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Old 01-29-2010, 03:12 AM   #1
ratfink11
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Battery Tender Mounting Location

I purchased the water proof/vibration resistant Battery Tender for my 3400RL that it can have a permanent mount. I was looking for a place to mount it and the most convienient place looked like in the propane comparment so I could have out side of the unit accsess for the plug. Now I know what your thinking.........an electical device in the propane compartment, sparks, fire, new fifth wheel etc. Manual for Battery Tender says the component it self is spark proof. The connection would be inside the front storage compartment in the battery box. What do you guys think and what have you done?
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:25 AM   #2
racerjoe
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I think that where ever you put it will be the right place for you. Everyone has their own ideas as to what is right for their own application. You are correct that the battery tender is safe, the only question is why do you need it? your battery should charge as long as you are hooked to power.Or are you disconnecting the system when stored?
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:05 AM   #3
exav8tr
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ratfink11, I'm not seeing the reason for another on-board charger system. Doesn't our converter charge the battery? If so, why an additional charger? I do have a stand alone charger that I carry but in three years have never had to use it. The battery tender looks like a great addition but I question the need.....You still need to plug it into a 110VAC so if that power is available why not just plug in the trailer??..... I could see a solar charger if you boondock alot where no AC power is available.....There's probably a simple explanation for this but my non-electric thinking is void of one.....
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:42 AM   #4
ratfink11
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So if I have my unit sitting for several weeks between use and I plug in (I have both 110 and 50amp available where I park it on my property) the converter will charge the battery?
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:06 AM   #5
TLightning
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ratfink11

So if I have my unit sitting for several weeks between use and I plug in (I have both 110 and 50amp available where I park it on my property) the converter will charge the battery?
Yes, actually it's a converter/charger...it does both.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:32 AM   #6
ratfink11
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Any one have any problems leaving it plugged in for a month between use? I have been thinking about this and using the battery tender may be easier than getting out the 50 amp cord and plugging in and save wear and tear on the converter. Any one ever see a short 50 amp power cord about 10`on the market? Looks like another guy for a thread on this site for "Things you wish you never bought or used for your Montana"!
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:03 AM   #7
Art-n-Marge
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You need to check on a couple of things. The converter/charger does do what Tom says, but in my case I do use a Battery Minder (similar to Battery Tender), because it does a better job of charging and it also is able to condition the battery. So the first thing you need to find out is if your converter/charger charges your batteries to their fullest. I have read that some don't do as good a job at this. The second thing is to ensure your converter/charger has overcharge protection. I have also read that some don't have this either.

Prior to using the Battery Minder my batteries were drying out every couple of weeks! What I do now is use a quick disconnect to remove the batteries from the shore power of my rig, then plug the Battery Minder into a rig outlet and run its wire to the batteries for the recharging and reconditioning. The batteries seem to be in much better shape after doing this.

Your set up might be different. I have heard of some MOCers that don't do this and have great success. I use a Battery Minder in this way because it works for me and in my case the batteries must be disconnected from the converter/charger for it to work correctly. I have since installed a battery refill system so that once a month a few quick squeezes of the refill bulb tops off the batteries and the Battery Minder keeps them charged to their fullest. I no longer have weak batteries when I get ready for a trip.

Whatever you use, the water in the batteries still has to be checked periodically!
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:55 AM   #8
SlickWillie
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I think you'll have a lot less battery maintenance with the battery tender than using the converter to maintain it. JMHO
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
ratfink11
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Think I will stick with the Battery Tender since we do try to get into state parks when we feel like it and I would like as fresh a battery as I can get.. Now should I disconnect the battery from the coach system while I have Battery Tender on or can I just leave the leads for the tender on from the posts and plug in the Battery Tender to a 110 outlet? Ideally what I want to do is just plug in when I park it in between uses. Also would you disengage the battery cut off switch while charging? Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
Art-n-Marge
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You'll have to check the owner's manual for what they recommend. I have a "Battery Minder" and the instructions are that it must be disconnected from any other source in order to work correctly. I have two batteries in my rig and the Battery Minder takes care of both at the same time.

I am not familiar with the Battery Tender operation.

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:36 AM   #11
TLightning
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Here's the bottom line...if you have a good battery and a 'smart' charger/controller, plug into shore power, you are good to go...the 'smart' feature will keep your battery from becoming over charged. If you have a good battery, but do not have a 'smart' charger/controller, get one of these: IQ4 Smart Charger/Controller. The IQ4 will keep the charger from over charging the battery. I got my IQ4 here: http://www.solarseller.com/
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
mhs4771
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Here's my 2 cents, If you have an older single stage converter, it will over charge and boil the water out of the battery (I know, my 1991 SOB went through several batts). Most newer units have multi-stage converters and adjust their output based on the need. If everything is quick, start turning on lights, as the number of lights increases you should hear the cooling fan in the converter start to pick-up speed. My 2007 SOB TT had a multi-stage and I kept in pluged in all the time with no problems. My new Monty has been pluged in since Nov when I brought it home. To use the battery tender, you would need to disconnect the converter or not have the Monty plugged in. As for shorter cord, I don't need full power while parked at home, so I bought a 50 amp plug and put it on the end of a shorter 30 cord I had (only have 30 amps at my home pole) works great and much lighter than that big 50 cord.

Regards,
Michelle S
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:20 AM   #13
Fire5er
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Have had our 07 3400RL plugged in for most of the 3 years we have had it with no battery issues so far.
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