Shore power during storage

What is the prevailing wisdom of leaving the RV hooked to shorepower while it is in storage?

I have a Fleetwood Southwind 32V with Workhorse 8.1 chassis. I have owned it for 1-1/4 years. This summer, after an extended trip, I came home and parked it by the house but did not plug it in to the house current as I had always done previously. I periodically (like every 2-3 weeks) will go out and fire up the engine and the generator and simply let them run for a half hour or so.

Well, a week or so ago I went out to move the RV and when it started, it REALLY sounded like the battery was almost dead, just turning over the engine enough to get it started that time. When I put it back in the storage spot, I plugged it in to the house current. Yesterday I did the same and all seemed o.k.

Comments? Suggestions?


Bill Lee


Senior Member
Shore power during storage

I think the battery issue would be all that would be needed during storage during the summer....just to keep a charge on the aux batteries. Just plugging into shore power will not keep your main engine battery charged. It should last a long time (mine last all summer with no charge and a start once a month)
Sounds like you had a light on somewhere that caused the drain on the battery. Might be a courtesy light or something easy to miss being on. Happened to me and it drained the battery completely real quick.


Senior Member
Shore power during storage

If you have shore power plugged in, you need to check your batteries periodically and refill any water which is down. The standard converters are fairly brutal in their battery charging, so it might be useful to install an 'intelligent' battery charger.

I'm also considering a solar panel on the roof to keep the batteries topped off. Again, a good charge controller is useful.

Finally, you could just have a battery disconnect and go out to charge occasionally.
Shore power during storage

I had this problem on a 1995 Southwind. One thing that I discovered is that certain devices are powered from the Chasis battery and if not shut off they will drain the battery. On mine I found that the steps, levellers and the propane detector (including solenoid being held open) were all energized from the chasis battery. Over a period of time if the battery was not charged, it would go dead.



Senior Member
Shore power during storage

quote:I periodically (like every 2-3 weeks) will go out and fire up the engine and the generator and simply let them run for a half hour or so.

This is a very bad idea! Onan generator does advise you to run the genset once each month while stored, but you should do allow it to run for a few minutes and then load it to at least half load and let it run at half or more load for at least 1/2 hour.

On the chassis engine, the worst thing that you ever do for it is to do a dry start. The manufacturers define a dry start as one where the engine has sat for more than two weeks, thus allowing the oil to completely drain down into the pan. And when you do start it, it is very hard and valves and other parts to start it and just let it sit and idle. Ford tech support says that you should never start the engine unless you plan to drive it for at least 20 minutes at highway speeds. They advised that when the motorhome is to sit for longer than two weeks, it should not be started unless it is to be driven. The do say that it is OK to start it for a time a day or so before leaving, since that will just warm it and the oil will not have drained back when started again. But in that case they say to only allow it to run for about 10 minutes. The also suggest that if it is to sit for more than one month, the fuel should have an appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer added and the motorhome driven far enough to get it through out the fuel system.

The battery advice is fine, but you want to take good care of the engine as well.