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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > RV Parked between Trips?

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Derf1303

Conshohocken, PA

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Posted: 06/01/05 06:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I hate to say it but somtime we can't go RVing (sob, Boo Hoo!) but when I can't my rig is nicely parked next to my garage. If it sits more than a week I go out and start the motor, maybe drive around the block, then run the generator for about 30 minutes. My question is, do you keep your rigs plugged in to shore power when between trips? I don't have a 30 AMP external outlet but I shouldn't need that to just keep the RV power on and the RV battery charged. I can easily plug in to a 20 AMP circuit in the garage. What do you think? Any other suggestions to keep things working well?


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Posted: 06/01/05 07:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have kept mine plugged in since new--9 yrs, regular plug 110v never had a problem, check batteries 1x month. We use it alot so don't worry about sitting too much. We have replaced the engine and house battery 1 time - most of the time we leave the refridgerator on. I think it's better to leave them plugged in than not


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eubank

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Posted: 06/01/05 07:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, we got shafted out of our last two vacations. I go out and just sit in the rig from time to time. And dream about next fall.
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K3BH

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Posted: 06/01/05 07:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We keep our rig like you, next to the garage, and keep it plugged in to a 20 amp circuit. If it's near freezing out (which it was in May--ugh), we'll leave the furnace on low, along with the 120V hot water heater. The solar panel would probably keep the batteries charged, but with 120V the charge controller can do its anti-sulfation thing better.

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ArtChee

Sarasota FL USA

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Posted: 06/01/05 07:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read on this forum that having the shoreline connection too long can "boil" the house battery IF the unit is equipped with the OEM converter. Do you folk that keep the unit connected to the house current disconnect the house battery?


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Bordercollie

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Posted: 06/01/05 07:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sure, you can plug into a 20 amp garage circuit and it might even run your roof A/C okay. Make sure to use an RV type 30 amp extension cable. I have a cheap plug in AC voltmeter to verify that line voltage is over 110 volts when roof A/C is running. I leave our Tioga 26Q hooked up all the time to keep batteries charged and cokes cool in the fridge. The Tioga is our guest apartment and club house in the driveway. Check your house batteries at least once a month and add distilled water as needed. Some converters can overcharge run the batteries out of water. Its a good idea to sanitize the fresh water system every 30 days, every 60 days if you don't drink the water.Mix a cup of bleach to two gallons of water in a clean pail. Drain the water out of the fresh water tank and water pipes through the low drain valves. ( behind an access panel somewhere inside) water will run out slowly under the rig. Shut the tank and low drain valves and pour the bleach/water solution into the tank with a funnel. Fill the tank the rest of the way with fresh water and run all the faucets and shower, using the pump, to circulate bleach through the system. Let the bleach work for a number of hours then drain as before ( open tank and low drain valves, then shut all valves). Refill water tank and run all faucets and showers again. Drain the tank and low drains again then shut all valves and refill the fresh water tank.Phew. If you forget to shut the low drain valves completely, the pump will keep running. There is a filter hooked to the pump which should be inspected and cleaned out or replaced as needed. If you use propane appliances, monitor fullness of the tank and have refilled so it will be ready when needed. Check tire pressures routinely and add air to tires as needed. ( See threads with recommendations on custom bent long metal valve stems and small 110volt tank-type air compressors).Follow your chassis and generator manuals on oil changes, etc. to keep warranties in force. Watch for any evindence of water leaks and take care of them before they do expensive damage. Its good to drive your rig often and long enough to get it warmed up and to run your dash a/c often.

JeF4y

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Posted: 06/02/05 07:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine is plugged in right now, keeping some common foods cold while it waited a week between trips.

My personal experience/advice on periodic starting. This may NOT apply to an RV, but it's what I've used for 10 years on motorcycles which are extremely sensitive to fuel problems, corrosion and battery/charging problems.

Do not run the unit at idle for small periods or just drive it around the block. You're not doing your motor or charging system any favors. The charging system on a bike does not work well at low RPMs. I believe the RV will be the same. Additionally, on short trips, the motor doesn't get a good chance to warm up real well and burn off the condensation you will create in the exhaust, which will then corrode.

30 day parking should not be a big deal. +30 and I'd look for an excuse to drive it 100 miles. +60 and you're into storage mode...

Just my $.02, and please understand this may not be applicable as this is my experience from OTHER vehicles, and I'm brand new to this whole RV thing...


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oldham

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Posted: 06/02/05 09:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I put a 30 Amp outlet in and keep my RV plugged in when not on the road with it. Have been doing this for a couple of years and don't have problems. I do exercise it and the generator once a month and check battery level. Have to top it off every now and then. I let my AC keep the mildew out of the MH by leaving it on 80 in the summer. I use a small ceramic heater in the winter to keep the inside at about 50 so nothing freezes. Everything always works when I take it out. There are no "surprises".


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Clemkad

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Posted: 06/02/05 10:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To solve the overcharging and 'boiling' problem, I've put a timer in line with the power for the converter. This way I can quickly change how many hours the batteries are charged per day based on the need. This was a cheaper solution than a whole new expensive yet smart charger. It's also convenient to set the timer in a way while camping that I don't have to listen to the 60Hz hum while sleeping. How long to charge is just estimated and adjusted based on experience. Of course, I also check the battery water level often (especially after ruining a pair).


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wgander

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Posted: 06/02/05 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I live in a condo: the motorhome's parked in the street. I have to move it every 72 hours. Sometimes that's all I do; sometimes I drive to the store and back. We try to use it for a day at least once a month - go to a park to relax by the Bay. That only means about 30 miles of driving and maybe an hour of generator use.


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