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Old 10-30-2012, 09:36 AM   #1
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I have a few winterizing battery questions.

I have a few battery questions:

(1) Just want to verify that to remove the battery, should I disconnect the black cable first, then the red? (And to install, I hookup the red cable first?)
(2) Wrap the cable metal ends in electrical tape?
(3) Remove the battery and store on top of a 2x4 in the garage.
(4) What should I do with the wrapped cables? Leave them in the black storage box and tighten it for the winter?
(5) I plan to do some winter camping at campgrounds with electrical and use my ceramic heater? Should I reinstall the battery in case power went out at the campground and I need to use the gas furnace?
(6) I replaced the nuts on the battery with wingnuts so I can remove by hand. Is there anything better for quick release?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help.
John
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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Here are my thoughts to your questions, John.

First, reconsider taking your battery off and on. In your case, with the intention to winter camp, I would leave it on the trailer so long as you feel it won't be stolen in storage.


(1) Just want to verify that to remove the battery, should I disconnect the black cable first, then the red? (And to install, I hookup the red cable first?)
Remove the negative cable first because this will minimize the possibility of shorting the battery when you remove the positive cable.

(2) Wrap the cable metal ends in electrical tape?
Clean the battery terminals and connectors with a wire brush first. After cleaning, use Vaseline or a specialty product from your local auto store to coat the terminals and connectors.

It is a good practice to label the cables for positive and negative to avoid reversing the polarity next spring.


(3) Remove the battery and store on top of a 2x4 in the garage.
Placing batteries on wood is not needed, but certainly won't hurt anything. The myth that a battery cannot sit on the concrete floor is a carryover from a long long time ago.

More importantly, make sure the electrolyte levels are good and to always store the battery in a fully charged state. If you live in a cold state, this will prevent the battery from freezing. Batteries will lose a charge over time even disconnected so check the charge periodically throughout the winter.

(4) What should I do with the wrapped cables? Leave them in the black storage box and tighten it for the winter?
Sounds good to me.

(5) I plan to do some winter camping at campgrounds with electrical and use my ceramic heater? Should I reinstall the battery in case power went out at the campground and I need to use the gas furnace?
Yes. Remember that you have to tow, by law, with a working battery in order to run the camper's brakes in case of an emergency. If you intend to winter camp on a regular basis, I suggest that you leave your battery on the trailer but disconnected and avoid moving it between the garage and the trailer. Batteries are heavy and you run the risk of spilling them whenever they are moved this way. If your trailer is stored is a safe place for the winter, I recommend leaving them on the trailer and using a battery disconnect switch. You can unhook if you don't want to install a disconnect.


(6) I replaced the nuts on the battery with wingnuts so I can remove by hand. Is there anything better for quick release?
I use bolts so I don't have a good answer for you. Remember, though, that I do not take my batteries off my trailer.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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Scott,
These are really helpful answers, which prompt two more questions:

(1) I live in the Chicago area, and see you are in Wisconsin. Do you leave your battery on the trailer for the entire winter?

(2) When you have a chance, could you post a link for a battery disconnect switch. Someone mentioned it before, and I do not know what it is (being a former tent camper). Thank you.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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I'm glad to be of help.

(1) I live in the Chicago area, and see you are in Wisconsin. Do you leave your battery on the trailer for the entire winter?
Yes, I do. Leaving my batteries (I have two 6-volts) works for me.

As I said, batteries are heavy and mine are heavier than most so the less I move them the better.

Second, I store on our property, which is safe, so I don't have to worry about thieves. I guess anything can happen, but I'm not going to worry about it. However, I would take more precautions if I felt that it was a problem, including removing the batteries as needed.


I charge them fully and disconnect them through the switch below. The full charge keeps them from freezing in our winters and the disconnect minimizes the discharge. Last winter, for example, I was able to go many months this way without having to recharge.

Lastly, its convenient. A flick of the switch and I've got battery power again.


(2) When you have a chance, could you post a link for a battery disconnect switch. Someone mentioned it before, and I do not know what it is (being a former tent camper).
I really like the Blue Sea brand of battery disconnect switches. One that would work well for one battery is the model 6006m because its basically an on/off switch. This can be found at boating shops and amazon. Blue Sea is nice because they are made for boating conditions, which are inherently more abusive than towing and camping.





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Old 10-30-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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Concerning the switch, I watched the video (below) which was very helpful.

(1) Where did you install your switch? Could I bolt it onto the side of the black battery box?
(2) In addition to the box, should I also get two short cables to complete the circuit?


Yahoo! Video Detail for Blue Sea Systems m-Series Mini Battery Switches
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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Yes - You will need two 4/0 AWG battery cables.

I installed mine to the frame in front of my battery box and underneath the propane. But we have different trailers. I don't have a picture handy, but this one from Sherdep is about where mine is installed.

I have seen systems where people attach to the battery box. My box did not have enough room for that.

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Old 11-01-2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Triguy;270412]Yes - You will need two 4/0 AWG battery cables.

I don't think you really mean 4/0 do you? I can't say I've seen that large a guage on RV's, except on the starting circuit...

Just match the guage wire that is currently on your trailer - bet it is #8 or #6.

-Glenn
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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You are correct. In my own defense, I tend to think "bigger is better". LOL

I actually mean "4".

I do prefer to go larger than might be necessary. Most trailers are 6 or 8 and so even 4 is slightly overkill but its what I do for the short run to the disconnect.
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