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Old 10-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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Battery and winter storage

I've searched and get conflicting answers.
What should I do with battery for winter storage (on site, beside house with access to electricity)
A: disconnect and leave battery on TT?
B: disconnect and store in garage or house? Any special thing to do? Or just put it away and forget about it til spring?
C: leave connected and plug extenssion into house and forget it?
D: leave connected and plug electricity once in a while? And how long/when to run?

I am looking for simplest, easiest, best for battery.

In the spring, how do I charge the battery?
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:46 PM   #2
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Use a battery tender, low amp, either solar or electric. Take a look now and then making sure plates are submerged. Add only water, distilled is best. If you're not worried about battery life, just disconnect it and charge it back up in the spring.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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So how do i use a battery tender? Is it hooked on battery? Or something i bring in the house?
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:47 PM   #4
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Easy, clip the positive and negative to their respective battery posts and either plug in to an electric outlet or position the solar collector in a southern direction. Some tenders plug into your cigarette lighter and feed the battery that way.

Do a Google Search, or if you like Ebay... and you'll find many different types of battery tenders to fit your preference and pocket book. I personally like the solar varieties...No muss, no fuss.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:57 PM   #5
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Thanks! I'll check it out
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:28 AM   #6
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Do the research before buying a cheap-O tender.

Aviation Battery Plate Sulfation and Resultant Degradation Explained


"Battery manufacturer report an un-used dormant battery and especially one in a warm or hot environment is far more more susceptible to excessive sulfation than one being used or properly recharged daily. Dormant batteries have a "discharge rate" (from about .5 to 1.5%+/- per day) depending on several factors such as amount of pre-existing sulfation, ambient temperature, and basic construction, etc. This discharge rate translates into about 50 to 80 ma per day for the typical G-35 battery. When left un-attended for long periods, the battery will sulfate rather quickly and resist further charging. While this happens it is next to impossible for a simple or even "automatic" battery charger to analyze the battery for the right amount of charge short or long-term.
This is one reason a standard, even automatic trickle charger/maintainer tends to (effectively) over-charge the battery long-term rather easily and thus "boil" out the electrolyte and ruin a battery, especially if left un-attended. Therefore, most battery manufacturers agree that leaving any type of a common charger on long-term un-attended, especially a low cost trickle chargers, can easily be harmful and isn't recommended. "
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:09 PM   #7
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IMHO, many converters or chargers are, as Boyd mentioned, hard on batteries. They may NOT be smart chargers and may boil the battery dry.
Batteries will discharge if left unattended in the RV; not only will they surface discharge, but you probably have CO detectors and other items which are always on.
You might consider a properly sized timer, whereby your charger is on for only a couple of hours daily?
Furthermore, batteries that are not fully charged, but that are in freezing environments, may freeze. Fully charged batteries will not freeze, tho', in most conditions.
Removing a battery also requires periodic charging. Whether in your home's basement, garage, or top floor, you'll need to check on it periodically and maintain it's charge.
Battery equalization helps put sulfates back into solution, but this requires a more sophisticated charger than most people have. So, keep the distilled water to the proper level, battery charged fully, the surface clean, etc, and plan on replacing the battery(s) about every 5-7 years.
PS: Because I live in the cold north, I take mine out, follow the above ideas, check the specific gravity, and so on.
Cheers,
Mike
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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We live in kingston ontario where temperature rarely dips below -20 celcius or 0 fareneith. I like the timer idea.
So if I charge the battery a couple hours a day on a timer, no danger of getting low on charge and freezing. Do I understand this well?
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Yes, I think you understand correctly, but...there is always a chance that you'll not be fully charged. Our weather is generally the same as yours, and I've not had a problem, although I do check the batteries when left in the 5w, adjusting the timing accordingly.

As a rule, and this year, I put the batteries inside, charging them at times. I leave the AC on, but turned off the breaker to the converter. The AC is on to power the dehydrators, a West Marine product that supplies minimal heat and a fan.

The timer does a good job keeping the converter, which is a 3-stage charger, from boiling the batteries dry when left inside. The two batteries are fully topped with 2 hours each day, not much difference in water level over the summer, and none in the winter.

Mostly, the reason I take the batteries inside is that I don't want to plow through the snow in an effort to check these.

Mike
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boubou View Post
I am looking for simplest, easiest, best for battery.
Assuming you have a true deep-cycle battery, the simplest is to disconnect a fully-charged battery and leave on your trailer. This should last the winter. A cheap marine battery will probably not last until spring. Since its right next to your house, you can check with a voltmeter easily enough if you are worried over the winter. I check and on a previous trailer would charge it for a day once it got to 80%. I don't like the idea of charging for a couple of hours.

Storing your battery inside and attaching to a battery minder or tender is fine. Just check the water periodically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boubou View Post
In the spring, how do I charge the battery?
Most trailers nowadays have a fairly decent converter like the WFCO 3-stage converter. Check the water in the battery and plug it in for a few days.
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