Battery Tender vs plugging in?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by mantis32, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. mantis32

    mantis32 Member

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    Soo.... I previously had my 30A converted to a standard plug, so that I could plug it in the side of my garage. I also had the camper set to 120V however I switched it to 12V unplugged the cord and went to see if anything would turn on and to my surprise nothing. I'm going to leave it plugged in overnight and try in the morning to see if I can get a light or fan on without it plugged in.

    Does the battery charge if I leave it to 12V and leave it plugged in? If yes, why is a battery minder/tender needed?
    Assuming my battery is shot (I'll take it to pep boys to get it checked) is there a clear favorite by a big margin in the forum that I can set my sights on to buy?
     
  2. aslag

    aslag Pacific Northwest

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    Why convert the 30A plug when there are adapters available cheap? With a PUP this new your converter has a 3 stage charger built in. And having owned 2 Forest River PUPs a 2003 Rockwood and a 2007 Flagstaff there is no 12v switch, I believe the switch you are referring is the refrigerator switch. Is there a 120v switch next to it? If so, they are for the refrigerator.
     
  3. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    I think converting from a 30 amp connection to a 15 amp connection is the wrong move, I will assume you do not have an AC... It would have been way cheaper to just get the 30/15 amp connector from walmart and leave your cable stock.
    What convertor brand and model you have?
    Not all converters have a good charging system so it is sometimes better advised to get a good 3 stage charger and use that for charging and maintain your battery while at storage.
    All batteries are pretty much the same and for some time they were most all of them built in the same 2 or 3 factories. What you have to do is match the battery to your amperage demand and maintain it properly. I have batteries from walmart last me well past 5 years and I have to admit when they failed were mostly because of my failure to maintain them.

    Good luck!
     
  4. mantis32

    mantis32 Member

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    Previous owner said to switch to 12v for battery power and switch to 120 when I'm plugging into an outlet. [​IMG]

    When in my driveway I convert, so that im able to plug into the side of my garage. Previous owner said doing this would charge the battery. [​IMG]

    My battery is good however when I unplug everything goes off inside the camper. [​IMG]

    I guess my question should be...why don't the 12v lights stay on at the very least or anything in the standard outlets.

    No fuses are blown.
     
  5. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    That switch is for your refrigerator. That's what the potentiometer (knob) is for.

    I see that 12v is "on" how long has it been that way?

    Your fridge pulled all the juice out of your battery. Put a voltmeter on it I bet you're at 12.0 or less
     
  6. mantis32

    mantis32 Member

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    That battery test wa from today. I said no fuses were blown until i found that one fuse hiding under the tongue. Replaced and blamo...all good.

    Which brings me back to...plug it into garage outlet to charge the battery or battery tender direct to battery? Whch is better and what's the difference?

    Sent from my mobile. Please pardon brevity.
     
  7. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    Depends on your converter. What make and model is it? As @Nandy posted Some are good 3-stage chargers and some will cook your battery.

    Oh, and that switch is still for your fridge, unless the PO bastardized some transfer switch out of it :)
     
  8. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Yup, that switch has nothing to do with your battery/converter, is your fridge mode button... IF you switch that switch to 12vac when only on battery you can kiss your battery good bye. What that does is switch your refrigerator from 120vac to 12vdc. This will eat your battery in a matter of hours. That is really meant to hook to your TV that has a proper wired 7 pin, not just wired, but properly wired 7 pin that will keep the fridge running while in transit. Gas is the most efficient way to have your fridge running, 120vac follows, 12vdc is tricky as it could not only kill your trailer battery but your TV battery too.
    Now, when you said you are converting what some of us thought you did was change your 30 amp connector to a 15 amp, not that you use the adapter so if you are using an adapter then you are fine.
    If you want to know which is better to charge your battery you have to tell us what you have or are contemplating of using, otherwise we cant really tell you which is best.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    No way to advise regarding your charging system unless you tell us the brand and model of your trailer's converter.
     
  10. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    if ya keep the fridge on 12v a battery tender can't keep up.
    teh fridge's 100 watt 12v DC heater will drain the battery faster than the tender can charge.

    So the answer is plug in! if ya don't know how to operate the fridge.
     
  11. flingwing1969

    flingwing1969 New Member

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    12 vdc on the fridge is meant for travel mode from home to camp or back ONLY! Plug the camper in and turn on the fridge to 110 vac overnight or for several hours before you load it to go. Hook up to your TV, unplug your shore power, start your TV, switch the fridge to 12 vdc and you're off. When you stop for lunch, switch the fridge to propane and light her up. Before you take off again, shut down propane, start the TV and switch to 12 vdc. When you get to your campsite, switch the fridge to propane before you shut off your TV.

    I have two deep cells but there is only so much juice available - don't push it.
    [​IMG]
     

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