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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Seasonal Site. Battery in or out? Surge Protector?

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HuckFinn410

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Posted: 02/27/12 08:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This may be a newbie question. I’ve searched for this information but haven’t found anything on the site to match up exactly.

For the first time, I will be putting my camper on a season site. That means we will be plugged into electricity full time. My question is this……should I just remove the battery from the camper and just run on electric power once we are all set up? Will that prevent the battery from cooking and the battery charger from cycling off and on needlessly? I have an external portable trickle charger that I could use to keep the battery topped off periodically when needed.

Of course, if I left it in I would make sure that the water levels would be correct in the battery, but is there any real reason to have the battery in if we are just using electric?

I’m sure that I’m missing something obvious. I already use redundant carbon monoxide and smoke detectors run off of battery power.

Separate question. Is there a reasonably priced surge protector that you would recommend? Seems like that would be a smart idea. I’ve been lucky so far.

Thank you


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2oldman

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Posted: 02/27/12 08:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stay plugged in in storage?
Stay plugged in roast batteries?


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lat471

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Posted: 02/27/12 09:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm preparing to go onsite this year also. We were onsite 2 years ago. Her's MHO. I left the battery in place. Check the water at least monthly. I have a 30A surge supressor that I used last time and will again. Even though were a 50A rig the site only has 30A service. Now leaving the battery and why. If there is a power failure the frig if on auto will automatically switch to gas. There are some other appliances like my air. Nesds 12v for the control and 110 for the air. We are in a very wooded site so I will pull the slides in when I leave just to keep them cleaner. It took me a lot scrubing after last time. Water off incase a line blows, and water heater off when we leave. Enjoy it.


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jauguston

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Posted: 02/27/12 09:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only concern with the battery is using excessive water. That is caused by too high a charge voltage from your converter (RV speak for battery charger). A easy way to tell if your converter is going to boil water out of your batteries is this. Plug into shore power and wait a couple of days. Then put your volt meter across the battery posts and read the voltage. If you don't have a digital multimeter Radio Shack has them and so does Harbor Freight for $5.00. If you read a voltage around 13.2v you have a three stage smart converter and you can leave it working 24-7. If you read around 13.6-13.7v that means you don't have a smart converter. If left on at 13.6-13.7v all the time your batteries will use a fair amount of water and will need to be checked every month or so and water added.

Jim


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BillyW

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Posted: 02/27/12 10:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave the battery in place, it helps to filter 12v power supplied by the converter. Check the water once in a while.

Last year we rented a seasonal site, and had terrible low voltage problems. The only time we could run the air conditioner was during the week when the park was fairly unused. I will get an autoformer before doing that again.



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spadoctor

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Posted: 02/27/12 10:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

leave the battery in place....mine is plugged in all year long...at the seasional and at home

M GO BLUE

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Posted: 02/27/12 10:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave battery plugged in...

Yes on the surge protector and make sure it is a MULTI-FUNCTION surge protector...(for a 30A multi-function surge protector expect to pay ~ $250.00 (cheaper than having to replace converter, TV, fridge, water heater (electric side), stereo, etc.))

I would also add a water regulator (screws into your city water inlet and then hose screws into it)...




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Posted: 02/27/12 10:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My batteries stay in all the time in our mh, same for our 5th wheel when we had it. I plug it in mid-May and until late October or so, the only time it is not plugged in is when we are traveling. I have never needed to top off the water until the end of the season.

I have a built in surge protector built into the coach's system and I would recommend having one.


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Posted: 02/27/12 11:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's a link to the surge protector we use on our seasonal site.
http://tweetys.com/portable-30amp-electrical-management-system.aspx
I use a bike cable lock that goes thru the piece of metal on the cord right above the unit you see in the link picture. I wrap the bike cable lock around the power pedastal a couple times. I built a small box out of pressure treated wood to protect it from weather. It's hidden from view by the foilage around the pedestal. Sure, if somebody wanted to steal it they could, but it's a little bit of a theft detterent. I leave the battery in and check the water level monthly.


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JN_B

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Posted: 02/27/12 11:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think a bigger concern would be having a power outage at the seasonal.

At least if the battery is in place (and charged), you'd have some lights/heat during the outage.


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