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Old 07-14-2019, 10:35 PM   #1
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THOR #12161
Charging batteries

Having experienced bad problems keeping my batteries charged during my first extended dry camping trip, I am trying to fix the problem before my next dry camping trip. I have replaced 12-volt batteries with 6-volt golf cart batteries and have a multi-stage charge controller. In addition I plan to carry my little portable generator and battery charger to manually charge the batteries if/when use of the on-board generator won’t keep them charged. I will monitor the manual charge to prevent over-charging. MY QUESTION: Do I need to disconnect my batteries from the RV when manually charging?
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:31 PM   #2
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I never have
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:48 AM   #3
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I never have
Me either
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:41 AM   #4
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For charging batteries in a bank with >10amps, Battery Tender recommends the charger not be connected directly to any of the terminals. They have a good write up here: http://www.batterytender.com/connecting-chargers
It’s to “balance the voltage drop evenly between both batteries.” Honestly I can’t wrap my head around how an extra piece of cable is different than the leads coming off the battery charger, but they’re the experts so I follow it. And yes, I do it in the rig with everything attached; with one exception, when I was bringing batteries back from the dead when the dealer drained them during warranty work, I pulled the two batteries out and charged each one individually.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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I connect at the chassis studs where the 4 batteries cables are bolted
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:35 PM   #6
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Battery question

Thanks to all, especially to Kickstand for steering me to the Battery Tender site. Since my batteries are the same type, age, and condition, and are side-by-side, there shouldn't be any problem charging them while they are connected to the RV.
Here's a bit of oh-by-the-way info.....after reading so many recommendations to replace 12-volt batteries with 6-volt golf cart batteries, I bought two top of the line Trojan 6-volt batteries and put them into the battery holder beneath the entrance step of my 2014 Thor Chateau....only to then find that they are about an inch taller than 12-volt batteries, and the step would not close. Maybe I should have simply given up the idea of swapping, at that point. but instead, I took the step off and re-attached it a couple of inches higher on the RV frame, and installed wood around the perimeter for the raised step to rest on. This worked but unfortunately, I looped the excess length of new wire that connected the adjacent positive and negative posts....toward the rear, not realizing that there is a piece of metal sheeting at the rear of the step that extends down when the step is lowered. This metal cut and shorted out the connecting wire. I fixed the problem by shortening and re-routing the connecting wire toward the front, but now I had no DC power in the RV. I figured that a fuse had been blown but I looked everywhere and could find no fuse, and I didn't know but maybe one of the sealed electrical boxes beneath the bed had been damaged. So....being at the end of my shadetree electrician ability I took the RV on a 100 mile trip to a dealer, who found the fuse hidden between the walls of the RV, after removing the electrical distribution panel. Drive it--fix it, drive it--fix it, drive it---fix it....the only thing that always works in an RV is the owner.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:30 PM   #7
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Yeah, thats the way it goes. We learn as we go.... esp when we are modifying our RV's.

Thats one reason I went my AGM 6 volts.... They fit under my steps with zero mods. For some reason all of the AGM's that I looked at were a little shorter than the L/A counter part of all the brands I checked.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:25 PM   #8
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my question would be a 'why' can/does your onboard generator not already provide plenty of fast and sufficient charging?
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Yeah, thats the way it goes. We learn as we go.... esp when we are modifying our RV's.

Thats one reason I went my AGM 6 volts.... They fit under my steps with zero mods. For some reason all of the AGM's that I looked at were a little shorter than the L/A counter part of all the brands I checked.
AGMs are definitely worth the extra money...Trying to get up the nerve to replace the CHASSIS battery on OUR VEGAS with one....
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:34 AM   #10
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This Spring I changed out stock chassis battery for an AGM. Accessed and took out battery through passenger side dash. Under the “desk”. There are a couple of good YouTube videos showing the process.

Worst part is getting the stock battery out. It had no handle. Watch your back. Once out, putting new AGM was a piece of cake. New battery has a nice handle.

In putting dash back together I added heat / sound proofing and a proper hinged access door for future access.

New battery noticeably improved starting.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:52 AM   #11
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my question would be a 'why' can/does your onboard generator not already provide plenty of fast and sufficient charging?
Hey my 5.5 Cummins generator charges Chassis batteries when not connected to Shore power.I do make make sure that my chassis battery switch is not turned off.
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