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Old 02-25-2014, 07:02 PM   #21
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Thanks Herk.

So, the short answer is yes, the DW was right. Dang I hate when that happens.

I'll be sure to pull the battery after the thaw.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:40 AM   #22
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I work at a marina in northern mi. We do not pull batteries, just disconnect them. On my boat with two batteries, fully charged, I leave them for the winter, about five months.

Yes, I do charge them in the spring but have not had a major battery problem I left the battery in the 5'er all winter and expect not problems
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:50 AM   #23
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While looking for a graphic to add to the "Herkbrary" I found this AWESOME discussion on State of Charge (SOC) that includes lots of info on electrolyte freezing.

Yes, it does depend on how charged the battery was when it was disconnected and if it went dead during storage.

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...orage_0512.pdf

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:10 AM   #24
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I'm late to the game here and kaadk has received a lot of good info, but here are my thoughts on the matter.

A lot of his question revolves around the size of the battery and its age.

Age matters - The self discharge of batteries with Lead-Antimony plates can be high - as much as 1% per day on an older battery.

As for size, A marine group 24 will self-discharge to a level where it can freeze faster than a larger capacity battery (group 27, 31, etc), especially if those latter ones are deep cycle. This is just because the larger battery has more room to discharge before it gets to the level where it can freeze.

Kaadk, when you pull it, you should check the specific gravity in each cell, which will give you an indication of its health. Definitely do this before trying to recharge.

For anyone interested, here's a handy PDF from Trojan on battery storage.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:32 AM   #25
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I have posted this before.We bought our unit in the winter(Cold) our PDI was a Dry PDI,no water. We towed it home in the (Cold) dry roads,no salt. After we were home a few days I removed the (Batt Case Cover) the case was full of ICE around the Batt.NO drain holes in the bottom of the Batt Case! I don't know if they (F/R) put Drain holes in the cases now or not? The MFG.of the Batt Boxes do not put holes in them because the (Boxes) are used for Other Applications where they want total containment of Liquids! You can check your (Batt Boxes) its up to You! Youroo!!
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
Thanks Herk.

So, the short answer is yes, the DW was right. Dang I hate when that happens.

I'll be sure to pull the battery after the thaw.
I wouldn't admit to that.

With our old popup, I always left the battery on the trailer from Sept to June in very cold temps, and a couple of time forgot to unhook the negative wire (no disconnect) and it sat dead for months. It was still usable. So with several years hard earned experience mis-using and abusing deep cycle batteries, I can say that you have a good chance of your battery surviving. But I can also say I was buying a new battery every 2-3 years because leaving them dead does reduce their ability to hold a charge. And that results in the DW being very unhappy when you are out in the woods with a dead battery and its 38 degrees inside your tent camper at 2:00am

So then I found out the right way to do it from places like this. And batteries are expensive, so taking care of them is worth it. But having the batteries last through the whole trip becasue they are in good shape is priceless and keeps the marital peace.

So test out your battery and then if its OK, put a full charge on it. But I wouldn't write it off as shot yet - there is good chance its still OK
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:44 AM   #27
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NO (IMO). Remove it and have it load tested before you try to charge it in your coach.

If the battery DID freeze and crack an internal plate (causing an internal short), THIS could happen when you put power to it.

We never DID find the caps and there was acid EVERYWHERE.
OBTW, there was no obvious case bulge.
Herk has a lot of experience and is a good resource which we appreciate. I can only say 'Herk you should have read this forum before you tried all that stuff

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Old 02-26-2014, 02:50 PM   #28
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It doesn't matter. Just tell DW that she was right, no matter the outcome and then enjoy your camping.
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:53 PM   #29
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I'd bet that if it was exposed to freezing for some time your looking for a new battery.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:37 PM   #30
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If you take the battery out and have it load tested and not have it first charged up, (100% when parked - 30% due to time and parasite loss = 70%), you will be told that you have a low battery and should be changed out.

Put a hard (not trickle) charge on it for a couple of hours and then get it load tested. I believe that this will give you a better idea of the power stamina of your batt. My self, if I leave the batt in my unit I will have it on a trickle charge most of the time and check the water level. If I plan to disconnect the power for more than a week in cold weather I will bring it inside. My self, I believe that you have shortened the life of your batt by disconnecting it and leaving it out in the freezing weather.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:48 PM   #31
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The only way that the battery life is shortened is if the charge was below 50%.



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Old 02-26-2014, 05:41 PM   #32
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Get a cheap multimeter before you do out in the spring. Check the voltage before you do anything else, and if it is at or above 12.5 or so, you should be able to just use it. If it is flat dead 0.0 volts, then it may and probably is BAD. Much below 12.5, and you probably want to remove it and charge it gently and see if it will recover.

Just a thought.

EVERY RV'er should have a voltmeter and know how to use it. A battery monitor is a good idea also if you really want to maintain you batteries in top shape. A fluke loop volt/ammeter is really cool to, but a bit pricey.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:00 PM   #33
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Herk has a lot of experience and is a good resource which we appreciate. I can only say 'Herk you should have read this forum before you tried all that stuff
"Experience is what you get by making all the non-fatal mistakes possible."
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:24 PM   #34
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The worst outcome is admitting the error and buying a new battery. Life's too short to worry about it..unless you can go back in time in your delorean.

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Old 02-26-2014, 08:34 PM   #35
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I left my old battery in one year because I was replacing it in the spring. I disconnected it and left it. when I went to pick up the trailer, just for the heck of it I hooked up the old battery and it was fully charged, or at least enough to raise and lower the jack.

I wouldn`t worry. they are designed to be drawn way down, hence the name "deep cycle".
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:00 PM   #36
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So, as an update to this. I finally went out to the storage tonight and pulled the battery. According to my cheapo analog multi meter it's still got 12-13V. (Note: I really need to get a digital one)

So I've pulled it and brought it home to gently warm up in the garage. I'll let you know how it goes after I get it load tested.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:26 PM   #37
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Heh...yeah...even a cheap digital meter will prove a lot more useful than an analog. Though being able to trace AMPS in both DC and AC lines is a major plus as well and if you're gonna invest $20 bucks in a digital meter...you might consider getting one that will do everything...for under 45 bucks like this:
Amazon.com: MASTECH MS2108A 400 AC DC Current Clamp Meter: Industrial & Scientific

Just as an aside...there seems to be a myth that cold weather discharges batteries faster and kills them. The SELF discharge rate in 75 degrees is about 4 times greater than it is at 25 degrees. Batteries die in the winter because they freeze due to low charge levels & parasitic loads ... not because of self discharge rate compared to summer.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:57 AM   #38
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Ok, so an update on this thread. After my last trip out, the batteries dead. I haven't troubleshot the cause yet, but battery voltage has now dropped to ~8v. I've checked the resetable CB, the mainline fuses, etc... and they all check out. Still, battery doesn't seem to be getting any charge from either the converter or when hooked up to the TV.

I haven't actually checked the output of the converter yet, as the TT's sitting in storage, but I will on our next trip out. My gut though tells me the converter is fine. All my 12V devices have power when plugged in, and don't when not so that seems to indicate the converter is the one supplying the 12V.

As I'd rather wait to get a new battery in the US, where most things are significantly cheaper, I'll be just going without for my next camping trip. Question is, should I pull the existing battery and cap the leads, or is it harmless to leave it connected, even though it's not charging?
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:40 AM   #39
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Ok, so an update on this thread. After my last trip out, the batteries dead. I haven't troubleshot the cause yet, but battery voltage has now dropped to ~8v. I've checked the resetable CB, the mainline fuses, etc... and they all check out. Still, battery doesn't seem to be getting any charge from either the converter or when hooked up to the TV.

I haven't actually checked the output of the converter yet, as the TT's sitting in storage, but I will on our next trip out. My gut though tells me the converter is fine. All my 12V devices have power when plugged in, and don't when not so that seems to indicate the converter is the one supplying the 12V.

As I'd rather wait to get a new battery in the US, where most things are significantly cheaper, I'll be just going without for my next camping trip. Question is, should I pull the existing battery and cap the leads, or is it harmless to leave it connected, even though it's not charging?
Even if your batteries are dead...and it is VERY likely they are toast... you still are getting current through them to all your other devices that are attached to them. As long as you don't have any DEFORMATION of the battery casing ...i.e. bulges...and you have water in the cells...just hurry home as is and buy new ones. This assumes you have a LOT of confidence in your engine battery since you have no backup plan now if that fails.
Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #40
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Even if your batteries are dead...and it is VERY likely they are toast... you still are getting current through them to all your other devices that are attached to them. As long as you don't have any DEFORMATION of the battery casing ...i.e. bulges...and you have water in the cells...just hurry home as is and buy new ones. This assumes you have a LOT of confidence in your engine battery since you have no backup plan now if that fails.
Good luck!
Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking too. No deformations and since it's a sealed unit, I can't check the water level, but being sealed, the water should be there. It couldn't have escaped.

I was more worried this might indicate a short like Herk mentioned in post #20. In that case, I wouldn't want to blow anything up. But as we're leaving first thing tomorrow morning, I know I won't have time to comparison shop for a decent battery so I'm hoping to make it through this weekend and then I'll be able to get a good battery before (or during) my next subsequent trip.
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