Should you leave your travel trailer plugged in all the time?

In this blog post, we will discuss: Should you to leave your travel trailer plugged in all the time? We will share the pros and cons of leaving your travel trailer plugged in all the time, and let you decide what is best for yourself.

Should you leave your travel trailer plugged in all the time?

Yes, you can leave your travel trailer plugged in at all times. You certainly have good reasons to leave it plugged in, such as:

  • leaving the refrigerator on;
  • charging the batteries;
  • keeping the motorhome heated (or vice versa);
  • so that you can take it out during the winter months;

There are, however, several precautions to take.

Leaving your motorhome plugged in can help ensure that no winter cold damage occurs. However, it also costs a lot more and the risk is reducing the life of your batteries. So you have to strike a balance between plugging it in and unplugging it in order to get the most out of both options.

Why leave your travel trailer plugged in all the time?

When you come home for a long time, you have the choice of winterizing your travel trailer or keeping it ready to go. Obviously, those who live in their trailer all year round do not ask the question, they need all the comfort that electricity can provide them and in all circumstances.

  • To heat the trailer – Many motorhome operators do not stay alongside in winter. They even take advantage of the off-season opportunities to escape. On the other hand, this implies not to put his camper in winter. The pipes must then be protected from freezing. This is because they are not purged of water. This can freeze and burst the pipes. The solution is to leave the heating on very cold days.
  • To have the AC on – Conversely, if you live in a warmer climate, it doesn’t hurt to leave your travel trailer plugged in so you can leave the air conditioner on every now and then. This is especially true when you are planning a release soon.
  • To keep the batteries charged – Plus, by keeping your travel trailer plugged in, you can keep your batteries recharged so they’re ready to go when you want to get back on the road with your motorhome.

Note: Be careful in cold weather, keeping your batteries charged is risky, I will address the problem below.

  • To keep the fridge on the go – You can also keep your fridge on when you keep your travel trailer plugged in. It can be used if your main refrigerator is full. You can also prepare food for your next trip and put it in the refrigerator of your trailer.

Why you shouldn’t leave your travel trailer plugged in at all times

As you can see, there are many reasons to keep your travel trailer plugged in during the winter, but there are also reasons not to.

  • The cost – As you can imagine, and you may have experienced it before, your electric bill may be higher than usual. The same goes for your heating and gas bill. You may need to replace your gas cylinders more often.
  • Premature wear – When you leave your travel trailer plugged in all the time, its components wear out faster. I am thinking of batteries, air conditioning, and heating. They will also need more regular maintenance.
  • Preserve your batteries – By unplugging your travel trailer, you preserve the longevity of your batteries in the long term. The batteries are not meant to be permanently connected. They need charge and discharge cycles to last as long as possible.

If you have a recent trailer with a smart charger, it will gradually recharge your batteries and shut off when the charge reaches 100%. You can therefore leave your vehicle plugged into the mains.

But beware of older vehicles, a permanent charge can irreparably damage your batteries.

Other questions you may be interested in

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When you decide to put your travel trailer away in winter, pay close attention to your batteries. As a general rule, it is not advisable to leave them plugged in all winter because it is an overload that is threatening. Overloading your batteries will seriously affect their condition.

If you don’t know what overloading means, it happens when you leave something plugged in after being 100% charged. The charge does not stop. Instead, the battery regularly receives small charges and this is where the internal chemistry of the battery can deteriorate.

The main effect is that over time your battery doesn’t last as long as it did when you bought it. It is an ageing process that occurs no matter what but is accelerated by overload.

If you decide to unplug your motorhome, remove your batteries and store them in a warm place as the cold can damage them as well. It is advisable to check their charge regularly and to plug them in if necessary.

So what to do? Unplug my travel trailer or leave it plugged in?

In summer, yes, I would leave my travel trailer, caravan or RV all the time. During the holidays, you are likely to go out at any time, even on a whim. By keeping your trailer on the mains, you can be sure that it will be ready to go at any time, with the fridge cold and air conditioning on the way.

In winter, it is best to unplug the travel trailer. Most of the time, you won’t get out. There is no point in leaving it plugged in all the time if you are not using it. There is even a risk for the batteries to do so. So it’s better to be reasonable unless you really need to.

Do you agree with us? Please feel free to share your thoughts, any comments or questions about the content. 

FAQ on Should you leave your travel trailer plugged in all the time?

Can I use my caravan without a battery?

Yes, you can use your caravan without a battery. Your caravan is equipped with a transformer that converts 230V to 12V so that everything inside the caravan works properly when you plug it in, even without a battery connected. 

How long does it take to recharge a trailer battery?

Recharging a battery to its full capacity can take up to 40 hours. Of course, this cooldown assumes it’s completely empty. It will also vary depending on its capacity and use. The best way to recharge the battery is via AC power.

What is a smart battery charger?

Smart battery chargers are based on the latest developments in technology and aim to simplify the task of users. Also, this type of charger analyzes the type of battery and its condition throughout the charging process.

What charge for a 12V battery?

A battery must always be charged, the charge must be stopped between 2.25 V and 2.4 V per cell. Either: Between 6.75 V and 7.2 V for a 6 V battery, and between 13.5 V and 14.4 V for a 12 V battery.

The engine (for starting) and an auxiliary battery (for the passenger compartment). Although it is increasingly common to equip the motorhome with a third additional battery.

How do you recharge a caravan battery? 

The batteries are recharged automatically thanks to the energy generated by the motor. First, the main battery is charged and when it is fully charged, it sends current to the auxiliary battery.


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