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Old 01-02-2016, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default RT winterization question

Happy New Year to all.

This is the first PA winter that I will be experiencing as an owner of a 2004 RT 190. I will be storing it under a cover in the back driveway. It was winterized by the dealer but I was wondering if I should leave the unit plugged into shore power while being stored or if that would cause any issues such as possible overcharging of the batteries.

I will try and get it out for a drive monthly just to keep if lubricated but was wondering if there is any additional preventative maintenance that I should consider doing.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
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I had an '04 190P. It had a Tripp Lite inverter/charger in it. If your battery(ies) is/are in good condition and yours has the Tripp Lite then, if it was my RV, I'd keep it plugged in. I also kept the chassis battery topped up charged by plugging in a Battery Minder inside the RV and use a 12V accessory plug to maintain the chassis battery by plugging it into an outlet in the dash.

It's not absolutely necessary because you be running the van monthly.

I just really like to keep lead acid batteries charged.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:40 PM   #3
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Just thinking back - your chassis battery might not last a month between restarts. I recall mine being good for about 3 weeks or so. There was a small parasitic drain that would slowly bring that battery down. I never got around to tracing the source of the drain.
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:12 PM   #4
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Like Marko said, and I would add that if you still have wet cells in the Roadtrek, you will probably want to check the water level at your monthly drives, at least for a while, to determine how much, if any, water they will need over the winter. Different batteries can take quite a bit different amounts of water on the same charger.

We had the same Tripplite in our Roadtrek, and a Trojan SCS200 12 volt deep cycle group 27 would need water once or twice over a winter and on shore power. Two Trojan 6 volt GC2 batteries in the same conditions didn't ever need water in that time. The starting battery we used was a Costco marine starting battery, and that also didn't need water over a winter.
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Old 01-02-2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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If you decide to leave it plugged in, then consider installing a Trik-L-Start. It will keep your chassis battery happy without the hassle of an AC powered battery tender. Cheap and very easy to install.

Also, there is no reason whatsoever to drive your vehicle once a month. Indeed, it does considerably more harm than good. First of all, the oil will mostly drain down within a few days, so each of those starts is a (relative) dry start--the fewer of those the better. More importantly, every start sucks fresh moisture into the engine, where it eventually condenses into liquid water. This (among other things) is why exhaust systems tend to rust from the inside out. If you choose to ignore this advice, be absolutely certain to run the engine long enough to come up to full operating temperature, so that it will at least drive out the water from the last start.
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Old 01-02-2016, 03:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the good advise. I will definitely get a trickle charger for the chassis battery and check water levels in batteries.
Avanti had some very good points about monthly driving of the RT causing more harm than good. If I do run it, it would definitely be long enough to reach operating temperatures.
I did fill the gas tank and added Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep moisture to a minimum.
I did read somewhere about the radio causing a small drain on the battery over a long period of time. With being connected to shore power, I don't think this would be an issue.
I was also considering keeping a small electrical fan running to circulate inside air. I would hope this would reduce moisture inside and possibly any type of mold growing.
Any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcostick View Post
T
I did read somewhere about the radio causing a small drain on the battery over a long period of time. With being connected to shore power, I don't think this would be an issue.
There are all kinds of little parasitic drains on modern vehicles. A trickle charger will address this, as you say. The alternative is to add a battery disconnect that totally disconnects the battery. If you do that, a healthy battery will easily survive the winter without any charging at all. This applies to the coach battery as well.
Quote:
I was also considering keeping a small electrical fan running to circulate inside air. I would hope this would reduce moisture inside and possibly any type of mold growing.
Any thoughts on this?
I don't see how a fan would reduce moisture in any way. Some people run dehumidifiers. I have never found it necessary.
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:32 PM   #8
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I would just winterize the water system and then drive it regularily like a second vehicle. It may not work for your situation, but that's what I do by driving my van at least once a week long enough to get it totally warmed up.
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