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Old 07-11-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
et2
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Battery question

We keep our camper at the campground all summer.We will be leaving it plugged into the power post to keep the refridgerator running. I know the fridge circuit need 12v power to run. Can the battery be disconnected? I'm afraid it will cook the battery. Or does the convertor stop charging the battery when it has a full charge? We have a 2009 3665RE.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
sreigle
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Your refrigerator will not run on electric if you disconnect the battery. The converter charges the battery but does not feed the refrigerator directly. That comes from the battery itself.

As fulltimers we've been plugged into electric power for up to three months without disconnecting and not had any battery problems. However, we have more than just the refrigerator and some parasitic items, like the detector (co2?) in the kitchen, drawing power. I don't know if that's enough to make a difference. Maybe someone else can help on this.
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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Steve on your statement, "Your refrigerator will not run on electric if you disconnect the battery", did you mean "Your refrigerator will not run on 12v if you disconnect the battery"?

et2 your refrigerator runs on 12v if you are using propane, but 110v if you use A/C (alternating current).

I still believe the converter when plugged into shore power provides both 110v AND 12 volts. The battery will provide 12 volts when the converter is not running. I think this is why many of us don't know our battery is a problem until we remove the shore power and try to use the battery by itself and it doesn't work.

There are many ways to keep a battery charged but more importantly I have found that it is harder to protect the battery from getting overcharged and "burned out" because of sulfation, too low of water and stuff like that.

Here's what I do, but others will have things different or even better. I connect my RV to a 15 amp 110v plug at the house via the necessary adapters to get from the RV 50 AMP to a 110v 15 amp outlet. I then disconnect my batteries using a blade disconnect I got at CW. I then connect a Battery minder recharger/conditioner to keep both my batteries charged and conditioned. I also add the water in the batteries periodically because they do get low.

With the battery disconnected and shore power plugged in, I can use the 110v televisions, the microwave, and the refrigerator. I do not use the air conditioner because I don't trust my shore power to provide enough amperage. I also use the refrigerator in 12v/propane mode and can operate all the 12V lights. I did mention the batteries are disconnected through all this. If I disconnect the shore power and the battery is still disconnected, the propane alarm will squeal because it has lost power.

In summary, keep the shore power connected, to keep your refrigerator running, but if you do NOT disconnect your battery, you should still check to make sure the batteries have water. And if you disconnect the batteries so they don't overcharge (which causes the water to evaporate real fast), then you run the risk of having low batteries. In this case, you can install a solar recharger/conditioner to keep your batteries at their freshest. In any case the water needs to be checked.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:13 PM   #4
et2
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I found out from another camper we had when the convertor went bad while plugged into 110v ... the fridge would drain the battery because it still uses 12v to run the circuit board even while plugged into 110v, making the fridge inoperative.

So I think it still needs the 12V even while plugged in. I could be wrong.

I just want to make sure I don't come back to spoils in the fridge because the battery died from being dried out from charging. I'm not a expert on electrical stuff, just wondered if I disconnected the battery if the convertor would power the 12v system by itself, or if the battery was connected if the convertor knows when to not charge the battery like the trickle chargers do.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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Can I make a sugestion to help you so you can disconect the batterys, here how to do it.

This might work I dont see why not.
Disconect the batteries, and buy a battery charger, connect the charger to the two lines that you disconected fron the batteries , Pos to pos and Neg to Neg, an extention cord running to the basement storage compartment to power up the charger, the power that the frig uses along with the propane sniffer wont hurt the charger not much power use there.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #6
Countryfolks
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How long will the unit be unattended?
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Countryfolks

How long will the unit be unattended?
two to three weeks at a time
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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et2, the converter going bad is NOT supposed to be the norm, if that were the case, full-timers would be having fits because they live in their rigs and the converter should last and last. Maybe you had a surge or something that cause the converter to fail. That's what would cause your batteries to die, because your fridge was still running and draining the batteries after the converter went bye-bye.

We should add that you should be using a voltage regulator, surge suppressor or a voltage conditioner (prevents brownouts) will probably be needed as well to cause your converter to fail prematurely.

Trailer Trash has another good idea for keeping the batteries charged but you must still check the water of the batteries some how. Make sure you get a very high quality recharger that does not toast the batteries after they are charged. Like I mentioned I use a charger/conditioner so that my batteries don't fry, but the water must still be checked.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Art I said disconect the batteries completly from the RV, and use the charger as if it was a battery.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:20 AM   #10
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I have never tried it, but I see no reason the fridge won't work on the converter alone. It will supply DC voltage without the battery in the circuit.(I recall one of the tests on the converter charging circuit was with the charge circuit open.) Whether on propane or 120 volts AC, the fridge has to have that 12 volts to the circuit board. If you have the battery disconnect, it would be a pretty simple test. Back to the original reason for the question; I would leave the battery connected if I was going to be there occasionally as you plan on being.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:42 AM   #11
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We have the same unit as you do. I leave mine in my barn plugged into shore power when we aren't using it. The refrigerator runs all the time. I've been doing this since we got the Monty last November. I check the battery periodically and have not noticed any significant water loss so I assume that the converter isn't cooking the battery. I'm not sure but I think that my converter is a staged converter. I can't find anyplace on it to plug in a module that has been discussed on other threads here. The paperwork on it isn't very discriptive. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by et2

We keep our camper at the campground all summer.We will be leaving it plugged into the power post to keep the refridgerator running. I know the fridge circuit need 12v power to run. Can the battery be disconnected? I'm afraid it will cook the battery. Or does the convertor stop charging the battery when it has a full charge? We have a 2009 3665RE.
Don't Disconnect anything, Keep it plugged into the CGs power. Before leaving, Check the batteries water level and if needed refill with distilled water, NOT DRINKING WATER. Being you have a 2009 unit I doubt the battery will need any water. I have a 2007 and I top off my batteries about every 6 to 8 months and even than they take very little water

Two to three weeks at a time is nothing compared to 24/7/365. Yes we do live in ours but that changes nothing. We are still plugged into CG power and we still have our fridge on 12V. The convertor maintains the battery just fine.
Now I am not saying the convertor can't up and die but I will say that is very unlikely. In nearly 6 years of fulltiming we have never had a converter problem muchless a failed converter.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:50 AM   #13
Countryfolks
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We have ours on shore power all the time like NCFischers and Glenn and Loraine. Just check the water as recommended above. We did have a converter fail a couple of years ago in Texas, no losses. A friend loaned us a charger to keep the batteries up until I replaced the converter. It took several weeks because they sent the wrong one at first. Iota immediately sent the correct one after I called them. They are reasonable folks to deal with.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:19 AM   #14
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Leave it plugged in and check to be sure you have a smart charger...it will keep your battery from becoming over charged. If you don't have a smart charger, add this: http://iotaengineering.com/iq.htm

As a point of clarification, when the refrig is running on electric, it takes BOTH A/C and 12v power for it to work correctly.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:59 PM   #15
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SlickWillie is correct. Today's refrigerators cool on AC or propane. 12v is required for the circuit board which controls the operation, selection of AC, propane, and temperature. If you disconnect the battery and the power goes out, the frig cannot switch to gas and continue to cool. Kerry
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:10 PM   #16
et2
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will leave it connected and monitor the battery water level.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Art-n-Marge

Steve on your statement, "Your refrigerator will not run on electric if you disconnect the battery", did you mean "Your refrigerator will not run on 12v if you disconnect the battery"?

et2 your refrigerator runs on 12v if you are using propane, but 110v if you use A/C (alternating current).
Art, I did not say that well at all. My understanding is the refrigerator will not run on either 110v or propane if it does not have 12v to the control board. I am not an expert and may be wrong but I'm pretty sure. I have not yet read the subsequent posts below yours. By the time I'd finish, I'd forget to write this so will write it now. I may find in the subsequent posts I'm incorrect.

After reading the other posts I still think you have to have a battery (or charger) inline and that the converter will charge the battery and does not otherwise provide 12v to the appliances. And that 12v is needed to the control board for the fridge to operate. The best way to find out is to remove the cables from the battery, plug in to 110v and see if the fridge runs.

Like NCFischers, when we were weekenders/vacationers, when not winterized we'd leave the rig plugged in all the time with the fridge running all the time. I found it much easier than trying to cool down the fridge just before a trip. We had no problems with the fridge. I don't know if that's the best way, but it worked well for us.
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