Plug into shore power during storage? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:25 PM   #1
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Name: Bill
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Plug into shore power during storage?

We have a 2016 Scamp 16' Deluxe that we store in a pole barn. Is it safe, preferable, or even reasonable to leave batteries connected during off season, and to plug my shore power cable into a 15 amp circuit? Will this properly maintain our battery? Or are we better off detaching the battery from the trailer, and using a battery tender? Or?

Thanks,
Bill & Mary
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:01 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Yes that will work pretty well.
However, you don't have to remove the battery to use a battery tender, just remove one post(or not) and add a battery tender for storage, Saves several months of wear on the converter each year.
Another effective way is to thoroughly clean the top of the battery, give it a full charge,check the fluid level, remove both posts and and cover the entire top of the battery with plastic (like a shower cap). you can then store the battery for several months without significant loss of power.


The reason most batteries lose power is an external load of some sort. Oddly enough, even a slightly dirty battery top can conduct voltage between the posts, so cleaning and sealing the top will preserve the charge for months on a good battery.
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:55 PM   #3
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Yes that will work pretty well.
However, you don't have to remove the battery to use a battery tender, just remove one post(or not) and add a battery tender for storage, Saves several months of wear on the converter each year.

Another effective way is to thoroughly clean the top of the battery, give it a full charge,check the fluid level, remove both posts and and cover the entire top of the battery with plastic (like a shower cap). you can then store the battery for several months without significant loss of power.

The reason most batteries lose power is an external load of some sort. Oddly enough, even a slightly dirty battery top can conduct voltage between the posts, so cleaning and sealing the top will preserve the charge for months on a good battery.
Thanks! I did neglect to say that we're in the tip of the mitt in Michigan, where winter temperatures can get deeply below 0°.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LDog View Post
Thanks! I did neglect to say that we're in the tip of the mitt in Michigan, where winter temperatures can get deeply below 0°.
The battery won't freeze as long as it is charged.
If you do take it out and store it indoors, you won't really need a maintenance charger if it is clean, charged and covered when you put it on the shelf.
It gets pretty cold here as well.
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Old 01-10-2021, 12:22 PM   #5
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Batteries left connected during storage discharge for several reasons. The main reason is that the batteries will continue to power the CO, gas detectors etc. and over time this will discharge then. Also, these batteries will self discharge over time. A discharged battery will sulfate its plates which will degrade its performance. These batteries use sulfuric acid which is actually an oil and doesn't freeze, even when mixed with equals parts water. As the battery discharges, much of the acid is converted to water which will freeze. As this water freezes it expands causing physical damage inside the battery and permanent damage.
Fully charged batteries resist sulphation and have sufficient acid to prevent freezing.

Your unit likely has a "trickle charger" to maintain your battery when connected to shore power. Some units have a smart charger which regulates the charging current at a correct level and may also have sufficient output to operate lights and other trailer options at the same time.

The best way to maintain the battery is to keep it properly charged. Flooded lead acid batteries will require the addition of distilled water, AFTER CHARGING. If your unit has a smart charger you can leave it connected to shore power, however your battery must be connected to your unit and this means your gas detectors are also energized. This may shorten their life depending on their construction.
I suggest disconnecting the battery during storage and using a smart charger to maintain it at a correct level of charge. Debris on the top of the battery can cause a short between the terminals which will discharge the battery. I would recommend against covering the top of a flooded lead acid battery with plastic as they liberate explosive hydrogen gas. I've seen two of these explode, distributing pieces and acid over a 30 foot radius. This may not be a problem with other types of batteries.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:49 PM   #6
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Nice place to get every possible view point...Ain't it?!
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