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Old 11-30-2008, 06:39 PM   #1
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Plugging SMB into 110v 15 amp

I read warnings about plugging into ordinary 110v 15 amp using an extension cord (even 14 ga cord). I can see the problem if I'm running high amperage appliances but what if I just want to trickle charge the battery (that I just replaced for $570). I previously used a 50' extension cord to keep my camper battery charged. Is this bad for the SMB?
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:46 PM   #2
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We are plugged into 110v 15amp at home using the dog-bone extension all the time. No problems that I can see.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:55 PM   #3
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We periodically plug in to 110v, 15A in order to top up the house batteries and also the night before a trip, so that the rather ancient dual voltage fridge can get nice and cold on 110V before we drive off and put it on 12V. Never had any problems. I think you got the key element - as long as you do not draw at or near 15A, the SMB doesn't know the difference. I, too, laid out a lot of $$ for new AGM house batteries and I want them to outlive me!
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:11 AM   #4
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I have left mine plugged into 15 amps with the a/c running periodically for 2 years when not otherwise on the road. No problems whatsoever using the Intellichoice charger. It trips my GFI if I do not follow a specific protocol during plug-in with a Tripp Lite Inverter/Charger.

Everything I have read says that batteries must be kept fullt charged to avoid their premature failure.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:26 PM   #5
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I use a heavy duty industrial extension cord plugged into an 110v circuit to run the inverter/charger and there’s no problem with that. Even a smaller cord would do to run the refrigerator and the charger but I would keep it as short as possible to reduce line loss. A long and/or curled cord can cause problems. I took voltage with the A/C on and it pulled down the voltage too low. I’m installing a 50A service to feed the air conditioner so I can pre-cool the van during summer using an 8 strand copper wire extension cord with 30A plugs minimum.

I should also add that your trickle charger should be able to bring the batteries to the float charge which is about 13.4. Purchasing a high grade charger isn't necessary but if you buy a cheap one and it goes bad you'll wish you would have spent the extra money to buy a quality product. When I charge I keep it to a minimum (just enough to top off the batteries) and let the solar keep the bank at 13.4.
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