RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-21-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
Brigitte
 
boubou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston
Posts: 725
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?
__________________
2013 Jayco Eagle HT 23.5
2010 Ram 1500 HEMI with integrated brake controller, tow mirrors and Michelins LTX/AT2 275/65R20 max load: 3750 lbs. @ 80 psi but we keep them 50-55 psi
Superglide 2700
Timbrens
boubou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2011, 08:46 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
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.
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
Brigitte
 
boubou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston
Posts: 725
So how do i use a battery tender? Is it hooked on battery? Or something i bring in the house?
__________________
2013 Jayco Eagle HT 23.5
2010 Ram 1500 HEMI with integrated brake controller, tow mirrors and Michelins LTX/AT2 275/65R20 max load: 3750 lbs. @ 80 psi but we keep them 50-55 psi
Superglide 2700
Timbrens
boubou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2011, 09:47 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
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.
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
Brigitte
 
boubou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston
Posts: 725
Thanks! I'll check it out
__________________
2013 Jayco Eagle HT 23.5
2010 Ram 1500 HEMI with integrated brake controller, tow mirrors and Michelins LTX/AT2 275/65R20 max load: 3750 lbs. @ 80 psi but we keep them 50-55 psi
Superglide 2700
Timbrens
boubou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 09:28 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
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. "
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 101
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
traveler2955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 11:18 AM   #8
Brigitte
 
boubou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston
Posts: 725
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?
__________________
2013 Jayco Eagle HT 23.5
2010 Ram 1500 HEMI with integrated brake controller, tow mirrors and Michelins LTX/AT2 275/65R20 max load: 3750 lbs. @ 80 psi but we keep them 50-55 psi
Superglide 2700
Timbrens
boubou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 101
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
traveler2955 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
Triguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,949
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.
__________________
Scott
DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
Triguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 08:32 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
ken0042's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by boubou View Post
We live in kingston ontario where temperature rarely dips below -20 celcius or 0 fareneith. I like the timer idea.
Yeah, but then you get one cold snap and you are worried about the battery.

I had a thread about this last winter: http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...term-9153.html
What I ended up doing was bringing the battery into the house and setting it on a couple of small 2x4s in the basement. As a cheap option for an intelligent batter charger, I plugged in an old cell phone using a car charger. I got the adapter for the cigarette port from Princess Auto.

Every so often I would charge the battery. I also put a regular 120 volt lamp in the trailer for when I had to go inside, and flipped the breaker for the power converter.

Remember; just because something won't kill your battery, it doesn't mean it is good for it either. It's nice to be on your 3rd day of dry camping the next year and find you still have plenty of power left.
__________________
Wolf Pup T16P owner

"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it is nearly impossible to discern if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln
ken0042 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 09:07 PM   #12
Arn
Arn
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ottawa Valley, Ontario
Posts: 181
Cold batteries take longer to charge. If you have someplace indoors to keep it then do so. Check it every 2 or 3 months & if it requires a charge use a slow charge.
__________________
Arn
Arn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 07:00 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 752
Take the battery from your trailer and bring it in your basement. Dont leave it on the cement floor. Put it on a wood board or similar and each month check the voltage. If you get below 12.5 volts give it a trickle charge with one amp charger. Dont use a high amp charger because of the sulfuric fumes it can develop.
capucine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 07:18 AM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Triguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by capucine View Post
Dont leave it on the cement floor.
Why not? Just curious. I thought the "battery on concrete" thing was outdated.
__________________
Scott
DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
Triguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 07:51 AM   #15
Phat Phrog Phlunky
 
essness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Near Lake Geneva Wisconsin
Posts: 979
From Interstate batteries web site,

Interstate Batteries FAQ :: Does it hurt my car battery if I set it on concrete?

Oddly enough, I cant find anything about this question on Diehard, Trojan, Maxx, etc.

I except the answer that it is ok to store on concrete however, I always put a block of wood under it because I dont want to risk any stains on the concrete.
__________________
Scot, I am "that guy"
2014 Raptor 27FS
2014 Ram 1500 Laramie
Days camped in 2013 = 30 final.
Days camped in 2014 = 27 final.
igkra.com
essness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 08:01 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by capucine View Post
Take the battery from your trailer and bring it in your basement. Dont leave it on the cement floor. Put it on a wood board or similar and each month check the voltage. If you get below 12.5 volts give it a trickle charge with one amp charger. Dont use a high amp charger because of the sulfuric fumes it can develop.
REF: Deep Cycle Battery FAQ

Myth: The old myth about not storing batteries on concrete floors is just that - a myth. This story has been around for 100 years, and originated back when battery cases were made up of wood and asphalt. The acid would leak from them, and form a slow-discharging circuit through the now acid-soaked and conductive floor.

Battery Charging

Battery charging takes place in 3 basic stages: Bulk, Absorption, and Float.

Bulk Charge - The first stage of 3-stage battery charging. Current is sent to batteries at the maximum safe rate they will accept until voltage rises to near (80-90%) full charge level. Voltages at this stage typically range from 10.5 volts to 15 volts. There is no "correct" voltage for bulk charging, but there may be limits on the maximum current that the battery and/or wiring can take.
Absorption Charge: The 2nd stage of 3-stage battery charging. Voltage remains constant and current gradually tapers off as internal resistance increases during charging. It is during this stage that the charger puts out maximum voltage. Voltages at this stage are typically around 14.2 to 15.5 volts.
Float Charge: The 3rd stage of 3-stage battery charging. After batteries reach full charge, charging voltage is reduced to a lower level (typically 12.8 to 13.2) to reduce gassing and prolong battery life. This is often referred to as a maintenance or trickle charge, since it's main purpose is to keep an already charged battery from discharging. PWM, or "pulse width modulation" accomplishes the same thing. In PWM, the controller or charger senses tiny voltage drops in the battery and sends very short charging cycles (pulses) to the battery. This may occur several hundred times per minute. It is called "pulse width" because the width of the pulses may vary from a few microseconds to several seconds. Note that for long term float service, such as backup power systems that are seldom discharged, the float voltage should be around 13.02 to 13.20 volts.
Chargers: Most garage and consumer (automotive) type battery chargers are bulk charge only, and have little (if any) voltage regulation. They are fine for a quick boost to low batteries, but not to leave on for long periods. Among the regulated chargers, there are the voltage regulated ones, such as Iota Engineering and Todd, which keep a constant regulated voltage on the batteries. If these are set to the correct voltages for your batteries, they will keep the batteries charged without damage. These are sometimes called "taper charge" - as if that is a selling point. What taper charge really means is that as the battery gets charged up, the voltage goes up, so the amps out of the charger goes down. They charge OK, but a charger rated at 20 amps may only be supplying 5 amps when the batteries are 80% charged. To get around this, Statpower (and maybe others?) have come out with "smart", or multi-stage chargers. These use a variable voltage to keep the charging amps much more constant for faster charging.
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 09:15 AM   #17
Brigitte
 
boubou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Kingston
Posts: 725
Great info!
But... I find it all very confusing, lots to choose from.
I would really prefer leave the battery on and connected.
Can I leave the trailer connected to the house and run power to it about 2 hours a day?
will this be enough to keep the battery charged? I realize most people prefer to take the battery off and store it but can I do this safely without harming anything?
Also, do I turn the trailer breakers off or leave them turned on?
__________________
2013 Jayco Eagle HT 23.5
2010 Ram 1500 HEMI with integrated brake controller, tow mirrors and Michelins LTX/AT2 275/65R20 max load: 3750 lbs. @ 80 psi but we keep them 50-55 psi
Superglide 2700
Timbrens
boubou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 10:10 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by boubou View Post
Great info!
But... I find it all very confusing, lots to choose from.
I would really prefer leave the battery on and connected.
Can I leave the trailer connected to the house and run power to it about 2 hours a day?
will this be enough to keep the battery charged? I realize most people prefer to take the battery off and store it but can I do this safely without harming anything?
Also, do I turn the trailer breakers off or leave them turned on?
Sure, why not, leave it plugged in, batteries connected and once a week go out and flip the breakers on. You might want to check your battery now and then to make certain the fluid is still covering the plates. You might also want to do a voltage check to see that all is well. If the fluid level exposes the plates/straps, add water and if you don't get full charge, leave the breakers on a couple of hours longer. ***Check battery voltage after the batteries have been off the charger for at least three hours.*** Read the URL I posted earlier about battery FAQ's.

If leaving it in the TT fails, which could happen even if you removed the battery and kept it on low voltage float charge inside, get a new battery in the spring. I have to keep reminding myself, "KISS" Keep It Simple Stupid.
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
 
acadianbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 3,183
IMO a Battery Minder is far and away the best solution to winter storage. I disconnect the battery from the trailer and hook up the Battery Minder. Not only is your battery kept in peak charge but it adds anti-sulfation tecnhology. I use the this product on all of my "occasional use" batteries. Motorcycle, tractors, lawn tractor. My batteries are always ready to go and they last "forever". My motorcyle battery is 10 years old and still works just fine.
__________________
https://i421.photobucket.com/albums/pp297/acadianbob/IMG_2757.jpg
2018 F250 Lariat 6.2 4X4 w 4.30s, 2018 Wildcat 29RLX
2012 BMW G650GS, Demco Premiere Slider
1969 John Deere 1020, 1940 Ford 9N, 1948 Ford 8N
Jonsered 535, Can of WD-40, Duct Tape
Red Green coffee mugs
acadianbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
IMO a Battery Minder is far and away the best solution to winter storage. I disconnect the battery from the trailer and hook up the Battery Minder. Not only is your battery kept in peak charge but it adds anti-sulfation tecnhology. I use the this product on all of my "occasional use" batteries. Motorcycle, tractors, lawn tractor. My batteries are always ready to go and they last "forever". My motorcyle battery is 10 years old and still works just fine.

Yes, the Battery Minder is the best for battery longevity, just remember to check battery fluid level now and again.
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:48 AM.