Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Quick RV Tech Tip: Can I keep trailer parked at home plugged into 120-volt source?

Dear Dave,
I just cooked one of my two wet cell batteries (Interstate deep cell). Question: Is it a good idea to keep your 30-amp trailer plugged into a 120-volt source while parked at home for 30 days straight? Would it be better to get a satellite battery maintainer? —Paul

Dear Paul, 
Leaving your rig plugged in or not when the trailer is parked at home depends on the type of converter/battery charger you have. Since you indicated it was a trailer, I would assume you have a conventional charger that puts out 13.6 volts when the battery draws down and then goes to 13.2 volts to just maintain the batteries. If you “cooked” one of your batteries, I would assume the converter is bad and did not go to the maintenance phase.

However, when lead acid batteries drain down, sulfur coats the plates. If you do not have a multi-stage charger or “conditioning” model, the sulfur gets thicker and thicker and eventually will not hold a charge. So, just leaving it plugged in or even using a satellite trickle charger will not condition them.

Since I believe your charger is no good, I would suggest looking at a new charger that has the conditioning or desulfation setting. My recommendation is the Progressive Dynamics unit with Charge Wizard. Then you can leave it plugged in and the batteries should last 2-3 times longer. If you have an all-in-one unit, which has the converter inside the distribution center, and don’t want to replace the entire unit, you can just get the standalone version and disconnect your converter section of the distribution center.


Ask Dave: How can I charge my engine battery when connected to shore power?

Ask Dave: My engine battery is dead in 3 days. How do I find the parasitic drain?


Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.



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Bob Korch (@guest_209892)
1 year ago

Dave, I misunderstood your recommendation for using a trickle Charger to better maintain batteries. I purchased the Progressive Dynamics 9100 Charge Wizard. But it looks like it has to be used with the converter and batteries while installed on our camper. I have to maintain the batteries in my garage since our camper is in a storage yard for the winter here in NW Colorado where we get 200+” of snow.

What type of charger/maintainer do you recommend for those of us who need to maintain our batteries in a cold garage, separate from the camper?

Here’s the post that confused me:

Last edited 1 year ago by Bob Korch
Gary Elzey (@guest_206665)
1 year ago

Why does my furnace just click and blower not come on

Greg (@guest_204221)
1 year ago

Can I use one Progressive Dynamics tender for three batteries?

Robert Korch (@guest_208092)
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg

Greg, did you ever get an answer for this? I have two batteries and wonder the best way to charge both (one at a time or wired together). I store them in the garage away from the travel trailer.

Snayte (@guest_201427)
1 year ago

I kept my trailer plugged in all the time when at home. My first set of batteries lasted 9 years until one quit. I ran with the other one for two more years before replacing it.

Bob Palin (@guest_201355)
1 year ago

The simplest answer to this question, or simplest question to ask, is whether the electrolyte level in the cooked battery had ever been checked. (Unless you know that Interstate deep charge batteries are sealed).

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