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Old 05-10-2017, 06:32 PM   #1
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Is battery life shortened by plugging into electricity vs using solar?

A dealership told me the batteries only last half as long when plugged into shore power vs when running on solar power. Has anyone else heard this or know if it is true?
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:43 PM   #2
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Battery life is shortened by overcharging which should be prevented by both your solar and converter charging controllers; but either one could overcharge and shorten your battery life.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:43 PM   #3
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With a proper charge controller - the on board converter/charger if on shore power - or the solar charge controller - neither should damage or shorten the life of the batteries.

One could argue the quality of a solar charge controller you might buy compared to the quality of the Thor provided converter/charger... but if concerned - you could always replace the Thor provided unit with a better one... I haven't done so - and have had no issues.

Proper battery maintenance (checking water levels) should tell you if you have a problem... I wouldn't expect to have to regularly add water to a healthy battery being properly charged/maintained.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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THOR #4735
the batteries don't care what is charging them - electricity from shore power, electricity from your generator, or electricity from solar panels - why would it make any difference?...

apparently some dealers and salespeople don't know what they're talking about
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam
the batteries don't care what is charging them - electricity from shore power, electricity from your generator, or electricity from solar panels - why would it make any difference?...

apparently some dealers and salespeople don't know what they're talking about
A volt is a volt regardless of where it came from (or an amp is an amp as well)...

Well ok a watt is a watt...
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:45 PM   #6
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If your shore power charging system can be set to the battery makers charging specs like a solar charge controller you would never be able to tell the difference. That said the converters put in RV's while better then years past still leave a lot to be desired since they tend to be conservative to prevent over charging. This may result if early battery failure in some cases but more often then not failure occurs from proper battery care.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:49 PM   #7
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Was the salesman/tech at your dealerships lips moving? Nuff said! Was he trying to sell you a solar charging system? Most of those guys can usually unlock the doors on the rv they are selling, but beyond that most don't know anything about a rv. They should be required to go out & spend a few days in one with someone like themselves telling them how to operate everything & filming it, talk about funny videos, of course most of the audio would be bleeped out.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:21 PM   #8
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It may have some validity since solar charges the battery every day, thus the battery may never get discharged below 60 or 70%.

There may be times that the RV is unplugged and the converter does not get to charge the battery until the battery is discharged further than it should be. That could shorten the battery life. That would be dependent on the RV owner's attention to detail.

If the converter charges the battery whenever the voltage drops below about 12.3v, everything should be the same as on solar.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:41 PM   #9
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In most cases when someone tells you something like that, he is trying to sell you something. Short answer, any of todays smart charging systems, when regularly used will extend battery life.
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