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Old 10-24-2016, 05:24 PM   #1
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Battery during the winter

Hi everyone.

When I put my trailer into storage in 2 weeks, I will not have any access to it until March. I'm debating on whether to leave the battery unhooked on the trailer, or bring it home and put it on a tender.
My garage is not insulated and gets below freezing quite a bit. Is putting the battery on a tender in my basement a bad idea? Any thoughts on any of this?
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:36 PM   #2
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A fully charged battery will not freeze (if it did, those of us in northern climates would be in deep dark do-do!).

That being said, do you think it will stay charged for 5 months? I would take it home. You can keep it in the garage and put it on the battery tender for a few days every few weeks.

That's what I do.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:36 PM   #3
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If you can keep the charge up on your battery it will probably extend its life. I always remove my battery during winter storage, there is no need to have it hooked up during extended time. Or another option you can leave the battery connected and purchase a small solar recharge kit, I understand they work great. I am sure others will chime in.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:44 PM   #4
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My trailer will be in a building, so the solar option is out.

As far as the battery tender, I've seen ones on Amazon.com that only apply a charge to the battery when it notices the charge is going down. I'd like to have this option so I dont have to remember to hook up the charger every 3 weeks.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:07 PM   #5
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Why not just install a battery disconnect switch?
My dual 12v batteries stayed nearly fully charged for 4 months of storage.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:02 PM   #6
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You may find this thread interesting.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Moellerdan View Post
My trailer will be in a building, so the solar option is out.

As far as the battery tender, I've seen ones on Amazon.com that only apply a charge to the battery when it notices the charge is going down. I'd like to have this option so I dont have to remember to hook up the charger every 3 weeks.
That is exactly what Battery Tenders do, unlike a trickle charger, which makes them a better choice. It monitors what the battery is doing. I remove the battery and take it home and hook mine up to a Tender and leave it hooked up all winter. A couple times during the winter I will pop off the caps to the battery cells and check that the water levels in the cells are where they should be.
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:02 PM   #8
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Battery

I live in Minnesota so it gets cold. I have the ability to keep my RPod plugged in all winter. Is it better to leave the battery in the trailer, plugged in or to remove it to a battery minder? Thanks
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:56 PM   #9
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My WFCO converter would not drop into trickle mode (13.2V). It stayed in Normal mode (13.7V) all the time. Once I discovered this, I did not keep my A-frame plugged in. When I replaced the converter with a Progressive Dynamics model, I see 13.2V after a few days, and therefore feel comfortable leaving the A-frame plugged in.

I did put in a battery disconnect at the battery so I know all loads are disconnected. So I am also quite comfortable leaving the unit unplugged and disconnected for several months at a time.

There are arguments over which of the 3 courses (plugged in with trickle charge, left unconnected for 2-3 months and then recharged, battery minder) is best for the life of your battery. To be honest, I think the real world differences between the 3 approaches are pretty insignificant. What will have more impact is how you use (and/or abuse) the battery when camping.

just my experiences
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:37 PM   #10
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I live in Minnesota so it gets cold. I have the ability to keep my RPod plugged in all winter. Is it better to leave the battery in the trailer, plugged in or to remove it to a battery minder? Thanks
You may find this thread useful.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:33 AM   #11
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Back when we owned a TT and stored it @ home,,, I remover the battery,,, @ full charge and stored it in the basement until Spring,,, with no Tender !!! Battery lasted for years !!! maybe an old wifes tale,,, but I sat it on some wood,,, not on concrete !!!
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:20 AM   #12
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Not a old wife's tale at all. A battery will discharge quicker when it is sitting on concrete. The best approach to save your battery would be to use a tender place the battery in the basement where it is warmer and place the battery on wood. The next best approach would be to use the tender and wood but place the battery in the garage. It would be OK in the camper with out a tender if you fully charge the battery and disconnect the cables from the battery. Do not rely on the battery disconnect switch to remove all loads most do not.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:24 AM   #13
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:26 AM   #14
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There are lots of opinions on this subject. I'm in southern Ontario so we have freezing to below sub-zero (Fahrenheit) winter temps.

FWIW, I remove my battery and put in my workshop (basement of house) for the winter. I put a trickle charge on it every couple of months and it's good to go in the spring.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:55 AM   #15
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My WFCO converter would not drop into trickle mode (13.2V). It stayed in Normal mode (13.7V) all the time...
The converter for the WFCO 8900 series will eventually drop to float at 13.2 V, it just takes a week or so to decide to do so.
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:07 PM   #16
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The converter for the WFCO 8900 series will eventually drop to float at 13.2 V, it just takes a week or so to decide to do so.
The WFCO factory spec says no significant load change for 48 hours is supposed to send the converter into float. I measured mine every couple of days, and still had 13.7V at the end of 3 weeks. The only load on mine during the 3 weeks was the CO/propane detector (0.75 amp). I repeated the process a couple of months later with the same result.

My replacement PD 4135 converter drops to float (trickle) by the 3rd day. And it will hold bulk mode (14.4V) up to 90% of charge. The WFCO - if it ever went into bulk mode, I never caught it.

Based on the literally millions of WFCO converters installed, a good number must work correctly. Mine didn't.

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Old 10-26-2016, 02:52 PM   #17
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Not a old wife's tale at all. A battery will discharge quicker when it is sitting on concrete. The best approach to save your battery would be to use a tender place the battery in the basement where it is warmer and place the battery on wood. The next best approach would be to use the tender and wood but place the battery in the garage. It would be OK in the camper with out a tender if you fully charge the battery and disconnect the cables from the battery. Do not rely on the battery disconnect switch to remove all loads most do not.
It's not an old wive's tale, but it IS an old tale - about 30 yrs old. Modern battery cases don't discharge through concrete anymore. I've had my battery on my basement floor for several winters, no problem.

http://www.homepower.com/articles/so...eries-concrete

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/battery.asp

And straight from the battery people:

http://www.interstatebatteries.com/m...es-on-concrete
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
The WFCO factory spec says no significant load change for 48 hours is supposed to send the converter into float. I measured mine every couple of days, and still had 13.7V at the end of 3 weeks. The only load on mine during the 3 weeks was the CO/propane detector (0.75 amp). I repeated the process a couple of months later with the same result.

My replacement PD 4135 converter drops to float (trickle) by the 3rd day. And it will hold bulk mode (14.4V) up to 90% of charge. The WFCO - if it ever went into bulk mode, I never caught it.

Based on the literally millions of WFCO converters installed, a good number must work correctly. Mine didn't.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
Interesting. Did you replace the whole distribution panel or just the converter assembly in the WFCO panel?
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:22 PM   #19
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Interesting. Did you replace the whole distribution panel or just the converter assembly in the WFCO panel?
The OEM converter in my A-frame was a WFCO 8735P combination converter and DC distribution panel.

The Progressive Dynamics "drop-in" replacement is the PD 4135. The PD was about a half inch narrower. I think I paid $158, including shipping. Replacement WFCOs were about $125.

At first it appeared the WFCO had 7 DC circuits and the PD only had 6. But one of the WFCO fuses was actually the 40 amp reverse polarity fuse, which has no external wire. The PD does not have this separate fuse, just a battery circuit and fuse (which the WFCO also has).

Aside from figuring out the single difference, I just moved circuit breakers, fuses, and wires one at a time from the WFCO to the PD.

Everything worked when I was done. I labeled the functions of each circuit breaker and fuse, and called it good. The PD has a much quieter fan. When first plugged in, the PD tends to make some hard-to-hear squeals from the capacitors. But those go away in 30 minutes.

Battery charging (I have dual 232AH 6V golf cart batteries) is faster with the PD, and they show 12.8V after 24 hours of disconnect when fully charged.

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Old 10-26-2016, 08:57 PM   #20
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It's not an old wive's tale, but it IS an old tale - about 30 yrs old. Modern battery cases don't discharge through concrete anymore. I've had my battery on my basement floor for several winters, no problem.

ASK THE EXPERTS: Batteries on Concrete | Home Power Magazine

Do Cement Floors Ruin Car Batteries? : snopes.com

And straight from the battery people:

Interstate Batteries | Mr. Battery | How to Store a Battery | FAQ Batteries and Concrete
Amazing how long the old tales stick around....and I bet someone will come in here and dispute the Interstate article!
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