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Maintaining Camper Battery When Not In Use


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#1 Shades1@earthlink.net

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:42 AM

Could I please get some assistance on whether one uses a trickle charge on the battery, or just plugs in the casita to a power source when not in use?
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#2 SKYTALKER

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:45 AM

I disconnect the battery from the Casita and keep a battery maintainer on the battery all the time.
Maynard and Jacquie
ARS: KJ4P
2008 Spirit Deluxe 17'
2009 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner V6

Take only Pictures, Leave only footprints, Kill only time.

#3 Euphoria

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:57 AM

If you keep your battery connected full-time to your converter and you still have one of the factory installed Parallax 6300/7300 series converters, (which are single stage, aka "dumb chargers",) you will find that they are not very friendly to your battery. They just keep pumping out a constant charging rate and do not self adjust as the battery's charge comes up to fully charged. This results in excessive charging which will damage your battery over time. They are even less friendly to gel cell and AGM type batteries. If an upgrade to a multi-stage charger unit for your converter isn't within your budget, a battery disconnect switch would be a handy alternative. By installing a battery cut-off switch you can take the battery "off the grid" while still powering your trailer's 12 volt loads via "shore power" through the converter during storage periods. I would recommend a multi-stage float charger for routine maintenance charging to prevent sulfiting your battery which will cause premature failure. This is not the same thing as a "trickle charger", which also pumps out a steady stream of charging current. Even at just 2 amps of continuous charging on a fully charged battery will damage it. You'll want to be sure that it is a Float, not Trickle charger!

If you are at all interested in upgrading your converter's charger section, there are "drop-in" upgrade kits available which do not require completely replacing the entire converter, just the charger section. I installed one of these upgrades in my converter and I am very pleased with it. Also, if you have any questions about what you would need, ask to talk to Randy, (phone # on the linked web page.) He is very knowledgeable and can answer just about any converter/charger question you can think of. (And no, I don't work for them, but I do recommend them whole-heartedly.)

Link: http://www.bestconve...ml#.UbShY-dtjfU

Edited by Euphoria, 09 June 2013 - 07:41 AM.

"If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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Greg & Brenda

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#4 Shades1@earthlink.net

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:03 PM

Oh thank you so much for the wealth of information. I would like to have a switch to turn off the battery. I will look into this. I apologize for taking so long to reply. Best wishes.

#5 Joe Z

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:08 PM

I've installed a cut off switch to preserve power and once a month i plug in to the converter and run it for about two days with the battery switch "On".... that was with a AGM Battery. I have a wet cell now so will have to figure out my charge period.
Joe

Joe & Linda
Dodge Ram 4x4

 


#6 Ron B.

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:23 AM

Interesting information about the battery. We have had our Casita since new in 1995. We have always kept it plugged into an ac source. I have replaced two batteries since new. I know that we have a car that is driven very rarely and I do keep a battery maintainer on it and it has saved the very expensive battery. The car is a 1995 and we had to replace the battery after only two years. Then I got a new battery and purchased a battery maintainer and the battery lasted almost 10 years. I keep the maintainer connected all of the time while it is in the garage. The car has 17,000 miles on it. I guess the age of my Casita would qualify as having the bad charger on it ? I had better look into doing something before my battery is ruined...
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#7 Ron B.

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  • Casita Model/Size:1996 Spirit Deluxe 16'
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    Love the outdoors. Nature and spending time with my wife and dog give me pleasure. I may have cancer but, cancer doesn't have me...
    Good music is a plus and true friends are priceless.
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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:28 AM

If you keep your battery connected full-time to your converter and you still have one of the factory installed Parallax 6300/7300 series converters, (which are single stage, aka "dumb chargers",) you will find that they are not very friendly to your battery. They just keep pumping out a constant charging rate and do not self adjust as the battery's charge comes up to fully charged. This results in excessive charging which will damage your battery over time. They are even less friendly to gel cell and AGM type batteries. If an upgrade to a multi-stage charger unit for your converter isn't within your budget, a battery disconnect switch would be a handy alternative. By installing a battery cut-off switch you can take the battery "off the grid" while still powering your trailer's 12 volt loads via "shore power" through the converter during storage periods. I would recommend a multi-stage float charger for routine maintenance charging to prevent sulfiting your battery which will cause premature failure. This is not the same thing as a "trickle charger", which also pumps out a steady stream of charging current. Even at just 2 amps of continuous charging on a fully charged battery will damage it. You'll want to be sure that it is a Float, not Trickle charger!

If you are at all interested in upgrading your converter's charger section, there are "drop-in" upgrade kits available which do not require completely replacing the entire converter, just the charger section. I installed one of these upgrades in my converter and I am very pleased with it. Also, if you have any questions about what you would need, ask to talk to Randy, (phone # on the linked web page.) He is very knowledgeable and can answer just about any converter/charger question you can think of. (And no, I don't work for them, but I do recommend them whole-heartedly.)

Link: http://www.bestconve...ml#.UbShY-dtjfU

Would you mind telling us how much the upgrade cost? And, was it difficult to install in the Casita? Thanks

#8 Moenkopi

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

I just installed this one ( http://www.bestconve...e-Kit_c_64.html ) last weekend in a 2013 LD. It took about a half hour and was quite simple, really. All you have to do is remove and replace the lower unit and the fuse panel; you can leave the breakers alone. Easy to follow install pictures can be accessed from the above link as well. Total cost with shipping was a tad over $200. I also installed an 85W solar panel, Morningstar MPPT charge controller, and Trimetric battery monitor at the same time, and nothing has blown up yet!

#9 Jeff and Eunice

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

I used to keep the trailer plugged into AC, but found that it overcharged the battery. I got a trickle charger from Harbor Freight and so far (almost three years) it's been very kind to the battery; keeps it charged without overcharging. I also use a HF charger to keep my motorcycle battery charged.

#10 highwayfl

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:35 PM

I don't have a battery cut-off switch. So, I reach into the battery cave and unscrew the thumbscrew on the negative terminal, removr the negative and ground wires, then screw the thumbscrew back onto the terminal so I want loose it. That's my "cut-off"switch. works great.
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#11 Casita-Freak

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:51 PM

I have been using a 5 watt solar panel to keep my Casita battery topped off. These panels typically run around $30.


5 watt panel-2.JPG


My 2 cents (o:

John
Casita-Freak
Whitesboro, TX