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Old 11-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #21
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Henry, here is my take and field expierence. I have a '12 Solera. First, the converter being an electrical device has a given shelf life, so I decided to fish a power cord through the side hood exhaust flap, and plug in a trickle charger to one of the house batteries. That method assumes I already have brought all three batteries (2 house, 1 chassis) to full charge prior to trickle hook up.

That method saves the "burn rate" or shelf life of the converter. I figure that running the on board converter, which will cycle on and off over the winter months, in trickle mode, just to keep the three batteries topped off is not the most economical way to spend the life of the converter.

Buy a cheap trickle charger from china freight, they seem to put out a little higher voltage, which when buffered between two group 27 deep cycle bats, and the house AGM, balances nicely. Still operating original batteries. Did a hydrometer test in fall, and all cells are at spec still, so the theroy has worked in practice.

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Old 11-23-2014, 01:59 PM   #22
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Still Kickin, thanks for the advise I have a battery tender jr I think I'll take your advise and hook it up.

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Old 11-23-2014, 02:24 PM   #23
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I saw you keep your Solera in the driveway. Here is a nice touch I tried and it worked out for me. I purchased this and placed the sensor in the RV. Then I placed a small space heater on the floor that had an anti-tipover feature, got it Olies for like 19 bucks, set the temp up so it would keep the interior ambient temperature at about 42 degrees and monitored it from the house. That kept it nice inside the Solera and evened out the temperature swings, lowering the cabinet door expand and contractions.

Plugged it into the extension cord. The remote worked from about 30ft. Line of sight through the front winshield to my house window sill.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:53 PM   #24
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I have thought about a heater in the RV but the temps. here can get down below 20 degrees and stay there for awhile and I'm afraid that the heater might run too long and short out or worse start a fire. I might get the sensor thou to monitor the temps in the MH maybe then I could just run a heater out there on occasion. I did get the Battery Tender hooked up and disconnected the rest of the hook ups. Thanks.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:11 PM   #25
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Same temperature lows in my area. Those heaters have a dial and an internal thermostat so they shut off at the setting you select when it reaches the selected ambient temp. I played around with mine till I "dialed" it in.

Same principle as spending your on board heater as opposed to a portable electric heater. And I didn't get beat up to much on the electric bill, because your only driving the temperature to 40ish anyway.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:27 PM   #26
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Here's Trojans list of battery state of charge v. freezing temperatures;

Electrolyte Freezing Point at Various States of Charge
Specific Gravity/ State of Charge % /Electrolyte Freezing Temperature
1.280 100 -92.0 F
1.265 92 -71.3 F
1.250 85 -62.0 F
1.200 62 -16.0 F
1.150 40 + 5.0 F

If you don't have specific gravity measuring capability...a DISCONNECTED (i.e remove the negative wire for in place storage)...battery has a 12.7 V rating at full charge and a 12.1-12.2V measurement at 50% charge. Staying somewhere between 12.3 and 12.4 should keep you from freezing yer innards even on a 3 dog night.
Otherwise...bring 'em inside. A FULLY CHARGED and DISCONNECTED battery should lose LESS than 10% a month of charge during cold winter so you should not have to
recharge more than a couple of times a winter...maybe 3 up in Canada before mud season!
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Old 11-26-2014, 06:02 AM   #27
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I take the battery out of my HW296 and store it attached to a battery tender jr in my garage on the floor. I have two other vehicles with their own chargers too. These tenders are great.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:46 PM   #28
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All of the above? Well...
1. For peace of mind maybe best to take it out of your unit and place into a well ventilated space(with no flames nearby!!) either heated, or unheated(as long as it does
not drop below freezing for extended time. The only reason I tell you to "remove" the batt. is because it "forces" you to check the terminals and cables for any cracks or corrosion that you might want to clean up before storing or before using this Spring.
Buy one of those silver cylinder terminal cleaners with the male and female wire brushes on it (Auto Zone, etc) and go to it. ONE of the BEST things you could do for your battery. Also check that all cells have fluid covering all the plates before using a battery tender, or float, to keep it up over the winter. Nobody has mentioned this stuff yet but I think it's GOOD advice and will add longevity to your battery. I've also heard that with the newer plastic battery cases you could store it on a concrete floor (clean...) without fear of discharge as opposed to the older kind of the 60's and 70's. If nothing else put it on a solid wooden plank and rest easy if you are the nervous kind. Just...maintain your battery as above and you will not regret it.

2. If you KNOW all of the above has been done and maintained, then just let it sit in the unit with the battery cut-off in play to prevent any residual drainage, etc. Once a month, or so, turn your cut-off to ON and plug into shore power for around 8 hrs. or
overnight and that should keep it in good charge. Marine batts. are meant to be discharged slowly, unlike a car battery which can discharge much quicker and needs to rely on regular charging such as when you drive it every day, etc., and for the alternator to provide a healthy big amperage for the start mode. BTW, if you have a MH, then "leaving" the battery(ies) in over the winter might be very tempting as these rascals can be a real bear to remove by yourself and best left to a pro, under contract. I think many people who own motorhome's tend to leave them in based on this sad fact, but also with great results, if you do the required...maintenance (there's that word again...) stated before.

3. When time to replace your batteries, consider the newer AGM-type. They look promising, though the jury is not completely out yet... I DO know that you MUST keep them maintained and never run out of charge as you might not be able to ever bring them up to 100% as before so make sure you are very particular when it comes to that. For more, Google pro's and con's on these, and then you decide. Sam's Club seems to have a decent price on most of the "class" sizes, plus the Marine-type AGM's.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:06 PM   #29
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I have three batteries and it's true that as long as the batteries are charged they won't freeze.

I usually put two away and leave one in for no particular reason with the trailer plugged in to power so it's kept charged.

last year as far as I can figure, the oil delivery trucks hose may have pulled the plug out and the battery froze solid before I realized it.

Now I put them all away.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:53 AM   #30
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Batteries are heavy and in awkward places and I tweaked my back once hauling them out. Never again. I use a small solar panel I can hook up with only 35 cells that doesn't need a regulatorI or I just check them. My back is more valuable than a battery.

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battery, maintenance, winter

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