hundreds of battery trickle chargers/maintainers - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Technical | Towing, Maintenance and Repairs > Electrical, Batteries, Charging and Electronics
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-15-2018, 01:58 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 206
Utah
hundreds of battery trickle chargers/maintainers

Ok, so if there is a thread on this already, sorry - just point me to it and I'll review.

We are new at RVing and purchased a 2018 255BHSL travel trailer. I am NOT electrically inclined, and all I know is that it came with two Interstate deep cycle batteries (12 volt, I believe?). I think my batteries have water in them too that require me to fill up with distilled water every so often.

Anyhow, someone told me to disconnect them off of the trailer for the cold winter and store in garage (which I did). That said, am I supposed to keep them charged during the winter with some sort of device? Why/why not?

Assuming I do, there seem to be hundreds of chargers our there sold all over place, many with VERY poor reviews. To make things even more fun, they all have different ratings for volts, amps, amp-hours, etc., and tons of science words like AGM, lithium, wet, gel, MF, EFB, etc.

I was thinking of pickup up a Noco G3500 (3.5 amps) which is for 6V/12V batteries. Fair enough? Any objections or alternative recommendations?

Thanks in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
__________________

Hart_family is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
Site Team
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sprung Leak
Posts: 3,138
North Carolina
Here is a list of articles for you to read over the cold winter months.

First advice would be to move somewhere you don't have to worry about cold weather!

Batteries self discharge even when disconnected. Yes you do need to add water, they lose it through normal cycling. Only way around this would to be buy AGM or some other type of sealed battery. On my motor home which stays plugged up pretty much 24/7 I check the batteries and add water twice a year. It doesn't use much water, but needs to be done.

As far as trickle charging, it is a good idea, but they don't need to be hooked up 24/7. A 5-10 amp charger would do the trick, get one that has some sort of electronic control.

I would also consider buying a larger charger that will allow you to get a full charge on them occasionally. As far as brands; I typically have bought Schumacher chargers over the years and have gotten good service out of them. I still have a couple up at the barn that are pushing 35 years old that still work just fine. I also have a couple of newer small units.

Aaron
__________________

__________________
There is madness to my methods
2015 Coleman CM16FBS(traded) 2016 Concord 300DS
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid following along
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 03:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
wildwest450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sparta
Posts: 1,710
Tennessee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hart_family View Post
and tons of science words
Do you even science?

I have a Schumacher also that does regular, gel and AGM batteries. I know a few people that use the Battery Tender brand for their motorcycles and love them.
__________________
2014 Aerolite 213 RBSL
2016 Chevrolet Colorado
wildwest450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 206
Utah
Yes - a lot of folks have spoken highly of the Schumacher brand.
Hart_family is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 03:46 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 206
Utah
Whoah. All of the RV battery chargers I have seen at Camping World etc. are 0.75 to 1.5 amps. But you are recommending 5 to 10 amps!?? Would 3.5 amps not be adequate then?
Hart_family is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2018, 04:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
wildwest450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sparta
Posts: 1,710
Tennessee
https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/arti...y-charger.html

This is a good read, I wouldn't be too concerned about the amp hour rating for maintaining RV batteries.
__________________
2014 Aerolite 213 RBSL
2016 Chevrolet Colorado
wildwest450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 01:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Loganville
Posts: 158
Georgia
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/arti...y-charger.html

This is a good read, I wouldn't be too concerned about the amp hour rating for maintaining RV batteries.
I purchased this Solar Charger and so far so good. But I am always worried that it won't be there one day when I go to pick up my camper from the storage facility

https://www.batterystuff.com/solar-c.../blsolar5.html
__________________
Jeff & Sheila

2016 Aerolite 213RBSL
2013 F150 3.5 Ecoboost Tow Package
gjwinner850 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 04:28 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Beaver Dam
Posts: 343
Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hart_family View Post
Ok, so if there is a thread on this already, sorry - just point me to it and I'll review.

We are new at RVing and purchased a 2018 255BHSL travel trailer. I am NOT electrically inclined, and all I know is that it came with two Interstate deep cycle batteries (12 volt, I believe?). I think my batteries have water in them too that require me to fill up with distilled water every so often.

Anyhow, someone told me to disconnect them off of the trailer for the cold winter and store in garage (which I did). That said, am I supposed to keep them charged during the winter with some sort of device? Why/why not?

Assuming I do, there seem to be hundreds of chargers our there sold all over place, many with VERY poor reviews. To make things even more fun, they all have different ratings for volts, amps, amp-hours, etc., and tons of science words like AGM, lithium, wet, gel, MF, EFB, etc.

I was thinking of pickup up a Noco G3500 (3.5 amps) which is for 6V/12V batteries. Fair enough? Any objections or alternative recommendations?

Thanks in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is time to go back to school. Battery technology can be fun.
Quick primer: Most travel trailer batteries are lead/acid. There are three types of lead/acid batteries typically available. They are: Flooded cell (must add water), AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat), and GEL.
“am I supposed to keep them charged during the winter with some sort of device? Why/why not?”
You have Flooded Cells. Flooded cells are highly sensitive to deep discharge and need to be maintained for both water level and voltage. Periodically they need to be “conditioned” (There are different words used for the same process.) Basically, the electrolyte becomes stratified and needs to be stirred by briefly over charging or “boiling” the cells.
Flooded cells can freeze when charge level is low. Plate and outer shell damage is permanent.
The plates of flooded cells become coated with sulfate if stored at low charge rates for long periods. Moderate coating can be reversed by a certain over charge cycle. Heavy coating is permanent.
When a flooded cell battery is discharged below 20 percent, the lead plates start to erode (Permanent damage).
hundreds of chargers our there sold all over place”
A good solution to your battery storage problem is to get a “battery maintainer”. You can also get a high quality “computer controlled fast charger”. The maintainers are usually less expensive. Other chargers will work, but you must provide the control by learning all the “science” and remembering to do things when necessary.
The basic charge/maintain cycle:
  • Fast charge: Battery is discharged below 70% and above 5%. Charger applies 14.4 volts and as much current as the charger can apply and battery can absorb.
  • Tapering charge: This happens naturally. The battery internal resistance rises and current decreases. “Boiling” or venting increases. A certain amount of boiling is good. It provides the necessary stirring of the electrolyte.
  • Absorption charge: Charge voltage must be reduced to prevent excessive boiling and thus damage to plates and excessive loss of water. The computer monitors current and voltage and reduces the voltage. There is a special procedure for measuring the voltage. The computer can do this, or a cheaper one will just estimate it. Time to this point is usually short, maybe 3 hours. Charging voltage is reduced to 13.6 volts.
  • Maintenance charge: After the battery is fully charged (maybe 14 hours), The computer will lower the voltage to 13.2 volt for an indefinite period. A cheap maintainer provides this voltage, no more, no less. My fast charger has a time out function that reduces to 13.2 volts after 48 hours, regardless of batter voltage and current.
  • Periodical maintenance: Computer will raise the voltage to 14.4 volts for a short period. This removes minor accumulations of sulfate and stirs the electrolyte.
This process provides maximum life for your batteries. If you do not discharge flooded cells below 20 % and use this procedure to charge and maintain, they will last maybe 10 years or even more.
The 12 volt converter/charger in my Dutchmen Kodiak Cub does all of this except the periodic maintenance. Presumably, the periodic discharge and full fast charge when you use the trailer provides the periodic maintenance. My AGM batteries do not need the periodic maintenance.
Noco G3500”
If the Noco does not do these thing and you want 10 years from your batteries, you must learn to do them yourself. For that you need a hygrometer to measure electrolyte specific gravity. It is a messy, but accurate way to measure battery charge percent. You could use a $10 digital voltmeter from your local hardware and learn to interpret battery voltage. Not as messy, but much more complicated.
In any case I recommend a voltmeter. Periodically measure the voltage on the battery terminals and check the water level while in storage. If the voltage starts or drops below 12.7 volts, it is time to take action. The Noco should maintain at 13.2 if it is doing its job. You still need to be able to do a brief fast charge to stir the electrolyte and remove sulfate. Will the Noco do that?
__________________
Paul Bristol
Dutchman Kodiak Cub KD176RD 2018
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 07:42 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 84
Oklahoma
Several good pieces of advice here. I won't add my own 2 cents because it has already been covered... and my TT (travel trailer) is plugged in all the time at home. I check the water level in my two batteries every other month because I live in Oklahoma where we go from -10 to 80 in a day and the humidity is so dry that it sucks moisture out of anything!!! Batteries or people!
__________________
USAF; SP & Disaster Preparedness
2015 Kodiak 291RESL
2013 Ford F-150
Red Badger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2018, 09:48 PM   #10
nbb
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Conroe
Posts: 12
Texas
BatteryMINDer Plus

Go down to Northern Tool or go online and buy their BatteryMINDer Plus for $19.99. Will also keep your battery desulfated as well as charged. Also get one for your tow vehicle if you donít use it a lot in the off season. You arenít needing a degree in electrical engineering, just to keep your battery up over the winter.
__________________

nbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×