On or Off ??

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by old-mo, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Is it best to leave your RV hooked up to the electric permanently ?

    Or just for a few hours each week ?

    Nothing switched on except when it is cold and then I run a 800W Delongi Oil filled radiator.. Battery is new and is full..

    Thanks. :thumb:
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Provided your batteries are protected by a good battery monitoring system or 3 - 4 stage charger, Leave it on 24/7 as is mine, with oil filled rad all winter
     
  3. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    Agreed. As fulltimers,this is not much difference than we do.
    Granted, there are "loads" at night, but during the day when we're at work, its all charge with no other load than the fridge.
    The only thing I would add is to make a monthly check on your electrolite levels,just in case. Might be overkill, but better than a cooked battery.:Wink:
     
  4. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Whats a hook up? hee hee
     
  5. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Thanks Geo,,
    How does one tell if one has a 3-4 stage battery monitor ?

    Mine is as it came from Jayco,, I have a bank of buttons and if I press the button by the battery sign all 4 lights come on, the next one is fresh water, and the same, when the tank is full all 4 lights,, ditto for the Black waste and the 2 Grey waste tanks.

    I have tested all tanks and the lights seem to be fairly accurate. :thumb:
     
  6. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    I leave mine on permanent hook up and have two panel heaters I fitted 1 bedroom 600watt 1 main room 800 watt. Batteries always charged rooms never have that horrible cold chill that locked up vans sometimes have and its always ready to go.
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Mines hooked up via solar panels, so it is on charge, permanent, 24 hours a year:BigGrin:

    As for you guys and your heaters, i could not waste money like that. My RV sits on a hill, gets rained on most days, suffers some really good frosts and is bone dry. IMO you just don't need to heat them, switch em off, you are just spoiling your babies. :BigGrin:
     
  8. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Mine was always on till I moved and now have a storage pitch. Much nicer when everything is warm and dry:BigGrin:
     
  9. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    I've never been in a 5vr and all I know is they cost a bit more than the name would imply:Rofl1: no idea what kit they fit so other than reading all your bumf or the labels on your hidden boxes for clues I can't help you there,:Doh: I have what is called a Battery Wizard and thats a little box on its own near the main electrics and has a separate green light on it, all the wizardry is inside it:Eeek:
    Geo
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Assume that you don't have one, most Yank RVs and may Euro vans are only fitted with bog standard power supply units that double up as chargers .. left on EHU when not in use may cook the battery(s)

    A Sterling 4 stage 50 A charger will set you back about £450 .. so there's little incentive for the constructors to fit one.. most buyers are too busy ooooing and ahhhing at the latest fashion inside to think about what's under the floor :RollEyes:

    I ripped out the old yank one and fitted a Victron 70A charger/1600 watt rectifier , I was lucky to get it second hand, new cost about £800 .. I paid £300 .

    Have a look at the 'charger' and get some details .. then we can know for certain..and tell you how to spend more cash.. :Laughing:
     
  11. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    A good looking sheep if you'r welsh:Rofl1:
     
  12. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Battery Charging

    Hi

    If its the bog standard US setup. then It will charge at pretty much one level and could cook a battery. or alternativly not give a sufficiant charge, Cheapest option is probably to get a 3 stage portable battery charger to "maintain" the batteries and switch the Van unit Off unless you are "in-residence". Otherwise it an expensive piece of kit like the sterling, or a victron etc;

    Dont overlook the fact that the O/E charger is 110V 60Hz. will also suffer losses by being fed via a transformer from 230V 50Hz.

    pete
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    An excellent article on Theory and practice of battery charging with good explanations on why a three or four stage charger is desirable ..

    Theory and practice of battery charging

    more interesting reading here for the anoraks :Laughing:

    Battery charger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Peter's suggestion is a good compromise ..
    Lidl and Aldi occasionally have cheap multi-stage trickle chargers that are ideal for keeping the batteries healthy while the van is not in use.. but won't be sufficient for charging while using the van..
     
  14. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    I'm a wee bit confused, are we saying that if you are on a "hook up" site say for two weeks we should not leave the hook up connected unless you know you have a four stage charging unit? :Eeek:
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Sorry for the confusion, the question and answers were about leaving on EHU when the van is in storage .. while in use there is nothing to be concerned about .. however .. if a van only has a bog standard charger/power supply unit it won't maintain the batteries at their optimum performance .. but, if you only have one or two leisure batteries the cost of a multi-stage charger would be hard to justify , you could buy ten 85 AH batteries for the cost of a charger ..
    RVs typically have four or more batteries so it makes sense to maximise their life span..
    My four batteries are now almost five years old and still giving good service which I attribute to them being cared for and maintained by the Victron..

    As an aside, these are just cheap FLAs (flooded lead acid) batteries, makes no economic sense to spend double or treble on named brand or so called long life batteries.
     
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