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Old 09-19-2021, 05:33 PM   #1
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Battery maintainer over winter

This is the first winter for my camper trailer. I will be covering it and debating the best way to maintain the battery. I am inclined to not have the 30A cable plugged in. Instead I am thinking about turning the battery disconnect switch off and connecting a battery tender/maintainer to the battery.

Any reason this is a bad idea?

Thanks

Ken
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:39 PM   #2
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I have a CTEK battery maintainer that I keep on my battery whenever it is sitting at the house.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
This is the first winter for my camper trailer. I will be covering it and debating the best way to maintain the battery. I am inclined to not have the 30A cable plugged in. Instead I am thinking about turning the battery disconnect switch off and connecting a battery tender/maintainer to the battery.

Any reason this is a bad idea?

Thanks

Ken
You need a power cord either way. I'd just plug in the 30 amp cord and let the converter maintain the battery. Assuming it's a Lead Acid battery make sure to check the electrolyte levels regularly and add DISTILLED water to the proper level as needed.

Using a maintainer isn't a bad idea, it's just unnecessary. For me, having the 30 amp cord connected (I have a power post at the backyard pad for my TT) is a convenience. If I want to work in the trailer during the winter I can plug in my power tools, coffee maker, or even a small space heater.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:43 PM   #4
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Should work fine.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:31 PM   #5
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I also plug my 30 amp cord into a 30 amp outlet in my TT's carport. I sometimes go out to the TT and hang out to get some alone time. I can fire up the furnace and stay nice and toasty.
My PD converter has a good battery maintainer so I don't try reinventing the wheel.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:42 PM   #6
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If you live in an area where winters are cold, just charge up the battery then removed the positive or negative cable from the battery. The battery will be OK until spring, it will lose only 10-15% charge over the winter.
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:40 AM   #7
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After spending 5-6 winters in the Midwest and then moving to New England, I have acquired the habit of bringing my batteries into the garage for the winter and connecting them to a Battery Tender. That way I can do my monthly checks without freezing my butt off.
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:47 AM   #8
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I, personally, love maintainers/desulfators. I use BatteryMinder on all my equipment (farm tractors, mowers, trucks) to keep the batteries 100% charged and desulfating. Each machine has a quick disconnect so it take but a second to connect/disconnect. Allows me to seriously extend the life of my batteries.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:24 PM   #9
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Batteries over Winter

Over the years Ive removed batteries and brought them inside, used a battery tender and most recently, as I have 6 6 batteries to deal with I use solar collectors.

The battery tender I used was a Genius G-4 which can handle 4 batteries that are 6/12 volt and lead acid or AGM batteries. Each battery is programmed individually.

The downside to the solar collectors is that snow does have to be brushed off.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
If you live in an area where winters are cold, just charge up the battery then removed the positive or negative cable from the battery. The battery will be OK until spring, it will lose only 10-15% charge over the winter.

I have to respectfully disagree. One of the worst things to do to a lead acid battery is let it sit. I vote for removing and keeping the battery on a battery tender (or similar) or keeping the trailer plugged in and keep the battery charged via the onboard charger.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:42 PM   #11
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Battery Minder

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Originally Posted by jd4010 View Post
I, personally, love maintainers/desulfators. I use BatteryMinder on all my equipment (farm tractors, mowers, trucks) to keep the batteries 100% charged and desulfating. Each machine has a quick disconnect so it take but a second to connect/disconnect. Allows me to seriously extend the life of my batteries.
X 2!
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocking
If you live in an area where winters are cold, just charge up the battery then removed the positive or negative cable from the battery. The battery will be OK until spring, it will lose only 10-15% charge over the winter.
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I have to respectfully disagree. One of the worst things to do to a lead acid battery is let it sit. I vote for removing and keeping the battery on a battery tender (or similar) or keeping the trailer plugged in and keep the battery charged via the onboard charger.
I guess nobody told my batteries that.

I have left my present set of batteries disconnected over the winter for 9 years so far and they are still going strong.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:44 PM   #13
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I guess nobody told my batteries that.

I have left my present set of batteries disconnected over the winter for 9 years so far and they are still going strong.

WOW! That's awesome. If you don't mind me asking, what brand and group are the batteries?
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:45 PM   #14
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I suppose this depends a bit on where you live and where you keep the unit,
In my case I live where it snows and the unit is left outside under a cover. With that said I pull my batteries and move them into the garage where I can monitor them and use a battery trickle charger.

Electric cords and snow blowers don't play well together.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:37 PM   #15
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1. Fully charge batteries don't freeze till -92 degrees.

2. 60% charged batteries don't freeze till about 20 below.

3. Batteries in freezing temps DISCONNECTED will lose only 1-2% charge per MONTH.
You do the math. There is NO NEED to remove or charge FULLY CHARGED batteries over the winter unless you are putting it away in WARM CLIMATES of room temp or more when you would want to check every 90 days.

Desulfators don't work PERIOD. They are hogwash. WHY people believe they DO WORK is because the trickle chargers they are combined with DO WORK and help preserve battery life compared to standard neglect and parasitic loads and self discharge. They are not NEEDED if you disconnect your negative terminal after doing a nice 100% charge.



You won't hurt anything by adding a "desulfator trickle charger" other than your wallet. Trickle chargers less so...and if you have a modern charger in your coach you also have a trickle charger already. All will "maintain your battery" over the winter...which you do not need to do per the above.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:44 PM   #16
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Battery Maintainer

I use a 10 watt solar panel wired right to the battery works great. And no need to plug anything into shore power.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:44 PM   #17
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in 30 years of owning TT's with batteries and converters I always keep the trailer plugged in at home - and (touch wood) I have never had any battery issues.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:06 PM   #18
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Think twice about leaving a converter plugged in

I do not subscribe to the idea of letting the converter float the battery over the winter (summer in my case). If something goes awry with the control circuitry in the converter, it can go to max current and that will create quite a mess when the lead acid battery blows. Other failure modes can result in smoke and fire in the converter itself. Converters do fail. You can find examples on Youtube.

I think some AGM battery makers say just sitting is fine but check every few months and top off if voltage is a bit low (under 12.6V). I've always used battery maintainers on my cars that sit for months and almost always get 10 years out of a "3-year" battery. In recent years I've been using 3/4 amp NOCO maintainers. They are expensive and I don't know if the trick stuff is worth it, but they seem to work. One car battery was deemed end-of-life four years ago but I'm still using it. I did run over one NOCO and got a look inside. It's well made.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocking
I guess nobody told my batteries that.

I have left my present set of batteries disconnected over the winter for 9 years so far and they are still going strong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazman View Post
WOW! That's awesome. If you don't mind me asking, what brand and group are the batteries?
They are GC2 batteries, I purchased them from Napa Auto. Not sure who manufactured them for Napa Auto 9-10 years ago.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:27 PM   #20
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X2 on the solar panel. Cheap, easy, and just about fool proof. You can use about 10 watts for each 100 AH battery. I had one on my F-250 that I only drove occasionally. The oringinal battery lasted 10 years.
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