propane tank hold-downs that are bolted to the frame cross supports, and the tank itself. Its all metal. A wrench on the positive battery post making contact with the tank hold-downs could make for a very bad day. And its always good to form good habits, so whether its a MFGRV or a auto, therefore I remove the neg first.

While we're here... any time you're charging a battery, cut the power to the charger first, then remove the battery terminals.
Our high school auto shop floor had some serious etched concrete from a battery that exploded when a student walked up and simply unclipped it. Fortunately the side of the battery that went was away from him, or he'd have been covered in sulphuric acid.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #19
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Name: Michael
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The best way to maintain a battery is always with a smart charger which will keep it fully charged thus minimizing the potential for sulphation without over charging it which is also damaging. Leaving it connected to your trailer now becomes optional as your smart charger will compensate for the loads of your CO and propane detectors.
A conventional charger will also compensate for detector loads but may over time overcharge your battery.
A detached battery will self discharge over time with some sulphation occurring which will shorten battery life.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
The frame on my Scamp is the same as the metal part of the auto.. the frame is metal and IS at negative potential (i.e. grounded). The frame makes electrical contact with propane tank hold-downs that are bolted to the frame cross supports, and the tank itself. Its all metal. A wrench on the positive battery post making contact with the tank hold-downs could make for a very bad day. And its always good to form good habits, so whether its a MFGRV or a auto, therefore I remove the neg first.

Same on my Bigfoot - but with twice the batteries and twice the propane.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:11 PM   #21
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
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Battery life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
A fully charged lead acid battery will not discharge as long as it is disconnected, and clean and dry on top. Nor will it freeze.
A fully charged battery will discharge in about two months. Fact of life for a lead acid batteries. If there is dirt on top of the battery the discharge will be less than two months.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:23 PM   #22
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From Trojan battery site:
1. What is the shelf life of my battery?
The limiting factor of battery’s shelf life is the rate of self-discharge which itself is temperature dependent. VRLA batteries will self-discharge less than 3% per month at 77º F (25º C). Flooded batteries will self-discharge up to 15% per month at 77º F (25º C). VRLA batteries should not be stored for more than 6 months at 77º F (25º C) without recharged. The specific gravity or voltage of flooded batteries should be monitored every 4 – 6 weeks and should be given a boost charge when they are at 70% stat of charge (SOC). When batteries are taken out of long storage, it is recommended to recharge before use.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:35 PM   #23
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a handy alternative is a 'solar battery tender' of 10-15 watts. I keep one on my diesel truck that I only drive once or twice a month. it came with an SAE pigtail you can permanently connect to the battery, then just plug the panel in, and put it somewhere where it will get suffficient sunshine. mine is the 15W model, it outputs as much power as my classic Battery Tender Jr, about 1.25 amps, and has a smart test-bulk-absorb-maintenance charge cycle controller.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:35 PM   #24
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Name: Allen
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I did an experiment last year when I put my camper in storage last year. I disconnected my fully charged battery November 1st. I left it sit, never charged it, but measured the battery voltage with a multimeter every month. Come May 1st, I took the last voltage measurement, 12.45 Volts, which is a state of charge of about 80%. So in six months it only self-discharged 20%. The freeze point of a 12V lead acid battery at 12.45 volts, 2.075 volts per cell, specific gravity 1.225, freeze point -40F (-40C).

My findings correlate to information found on the web that a lead acid battery has a self-discharge rate of 40% per year, and low storage temps actually increase the battery life and slows the self discharge rate.

If your battery is self-discharging faster than that, then the battery is probably due for a replacement.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:12 PM   #25
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Name: Ray
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plugged in but sometimes not

OK I generally run my vent on low. Seems to keep the inside dryer. So I kind of need power. I have already replaced the horrible converter that came with my scamp with one that has a lot more power and also is a 13.8 volt unit not a 15 volt like the one I had was. So it is easy on the battery. But if I am not camping, about once a month I unplug and let the battery discharge some and then replug. Seem to be good battery life.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:44 PM   #26
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to plug or unplug

for my trailer I got a timer to plug the cord. I set it for 2 hours at night it keeps the battery charged
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:17 PM   #27
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom w View Post
for my trailer I got a timer to plug the cord. I set it for 2 hours at night it keeps the battery charged

Never thought of that. Will have to look into that. Thanks
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:31 AM   #28
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Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom w View Post
for my trailer I got a timer to plug the cord. I set it for 2 hours at night it keeps the battery charged
I'm using this one. Its out of stock but there are many others like it.
It allows on/off on a daily, multi-day and weekly schedule. For example you could set it to run your camper and charger for 8 hours once a week.

I'm using it on my Scamp this month to power the camper at night, which has Christmas lights around it plugged into the exterior outlet on the camper.
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