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Old 02-25-2014, 06:02 PM   #21
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Thanks Herk.

So, the short answer is yes, the DW was right. Dang I hate when that happens.

I'll be sure to pull the battery after the thaw.

There's no use crying over spilled milk, unless it's on your keyboard.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:40 AM   #22
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I work at a marina in northern mi. We do not pull batteries, just disconnect them. On my boat with two batteries, fully charged, I leave them for the winter, about five months.

Yes, I do charge them in the spring but have not had a major battery problem I left the battery in the 5'er all winter and expect not problems

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Old 02-26-2014, 07:50 AM   #23
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While looking for a graphic to add to the "Herkbrary" I found this AWESOME discussion on State of Charge (SOC) that includes lots of info on electrolyte freezing.

Yes, it does depend on how charged the battery was when it was disconnected and if it went dead during storage.


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Old 02-26-2014, 08:10 AM   #24
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I'm late to the game here and kaadk has received a lot of good info, but here are my thoughts on the matter.

A lot of his question revolves around the size of the battery and its age.

Age matters - The self discharge of batteries with Lead-Antimony plates can be high - as much as 1% per day on an older battery.

As for size, A marine group 24 will self-discharge to a level where it can freeze faster than a larger capacity battery (group 27, 31, etc), especially if those latter ones are deep cycle. This is just because the larger battery has more room to discharge before it gets to the level where it can freeze.

Kaadk, when you pull it, you should check the specific gravity in each cell, which will give you an indication of its health. Definitely do this before trying to recharge.

For anyone interested, here's a handy PDF from Trojan on battery storage.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:32 AM   #25
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I have posted this before.We bought our unit in the winter(Cold) our PDI was a Dry PDI,no water. We towed it home in the (Cold) dry roads,no salt. After we were home a few days I removed the (Batt Case Cover) the case was full of ICE around the Batt.NO drain holes in the bottom of the Batt Case! I don't know if they (F/R) put Drain holes in the cases now or not? The MFG.of the Batt Boxes do not put holes in them because the (Boxes) are used for Other Applications where they want total containment of Liquids! You can check your (Batt Boxes) its up to You! Youroo!!
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
Thanks Herk.

So, the short answer is yes, the DW was right. Dang I hate when that happens.

I'll be sure to pull the battery after the thaw.
I wouldn't admit to that.

With our old popup, I always left the battery on the trailer from Sept to June in very cold temps, and a couple of time forgot to unhook the negative wire (no disconnect) and it sat dead for months. It was still usable. So with several years hard earned experience mis-using and abusing deep cycle batteries, I can say that you have a good chance of your battery surviving. But I can also say I was buying a new battery every 2-3 years because leaving them dead does reduce their ability to hold a charge. And that results in the DW being very unhappy when you are out in the woods with a dead battery and its 38 degrees inside your tent camper at 2:00am

So then I found out the right way to do it from places like this. And batteries are expensive, so taking care of them is worth it. But having the batteries last through the whole trip becasue they are in good shape is priceless and keeps the marital peace.

So test out your battery and then if its OK, put a full charge on it. But I wouldn't write it off as shot yet - there is good chance its still OK

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
NO (IMO). Remove it and have it load tested before you try to charge it in your coach.

If the battery DID freeze and crack an internal plate (causing an internal short), THIS could happen when you put power to it.

We never DID find the caps and there was acid EVERYWHERE.
OBTW, there was no obvious case bulge.
Herk has a lot of experience and is a good resource which we appreciate. I can only say 'Herk you should have read this forum before you tried all that stuff

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Old 02-26-2014, 01:50 PM   #28
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It doesn't matter. Just tell DW that she was right, no matter the outcome and then enjoy your camping.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:53 PM   #29
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I'd bet that if it was exposed to freezing for some time your looking for a new battery.
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:37 PM   #30
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If you take the battery out and have it load tested and not have it first charged up, (100% when parked - 30% due to time and parasite loss = 70%), you will be told that you have a low battery and should be changed out.

Put a hard (not trickle) charge on it for a couple of hours and then get it load tested. I believe that this will give you a better idea of the power stamina of your batt. My self, if I leave the batt in my unit I will have it on a trickle charge most of the time and check the water level. If I plan to disconnect the power for more than a week in cold weather I will bring it inside. My self, I believe that you have shortened the life of your batt by disconnecting it and leaving it out in the freezing weather.

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