Fiberglass RV

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David G. 10-17-2006 01:19 PM

Two questions for all you veteran campers out there!

When connected to shore power, does the TT battery recharge automatically, or only when connected to the tow vehicle.

Does anyone leave the TT connected to shore power through the winter, and periodically operate a furnace? Any merit to this idea?


Per Walthinsen 10-17-2006 04:36 PM


Depends on if you have a converter (120 to 12v) or not, most do. Most converters also charge the battery automatically when connected to shore power.

I leave the trailer connected to shore power during the winter, but I have a variable-power 120v electric heater which keeps the trailer above freezing and the plumbing (or most of it) safe.

The problem with keeping it connected all the time is that if you do not have an "intelligent" charger as part of the converter or a separate charger you stand a good chance of eventually boiling the water out of the battery and drastically shortening its useful life. Mine had an "old technology" converter/charger and did that, so I put a converter with a 4-stage charger in it to solve that (and several other) problem(s). Since mine is a year 2000 it is likely that yours has an antiquated one too. If yours has a Newmark Electrocenter unit send me a PM if you are interested in a solution for this.

Frederick L. Simson 10-17-2006 10:31 PM


When connected to shore power, does the TT battery recharge [b]automatically, or only when connected to the tow vehicle.
In my 1978 Fiber Stream, the converter contains 2 circuit breakers for [b]Alternating [b]Current, and 5 fuses for [b]Direct [b]Curent.

One circuit breaker controlls the outlets on the curb side of the trailer. This is where my Refridgerator and Microwave plug in.

The other circuit breaker controlls the outlets on the street side of the trailer. This is where the converter itself is, where the Water Heater plugs in, as well as the Convenience Outlet in the Kitchen, and the one in the Dinette.

IF the street side circuit breaker is OFF, the converter does NOT charge the battery, nor does the converter "convert" AC to DC to run the installed lighting or water pump.

In my case, charging is not "automatic". I have to ensure that the street side circuit breaker is on.

Frederick L. Simson 10-17-2006 10:38 PM


Does anyone leave the TT connected to shore power through the winter?
When I first got my Fiber Stream, I used to leave it plugged into shore power with both circuit breakers ON 24/7 when in "storage".

I boiled a brand new group 27 wet-cell battery [b]completely dry, ruining it within 3 months!
Thankfully, WalMart did not ask any questions when I took it back for a free warrantee replacement.

I find that my converter does a poor job of charging the battery. I hope to replace the converter with one that contains a "smart" charger...

Gina D. 10-18-2006 07:47 PM

I do not have a convertor. My usage is minimal with lots of low current draw items that have replaced power hungry incandescants etc.

I have a small trickle charger on the batterry. It does not stay plugged in for any length of time, only long enough to get my frudge cold on AC when I am prepping for a trip, or when I have shore power at a site, the 12v items run straight from the battery, so it is continually tapping power off the battery.. while the battery charges.

I have solar for other times, and a charge controller helps keep the battery charge regulated.

When in route, I charge from my Element.

This arrangement works for my minimal needs and I have no fear of ruining my battery.

Even living in an area that gets very cold in winter, often iced in, I have not had a great need to run a heater to keep stuff warm in the trailer when not in use.

My heater is a cat heater with no fan, so it uses no electric power. When I have AC available, I run a cube heater.

Your needs may vary... I like to keep it simple. I have seen so many convertor horror stories here. To ME, it seems yet another item to cause problems. I haven't missed not having one. I have never had one, as a matter of fact.

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