Is it okay to leave my trailer plugged in all the time? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-19-2018, 06:03 PM   #1
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Is it okay to leave my trailer plugged in all the time?

Sorry if this question has already been asked and answered. Is it bad for the battery to leave the trailer plugged in to electric power all the time leaving the battery disconnect switch in the "On" position? I am fortunate enough to store my trailer under a covered carport with electrical power available. I am just not sure if it's smarter to flip the battery disconnect switch off and not plug in to power, or go for the constant power.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:06 PM   #2
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i leave mine plugged in- i was told that it was ok but i am no expert....
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:14 PM   #3
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Reddy Kilowatt

We have a 30 amp RV receptacle in our Escape garage. We keep the 21 plugged in year round. Do not forget to check your water level in your battery(ies) on a periodic basis. I check ours in November, April and August. Did this on the 19 and now on the 21. This standby practice does not use a lot of electricity and I never worry about frozen batteries. Distilled water for batteries.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:15 PM   #4
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Mine is also plugged in. Be sure to check battery for water level every month or two.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:17 PM   #5
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Mine is also plugged in. Be sure to check battery for water level every month or two.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:18 PM   #6
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Likewise . . . our 19 is plugged in whenever it's home.
During the winter we keep an electric heater turned on and set to 40 degrees.

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Old 06-19-2018, 06:44 PM   #7
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Yep, when mine is at home it stays plugged it. I don't check my batteries though, I can't because they are sealed AGM's.

I really don't have to though, as the solar could easily keep up, and my new air conditioner don't work so don't need to (or can't) run it.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:56 PM   #8
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I'm plugged in 24/7/365 but once a month I turn off the master switch and let the solar do it's job for a week. Exercising the solar is good for the battery.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:06 PM   #9
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Plugged in all the time (no solar). Feel even better about it with the Progressive Dynamics Wildkat main board replacement. Better charging algorithms should treat the batteries nicer than the stock WFCO.

Progressive Dynamics 14.8v Charging Rate
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:03 PM   #10
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the WFCO is a 3 stage charger, so its fine to leave on continuously.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:46 AM   #11
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We have a 2016 Escape 19. If I am not mistaken you must leave the battery disconnect switch turned on to charge the batteries unless you have solar. If the switch is turned off in our trailer the converter can’t charge the batteries. When our trailer was at my brothers house I plugged it in once a month for a couple of days. I left the kitchen light turned on so I could tell when the disconnect switch was on.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:28 PM   #12
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Correct and I mentioned in #8, with solar on and my converter off I let the solar do it's boost mode which I hear is more gentle on the batteries.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
the WFCO is a 3 stage charger, so its fine to leave on continuously.
I have read some opinions people had, that a WFCO doesn't ever get the voltage high enough for full absorption. I had one a while back and it never got above 13.8V.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:22 PM   #14
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I have read some opinions people had, that a WFCO doesn't ever get the voltage high enough for full absorption. I had one a while back and it never got above 13.8V.
That's basically right - the charger in the WFCO power center can't make the charging voltages recommended by Interstate, the batteries that come in an Escape. You can get closer to the recommended voltage by swapping out the WFCO mainboard/charging unit with one from Progressive Dynamics. It's a direct fit in the power center, and doesn't require any mods to the enclosure. Another benefit is that the PD replacement mainboard is a 4 stage charger, not 3, and also has a pendant so you can tell which cycle it's on, and manually change it.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:53 PM   #15
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I thought the solar controller was also a 4 stage charger....
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:16 PM   #16
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That's basically right - the charger in the WFCO power center can't make the charging voltages recommended by Interstate, the batteries that come in an Escape. You can get closer to the recommended voltage by swapping out the WFCO mainboard/charging unit with one from Progressive Dynamics. It's a direct fit in the power center, and doesn't require any mods to the enclosure. Another benefit is that the PD replacement mainboard is a 4 stage charger, not 3, and also has a pendant so you can tell which cycle it's on, and manually change it.
WFCO seems to get a bad wrap on these forums due to their lower charging voltages. They might be junk for other reasons (I don't know enough to comment), but I think the lower charge voltages are an intentional design choice. WFCO will put out 14.4V when your battery is under 50%, so it's not like the unit is incapable of doing so. Since they're bringing the voltage down from 120 volts, it's not like it would have been hard for them to have set the output to 15 volts, 16 volts, 20 volts, 60 volts, or anything else reasonable. They have chosen to stay mostly in the 13.6 volt range in order to be gentler on the rest of your electrical system, and PD has made a different choice. I don't know which choice is better for the end user, but I think it's unfair to ding WFCO for this design choice without a more careful analysis of trailer component failure rates under higher voltages. Unfortunately, only companies with large numbers of units in the field are going to be able to make that analysis.

For what it's worth, some trailer manufacturers use PD in their stock trailers. Scamp has since at least 2010, so it can't be all that bad to have a PD otherwise you would think they would have switched back to WFCO.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:18 PM   #17
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I'm not knocking WFCO, just pointing out that their charger isn't capable of reaching the recommended charging voltage for the Interstate batteries. That means they'll not achieve full charge.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:28 PM   #18
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I'm not knocking WFCO, just pointing out that their charger isn't capable of reaching the recommended charging voltage for the Interstate batteries. That means they'll not achieve full charge.
I agree that in isolation, Interstate would prefer the batteries to be charged faster, and would also prefer occasional equalization. I have noticed on previous threads people getting recommendations to upgrade to PD on the voltage argument, and since we're touching on it here I wanted to provide a counterpoint so that people have something else to consider when thinking of switching out the stock WFCO.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:30 PM   #19
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I put a PD4645 in my Casita when the original Parallax failed, and the PD makes a soft buzzing sound when its on AC and there's a small load on the DC like 1 or 2 LED lamps. turn on 3 LED lamps, the buzzing stops or gets so quiet I can't hear it.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
WFCO seems to get a bad wrap on these forums due to their lower charging voltages. They might be junk for other reasons (I don't know enough to comment), but I think the lower charge voltages are an intentional design choice. WFCO will put out 14.4V when your battery is under 50%, so it's not like the unit is incapable of doing so.
The PD Wildkat main board replacement has the exact same voltages on paper as the WFCO 8955. The issue is many never see the WFCO actually bulk charge at 14.4V. At any rate, I’m not aware of many 12V items that are extremely sensitive to a little higher voltage. The LED light issues lately are probably just bad circuitry because the lights are cheap. One exception might be the furnace. In old Atwood literature I found that they recommend no higher than 13.5V with a warning that “high voltage can cause unbalanced combustion and excessive motor wear”. So either way if you have a WFCO that indeed does go into “bulk” mode at 14.4V or a PD unit that goes into “boost” you could at times be at 14.4V and are exceeding furnace specs. Both units have a normal or absorption mode at 13.6V and a storage or float mode at 13.2V.
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