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Old 11-24-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
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How do you winterize your battery?

Had a motorhome with a battery disconnect -- no problem. Now I have a new TT with no disconnect. It has been in storage just under a month and the battery is already down. Some questions:
  1. Will it ruin the battery to run down like that?
  2. How do you charge it when in storage and there is no plug-in?
  3. Can you install an after-market disconnect?
  4. Can you install a small solar charger? If so, where can I get one?
Your help will be appreciated. See you on the road!
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:55 PM   #2
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If you get the voltage low enough, it will ruin the battery. The battery can freeze and crack if it gets below freezing and the battery is discharged.
If ii is going to sit in storage unattended for the winter, I suggest bringing it home. If you can charge it there you can install a battery disconnect switch ie>
HELLA MARINE Battery Disconnect Switch Replacement Key | West Marine
Best solution. Bring the battery home and put on a Battery Tender
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:22 PM   #3
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Doesn't really matter where you leave it, so long as it's being charged. (Think of the battery in your car. It doesn't freeze because it's normally fully charged.) Mine's in my attached garage, where it gets down to about 10 degF fairly often. My father-in-law's is in his detached garage, where it can get significantly below 0 defF for days. He has it on a charger so it's A-OK.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:51 PM   #4
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Disconnect the battery leads? It only takes about 30 seconds to open the box the disconnect the battery. I do it everytime I put mine is storage. I mostly do it to keep the curious folks from adjusting my jacks, turning on the lights, etc... But it also keeps the smoke, CO and propane detectors from running down the battery.
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Sooners View Post
Had a motorhome with a battery disconnect -- no problem. Now I have a new TT with no disconnect. It has been in storage just under a month and the battery is already down. Some questions:
  1. Will it ruin the battery to run down like that?
  2. How do you charge it when in storage and there is no plug-in?
  3. Can you install an after-market disconnect?
  4. Can you install a small solar charger? If so, where can I get one?
Your help will be appreciated. See you on the road!
1) Discharge below 50% capacity (12.1 volts) will permanently reduce battery capacity and longevity.

2) Without a plug in, removal to a warm garage and put on trickle charge or hook up to a solar panel sufficient to replace losses due to internal resistance and parasite draw (without a disconnect) are your only options. Just remember to bring it back if you take it home to put it on a battery maintainer. http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-...l/BM12248.html

3) Highly recommended in any case to avoid damaging the terminals from constantly removing them from the battery.

4) Any RV or Solar supply store can supply you with a good 6-10 watt solar panel. Less than that is normally insufficient.
http://www.batterystuff.com/solar-chargers/5-10-watts/
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:26 AM   #6
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Unfortunately there are things in your trailer that will suck the battery dead in several days to a few weeks.
You have 3 options--

1- Install a battery disconnect switch. These can be on the battery post (assuming there's room under the battery box cover) or inside- near the power center.
2- Connect to a battery tender charger and leave in the trailer (still might need a disconnect switch).
3- Bring home and connect to a battery tender charger and leave it in the garage.
It does not have to be stored in a warm place if it's connected to a tender and kept fully charged.

BTW- keeping your battery(s) FULLY charged by means of a smart tender/charger
will give you the longest battery life.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:04 AM   #7
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My batteries (5er, mower) go to my basement with a trickle charger for the winter mos.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:06 AM   #8
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I disconnect the battery from the trailer and hook up a Battery Minder.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:19 PM   #9
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Fully CHARGED TO 100% and disconnected PHYSICALLY (remove negative cable OR install one of these:
$5 at Walmart)...
And your battery should be good for a minimum of THREE months safe storage in cold weather. Self discharge when disconnected is less than 10% a month and you'll be good to over -50 degrees at a 70% charge state.
You can always check charge status with a multimeter ON THE BATTERY TERMINALS during the winter and as Herk says...get the battery out of there at 12.1 V and get it charged up before putting it back. I would not be surprised to see a fully charged but disconnected battery make it 6 months before hitting 12.1 V in the winter when self discharge slows way down....but prudence dictates checking in every couple of months.
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:14 PM   #10
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My battery gets fully charged and then goes in my basement for the winter.
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