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Old 02-28-2016, 09:42 AM   #1
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Maintaining the battery question

As much as I'd love to take our camper out more, we only go about once a month. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. Is there a battery tender or something I can hook up while it's parked to keep the battery charged without cooking it?

As of right now, I can't plug the camper in, but in the next two months, I'll have it under a roof with a 50 amp outlet. Once that happens, is it safe to just leave it plugged in all the time?
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:48 AM   #2
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If you can't plug it in for the next two months, where are you going to plug in the battery tender?
Or am I reading it wrong.

I think the trailers charger will do a fine job keeping your battery charged. It is a three stage charger.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:53 AM   #3
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What we do here is use an RV30A to 15A adapter to our shore power cable and plug our trailer into the house/garage 20AMP service. This also includes about 50-feet of HD (10-3) gauge contractor grade extension cord.

This runs the trailer on-board converter/charger and keeps our batteries safely re-charged. We can actually run just about everything in the trailer but have to watch what is on at the same time otherwise it will trip the house/garage breaker...

Been doing this since 2009 and have never had any battery issues.

Out of habit I still check my batteries fluid levels every couple of months but they are being maintained just fine using my smart mode converter/charger unit in the trailer.

In your case you would have to adapt down to your 50AMP Shore Power cable...

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Old 02-28-2016, 09:54 AM   #4
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It's currently parked next to my storage building and I can run an extension cord. Sorry, should have been more clear.

Having a 50 amp connection on the camper, I don't really want to use multiple adapters to bring it down to a regular house plug. Plus, I'd have to use the entire length of my campers power cable plus an extension cord.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:15 AM   #5
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Understand - The RV adapters work just fine. The 50A-20A service ties both zones into the the adapter so each of your two zones on your 50A setup is getting power. You of course would have to power down several high wattage items.

If all of that still bothers you just turn off everything except the on-board converter/charger haha...

To answer you other question Yes - you can just use a 10A trickle smart mode charger connected directly to your battery terminals. Some folks hook up a small solar panel to do this as well...

Probably a good idea to not have both the trickle charger and your 50A Shore power connected at the later time turned on at the same time..

The 120VAC feeding your two zones from the standard RV adapter is the same as using a 50AMP shore power connection except that both zones will be dividing up the 20AMP service instead of having two zones of 50AMP power.

Alot of folks use them just fine with no issues. Just flip the 120VAC Breakers to OFF on the high wattage items...

I adapt my 30A OFF-ROAD Trailer to many emergency 120VAC receptacles all around where we end up camping. Great thing to have around for us. My requirements is to keep my large battery bank re-charged all the time...

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Old 02-28-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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Just another idea for you:

I took a good quality 15 amp extension cord and cut off the female end and replaced it with a 30 amp twist lock end that attaches to my trailer, and the other end is the 15 amp make end that plugs into the exterior garage plug. The 30 amp female plug only twists onto the trailer lugs and does not have the locking ring like the rigs power cord, but I haven't had it come loose once. I went this way because I could get the fitting locally and didn't want to wait for ordering a plug similar to the units cord. I also use this cord when using the generator while boondocking. It eliminates the adapter.
Just another option.

On edit: I should have stated that my rig has a 30 amp service. You could make a similar cord with the appropriate plug for a 50 amp connection.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:55 AM   #7
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Or you could get a very small solar panel that's designed specifically for maintaining batteries.

Amazon-Solar Battery Maintainer
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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I know that the adapters work just fine, but the 50 to 20 amp adapters I've seen are a little pricey. When the building goes up I plan on having a 50 outlet installed so then it will no longer be an issue. I may just grab an inexpensive charger or maybe a solar panel. Thanks!!
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:58 PM   #9
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50 Amp Temporary RV Power Outlet

Ok, since you do not want to spend a lot of money on a 50 to 15/20 amp power conversion cord, try this. Go to Home Depot and pick up a 50 Amp Temporary RV Power Outlet (see picture below) for $ 29.77 a quality extension cord, cut off the female end and hard wire it into the 50 amp box. This way when you get the building built, you do not have to pay again for a 50 amp power outlet, just remove the extension cord and have the electrician mount it on the building and wire it in to the building's electrical breaker box. As long as you do not run the AC or microwave (turn there 110VAC breakers off while using this adapter) and just use it to keep your batteries fully charged this will work perfectly. You can then buy a female 110VAC plug and replace the one you cut off.

Just my thoughts,

Don
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ELECTRICAL - 50 Amp Temporary Power Outlet.png  
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:27 PM   #10
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I don't think you can get any cheaper than an extension cord and a this $13 adapter.
Robot Check
Plus you should always carry an adapter with you because you never know what kind of power situation you will come across.
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